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RPG Maker 2
RPG Maker 2 for the PS2 brings 3D adventure creation to the consoles. A great improvement over RPG Maker, the depth of games you can create with this is staggering.
First, if you haven't tried RPG Maker, the original, that is a simple 2-D adventure maker that could make games such as Final Fantasy 1 and 2. You had little 'wizards' and 'warriors' and such moving up, down, left and right through towns, dungeons, castles and forests. You could have simple dialogue, music and events. This might be a good starting system for someone very new to game creation, to help them learn in a very simple manner.
RPG Maker 2 launches into full 3 dimensional adventures, so you have to be able to think more seriously about the layout of your games. Instead of just having a "flat world" that you move through, you literally take blocks and create a 3D world, with stairs up to higher levels, hidden rooms, and much more. You can change the texture of every block, making giant cathedrals, small village huts, wooden bridges, and just about anything you can imagine.
You can connect a USB keyboard to type in long descriptions, and your choices of graphics, sounds and events are much more intense. As you might imagine, you can therefore take MONTHS and months to create huge adventure worlds. The tools are all there, but it takes a little while to get used to how they work, as with any new design system.
When your game is done, save it onto a memory card and trade it off to friends. This could be the perfect way to learn about game design and create something that others are willing to pay to play!
Highly recommended for aspiring game designers who are good with logic and complex design. I'd still recommend the original RPG Maker for younger kids who need to learn the 2D basics first.
NOTE: There is a later version out now - RPG Maker 3 - which you may want to take a look at in addition to or instead of this version.
Buy RPG Maker 2 from Amazon.com
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