It’s Thursday again, so you know what that means: a new Humble Weekly Bundle. This week the core package is RPG Maker VX Ace, a tool which can be used to make [Drumroll…] your own RPGs. Surprise! I always had dreams of being a game designer as a youth, and while I never did much with the idea I do know there are plenty of budding designers still out there. Hopefully some of you can make use of this package to get your start. The collection of games have all been created with RPG Maker (some with VX Ace, some with earlier versions), and while you can buy some of the games, others are available free so there’s nothing special here other than providing you with a different means to download the games. There are three tiers for this bundle: “pay what you want” ($1 minimum for Steam codes), $6 or more, and $12 or more. Here’s the list of games/tools, grouped by pricing tiers:

Pay What You Want ($1)

  • RPG Maker VX Ace (~75%, 03/2012): not a game as such but a tool that can be used to create games. The graphics created won’t be cutting edge, but you can still have a lot of fun regardless.
  • RPM Maker DLC Bundle #1 (N/A, 2012): more assets – tiles, music, sound effects – to use in the games you create. Includes Royal Tiles Resource Pack, Adventurer's Journey (music), Tyler Warren's First 50 Battler Pack (50 monsters), and Modern Day Music Mini Pack.
  • Skyborn (N/A, 03/2012): only two reviews have been submitted, but both liked this JRPG-style game.
  • Sweet Lily Dreams (N/A, 12/2011): created with an earlier version of RPG Maker (I think?)
  • RPG Maker Free Games Bundle #1 (N/A): includes four games – In Search of Immortality, Legionwood: The Tale of Two Swords, Star Stealing Prince, and The Reconstruction. These games are all free downloads so basically this is a collection of “best of” games built with RPG Maker.

$6 or Higher Donation

  • RPG Maker XP (N/A, 09/2005): an earlier version of the RPG Maker software. Why do you need this if you have VX Ace? Don't ask me!
  • RPG Maker - Exclusive Resource Pack (N/A, 05/2014): exclusive content just for the Humble Bundle – 21 new songs as well as reworked RTP town tilesets.
  • RPG Maker DLC Bundle #2 (N/A, 2013): more DLC packs for content creators – includes High Fantasy Resource Pack 1, High Fantasy Main Party Pack 1, Futuristic Tiles Resource Pack, Inspirational Music Pack Volume 1, Tyler Warren's Second 50 Battler Pack, and the Humble-exclusive Steampunk/Western Preview (for an upcoming DLC).
  • To The Moon (81%, 09/2012): fulfill a dying man’s last wish as you travel through his memories.
  • Deadly Sin 2 (N/A, 05/2014): from the same team that created Skyborn (Dancing Dragon Games), this 20-30 hour epic has you trying to save the Empire. Note that this is not a direct sequel to Deadly Sin and can be played on its own.
  • RPG Maker Free Games Bundle #2 (N/A): as above, there are four games here that are available elsewhere for free, specifically Homework Salesman, I Miss the Sunrise, Aetherion, and Visions and Voices.

$12 or Higher Donation

  • Game Character Hub (N/A, 05/2014): a software package to help you manage and edit 2D art assets.
  • RPG Maker DLC Bundle #3 (N/A, 2014): four more DLC packs with two Humble exclusives – Zombie Survival Graphic Pack, Rural Farm Tiles Resource Pack, Joel Steudler's All Music Sampler (mix of tracks from his RPG Maker releases), and Best of Member+ Resource Sampler (a Humble exclusive providing a collection of resources normally only available through the Member+ program).
  • Legionwood 2: Rise of the Eternal's Realm (N/A, 05/2014): a brand new release and the sequel to the earlier free game.

This is clearly a bundle targeting wannabe game developers/designers more than RPG fans. Not even counting the games, the cost of purchasing all of the software and DLC packs in this bundle normally comes to around $300 (note that Steam currently has a sale on most of the RPG Maker assets), though I’m not sure if there's much point to owning and using RPG Maker XP when you have the newer VX Acer version. However, it’s not the tools so much as what you can do with them that matters, and I suspect despite claims to the contrary, you’ll need to spend a decent amount of time with the tools before you can create anything really noteworthy.

You can even create commercial games using the various tools, though I’m not sure how viable it is to sell such games unless you invest a lot of time and effort into creating your own assets – otherwise, it’s just new stories with the same graphics and music that numerous other RPG Maker games have used. Another complaint I have with the created games is that the support for different resolutions appears limited (or perhaps non-existent), so many of the games look like they're 1024x768 affairs.

If I were 25 years younger I’d probably be a lot more interested in trying my hand at RPG Maker, but as a grumpy old man I’m more content to see what others have created. To that end, if you’re just looking for free RPGs, you could skip this bundle and instead check out all of the free content on The quality of user-created content will vary greatly, naturally, and the best games will likely end up turning into commercial products I suspect. Even if you just want games, though, at $12 for the entire bundle you still pick up more than $50 worth of games (i.e. not counting the free games), so that’s not bad. Now if I just had about 500 hours to spend playing nothing but classic-style RPGs, I’d be set!

On a similar note, if you’re looking for tools to create your own games, Bundle Stars has a similar deal running for Axis Game Factory Premium for $9.99 with ~13 days remaining.

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  • ozzuneoj86 - Friday, May 30, 2014 - link

    Wow, I feel really old... I was just remembering how much I enjoyed playing with RPG Maker 2000 (RM2K), and then I realized that that was nearly 14 years ago. I made the first few areas of a game that had more puzzle and dialog elements than traditional RPG battling\wandering elements... it was a lot of fun, and I'd highly recommend this to anyone who likes to dabble in such things or has a kid that might be interested in the basics of game design.

    It won't teach you a programming language, but it does give you the basics of what is going on behind the scenes of games like this. I went from this to Game Maker and I learned a lot about programming there too. It held my interest (as a young person...) a lot more than just going through a C++ book.
  • PixyMisa - Saturday, May 31, 2014 - link

    Since XP, RPG Maker has included a full Ruby interpreter, so you can learn programming with it.
  • mpbrede - Friday, May 30, 2014 - link

    Please! Enough with these non-reviews of Humble Bundles. once or twice, if there is something interesting, but not this unending stream of drivel. I come to Anandtech for high-quality news, information and reviews. This is getting to the point that other tech sites are more useful.
  • bnjohanson - Saturday, May 31, 2014 - link

    huh? Your hole is open again...
  • pewterrock - Saturday, May 31, 2014 - link

    What if I told you that you aren't the only person who uses Anandtech?
  • Murloc - Saturday, May 31, 2014 - link

    the "pipeline stories" thing was created so that they can post short news and press reports but keep them separate from the really useful content that makes Anandtech different from so many other websites.

    If you want the classic AT experience, just ignore the pipeline box.
  • anandreader106 - Sunday, June 1, 2014 - link

    OR you could simply ignore the link? Do you click on everything that doesn't interest you?

    There are plenty of Anandtech readers that enjoy Jarred's summaries, hence he continues to do it.
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, June 1, 2014 - link

    While much of what I write in these "gaming" posts is easily searchable on the web, grouping links to all of the metacritic reviews and providing a short synopsis of each game takes time, and Humble doesn't provide direct links to reviews in my experience. So if I create these summaries once and then thousands of people don't have to bother searching for reviews, then I've provided a useful service. :-)

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