RPG Maker spinoff Pixel Game Maker MV headed west

Pixel Game Maker MV

While some may roll their eyes at the very mention of RPG Maker, it’s hard to overstate just how influential the now-Kadokawa-owned development tool has been on the indie development scene. Just announced in Japan and due to be fully unveiled at Bitsummit in Kyoto tomorrow, Pixel Game Maker MV is already confirmed for a western release later this summer, and promises yet another alternative to the likes of Game Maker and Multimedia Fusion for budding game developers.

As with other beginner-level development tools, Pixel Game Maker MV claims to allow the creation of full games without any programming knowledge at all, but will support JavaScript extensions for those wanting to dig a little deeper. It’ll contain integrated sprite creation and animation software, but naturally you’ll be able to import from elsewhere, too.

Pixel Game Maker MV

At its simplest level, Pixel Game Maker MV promises point-and-click game creation, with basic flowchart-based scripting and integrated physics and particle engines. Templates for side-view and top-town game types (such as the pinball game below, which I’ve rotated sideways to make it fit) are provided, as well as support for up to four players by default.

There’s no mention as to what kind of commercial license Pixel Game Maker MV comes with, but I’d be surprised if it’s any different from RPG Maker MV’s nearly unlimited freedom to sell whatever you create. If the toolset is even halfway successful, expect to see Itch.io, Gamejolt and Steam filling up with Pixel Game Maker titles over the coming years.

This screenshot presented sideways, on account of being a very tall Pinball type game.

Plus, never underestimate what a talented developer can do with ‘beginner level’ tools. It’s thanks to RPG Maker that we have the likes of freeware classic Yume Nikki, and a multitude of commercially released gems like To The Moon (and its sequel), world-hopping adventure Rakuen and LISA: The Painful RPG, which was good enough to spawn its own fan-game scene, and I will never stop plugging until you’ve all tried it.

No firm launch date is locked down for Pixel Game Maker MV, but Kadokawa are aiming for it making its first localised debut on Steam via early access this summer. Keep an eye on the official site here for more details, especially after its Bitsummit showing.

23 Comments

  1. SimonPetrikov says:

    Overstate. Hard to overstate.

  2. Someoldguy says:

    I’m constantly amazed at the range and quality of games talented people can produce with the various versions of RPG Maker. More tools like that can only be a good thing for emerging talent, even if we do have to wade through a heap of lackluster offerings to find it.

  3. Kalle says:

    Has there been even one good RPGMaker game? If I wanted to pretend I was back in the 90’s I’d wear baggy pants and listen to 2Pac all day.

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      Well, someone hasn’t read the article.

    • Viral Frog says:

      More than just a handful. In fact, a few were mentioned at the end of the article that you didn’t read. ;)

      My favorite was an RM2k3 survival horror game. Not a single RPG system in it. It had some solid shooting mechanics for it’s time, a handful of different weapons that actually felt decent to shoot, loads of zombies, dark atmosphere, save point system in the vein of Resident Evil, etc.

      • Viral Frog says:

        Tried to find the name of the game and apparently there are a ton of these games made in RPG Maker now. No way I’ll be able to remember exactly which one it was.

        • Dominic Tarason says:

          I’m hazarding a guess you’re thinking of Rework The Dead: Evil.

          link to rpgmaker.net

          Which is based on a truly awful furry splatter-horror comic, but the game ain’t half bad.

          It was listed on the RPG Maker network site but is apparently made with the (long exitinct) Sphere engine. Early RPG maker was pretty limited in what it could do.

          I do remember that Yahtzee (yes, the ranty video guy) made a series of Flashback-style platformers in Adventure Game Studio though, which is built for point-and-click adventuring.

    • TheBetterStory says:

      Aside from the many mentioned in the article, I’m also fond of OneShot and Hello Charlotte.

      • Dominic Tarason says:

        I know the original version of OneShot was made in RPG Maker. Was the remake? I thought it pulled a few tricks that required its own bespoke engine.

    • Jernau Gurgeh says:

      Skyborn. It’s good, almost great. I enjoyed it lots.

    • R. Totale says:

      SPACE FUNERAL

  4. King in Winter says:

    Interesting, but I think I’ll stick To GameMaker:Studio for my needs. I can’t think of point-and-click creation as anything but a toy you fiddle with before graduating to the real deal of using code. (Yes, GM:S has drag-and-drop method if you want to use it, and I think it is nothing but a toy.)

    • SBLux says:

      I agree in general but don’t forget that Undertale was made almost entirely with drag and drop, so it is possible to achieve good results with it.

  5. Jue Viole Grace says:

    LISA is maybe the best RPG Maker game ever made. Seriously, play the damn thing.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Lo says:

    Multimedia Fusion is a hot mess but I made my first digital game in it and several people liked it, which was an absolutely wonderful feeling :)

  7. MajorLag says:

    If I’m honest, part of me wants to hate these kinds of tools because I grew up in the 90s when the only way to make a decent game was to learn to program. But really, anything that helps people get started creating is ultimately a good thing.

  8. Catterbatter says:

    I agree with the attractive commenters above who have said this is surely a good thing.

    Also, Rakuen is excellent, and the sequel to To The Moon is a different game called Finding Paradise. I haven’t played that one, but I’m sure it’s almost as good as Rakuen. (The way it’s written in the article is a little bit ambiguous.)

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      Yeah, I guess I could have formatted it a bit cleaner. Still, the link goes to a bundle of To The Moon *and* its sequel, and Rakuen goes to… Rakuen.

  9. Chaoslord AJ says:

    There’s also old originally German-only Vampire’s Dawn 1&2 spoofing the Legacy of Kain series. Funny and free and as I look there are now english downloads as well. link to vampiresdawn.org

    Problem with the RPGM games is that turn-based or non-real-time-combat games work well but stuff like Zelda-clones generally really suck in my memory.

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