RPG Maker Games: Underlooked Gems

Dusk Golem

A 21st Century Rockefeller
#1
Hey everyone, this is Dusk Golem aka AestheticGamer. I have posted on NeoGAF since 2011, and have decided to resign. I have enjoyed posting about horror games here for years, but I no longer wish to support the site and will be leaving for good. I will still be around the internet, I go by AestheticGamer on YouTube, I make games on Steam as Yai Gameworks, and I plan to go by Dusk Golem on other forums. I'll be joining an off-set of the GAF community leaving to try other ventures like ResetEra (Official Twitter for that here: https://twitter.com/reseteraforum ). I hope some of you who read this may consider it, and I plan to try to expose more people to horror games in the years to come. Just not here.

I hope you all are having a good day, and know I always loved the community, and in the end it's the community I'm going to stick with, not the site itself. If you want to follow me, my official Twitter is here: https://twitter.com/AestheticGamer1
 

Dusk Golem

A 21st Century Rockefeller
#2
Hey everyone, this is Dusk Golem aka AestheticGamer. I have posted on NeoGAF since 2011, and have decided to resign. I have enjoyed posting about horror games here for years, but I no longer wish to support the site and will be leaving for good. I will still be around the internet, I go by AestheticGamer on YouTube, I make games on Steam as Yai Gameworks, and I plan to go by Dusk Golem on other forums. I'll be joining an off-set of the GAF community leaving to try other ventures like ResetEra (Official Twitter for that here: https://twitter.com/reseteraforum ). I hope some of you who read this may consider it, and I plan to try to expose more people to horror games in the years to come. Just not here.

I hope you all are having a good day, and know I always loved the community, and in the end it's the community I'm going to stick with, not the site itself. If you want to follow me, my official Twitter is here: https://twitter.com/AestheticGamer1
 
#5
Yume Nikki and To the Moon are utterly incredible.

I love it when a small group of people can take a relatively easy pre-made engine, and just focus on producing the best content possible.

Yume Nikki gets extra bonus points by skewing heavily into the kind of lo-fi surrealism that could only exist as a retrogame.

It's interesting to note that most of these games skew towards the horror end of the spectrum as well, reiterating that creating an effective atmosphere for immersion doesn't need to be a wildly expensive endeavor.


Speaking of horror, no mention of Corpse Party? It's fantastic to see that game's evolution from rpg-maker to the eventual PSP port.
 

thetrin

Hail, peons, for I have come as ambassador from the great and bountiful Blueberry Butt Explosion
#6
With VX Ace out n Stem, hopefully we'll see more more interesting games made with the tools.
 

Dusk Golem

A 21st Century Rockefeller
#7
Hey everyone, this is Dusk Golem aka AestheticGamer. I have posted on NeoGAF since 2011, and have decided to resign. I have enjoyed posting about horror games here for years, but I no longer wish to support the site and will be leaving for good. I will still be around the internet, I go by AestheticGamer on YouTube, I make games on Steam as Yai Gameworks, and I plan to go by Dusk Golem on other forums. I'll be joining an off-set of the GAF community leaving to try other ventures like ResetEra (Official Twitter for that here: https://twitter.com/reseteraforum ). I hope some of you who read this may consider it, and I plan to try to expose more people to horror games in the years to come. Just not here.

I hope you all are having a good day, and know I always loved the community, and in the end it's the community I'm going to stick with, not the site itself. If you want to follow me, my official Twitter is here: https://twitter.com/AestheticGamer1
 
#8
I'd love to recommend Cherry Tree High Comedy Club



Instead of an RPG, its more of social sim visual novel game. Imagine Persona 3/4 Social Links. Its also on sale on Steam, get it people!
 
#10
I like that when you hear a game was created in "RPG maker", you might assume that structurally the finished product resembles something like Dragon Quest 1.

With the exception of maybe The Battler (which I haven't played), every single example above doesn't have battles at all, much less random turn-based ones.

The engine is simply a means to a storytelling end, with an occasional puzzle thrown in.


(Cherry Tree High Comedy Club desperately needs a mod to quadruple walking speed)
 

Dusk Golem

A 21st Century Rockefeller
#11
Hey everyone, this is Dusk Golem aka AestheticGamer. I have posted on NeoGAF since 2011, and have decided to resign. I have enjoyed posting about horror games here for years, but I no longer wish to support the site and will be leaving for good. I will still be around the internet, I go by AestheticGamer on YouTube, I make games on Steam as Yai Gameworks, and I plan to go by Dusk Golem on other forums. I'll be joining an off-set of the GAF community leaving to try other ventures like ResetEra (Official Twitter for that here: https://twitter.com/reseteraforum ). I hope some of you who read this may consider it, and I plan to try to expose more people to horror games in the years to come. Just not here.

I hope you all are having a good day, and know I always loved the community, and in the end it's the community I'm going to stick with, not the site itself. If you want to follow me, my official Twitter is here: https://twitter.com/AestheticGamer1
 
#12
I was going to come here to mention Ib, saw it in the OP.

I thought it was a cute little game, wasn't disappointed playing through it.

I was actually surprised at the amount of jump scares in the game, surprising what they were able to pull off with the RPG Maker engine there.
 
#13
Yume Nikki is wonderfully surreal, and as others say takes advantage of its lo-fi tech. It has an amazing atmosphere, and manages to be unsettling with just simple graphics. Everyone should play it, it's free!
 

Dusk Golem

A 21st Century Rockefeller
#16
Hey everyone, this is Dusk Golem aka AestheticGamer. I have posted on NeoGAF since 2011, and have decided to resign. I have enjoyed posting about horror games here for years, but I no longer wish to support the site and will be leaving for good. I will still be around the internet, I go by AestheticGamer on YouTube, I make games on Steam as Yai Gameworks, and I plan to go by Dusk Golem on other forums. I'll be joining an off-set of the GAF community leaving to try other ventures like ResetEra (Official Twitter for that here: https://twitter.com/reseteraforum ). I hope some of you who read this may consider it, and I plan to try to expose more people to horror games in the years to come. Just not here.

I hope you all are having a good day, and know I always loved the community, and in the end it's the community I'm going to stick with, not the site itself. If you want to follow me, my official Twitter is here: https://twitter.com/AestheticGamer1
 
#17
While we're at the topic of horror/surreal RPG Maker games, what about Space Funeral?

I love this game. It's far more surreal than horror, like Yume Nikki, and it's entertaining to see what the creator of this game came up with. Excellent soundtrack, even. It takes around one or two hours to complete, depending on how much optional stuff you want to do.

Get it here.
 
#22
There's this German series of RPGM games called Vampire's Dawn



which I had a lot of fun with. Pretty basic but it had some fun writing and a decent story/world.

A few years ago another German dev released a demo to a game called Velsarbor which was incredibly ambitious for a RPGM game. Sadly it's pretty much abandoned :/
 
#23
People seem really snobby towards RPG Maker games. I'm not entirely sure why. I've enjoyed the ones I've played over the years, but then I don't mind the 'retro' look (to me that's what RPGs should look like).
 
#24
A few years ago another German dev released a demo to a game called Velsarbor which was incredibly ambitious for a RPGM game. Sadly it's pretty much abandoned :/
Not a fan of Vampires Dawn, but Velsarbor was indeed incredible. You can see that he really knows how to use the RPG Maker, since he managed to do stuff I never saw in any other game made with that engine, without any patches. Excellent graphics and animations plus a well-chosen soundtrack made it a classic for me.

I also worked on an RPG Maker game back then, but I stopped. I had 5 out of 8 Dungeons finished and 10 towns/villages already. But it doesn't look that great, I became much better in creating 2D maps through the years. Shame, I had over 300 maps completed.
 

Dusk Golem

A 21st Century Rockefeller
#25
Hey everyone, this is Dusk Golem aka AestheticGamer. I have posted on NeoGAF since 2011, and have decided to resign. I have enjoyed posting about horror games here for years, but I no longer wish to support the site and will be leaving for good. I will still be around the internet, I go by AestheticGamer on YouTube, I make games on Steam as Yai Gameworks, and I plan to go by Dusk Golem on other forums. I'll be joining an off-set of the GAF community leaving to try other ventures like ResetEra (Official Twitter for that here: https://twitter.com/reseteraforum ). I hope some of you who read this may consider it, and I plan to try to expose more people to horror games in the years to come. Just not here.

I hope you all are having a good day, and know I always loved the community, and in the end it's the community I'm going to stick with, not the site itself. If you want to follow me, my official Twitter is here: https://twitter.com/AestheticGamer1
 
#26
I'd love to recommend Cherry Tree High Comedy Club



Instead of an RPG, its more of social sim visual novel game. Imagine Persona 3/4 Social Links. Its also on sale on Steam, get it people!
Published by Capcom huh? Well I've yet to get around to playing Persona and I'm not a fan of Social sims, but I'll get it, maybe I'll end up liking it =)
 
#27
There are a lot of quality stuff made using the pre-built engines like RPGMaker.

IMO it's only a matter of time before someone cranks out something groundbreaking with it. Many of the other pre-built engines had some amazing game that caught everyone's attention.
 
#29
My brother and I have been using RPG Maker VX (now moved on to Ace) for a few years now. Our friend who has been using the program for awhile now got us into it. All three of us have been making shit since the original PSone RPG Maker game though. Only now do we finally feel like we're making some decent stuff! I didn't pursue graphic design or computer programming so this scene has been the best outlet to scratch that creative itch, you know? Ever since I've started working on projects I don't see myself ever wanting to NOT be working on something. It's always good to have a goal or project to work on instead of just going to work and coming home to play games all day, hah!

We've tried a lot of stuff too, but nothing has caught our interest, to be perfectly honest. There seems to be a lot of embarrassing/uninspired Final Fantasy-like clones out there as well. We haven't tried a lot of the horror/adventure-like games though so maybe that scene/genre/whatever is more interesting or inspired. My brother and I are shaping up a demo that will be ready shortly so we're really looking forward to seeing the responses we get. We're pretty fucking proud of what we're doing here too! =D
 
#30
There are a lot of quality stuff made using the pre-built engines like RPGMaker.

IMO it's only a matter of time before someone cranks out something groundbreaking with it. Many of the other pre-built engines had some amazing game that caught everyone's attention.
Charle's Barkley Shut-Up and Jam: Gaiden is one... or I'm sure it started out as an RPG Maker game.


Anyhoo... RPG MAKER? Here's my junk.


Paper Knight's Story
My first original RPG, currently in progress. Inspired by my favorite games.
Youtube Video: Battle Teaser

Fan Games:

Super Mario RPG: The Starlite Worlds
Download Link: Demo
Youtube Video: Commercial Spoof


Super Mario RPG: The Seven Sages
Completed: August 8th, 2009.
Download Link: Full Game
Youtube Video: Dark Bowser Reveal

 
#31
Since no one else has gotten around to it, I might as well write a love letter to Corpse Party.


CORPSE PARTY




A tale of several students who while celebrating the last day before their friend transfers to another school, participate in an occult ritual for a laugh. Each friend holds a piece of paper that resembles a human, chants a phrase a few times, then tears it apart.

Suddenly they are whisked away to an abandoned elementary school. Split up from one another, they wander the grounds only to find an endless string of corpses of others students that have been sucked in and killed, and worse yet the school keeps changing it's labyrinthian layout.

Things go from bad to worse when they start encountering vengeful ghosts of the first four students killed in the school. Even worse still, the murderer of those four ghosts may be lurking in the deepest recess of the school.

Numerous gruesome "bad endings" hit the point home that this is a horror game without any compromise.




Originally published for the ancient PC-8701, the game had a couple confusingly titled remakes and semi-sequels across multiple platforms, but the recent PSP release is a remake of the original game with top notch production value.

Although undeniably still a game with rpg-maker roots, the PSP game is fully voiced, filled with high quality portraits, and features GODLY AMAZING MUSIC.


Unfortunately, the game is almost unplayable without a spoiler-free walkthrough, since most of it consists of wandering around, finding a ghost, running away, and then going back to one of a dozen rooms that you've already been to, and examining an object for the 20th time to progress the story.

That said, the story itself is top notch and actually has a decent sense of structure to it. And then the atmosphere itself is second to none. It's definitely a game best played with headphones.

If you have a PSP or Vita and are interested in any aspect of the premise, I highly recommend it.

Note that there is a 10 minute anime floating around on the internet and youtube, that serves as an intro to the game. It coincidentally features MASSIVE SPOILERS so I'd avoid it until afterwards, if you can.


My favorite quote of the game: Yuuuuuuuuuuka! Yuuuka?
I'M GOING TO KILL YOU, YUKA!
 

davepoobond

you can't put a price on sparks
#33
i messed around with RPG Maker a bit back in the day and then we found Game Maker. The stuff we made in RPG Maker was always a lot more funny because a lot of the sprites and engines were already made.
 

Dusk Golem

A 21st Century Rockefeller
#37
Hey everyone, this is Dusk Golem aka AestheticGamer. I have posted on NeoGAF since 2011, and have decided to resign. I have enjoyed posting about horror games here for years, but I no longer wish to support the site and will be leaving for good. I will still be around the internet, I go by AestheticGamer on YouTube, I make games on Steam as Yai Gameworks, and I plan to go by Dusk Golem on other forums. I'll be joining an off-set of the GAF community leaving to try other ventures like ResetEra (Official Twitter for that here: https://twitter.com/reseteraforum ). I hope some of you who read this may consider it, and I plan to try to expose more people to horror games in the years to come. Just not here.

I hope you all are having a good day, and know I always loved the community, and in the end it's the community I'm going to stick with, not the site itself. If you want to follow me, my official Twitter is here: https://twitter.com/AestheticGamer1
 
#38
Since no one else has gotten around to it, I might as well write a love letter to Corpse Party.
This game surprised me. Despite the graphics, it did an amazing job of creeping me out. It shows you how far you can go with horror games with using amazing sound, storytelling, and descriptions. New horror games need to learn from stuff like this. The music was chilling and just the thought of being left in a school you can't leave and the things you know from normal life not applying to that world. And I don't understand Japanese, but just the way the characters talked was amazing and I got their feelings through it. With headphones, it sounded like they were talking in the same room with me right in my ear. Amazing game.

I can't wait to play the next one. Hopefully it's Vita compatible soon.
 
#41
Someone should make a separate amateur freeware dating-sim thread, for Kawata Shoujo Christine Love's post-modern games, and that incredible pigeon game that sadly can't run on my computer.


Edit: Good thread Dust Golem. This is turning into quite the curated museum of obscure games.
 

Dusk Golem

A 21st Century Rockefeller
#42
Hey everyone, this is Dusk Golem aka AestheticGamer. I have posted on NeoGAF since 2011, and have decided to resign. I have enjoyed posting about horror games here for years, but I no longer wish to support the site and will be leaving for good. I will still be around the internet, I go by AestheticGamer on YouTube, I make games on Steam as Yai Gameworks, and I plan to go by Dusk Golem on other forums. I'll be joining an off-set of the GAF community leaving to try other ventures like ResetEra (Official Twitter for that here: https://twitter.com/reseteraforum ). I hope some of you who read this may consider it, and I plan to try to expose more people to horror games in the years to come. Just not here.

I hope you all are having a good day, and know I always loved the community, and in the end it's the community I'm going to stick with, not the site itself. If you want to follow me, my official Twitter is here: https://twitter.com/AestheticGamer1
 
#43
For a little RPGmaker game, something about Ib touched me in ways big budget games usually never manage.

Guess it was because I genuinely was invested in the characters.
 

Dusk Golem

A 21st Century Rockefeller
#44
Hey everyone, this is Dusk Golem aka AestheticGamer. I have posted on NeoGAF since 2011, and have decided to resign. I have enjoyed posting about horror games here for years, but I no longer wish to support the site and will be leaving for good. I will still be around the internet, I go by AestheticGamer on YouTube, I make games on Steam as Yai Gameworks, and I plan to go by Dusk Golem on other forums. I'll be joining an off-set of the GAF community leaving to try other ventures like ResetEra (Official Twitter for that here: https://twitter.com/reseteraforum ). I hope some of you who read this may consider it, and I plan to try to expose more people to horror games in the years to come. Just not here.

I hope you all are having a good day, and know I always loved the community, and in the end it's the community I'm going to stick with, not the site itself. If you want to follow me, my official Twitter is here: https://twitter.com/AestheticGamer1
 
#45
Wait. Wait a moment. Capcom published a Persona-like Social Sim, made with RPG Maker, on steam. That seems kinda... Surreal.

I remember that way back on the RPG Maker 2000 there was a Suikoden style game. It was a trilogy, actually. They where good, if I remember correctly, and pretty famous, too. I don't remember the name. Anyone played something like that?
 
#46
A few years ago another German dev released a demo to a game called Velsarbor which was incredibly ambitious for a RPGM game. Sadly it's pretty much abandoned :/
Felix aka Lachsen, the creator of Velsarbor canceled it officially before ChristmS. He will however release a more lengthy demo sometimes soon. He abandoned the RPG Maker and is now working on a new game in Html5. You can find it under www.cross-code.com

Also the Featured list from rpg maker.net is definitely worth checking out. I really enjoyed a lot of games that are featured there like I miss the sunrise or Aetherion.

If you wanna check out some German projects try the Kelven's games or the one's by realTroll. You should find translated versions of Kelven's games on rpg maker.net, not sure about realTrolls though.
 
#47
Someone should make a separate amateur freeware dating-sim thread, for Kawata Shoujo Christine Love's post-modern games, and that incredible pigeon game that sadly can't run on my computer.


Edit: Good thread Dust Golem. This is turning into quite the curated museum of obscure games.
Just for the record, Katawa Shoujo, Digital: A Love Story, Analogue: A Hate Story were all made using the Ren'Py engine. Which is free.
 
#48
Just for the record, Katawa Shoujo, Digital: A Love Story, Analogue: A Hate Story were all made using the Ren'Py engine. Which is free.
I know, which is great! I think "Don't Take It Personally Babe It Just Ain't Your Story" even purposefully uses some of the default graphics.

Why stretch a canvas and create your own paints, when your time and talent is better spent composing the final painting.


(Edit: I get that you're saying they aren't made in rpg-maker, which is why i suggested a separate but related-by-freeware-engine thread.)
 
#49
Felix aka Lachsen, the creator of Velsarbor canceled it officially before ChristmS. He will however release a more lengthy demo sometimes soon. He abandoned the RPG Maker and is now working on a new game in Html5. You can find it under www.cross-code.com

Also the Featured list from rpg maker.net is definitely worth checking out. I really enjoyed a lot of games that are featured there like I miss the sunrise or Aetherion.

If you wanna check out some German projects try the Kelven's games or the one's by realTroll. You should find translated versions of Kelven's games on rpg maker.net, not sure about realTrolls though.
Man, Lachsen really stepped his game up - sprites, technical stuff, everything; he seems to have become way better since Velsarbor which was extraordinary (well, the demo at least :/)

What was that crazy French RPG Maker game called.. Final Fantasy Zero? That was pretty magnificent. In general, many RM games from France looked really good.
 

kiunchbb

www.dictionary.com
#50
I just finish 100% Cherry Tree yesterday (recruiting all 6 members), it is short but really worth the money I paid (I think it is 50% off in steam right now). There are a few funny moment, but overall the game is more focus on the time management and relationship building.

It is a very short game if you rush the whole thing, but I found myself spending a lot of time talking to random people, since even the minor non-recruitable character around have very interesting things to say every day.

Thanks for making this thread, after Cherry Tree I can't wait to try out the other games. Now if I can just man it up to finish Corpse Party in PSP, that game on headphone is creeping me out.

Is there any worthy traditional story based RPG with battle?