Friday, May 30, 2014

Humble Weekly Bundle RPG Maker and 2014 Indie Game Maker Contest

Over the past several years, Humble Bundles have been invaluable in introducing games, music, books, and more to audiences who might not have otherwise experienced them. It's amazing exposure for games and developers that just so happens to be coupled with an inventive business model of pay-what-you-want, DRM-free, charitable payments.

The latest Humble Weekly Bundle - their obviously weekly sales that are different than the periodic specials Humble Bundle became known for - allows you to partake in the game creation process. The RPG Maker Bundle comes with RPG Maker VX Ace, the wildly popular RPG creation program that lets you quickly and easily build RPGs that harken back to the top-down, 16-bit days of Super Nintendo RPGs. There's no programming knowledge needed: you can drag and drop everything and insert game logic on the fly. It's robust and easy to use for learners of any level.

There are several tiers to this week's bundle; RPG Maker VX Ace is available on the standard "pay-what-you-want" level, which is a steal if you consider that the program normally costs a cool $70. If that wasn't enough, though, you can get a compliment of tools to help you create the game of your dreams.

Also included in the first tier is a DLC Bundle, containing graphical and music resources to give you even more options for your game. The next tier is unlocked at only $6 and includes RPG Maker XP, an alternative to VX Ace; the Exclusive Resource Pack, with even more art and music; and a second DLC bundle. Finally, with a $12 (or more) payment you get DLC Bundle #3 and the Game Character Hub to allow for easy creation and management of 2D sprites and tilesets. Those are a lot of resources to get you started.

But let's say you need to get inspired. Luckily, a number of games are included in each tier of the bundle. By paying any amount you get:
  • Skyborn by Dancing Dragon Games
  • Sweet Lily Dreams by RosePortal Games
  • RPG Maker - Free Games Bundle #1, an assortment of titles that shows just what you can do in RPG Maker
The second tier includes:
  • To the Moon by Freebird Games
  • Deadly Sin 2 by Dancing Dragon Games
  • RPG Maker - Free Games Bundle #2
In addition to the aforementioned programs, $12 will net you Legionwood 2: Rise of the Eternal's Realm by Dark Gaia Studios. All told, everything together would cost you $370. As if paying only $12 for all of this could look any better, right?

So there you go. You have the tools to create a game, you've got some great ideas. Now, what do you do with all of that enthusiasm?

Why not enter the 2014 Indie Game Maker Contest?

Sponsored by RPG Maker and Humble Bundle, the rules are simple: create and original game, starting on June 1st and continuing through the end of the month, and you have the chance to win up to $10,000.

Personally, I think this contest is a great idea. It really personifies what both RPG Maker and Humble Bundle are about: a sort of grassroots gaming industry where passion and talent take the forefront over big budgets and triple-A titles.

I look at it as something similar to NaNoWriMo: what you make might not be pretty or polished, but it will at least be something. Some people need the kick in the pants that a deadline provides to get started and the project will eventually flourish into a full-fledged project. Maybe you'll win the ten grand, or maybe this is just a starting point. Either way, it could turn out to be a valuable experience.

So there you have it: your game should be submitted one month from this post! Who knows - maybe you'll see your game in a Humble Bundle some day?

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