The RPG Maker XP community can be harsh. Members tend to look down on any game developed using RPG Maker XP that contains the default graphics and music. Not wanting to play a 50th game that uses the exact same character graphics and boss music makes sense.
But then there don’t seem to be 50 finished games. Much of the community expertly ignores a new game if it looks old hat, but games rarely see completion. It doesn’t make much sense why people are so sick of character art they have only seen used in five finished titles, but not wanting to use that character art in their own games is what leads to so few finished products.
I’m afraid their way of thinking is affecting me, too. My RPG Maker game was supposed to be small and contain no original assets. Nothing leads to an overblown, overambitious project like deciding you alone will compose 75 songs, create 50 new environments, and 200 character sprites with full animation. But it’s hard to find the will to finish or even start a game when you have a feeling the community will immediately dismiss it.
In order to sidestep this existential dilemma, many do what I explicitly set out not to do — they make all their own graphics, all their own music, even script entirely new battle engines. The forums are frequently filled with complaints of, “Not another standard turn based battle system!” so maybe I’m deluded, not the overachievers.
But the overachievers rarely accomplish anything. They move from one “the next big thing” to another, crapping their pants in excitement every time they devise a new clever piece of code. Most in the community have one or two forgotten projects, many half a dozen or more.
“What if night and day cycle, and the battle system changes based on that AND there is transparent fog that displays randomly based on the calendar script I wrote?!? I need to start a new game!”
Even if they rarely finish a project, their points may be valid. If I manage to complete my game, who on earth would want to play it? It looks and sounds SNES era, has a Dragon Quest 1 battle system, and has a terrible name I am unwilling to change because I’m stubborn and would rather call it something clever and unappealing than have anyone play the game.
Perhaps I need some of the other guys’ glam and glitz. Razzmatazz, if you will. If my simple project ever nears completion, then I will pay sprite artists, scripters and musicians to sex the whole thing up. Of course, this will change much of the game so the new battle system will inevitably require modifying plot and level design…