Author Topic: What is the abhorrence towards RPG Maker games and the lot?  (Read 174 times)

chrono.source

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What is the abhorrence towards RPG Maker games and the lot?
« on: March 06, 2018, 02:18:35 pm »
Now I prefer the canon-esque playability of a ROM hack as much as any other Chronohead, but why place such malcontent on RPG Maker games? Are they irrelevant? Are they "too far from the original"? I say this because there are a few RPG Maker games I have come across (including my own) that were given a thumbs down merely based on their platform.
I'd like to hear everyone else's take on the subject. What makes RPG Maker such a repulsion?

alfadorredux

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Re: What is the abhorrence towards RPG Maker games and the lot?
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2018, 05:00:27 pm »
Well, I'll typically ignore RPGMaker games because using a Windows-only platform indicates the game's creator isn't interested in me as an audience. I have better things to do than jump through hoops to play a fangame.

But I suspect that other people may be less than impressed because RPGMaker, by lowering the barrier to entry, allows the immature and the incompetent to push out a lot of very bad games, especially bad fangames. Even if yours is the best game ever written, it's going to be tainted by association.

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: What is the abhorrence towards RPG Maker games and the lot?
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2018, 06:05:26 pm »
I haven't played Chrono Source, and didn't know that there was any general dislike for it. It's on my "to do" list, but I haven't gotten to it yet. When it was first released, I tried to play it but ran into multiple install issues and couldn't get it to run, so it was set aside for a future date.

That being said, I definitely think there is a lower quality overall to RPG Maker games. I've played quite a few, and most out there end up unpolished, full of negative space, and feel very amateur-ish. There are a few exceptions to the rule: Ara Fell, To The Moon, and Rakuen, but overall, the RPG Maker market for games is just sort of blah.

For me, I don't need an impressive combat engine. I don't need the world's best story. But there are three things that stand out to me that are ultimately about quality control (or at least that's how I interpret it:

1. Level Quality

Rarely do I need spritework and tileset-level design that are beyond lazy or amateur levels, which end up boring me. For example, compare these two screenshots.

A Screenshot from Ara Fell:
http://www.stegosoftgames.com/Content/images/AF/BloodForest.png

A Screenshot from Dark Fire:
https://mir-s3-cdn-cf.behance.net/project_modules/disp/047a2954539661.560946fb6357d.png

So much of what I've seen with RPGmaker level design is full of what I guess is ultimately negative space; areas are sparsely filled and lack depth. The level-design ends up boring.

2. Graphics

I don't really dig 8-bit graphics era (despite being an 80's kid; sorry early Final Fantasy), but I do love 16-bit and 32-era graphics. For example, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, Phantasy Star 4, Terranigma -- they're are all great.

But looking at RPG Maker, I just don't dig the graphics much of the time. Much of it is an overly simple, chibi-esque look that just doesn't do it for me. The trees and plants look cartoonish and it's all a rough copy and paste type of look.

Here's an example:
http://cdn.edgecast.steamstatic.com/steam/apps/426100/ss_b14f455546f408bc8754427a103ca40066075f8f.1920x1080.jpg?t=1517535257

3. A Cut Above?

I still love RPGs, but I'm in my 30's and have too little time and too many video games. Turn-based games rarely cut it anymore. For example, I recently trying to play Final Fantasy V -- I've started it half a dozen times and have yet to beat it. Guess what; I lost interest 10 hours in and never finished it.

By modern standards, the gameplay wasn't engaging enough to match the mediocre storyline and mediocre early-SNES graphics. Not to knock FFV, but it simply isn't as engaging as FFVI.

So, and this comes down totally to my own personality, but I need a mix that keeps me engaged. You can't have poorly executed graphics, a boring 1990's turn based combat system, and a boring story and make me interested. Even an amazing story likely won't keep me completely invested if there's not solid combat and graphics.

A recent buck to that trend is the Bravely Default series -- the combat is old-fashioned (even with the Brave/Default stacking options), but the charming and unique graphics and engaging (even if cliche) story kept me completely pulled in.

In Summary

I think that is a good enough summary for why I don't love RPG Maker games. With a low barrier of entry, there's a whole lot more meh games then there are good games. My time is valuable, so I'm only going to invest it in quality.

I should note that I say all this without Chrono Source in mind. I have seen little of Chrono Source beyond what you've posted here and the initial three or four screenshots. I know that Chrono Source uses Chrono Trigger graphic tilesets, so that's a plus.

To compare directly to Chrono fan games, we really only have three completed Chrono fangames (as far as I know) -- Crimson Echoes/Flames of Eternity, Chrono Alter, and Chrono Source. Prophet's Guile is excluded because it was a small hack and moreso a demo for Crimson Echoes and ROM-hacking capability.

I've played Chrono Alter (shout out to my boy Lance). To some degree, it fell into some of the traps in which I mention in how I feel towards RPG Maker games. The quality between Chrono Alter and Crimson Echoes simply wasn't the same.

Beyond that, RPG Maker games don't *play* like Chrono Trigger games. They just feel off... Maybe it's the ratio and battle movements, but in transitioning to a separate battle plane it feels more like Final Fantasy turn-based rather than Chrono's.

At this point, I'm rambling. I hope my point came across. Maybe, maybe not.
 

Razig

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Re: What is the abhorrence towards RPG Maker games and the lot?
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2018, 07:31:12 pm »
Speaking only for myself, I don't have any feelings one way or the other about RPG Maker—I simply have no interest in fan-made games, regardless of how they are made.

But I think at least some of the anti-RPG Maker derision isn't actually directed at the program itself. Most of the time when I see a comment about something "looking like an RPG Maker project" it's in the context of a big studio putting out an underwhelming game. That is to say, companies making games for profit are rightfully held to higher standards than one-man outfits making games for personal creative fulfillment. If a huge company, with all the resources at its disposal, can't produce something vastly more impressive than what one guy can make while working in his spare time with a widely available hobbyist's tool, they deserve to catch hell for it. (Which, coincidentally, is what is happening with the Chrono Trigger Steam release debacle.)

That's my take on it, anyway.

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: What is the abhorrence towards RPG Maker games and the lot?
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2018, 11:51:13 am »
Quote
I think at least some of the anti-RPG Maker derision isn't actually directed at the program itself. Most of the time when I see a comment about something "looking like an RPG Maker project" it's in the context of a big studio putting out an underwhelming game ...

I wrote out this super long reasoning, and I think *this* is the best tldr; summation. It's not about RPG Maker as much as it's about the quality of the end result.

Razig

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Re: What is the abhorrence towards RPG Maker games and the lot?
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2018, 02:25:18 pm »
To summarize even further:

V_Translanka

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Re: What is the abhorrence towards RPG Maker games and the lot?
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2018, 04:37:13 pm »
As far as I know (which, admittedly isn't a ton) RPG Maker compared to traditional ROM hacks is like comparing consoles to PC. Its just a more standardized way of doing it and is thus restricted a bit more in what it can do with it...

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: What is the abhorrence towards RPG Maker games and the lot?
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2018, 05:29:56 pm »
Quote
As far as I know (which, admittedly isn't a ton) RPG Maker compared to traditional ROM hacks is like comparing consoles to PC. Its just a more standardized way of doing it and is thus restricted a bit more in what it can do with it...

Good analogy. Also, a wild V_Translanka appears! Good to see you, buddy. :)

chrono.source

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Re: What is the abhorrence towards RPG Maker games and the lot?
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2018, 10:48:22 am »
Ok so it is as it seemed, and that it is merely from the legacy of poor quality games that have come from RPG Maker that has soured its audience.

Granted there are a lot of scripts that change the gameplay and make it completely different. I also must attest that a great game is mainly dependant on plot, character development and continuity throughout.

I'm not going to lie. I put the majority of four years worth of any spare time I had into making Chrono Source. In the end abruptly having to leave it unpolished because of a whirlwind year for me, (Marriage, moving, child). There were more things that I wanted to add (ex multiple endings) which I just did not have time to do anymore.

I began this project before I knew about temporal vortex. I just assumed everyone was really good at hacking lol. I did the majority of my research here on the compendium, it was only a couple years in that I joined the community, and over three years in that I found out about temporal vortex.

I was mainly just trying to share my vision of the Chrono Universe as I saw it, with all you beautiful people. I hastily sent my then finished project into the world in hopes of some feedback and help from this community but due to its RPG Maker platform.

I guess mainly I was just trying to shine a light on everyone's fears on the subject in hopes to bring to light this, and hopefully other suspended (or dead) projects due to lack of interest in RPG Maker.

Boo the Gentleman Caller

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Re: What is the abhorrence towards RPG Maker games and the lot?
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2018, 01:55:52 pm »
ROM hacking is never easy, although it's easier now than it was due to Mauron's continued work on the program and its addons...

Quote
I'm not going to lie. I put the majority of four years worth of any spare time I had into making Chrono Source. In the end abruptly having to leave it unpolished because of a whirlwind year for me, (Marriage, moving, child). There were more things that I wanted to add (ex multiple endings) which I just did not have time to do anymore.

I can understand this. Similar events happened to me. It also killed my involvement with Chrono Shift and another anniversary project that was in the works. Both are on hold simply because it's so effing hard to make time when you have kids and a family.

That's why now I'm just playing with spriting when I can. It scratches that itch and lets me help me provide value to the Chrono community.

Have you considering remastering Chrono Source? Take a year and polish it so you can get it to where you want it?

I don't get the impression that Chrono Source was ill-received; however, it wasn't on the same caliber as Crimson Echoes. I don't think there's any denying that. Perhaps a remaster with Chrono Source would help breath more life into it and give you it the respect it deserves? Polish with level design, maybe some gameplay/combat enhancements? I know RPGmaker is capable of recreating Chrono Trigger's caterpillar system and a few other Chrono Trigger unique nuances.

Just a thought. 

chrono.source

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Re: What is the abhorrence towards RPG Maker games and the lot?
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2018, 11:26:38 am »
Unfortunately most days I barely have time to get out of my work clothes before i go to sleep. I have a 2 year old and a 5 month old right now. So I may touch base with it in a few years, if any interest is still around, but I have already implemented many of the chrono systems (ex caterpillar, and Active time battle system ) The main one I couldn't properly implement was the unique battle system CT has (in-map).

I did a basic playthrough on youtube just to showcase its playability:
https://youtu.be/80Jnc0CPgLA

I do appreciate the advice though. I don't forsee much spare time in my future, as my wife wants another kid. lol