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Article - 'The Wide World of Game Creation' by KaosTenshi

An item about Miscellanious posted on Aug 8, 2003

Blurb

Of course all of you have heard of programs like Klik, LiveRPG, Sphere, and the granddaddy of them all, RPG Maker 2000/RPG Tsukuru 2000. But here's a look at some other programs you might not be too familiar with.

Body

Network RPG Maker 2000 - This is a wonderful little name that has slipped right by many ears. ASCII did make another RPG Maker, this one capable of network play. But don't think it is just RPG Maker 2000 with Internet; Network RPG Maker 2000 (NRPGM2K) isn't limited to chipsets the way RPGM2K is. NRPGM2K allows you to import each individual chip, and have just as many as you want. Afraid that there isn't enough community support for NRPGM2K? Don't worry; until it gets off the ground it has a very impressive RTP featuring at least three styles of character and NPC graphics, as well as several different settings for you to place your characters in.
If anything is holding Network RPG Maker 2000 back, it's the translation process. It's gone through many 'translations', most of which failed when their translators dropped off the face of the earth. People trying to get translation groups together have been met with resistance and bitterness from people who'd been in earlier, ill-fated translation groups. The current most advanced translation out there is a translation into Italian, but it could be worse. If you're waiting on Don Miguel to translate Network RPG Maker 2000, don't hold your breath, or else you won't live to see the day NRPGM2K actually is completely translated into English.

SimRPG Maker 95 - This is a program designed to make Tactical RPGs, not unlike Fire Emblem, Shining Force, and Super Robot Wars. At the time of this righting, SimRPG Maker 95's translation is about 90%, leaving class defaults and error messages untouched at the moment. It's a very user-friendly program, and a very nicely designed RTP (some of you may even recognize its RTP graphics as having been ripped for RPGM2K chipsets, and a number of people have claimed SimRPG Maker 95 chips as being their own unique, custom graphics). Don't let the '95' on the end but don't let it fool you, it's very much worth checking out.

Fighter Maker 95 - Hey there, you King of Fighters, Marvel vs. Capcom, Darkstalkers, and general fighting game fans, you. Ever wanted to create your own 2D side-view fighting games like the Mortal Kombat series? Well now you can! While currently suffering from a lack of official help files and a few un-translated menus, Fighter Maker 95 has a large number of fan-made tutorials and help files out there, as well as some easy-to-navigate menus. Yes I know, once again it has '95' stuck on the end, but unlike RPG Maker 95, Fighter Maker 95 is a very capable game-making engine. Already there are people hard at work pushing the engine to its limits and beyond, creating their own character-select screens, their own special kinds of attacks, and even the abilities for characters to transform in mid-battle. Don't feel like making your own characters? Have no fear, for Fighter Maker 95 possesses the ability to easily import both fighters and backgrounds from file in a snap, and it supports midi, wav, and even CD audio formats (sorry, no MP3s, but if you can burn your games to a CD, then high-quality CD audio isn't a problem).

These are just the current, most well known projects. However, there's a lot more ASCII programs out there just begging for translation. Here's a quick glance at some things on the horizon that we should all pray would be translated soon.

Tactical RPG - This appears to be a step up from SimRPG Maker 95 from the screenshots I've scene. While I haven't heard of any serious translation attempts, I don't know as much about the translation community as I'd like to. In terms of graphics, it seems to be taking the same steps that NRPGM2K took over RPGM2K. Can't wait to hear more about this one.

Character Maker 95 - From what I'm told, it's iDraw on steroids.

Shooter Maker 95 - Guns, yay! (If you want more information... well, so do I)

Screensaver Maker 95 - If you can't tell what this one's about, you've got to be some kind of idiot. It's obviously an RPG based on saving computer screens from evil scientists bent on causing burn-ins and bad graphics everywhere...

RPG Maker 2000 - What's this? RPG Maker 2000 being re-translated? Get outta here! I know a lot of you wonder why, but it's finally being re-translated by Bomber_1 and Visage, two guys who actually speak English. They're also working on things like a working Enter Hero Name event built right into the program, and the original RTP that the Japanese RPGM2K came with (which didn't include X-Files, FF7, Earthbound, and other crap thrown into it). Don't expect it to be called RPG Maker 2000 though... they're calling it RPG School 2000 (an alternate, though perhaps less accurate translation of tsukuru).
Melody Raiser 1999 - This has been my little secret for a couple of months now... it's a midi maker for those who aren't musically inclined. Don't think this will be the answer to all of your problems; you can't make anything decent with it if you don't have a good ear for music. I've been hesitant to even mention this one, and I took it out and put it back into this article at least a dozen times. Why, you ask? Because right now the number of decent original midis out there is extremely low, and with this tool the Maker Community could be flooded with crap nobody wants. On the other hand, there may be a lot of young Mozarts out there simply lacking the ability to put together the music in their minds, so Melody Raiser 1999 could actually be a bigger help than a damage to the music community. What's the best part about it? It's almost completely translated, leaving only the History and ReadMe in Japanese! Don't worry about the ReadMe, it's so user-friendly you won't need one.

Want to learn more? Here are some links to information about these projects:

SimRPG Maker 95
Fighter Maker 95
The ASCII English Translation Project
Melody Raiser 1999
RPG School 2000 Retranslation Project