Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tutorial: RPGMaker Lingo

Ben_Random over at RPGMaker.net posted a useful guide to the phrases we use in the RPGMaker community that might be useful for people who are new to amateur gaming. I was going to write something like this myself, but Ben has done a pretty decent job so it seems a waste not to credit his efforts. I have made some edits to the original so, if you wish, you can find the original guide here


When I first got to RPGMaker.net, I simply wanted to play a game. In order to play a game, someone said that I needed the "2K3 RTP". I had no idea what the "2K3 RTP" was! I imagine other people have had similar problems, so this tutorial is to help people new to the RPGMaking world understand what the heck is being said:

An engine is a piece of software. RPGMaker is an engine used to make games. To look at RPGMaker.net's full engine run-down, click here. Let's go through a run-down of the more common engines used:

The RPGMaker Series:
This is a series of engines that was designed by a company called Enterbrain. These engines are the ones commonly referred to as RPGMakers, or RM for short. There are many RM engines in this series, some of which are new and some outdated.
  • RPGMaker 95 - This first engine is one you will probably never use. This was the first RM software and was originally designed for Windows 95. Chances are you won't come across this one.
  • RPGMaker 2000 - The next RM engine released was called RPGMaker 2000, which you sometimes see today. This engine is commonly referred to as RPG2000, RM2000, RM2K, or just 2K. 2K was never officially released in the west and was instead unofficially translated by Don Miguel.
  • RPGMaker 2003 - The third engine I will be discussing is more common, RPGMaker 2003. This RM software was designed as an "upgrade" to 2K. It has more features, but is still best for making old school RPG's. Like 2K, it was never officially released in the west. This engine is commonly referred to as RPG2003, RM2003, RM2K3, or just 2K3. Since 2K3 is so similar to 2K, people will often write tutorials for both engines etc. and when people are talking about both engines at once they will say, "2K(3)" or "2K/3".
  • RPGMaker XP - This next engine is much more common and often used today. This engine is called RPGMaker XP. This engine was designed for Windows XP. It is the second newest software in the RM series. This engine featured a new scripting language that allowed heavier customsation of the games menu and battle systems, amongst other things, giving people greater freedom. The scripting language is called RGSS (sometimes referred to as Ruby). This software was the first of the RM engines to be officially translated into English and so can be purchased legally from Enterbrain. The engine is commonly referred to as RMXP, or just XP.
  • RPGMaker VX - The newest RM software is called RPGMaker VX. This engine was designed for Windows Vista, but is also compatible with Windows 7. VX was designed to be a more user friendly RPGMaker than RMXP. In the process, many features that people liked in XP were not implemented into VX. One thing that VX is infamous for is its tileset system, as it only natively supports five tilesets (previous RM programs could have far more than this). Although VX lacks some features, it still contains the ability to use scripting, albeit with a new scripting language: RGSS2. This language slightly differs from the original, so don't get the two confused. RMXP and RMVX are sometimes referred to collectively as RMVXP, usually when being compared to RM2K(3). I have written a tutorial series called VX for Dummies. Click this to read it.
  • RPGMaker 1, 2, and 3 - These engines were designed for the Playstation series of consoles. I will not be disscussing these engines, as games for them cannot be commonly found on the internet.
  • RPG Maker 20XX - A customised version of RPGMaker 2003 designed by Wolfcoder. Aims to implement a lot of features missing from the earlier makers without users having to purchase RMXP or RMVX. More information can be found at http://rpgmaker.net/engines/rm20xx/ or http://rpgmaker.net/games/2664/

The GameMaker Series:
GameMaker (GM) is a point-and-click engine used to create action games such as platformers and shooters. People can design games with this engine if they have no programing knowledge, or if they have scripting ability they can use the built in script editor.

Super Mario Bros. X
Commonly referred to as SMBX, this is an engine designed to create Mario World fan-games. This engine is somewhat buggy and chances are those bugs won't be fixed, but that is not any reason to drop SMBX all together. It is still a great engine.

Those are certainly not all the engines out there, but it is enough to get you started.

There are many other terms that you will see out there in the amatuer RM game design world, here are a few of them:

RTP stands for "Run Time Package". Each RPGMaker engine has its own RTP that needs to be downloaded to play games created with that engine. Most developers will include the RTP with their game, but if you download the RTP in advance then you can save file-space by downloading non-RTP versions of the games you want to play. You must download an RPGMaker RTP to use the engine as well.

A map is a term used for a room or place in an RM game.
An event is a term used in many game-making programs, but most especially in RPGMaker. An event is what makes things happen in a game. To see the event screen in VX, click here. Some people will refer to the art of creating events as "eventing" to parallel their efforts with "scripting", this is as events can be used to create things as simple as non-playable characters or things as complex as whole battle-systems. It is generally agreed that, the more difficult a system is, the better it is to use "scripting" than "eventing" to create it (and vice-versa).

Resources are graphics and audio that can be imported into a game engine. Once resources are imported, the game designer no longer has to use the default set of graphics and audio. To read my tutorial on importing tileset resources, click here. To find resources for your game, click here.

This is not the soda. When people talk about sprites on RPGMaker.net, they are talking about a form of resource. A sprite is a set of pictures compiled into one image that a game engine can use to provide graphics for animated objects. Here is a picture of a sprite:

A rip is a resource from another title you are using in your game. For example, if you are putting Mario graphics into your game, you are using Mario rips. Some rips are infamous for their overuse and so are best avoided, such as music from the Final Fantasy series or the "Rudra" tileset series.

Not a way to listen to music. LP stands for "Let's Play". People will often record themselves playing through a game for entertainment, or to provide a walkthrough, or to review the game. These videos are usually found on YouTube.

If you would like to know more about RPGMaker, or RPGMaker.net, here are some helpful links:

The Master RPG Maker Things Helpful Topic
New to RMN
Help & Request Topic

That's all folks. I hope this info was helpful.


  1. I made a game in RPG Maker 2003 when I was very young... all I remember is that one of the PCs was a horse.

  2. I had the original one for the psx

  3. I have to say, you lost me on this one hahaha I guess i will have to wait for your next post to enjoy once again a good read about games ;)

  4. WAs familiar with all the acronyms except LP. So, if I was to make a RPG, which engine would you recommend for a first time user?

  5. i always was curious about rpgmaker but never got into it. i m a programmer and i prefer to create my stuff from scratch, but i do understand it can be of great help to many other people

  6. I made a game with rpgm 2K. The player was a raver selling X and had to avoid pigs and other dealers.

  7. Thanks for the heads up, that was a good read.

  8. Did you do that sprite? I don't recognize it. Great post!

  9. Dood, great post, we need better definitional resources in this community as their is a constant mix of armatures and professionals.

  10. That little guy looks cool!! I had no idea that much work went into making a game. lol.

  11. Good stuff bro. Always useful to see gamer lingo.

  12. RPG maker looks really interesting...i might make a game with it after my current one and post about it...

  13. I dunno know anything about this. hehe ^_^

  14. @Michael: RPGMaker VX is probably the best for newcomers. I personally use 2K3, but that's because I am stuck in the past :P

  15. i always loved playing with sprites in microsoft pain when i was a kid xD

  16. oh yea i looooooved rpg maker 95 back in the day. I'd make RPGs for my brother and watch him play haha. VX looks quite promising! I'll check that out

  17. I've heard of quite a few of those phrases but a lot of that is very strange lingo to me, thanks! :D

  18. Very helpful, going to check out the other links.

  19. Lol i was kinda lost reading this i have no idea what none of this is lol but cool post haha "]