Indie Spotlight featuring Indie Game Development Part 2: RPG Maker VX Ace

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There are a few programs out there that will hold your hand and help you make your own game using their engine. There is UDK like POSTAL 2 uses which lets you make shooter style games freely, however you have to pay a hefty licensing fee if you go commercial with it. It’s a great tool for making a shooter though and it isn’t that hard to learn, just takes a lot of work to master it.

If you do a search on Steam there are a few other game development tools you can try, however, their price tags are kind of steep for someone just sticking their toe in the game development waters. They pretty much all have free versions that allow you to sample the game development tool but the tool itself is almost certainly crippled. It generally lacks major features and is usually very limiting on what can be done with it. That’s all understandable and not meant as criticism. They need their dues to stay in business themselves and it was a lot of hard work to make those tools. One of these tools actually has a much more affordable price tag than the rest. It comes with everything you require to make your first game. Once you are familiar with the tool you can opt to expand it with DLC that gives you additional tilesets, music, and other enhancements to make your next game even better than your first. This tool is called RPG Maker VX Ace and is presently available for only $69.99 (or less if you find it on sale). That’s right, approximately the cost of purchasing one pre-made game and it lets you make an unlimited amount of classic Role-Playing Games! Quite the bargain!

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About the Software
Simple Enough for a Child; Powerful Enough for a Developer

RPG Maker VX Ace improves every aspect of RPG creation, making it not only the latest, but also the greatest engine in the RPG Maker Series. With multiple tileset support, full auto-shadow control, and a flexible features system, Ace gives you the most powerful RPG making tools ever.

Ace provides all the tools you will need to make the game you’ve always dreamed of. Make your game, your way with all the following features:
An enhanced map editor to build your world.
A Character/Enemy/Skill/Equipment Database with a new powerful, flexible Features system.
New event options, including playing Ogg Theora video.
Expanded default resources, including a built in Character Generator to form your own custom sprites and faces.
Key Features
Simple, Powerful Tools

RPG Make VX Ace enhances RPG making with several powerful new tools. We have never offered a product before now that allowed such flexibility to the user without the need for any coding knowledge. These new tools are not only flexible, but also incredibly simple to learn and use, being accessed through a simple point and click interface.
Enhanced Default Graphics

RPG Maker VX Ace features a largely expanded collection of graphics resources, with 4 included tilesets and downed sprites included, on top of many new sprites. Ace also has the advantage of being compatible with all existing fan made RPG Maker VX resources right out of the box.
Export Your Game

So you’ve finished your project and you are ready for others to experience your unique RPG. Export your game to a portable EXE file that can be played on ANY Windows system. Share it with your friends, your family, or even the internet!

Website – http://www.rpgmakerweb.com/products/programs/rpg-maker-vx-ace
Forums – http://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/
Steam Page – http://store.steampowered.com/app/220700/

I’ve been playing around in RPG Maker VX Ace trying to make my own little RPG. So far it’s going quite smoothly. For the relatively easy time I’ve been having with it, I have to give thanks for all the guides available to me that were made by other RPG Maker owners. Who knows, maybe I’ll even make a POSTAL RPG. Now that could be very interesting! Maybe remake POSTAL 2 in a JRPG style! You can do more Western style too, however, you need some of the DLC for that.

When you first open RPG Maker VX Ace, it looks like a copy of Word so the first thing I did was close it thinking I opened the wrong application. Then when it opened to Word again I realized, hey wait a minute, this is RPG Maker, now what do I do? Well since it looks like Word, I clicked where File usually is in Word and looked for New and sure enough it was there. New Project. So I used my usual amazingly highly creative mind and made my first project “Test #1”. Once I did that I was given a small watery square with a few small icons in the box next to it and a pathetically drowned person right in the middle of it all. I built some land under the poor fellow and soon I was underway designing my homey little island. It was pretty simple to design everything the way I wanted it. They are right when they say that anyone can do it even someone who has no idea how to program their VCR DVR can likely pick it up and make themselves a simple game. Once you are really familiar with the workings, you can break out the scripting tool (not available in the Lite version) and begin making your own scripts. If you are more familiar with Eclipse IDE you can even use that to make the scripts and import them into RPG Maker. There is a guide for that too! Speaking of external programs, if you are making a custom map and the water or some other element just doesn’t look quite right to you, you can easily edit the tile sheets in your favourite graphics manipulation program that supports transparency and have it conform to the shape you need. You can then import it back in to RPG Maker. It’s that simple and there is even a guide for that if you need help. Really the only limitations I can think of for RPG Maker VX Ace is user creativity. Needless to say I have sunk quite a few studious but pleasurable hours into making my own little demo RPG. Now that I have used it to learn what I needed to know, it is time to sit down and seriously think about making my first RPG! See you in the Steam Greenlight process some day!

You know what really makes or breaks some games? Much like Game Dev Tycoon emphasizes, it is the reviews they receive once they are released. With Steam’s new review system we are happy to see that POSTAL 2 is still well reviewed other than by a few miserable people who shall remain nameless and friendless. Why not pop on over check out the new Steam feature and write a nice public review stating how awesome POSTAL 2 is and how fantastic it is that it will soon be getting a free DLC. That’s something I can hardly wait for myself.

Well that is really all I have to say about Game Dev Tycoon and RPG Maker VX Ace for now as I am eager to get back in to both them and also getting back to working on POSTAL 2’s first DLC!