2 years after my original article on How to create RPG’s, this is the final installment.
The easiest way to create an RPG is by using an RPG creation tool. The most famous of these tools is RPG Maker, but there are some alternatives:
And of course, there is my own tool that I’m currently working on: RPG Playground!
RPG creation tools already include most of the programming, artwork, sound and music for you. So the main thing you do is design the levels and gameplay. For a game designer without much technical or artistic skills, it’s definitely possible to create a nice game. Most tools also allow you to script some custom functionality, and let you import custom artwork. So clever programmers and amazing pixel artists can still add their own expertise into their game.
RPG designer tools might seem like toys, but don’t be fooled. There are some professional game developers who earn a full-time living by creating their RPG’s using RPG Maker. Amaranth Games and Aldorlea Games are both great examples.
- No programming required
- No artistic skills required
- You can have a game up and running in no time
- RPG Maker has a huge community that can help you out with all kinds of problems.
- You have to live within the framework that is provided
- You don’t have total control, so some features or animations might not be possible
- You are restricted to the supported platforms
Tip 1: Search for custom free artwork
RPG Maker has a huge community, and a lot of people created custom art (tilesets, animations, music, sounds, …) and made it available for you to use for free.
Tip 2: Search for ready made scripts
Same as with custom artwork, a lot of scripts can be found on the net that already support that feature you wanted. These scripts can also be a great way to learn on how to create your own.
Tip 3: Don’t work against the framework
RPG creation tools are created with certain assumptions in mind. So don’t swim against the current, but use as much as possible of what’s provided to you. Scripts can be helpful to modify or extend certain functionality, but don’t go writing the entire thing yourself.
RPG designer tools, and especially RPG Maker, seem like a great way to create your own RPG’s. It’s currently the fastest and easiest way to get your game going, but at the cost of losing some fine tuned control. And of course, you can check out my own tool that’s currently in development, and allows you to create online RPG’s: RPG Playground.