RPG Maker

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This article is about the entire RPG Maker series. For the first RPG Maker for the PlayStation, see RPG Maker (PlayStation).
RPG Maker
Developer(s) ASCII, Enterbrain, Agetec, Degica
Initial release 17 December 1992; 22 years ago (1992-12-17) as RPG Tsukūru Dante 98
Stable release RPG Maker VX Ace / December 15, 2012; 2 years ago (2012-12-15)
Platform PC-8801, MSX2, PC-9801, Super Famicom, Microsoft Windows, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, Game Boy Color, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS
Available in Japanese, Chinese, Korean, English
Type Game creation software
Website http://tkool.jp/ (Japanese)
http://www.rpgmakerweb.com (English)

RPG Maker, known in Japan as RPG Tsukūru (RPGツクール?, sometimes romanized as RPG Tkool), is the name of a series of programs for the development of role-playing games (RPGs) first created by the Japanese group ASCII, then succeeded by Enterbrain. The Japanese name, Tsukūru, is a pun mixing the Japanese word tsukuru (作る), which means "make" or "create", with tsūru (ツール), the Japanese transcription of the English word "tool".[1]

The RPG Maker series has been released primarily in Japan, with later versions also released in East Asia, North America, Europe, and Australia.[2]

PC versions[edit]

RPG Maker is a program that allows users to create their own role-playing video games. Most versions include a tile set based map editor (tilesets are called chipsets in pre-XP versions), a simple scripting language for scripting events, and a battle editor. All versions include initial premade tilesets, characters, and events which can be used in creating new games. One feature of the PC Versions of RPG Maker programs is that a user can create new tilesets and characters, and add any new graphics the user wants.

Despite being geared towards creating role-playing video games, the engine also has the capability to create games of other genres, such as adventure games (see Yume Nikki) or graphic novels with minimal tweaking.

RPG Tsukūru Dante 98[edit]

According to Enterbrain, RPG Tsukūru Dante 98, released on December 17, 1992, was the first software of the RPG Maker series,[3][4] although there were a few versions of RPG making software by ASCII preceding it, dating back to 1988. This, along with its follow-up RPG Tsukūru Dante 98 II, was made for NEC PC-9801, and games created with these programs can be played on a Windows computer with emulators called Dante for Windows and D2win, respectively.[5]

RPG Maker 95[edit]

This was the first Microsoft Windows-based RPG Maker software. Despite being an early version, RPG Maker 95 has both a higher screen resolution, and higher sprite and tile resolution than the several following versions.

RPG Maker 2000[edit]

This version, also referred to as RM2k, was the second release of RPG Maker for Microsoft Windows and is the most popular and used RPG Maker so far. While it is possible to do more with RM2k, it uses lower resolution sprites and tiles than RPG Maker 95. However, it does not have a noticeable limit of 'sprites'. Unlike RM95, which can only use one 'set', RM2k can use an unlimited number of sprite sheets with specific sizes for each type. The tilesets also have a similar non-limitation. However, because tiles must be entered into a database, there is a limit on tiles. This limit however is rarely a problem (normally 5000), and even when it is, an unofficial patch exists which can bump most limits much higher at the risk of potential game corruption.

RPG Maker 2003[edit]

This one, also referred to as RM2k3, and sometimes RM2k/3, is largely an improvement of RM2k. RM2k games can be ported to RM2k3 (but not back to RM2k, the conversion is permanent), and most resources are interchangeable. The main difference is the introduction of a side-view battle system similar to that found in Final Fantasy games on the Super Nintendo. This was the first version made by Enterbrain, which had previously been a part of ASCII.

RPG Maker XP[edit]

This version, also referred to as RMXP, is the first RPG Maker which can use Ruby, making it the most powerful, programming-wise. However, many normal, simplified features present in RM2k(3) have been removed. Most of these features, however, have been programmed with Ruby, and distributed online. RMXP runs at 1024x768 resolution (though games made in it run at 640x480), while offering four times the playable area of its predecessors. Additionally, it allows greater user control over sprite size (there is no specific image size regulation for sprite sheets) and other aspects of game design. This more open-ended arrangement, coupled with the inclusion of the Ruby Game Scripting System (RGSS), makes RPG Maker XP more versatile than older versions in the series, at the cost of a steeper learning curve. Upon the release of Windows Vista, many users experienced compatibility problems, although the fix was relatively simple.[citation needed]. XP used a front-view non-sprite battle system that allowed for the use of Battle backgrounds (Battlebacks). Both characters and enemies had static battle sprites, and the interface was quite simple.

RPG Maker VX[edit]

This one, also referred to as RMVX, its Japanese release date was Dec. 27 2007, and official release date in America was February 29, 2008. In this new maker, the interface is more user-friendly, allowing new users to create games with ease. The framerate was increased to 60 frames per second, providing much smoother animation in comparison to RMXP's often-choppy 40fps. The programming language Ruby is still implemented, and the game's default programming has been overhauled to allow more freedom to those scripting in new features. New editor and a new RTP are included, this time in a much simpler "blocky" style. The battle system is comparable to that of the Dragon Quest series or its predecessor RM2k, with a frontal view of the battlefield and detailed text descriptions of each action taken. One notable disadvantage from the previous version, however, is the lack of support for multiple tilesets when mapping, leaving the player with only a finite number of unique tiles with which to depict all the game's environments. Multiple player-made workarounds exist, but this remains a sore point among many RMVX users.

RPG Maker VX Ace[edit]

This version, also known as VXAce or simply "Ace", is the latest version of RPG Maker released by Enterbrain. It was released in Japan on CD and digital download on December 15, 2011.[6] It was released in the United States on March 15, 2012 as a digital download. It was later made available through Steam, and is also now available as a physical CD.[7] RPG Maker VX Ace is essentially an overhauled version of RPG Maker VX, and removes the issue with multiple tilesets. Battle backgrounds were re-introduced, and are separated into top and bottom halves. Spells, skills, and items can all now have their own damage and recovery formulas, although a quick calculation method reminiscent of the older RPG Makers is available. The VX RTP was redesigned for VX Ace, and a new soundtrack featuring higher quality techno-pop tracks was included. With the release of VX Ace came a large quantity of DLC Resource Packages, officially offered by Enterbrain, and also available through Steam.

Console versions[edit]

The first console RPG Maker, RPG Tsukūru Super Dante, debuted in 1995 for the Super Famicom, as a port of RPG Tsukūru Dante 98.[4] RPG Tsukūru Super Dante was later broadcast via the Super Famicom's Satellaview subunit.

English versions[edit]

Historically few versions of RPG Maker have had official English releases, however each Windows version of the software has in some form been subject to unlicensed distribution through the internet.[8] RPG Maker 95, as well as translation patches for the Super Nintendo titles RPG Maker Super Dante and RPG Maker 2, were translated and distributed by a group called KanjiHack. In 1999, KanjiHack closed upon receiving a cease-and-desist e-mail from ASCII's lawyers. RPG Maker 95 was re-released with a more complete translation under the name RPG Maker 95+ by a Russian programmer, under the alias of Don Miguel,[9] who later translated and released RPG Maker 2000. Later versions, RPG Maker 2003, and RPG Maker XP, were similarly translated and distributed by a programmer under the alias of RPG Advocate.

The first official English release of the PC series was of RPG Maker XP on September 16, 2005. The next two versions of the software, RPG Maker VX and RPG Maker VX Ace both received official English releases. Since 2010 English versions of RPG have been published by Degica, who have also officially released English versions of the older titles RPG Maker 2000 and RPG Maker 2003.

The first official English language of a console version was the PlayStation version in 2000, simply called RPG Maker, by Agetec. Agetec also localised RPG Maker 2 and RPG Maker 3.


Since its first released RPG Maker has been used to create numerous titles, both free and commercial. A number of notable developers who have made games via RPG Maker include:

The software series itself has sold more than 2 million copies.[3]

In addition to games, RPG Maker has been used for other purposes, such as studies involving students learning mathematics[11] and programming[12] through the creation of role-playing games.

RPG Maker series timeline[edit]

Title Platform Region Release Date Developer Publisher Distributor
Mamirin PC-8801 Japan &19881988 ASCII
Dungeon Manjirou[13] MSX2 Japan &19881988 ASCII
RPG Construction Tool: Dante[14] MSX2 Japan &1990-02-08Feb. 8, 1990 ASCII
Dante 2[15] MSX2 Japan &1992-02-08Feb. 8, 1992 ASCII
Chimes Quest[16] PC-9801 Japan &19921992 ASCII
RPG Tsukūru Dante 98[4] PC-9801 Japan &1992-12-19Dec. 19, 1992 ASCII
Dungeon RPG Tsukūru Dan-Dan Dungeon[17] PC-9801 Japan &1994-04-28Apr. 28, 1994 ASCII
RPG Tsukūru: Super Dante Super Famicom Japan &1995-03-31Mar. 31, 1995 Kuusou Kagaku ASCII
RPG Tsukūru - Super Dante Satellaview Japan &1996-04-04Apr. 4, 1996 Kuusou Kagaku ASCII
RPG Tsukūru Dante 98 II[4] PC-9801 Japan &1996-07-14Jul. 14, 1996 ASCII
RPG Tsukūru 2 Super Famicom Japan &1996-01-31Jan. 31, 1996 Kuusou Kagaku ASCII
RPG Tsukūru 2 Satellaview Japan &1996-04-22Apr. 22, 1996 Kuusou Kagaku ASCII
RPG Tsukūru 95 Microsoft Windows Japan &1997-03-28Mar. 28, 1997 ASCII
RPG Tsukūru 95 Value! Microsoft Windows Japan &2001-11-21Nov. 21, 2001 Enterbrain
Simulation RPG Tsukūru Sega Saturn, PlayStation Japan &1998-09-17Sep. 17, 1998 Pegasus Japan ASCII
Enterbrain Collection: Simulation RPG Tsukūru PlayStation Japan &2001-11-29Nov. 29, 2001 Pegasus Japan Enterbrain
Simulation RPG Tsukūru 95 Microsoft Windows Japan &1998-05-29May. 29, 1998 ASCII
Simulation RPG Tsukūru 95 Value! Microsoft Windows Japan &2001-11-21Nov. 21, 2001 Enterbrain
RPG Tsukūru 3 PlayStation Japan &1997-11-27Nov. 27, 1997 Kuusou Kagaku ASCII
PlayStation the Best: RPG Tsukūru 3 PlayStation Japan &1998-11-19Nov. 19, 1998 Kuusou Kageku ASCII
RPG Maker PlayStation USA &2000-09-18Sep. 18, 2000 Kuusou Kageku Agetec
RPG Tsukūru GB Game Boy Color Japan &2000-03-17Mar. 17, 2000 Kuusou Kagaku ASCII
RPG Tsukūru 2000 Microsoft Windows Japan &2000-04-05Apr. 5, 2000 ASCII
RPG Tsukūru 2000 Value! Microsoft Windows Japan &2003-05-14May. 14, 2003 Enterbrain
RPG Tsukūru 4 PlayStation Japan &2000-12-07Dec. 7, 2000 Agenda[18] Enterbrain
Uchūjin Tanaka Tarou de RPG Tsukūru GB 2 Game Boy Color Japan &2001-07-20Jul. 20, 2001 Enterbrain
RPG Tsukūru 5 PlayStation 2 Japan &2002-08-08Aug. 8, 2002 Kuusou Kagaku Enterbrain
RPG Maker 2 PlayStation 2 USA &2003-10-28Oct. 28, 2003 Kuusou Kagaku Agetec
RPG Tsukūru 2003 Microsoft Windows Japan &2002-12-18Dec. 18, 2002 Enterbrain
RPG Tsukūru α[19] Microsoft Windows/Cellphone Japan &2002-12-18Dec. 18, 2002 Enterbrain
RPG Tsukūru Advance Game Boy Advance Japan &2003-04-25Apr. 25, 2003 Enterbrain
RPG Tsukūru XP Microsoft Windows Japan &2004-07-22Jul. 22, 2004 Enterbrain
RPG Maker XP Microsoft Windows Worldwide &2005-09-16Sept. 16, 2005 Enterbrain
RPG Tsukūru PlayStation 2 Japan &2004-12-16Dec. 16, 2004 Run Time Enterbrain
RPG Maker 3 PlayStation 2 USA &2005-09-21Sept. 20, 2005 Run Time Agetec
RPG Tsukūru for Mobile Mobile Japan &2006-04-17Apr. 17, 2006 Enterbrain
RPG Tsukūru VX Microsoft Windows Japan &2007-12-27Dec. 27, 2007 Enterbrain
RPG Maker VX Microsoft Windows Worldwide &2008-02-29Feb. 29, 2008 Enterbrain
RPG Tsukūru DS[20] Nintendo DS Japan &2010-03-11Mar. 11, 2010 Enterbrain
RPG Tsukūru VX Ace Microsoft Windows Japan &2011-12-15Dec. 15, 2011 Enterbrain
RPG Maker VX Ace Microsoft Windows Worldwide &2012-03-15Mar. 15, 2012 Enterbrain Degica
RPG Tsukūru DS Plus Nintendo DS Japan &2011-12-15Dec. 15, 2011 Enterbrain

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Outline of Tsukūru at the official Tsukūru website (Japanese) (Retrieved on 2010-3-6)
  2. ^ "International Licensing Business" at Enterbrain's website
  3. ^ a b Enterbrain (2005-8-16) 『RPGツクールXP』英語版 海外サイトにてダウンロード販売を開始(Japanese)
  4. ^ a b c d "RPGツクールの歴史" (History of the RPG Tsukūru) at the official Tsukūru website (Japanese)
  5. ^ [1](Japanese) at Digital Famitsu Homepage
  6. ^ [2][dead link]
  7. ^ "RPG Maker VX Ace Release | The Official RPG Maker Blog". Retrieved 2012-08-10. 
  8. ^ "Sad Fact" at Enterbrain's website
  9. ^ A look at RPGmaker 2000, translated by Don Miguel at gfxartist.com (archived copy)
  10. ^ a b c Degica (2012-08-05). "Degica RPG Maker Web Store". Degica, Co., Ltd. Retrieved 2012-08-21. 
  11. ^ Marcus Vinicius Maltempi and Maurício Rosa. "Learning Vortex, Games and Technologies: A New Approach to the Teaching of Mathematics" (PDF). Universidade Estadual Paulista. Retrieved 2007-06-09. 
  12. ^ Tiffany Ralph and Tiffany Barnes. "The Catacombs: A study on the usability of games to teach" (PDF). Colorado State University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Retrieved 2007-06-09. One of the versions was developed using RPG Maker XP and provides students with a more exploratory gaming experience than the other, which was created using the BioWare Aurora Neverwinter Nights Toolset and has the user follow linear stages of game play. 
  13. ^ Dungeon Manjiro at Generation MSX
  14. ^ Dante at Generation MSX
  15. ^ Dante II at Generation MSX
  16. ^ "RPGツクールでつくーる"(Japanese)
  17. ^ "yananayika" (The Tsukūru Museum) at the official Tsukūru website (Japanese)
  18. ^ Agenda-Game: Products (Japanese). Retrieved on 2010-11-10.
  19. ^ RPGツクール2003製品情報 at Enterbrain's website (Japanese)
  20. ^ RPGツクールDS(Japanese) Retrieved on 2010-1-12.