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Article - 'Stagnant Community - A Good Community?' by DarkPriest

An item about Miscellanious posted on Aug 9, 2003

Blurb

DarkPriest goes over on how the community has changed from a creative utopia into a petrified cesspool. Can the situation be remedied?

Body

When I joined the RPGmaking community in late 1999, it was a vastly different place from now. If my memory serves me correctly, RM2k was released in summer 2000. I am going to talk about the time before Rm2k (yes, such a period existed). Back then, there were around 20 different RPGmakers in development, being worked on hard by noble people who wanted to give something new to the masses. Promising projects such as RPGEngine, RPG-Studio, RPGCK, RPG Artisan... the list goes on. Your average
RPGmaker was something very different as well. He had dreams, and a desire to learn. Messaboards and forums were filled with people who had new and fresh ideas, talent, and a determination to "put their dreams on the screen". In other words, the community was developing and evolving into something better all the time.


Then Rm2k was released and illegally translated and distriputed by Don Miguel. I know that sounds damn dramatic, but that's how it was. People downloaded rm2k, played around with it, and realised that making a decent RPG didn't require that much effort afterall. More and more people forgot the RPGmakers in development and switched to rm2k - afterall, it was easy. All the time, more and more resources were made and ripped (mostly ripped) for rm2k. You could find tutorials everywhere, and new and innovative
ideas such as custom battle systems were invented. Now rm2k wasn't just easy, it also had a huge pool of resources, which meant that you didn't need to work on the graphical aspects of the game that much either. The community changed.


After each passing month, less and less new ideas were seen. A game with original resources would soon be as rare as a needle in a haystack. Even though the graphical resources were abudant, they weren't enough. Games started to use the same resources as other games (naturally, because the "best" ones were the ones used the most),
and they started to resemble each others even more. RPGmaker projects dropped dead everywhere. Why bother with something when people have rm2k? RPGmaker.net's old slogan "Put your dreams on the screen" just didn't apply anymore. How can your dream be nearly identical with all other dreams out there? This is when the RPGmaking community started to petrify into the rm2k mold.


After 2 years, we're still in the rm2k mold. Pretty much anything hasn't changed from the late 2000. People are still releasing pretty much identical games, and 'effort' is an unknown word. I can't blame rm2k though. It's a fine little program which doesn't require too much to produce something half-decent. Among the mass of half-assed clone games, some jewels were released; "NigSek", "A Blurred Line", "Final Fallacy" just to name some.Why are they so good? Because the creators of these games worked hard
to make their games what they wanted them to be, and didn't just do what others did.


Let me ask you, are you really happy to make a game with ripped resources, music, plot and nothing really new to offer? You don't have to be satisfied with that. Do not do what others do, explore other engines, make your own graphics (doesn't matter if they suck - you'll still get a lot more recognation), compose your own music... all in all, try to be original. Do some work on your game, break out of the stagnant mold, try and bring your dreams on the screen!


You might be thinking that my message is "If you're not going to do your best, don't do anything at all". And that's just what it is. If you don't make your game just what you want it to be, you're not doing your best. If you're simply going with ripped resources found in every second game, you're not doing your best. If you must drop out a feature from your game because it's hard to with rm2k, you're not doing your best. A game cannot be succesfull unless it's just what you want it to be. Don't go for anything less, go for perfection.


-DarkPriest