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    BlueScope
  Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:19 pm
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As that's a topic I've discussed a couple of times with a bunch of people on the "game design section" of my internet contacts, I figured why not ask people in here what they experienced, heard or think.

Basically, this thread should be about the styles of the different indie game making communities. To name an example so you know what I'm talking about: 'English RPG Maker XP/VX community' (and before you get confused: Yes, this is the one you're probably in if you're reading this topic).
Given by the platform used, the people involved with it, and how those people connect with each other forms different behaviours, patterns, priorities, success rates, and of course, overall outcomes. It's been a very controversial topic to discuss for me in the past, with newcomers and more involved designers alike, so I figured let's throw it in here and hope for some resonance.


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I'd like you to share your impressions... I'm pretty sure you disagree with me or whoever posts after me by a bunch, so it should be interesting...?!

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    Toams
  Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:34 pm
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Ah, I couldn't remember where this thread was. I read it on my cellphone, but well, I didn't remember the location. Thought it was pretty interesting though. Well not really your experiences, but the fact that you think about what happens in the community seeing it as a whole.

I myself don't have any experience with other communities, and I'm staff of this one, so I'm probably biased. However, I like to think that this is a relatively okay community. We have some pretty talented people here, and pretty things get made (not only graphically). It is a fact however, that up until recently we were steering a bit away from gamemaking. This wasn't intentionally though, the focus was more at the community. The output of games and game-related things started to decrease, and that wasn't a good thing. It's good to see that we're getting back on track though.

I've seen a couple of game development related forums though. The most close to us being RRR. Also a dutch RPG maker board, and I have some vague memories of other development communities. I must say that in the RPG maker branch, we're by far the most talented and advanced, yet we don't really have a name as being a great site. I don't know why that is, but maybe the typical crowd is just a bit pretentious, and dislikes our ways.

About the vague memories, the only thing I can say is that the focus of that board was less aimed at the community, and more at game making. No 'general discussion', no 'rec room', just technical posts. I've been getting into Unity, and checking out the official Unity forums; they're just technical questions and stuff, nothing social.

This has pros and cons. The pros being that your (forum's) output is much likely to have a greater quality than when your community spends their time talking about whatever they did today, and how it affected their life. The cons are that it's very 'sterile', in a sense that people don't get to know each other, and will just ask questions, get answers, and continue with what they're doing. This doesn't really help in maintaining a community, but it is very professional.

As a development forum/community, I think we're still not focusing enough on the display and treatment of finished games, but that's another story.

Now what you say about graphics is an argument that has been around for nearly as long as game-making existed.
(although you have to admit that peri's graphic mockup was really gorgeous, I would play that game just for the graphics)

THE BATTLE BETWEEN GRAPHICS AND GAMEPLAY

Some people say graphics are the most important part of a game, some people say it's all about gameplay. I think it's all about what you're looking for yourself. For me though, it's about both. I'll only play a game if it excels in both graphics and gameplay, and an x number of people have been confirming that.

I'm a huge graphic junk though, and I think that you could pull off a good game without good gameplay, but then the graphics would have to be near-perfect, and it would be like playing a movie (much like Heart of Darkness, for the PS1).

Anyway, a good example of a game that excels in both would be Limbo. If you don't know it, I suggest you check it out. If you know about it already, I needn't say more. I was so inspired by this that I have decided (together with a good and skilled partner, of course) to make a game that relies heavily on the Limbo gameplay (let's see how far we'll get). The game will have a totally different look though: http://tomasknipscheer.nl/stuff/brim/brim.jpg (much brighter, and more color) (we'll keep the silhouettes for the environment though, because I'm not going to model/texturize/shade everything, that's too much of a hassle)

Anyway, this brings me to another one of your points. With the renaming to HBgames, we were hoping to steer away from the RPG Maker crowd/stamp a bit. I guess since you label us as such proves that we're not there yet. I'm sure hoping for some good reception on what I'm about to create though, and I hope it will inspire others to go beyond RPG Maker, and make something good.

There's not really a closure to my story, but I think this is enough opinion to fuel some discussion..

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    Glitchfinder
  Sat Apr 16, 2011 7:39 am
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The only real experience I have outside the RM* community involves the rather shady area of ROMhacking, and I would have to say that those communities are incredibly varied.

That said, there was one RM* community that had me incredibly impressed with the massive amount of high quality work they put out. I can't remember the name, but it was a Chinese RM* forum that had high quality tutorials and guides for every aspect of RM* from the basics to stuff that makes our community look like a bunch of dunces. Their "advanced" scripting tutorials made me feel incredibly stupid, and they even had a script section for "API". (As in, literally a section for scripts that used Win32API to massively increase the abilities of RM*)

On the other hand, they had no tolerance for casual stuff, and I saw many members banned for simply stating that they didn't get something without actually going into detail on what it was they didn't understand. All work and no play may result in a dull boy, but it certainly created a pretty damned impressive set of everything for RM*. I really did get a kick out of the place when I found an old post that linked to SephirothSpawn's tilemap replacement that resulted in a massive argument over "How the hell did the idiots over in the English RMXP world come up with this first?!" before someone took his script and retooled it to fix the errors and make it run at a reasonable speed.

And before you ask, no, I don't speak Chinese. I was sitting in a translator the whole time, and I never, ever posted there.

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    Meness
  Wed Apr 20, 2011 5:49 am
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I'm kinda sick so can't really think well or type well; but I've never really been a part of any community except .org.

I started playing with RMXP when I discovered it at the age of 11. I couldn't understand anything. Then I discovered that page in the RMXP site which linked to RMXP sites and communities and what not. I didn't have an interest in any of them. I found a site that taught me the basics of the engine, though. It had no forum sadly.

When I learned of "Scripts", I became like any other kid would; desperately finding tons of scripts to throw in my project. I visited many sites. Creation Asylum, RMRK, and blah blah don't remember. I didn't like CA as it seemed very messy to me. But one of the threads linked to .org. And wow, I was sucked in. I was impressed with everything (even with a lot of stupid fangames and ambitious projects). I stayed in .org, as well as RMRK.

Why RMRK? Even though .org would be what you considered friendly already, I always felt intimidated (correct word to use here? o.o) by everyone. I'm Asian, so my English really sucked back then (check my posts). And some of the members here had higher standards. While in RMRK, I found it more relaxing and members were generally friendlier (yay, Zeriab).

I stopped going on RMRK; though I don't remember why (maybe the inactiveness?) Around this time, was also the whole despain drama. I didn't bother with anything here at the moment cause everyone was so busy with that. A friend, someone I was helping work on a game, introduced me to a French forum. Relite, I think. Now I was wowed by .org, but Relite amazed me. Everything seemed professional. The forums looked nicer and featured good games and whatnot. All types of games were accepted. I was part of a Kingdom Hearts fangame so I was amazed at the amount of fangames they had there; and all with GOOD PROGRESS. Whereas here, fangames weren't encouraged.

School work busied me out. Stopped going on any forums. When I was free again, I forgot about Relite (you see I was never really part of their community, seeing as I only speak English). That was around the time .org was split into HBGames and RMXP.org (Despain's). I decided to join Despain's .org, as I wanted to be part of a new community. Things were great, what with the community project where everyone contributed. But then one day, the site was closed down again >:(

BACK TO HBGAMES. Well that's about it. Oh and one more thing I wanna ramble on about, though it's a bit off topic. I hate how the RM scene is dying. I know I know, that games are still being made. But I miss the times when it was really active here, even if with the crappy projects.

Sorry if I went off topic or said nonsense, sick remember? Bye lovelies :)

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    BlueScope
  Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:49 am
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That's some quite well put posts and opinions... noone yet who wandered through a lot of communities, but some cool information...

@Tomas: I didn't intend to say .org is only good for RM stuff, but that that's where it came from. Actually, I think you did a pretty good job incorporating other engines such as Game Maker (which I personally couldn't care less for :p ), but I guess what it'd really take to make this page into a collaborative gamedev site is lots more members, with shared expertise areas throughout different game making platforms... at that point, it'd make sense to create diversified subforums with specialized topics such as RM's. Problem is obviously that you can't really just "bring" lots of people here :p
I'm interested where the whole thing will be going... and actually, when I was pretty damn close to just get away from .org, you improved the page in just the right spots. I'm still not really around the Rec Room or whatever, but I definately enjoy the non-scripting section of the forums lots more than I did before. So - you are making good progress ;)

@Glitch: You told me about the Chinese community before... it's amazing how - I'd assume - the majority of the english communitites don't even have a clue that they're not quite the farthest in terms of development. Before you talked to me, I was... not assuming, but I guess not questioning that the English community is where the magic happens.

@Meness: That was entirely on-topic, and a very nice read :D
When writing my paragraph, I was looking at it much more loosely than you were... I counted Creation Asylum (which I've been a very slight part of - I've enjoyed the community, however felt that one RM forum is enough) to the "English community" and that's it... I like your differentiation among several same-language ones!
That being said, do you probably have some more insight on Asian communitites? I know that Chinese and Japanese aren't exactly Malaysia's official languages, but yeah... I feel like reassuring ^^

Also, I'm not sure the RM scene is dieing... just bringing out the trash, nuff said. Just as with RM2k(3) (typing that feels like playing piano :x ), the people who use it 'because they can' (aka the "I think making games would be awesome!" phase) i slowly fading, however the people still making games with it are - because of the fact that they are still trying - more likely to actually release something. The Zelda game I linked to before is a pretty good proof of how high-valued games can be when started and advertised after the fertile era of the engine they're made with... if they are exceptionally well-made and promising, that is.
And well, then I guess there's people like me who totally don't work with RM anymore (I don't even have any maker or even RTP installed ^^ ) and still try to support the community. So, less games being made, less scripts released and less resources thrown out doesn't necessarily mean there's less quality around. Personally, quality goes over quantity, so... I'm happy with how it's working out.

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    Amy
  Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:22 am
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In the English community at least, everyone is highly patriotic to their one site, and while they might get around a bit, they generally keep to one and will defend it to the end of the Earth. I don't know if it's the same in other languages but I'd imagine so.

Lately I've been just posting anywhere and everywhere instead of just here. I used to be just here, and then just RPG Maker forums, but I realise how silly that is! The Internet is massive and amazing.


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    gerrtunk
  Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:26 am
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I started a long ago with the first version of RPG Toolkit, and a few later, i found donmiguels(i think was his also) rmk95 web, and i made a game with that. In that time i didnt know any community, and i had always problems with the money so my internet acces was very restricted with years without it and very bad pc's.

Later i found the rpgmaker 2000, but this time was in a spanish comunity, Hellsoft.net. I didnt enter in the forums at all, and i couldnt do much because the rpgmaker didnt work well in my PC.

Later a lot of spanish communities will rise and in the spanish memory this is the gold age. Seriously i think is too overrated, but it have a lot of users, thats true.

In spanish communities XP wasnt too used, even now, 2k and 2k3 are the favorites, and scripting wasnt very well valored, and not a lot of scripters from there.. Spanish rpgmaker community is now in a crisis(in these last years) because the activity is very low and there are a few active users in the forums or webs. Note that they are a plenty of nice projects in progress, but they use more the blogs and no the webs. There are like 12 communities with its forums for a few users.

I never felt very well with spanish community. I get baned from some forums because i was discussing a lot and criticiquin the spanish scene. Note that i didnt troll or flame nothing, they didnt want nobody to criticze(because they thinked thas was the reason of spanish crisis) and to discuss too much in the forums, with too much post and text or quotes.

In these days i posted a thread called 'The rpgmaker scene ghetto' in a lot of forums and only on a few of they didnt get erased.

The problem is that they are too centered in rpgmaker, specially 2k/2k3. They didnt think as game designers or creators, or a part of the videogame scene or industry , or indie, but just a rpgmaker scene, with his own rules, traditions and ways.

That totally sucked, and a lot of they games too. I played a game called Legend of Herion that was TOP amazin bitch there, and had a ridiculous combat, easy, history, characters... but wtf, they had some nice captures and maps and a interesting engines, and the rest totally sucked.

Thats the way they think. They dont think like: i will make the combat interesting, or the gameplay, etc, no, they only think in rpgmaker terms. For they the gameplay dont have any interest and all is 'Engines', but just do the engine, dont use it well, dont make it fun, not that type of thinking, and this with all.

They think that all the gameplay is 'Engines' or 'Programation'. In that thread i talked about that rpgmaker was only a TOOL and that the spanish scene were doing bad games because they where a ghetto only interested in make things that the ghetto liked.

I only get a few interesting responses, and only in a new and more open community, that later disappeared.

I liked more english comunnity, a LOT more. The users have more experience with games or rpg's , for example, not only PSX or PS2 FF's, and valorate the 8 or 16 btis more. They are people thatl like rpg's for its gameplay also, that in spanish one, is inexistent, i think.

Also its more openminded. They discuss about all, without a problem of the idea or the time you need with it. They discuss about game design, ideas, about all, in some spanish scenes, dont exist a 'General' forum at all , and in nothing one, a 'Game desing' forum.

Also the english community is more open to other engines, programing, and isnt that ghuetto, etc.

Note that seems that a interesting project is coming on for the spanish scene, inspired in rpgmaker.net.


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    Xilef
  Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:11 pm
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My first ever experience of a web forum community was RMXP.net, I remember Erk sticking up for the newbie members after the veterans would trash a topic with criticism that a young member (That I was) would find more hurtful than helpful.

Whilst on .org I moved onto the ModDB community, and the AlephOne engine forums. ModDB finds me jobs and a place to give good criticism on promising projects and I can show of my technologies there, AlephOne I hung around to develop my raycaster/2 point 3D engine as they are all Bungie fans there so loved that I was modelling it after PiD, I still go there as I use the AlephOne engine for normal map development and then I returned here to find it's not HBGames.ORG (It gave the impression that RPG Maker fan population was falling so the site had to expand or become too much of a niche).

And now what I find here are more RPG maker games that look the same, the belief that crowded mapping is good mapping, no regard for game-play in projects and, truthfully, every RPG Maker game looks the same to me. It's the graphics that make them look unique, I'd rather see the game play or systems overhauled to make a unique game, it's either generic RPG or puzzle/strategy games produced with RMXP.
So I don't really look at RPG Maker at all now, they all look and behave the same, Vacant Sky I even find game play choices that are rather poor.

HBGames really shows that homebrewn games are a hobby for everyone here.


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    Dahrkael
  Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:32 pm
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Location: SPain :D
gerrtunk wrote:
a lot of text about the spanish scene

can i rofl please, rofl.

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    gerrtunk
  Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:43 pm
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Dahrkael wrote:
gerrtunk wrote:
a lot of text about the spanish scene

can i rofl please, rofl.

¿Why?


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    Xilef
  Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:51 pm
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gerrtunk wrote:
¿Why?

It was a good read


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    glorious caesar
  Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:22 pm
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i been to every rpg maker community there is. yup yup.; conquered some, trolled others, posted like a regular jabroni at many more.

never been big into gamemaker or any big indie stuff.

rpgmaker for life :box: :box: :box: :mad:


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    Cait
  Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:17 pm
“I worship impersonal Nature, which is neither "good" or "bad", and who knows neither love nor hatred.”
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.....I love games, was looking for fan games (o.o), I know ... a sin, right? well, found some, but couldn't play them. I later figured out that it was made with a program which I found: RPG MAKER 2000, and would later find a site called gamingw.net. I think I posted a few times, but well, slightly didn't get along! (-.-) I think it's because I was naive, stupid and just really beginning to express myself to other people for the first time in my life. I'm a little too private and have fought to change that about myself. \(^.^) I go to this site quite abit, because I like the people and enjoy a lot of the craziness. Not really dedicated, or about (o.o) as dedicated to a single news station.... I go about every where. I mean, I have a giant pot of ideas, the idea is to put as much ingredients in the pot as you can aka people, ideas and knowledge. Good stuff, you can get a lot of different paths and characters, developing your own and see where other people take things that you might not have thought of otherwise.


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    Echo Magnum
  Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:38 am
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I've been a videogame nerd since I was 6, crashed my NES playing Mario till the final level, I found the princess though, I later moved on to SEGA then PSX e.t.c but that's another story about my gaming life. The point is I've been playing a lot of videogames for a very long portion of my life ( I'm 18 now so that's about 12 years of dedicated gaming ). At times I couldn't get my hands on consoles, I remember when PS2 came out, my folks thought I was spending to much time in front of a T.V/Computer screen so they didn't get me one. That's when I started ROMing, in a way I thought I was cooler than the PS2 fan-boys because I was being old-school and retro. Their was this one game that sort of led me to rpg maker. Chronos Trigger on SNES, I loved that game and although I'd been a gamer for a while I never really took the initiative to find out how they make games. I eagerly wanted to be able to make old-school games like Chronos Trigger, Crusader of Centy, Shining Force, Illusions of Gia and so on, one day I was doing my usual ROMing, I used to google search a lot of random stuff looking for rpg games and such, I used one term: RolePlaying Game Creator just to muse myself, I found a bunch of lame engines that where very user un-friendly, I seached again this time instead of Creator I used Maker. Bingo!

Thus began my rpg maker days...
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I remember seeking out active forum sites mostly...
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H.B games might be a phase but I feel like I'll be here for some time...
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If you read all my spoilers :heart: u!

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    Amy
  Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:32 pm
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Palace :psy: I knew I'd seen you somewhere. I started posting there but then they moved to a different forum system I wasn't used to so I just stopped turning up.


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    trebor777
  Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:52 pm
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:) cool thread !
I started making games when i got my 1st programmable calculator ( casio graph 35 ) and moved on several of them to get better hardware (ended with the Ti-89), that was back in 2001/2002. being 16.
Those were the days xD. Drawing stuff pixel by pixel in level of grays. Started going on some TI game related communities to find ASM games built for it (or how to turn your calculator into a gameboy). Some where english other french. I wasnt active, just looking what others did, and make my own stuff for myself and friends at school.
Then I was introduced to RPG Maker 95 and 2000, and discovered my first french community ( the Yume Team ). They were pretty harsh on the writing standards and the noobs, but a fairly fun community, quite active and then started to die when XP came out. It was a really good place if you managed to got into the circle. when it became less and less active; I started looking elsewhere, also with XP scripting, i had to look for more information and most of it was in english. THat's when I landed on the Relite forum ( still exists ), and creation asylum.
I started being more and more active with XP and making scripts for it.
Then i discovered rmxp.org :p and barely visited CA. Also went on RRR, but stopped as well... too many forums while not being super active myself.
So relite and .org became my homes :)
Relite is really open to any kind of game making, and there is always good feedback to point errors and such :) although I haven't visited it for a long time cause it was less and less active... so less reason to go check what's up.
HBGames appeared and pretty much stayed there, being active once in a while :) although I'm not using RPG Maker anymore and make my own stuff with gosu. ( great small community, so not a huge activity, but every board is related to the uses of Gosu, the irc chan is for the rest )
What I noticed in my habits; is that; I've never really cared about others game projects, unless being invited to check one specifically or asked for help with some scripts. And therefore can't really judge on games themselves, as i'd look mostly for information i need for my personnal stuff or respond to something of my interest (like this thread). Although for script it's a bit different; as it's my area of expertise, I tend to look other's stuff a bit more and give feedback but once again it's mostly randomly while Im checking for stuff i could need.

It's something I've always wanted to see; is what's the Jap community like, if any, since it's the birth place of RM. along with other asian communities. I'd expect a lot more work put on the visual aspect things being incredibly pretty. And also more communications between communities. I know the language is main obstacle for this but it'd be cool to see more about eastern projects :)


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    Juan J. Sánchez
  Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:03 pm
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Unlike most of you, my interest in game making spawned upon encountering an English translation of Super Dante RPG Maker 2 for the SNES. At this time, I barely knew Internet forums existed, as I thought the Internet was mostly for pornography, school research and downloading ROMs.

Nonetheless, I quickly came to realize making an actual video game with Super Dante would be impossible, given the memory capabilities of the SNES. So I did some Google searching and I found Don Miguel's English translation of RPG Maker 2000. This was about ten years ago, when I was eleven.

At the time I had no game making skills, whatsoever, which led to the quick disappearance of my first project: Forsaken Destiny. Truth be told, I have no recollection what this project was even about.

After a couple of years, I became an active member of www.gamingw.net or Gaming World. I was known as mooglemaster, and I released various tutorials and demo games under this pseudonym. Gaming World was my home: it had lots of resources, lots of projects, and a friendly an active community. Then I began working on a very ambitious project called Silent Blue. Using the WayBack Machine, you can still spot some shadows of this project.

http://web.archive.org/web/200502131510 ... oglemaster
http://web.archive.org/web/200502132004 ... r/main.htm
http://web.archive.org/web/200502140323 ... ntblue.htm

I made some friends during this era, the RM2K era, one of which was Rusty. When he left the scene, I felt as though I had to leave myself. Also pertaining to this story, this was the unforgettable time of computer crashes, and one of such crashes erased all of my game files.

http://web.archive.org/web/200504130555 ... udios.net/

Eventually, I found out Enterbrain released RPG Maker XP and VX. I had immense interest in both engines, particularly because of their novel scripting capabilities. This was about five years ago, when I was sixteen.

I actually began working on Medina Stories at this moment. I quickly realized my poor scripting knowledge from RM2K, BASIC and HTML was not nearly enough to work with Ruby. So I left again.

Luckily, I took some Computer Science courses during my last years in high school. I learned Java and C++, and returned to the game making scene. I found out Gaming World had become something... weird. So I searched for a new home and landed on www.hbgames.org. At first I was only interested in resources and scripts, but after a while I became an active member of the community. It's friendly, it's game-oriented, and everyone's pretty much my age. I'm currently twenty one.

These days, I can't go without visiting the site at least a couple of times a day.


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