Some people have been stuck at home for months on end. They’ve binge-watched too many TV shows, read every book in the house, and their video game backlogs are considerably thinner than they were. A new project is needed, something to occupy the time between Zoom meetings and standing around in front of Wal-Mart waiting for toilet paper. The good folks over at Kadokawa are ready to give those homebound creatives a new option later this summer, RPG Maker MZ.
The RPG Maker series lets people who don’t have a programming or art background create RPG games, usually in the style of classic JRPGs like the original Final Fantasy as well as “retro-styled” games like Stardew Valley. Both Steam and the RPG Maker Web stores have product pages for the newest iteration of the toolkit, and the feature list seems to tease considerable changes (or at least expanded capabilities of existing features).
Boiling through the hype, it seems that the improvements are as follows:
- Expanded map editor capabilities
- New character art creation tools
- An extensive collection of art assets ready-made to drop into a project
- Expanded database functionality
- Improved event scripting
- A revamped animation system for sprites
- Expanded plug-in capabilities
One of the hallmarks of games produced through RPG Maker is the ability to export it as a fully functional executable which anybody can play. When you create a game in RPG Maker, it’s yours to do with as you please. Throw it up on Steam for a buck. Give it away to friends, family, or random passersby on the street. Build an international cult following. And while this can lead to some arguably sub-par games, it’s also got the potential for single-seat game studios to at least pad out their resumes and honestly say they’ve shipped a game.
Further details will likely be coming out closer to, or right on, the release date.