DON’T THROW AWAY THAT 2K3 JUST YET

Because this old horse still has its ticks

  • Addit
  • 07/16/2014 12:19 AM
  • 34295 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

Corfaisus
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
7380
There's two solid reasons why I don't make the jump.

1. Mapping
2. Graphics

No matter how I fiddle around in RMVX Ace, I'll never be able to make anything even remotely half as good looking as I can in Rm2k3. Maybe one day when I'm done with Tales from Zilmurik, I'll start a new game in Ace and it can be my new little baby, just chibi, flat and ugly as shit like every other game out there.

Also, fuck unrealistic auto-shadows.
author=KoopaKush
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.


Word.

author=Corfaisus
Also, fuck unrealistic auto-shadows.


This is kind of a minor point, and I'm sorry if this has been pointed out elsewhere on the site, but with any RPG Maker engine game from 2003 on down, MIDI comes out of your computer's default device, rather than DirectX software. This means that you can listen to the MIDI music either through an external keyboard, or with Soundfonts applied by using BASSMDID Driver (Windows only), though it can a bit skippy that way, depending on your card and buffer settings. Again, really minor point as almost no XP and onwards games use MIDI since OGG is available.

edit: my avatar and Addit's GIF are totally dancing to the same tune.
kory_toombs
It’s your actions.. not your strength, that would lead you to victory.
13367
author=Corfaisus
No matter how I fiddle around in RMVX Ace, I'll never be able to make anything even remotely half as good looking as I can in Rm2k3.

I'm pretty sure you could:

1) Use Gimp to modify the tiles to Ace's specifications. Then tile map in Ace. Though if the tiles are different sizes this could cause issues.

or

2) Map in RPG Maker 2003, take screenshots, import to Gimp and use parallax mapping in Ace. More work than the first option, but should actually work.

Corfaisus
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
7380
author=kory_toombs
author=Corfaisus
No matter how I fiddle around in RMVX Ace, I'll never be able to make anything even remotely half as good looking as I can in Rm2k3.
I'm pretty sure you could:

1) Use Gimp to modify the tiles to Ace's specifications. Then tile map in Ace. Though if the tiles are different sizes this could cause issues.

or

2) Map in RPG Maker 2003, take screenshots, import to Gimp and use parallax mapping in Ace. More work than the first option, but should actually work.



Neither of which would solve my need for dynamic multiple layers.
Sailerius
did someone say angels
3304
XP has more layers than 2k3 and a far superior mapping system.
It takes a while to figure out the layers in Ace, but they are superior to 2k3. It just has this weird thing where if you click between the map and the tile select area, the layers go all wonky. Like I'd be coloring on one layer, and when I pick a different tile it automatically puts it on a different layer. Or something like that, I think it has to do with the A B C D E letters. At first I didn't think there were any layers at all(because it's not working like it did in 2k3), but after some testing I figured out it works.

If you are forced to make a chibi RTP Ace games then you are not putting enough effort into learning Ace. You can easily make 2k3 looking games. You can trust me, I'm a fellow 2k3 advocate. I prefer coding in 2k3 over Ace, but the visuals in Ace are just so superior that I can't deny them. That's the only reason that I switched! ha
kory_toombs
It’s your actions.. not your strength, that would lead you to victory.
13367

author=Corfaisus
Neither of which would solve my need for dynamic multiple layers.


Parallax mapping has no limit to layers.
author=kory_toombs
author=Corfaisus
Neither of which would solve my need for dynamic multiple layers.

Parallax mapping has no limit to layers.
Sure it does. Parallex mapping itself can only be one layer(the bottom layer), and it's further limited to however many layers the editor allows.
Did you know that VXACE has the same number of layers as XP? It's just the editor DOESN'T LET YOU USE THEM because it thinks it is smarter than you. But in code it's the same, a 3 dimensional array of tile IDs.

Maybe someday I'll get around to writing an external map editor.

Back on topic; So what exactly can RPG Maker 2k3 do that cannot be done in VXACE or XP? People obviously like it, and I'd like to know why exactly which is something this article doesn't do.

Personally, I recommend XP. If you don't mind the battle system being a bit pants, it gives you complete control over mapping. VXACE sort of misbehaves if you use characters bigger than one tile.

Ratty524
The 524 is for 524 Stone Crabs
12896
I tried 2k3 at one point, but it was after I already got into XP, and while there were many things 2k3 could do that XP couldn't (at least without scripting) I found 2k3 to be absolutely frustrating. The lack of self-switches, viable control over the battle system and color-limitations were a pain in the ass for me. It also felt apparent that the engine wasn't really developed for long games in mind (hence the database lag issues and switch limitations), so maybe that's why Enterbrain "hates" the engine.

Now that VXAce is out, there was also no real reason to use it anymore. If you want the retro effect, you can scale up 16x16 graphics up 2x and use some clever modifications to the scripts to get that effect, and oh lawdy the ability to make custom damage formulas is as good as sex. The active timer BS with 2k3 gan go to HELL in that regard.

Despite my hatred of the engine, I'm still open to playing 2k games under the same circumstances that nuhbi mentioned. My Windows 7 OS still runs them as smooth as butter (minus some flickering that tends to happen from time to time playing fullscreen) and if the game's good, then I don't mind! Engines are just tools by the end of the day, and the quality of the game is still under the control of the developer.
BurningTyger
Hm i Wonder if i can pul somethi goff here/
1289
author=KoopaKush
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.
Hear, hear!

author=Ratty524
Despite my hatred of the engine, I'm still open to playing 2k games under the same circumstances that nuhbi mentioned. My Windows 7 OS still runs them as smooth as butter (minus some flickering that tends to happen from time to time playing fullscreen) and if the game's good, then I don't mind! Engines are just tools by the end of the day, and the quality of the game is still under the control of the developer.
Exactly. Plus there's respect and reverence for the past. In the end, good work is good work. And there's something to to be said for keeping the past alive.
Amen.
As long as there will be shitty games made on VX Ace, Unity, Renpy, Flash, etc. no argument will ever stand against the use of older engines.
Sailerius
did someone say angels
3304
author=Avee
Amen.
As long as there will be shitty games made on VX Ace, Unity, Renpy, Flash, etc. no argument will ever stand against the use of older engines.

Except their no longer working. That's a pretty compelling argument against them.

When was the last time you played an RM95 game?
BurningTyger
Hm i Wonder if i can pul somethi goff here/
1289
author=Sailerius
author=Avee
Amen.
As long as there will be shitty games made on VX Ace, Unity, Renpy, Flash, etc. no argument will ever stand against the use of older engines.
Except their no longer working. That's a pretty compelling argument against them.

When was the last time you played an RM95 game?
heck i never evne knew rm95 relaly! and there IS compatability mode...
I actually find 2k3 games unplayable, unless they make significant effort to modify the default systems. Like, modify as in "replace completely".

It could be because of the nostalgia, but I like to think that it’s because of something else that's much greater.


Such as?

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.


I'm sorry, but the engine you use does affect the game quite a bit. That's like saying that Pixel could have made Cave Story in RM2k3 and had it become the same game. It wouldn't be.

Hey, I’d gladly support them if they ever decide to fully licence Rm2k3 but they still haven’t.


Probably because it's 11 years old
author=Sailerius
author=Avee
Amen.
As long as there will be shitty games made on VX Ace, Unity, Renpy, Flash, etc. no argument will ever stand against the use of older engines.
Except their no longer working. That's a pretty compelling argument against them.

When was the last time you played an RM95 game?

I just played one. They still work on Windows 7 and it didn't require any special mode. Just run the executable and play.

My point is that only the quality of the games matter. The engines don't.
kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
20836
author=Sailerius
author=Avee
Amen.
As long as there will be shitty games made on VX Ace, Unity, Renpy, Flash, etc. no argument will ever stand against the use of older engines.
Except their no longer working. That's a pretty compelling argument against them.

When was the last time you played an RM95 game?
oddly enough I have heard a few arguments for 2k3 games over XP VX Ace Due to the newer engines running like crap on older systems.

Anywho regarding the article... id say that 2k3 has reached end of life. Ace finally got the combo of ease of use with advanced features somewhat correct such that 2k3 is nigh completely obsolete. The rationale for starting a project in 2K3 over Ace right now comes down to proficiency in the maker alone, as there is naught but marginal benefits in it over Ace but many deficiencies.

That being said right now I'd make a better game in 2k3 vs Ace because I am good in 2k3 bland noob in Ace. And I havent the motivation to get good in Ace.
Sailerius
did someone say angels
3304
author=kentona
author=Sailerius
author=Avee
Amen.
As long as there will be shitty games made on VX Ace, Unity, Renpy, Flash, etc. no argument will ever stand against the use of older engines.
Except their no longer working. That's a pretty compelling argument against them.

When was the last time you played an RM95 game?
oddly enough I have heard a few arguments for 2k3 games over XP VX Ace Due to the newer engines running like crap on older systems.

Anywho regarding the article... id say that 2k3 has reached end of life. Ace finally got the combo of ease of use with advanced features somewhat correct such that 2k3 is nigh completely obsolete. The rationale for starting a project in 2K3 over Ace right now comes down to proficiency in the maker alone, as there is naught but marginal benefits in it over Ace but many deficiencies.

That being said right now I'd make a better game in 2k3 vs Ace because I am good in 2k3 bland noob in Ace. And I havent the motivation to get good in Ace.

There is a certain strand of new processors on which VX/P/A games run like crap. On those same processors, 2k/3 games straight up won't run at all. Judging by people asking for help with this issue in IRC, it's becoming more prevalent, not less. This poses a serious threat to RM as a whole going forward.

It's not an operating system thing; it's a hardware problem. Something about RM just doesn't jive with a lot of new computers.
Ratty524
The 524 is for 524 Stone Crabs
12896
author=kentona
That being said right now I'd make a better game in 2k3 vs Ace because I am good in 2k3 bland noob in Ace. And I havent the motivation to get good in Ace.

The cool thing about almost every RPG Maker is that every feature in the newer engines correlate with those of past engines, so migrating between RPG Makers is easy as pie, at least in my case.