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RPG Maker VX: Game Design Engine Worth Knowing

Written by Tom FronczakDecember 1, 2011
RPG Maker VX
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You have an amazing idea for an RPG that you wish was a game. You don’t have much or any coding experience, but if someone could just give you the tools to make it, you’d do it yourself. Welcome to RPG Maker!  There’s less math and more time to focus on world creating and storytelling. Keep reading to see what you’ve been missing out on!

RPG Maker 2000

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RPG Maker 2000 was the first game engine I ever worked with, and it was surprisingly simple, yet it also had plenty of advanced tabs if I wanted to go deeper with my game mechanics. A small amount of coding was required, but it was more of a case of plugging numbers into menus and creating a few variables or switches that were if-then statements disguised by a user interface.

Because it’s not coding intensive it has the nice bonus of letting you make more progress in the first few hours than you could with more powerful game engines. The drawback is obviously that it’s hard to build anything but a RPG with it. I was able to modify it to create a Zelda style game with some extra work, but it’s definitely intended for RPG creation. Many different versions exist for the PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Windows PC, and even a few handheld gaming devices, but the newer RPG Maker VX looks better in every way.

RPG Maker VX System Requirements

The minimum system requirements for RPG Maker VX are 100 MB of free hard drive space, at least 256 MB of RAM, a 1024 by 768 or larger screen resolution size, 1.0 GHz Intel Pentium III equivalent or higher processor, and either Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows Vista. The recommended system requirements are at least 512 MB of RAM, a 2.0 GHz Intel Pentium 4 equivalent or higher processor, and either Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7.

Please note that a 64-bit OS is not supported at all.

RPG Maker VX Features:

Making a game with this software is as easy as creating a world, populating it with characters and enemies, and then creating scripted events and placing them in the map. The product page boasts that the Ruby Game Scripting System (RGSS) from previous versions isn’t necessary any longer, which means virtually no coding should be required in the new version. However, like earlier version this also comes with a huge database of free art for heroes, villains, monsters, environments, buildings, and particle effect sprites. Art and code aside, here are the key features that make RPG Maker VX so appealing:

  • Improved auto tile function can now be used for coastlines, walls, roofs, and other objects.
  • Shadows are automatically included in textured and detailed tiles.
  • Tilesets are divided into five categories and can be placed without worries of layering issues.
  • Preexisting database still lets you use or customize default character, class, and item menus.
  • Event editor can be used for character dialogue, boss battles, opening a chest, etc.
  • A dungeon generator! Choose the tiles for the floors, generate the maze, and add final details.

I wish I had a dungeon generator tool back in the day; that’s such a great addition! For those who are completely new to this software series, be sure to view the graphic and audio materials you’ll need to make a game. It covers character sprites, portrait avatars, monster battle graphics, how images are animated using a single image file, tilesets and layering, panoramas, dialogue and emotion balloons, item icons, battle sequences, and window skin options.

Once you’re done reading the materials section, make sure you bookmark the thorough RPG Maker VX tutorial series and then grab the 30 day free trial. If it’s every bit as easy and awesome as you had hoped, then be sure to support the creators by buying the full version for just $59.99!