Even newspapers have those nowadays.
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Battle Layout with player facing right: is it possible? [RpgMaker2003]

Flip sprites in image editor.

what appeal of the 2XP

Don't use 2k3.
Use 95 instead. It's better, trust me.

How do you get to similar games?

Maybe it could analyze game's description and other texts related to game? If they're similar to certain degree, game is deemed similar.

(VX Ace) Can you use RM2k3 graphics?

If you're converting to XP, then maybe. But he said he wants it in Ace. In addition to autotile format being TOTALLY FUCKED UP, whole tileset format is different with breaking of A (floor) tileset into separate files and other "quirks". So yeah, to convert it to Ace a tool is needed.

how do I make the student/apprentice period fun to play?

There are ways to get it interesting. Like your sensei asking you to clear out the rats in the basement.

I've once saw it done fairly well in one Czech RPG made in 2k3 (found translation online, but lost both the game and link due to a format, if someone knows the game, please let me know!).

Game character was magic apprentice. As game had day/night system completed with hours (one minute was equal to 10 seconds from what I remember), learning took place from 8 to 14 (this was Czech rpg, hence 24hour clock) and each learned "spell" (some took few in-game days to learn due to character's general silliness and misspeling the spells) was completed with nice animation (dunno if battleanim or pictures as I didn't know what RPG Maker is at the time so had no means of opening "those weird files") and then some kind of test, some very creative (there was magic that when used on map could switch any lever if it lined with character's sight, can't imagine how hard it was to code that on 2k3, the test? get through labyrinth that changes and you have pull levers, most of them unreachable, to get to the exit of each room).

After school, you could hang out in town and there were all sort of activities you could do, many of them available only once in a while, whole town was so alive!

Man, I wish I'd at least remember name of this game. Never got around to finishing it as save file got corrupted.

Different ways of learning magic/skills

I think I may have a solution. How about learning skills from "teachers" (e.g. when you level up you don't get new spells, you have to buy them). Payment for those may be various - exp, gold, rare items (or in case you game have crafting items that are very very expensive to craft) are all the options.

Plus it is easy to setup "classless" gameplay with such system in place. I've always liked games that let you be powerful mage wearing heavy armor and who can use sword or axe if magic runs out.

Need testers for my game

I don't feel that my game deserves gamepage yet. Most likely it'd be accepted, but I don't feel that it is polished enough yet.

Need testers for my game

I may do that later. Now I'm working on fixing game according to feedback from Kylaila. There's lots of it so it will take some time.

[Ace] Setting picture angle directly

Eh, getters/setters are biggest cause of WTFs. When working in Java, I can live with standard library's habit of using getters/setters, but all my classes don't use those.

Need testers for my game

Sorry, but no. It's kinda secret and you get those info before release on need-to-know basis.