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RPG Maker for Teens Paperback – May 31 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Course Technology PTR; 1 edition (May 31 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1435459660
  • ISBN-13: 978-1435459663
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 19 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #570,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


Introduction. 1. What is a Fantasy RPG? 2. Making a Fantasy RPG. 3. Building Game Worlds. 4. Placing NPCs and Writing Dialogue. 5. Setting Up Events. 6. Adding Custom Game Elements. 7. Staging Enemy Encounters. 8. Quest Design. 9. What Next? Glossary. Index.

About the Author

Michael Duggan is an Oklahoma-born author and illustrator with a background in game and web design. His education includes a bachelor of science degree in Game Art and Design at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Michael currently lives in the Ozark Mountains with his wife and step-kids and is an applications developer and digital media instructor at North Arkansas College.

Inside This Book

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most helpful customer reviews

By Sean Gooding on May 22 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While the book did cover some subjects that I already understood, it is a book for teens.That said, it has a lot of information, and made learning the VXAce software much more enjoyable.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 18 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Software missing, otherwise nice intro! Aug. 6 2011
By Erik1988 - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
My teen is going through The Game Maker's Apprentice: Game Development for Beginnersand is loving it. These are more action based games that teaches him basics of programming logic and handling if/then type of statements, timers, some collisions, etc. He's really latched onto it and even though he's done with the book he's experimenting with the current capabilities as he developed his own Tron Light Cycle type of game. He's eventually moving into 2D and 3D scrollers with the second book in the series The Game Maker's Companion, ISBN 1430228261 (not sure why I can't link that book here).

When I received this book for review I had high expectations when comparing it with the other books.
But we find ourselves playing RPG's and MMO's more times than not, so I was hopeful.

1) Book is easy to read with lots of illustrations and black-n-white pictures

2) Nice introduction to the "team" of engineers used these days to develop a game. Thus there is a nice talk about the multiple career options one can pursue in the development field. Working in the software field, I appreciated the time spent on explaining there are more jobs out there than just coders.

3) Recommended tools/resources (pg 80):
a) PC
b) an image editing program - you could use GIMP as a free program if you wish
c) a sound recording program - though of less quality, you could use Window's built in options
d) RPG Maker software - NO CD provided! You must download the 30-day trial. If you like it, then buy it for $60. A light-version to get through the exercises would have been better
e) Art supplies - drawing pencils, pens, markers and paper

4) The book then progresses by describing the elements of an RPG and the reader is led into the many elements of world-building. Having played pencil&paper RPGs for years (such as D&D) and having written a few fantasy stories (one short story published), I found the world building to be a great overview of the key areas needed for a fantasy rpg game.

5) Then we finally get to fire up the program and start designing our world from the top down.
First with the shape of your continent(s), then down to the city then town then inn level.
We eventually move into character creation, dialogue, levelling, storyline, combat and questing amongst other things.

6) The book wraps up with places you can publish your game in order to bring visibility to your work.

7) Even though 95% of everything is done through the GUI, there is some coding you can get into. I like how the foundation for RPG maker is based on Ruby/Pearl. Thus if my teen wanted to move onto more advance stuff, he could pickup books on these languages and go from there.

Lacking from this book was a longer than 30-day copy of the software and exercise examples & sprites already provided. (yes, the full version already provides some stock sprites) You can get around these things, but realize there is an additional cost to the book.

Otherwise, I really like the logical progression of the book, the focus on RPGs, and the easy of use of the RPG Maker program.
I can't wait to give this book to my teen as I think he'll eat it up and it will be a good addition to the other types of game program he's been exposed to in the other books.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Someone has learned from it Feb. 11 2013
By T. Gen - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this for my 12 year-old daughter who wanted to make her own RPG 2 Christmases ago. She went from not knowing ANYTHING about making a game, to a couple games by summer. She is still using this book and has become a pro at RPG Maker. Great book for the youngster wanting to make an RPG.
Excellent! Aug. 17 2011
By John B. Goode - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This is a very well written book, very easy to read and understand and precise. It starts from the very beginning, explaining what an RPG is, the history of the RPG, all the basics, the characters, and goes on to all aspects of the game. It is not only very expansive, dealing with the macro parts of the industry such as the the parts of a development team, marketing, ideas, etc. to the very detailed such as making the NPCs' choice of words believable and realistic.

One of the most useful parts in the early part of the book is the section on resources which provides a list of websites of free editing software!

An important point the book stresses is the story or the content of the RPG. I've played many RPGs and though the mechanics of the game is important, more important is the story. Anyone with knowledge can code the hacks and slashes but it takes a writer to give you a story that will interest you enough to continue hacking and slashing and the book gives many ideas here.

I was expecting a CD to be included with the book to include the necessary software, however that was not the case and the book directs you to a website to download the software. And I was also expecting the software to be free with the purchase of this book, however that is not the case either. The book does not mention that the software is an additional cost and I actually thought there would be a place where you could enter some sort of code from the book but it's a straight purchase. Apart from that there is a trial 30 day version that you can download to try it out.

So even if you decide not to purchase the software the book is an excellent resource and encyclopedia for those who want to know more about the mechanics of a RPG and how to develop one. It's good enough that I think it could even be used as a basis for a class teaching students how to develop a RPG game and perhaps the author can contact the progressive high schools or technology colleges around the country to do that, it would be a great way for students to learn about writing RPGs. I highly recommend this book for anyone who even has a iota of wishing to write an RPG or wanting to know more about the mechanics of it. (This review does not discuss the actual making of the RPG because software is needed for that and this review is only limited to the book itself.) Update: I still find this book useful as a reference for useful software links. I forgot to bookmark the links last time, so I'm doing it now.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Book Seems Great But Software Non-Functional So... Jan. 28 2012
By ChristineMM - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I'm a mother of a teen and a tween-aged sons who have dabbled at drawing manga and making anime on computer software. They are gamers who enjoy xBox360. I had this book and program in mind for them. This is our first foray into this area, we're all newbies.

The short product description that was on the site at the time I ordered it from Amazon Vine was misleading. I thought it was the software itself. This is a book. The first 86 pages are general information about creating an RPG (which could apply to any software). On page 87 it explains this uses the software RPG Maker and tells you can download a free trial for 30 days. After 30 days if you want to keep using it, it costs $60.

In order to do the book review I downloaded the software on a laptop we bought a few weeks ago, the thing is still sparkling new and has hardly any programs on it to hog up space. We could not get the software to work.

Over 250 more pages of the book are dedicated to walking the reader through designing an RPG using that software. I liked that the storytelling format of the hero's journey is interspersed between directions on what to click on the various screens. If you are using the program like you're supposed to then it makes perfect sense to have both a user manual of sorts combined with general video game development. This is a good idea, to combine the basics of design with use of the software. It means the learner is taking abstract ideas and immediately putting them to use: putting them into context. It's a great way to make the learner realize that what they're reading is useful and important. The other way to go about this project is a person would to read a general book that is separate from the actual creation of the game using software then teach themselves how to use software (which may or may not have a decent user manual). Some people would do better with the more direct learn as you go and learn as you do method as author Duggan has conceptualized and brought to fruition with this book.

I am torn on how to rate this book. Since this is a book review and the author Michael Duggan cannot be held accountable for problems with the software itself, I don't feel comfortable giving it a 1 star = I Hate It rating. Yet because the software won't function how can I figure out if the written directions are good or bad? I certainly love the concept of this book. Thus I rate this 3 stars = It's Okay.

If you can't get the free trial of the software to work then you can always return the book for a refund...I wish you good luck with this software program.
pretty good June 27 2013
By jesse venegas - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It tells you a bit of the RPG history.
It helps define the points of what, makes a RPG game.
Tips at some of the Constant points and Highlights of a RPG.
Then Defines and Explains, the nature of Game Design(not programming but the Process of Designing).

Once you read, That basic... You then Delve into the Acutal Installation and Usage of the "RPG Maker" Program.
I must Admit, It's Pretty good, even Detailing the Scripting part of the Program on later Chapters.

But, as all books. It doesn't matter if youd don't know how to program. What matters is that you keep trying to understand, Practice and Explore new techniques.

Overall it does a good job, This Writer seems to have done his Homework, Unlike some of the Publishers Writers. Which are Sometimes Full of BS.

I would Recommend, This book and the Program. Hope that helps you out. It's always good to start out like this then Delve into the Scripting Parts of a Program.