Fare thee well, RPG Maker
So, it’s come to this.
I’ve had a long, hard think (the really reflective kind, with whiskey and melancholy music) and I’ve come to a sad conclusion. I don’t want to develop games anymore. There, I said it. A massive weight has lifted from my shoulders.
It’s hard for me to say this, but RPG Maker no longer holds any magic for me. Now that I have a job and my writing to think about, it’s seeming more and more like a chore to work on something that can’t sustain itself anyway. With Legionwood 2 I took my first foray into commercial development to see if I could earn something from something I once loved doing, to see if I could find a way to justify continuing to do it. The response to Legionwood 2 exceeded my expectations. In some places, it did very well and brought my games to a whole new bunch of fans. In other places, though, it hasn’t done well at all, and this has made me realise that my heart just isn’t in it anymore.
I just don’t have it in me to compete in the “big leagues”.
If it were up to me, I probably would have stopped doing this ages ago. I think the only reason I even still use RPG Maker is because I promised that I’d make Legionwood 2. It would have been a disservice to everyone who played my games and made them so popular if I simply abandoned it and left the story unresolved. I’m a writer, after all: it’s my duty to see a good story through to the very end. And after all that, I still like Legionwood 2. I think it’s a good game, but it could have been much better. I rushed through to the end simply because I wanted to get it over and done with. I should have realised then that this just isn’t for me anymore.
And that’s it. It’s that simple. Legionwood 2 was my first commercial game, and it will also be my last. I’ve decided from now on that I’m going to focus on my writing career. Telling a story was always my favourite part of RPG Maker anyway. It’s time to cut out the stuff I hate doing, and devote my time to the good stuff.
Does this mean there will never be a Legionwood 3 or a completed One Night 4? Not necessarily. The best parts of those games were the stories — and stories can always be revised and retold in a different way. There may well be more adventures to come in the Dark Gaia Studios universe… but they definitely won’t be in the same medium (and if someone does want to finish off One Night 4 as a game, I’m more than happy to assist them).
If I’m going to spend my free time doing something, it has to be something that I love. That isn’t RPG Maker. Not anymore.