I’m RPG-Making a Possible Visual Novel

I’m not sure what bug bit me – maybe it was a combination of playing oldskool games like EarthBound on top of Super Mario Maker. Maybe it’s just fall is coming, and I tend to be more creative in fall and spring for some reason. Add to that the fact that Bundle Stars had an amazing bundle sale on RPG Maker VX Ace DLC, and I suddenly found myself breaking out my Steam copy, which I’ve owned for a good while.

BTW: I’ve got an extra Steam key for RPG Maker VX ACE and the DS Resource pack if anyone feels creative and wants it. Just contact me. First come first serve. 

Visual Novel Aspirations

Interestingly, I don’t want to make a RPG with this just yet, but rather I’m looking for ways to tell existing stories (Nefol) in a more visual style. Earlier this year, I got the idea to create a game with nothing but cut scenes (think a Visual Novel), most which run themselves. I wanted to record it and post it to YouTube… since videos seem to be more the thing now days. I wondered if people would pay more attention to a short story video than reading our script-writing?

For whatever technical reasons, I put the project aside. We chose to release Nefol as a sprite script project earlier this year (I never mentioned my RPG Maker aspirations to Syn), and while it’s cute, I never felt 100% content with the outcome. I had to do some crazy layout tweaking to get the sprites to work… and I just feel like a different format would have suited it better.

So, now, I’m going back to that old idea and trying it again. I don’t actually have anything to show here – I haven’t got any art assets complete. But once I do, I’ll be sure to post about it!

A History of RPG Making

This isn’t my first foray into RPG making. Back in 2000, I got my hands on Don Miguel’s translated version of RPG Maker 2000. I remember self-learning a whole lot with that system and making a fairly complex intro scene for my original fantasy story RPG called Teyrnas. It was a pretty basic game maker, and I didn’t have the art tools to work with sprites, so most of my sprites were edits of the existing RTP files.

Don’t laugh. I literally went and found the original sprites I made in 2000.

Gosh, you don’t know the nostalgia. I really want to write Teyrnas some day, and I keep brainstorming up world building and ideas for it… but that’s another story for another time. 

Needless to say, this game never got released, and I don’t believe I still have the game files (though I kept a lot of the sound and art assets).

Wayrift RPG

Then, 2003 rolled around and Wayrift was still in its early days as a webcomic. Don Miguel also translated the newest RPG Maker: RM2k3. This remains one of my favorite versions of RPG Maker due to the side battle options and the larger, more expressive sprites. Believe it or not, it’s now translated and on Steam!

And… oh wow… it’s still being updated! *boggles at the Steam page* I really need to get a copy of this. 

If I were to ever make a playable RPG Maker game, I’d probably still use this over RPG Maker VX. Anyhow, back when Syn and I had more time on our hands (and game development takes a TON of time), we actually created a small Wayrift RPG using RM2k3. Back then, you had to do a lot of tweaking with fonts and stuff to get it running, but we had several folks download and play over the years.

It was  a pretty crazy project and I remember rebuilding Crystal Rooms and Castle Baron block by block… and being quite proud of the likeness to the original FFIV!

The game featured characters from our Wayrift webcomic and my Darkstar fiction, and we really learned a whole lot about sprite art, switches and the basics of RPG Making logic.

I don’t know that we’ll ever add more to this game, though I do still have all the old game files. I wonder if they would be compatible with the Steam version of RM2k3? I might have to test it one day. 🙂

Have you ever dabbled in RPG Making?