RPG Maker 2003
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (October 2008)|
|RPG Maker 2003|
|Publisher(s)||Enterbrain, Degica Co., Ltd., Kadokawa Games|
|Release date(s)||December 18, 2002 (Japan),
April 24, 2015 (Worldwide, Steam)
|Genre(s)||Role-playing video game, Game development software|
RPG Maker 2003 (RPGツクール 2003) is the third in the series of programs for the development of Role-Playing Games, developed by the Japanese group ASCII. It features a database of pre-made backgrounds, music, animations, weapons and characters.
On April 24, 2015, RPG Maker 2003 received an official English translation, and was released into the Steam platform. 
RPG Maker 2003 was superseded by RPG Maker XP.
All graphics within RPG Maker 2003 are in 2D like its predecessor, RPG Maker 2000, and makes use of the same graphical resources with a few minor changes in resolution (though some tilesets, while similar in style to those included in RPG Maker 2000, include redrawn resources). In addition, Battle Character and System2 sets are used to go with RPG Maker 2003's new battle system.
The majority of all graphics within the game are achieved with sprites, or single images that has a composition of frames in a specific orientation so that the graphics rendering software of RM2k3 can give the impression of movement.
RPG Maker 2003 allows the use of MIDI and WAV much like RPG Maker 2000, its predecessor, for background music, but in addition now also allows the use of MP3 files which was a strongly desired feature in RPG Maker 2000. RM2k3 does not support any audio editing software so a third party program is needed in order to compose desired sounds.
RPG Maker 2003, much like its predecessor RPG Maker 2000 and its successor RPG Maker XP, comes with its own set of Runtime Package files, also known as the RTP. The RTP is a whole set of default graphics, music, and sound effects that are used in RPG Maker 2003 and, in most cases, the RTP must be downloaded to the computer to play the games made with RPG Maker 2003. Thanks to the RTP, created games can lessen their file size if a lot of material from the RTP was used.
Early order also included RPG Maker Alpha (RPGツクールα) I-mode i-appli for NTT DoCoMo 503 or later platform.
Enhancements from RPG Maker 95 & 2000
New Battle System
The new battle system is in third-person side view rather than the first person view that was used in the previous RPG Maker programs. In addition, unlike its predecessors, RPG Maker 2003 makes use of a real-time "ATB" system, like in the Final Fantasy games, instead of the classical "turn-based" system. At what point a character or enemy can take actions depends on their agility levels instead of being rigidly defined as a turn, though the software shipped with a bug that causes battle speed to dramatically slow down when there is a large disparity between Agility values of different combatants. This was never addressed by Enterbrain, though it can typically be avoided by users setting all combatants to have Agility values roughly similar to each other.
RPG Maker 2003 is also the only program in the RPG Maker series which allows weapons and armor to cast spells when used as items.
- Enterbrain page
- Enterbrain support page
- Agetec - US Publisher for the console RPG Maker series
- Agetec RPG Maker - Official portal for console RPG Maker series
- Official English Release Website