Weekly Devlog #4: Working with RPG Maker MV


Hello, everyone!

I will be doing weekly development log updates for a few weeks leading up to the release of  Corrupted Oath. Follow me on itch.io to not miss out on information you may find value in  (https://cracked-walnut.itch.io/corrupted-oath), especially if you're planning on working  on a long-term project, such as myself.

This week, we're going to be discussing the RPG Maker MV engine, it's pros/cons, accessibility, and the reputation the engine has garnered.

--My First Experience with RPG Maker MV--

If you've ever wanted to design a game before, then you've probably looked toward using some kind of game engine. Maybe GameMaker, Unity, or some other platform with a healthy community to support you on your endeavors. I found RPG Maker MV. Scrolling through Steam during the early days of July 2017, I stumbled across the engine on sale.

I hadn't worked on a game before, so I was as naive as ever. I've been playing games since I was a kid, though. So, like the amateur soon-to-be developer I was, I bought the engine and saw what I could make of it.

146 hours later, what I had developed was nothing short of... mediocrity. A game with barely any story, barely any items, or any interesting quirks to the turn-based battle system that the engine offers. It was clunky to play, with an unbalanced random encounter rate.

An example of a low-effort map you'd find in my first RPG Maker project.

Notice the black borders. A rookie mistake where the map dimensions weren't wide enough to cover the whole screen.
An example of the bland combat system.

After seeing what I had developed, I quickly started to lose hope in the project as I didn't know where to take the story, the art assets, and the direction of development. At the time, I had barely tapped into the RPG Maker MV community, so a lot of art and sound packs were unavailable to me, simply because I wasn't aware they existed!

It was August 2017, and I was due to head back to College in a few weeks. It seemed like the perfect time to forget about this mess I built. That's exactly what I did.

Fast forward to late April 2018. I had just graduated from College and I hadn't fired up RPG Maker MV since last August. I decide to give it another try, this time with commitment and dedication.

The project was a MESS. Yes. Corrupted Oath, the game I've put up on itch. I guess the game went through a bit of development Hell. The story was rewritten many times. A ton of areas I was meaning to map and incorporate into the plot were scrapped. The game went through a phase of me looking at what I had developed, and what was left, doing the smart thing of cutting out anything that looked like filler. This included a lot of skills and items, too. 

At one point another faction/nation was supposed to have invaded the Kingdom of Aldreith before the main events of the game took place. I couldn't find a decent way of intertwining that plot point into the rest of the story.

As mentioned in previous Weekly Devlogs, a cooking system was supposed to be a part of the experience, but was scrapped due to incompatibilities.


"Simple enough for a child. Powerful enough for a developer" is the slogan used to promote RPG Maker MV. Based off of my experience, it's the perfect tool to start out for any up and coming RPG developer. 

The engine itself is pretty bare bones, though. The reason I say it's the best engine for a new developer, is because RPG Maker MV has a huge community of contributors, in the form of plugins, art assets, sound design, game design tips. You name it. Check out Weekly Devlog #2: Community, for a rundown on the plugin contributors.

The engine's been out for almost four years now (23 October, 2015). It's had a lot of time to cook and become something delicious.


If there is something that you need done and the engine cannot provide it, then of course that's what you'd call a limitation of the engine. 

Most of the time, a plugin can help fix that issue. But every now and then, I'll read up on a very specific problem someone submits onto a forum, and a plugin has not been created for that problem just yet. This is where your experience with JavaScript would come in very handy, if you're a programmer. 

If you're able to understand the files the engine runs on, then you could potentially just write your own files and have something entirely unique to work with.

Aside from some crashes here and there, the engine appears to be very stable on my laptop (GTX 1050 4GB, 12GB RAM, Intel Core i5 7300 HQ, Windows 10 Home 64-Bit). As long as you get into the habit of doing CTRL+S (shortcut for saving your work), the crashes won't affect you at all, unless your files get corrupted in the process.

--To Wrap Up...--

Next Tuesday, September 10th, I'll be discussing the planning that went into making Corrupted Oath become a reality in Weekly Devlog #5: Planning Corrupted Oath.

Corrupted Oath is out this Thursday, September 5th!

Check out the Corrupted Oath demo here: https://cracked-walnut.itch.io/corrupted-oath (download link is at the bottom of the page)

Leave your feedback on the Corrupted Oath Discord server: https://discord.gg/eAssA8y

Thank you for reading Weekly Devlog #4!

- Cracked_Walnut

Get Corrupted Oath

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