RPG Maker for Teens Paperback – May 31 2011
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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.
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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):
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.
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.