It seems like ages since RPG Maker MV, the latest edition of the long-running RPG creation platform, was announced for release on Nintendo Switch. Initially promised for release in February 2019, the game has been delayed for over a year with no new date set. Players looking forward to crafting their own role playing adventures and releasing them to the masses of Nintendo fans have long waited with baited breath. Alas, there seems to be no end to this anticipatory purgatory.
However, the Switch library is not without its alternatives. There are already several games available for download through the eShop that provide the tools necessary to build your own RPGs- some as a side-note, but others as the game’s core conceit. So, whether you are looking to build a Zelda-inspired, multi-part adventure, craft your own tactical RPG campaign, or build your own JRPG from the ground up – these games have got you covered.
-BQM- Block Quest Maker
In BQM, players can build their own bite-sized, isometric levels in a style similar to the Legend of Zelda and with tools reminiscent of Super Mario Maker. The toolkit provided includes a variety of useful features, with items to collect, monsters to kill, traps to plant, doors to open, moving platforms, rolling rocks, portals, destructible walls, water, lava, ice, and a myriad of other elements to lay out. In addition, you can set up event triggers – doors that won’t open until you hit a certain switch, kill a certain monster, or even talk to a certain NPC.
That’s right, in addition to all the terrain, puzzle, and combat features, BQM also allows players to place NPCs into their levels. While the amount of dialogue you can set to an NPC is limited – just a few lines pre- and post-event trigger – the amount you are given to work with is still comparable to some NES and SNES-era RPGs. Within the archives of BQM’s player generated levels are a large number of story-based games, which string a long series of levels together to tell one tale. These stories typically fall somewhere on the on the scale from nonsensical to cliched mess, but in the hands of the right player – one with a mind for level design and a knack for writing good dialogue – a true RPG could easily emerge.
Editor’s note: BQM also features several DLC packs that add aesthetic and mechanic changes, which can be implemented into previously built designs.
Wargroove made a big splash when it finally released in 2019. Not only was the game praised for its almost perfect capturing of Advance Wars game mechanics and art style, but also for the incredibly robust level and campaign editors that came with the game. These editors are so robust, in fact, that it’s possible the entire main campaign could be recreated using these tools. With such a glut of potential, it’s no wonder that the existing list of fan-created content includes some truly great RPG experiences. Some use the map editors to recreate classic stages from Advance Wars or Fire Emblem, while others have created side stories featuring the main cast of Wargroove.
Whatever your tastes may be, any player who learns how to use these tools effectively could build their own fully fleshed-out tactical RPG right within Wargroove’s library.
The most ambitious among you may not be prepared to settle for building an RPG in someone else’s game engine. Maybe you want to a build a true JRPG experience, complete with stat blocks, character progression, class systems, turn-based battles, and everything else in-between. Without RPG Maker to fall back on, your dream of bringing your unique RPG vision to Switch may never come to fruition.
But, if you’ve got a mind for programming, the tools to build your own RPG on Nintendo Switch are just within your reach. With FUZE4, you’ll have a robust, beginner-friendly programming language right at your finger tips. You can code your own RPG from start to finish, building out your own game mechanics and capturing your vision in ways you never could have dreamed – provided you have the patience and the skills. FUZE4 offers a few handy features to help speed you along, however. The platform not only comes with a sprite and map editor built in (along with the programming functions to insert them into your game), but also a library of art and sound assets you can import into your title to give you a leg up if audio-visual design isn’t really your thing.
We don’t know when RPG Maker MV will finally be let loose on the Switch, but until then, players have some incredible options at their disposal. Through these titles, you can execute a creative vision and bring your own story, characters, and adventures to life. Let us know if you’ve experimented with these tools in the comments below, and feel free to share your creations, as well!