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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > Hands On: RPG Maker MV 1.0 (OS X, Windows)

Hands On: RPG Maker MV 1.0 (OS X, Windows)
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Oct 23, 2015, 09:01 AM
Have you ever wanted to design your own game but lacked any knowledge of coding or spriting? Have you had an idea for a game you wanted to share with friends or family? Have you ever thought of selling a game on the App Store? If this sounds like you, then you might want to take a look at what we recently got our hands on: RPG Maker MV.

So what is RPG Maker MV? Well, if you grew up in the mid-1990s and early 2000s and were really into RPGs, chances are you had a copy of one of the earlier RPG Makers, or a game made by one of the versions. They've all been a simplified software suite that allows you to create your own role playing games (RPGs), in a Final Fantasy V or VI style. Various versions of RPG Maker are still popular these days, especially now that indie-games are becoming increasingly popular. RPG Maker MV, however, steps up the RPG Maker game by implementing some heavy changes.

For those of you who have used RPG Maker before, you'll be pleased to know that for the most part, RPG Maker MV is the same as versions prior. There are a few important differences between this one and older versions, though. One of the biggest changes is that you're able to switch between first and third person battle scenes. They've also overhauled the script editor, in favor of a simple, straight forward plug-in system. We're not entirely sure how we feel about this, but we're hopeful that it will grow to be as robust as the script systems in older RPG Makers. There still is the option to add scripts, though it's tucked away within the event editor. The other, and arguably most important, difference is that you can publish your games directly to both iOS and Android devices, which is an incredible step for those that want design their own RPGs and would like to turn around and sell them.

For those of you who haven't used RPG Maker in the past, here's a little rundown of the system: You use RPG Maker to, well, make RPGs. For the most part it's a sort of click-and-drop system that designs classic NES/SNES 1990s style RPGs. RPG Maker has a ton of assets that you can use to publish your games, including an in-depth sprite and character designer. It also comes with a database of plugins that allow you to script just about every aspect of your RPG.

When it comes to using RPG Maker MV, it's pretty simple. Download it, launch it from Steam, and start building your RPG. As stated above, it's very drag-and-drop, and has kind of a Photoshop-meets-The Incredible Machine kind of feel to it. On the left side of your screen, you'll see the sprites and environmental props you can use. On the right side you'll have the main screen that represents the various maps and scenes in your game. You can import your own sprites, scenery, plugins, and even music to help make your game stand out. We highly encourage users to create as much of their own assets as possible, as RPG Maker games are often panned for looking identical to each other.

We're not going to give an in-depth tutorial, as RPG Maker MV comes with an awesome database of helpful information that can be accessed from any time through the help menu, or by pressing F1. Here you'll find information about plugins, changing battle modes, events, editing controls, and more. We also have every bit of faith that the community will be jumping in, as they always do, with tips, tricks, and tons of additional assets for making your games. More experienced developers can use JavaScript to tailor the game to their liking, though we're also willing to bet that the community will be able to step in and help new coders as well.

So what's the verdict? If you're looking to make your own games without having much coding experience, RPG Maker MV isn't too shabby. It's got a lot less versatility than other tools like Unity, but it'll get you used to thinking more like a game designer. If you're new to game creation, we think this might be worth checking out. RPG Maker MV is available on Steam for PC and Mac, and it'll cost you $80.

Who RPG Maker MV is for:
If you're the type of person who is looking for a quick and dirty way to make their very own game, either to give out to friends or publish on the App Store, we think this is great -- especially for beginners.

Who RPG Maker MV isn't for:
More experienced game designers, as well as those who want to design non-RPG style games without having to search for tons of workarounds should probably pass on this, and check out something like Unity or GameMaker: Studio

-Amber Neely (@SurferAmber)

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