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Random Thoughts about Charas, RM2K, writing

by Danilynnarthur

My writer friend and I had a conversation about RPGs the other day. Keep in mind, she's over 50 years old and she's a grandmother! We came to the conclusion that the whole purpose of RPGing is just that -- role play. It's the real reason why we even make games. We want to give people a window into our fantasies and share our stories. It's why we read books and we're hooked on Harry Potter (some of us anyway -- my 5 year old niece is hooked even though she's never read the books). It's also why the Final Fantasy games were/are so popular. They tell good stories.

I am a storyteller.

It's what I do for a living. It's what I've done my whole life. I have often said that I am a storyteller first, writer second. I will have to add something else to that description: I am a storyteller first, writer second, game maker third. Computer coder.....even lower down the list. There are tons of ideas, some of which will probably never get made, either into games or written pieces.

RPGMaker 2000 only gave me another avenue through which to tell my stories.

After breaking into the community late last year by downloading the software, I found it difficult to gain a foothold because most of the community had already been established. Some had even formed their own miniature software development companies. All well and good.

Learning the terminology has been difficult. The coding, the technical specifications, and the creation of the graphics...well, that's something I'm getting used to. (Although, thanks to Charas, I'm getting better lately at graphics and characters.)

RPGMaker 2000 has helped my writing too. Since I am a visual person, I have to see events happening in order to write about them. So now, with the ability for me to see the events unfolding in front of me instead of simply in my head, I am able to write about them with more clarity.

RPGs, or role-playing games, are just what they say. They allow you to pretend to be someone else, somewhere else, at a different point in time. A lot like writing, except, creating games in RPG Maker 2000 is a lot more detailed, a lot more involved. In writing you can only visualize the world you're creating in your head. With RPG Maker 2000, you can actually see the world you're creating take shape, in tangible form. Almost, in a sense, like making a movie. The creator(s) must decide who plays in the story, what they say, how they dress, what they do. They also must build sets and determine lighting and special effects. (For one game I'm experimenting with, I had tremendous difficulty deciding what my protagonist would wear to a meeting of the legislature. I eventually settled on a regal blue pantsuit).

There's a big misconception about RPG Maker 2000. I think sometimes people get lost in the coding, creating elaborate CBS's and CMS's and forget about the story. The battles, the graphics, the coding, IMO, should all come the story. They should enhance the story, not be the story.

Don't get me wrong, I'm intrigued by the possibilities raised by the CBS's and CMS's. The coding is unbelievable and takes a lot of creative genius and work. But in an RPG, even those created by us, the story should come first.

I come to Charas from Don Miguel's board. Accidentally I clicked on a link provided by one of its members....and I haven't been able to leave since. What I found here was an actual community of people, passionate about RPGs and 2K in particular. Perhaps this is what theforgotten was talking about when he said that the RPG community was supposed to be just that: a community.