One evening I decided to check all of the software I have in my Steam library. One of them, RPG Maker MV, caught my eye straight away. I remember creating some small demos with RPG Maker 2000, so I got an idea: I could create a little game and write about it. How challenging could it really be?
So, I downloaded the software and started my first project. Before my eyes opened a new world, a new blank world to be precise. At first, the project felt a bit overwhelming as I did not remember how to use different tools. By trial and error, I got a hang of the basics and could proceed with my project. “So, what should I do”, I asked myself. Being a non-expert in the field of game development, I tried to recall the limited knowledge I have acquired during my life. One thing I have heard is that you should not create too big levels, so I created a small room with various pieces of furniture. I tried to think about a good premise for my story, which ultimately led me to choose an old man as the main character. I figured that he could get a letter from somekind of demon stating the old man’s journey will be soon over. Life is a One Way Road, I thought and named my project such.
And then I abandoned it. After taking a small break, I decided that I do not have enough time or resources to write a complex narrative. What I needed to create was a simple puzzle game with a simple narrative. It didn’t take me too long to come up with a new idea: I could make a puzzle about buying and selling items in order to gain enough money for lodging in an inn. All of this could happen within limited space: in the inn. So, creating the puzzle was my next obstacle. Without making it too complicated for me to create, I planned the puzzle and decided that five non-playable characters (NPC) are enough to make it work.
You would start with 50 gold, and lodging would require 150 more. Four of the NPC’s would have 2 items to sell, while the innkeeper would only have one item to sell. The NPC’s would participate in small talk with you, giving small hints about the items they might desire. The player would be required to both buy and sell items in a certain order in order to solve the puzzle. Even one mistake would lead to a dead-end, which would require a restart. Having two small maps in the game, restarting from the beginning should not be too big of a deal for the player, I think.
This little project turned out to be quite a nice experience. A game creation software like RPG Maker MV seems to offer a nice way to gain experience for people with little to no experience in game development. While I do have some programming experience myself, I would not feel confident in programming any games straight from the scratch. In that regard, RPG Maker MV proved to be an excellent software for practicing different aspects of game design without having too much emphasis on technical skills.
Maybe I’ll even finish the game someday…
Credits: all of the pictures are taken by the author
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