As a young’un I sank a ton of time into a super-cool piece of software on my PC called RPG Maker. This program let me live out my game development dreams by offering an intuitive and easy-to-understand system of making custom 16-bit JRPGs without needing to know any kind of programming language. Like a lot of good entry level game development suites, RPG Maker used a simple if/then style interface for crafting scenarios as well as ready made systems for things like turn-based battles and character progression.
It’s been a while since I touched RPG Maker, but in that time the software has seemingly only gotten better and more flexible, and even spawning some memorable indie hits like To The Moon and Corpse Party. To that end, it’s great to see current developer Kadokawa Corporation expand on the concept with its newest user-friendly game development suite, Pixel Game Maker MV.
Having already been available in early access form on Steam for over a year, Pixel Game Maker MV is finally about to launch as a 1.0 release on September 19th, 2019. Intended for creation of 2D, side-scrolling action games and metroidvanias, the software retains the same easy-to-use toolbox for aspiring designers with flexibility for programming-savvy users to push those tools even further. Probably the most striking thing about this program though, is the fact that games made in its engine can be easily ported to the Nintendo Switch. By partnering with Kadokawa themselves, creators of particularly compelling content can go as far as having their work published and for sale on the eShop!
Obviously, it won’t be possible for just anybody to get their games up for sale on the Switch, and the exact details of the ‘partnership’ side of things are murky, but it’s a great initiative and hopefully bears fruit for some talented bedroom developers. Keen parties can download a free trial of Pixel Game Maker through Steam once the 1.0 release launches and more information can be found on the official website.