For any person who’s dabbled with game making or been a frustrated coder over the years, RPG Maker MV scratches one of the biggest itches and impediments to actually getting started. Sure, you can jump in with something like Twine and make a piece of interactive fiction no problem, but the moment you want something more than text, you realize why game development is hard. Even 2D, 8-bit graphics are not trivial when you have to create them at a code level, and that’s not even getting into how graphic elements interact or the most basic animation. Yes, there have been tools like Scratch that made it possible to bring art assets into a palette and program them with plain-English commands, but the results don’t feel all that polished.
What RPG Maker MV immediately brings to your game creation palette is a large library of assets, everything from visual map elements, to character creation tools, to a lineup of monsters, to in-game menus, to sound and music. This is all just stock, available from first boot. You can expand on these elements even farther with community contributions, and of course go to work customizing for your own needs if you’re so inclined and capable. Not only is the pool you can draw from deep, but RPG Maker MV makes it simple to quickly build large maps. Some of the keyboard conventions are a bit odd at first, like right-clicking on empty spaces in a menu to find the editing tools. This is presumably to avoid having a million buttons or menu commands, which we can appreciate, but it takes getting used to.
Once you do master the controls, you’ll be up and running with the ability to drop in whole towns or landscapes, populate them with characters and treasure, and set up areas for enemy or NPC encounters. This can literally be done with WYSIWYG controls and no code, but that right-click mentioned earlier will open up a Pandora’s Chest of options for almost all game elements. Tiles can be created in the game’s relatively rudimentary editing tools, or you can import actual Photoshop or GIMP handiwork. This particular expansion offers new ways to build for a touchscreen context and to leverage side-views, which give you more platforms and ways of expression.