THOUGHTS ON THE STATE OF RPGMAKER AND IT'S COMMUNITY?

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So I'm fairly new to the RPGmaker scene which means I'm not too familiar with the history of the game series and the community as a whole. By the look of things, it seems the fan-base is doing quite well for itself but I can assume that RPGmaker has passed it's heyday by this point. Do you guys think the game and it's community are still going strong? Has it aged well? If not, what things do you think can change or improve about the community?
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
26612
RPG Maker isn't "in" anymore, and the overall community has crashed pretty much as far as it can. Those of us that are here and consistent are usually here to stay, so you've found a good place. This community isn't going anywhere soon.

Also, the people you see are a small sampling. There are a bunch of people active here who never post. They just make game, and you can find those games with full updates here. You'd never know they were here if you weren't actively looking at gamepages.
It usually spikes for a time whenever the newest engine hits the market, but seeing as how MV has been out like 5 years now I'd say it's calmed back down. Most people who are in the active community are the members that have always been here plus those few who have embraced the community like us old timers have.
RPG Maker's future is kind of in a period of uncertainty right now, since there isn't exactly anything new or developing for the series, and MV's last update was in late 2018. So I think people feel less inclined to hop into the RM community because there isn't much on the horizon currently.

There's definitely a lot of people still using the engines and are dedicated to them, especially here on RMN. But as the internet grew bigger, there's been a lot less of an "RPG Maker community" and more just a lot of people spread out and using the engines, but not necessarily engaging in forums and whatnot.

It could pick back up if there's a new engine in the works, but there's no telling when, or if, that will happen.
Sooz
They told me I was mad when I said I was going to create a spidertable. Who’s laughing now!!!
5177
I feel like there are three general fanbase types for RPG Maker:

1) People who played SNES RPGs and really want to do those (the intended audience)

b) People who played an RPG Maker horror game and really want to do those

III) Weirdos who want to mak gam but who aren't super great at coding so they just kinda kludge together whatever they can with one of the easier game engines available

1 is really old and not a renewable resource, III is fairly rare, and most of b end up moving on to something newer and hotter. So it's not really the kind of community that will attract a huge population at the best of times. But, like many niche hobbies, it's got a pretty solid population of stubborn old grognards who like to sit around and keep the club going.

So, basically, not gonna be the Next Big Thing, but as long as the old weirdos stubbornly continue their habits, it'll keep existing as a thing.
kory_toombs
Live we shall, through moments both fleeting and eternal.
13356

I don't think it's as strong as it was years and years ago.
But... Maybe that's my take.
I don't do as much here or contribute as much as I used to.
Getting older has its downsides.
author=pianotm
RPG Maker isn't "in" anymore, and the overall community has crashed pretty much as far as it can. Those of us that are here and consistent are usually here to stay, so you've found a good place. This community isn't going anywhere soon.

Pretty much this.

The community isn't as big or loud or active as before, but I don't see most of us going anywhere anytime soon. Even if most of us don't post very often.

The desire to create doesn't just "go away", and once you've learned the ins and outs of an engine, you rarely leave it behind.

Also, the people you see are a small sampling. There are a bunch of people active here who never post. They just make game, and you can find those games with full updates here. You'd never know they were here if you weren't actively looking at gamepages.

Just @ me next time, jeez! :P
Can always just check the how many people googled RPGMaker historically, RPGMaker community activity has always felt the same since forever really. The community activity and numbers come and go but there's always some dedicated people out there who care about RPGMaker and its games. The big thing though is there hasn't really been any breakthroughs or innovation. Like a new engine that isn't some updated iteration of XP. Or a game that made a splash outside the RM community. I think you need that the most when it comes to breathing in "life" to the day to day.

There's also more choices out there for gamedev now and things like Unity and Unreal have overtaken that aspect (More and more kids have grown up with 3D) and google trends agrees. Funny thing is that FF7 Remake was made with Unreal Engine, so anyone obsessed with FF7 or SquareEnix RPGs these days are probably looking to that even though being stuck with an engine only capable of SNES graphics is probably a better learning limitation.

RMN itself also resembles an internet forum from 2005 with the added benefit of being tied to a game database, that isn't too commonly needed nowadays. I imagine the majority of newcomers go on reddit to look up RPGMaker tips and look to something like steam or itch to post (if they even finish a game). RMN kinda has a homogeneity issue in that a lot of feedback might be from people who already played a lot of RPGMaker games and know what to expect which is either a good or bad thing. That's probably to do with the genre + the engine being really tied together as: RPG fans that want to make games.

graph of individual RPGM engines for fun
Sooz
They told me I was mad when I said I was going to create a spidertable. Who’s laughing now!!!
5177
author=Darken
graph of individual RPGM engines for fun


LOL nobody gives a shit about MV
author=Darken
There's also more choices out there for gamedev now and things like Unity and Unreal have overtaken that aspect (More and more kids have grown up with 3D) and google trends agrees. Funny thing is that FF7 Remake was made with Unreal Engine, so anyone obsessed with FF7 or SquareEnix RPGs these days are probably looking to that even though being stuck with an engine only capable of SNES graphics is probably a better learning limitation.



These are all definitely good points as to why RPG Maker is in a bit of a bind these days. Mainly, the format of 2D RPG that RPG Maker seeks to encompass has long since passed mainstream relevance and their target audience is either aging out, moving onto different engines or both. And with other engines like Unity and GameMaker having full free versions, and other user-friendly engines popping up all the time, it's getting a lot harder for a paid, genre-locked engine to stand out nowadays.

I guess it's not so much that RPG Maker changed. It's more that indie dev as a whole changed and RPG Maker kinda stayed the same.
unity
You're magical to me.
11833
All this makes me wonder if we'll ever have a new RPG Maker ever again. Maybe I'll be making games for VX Ace forever. Dunno if that's a good, bad, or neutral thing
Marrend
Guardian Ghost of the Description Thread
19664
Ace came out in 2012. MV came out in 2015. VN came out in 2017. So, going off of that, we could see another release either this year, or maybe next year.

*Edit: Personally speaking, I've grown less inclined to gammak in general. So, I don't know if I would jump ship with another maker. For what it's worth, I didn't jump ship with MV, but, in so doing, I've progressed by scripting knowledge with Ace. There might be some things to re-learn if I did switch to MV, but, at this point, I don't think there would be any value to me to get it, even at a stupid-huge discount.
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
26612
unity
All this makes me wonder if we'll ever have a new RPG Maker ever again. Maybe I'll be making games for VX Ace forever. Dunno if that's a good, bad, or neutral thing


One day, somebody will make a script that will optimize MV to the extent that VX Ace stans will embrace it, but today is not that day!
One day, somebody will make a new engine that recalls the head days of RPG Maker, but today is not that day!
The reason there's so many people actively making games here who don't bother with the forums is, in short, because you're not allowed to post about RPGMaker games on RMN. What purpose do these forums serve to them?

Now, I'm not saying that I'm encouraging advertising in the forums, as it'd all be retreads of their news posts from their game profiles. But all the same, there's a lot of gamepage posts that just blow by in the dust, while these forums stagnate. The first page of Game Design and What's Happening both go back half a year, while the five gamepage slots on it can completely change within a week. I just wonder if further integration of game pages into the Game Design board would have a positive effect on their activity. I suppose that would be somewhat redundant with the Latest Blogs on the side, but the siren call of that NEW next to topics could stir some life.
author=Acra
The reason there's so many people actively making games here who don't bother with the forums is, in short, because you're not allowed to post about RPGMaker games on RMN. What purpose do these forums serve to them?

Now, I'm not saying that I'm encouraging advertising in the forums, as it'd all be retreads of their news posts from their game profiles. But all the same, there's a lot of gamepage posts that just blow by in the dust, while these forums stagnate. The first page of Game Design and What's Happening both go back half a year, while the five gamepage slots on it can completely change within a week. I just wonder if further integration of game pages into the Game Design board would have a positive effect on their activity. I suppose that would be somewhat redundant with the Latest Blogs on the side, but the siren call of that NEW next to topics could stir some life.


On that note, I'm curious: I've seen quite a few RPG games on the Games page that were made by other engines outside of RPGmaker like Unity, Unreal, or something else. Some of them are even 3D. With that said, do you guys think RPG games made outside of RPGmaker even count on the games page, especially on a site specifically centered around RPGmaker?
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
26612
Dude, RPG Maker may be a brand name, but that don't change the fact that any engine you can make an RPG with is an RPG maker.

Several moderators and a few others will now look at you askance for suggesting that engines other than RPG Maker don't count.
Cap_H
DIGITAL IDENTITY CRISIS
6615
I would say that the community is in a better shape than the maker. There are reasons for it. There are not many places like olde RPG Maker communities. Try to check forums on itch.io. There's not enough space for fun. It's all business.
As for the engine, the concept of RPG Maker is becoming obsolete. MV is too bloated to make simple jam games. There are many better tools like bitsy and pico today to make small and light games. And MV isn't versatile like other big engines such as GM and Unity.
It's still a great choice to start working on an RPG, but I bet that you find yourself migrating to a real engine soon with a more ambitious project.

Let's return to the community. RMN (I can't talk for other RM communities) isn't engine dependent. It's dependent on people, who like making retro rpgs, resources for them and talk about their favourite art, story and design choices. There are specifics to this community. We talk about mapping instead of level design for example. I would say that local events have a unique feel as well. It's a warm place to be a part of. Ofc RPG Maker projects are still a big part of this, but I can imagine this community to mostly abandon them and still hold together in some form.

Personally, I'm not working on anything right now, but I have several games on back burner. Each of them has a specific role in my personal development as gammaker. One is a community game, one is focused on making it as pretty as possible, one is supposed to push limits of RM2k and one is focused on narrative (it's an even moodier remake of one of my existing half-broken game).
Why am I talking about? One, I like to mention my halted projects from time to time to remind myself of them. Two, none of them is a serious project. For that I would use a more sophisticated tool than RM2k. Three, I'm still hanging around engaging in RM related discussions without being an active developer myself and that's because of an holding power of the community, which is not as narrowly focused as some other communities.
That said Sooz's right about its niche appeal.
Sooz
They told me I was mad when I said I was going to create a spidertable. Who’s laughing now!!!
5177
I'm not sure breaking down the separation between regular forumgoers and game page visitors would be all that great. For one, I don't think most game players are especially interested in anything beyond a particular game. Also, I feel like the forum is mostly oriented toward making games, rather than consuming them.

(And, of course, there's the problem that the game page visitors usually have wildly different interests and standards than the forum, as evidenced by the supremacy of games like OFF and Pom Gets Wifi in those areas. They're good games, but they focus on very different things from the usual gammakers here.)

That said, it might be a good thing to try to encourage some more cross-pollination in the gamepages themselves- something like a "more like this" set of links so people can find similarly tagged games might be neat.
watermark
Taking a break on RM for now. Will be back. I promise.
2964
I've been using RM since RM2000. That's TWENTY YEARS. A freakin lifetime in ancient days. Wow. Astonishes even myself. And I can honestly say, I still love it.

Although I also use other engines such as Unity, RM will always have a special place in my heart, and I find myself going back to it from time to time. I imagine I will still be using RM even when I'm eighty and coming to this forum, assuming it still exists.

I think RM will live as long as those of us who went through the 16-bit era still lives. True, it might die with our generation, but I think we still got a few decades at least. This kind of pixel art gaming is what we grew up on. It is in a way, a love of our lives that will never disappear.
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