Help Saya improve her pixel art

I'd say both of you are right (Mog and Illustrious), but Illustrious is thinking a lot more on the long-term side. Yes, different games have different aesthetics, and creating your own original graphics generates its own aesthetic, this is true. But this is for seasoned artists, which Saya is clearly not; she is just beginning.

Eventually, she will reach a point where she can freely draw her own pixel sets, but this takes a lot of practice...like anything else, really. Tracing SD3 may help her to gain a feel for pixel art (I did this with Mack and Blue tile sets, in a previous age). I also did not see any attempt by her to (deliberately) plagiarize SD3, and she did mention that she drew the grass and dirt on her own (without a "reference"). Although, it probably would have helped if she had mentioned tracing parts of SD3 at first, but that isn't important now.

Anyway... Back to commenting, I liked your progress with the cliffs. What you probably learned from SD3 - in that case - is how to make your cliff rocks more jagged and hard in their looks. Now, what you could do is take your original two pieces, and apply this whole hard and jagged theme to them as well. Or maybe even start again from scratch with these ideas in mind. It's up to you here.

I just proposed to my fiancee using RPGmaker VX. Video included :)

awwww, this is really sweet :D

Congratulations, Phil and Erika! :)

3D model software?

Hm, you could try using Blender. I've personally used it for a short while, and I've seen some other people in my old 3D Studio classes use it for their projects. It's actually quite powerful for an open source engine! Some people have made short, really well crafted films with it, like Sintel and Big Buck Bunny.

The only thing that I could say about Blender is that its user interface is horrible. I much preferred using Maya back then...as finicky as it was, at least its user interface had some semblance of organization. But then again, I suppose that is the price of using open source software. :V

Otherwise, I think Autodesk still offers "free" versions of their Maya software. (The Personal Learning Edition? Does it still exist...?)

Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest on Wii Virtual Console

This was also my first RPG (well, technically, FF6 was actually my first RPG, but I was more interested in playing MQ at the time). So yes, this game also holds a special place inside of me, since it pretty much taught me most of the basics of how to play a jRPG.

I actually still have my original SNES cartridge too, but I'm not sure if it would work nowadays (and I'm too lazy to find out right now :P). I hope it does though, because it will probably be my sister's first RPG, once she grows old enough to comprehend those types of games.

What is a good program/software for music-making

I've tried using OpenMPT (which makes tracker files but not MIDIs, so it's a little bit different of a workflow - but I think you can export your files into WAV) and "Linux MultiMedia Studio" (which is also available for Windows, despite its name). Both of them felt like they had decent interfaces, and supposedly LMMS is similar to FL Studio in its UI. I haven't used FL Studio, though, so I can't really verify that.

People want what they can't have.

Lufia I had a kind of introduction such as what Craze mentioned, with it being a look back into the past, when the Sinistrals were first defeated by Maxim and his friends. I didn't mind it at all, but that was mainly because I knew it was only the prologue of the story, and that I would probably be receiving a more standard set of beginner characters (well, at least the game itself made it so obvious, giving you so many elixir-like items!).

I only hate these "wimping" events if they a. come totally out of left field without any sort of justification, and b. affect a character that the game gives you an impression that you would be keeping him/her "intact". This probably also includes sudden character deaths too, since those can also give me a similar feeling of disappointment if I invested some time into developing them (like Aeris...uugh).

Error when testing my own game

Um, did you try using a translated RPG_RT from RPG Advocate's patch? No matter which runtime you use, it should still intercept the same error code as the one you are currently using is receiving. Doing that will help us greatly.

Most RPG-2003 games on this site should have Advocate's runtime I think.

YDS really wants this tote bag

oh god

$26 is threatening to walk out of my purse right now

Error when testing my own game

It's coming out as a mass of question marks probably because that error message was not translated in the RPG Maker that you're using.

What exactly did you change? Was it something in your database, or in the map that you start on? Unfortunately, without a translation, we don't really know what is going on with your game. =|

Have you tried testing with a translated version of RPG_RT?

Picture formating problem

I think what Mike meant by "transparent layer" is the color meant for transparency in your image; it is always the first color within its index (at least, that is what I remember from using iDraw). RPG Maker 2003 IIRC does NOT use alpha channels for transparency, so you should not rely on those.

If you have Photoshop or another advanced image editing program (I think GIMP should have this function too), you could play around with its "Posterize" effect to help with your image's conversion to 256 colors (it attempts to "simplify" the color definition in your image, while also trying to keep it visually similar to your eyes).