RPG Maker VX


With enhancements to the scripting system developed in RPG Maker XP, this new version greatly improved the role playing game design world. Although the RPG Maker series has always been simple and easy to use, XP and VX added sophisticated features to give a developer total control over their game program. And as a result of recognizing the potential market value of translating their software, VX has been released in America for $60.

RPG Maker VX was the fifth in the RPG Maker software series, and includes a few differences over the XP version.

Changes From RPG Maker XP

RPG Maker VX features a similar map making interface to previous versions, with some updates. There are now 5 tilesets available, but only two layers in the game. Drawing with tileset 'A' draws on the first layer, while tilesets 'B' though 'E' affect the second layer.

RPG Maker VX Resources

Downloads | RGSS Reference | Enterbrain
Considering the recent release of this version, there haven't been many custom resources. When they do come, expect links to chipsets, tilesets, facesets, characters, and more.

How to use RPG Maker VX

Some of you may still remember the days starting in the Mid 70's when a man named Gary Gygax changed the world of gaming when he introduced a game called "Dungeons and Dragons." From that point, there was no turning back now in the 21st century RPG games are more popular than ever. The simple D&D rulebook of the 70's has spawned entire libraries of books and variations.

With the advent of the PC and later the Internet these games have taken on a life of their own, so much so that in China they have often been banned as a threat to the harmony of the state. With RPG Maker, creating these games is now directly in the hands of the average gamer.

Mapping your World is Key
In any RPG game, you must create the world in which your story takes place. Some Game Masters have spent months and even years creating their imaginary worlds. Greyhawk was one of the early fan created worlds that became very popular and quickly spread among the RPG player community. It is even still being played today in some circles.

RPG Maker makes creating your world easy with 9 starting tilesets that you can use to built land, water, and other terrain features of your world. Other tiles create rooms, walls, and other features that are needed to build your villages, towns, and cities.

In short order, you can create your game world. First you will understand the basis of RPG Maker's chipsets, which use a number of autotiles that help blend tiles with the rest of the world - making a moving ocean, or a detailed cement path. The Auto Dungeon Generator builds a random dungeon automatically for you with everything in it for you to start adventuring right away.

However, most will want to spend time building out their gaming environment to match their vision of the type of world they wish to play in and explore.

Select File new Project to begin the process. You will then be shown a blank map area and a palette of tiles to build your map from. Drag and drop to create the terrain and other features you want to build your world out of.

Strangely enough, there are authors who use RPG Maker VX to create the Fantasy worlds for their novels and Fantasy Adventure series. Your favorite fantasy series you may be reading right now may in fact have be created in RPG Maker VX.

A Game World is no good without people!
Here is where RPG Maker excels with its character database and GUI interface. You can create your world's peoples, artifacts, and of course magical items to be searched and fought over.

Your Heroes, Villains and NPC characters are stored in this database as well. This reviewer would have enjoyed this feature more if it had an auto-Character feature, which would take the drudgery out of creating the populace of the towns and villages.

This is done from the Tools: Database option, from here you can create all the Heroes, Villains, and Monsters your game requires as well as the NPC characters that can lend more excitement and give information to the players.

Your characters are displayed on tiles of their own and depending on which style of tile you use, they can be proportional or exaggerated. The Japanese version of the software uses the outlandish Chiba style for their characters as well.

Again, this part of the software could be enhanced to expand on the backstory portion of the main characters at least. An author this reviewer knows uses this part of the software to create characters and then flesh them out in other software packages.

The Hero's journey paradigm being used today for many movies is easily to be seen in this software. This raises the question "Are movies today, RPG games?" The line between Game, Story, Novel, and Movie are blurred nowadays. Comic books make for multimillion-dollar blockbusters in Hollywood right now and the trend is continuing to grow. Perhaps RPG Maker is the forerunner of where game and story will be combined into a new kind of entertainment medium.

Story is the Glue that binds it all together
Without a good storyline, a game falls flat. RPG Maker VX has features to make sure this does not happen. With the Event Generator, you can automate mundane events like doors opening, Lids being raised, and the like. The software now uses the RGSS2 (Ruby Game Scripting System 2). This powerful scripting language allow you to let your creative juices flow and build a story that will keep the players of your game enthralled and waiting to see what is in store for them around the next turn of a corridor or behind that door up ahead.

From the tool menu, you can choose the script editor and from there you can set your story into motion, by creating scenes and other piece of action that will make your game a hit. F11 will also take you into the script editor as well.

Events are set up through the mode pick on the menu bar, which lets you choose event, map, or passage of time. F6, F5 and F3 will let you select the mode you are in as well.

Included is a front-facing battle system, which many have downloaded addons to give a side, looking view as well. When you tie this in with the Quick Event Generation feature, which is, new with this release you have a powerful system that a novice or a pro can create exciting stories to drive their games and you do not have to be a programmer to do it.

You now have the ability to not only create the world, populate it and now bring life to the characters and have them live in the world you have made. Few writers such as J.R. Tolkien with the "Lord of the Rings" or R.R.Martin's "Game of Thrones" have been able to do this.

Music and Graphics adds excitement
One of the hallmarks of a great RPG game is the music that runs in the background or is used to foretell events that are about to happen and build suspense. RPG Maker VX has this and more with its built in libraries of sounds and music you can use to create almost unlimited enhancements to your game. If that is not enough you have the RPG Maker online groups that have uploaded many more graphics and sound files, which you can download and add to your game.

From the Tools choice on the menu bar, or F10 lets you use the Resource Manager of the software to add music and graphics that you can pick and choose from. You can test these sounds by selecting the sound check icon on the menu bar, which is second from the end when you first start the game.

This of course does not mean you cannot create your own music if you wish. You can and by adding, the music you create makes your game unique and has you stamp on it.

Many games created under RPG Maker have taken on a life of their own and are now being played all over the world. Some have even become commercial successes as well making money for their creators. Most however create the games for their own enjoyment and share them online with the RPG Maker community. Of course, the accomplishment of designing, creating, and finally playing your own RPG game, is reward in itself that few ever experience. This is a group of people that you can be part of yourself.

We have looked at RPG Maker VX today and walked you through a few of its many features to get you started. Time does not permit a more in-depth analysis. However, those who go to the US website can download a fully functional copy of RPG Maker VX and try out it features for 30 days. You will discover that it will perform all that has been mentioned in this article and much more.

You will be in the possession of one of the most powerful game creation environments around and that will provide thousands of hours of playing fun as well as the enjoyment of creating the games themselves.

If any authors are reading this article, you may also wish to download this software and see if it helps you with the writer’s block, you've been having with that novel you've been writing as well.

If you love playing RPG Games, you'll not only get to play them, but create them as well with RPG Maker VX.

Download it free at http://www.rpgmakerweb.com/ and you can turn your own fantasy story into a game.

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