RPG Maker

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 (1992-12-17) as RPG Tsukūru Dante 98
Stable release
RPG Maker MV / October 23, 2015 (2015-10-23)
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

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

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

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

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

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

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 NES. This was the first version made by Enterbrain, which had previously been a part of ASCII.

RPG Maker XP

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.. 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

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

This version, also known as VXAce or simply "Ace", was 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.

RPG Maker MV

The latest title in the series is RPG Maker MV. First announced in Weekly Famitsu, it includes a number of improvements over previous versions, having multi-OS support, side-view battles and high resolution support.[8] It is also the first engine in the series to use Javascript instead of Ruby, with the addition of plugins. Completed games can also be played on a mobile device. RPG Maker MV also goes back to layered tilesets, a feature that was removed in RPG Maker VX and VX Ace.[9]

It was released on October 23, 2015 and is published by Degica.

Console versions

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

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.[10] RPG Maker 95, as well as translation patches for the Super Famicom 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,[11] 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 Maker 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 release, 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 had sold more than 2 million copies, by August 2005.[3] The series has sold an additional 683,992 copies on Steam, as of November 2015.[13] In total, the series has sold more than 2.684 million copies, as of November 2015.

In addition to games, RPG Maker has been used for other purposes, such as studies involving students learning mathematics[14] and programming[15] through the creation of role-playing games.

RPG Maker series timeline

Japanese Title English Title Developer Platform(s) Japanese Release Date(s) English Release Date Publisher(s)
Mamirin PC-8801 1988 ASCII
Dungeon Manjirou[16] MSX2 1988 ASCII
RPG Construction Tool: Dante[17] MSX2 February 8, 1990 ASCII
Dante 2[18] MSX2 February 8, 1992 ASCII
Chimes Quest[19] PC-9801 1992 ASCII
RPG Tsukūru Dante 98[4] PC-9801 December 19, 1992 ASCII
Dungeon RPG Tsukūru Dan-Dan Dungeon[20] PC-9801 April 28, 1994 ASCII
RPG Tsukūru: Super Dante Kuusou Kagaku Super Famicom, Satellaview March 31, 1995 (Super Famicom)
April 4, 1996 (Satellaview)
RPG Tsukūru Dante 98 II[4] PC-9801 July 14, 1996 ASCII
RPG Tsukūru 2 Kuusou Kagaku Super Famicom, Satellaview January 31, 1996 (Super Famicom)
April 22, 1996 (Satellaview)
RPG Tsukūru 95 Microsoft Windows March 28, 1997 ASCII
RPG Tsukūru 95 Value! Microsoft Windows November 21, 2001 Enterbrain
Simulation RPG Tsukūru Pegasus Japan Sega Saturn, PlayStation September 17, 1998 ASCII
Enterbrain Collection: Simulation RPG Tsukūru Pegasus Japan PlayStation November 29, 2001 Enterbrain
Simulation RPG Tsukūru 95 Microsoft Windows May 29, 1998 ASCII
Simulation RPG Tsukūru 95 Value! Microsoft Windows November 21, 2001 Enterbrain
RPG Tsukūru 3 RPG Maker Kuusou Kagaku PlayStation November 27, 1997 October 2, 2000 ASCII (Japan)
Agetec (North America)
PlayStation the Best: RPG Tsukūru 3 Kuusou Kagaku PlayStation November 19, 1998 ASCII
RPG Tsukūru GB Kuusou Kagaku Game Boy Color March 17, 2000 ASCII
RPG Tsukūru 2000 RPG Maker 2000 Microsoft Windows April 5, 2000 July 7, 2015 ASCII (Japan)
Degica (Worldwide)
RPG Tsukūru 2000 Value! Microsoft Windows May 14, 2003 Enterbrain
RPG Tsukūru 4 Agenda[21] PlayStation December 7, 2000 Enterbrain
Uchūjin Tanaka Tarou de RPG Tsukūru GB 2 Game Boy Color July 20, 2001 Enterbrain
RPG Tsukūru 5 RPG Maker 2 Kuusou Kagaku PlayStation 2 August 8, 2002 October 28, 2003 Enterbrain (Japan)
Agetec (North America)
RPG Tsukūru 2003 RPG Maker 2003 Microsoft Windows December 18, 2002 April 24, 2015 Enterbrain (Japan)
Degica (Worldwide)
RPG Tsukūru α[22] Microsoft Windows, Mobile phone December 18, 2002 Enterbrain
RPG Tsukūru Advance Game Boy Advance April 25, 2003 Enterbrain
RPG Tsukūru XP RPG Maker XP Microsoft Windows July 22, 2004 September 16, 2005 Enterbrain (Worldwide)
Degica (Worldwide)
RPG Tsukūru RPG Maker 3 Run Time PlayStation 2 December 16, 2004 September 20, 2005 Enterbrain (Japan)
Agetec (North America)
RPG Tsukūru for Mobile Mobile phone April 17, 2006 Enterbrain
RPG Tsukūru VX RPG Maker VX Microsoft Windows December 27, 2007 February 29, 2008 Enterbrain (Worldwide)
Degica (Worldwide)
RPG Tsukūru DS[23] Nintendo DS March 11, 2010 Enterbrain
RPG Tsukūru VX Ace RPG Maker VX Ace Microsoft Windows December 15, 2011 March 15, 2012 Enterbrain (Worldwide)
Degica (Worldwide)
RPG Tsukūru DS Plus Nintendo DS December 15, 2011 Enterbrain
RPG Tsukūru MV RPG Maker MV Microsoft Windows, OS X December 17, 2015 October 23, 2015 Kadokawa Games
Degica (Worldwide)

See also


  1. Outline of Tsukūru at the official Tsukūru website (Japanese) (Retrieved on 2010-3-6)
  2. "International Licensing Business" at Enterbrain's website
  3. 1 2 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. 1 2 3 4 "RPGツクールの歴史" (History of the RPG Tsukūru) at the official Tsukūru website (Japanese)
  5. (Japanese) at Digital Famitsu Homepage
  6. Archived January 22, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. "RPG Maker VX Ace Release | The Official RPG Maker Blog". Retrieved 2012-08-10.
  8. RPG Maker MV Announced
  9. "RPG Maker MV | RPG Maker | Make Your Own Video Games!". www.rpgmakerweb.com. Retrieved 2016-05-21.
  10. "Sad Fact" at Enterbrain's website
  11. A look at RPGmaker 2000, translated by Don Miguel at gfxartist.com (archived copy)
  12. 1 2 3 Degica (2012-08-05). "Degica RPG Maker Web Store". Degica, Co., Ltd. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
  13. http://steamspy.com/search.php?s=rpg+maker
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Dungeon Manjiro at Generation MSX
  17. Dante at Generation MSX
  18. Dante II at Generation MSX
  19. "RPGツクールでつくーる"(Japanese)
  20. "yananayika" (The Tsukūru Museum) at the official Tsukūru website (Japanese)
  21. Agenda-Game: Products (Japanese). Retrieved on 2010-11-10.
  22. RPGツクール2003製品情報 at Enterbrain's website (Japanese)
  23. RPGツクールDS(Japanese) Retrieved on 2010-1-12.
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