My preferred tool for creating my own role-playing game! Lots of fun to use, especially if you have your own dream RPG in mind!
RPG Maker VX Ace is for you if:
- You love single-player 2D role-playing games!
- You are new to game development.
- You want to create an RPG for fun or as a hobby.
- You want to sell your game.
- You have little or no programming experience (or, if you do and enjoy scripting!).
- You want your game to be single-player (no multi-player capabilities).
- You are OK with your game only running on Windows, not on Macs or mobile devices.
Choosing Your Game Engine:
RPG Maker is a clear excellent choice if you want to create a single-player 2D role-playing game. That is what RPG Maker does best, and it is wonderful to work with such a powerful, easy-to-use tool when developing an RPG!
However, if you want to build a 2D game that is not an RPG, such as a platformer/jumping game or an action/shooter game, you may likely prefer other software such as Game Maker https://www.yoyogames.com/studio
or Unity https://unity3d.com/unity
. Unity is great for both 2D and 3D games, but takes longer to learn than Game Maker. Both allow you to make multi-player games, which RPG Maker cannot do. That being said, if you'd like some jumping puzzles or adventure components in your single-player RPG Maker VX Ace game, it has got you covered! So, if your dream is to make a game like Zelda III, you may prefer the action capabilities of Game Maker or Unity (although impressive things have been done with the RPG Maker "Zelda Engine"; but if you embark on such a project with RPG Maker, you need to be a scripter). But if you'd like puzzles, battles, or other features like those in Dragon Quest IV, Final Fantasy IV or VI, or Chrono Trigger, or even a free-movement battle system like Secret of Mana, RPG Maker's base features along with scripts in the community together allow for a variety of possible game types using RPG Maker!
Also, Unity and Game Maker can run games on any platform (Windows, Mac, mobile, etc), while RPG Maker games only run on Windows. This is a big drawback to RPG Maker, but if you are OK with this, you will gain the extra power RPG Maker gives you to complete your dream role-playing game! Compared to Game Maker or Unity, RPG Maker is much easier to use.
Which is Better, RPG Maker XP or VX Ace?
If you have never used an RPG Maker product before, I recommend RPG Maker VX Ace. But I've only ever used Ace, so you can decide for yourself! See RabbitGaming's video for a great comparison of the lead RPG Maker products: RPG Maker VX Ace and RPG Maker XP:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZrOmGtrIKU
Selling Your Game:
Note: You might not make any money with your game. So, do it for the love of your game. Don't quit your day job! If you make money, congrats! Your game is among amazing titles like "Skyborn" and "To the Moon", among many other games made using RPG Maker that are available in the Steam Store: http://store.steampowered.com/tag/en/RPGMaker/
There are many talented artists who sell their art specifically for RPG Maker VX Ace designers, so you can purchase art that allows you to use it in a commercial product. Or, you can create your own original art or music and add it to your project!
RPG Maker VX Ace requires about 5 hours to learn the basics. You can save yourself some trouble by looking up an intro YouTube video, such as: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SneWwiI5v1k
To become familiar with all the advanced options (event commands, parallax mapping, etc) that come standard with the software, it may require 20 to 30 hours, but your game may only require a handfull of these advanced features, depending on the game you make. Finally, RPG Maker VX Ace has a built-in scripting feature, and it may require 5 to 10 hours to find online and test some free (or purchased) scripts from talented scripters/programmers.
Scripts can add an awesome unique flavor to your game. For example, many developers add scripts to customize the default battle system, and there are many excellent scripts for various styles of battle system. Other scripts add lighting effects, while others add adventure-style jumping, weapons, or puzzles. There are many scripts already created and available, and many of those scripts are free to use in commercial projects.
Using freely available scripts is recommended, such as the popular scripts by Yanfly https://yanflychannel.wordpress.com/rmvxa/
, or Theolized http://www.theolized.com/
, or Galv http://galvs-scripts.com/
, among many others. I also highly recommend the Fullscreen++ script by Zeus81 http://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?/topic/14081-fullscreen/
and the word-wrapping script by KilloZapit http://www.rpgmakervxace.net/topic/6964-word-wrapping-message-boxes/
. Scripts by different developers may or may not be compatible.
If you have a solid programming background already, you can also script basically anything you want within a 2D environment. The scripting language is Ruby and an experienced programmer can learn using online resources, searching for RGSS3 scripting help.
How Multiple Developers can work on One Project:
If you have multiple developers, you could just take turns working on the same project on one computer. Or, you could split up the project into components, and have each person work on only one component, such as one on scripts and one on maps, and then bring the files together to see them in action. However, I recommend using a subversion system, such as TortoiseSVN, which can be used in conjunction with a file sharing system, such as DropBox, to have multiple developers working on a single project simultaneously or from different computers/locations.
An Example Development Team:
Our developing group is using RPG Maker VX Ace to create an indie game. We are three developers with various roles in the development process, and only rarely able to meet in person. We are able to share our work easily by using TortoiseSVN linked using DropBox, so that each developer always has the latest update. Rarely, our team member who has become our TortoiseSVN expert has to fix the files; but usually, it allows us to flawlessly share data.
Completing Your Game:
If you are imagining yourself creating an epic RPG like Dragon Quest IV, Final Fantasy VI, or Chrono Trigger, you have found (in my honest opinion) the best tool for accomplishing your dream! However, expect it to take about 10000+ hours, at least, to accomplish your goal; if you have multiple developers in your team, this obviously can cut the workload down to size! However, if you are imagining a game like Dragon Quest I or II, or the original Final Fantasy, you could be done in more like 1000+ hours. Search "RPG Maker" in the Steam Store, and you will find amazing titles to use as examples.
So, for your first game(s), think small! See this video for tips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHMNeNapL1E
RPG Maker VX Ace is for anyone who loves RPGs and wants to make their own! I love using this software and interacting with my development team as we create our original role-playing game!
If you'd enjoy being a hobbyist RPG developer, get RPG Maker VX Ace for cheap when it goes on sale, or get it now and you'll be on your way to making your own exciting new adventure!