Prepared for the ‘Computer RPGs’ seminar for DunDraCon 33
Computer role-playing games (CRPGs) use a computer to moderate the gameplay typical in a table-top role-playing game. In single player CRPGs the computer depicts the world and plays all of the characters and monsters player’s will encounter. In a multiplayer CRPG players can be cooperative or competitive in a rich open world of adventure.
In the early days of home computers, magazines would list the BASIC source code for games and readers would type in the code to play exciting games. This hobby helped create the great game developers of today and continues in the folks who make indie games and mods (modifications of commercial games). Now tools exist to help players become the developers – VERY quickly.
List of tools that I would recommend for people learnin to make CRPGs:
While working on D&D: Eye of the Beholder for GBA, I programmed the game in C++ and debugged it using a DEVKIT from Nintendo. The artists make tiles and sprites using Photoshop and Pro-Motion. The music and sound effects were made in Sound Forge, Logic and Pro-Tools.
These days tools can be easily downloaded or purchased to help even novice computer users make their own games. User created content will soon be commonplace in many of our games and sharing your amature games with friends will be as easy as downloading MP3s.
For people who are looking for good tools I recommend trying these:
RPG Maker VX – of the whole list this is probably my favorite tool – highly recommended.
Action Game Maker- from Enterbrain, the same folks who did RPG Maker VX this promises to be a good choice if you want ot make an action RPG (a form of CRPG that isn’t turn-based and plays more like an arcade game), like Zelda or Guantlet. This isn’t released right
BYOND – Build Your Own Net Dream. Online role-playing games
OHRRPGCE- The Official Hamster Republic Role Playing Game Construction Engine is a free utility to make classic console style RPGs
RPG Toolkit – The RPG Toolkit is an RPG Editor and Engine.
Game Maker- No specifically a CRPG maker but definately popular for making games of all kinds
PyGame- Used by Keith Nimitz to make his games. This is a popular way to make games for PCs, MACs, and Linux.
Torque – With TGE, TGEA and Torque2D and more these indie minded engines have some of the best community support of any game engine.
I hope you enjoy making your own CRPGs just as much as I do! Please comment about your attempts and recommendations.