Video Game / RPG Maker

RPG Maker (RPGツクール, RPG Tsukuru), is a series of Game Maker programs first created by ASCII, then succeeded by Enterbrain. The latest version is RPG Maker MV. For the Japanese, a demo with caps on how many items of each type you can use is available, and it is assumed that they can be changed into fully-featured "registered versions" after the actual release. The English trial version has full functionality for 30 days before it expires and you'd have to buy it. The previous versions RPG Maker VX Ace , RPG Maker VX, RPG Maker XP, RPG Maker 2003 (aka 2k3) and RPG Maker 2000 (aka 2k), were released similarly. Prior versions, including RPG Maker 95 and RPG Tsukūru Dante 98 were never translated into English, however RPG Maker 2003 and 2000 were officially translated on April and July 7th, 2015, respectively. RPG Maker VX Ace is now available worldwide on Steam, with a Lite version following the Japanese model of limiting characters and items but otherwise allowing free reign. Three versions were also made available upon Sony console platforms; the final one, RPG Maker 3, is available on the Playstation 3 as a PS2 Classic.

The three recent entries in the series — XP, VX, and VX Ace — come equipped with Ruby scripting that allows people making a game in the maker to drastically alter the in-game engine, which allows for numerous different types of games (the most common alteration is taking the front-view turn-based battle system that they both come with and changing it into a side-view active-time battle system). The most recent entry, RPG Maker MV, employs JavaScript as the scripting language, in an attempt to make games produced with it multi-platform (i.e. can be ported to smartphones).

One important thing to note with RPG Maker, at least with earlier versions, is that level-ups and stat growth have much less effect in RPG Maker than in many real RPGs. It would be extremely difficult and require a great deal of trickery to make a game with the very dramatic power escalation of a Final Fantasy title, for instance.

There are plenty of high-quality games made in RPG Maker, a few of them arguably better than some "actual" RPGs. It is also possible to make non-RPGs in the maker (there have been platformers and Civilization-style games made), but it is difficult and not usually worth the effort.

Games developed with RPG Maker:

Commercial, no demo:

Commercial, with demo: