The current Humble Weekly Bundle features RPG Maker; a piece of software that helps you create RPG games. It also includes some DLC bundles and a few of the games that showcase what can be done on RPG Maker. This is a nice set that helped spawn a number of great indie games and I think the 2014 Indie Game Maker Contest is hoping for a spike in participation.
The Humble Bundle series as well as other pay-what-you can want services are beginning to flood the market with far too many sets of games. However, once in a while, there are bundles that are just well worth the time that it takes to type up a post and share. So while I try not to post every bundle deal out, the ones that really catch my eye inevitable show up on this blog.
What makes this particular bundle so special is that, for one, it includes actual software application rather than just games. It’s also timed quite nicely for a summer project. At a minimal price of $1, you can get software that normally retails for $69.99. Moving up your contribution increases the amount of games and software you get for what they claim is $370 worth of content.
Let’s run down what’s available. RPG Maker VX Ace is the latest iteration of the RPG Maker series, and chances are, it is the software you want to develop your future game in. It is a full, retail version which lets you create characters, maps, stories, events, and other goodies without the need to code a single line. Since we all have limited talent and some of us might want to tackle this as a one man project, RPG Maker includes some music, sprites and images that you can use freely and distribute with your indie game. You don’t need to be an artist or musician, you can simply use their resources, maybe even modify it a little. That’s the purpose of the DLC bundles in the sale, those include additional resources for your game.
When we move further down the list, RPG Maker XP is available for a higher price. This is an older version of the RPG Maker software, but if you are trying to make a very traditional JRPG, RPG Maker XP is possibly the choice. It handles the creation of maps better than the VX Ace model, though you will be lacking in all other departments. I’d love to make a comment on the bundled games as well, but I’ve only played To The Moon which isn’t so much a game, but one of the most heart-wrenching stories I’ve seen in quite some time. Although short, it is definitely a good addition to the bundle. It’s presentation is perfect and really shows how a game with limited budget but great love and care can excel.
To sum this up, if you want to tackle a new project, this is a great starting point. You get a bit of inspiration from games like To The Moon, then you can use the very same tools that made those games possible. I’ve personally used RPG Maker VX Ace before. Truthfully, you aren’t going to make the next Final Fantasy with it, the polish just isn’t there for 3D models, CG cutscenes and so on. You will be building a game that looks more out of the NES or SNES era, but with relative ease. The base is really for RPG games, but with a number of tweaks, you might be able to get another genre out of the software. You’ll learn tons about how games work and it makes a great little project when you’re bored at the end of summer. If you’ve played a few of the games people have made, you’ll see that even with some of the limits, you can still make some truly fantastic games. I’m looking forward to seeing what indie games come out of this bundle!