We don't always like being nonplussed

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Tomorrow: RPG Maker Showcase!

New feature again? Yup: I've been looking for something different to review here, maybe some Japanese freeware, just for a change of pace. I also wanted something quicker and punchier because I've been tied down to one game for six months and I just need some space, some fresh air. I'm suffocating here!

As I was going through some of the Japanese freeware sites, I wasn't seeing not a lot of standalone games that really grabbed me at first sight as I hoped, but what I did see is that there are countless scores of RPG Maker games on the Japanese freeware scene. See, RPG Maker (Known in Japanese as RPG Tsukuuru, which is translated a bunch of ways and none of them make much sense) is this awesome little series of very literally-named programs that let you test your favorite bundt cake recipes in a detailed, real-time baking simulator.

...no wait, that's Dragon Age, isn't it? ...Call of Duty?

There've been console versions- which are largely the only ones that were released in the USA -but the format is really much better suited for the PC, where you can actually distribute your games to people who haven't even bought RPG Maker. (Not to mention the console versions' extremely limited storage space, which really hobbled RPG Maker for the original Playstation in particular.) Point is, there are a lot of fanmade games out there, and a lot of them look... not great. And some of them do look great! And some of them are just sort of there. So a lot like the world of professionally published gaming.

Beginning tomorrow: RPG Maker Showcase!

If you want to flail along at home, it may be tricky; you might need AppLocale from Microsoft so you can get games with Japanese file names to unzip correctly, though not neccessarily run correctly. Still experimenting with that. The most helpful site I've found so far is Famitsu's free game section, which has games for download, links to the developers' homepages, and most importantly a page with downloads for the Japanese RPG Maker Run-Time Packages you'll need to run these games. Most games are marked by what version of the software they use as well- extremely helpful!

Tomorrow we begin with something called lorca. That's a lowercase L, not a capital I. Man, why do I mess with Japanese? English is confusing enough...

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