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Article - 'The RTP controversy' by Logan

An item about Miscellanious posted on Jan 14, 2004

Blurb

Logan (Formerly known as The Drunken Zombie) discusses the underappreciated RTP

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Hey hey all you GW community members! Oh, and all those ‘guests’, who are of less importance. This is, of course, the Drunken Zombie (or Logan, if you want to be technical), bringing you another moderate quality article! Huzzah! Oh, by the way, I’m skipping all the humorous nonsense I spout every time. I really want to get this article done ASAP, so… Indeed.

This article is of some controversy. You see, I have been tinkering with the RM2K3 RTP package lately, building maps, characters, etc. (I know some people don’t have RM2K3, but this applies to the RM2K RTP also.)

After a few days’ tinkering and creating, I have realized something. The RTP does not suck! In fact, I find the package of great use. This article will explain some of the pros and cons of the RTP package, and I invite you all to add to the discussion by leaving comments after reading the article.

Firstly, I would like to say that the RTP definitely is not for everybody. The graphics are very cartoonish, but they do fit together very nicely. A game based upon all RTP can come out wonderfully, if the storyline fits the graphic styles and they are not used badly.

There are limits to the RTP, however. I find a lot of newbie games use RTP almost exclusively. As you may already have picked up, I support the use of RTP. The problem I have with this is that the newbies use the RTP so terribly… *Shudder* How I hate it when RTP is used badly… Which brings me to my next point.

The RTP chipsets are built for a purpose. They often contain everything you need to build an entire game, within five basic chips. (Plus, there is no need to scour the Net for the perfect chipset.) Even though the 5-chipset limit of the RTP may seem limited, the chips contained within have limitless opportunities. Take this for example. In my testing, I used only the ‘Dungeon’ chipset contained within the RTP to build all of my dungeons. Depending on the use of the individual chips, screen tones, and music, I managed to create several dungeons, each with their own distinct flavor.

Now that I’ve covered Chipsets, I’ll move on to Character Sets. The characters in the RTP are definitely creative. ASCII, when making the RTP, pulled somewhat of a ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ type thing, by supplying many types of characters, such as your basic hero, a thief, etc. but made two versions of it, male and female. This allows for a lot more customization also, because you can have whatever gender you prefer. That came out wrong. The character sets also have individually designed faces that match exactly, allowing for a more professional feel to your game. (The exception is the default RM2K RTP faces; they’re too cartoony, even for my tastes.)

The music is often one of the defining factors in RPGs. Music selection is more crucial to this genre than most others. (Except for DDR games, but that’s a different story.) Have no fear, however, because ASCII delivers. At least in the RM2K3 RTP. The music in the RTP, when used correctly and in the right places can really set the mood for a scene. Try to ignore the filenames ASCII gives the music, though, because often the music is not right for the name. Just because it says ‘battle01.midi’ doesn’t mean it’ll be good battle music. You have to experiment.

Many people also say map design is an important part of an RPG. I fully agree. However, the good old RTP has you covered. As I mentioned earlier, the chipsets are full of great objects to put into your maps. There are some troubles that newbies have with map design using the RTP, however, and this is generally what really angers me when I see an RTP game. The map design is rather difficult. Some RM2K veterans may even have problems making a great RTP map. It takes skill and practice to get the colors looking right together, the maps blending, but when done correctly really makes a great map or dungeon, or town, or whatever.

Though ‘systems’ don’t quite qualify as RTP, I decided to include them, because they are default. Firstly, I’ll do the Shops and Inns. The default shops and inns that you can call by a click of the mouse really aren’t all that bad. They kind of remind me of FF7’s, really. There was nothing wrong with FF7 and there is nothing wrong with the default RTP. However, even using RTP graphics, there is room to improve. You have to experiment a bit.

Ah, the menu system. How I loathed it in RM2K. However, with the release of RM2K3, the menu system became so much better. It allowed far more customization, and is now actually a joy to use. You can add or remove however many options you like, except for quit… Oh well. I see no need to spend hours scripting a CMS when good old RTP is in town.

The only other system I can think of is the Battle System. The RM2K default battle system (Hereafter known as the BS, shut up.) was somewhat limited, as it took a lot of work to show your character actually attacking, and even then it was hard to do, because the character would disappear. Again, the RM2K3 RTP BS comes to the rescue! (That’s a lot of letters… Oh well.) Using the RTP, you are able to create many cool effects in battle, because ASCII has created fully animated characters that always stay on screen! Huzzah! Also, you can choose which battle layout you like and which commands each character has. You can even change the commands! Yay!

Well, I think that about sums it up. Though I mentioned many pros to the RTP, I mentioned few cons. That is because I like the RTP. There isn’t much wrong with it, except for the bad use of it. Also, sometimes it becomes very familiar to see the same characters and chips in different games. However, the RTP can be a non-spritist’s dream come true, because all the graphics are done for them, and they all fit together nicely.

Well, thanks again for reading, this is Logan saying ‘I want a burrito’ because I do.

PS: Remember to leave comments and join the discussion below!