DON’T THROW AWAY THAT 2K3 JUST YET

Because this old horse still has its ticks

  • Addit
  • 07/16/2014 12:19 AM
  • 34284 views

Alex Fan-Art Created By: kholdy


"Is Rm2k/Rm2k3 a doomed 'platform?' Granted, it would be stupid to 'start' a game in 2k or 2k3"~ Pneumatic


"Good riddance I say. The whole engine is just an awful mess compared to the newer makers. I won't miss 2k or 2k3 at all."~ UPRC


"There is no HISTORY in 2k3, there are only aggravating barriers to success."~ Craze


"I've never understood why there is such a clash among indie game dev engines, especially between RM versions."~ King Of Games


Exactly!


With all this recent talk lately about some of the more prominent members of the RM community that have been long-time supporters of Rm2k3 in the past, such as calunio and TFT to name a few, suddenly switching sides, and with more and more VX Ace games and users coming out of the woodwork like some sort of a cheap American car dealership, it seems apparent that the once, great mighty relic of the past is now slowly fading into obscurity… Let us all now bow our heads in a silent prayer…

Pfft…
- Yeah, right!


Maybe it’s just the red chardonnay going straight into my brain, but I still believe that all of this talk of doom and gloom for one of Enterbrain’s greatest creations is nothing more than pure horse gribble – horse gribble, I say! And although this whole article may be sort of coming off in an backwards attempt to try and convince you all that Rm2k3 is freakin’ Jesus and VX Ace is nothing more but a tool of the devil, well…kind of – but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like the new kid on the block, oh no! In fact, I like it very much.

Nah, the purpose of this article wasn’t to start a flame war about which engine you should use (believe me, that’s happened here many times before) but to have an open mind about everything and put all this stupid silliness away and just agree that no matter what engine you ultimately decide on using that it’s just fine with me…and probably with lots of other people too.

The great thing about indie games, and even this community in general, is that we have many different games from many different developers from many different engines from many different parts across the entire world. That’s what makes life interesting around here. If we all just used the same engine and basically labelled everything else and just deemed it unworthy - then everything would probably explode! (Well, not really, but you get the jest.)

So I’m here today to break down all the different taboos about what might be troubling you as of today, Rm2k3 users, about this great piece of software and convince all of you NOT to throw away your copy of Rm2k3 in the recycle bin just yet. Of course, if you’re already an avid user of the other engines, or you’ve already moved on from Rm2k3 already, then just keep doin’ what you do. No one here’s to judge.

- It’s time to reassure the masses!

"Rm2k3 is, like, so old now. Only babies still use it…and probably old people."

Yes, it is old. And yes, a lot of old people still use it. But, surprisingly, there are still a lot of people who continue to cling on to it – and I’m not the only one. If you look around the The Screenshot Topic for a while here, you'll still find a plethora of Rm2k3 screenshots and people who still like to use it. True, not as many as before, but there are still signs of life.

PepsiOtaku, for example, is a prominent member in the community and still uses Rm2k3 and still continues to work on his game, Everlasting Journey, even after all these years with it. Does anybody call him out for still using it? No, and why should they???

Itaju has continued to use Rm2k3, despite his incredible custom spriting and map making abilities that would probably do him more good on something else or even helping out other people with doing more commercial type of stuff, but he still decides to stick around with Rm2k3, despite the limitations.

Xenomic is another guy who isn’t afraid to still show off his Rm2k3 love. There’s also Liberty who still uses Rm2k3 from time to time; Corfaisus still uses it to continue making his Tales Of Zilmurik games; Blindmind, of course; Deacon Batista and NOACCEPTANCE772, and I’m pretty sure there’s a bunch of other users that I forgot.

So yeah, people still use it. How ‘bout that?

"VX Ace has got scripting and full color support. What does Rm2k3 have!?"

Plugin’s!!! And tons of patches to boot. Rm2k3 may not have the fancy pants ability to script your own text boxes or even shapeshift the default menu system like you can do in something like VX Ace – but you can still event your own stuff and even use pictures for them. Sure, it might take a while to make your own menus or even make your own text boxes, but at least you can have the total satisfaction that you made this instead of just fiddling around with a script that someone else made online.

And for some people, scripting is a bit tough. It’s not so bad with a bit of practice, but some people are just…slow, like me. And one thing I don’t like about scripting is that if you make one little mistake in the code, your game won’t simply run until you manually fix it. It will highlight what the screw-up is, but it won’t run properly until you fix it yourself. At least with Rm2k3 and eventing, if you happen to screw up, the game will still run normally, but whatever you were trying to do won’t work quite right, but at least you can still see it in action before making any correct changes.

The full color support, though, does suck, I’ll give you that. But whatever, I guess we’ll give this one point to the newer engines.

"The games are just better on XP, VX, VX Ace."

- HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Man, this is subjective, of course, as it’s the developer(s) that makes the games - not the engine - but you can’t tell me with a straight face that some of the best games ever made on here were from Rm2k3.

Hero’s Realm, Alter A.I.L.A. Genesis, Ara Fell, Fey, Phantom Legacy, Final Fantasy Blackmoon Prophecy, Space Funeral, Leo & Leah, Lisa The First and Starless Umbra are just some of the many, many wonderful classics that Rm2k3 has brought to the table over the years. And yeah, while XP, VX and VX Ace have some of their own gems in their own right, including all the other engines on here, like SMBX, Renpy, Unity and the like, there’s just something about these games that are still played today and are often brought up quite frequently on here. It could be because of the nostalgia, but I like to think that it’s because of something else that's much greater.

"You know that in a couple of years Rm2k3 games won’t run on any computers anymore."

Yeah, it’s starting to happen with the odd user here or there, especially those who use Windows 8, but, you know what, there will always be a way to emulate old games and software programs - even in the future. And while technology may change, something's just never change. Besides, retro is still huge, and I would imagine that it will still be even in 5 to 10 years from now.

Also, with things like EasyRPG continuing in the works, along with Wolfcoder’s RPG 20XX, it’s possible that Rm2k3 will be able to run on all sorts of different platforms, including mobile devices and tablets in the future. Imagine that?

"No one supports Rm2k3 games anymore on their sites."

Well, then, I guess they’re missing out. Really, to not host any more games just because a certain engine is supposedly old is just plain dumb. There will always be an audience for this type of stuff, so why then start denying it? Either way, once again, it just comes down to the game itself, not the engine that it was built on.

Besides, places like Gamejolt still accept Rm2k3 games and will gladly host them on the site if enough work and patience was put in to them, just like everything else. Hell, even other indie communities will accept them. Yeah, some of the more recent RM sites may not accept them anymore, but that’s probably because they’re mostly focused and centering on the newer engines now and wanna get away from the much older stuff. That’s understandable. Either way, some of the sites might tip the scales in your favor if you ask them really nicely.

"But it’s so archaic!"

So is RPG Maker 95.

"But Craze will laugh at you!"

Let him laugh. It’s good for him.

Look, there’s no denying that Rm2k3 is an old relic of the past and it should be phased out as soon as possible just like how new Coke was phased out a long time ago, but aren’t we forgetting that it’s the developer that makes the game, not the engine? I’ve been quoting this for a while now, but it’s the truth of the matter. The great thing about sites like RMN is that we don’t harshly judge those that decide to do one thing over the other just because someone else said so. I’m proud to live in a world of personal choice. One person may not agree over the other, but there’s always that one other person that will.

RPG Maker 2003 has been around for over 10 years now, and I can honestly say that it was one of the biggest reasons why I became interested in game development and game design. For such a simple program, it’s unbelievable just how much fun and just how much longevity it’s had over the years. It’s not perfect, sure, compared to the more recent engines, but it’s still a great tool, even by today standards.

So Rm2k3 users, don’t throw that 2k3 just yet! Continue to use it with pride and keep that big smile on your face just like you did when you first got of a hold of this thing back in the day. And for all you people who use XP, VX, VX Ace – or even something like Unity and the such – support your fellow brothers and sisters in arms with their decision, even though it might seem like their just grasping at that much needed nostalgia fix (probably).



Screw the haters!
- Now go out there and fire up that ol’ grey mere and have some fun!

Posts

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There are a lot of great 2k and 2k3 games. And EasyRPG makes it effortless to run them on Linux. Games made in other RM engines are troublesome to run and often makes me give up.
To be fair while for long Ace was much better than MV IMO, MZ currently blows Ace out of the water in pretty much every respect:
A modern, lightweight and highly compatible programming language,
Optimized to use graphics cards in an era where pretty much every onboard graphics card will outperform Ace's single-threaded, no-graphical acceleration performance (basically MZ has the same performance demands as MV, but it gave computers 5 years to catch up, while Ace is quite demanding of contemporary low/mid end processors thanks to them splitting their performance across multiple cores, while Ace can only use one... and no graphics cores at all)
Editor is much better (Maniacs 2k3 is still massively superior though!)
Visustella MZ is just a godsend. Yanfly VX was good, VX Ace was great, MV was really the saving grace, Visustella MZ really is the culmination of all that channeled through so much talent and a sustainable business model / professional approach.
Effekseer! So much better at handling every kind of animation, while being very light on performance as well. Sure, it takes a bit of a learning curve, but it's the first time RPG Maker had An Actual Animation Editor.
Plugins are amazing! I already mentioned Editor improvements and Visustella MZ, but the way Plugins work on MZ pretty much means you can make 100% of the new Maniacs Patch commands in it if you want to. And while nobody has, the plugins that do exist add so many new awesome event commands to the editor!
Open Engine! No obscured code like on the RGSS RPG Makers. On MV/MZ you literally can change the entire game engine as it's there open for you to see. You can write a new editor for it, simply not use an editor and write the game on a notepad, bridge it or feed it into other software, it's just really professional on that end

MZ for me represents a world of infinite possibilities. Ace represents a world of nostalgia, pretty, convenience and lots of cool but often broken plugins. 2k3, though, with the renaissance brought upon by Maniacs, is a beastly prototype machine, it's beautiful, nostalgic but more powerful than anything, event-wise aaa

I don't know why I wrote this huge reply I just am really happy with MZ, I think it's great and I love the work Archeia and the team is putting into it / visustella / etc, and also love what Cherry did and BingShan is doing with 2k3 omg it's 4am i need sleep..................
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
28539
JosephSeraph
Addit
"You know that in a couple of years Rm2k3 games won’t run on any computers anymore."
Funny how it's the RGSS RPG Makers that are dying, now, while 2k3 lies fully revitalized and compatible thanks to Cherry and BingShan's efforts. (AND EasyRPG!)

Us 2k3 users know the real quality engines. As for RGSS, VX Ace wouldn't be dying if so many users hadn't dropped it like a bad habit when the far inferior MV and MZ came out.

EDIT: Also I don't understand it. I have a 10th generation computer and it runs 2k and 2k3 with absolutely no difficulty. Windows 10, too! I'm not even running them under compatibility settings. When people ask how to get 2k and 2k3 to run on newer Windows, I get upset because I can't help them because I've never seen them not work. They even work on my laptop! NOTHING WORKS ON MY LAPTOP!!!
Addit
"You know that in a couple of years Rm2k3 games won’t run on any computers anymore."


Funny how it's the RGSS RPG Makers that are dying, now, while 2k3 lies fully revitalized and compatible thanks to Cherry and BingShan's efforts. (AND EasyRPG!)
I'm a little late to this party, but since having gotten back into RM2K3, I would just like to get my say in.

I've been using RM2K3 for years now. I do own both RMXP and VXAce (thank you very much, Steam. And while I have attempted to make games with the latter engines I always end up going back to 2K3 because that's what I'm comfortable with. And with the RM2K3 getting the official translation and release on Steam, in my opinion, it has breathed new life into the engine.

My issue with VXAce and XP is. I cannot script. I haven't the mindset for it, and I've got too many useless talents in my head and not enough room for scripting. So say if I wanted to make a game using VXAce, I'd have to hunt around for the scripts I want to use, check the compatibility, and if I plan on using a CMS or CBS then I'd better learn the basics of ruby so I can at the very least edit the settings to tailor it to my needs. whereas with 2K3 I can simple start a new project, and away we go.

Basically all that nonsense I typed out in a nutshell: I ain't smart, or talented enough to use the newer, flashier engines.
author=LightningLord2
Honestly, if you really want to advertise RPG Maker 2003, you should list things it can do VX/XP/ACE can't. Your article pretty much only says to me that 2k3 does work, but the newer ones are still better at it.

Well, to be fair, when I originally wrote this article back then my intention was not to highlight the major differences between what 2k3 could do verses the other RPG Maker engines / etc. but to reassure current and old users of the program that it’s still okay to keep using it and that you shouldn’t make the switch just because this said engine is more current / popular than this said engine is – that’s all it really was for. At the time of writing this article, there was no English Rm2k3 release as of yet and a lot of people, like yours truly, was getting a bit concerned with the newer operating systems being released, like Windows 8 and 10 dropping DirectDraw support that Rm2k3 was pretty much on its way out. But at least with the official Rm2k3 English release and future updates to it over time, Rm2k3 might still have a chance to thrive for at least a little longer.

Either way, the original message still remains the same: just use whatever engine you like and what you’re the most comfortable with and the rest will follow.

author=WolfCoder
Yes that's right, I'm afraid it's already dead.

- Not without a fight, she won’t!


author=mawk
functionality is one thing, but the price point is another. it's formerly free and currently cheap, and I already see a lot of people in peripheral circles picking it up to fiddle with and make cool things on their own time. I think most of us take access to the full suite of game design tools for granted, but for a lot of people having a cheap, quick, and accessible alternative means a lot, you know?

this is big for me because I'm particularly interested in seeing outsiders and peripheral hobbyists thrive. there are a lot of people who are excluded from participating in game design by one thing or another, and if they have more of a chance to get involved and follow their own aesthetics then that can only make the field more interesting, you know?

Well said, my boy. (Also I'm glad that you decided to come back, mawk.)

I mean, one of the most influential reasons that I got into game creation was because of a program like RPG Maker 2003 where it was free (at the time) to use and it was quite simple to pick up and make something for newbies. It was a great first step for someone who was still currently in high school and didn’t quite have the necessary funds to shelf out for a copy for another game making software tool that might have been just too advanced for me to use and I would have probably had a high chance of just giving up on it. RPG Maker 2003 gives me just enough flexibility to create whatever types of games that I want to make with minimal effort on my end.

I mean, I know that RPG Maker isn’t the most flashy piece of tech around, but it makes me feel that if I can work hard enough and do the best that I can with it that even I could have a game that can rival something made with Game Maker or Unity. It’s the perfect first stepping stone and it’s the perfect tool for someone who just wants to have fun and make something without having to extensively learn how to code or how the engine functions work.
functionality is one thing, but the price point is another. it's formerly free and currently cheap, and I already see a lot of people in peripheral circles picking it up to fiddle with and make cool things on their own time. I think most of us take access to the full suite of game design tools for granted, but for a lot of people having a cheap, quick, and accessible alternative means a lot, you know?

this is big for me because I'm particularly interested in seeing outsiders and peripheral hobbyists thrive. there are a lot of people who are excluded from participating in game design by one thing or another, and if they have more of a chance to get involved and follow their own aesthetics then that can only make the field more interesting, you know?
I'm demonstrably one of RPG Maker 2003's biggest fans, but I can be critical of everything, even of myself and the things I love.

Frankly, it's a good fucking engine and personally I love it to bits.


I've defended it, but it's still one of the worst engines I've ever seen if you compare it to the world (and not to other versions of itself).

It isn't very robust at all- you can't do something like swap out all statistics and battle calculations yet keep the same battle engine. Unless you do something absolutely crazy with RPG Maker 2003 which usually results in a lot of tedium, the games made with it are all the same. Again however, this can be said about VX/Ace since most people smash the same scripts in. No RPG Maker series of toolkits in existence simply hands the author simple building blocks to make their systems with. I'm not counting RPG20XX yet because while it does this, I haven't written any tutorials for it yet (and I need to declare BETA before I can write any).

No tutorials means not user friendly and therefore might as well not be a feature.

but otherwise it's a great engine that still has many years left in it's life.


It had many years, but it's still too old and unstable to be reliable. The only long lasting projects are ones with maintained source code. It's only still here because nobody has finished a toolkit that is just as easy to use yet far superior. But many of use are close, I give it 4 more months before this changes.

Yes that's right, I'm afraid it's already dead.
Don't forget that it has double-right-mouse click to change layer, layers that don't interact with each other when mapping, a more stable eventing core (thus using events for mapping is useful because they don't lag the game, nor do they 'jump' the one-pixel that Ace does). Oh, and the side-view is built in, with a lot of graphics already created for it that work in the engine without having to worry about scripts that aren't built for them.

And that it's easy to mess with, yet powerful as well.
The new upgrade has helped out a lot with a whole new translation and a fix for the battle speed (that is sooo nice).
Frankly, it's a good fucking engine and personally I love it to bits. The only thing that I would like to see changed in it is a reordering of the event commands - something like Ace's with headings - but otherwise it's a great engine that still has many years left in it's life.
Your article pretty much only says to me that 2k3 does work, but the newer ones are still better at it.


OK. RPG Maker 2003 runs smoothly on my machines while, for some reason, RPG Maker VX/Ace lags down to a more "cinematic" framerate. At least RPG Maker 2003 was optimized for the arcane DirectDraw/etc. technology that was still in use at the time.

Also, some people prefer the tileset model of RPG Maker 2003 and XP over VX/Ace.

Most of the features I'm sure you'll list next are achieved through a Turing's mudpit of smashing barely compatible scripts together. However, in this category, I'm afraid RPG Maker 2003 can't win either without all the hacks people put into the engine. While they work, they reduce the overall stability of the engine as opposed to engineering from source code.

Plus, you can totally upscale 2k3 sprites to feign a retro look in VX ACE.


But they still don't look right and the moving objects don't align to the resolution being faked giving it that weird PS1 2D game played via emulator look.
Honestly, if you really want to advertise RPG Maker 2003, you should list things it can do VX/XP/ACE can't. Your article pretty much only says to me that 2k3 does work, but the newer ones are still better at it.

Plus, you can totally upscale 2k3 sprites to feign a retro look in VX ACE.
I love RPG Maker 2003 (and 2000).

After my RM2K project I initially planned on making my next game in VXA. What a disaster that was. The mapping is horrible. 32 x 32 sucks. Less eventing options. Way too many limitations that could only be solved by downloading/requesting/writing scripts (seriously, fuck scripts).

The only thing I find VXA to be superior with is the battle system. While I do love the side-view battle system in RM2K3, it's so limited, clunky and buggy. Even with all the DynRPG plugins out there it's still inferior to VXA, unfortunately.

That said, I don't regret moving my project over to RPG Maker 2003. While making the battle system work properly is a never-ending struggle, I love everything else about the program. The program UI, eventing, the graphics (tiles, sprites), the lower resolution, the music, side-view battles, etc. With RPG Maker 2003 I feel right at home, warm and welcoming. VXA, on the other hand, feels like a cold, soulless product in my opinion (I'm not hating on the games made with it, I just dislike the program's UI).

I don't see myself ever switching over to a newer RPG Maker anytime soon, unless they're re-making RM2K3 without the bugs and with the improved battle eventing from VXA.
BurningTyger
Hm i Wonder if i can pul somethi goff here/
1289
Maybe wiorking toghether iwe cna show waht 20xx is capable of.
I'm glad you wrote this article. It's good to highlight the pros to an old version that can accumulate cons. I look at them more as RM versions for different purposes than chronological updates that unquestioningly replace the former.


..As opposed to a game engine series where each newer version is a more optimized, updated, and overall superior engine that still maintains all the previous features like a good game engine should actually be.

I hear the "but it is to keep them all unique" excuse all the time.
I'm glad you wrote this article. It's good to highlight the pros to an old version that can accumulate cons. I look at them more as RM versions for different purposes than chronological updates that unquestioningly replace the former.

Events vs. straight up coding is a great point. I think it's important to emphazise the differences between the latest versions and the legacy versions to new users. It seems that 2k3 offers the most for the old, more accessible approach and VX Ace offers the latest up-to-date features and content for the new approach. There's a sliding scale of how much coding and a priori content creation you have to do, starting with RPG Maker and going into other game makers. 2k3 is by far one of the best places to start on the non-coding end.

author=Addit
Sure, it might take a while...

OK gotta comment on this one... "Reinventing a wheel is worthwhile because you did it all by yourself!" said no one ever. Except up there... We'll just ignore that. The rest of the points are great though.

Porting and emulating is a must! Let's keep RPG Maker games running self-contained on all OSes and, yes, let's even expand to new platforms. That's gotta happen.

In an interview with Enterbrain, Indinera Falls makes the great point that "the Internet is constantly moving" so there will always be new places to go. We just need to find them (or create them).

author=Liberty
2k3 is actually fun to use, though. Yeah, I've had fun with Ace, sure, but 2k3 is FUN to use. And it has graphics up the wazoo, a built-in side-view battle system and did I mention it's fun to use? Also, hello non-square mapping! 16x16 tiles are the shit.

(I like Ace. I like the RTP a lot, but even I think that 32x32 is pretty bad for tiling purposes.)

I like what Liberty said about being a multi-version game developer. Those are some valuable points about what version to select and why for a given project.

Lastly, is there a good link for purchasing the Japanese version? Preliminary googling is not proving as succesful as I expected.

I started with RPG Maker back in 2001, so this is a great first thread to join for coming back to the community and get more involved this time.
I thought I was gonna hang up the ol' RPG Maker '03, but then I started on yet another project! Yee haw! Nice article by the way!
we could argue about which tool is better for a whole lifetime, and in the end everyone will still use the tool that he/she sees better fit for himself. at least smart people will, i know a lot of guys who switch to vxa because someone told him he "had to", and now spends every minute of their time telling people that they have to switch to vxa, because for every person they manage to convince, they convince themselves that they made the right choice.

i'm a 2k3 guy.. always been and always will be, i will do something with vxa somewhere along the line, but i still will prefer 2k3 above others.

fact is (at least in italy where i'm from, even 'tho the rpg maker world is not as big as it was back in 2008/2009, there are still some of us who use rm) greatest games are always been made and still are made with 2k/3, while if you look at vxa games, with very few exceptions, they all have the same crappy rtp graphics, same third-part scripts recicled over and over... sometimes it seems to play the same game.

and my point is?
most likely the problem is with the people who use rpg maker, not with the tool himself.
Zeigfried_McBacon
I'm not staff anymore, so please don't ask me about that,especially game engine related stuff.
3767
I think work is still slowly being done on EasyRPG, but again, let me put due emphasis on that last sentence:

I think 2k3's best chances for living on in the end lie in 20XX and EasyRPG, though what will comes of those remains to be seen.
I thought EasyRPG is sort of dead. There is OpenRPG which suddenly woke itself up. The website claims "initial release soon" but 0% engine completion at the same time. It took me the better part of a year to not finish RPG Maker 20XX's RPG_RT replacement so I fear he's grossly underestimating the job.

He's also one of those people who believe in "The Year of the Linux Desktop" despite according to Valve themselves Linux still only has 1.20% of the Steam usage and these were the guys really pushing Linux gaming.

And, let's be honest, you shouldn't have that much faith in me either... but I guess you still have to put yourself behind one of us trying to carry RPG Maker 2003's legacy.
Zeigfried_McBacon
I'm not staff anymore, so please don't ask me about that,especially game engine related stuff.
3767
I think it's pretty safe to say 2k3 is dead; at least RM2k3 itself. There is DynRPG, but given all I've heard, I think that'll be dying out if it isn't virtually dead already. I think 2k3's best chances for living on in the end lie in 20XX and EasyRPG, though what will comes of those remains to be seen.
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