Because this old horse still has its ticks

  • Addit
  • 07/16/2014 12:19 AM

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


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…

- 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."


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!


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Though I have nothing against the 'relics of the past', I'd have to say that one way or another, you're gonna have to carry on. The same will go for XP, VX, and ace, eventually. That's a sad fact that we all have to accept, I guess.

Anyway, good read :)
As an 'ace kid' I enjoyed it.
It’s your actions.. not your strength, that would lead you to victory.

The problem is that the community is getting such a large influx of new blood so to say. And they may not know about RPG Maker 2003 because Enterbrain doesn't go around advertising it. What they see is 3 engines: XP, VX, and Ace. And what's cool is to always get the newest and best version so that you have all the features at your fingertips.

I mean people want to be able to make the best game possible and when they're searching around for an engine they're going to see Ace thrown in their face like a birthday pie surprise. So a new user of RPG Maker is not likely to downgrade. I mean I have spent countless hours learning Ace and getting used to it. If I were to learn something wouldn't I want to learn something new or better. How would you convince someone like me to go out and download this program when I already have the newest version of it.

And with so many new users in the market crying out for Ace, the old users are forced to adapt or go extinct. Sort of like evolution. New users aren't likely to download a game made with tissue paper when they could download a game made with ruby. So the old blood is forced to move on less they get washed away into obscurity. And its always cool to do whatever everyone else is doing. And the coolest kids are using Ace.

There's a reason Enterbrain doesn't talk about 2k3 - they kind of hate the engine and just wish it would die. Whether that's because of the bugs and issues inherent, or for other reasons, it's the one RM that they do not still offer for sale, even in Japan, where 2K is still purchasable.

Frankly, for some things I'll prefer 2k/3. For others I prefer Ace.
Come on. kory. You couldn't be that harsh on the guy who just likes to have his opinion heard.

I understand how Addit feels about rm2k3. I could say that I felt the same way to game boy, or hell, jrpgs of the past. Upgrades are welcome of course, but let's not forget where those upgrades came from.
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.)
Oh yeah, of course, if you were new to the whole RM scene then I would definitely recommend that person using one of the newer RPG Maker engines that are available to start, since more or less likely that engine’s going to be around for a whole lot longer compared to something like 2k or 2k3. This article was written for more of us old has-beens in mind that have been around for a while and like still using 2k / 2k3 and are just worried that whatever we make in those types of engines now, no matter how visually stunning it may look or how it may stack on paper that they won’t be taken as seriously anymore simply because the engine is just too old or whatever the reason may be.

And yes, there will come a time when a lot of us will simply have to move on and go with the current flow - like the rest of you guys - but, in the meantime, Rm2k / 2k3 still has its good merits and will probably still be a factor for another couple of years. And besides, if you still like making games with 2k / 2k3 and still enjoy making them on those engines – then that’s great, more the power to you. Besides, when it comes to pretty much any game that’s on here, whether it be made in RPG Maker or not, if the game looks good, sound impressive, and it’s something that I may enjoy, then I don’t care what it’s made in. I think that’s what I was trying to imply here.

New users aren't likely to download a game made with tissue paper when they could download a game made with ruby.


I need a tissue now. :P

Its always cool to do whatever everyone else is doing.

Life has told me otherwise.

I mean, it’s suddenly the “cool thing” nowadays to smoke weed and get absolutely trashed but that does that I mean I want to do it too like everybody else? No, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.
did someone say angels
Why would you want to make a game in an engine that doesn't run on an increasingly large number of new computers? I should think your top priority in making a game is for people to be able to play it.
And here I was under the impression there was a new version of 2k3. :P My hopes were not called. T_T
I should think your top priority in making a game is for people to be able to play it.

The top priority should be to actually finish your game(s) first then worry about all that other stuff later.

And here I was under the impression there was a new version of 2k3.

Oh, I wish.
did someone say angels
I should think your top priority in making a game is for people to be able to play it.
The top priority should be to actually finish your game(s) first then worry about all that other stuff later.

But if you do that, then you just wasted your effort and have to start over in another engine if you want people to be able to play your game.
True, but at least you finished something. It’s not your fault (well, kinda, I guess) if they don’t have the proper equipment / system specs to be able to run this thing.

I mean, yeah, if multiple people were reporting to me that they simply just can’t run my game(s) anymore for whatever the reason may be then I would either find a way to work around it or just bite the bullet and switch over to something else that’s more practical once I finished with my last game I was working on.

I mean, recently we just had the ability to port over some 2k3 games from Windows to Mac, so anything’s possible, I guess.
I love rm2k3, I really do, but there is one problem that starts to wear down on my patience when your game starts to become too big, it starts taking time for it to process every little change you make to the game to the point where it gets a little frustrating.

It's sorta the reason I have been shifting my attention to VX Ace these days. If there was a Plugin or something that could make the engine process the database a whole lot more faster, it'd certainly be a godsend.
did someone say angels
You could use that argument to support using RM95. The fact is, regardless of the reason why you started making games, if you finished a game and people can't or won't play it, it will be extremely discouraging and probably dissuade you from making another game after you spent all that effort and it was unappreciated. In that sense, it's more detrimental to burgeoning gamedevs to use 2k3 than it is helpful.
Liberté, égalité, fraternité
Please note, gamer here, not maker.

It's a valid argument to say that if the games can't be run then yes it seems a little nonsensical to make them, but right at the moment in my household I have an old XP machine (actually I've got an even older '95 machine, but we don't talk about that) a new Win7 (reinstalled on a Win8 because it doesn't suit the usage) a Win8 and a Mac, and I have no problem running 2k or 2k3 on any of them (though the Mac is a rarity due to porting), so I think unless a new OS is coming out tomorrow, Addit can finish his game and people will play it.

Having all the bells and whistles is all well and good, but if the game isn't good it doesn't matter what engine it is on, I won't want to play it. Give me a good story and compelling characters and I'll play it in just about any format.

New users to the community may never fire up 2k3, but that wasn't who this article was written for, it was firmly directed at existing users to let them know that continuing with an engine they like is not a fools endeavour. I just read it because I find Addit an interesting writer.

And its always cool to do whatever everyone else is doing.
One word: Lemmings

I fully agree from a gamer perspective.

And I might add I like the visual difference. It gives more variety and variety is always a good thing.
I actually prefer the visual style of older engines by far. I have no idea why, but for some reason it works better for me (perhaps partly because trying to look realistic while staying completely disproportional does not sit well with me)

But it's all about game quality. If it's a pile of shit, I don't care how polished it might look or what engine it is on.
If it's a good came, I want to play it.

And I haven't had any issues with different engine so far, but I'm only using win7. I wouldn't mind using emulations, either.
If it ends up unplayable for some players until emulation or whatever is possible, then so be it. There will be enough who care enough to do so still and missing a game or two is fine.
RM2k3 was my JAM for a long, long, long, LONG time. But even I can see and understand the inherent flaws in the engine that not even the million dollar miracles, Cherry, Bugmenot, Corti, Kazesui, and other DynRPG Legends can fix.

........The sheer database lag when projects get too big. I'm sure you must have experienced this already with Monopolo, Soul Ninja, or whatever else you've worked on in your RM career(actually what ARE you working on now? I'm curious). It's inevitable and it hasn't been fixed. I dunno if it can even BE fixed. But it is a huge downer. :(

It's a shame too because I love my RM2k3 incarnation of SEM to death. I think it's the truest, purest form of the game, and I will never get it to be that same way in VX Ace or whatever for a small list of reasons I won't go over.

2k3 not running on newer machines at an increasing rate is also a problem. We shouldn't need to make the end user jump through hoops to play our games when the time comes.

But be that as it may, even if my usage of 2k3 is slowly dying a pitiful death, I still support DynRPG and the cool fixes and patches that are being made for it. But the inherent engine flaws make it an unwieldy engine for me at the end of the day.

Which is sad!
One problem that starts to wear down on my patience when your game starts to become too big, it starts taking time for it to process every little change you make to the game to the point where it gets a little frustrating.

Oh, that. I know that feeling when an Event, Common Event, etc. gets too technical and extremely massive that it begins to slow down the editor to almost a crawl and you basically have to sit on your butt waiting for the damn thing to load. Yeah, I’ve been there before, many times.

But I did manage to stumble upon one solution for this that has greatly cut my time of waiting down to almost a tee and that’s by placing a ton, and tons of Wait 0.0’s at the top of the screen before beginning whatever the hell you’re doing. This way, when you bring the event up, it will almost pop up almost instantaneously with almost no to little waiting time.

So whatcha do is make a new event on any map, put a bunch of Wait 0.0’s at the top of the screen if you’re planning on making something quite extensive, create and do whatever you have to, and then just delete all the Wait 0.0’s and then just copy and paste what you’ve done anywhere that you wish. Don’t do it this in a Common Event, though, as it’s much faster (and safer, just in case) to just do this in any normal event. I’ve been able to save a bit of time - and many hardships - by doing it with this method. Of course, the only other way to cut the waiting time down is by making the code a bit shorter or try to break up whatever you’re doing into smaller sequences.

author=Skie Fortress
Soul Ninja

I can’t believe that you still remember that game, Skie, despite the fact that I didn’t get to do too much on it at the time. Other than Strangeluv, you’re probably the only other person that I know that still remembers that game. Maybe one day I’ll bring it back…

author=Skie Fortress
(Actually what ARE you working on now? I'm curious.)

Fixing up this and then eventually working on this, and then we’ll see what goes on from there.
Liberté, égalité, fraternité
Goodness, you're actually making that free throw challenge thing you won the comp with? Wow.
RPG Maker 2003 still has a lot of life in it. Unfortunately, after Wild Wings 2, I'm going to be moving on. I can't say for sure if I'll ever get back to it in the future, but I've been stuck with these engines for so long. It's been a lot of fun, but I wish to direct myself to produce more ambitious games, finally free of the limits and frustrations of the 2k3 engine, and I'm really looking forward to it.
I really like the idea of this article, helps inspire me even more with my game Lakria Legends on rm2k3. I suppose the main reason for me still using this engine is because I am extremely familiar with it and it has that little special place for me lol.

I believe that it really doesn't matter what engine is being used, as long as the developer puts his/her fullest efforts and shows their passion. The game can be a downright enjoyable and nice experience.
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