The RPG Maker series has been around for awhile though I’m not sure why they call this one MV. I originally played an older version of the game back when I was in high school, but never finished creating the game I was working on and forgot about it until just recently. My game can be view at the link below, it’s still a work in progress as I haven’t had time to finish it yet.
I played RPG Maker MV on PC through the Steam gaming platform. The game itself is a single-player experience, but there is an active community on their official forums that players can go to for help, additional sprites, and to share their games with other creators. Gee and Hayes (2012) would describe this as a “nurturing affinity” space because it is a good place for learning and growth. This isn’t the community I chose to join for my affinity space project, but it could have been an easy contender. One barrier to entry this games does have is its price point as it retails for $79.99 when there aren’t any sales going on. This could make it more difficult for a younger audience to afford.
The style of RPG Maker MV is based off of the classic roleplaying genre. It can be as challenging or in-depth as the player wishes. No coding is necessary to make a full fledged game, but there is a script editor for advanced interactions (if desired). There’s also an entire battle and leveling system that can be implemented and manually adjusted. Gee (2004) explains that this type of interaction gives the player greater control over their own learning. I choose not to add monster encounters or leveling to my game due to time constraints; I actually wanted to finish this game! Yes, it’s very easy to bite off more than you can chew and get lost in creating an epic adventure.
When I first started playing, the interface seemed a little intimidating to me. The map editor was easy to figure out, but I was a little confused on scripting my first event. A simple search on YouTube was enough to get me started. Once I had the basics down, the game mechanics started to make a lot more sense. Scripting is essentially done through the Event Editor by selecting commands that each specify different actions. A few commands include adding a text block, movement, audio/video, and environmental effects. During our readings, Games (2010) expressed that genres play an important role in helping players understand the systemic relationships between components that define the design grammar of the language of games. I found this to certainly be the case for me. In classic RPGs, one common mechanism found are switches. Basically, if the player completes a certain event, then that can trigger another event. In my game, collecting each syllabus page acts as a switch. When all four switches are triggered, the final computer event is allowed to happen. This took me some trial and error to get right, as I would have to test my game, fix any unintended actions, and test it again. This resulted in a lot of playing around and I was pretty happy with the end result.
Games, I. A. (2010). Gamestar Mechanic: learning a designer mindset through communicational competence with the language of games, Learning, Media and Technology, 35:1, 31-52, DOI: 10.1080/17439880903567774
Gee, J. P. & Hayes, E. (2012). Nurturing Affinity Spaces and Games-Based Learning.
Gee, J. P. (2004). Situated language and learning: A critique of traditional schooling. New York: Taylor & Francis.