design

Walk-Through: Reflections on RPG Maker

2014-05-16 05.44.04 pm

“The Ryki Plague” and “The Quest” are captivating top-down RPGs (role playing game) that lead you on a journey through fantastical lands, in search of the key ingredients to cure the deadly ailment that has stricken the entire world. On your quest for the cure, you will encounter endless mazes, dangerous swamps, and greedy merchants. All in all, these games will challenge your wits and problem-solving skills to achieve the end goal: saving the world.

Oh, and also, they were designed by Phil and Abbie, who are both in 7th grade.

Students in my class (like Phil and Abbie) learned to create these fantasy-laden adventures by learning how to utilize the scripting, mapping, dialogue, and event creation tools on RPG Maker VX Ace. These games were laid out through planning sessions and tutorial sessions on how to design the events to shape each student’s storyline. My students, who are used to being on the “player side” of the game, all of a sudden were thrust into the designer’s seat, where they had to think of every possible contingency, choice, and chance event that the player could encounter.

Reflecting on her experience as the designer, Abbie notes that the most challenging thing was “…programming all of the events.” But Abbie also notes that this experience in programming is what will help her in her future, as she plans on learning to code and becoming a computer engineer in the future. No easy feat, as that many times leads to having to comb over thousands of lines of code to find one single error. Like Abbie, Phil says that as the designer “You gotta take a lot more things into consideration… you have to actually think about balancing. (If you’re a designer), you actually have to make sure that it is fair and you have to work through all that stuff instead of complaining.”

If you want to create video games with your class, and want to know how to start, you can check out my video game resource to begin. RPG Maker can be found here .

Check out Phil’s RPG Maker reflection:

Check out Abbie’s RPG Maker reflection: