A Blurred Line
August 25, 2012 6:51 AM   Subscribe

RPG Maker 2000 did exactly what its name suggested: it allowed non-programmers to design turn-based RPGs. Translated to English by Don Miguel, who included his tutorial game Don's Adventures with the program, it and its subsequent versions are still available for download. While in recent years the engine has been used for a number of noteworthy titles, back in the day it resulted in a number of charmingly amateur titles — one of which was the legendary A Blurred Line, by Lysander86. Part of what made ABL special was its story, which was crude but compelling; partly it was the gameplay, which was impressively varied and offered a number of branching story paths based on player choice. A Blurred Line was never finished; there's a Windows download that includes the first chapters, A Blurred Line and The Line Narrows, but the finale, The Line's End, was never released. Lys86 has claimed he is still working on the game, most recently in 2010, but it's been over a decade since its original release, and hope for that final release is slim-to-nonexistent.
posted by Rory Marinich (8 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Sometimes I wonder if it's terrible or fortunate that my obsessive High School-era RPGMAKER2K games and forum posts have been lost to the mists of internet. Although I'd like to have back the one I made in college based on the Dictionary Of The Khazars. That was good ol' pretensions fun.

Just thank god the current version doesn't display text properly on my machine cause I've had a nagging idea that Invisible Cities would make an excellent RPG......
posted by The Whelk at 7:02 AM on August 25, 2012 [3 favorites]

Super Columbine Massacre RPG (prev, more prev)
posted by jcruelty at 9:03 AM on August 25, 2012

Thank you for calling my attention the Dictionary of the Khazars, Mr Whelk. I had never heard of it, but it sounds fascinating. I imagine reading it must be a bit like a more high-brow version of stumbling onto a wiki for a show or a series of books and piecing together the plot second hand - an experience that might sound dull, but is actually oddly compelling to a certain cast of mind.

RPGMaker is brilliant - has a more recent version of the program been released? (I don't think people generally like the "VX" version, do they?)
posted by lucien_reeve at 10:24 AM on August 25, 2012

I remember spending hours dicking around in RPGMaker 95 and then 2000. I never made anything of worth. I attempted to make a Harvest Moon-esque game, but it would have required a lot of effort to make a game like that in RPGMaker 2000, so of course I gave up.

They still occasionally release RPGMakers. There was a few for the PlayStation, two for the PlayStation 2, one for GameBoy Advance, and two for Nintendo DS. I haven't touched any of them because the idea of making a game using just a controller seems very cumbersome and frustrating.
posted by Redfield at 10:31 AM on August 25, 2012

I made an RM2k game during my high school years ("Wildcard"). It took maybe three years working on it off and on, partially because I kept balancing and polishing stuff, and partially because I added so many little details to the game. By the time I released it, I was already embarrassed at how naive I was when I first started making the game, and I think it was one of those growing moments where I realized that while I can be proud of my accomplishments, I shouldn't be too proud.

It was a pain in the neck wrangling the editor to do what you want, and I think drilled some proper software development techniques that I had to learn the hard way. It also triggered my amateur art skills, since I started drawing around this time. It's a fond artifact from my past that I look back on fondly. I submitted it to some RM2k sites which indexed people's games and the few reviews I got were a really big ego boost for me.

Here's a link to my game: Dropbox Link (apologies if it's a bit gauche to post self-links like this)
posted by cyberscythe at 12:22 PM on August 25, 2012

The most recent versions of RPGMaker on Windows are actually rather awesome. They use Ruby as a scripting language, and contain tons of accessible built-in scripts that you can modify and create custom behavior from. I worked for a good while on an RPGMaker project a few years ago and it's really flexible, although a lot of things aren't really well documented.
posted by JHarris at 2:51 PM on August 25, 2012

Oh, RPGMaker. It should be noted that Don's Adventures was terrible. I liked ABL even though it was a bit on the short side; shame about the lack of sequel. RPGM had some good games, but finding them was hard. I loved The Way and would recommend it to people who like JRPGs (it gets rather dark in the end too).
posted by ersatz at 3:37 PM on August 25, 2012

Fun fact, RPGMAKER2k was responsible for my first real boyfriend.
posted by The Whelk at 8:37 PM on August 25, 2012

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