Making an RPG Game

Have you ever wanted to make a video game. Well, I did and this is how I did it. I used a program called RPGMAKER MV and used free art and music. A turn-based RPG is a genre of game defined by its largely atmospheric story and graphics and limited combat to utilize the imagination of the player and since limited work is great if you don't know what you're doing its a great starting place. Here are some of the key steps. Now if you see the image you may be intimidated but it frequently goes on sale for as low as twenty dollars and earlier versions can be purchased for even cheaper. Other programs that can make games include C++ Game Maker Studio and Unity but for this tutorial we will cover RPG maker MV but much of the advise can be applied anywhere.

Step 1: Starting Up and Finding Resources

If you are like me your first issue is creating an idea and showing that in the game. You may have a certain idea for an aesthetic but you have no experience in editing images. You are in luck, because RPG Maker gives a large supply of free resources to use to your hearts content and the community is very helpful when it comes to sharing resources. Before you start any work you should find a source of artwork and sprites so that you have something visible for the screen to work with. For the most part images on the internet are already formatted correctly. You can use these assets to properly figure out what you can do with your game.

Step 2: Beginning to Create

I went into making the RPGmaker game not knowing how to code in it whatsoever. Luckily for me and you there is a plenitude of tutorials on the program and the internet. Never be afraid to look something up or experiment with what works. One benefit with RPGmaker is that all basic tools can be accessed with a GUI which requires no coding whatsoever. For my project I did require a minimal amount of coding to change the default mechanics a little. All code outside of the GUI is in javascript and in a case where you would need to use it, likely someone has already done something similar so make sure to check the internet.

RPGmaker starts off with a blank map which you can lay sprites or images on. After shaping the visual map, you may switch to event mode which controls how you and the world react to one another. This will let you change music depending on where you are, talk to citizens of your newly created world or begin combat of some kind. Many template maps come in the default files of RPGmaker so its advised to make your work effort faster by utilizing these. Even if you want something original, using something premade as a base will allow a higher quality of scale and convenience until you get the hang of creating a game.

Step 3: Debugging and Settings

After you've made some progress its very important to check your work. If at any point something doesn't go as expected make sure to see if you can find the problem. Don't be afraid to take breaks, this can get stressful. Try to have fun with your project and attempt to be in the mind of someone who hasn't played your project before. If you are initially trying to make a very large game I would recommend cutting your ideas into chunks since it may be too much for you. The project is only as finished as you want it to be and there is always room for improvement. Don't be afraid to learn about lighting, sound, emotes or weather. These are all options that allow for a more immersive experience.

Step 4: Reflection

Making a game is a big task and if you are thinking of undergoing a project I would recommend starting very small. I originally had a concept for a much larger game but had to scale back to about one level with some remnants of the other levels still usable in the game, which does allow for some exploration. A joke level about the Simpsons in a high school filled with zombies became the main premise as more of my resources started to fit that idea better. Counting strategy, research and asset browsing along with the actual coding the singular level and odds and ends took well over 48 hours. Under a more experienced lead this could have been shortened drastically, however. In my current case my biggest issue was in the combat where after implemented mouse only controls each turn the program would ask if you would like to escape the battle, which is normally a action not an option. I had a bit of trouble in conceptualizing gear and weapons and as such the collectible options are rather barren. Even more important the difficulty curve on this game is someone staggering for someone unfamiliar with the RPG genre. Even having made the game, there are sections which require a sounder head in terms of game design to properly balance the monsters. All in all I am very happy with my end result and I implore anyone interested to give RPG maker a try.

Some positives or RPGmaker are its great default settings allowing basic games to be made very quickly and its adaptability with ports allowing for quick conversion between windows, linux, mac and ios versions of the project. I incorporated use of touch/mouse and input controls to optimize use for both of these mediums.

Step 5: Timeline and Changes

I began working on what I would decide would be the final concept around Christmas time and worked on and off in periods. I first started finding free to use concept art which took a lot of time. Then I moved on to the majority of the mapping which didn't take nearly as long but it was very tedious. After the stages had been designed I could begin to program events. After events I added sound and some visual effects. I had several other concepts in a very brief form but this was the most obtainable in terms of effort. They're are many mistakes and miss-ups after checking through the current version. I have multiple spelling errors and a few script mistakes. In order to complete the only dungeon the player must do some very out of reach things so simplifying it may be a good idea. They're is not much customization and in reflection I would add much more weapons and clothing.

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    10 months ago

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