Tag Archives: Game development

Tech Review: Tyrano Builder Visual Novel Studio

   tb logoFirst up is our disclaimer.  We received this software for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this article are our own. No compensation has been tendered for this review.

Well it’s been a long time coming with this review. I am a big fan of gaming, and as such I have always dreamed of making my own…whether it be a tabletop title or a simple RPG. So I decided to reach out to Nyu Media in regards to their Tyrano Builder Visual Novel Studio!packaging

The software, like a few other simplified game development packages, is incredibly easy to use. It even comes with a tutorial so you can put your best foot forward right away. Once you’ve learned (mastered) the setup for the software, you’ll breeze through basic game creation.

However, if you think you can just jump right into it and start making complex, industry-strength titles, I have some bad news for you. Unlike packages such as RPGMaker or Unity Engine, Tyrano Builder only comes with two preloaded assets. the-final-sceneThis means that to create your game you must either be an artist, or know an artist. Conceivably, you could still make a game using materials found online. But you can’t sell your creation unless you “own rights” to these materials. So if you’re considering Tyrano Builder without proper access to these sorts of assets, I would recommend against the investment.

The software is an incredibly powerful tool however for authoring a visual novel, whether it be a romantic comedy or a fan-fiction paring between Jack Atlas and Carly Carmine.tyrano-builder-02 I have already recommended it to Mikiko Ponczeck so she can create her own visual novels, rather than having to rely on Tokyopop and other publishing companies.

Overall, is Tyrano Builder Visual Novel Studio worth it? If you are a artist, yes. If you are a person with zero artistic talent, probably not. Despite its ups and downs, it’s an amazing piece of software and I really enjoyed taking a look at it.

-Daniel Clatworthy-


Tech Review: RPG Maker 2003

First up is our disclaimer.  We received this game because we wanted to review it, and as such all views in this article our are own. No money has been exchanged for this review.screen_condition_icons

RPG Maker 2003 is an older model of RPG maker software however despite its age it is also new. Because it was originally launched only in Japan and it wasn’t until this year that it was launched globally on steam. Now with that being said this will be in comparison to the RPG Maker I use a lot of the time and that is RPG maker VX Ace.
RPG Maker VX Ace in a lot of ways is superior of 2003 Edition of RPG maker with how it is extremely customizable in all the options and the ability to write and use scripts to create whatever you want. RPG Maker 2003 does not have this option. What it does have, however, is a simplified way to build a game.b9977bd3b1ee7f36443cd8c71b1bd1a2

You see in RPG Maker VX Ace it is an extremely complicated system because you can customize so much of it. You can even give it mode 7 so your world scales from an angle to look like Final Fantasy VI if you wanted. Another script you can add will make the game look like Doom III if you wanted it too. The only thing to hold you back is your own skills.

Part of the charm of the original 2003 RPG Maker was that it was so simple even a child could master it. The entire software was built on the principle of making a side battle system essentially like a Final Fantasy title. While RPG Maker VX Ace can do it too,you would need extra scripts for it. Some of these scripts you would have to pay for to use commercially. Another downside is that there is very little support from the creators if you have questions. By default, RPG Maker VX Ace has a face forward battle system much like the Phantasy Star titles from the old genesis era of gaming.tutorial3_2

Despite the many differences between the two programs each has the same principle when building worlds. Making events with a simple click interface which is really useful if you cannot program like the professionals can in Unity or Unreal. It also helps to know talented sprite artists who can help you create a world all your own. (Kinda like us on our current project.)

In the end if you want to make a role-playing game and don’t want to pull out your hair studying every inch of RPG Maker VX Ace, than RPG Maker 2003 is the software for you even more so if you want to get the software because you enjoy Final Fantasy and want to make a game in that type of format (albeit the classic era Final Fantasy and not the modern titles). If you want a more complex over the top game and can dedicate time and the irreparable gray hair that will soon follow from it then I totally recommend RPG Maker VX Ace. It may have a huge learning curve but it is incredibly dependable with the right scripts.

-Daniel Clatworthy-

Tech Editorial: Take My Engine…Please!

Traditionally, the video game software engine is both a coveted and proprietary entity.
Developers form rivalries that ultimately benefit the consumer, with each company looking to
produce that next big hook for players to bite.

So what’s going on this year with engines being flouted about like so many cocktail
napkins?  The answer lies in a new hybrid of consumer:  the Player-Developer.  Many gamers
would love to try their hand at creating new titles, or at least programming modules for
existing ones.  Although there are free engines available, they tend to lack power.  The
professional-strength engines while feature-complete, tend to be priced out of reach.  The
now trending solution is to give away the big engines, either for free or for a small royalty.


On March 2, Epic Games offered its Unreal Engine 4 free of charge, asking only a
5% sales royalty for any product created with the engine.  One day later, Unity Technologies
released its new Unity Engine 5 multi-platform solution for free, minus some source code and
product support found in the paid “Pro” version.

As for the latest announcement in the runaway-engine saga, Valve plans to hand out their
upcoming Source 2 Engine free to everyone…and royalty-free!  The only catch is that games
created with the engine be sold exclusively via the Steam downloading platform.  But with an
elaborate user profile system and the practically household term “Steam Achievements”, this
could be marketed less as a restriction and more as a feature.

All told, this year could go on to redefine how games are made, distributed and licensed.
In the meantime, to the game companies who have generously opened their hearts and engines, we thank you.