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Decisions decisions


Towns Guard
So there are some undying questions that come along with making games and whatnot, though I have a question, and that is, how do you decide on whether to use sideview battlers or not? And what are the reasons that divide the sea of pros and cons for you? I'm falling into a pit with the development on this question.


I don't think the poll will help you on this one as there really are pros and cons (ignore whatever your poll results say because its not even a subjective issue, it's situational).

The reason RPG Maker moved away from side-view battles from 2k3 to XP is because it reduces how much graphics and resources needs to be produced. VX further reduced this by making battles first-person and removing the party graphics entirely.

So if you don't have the budget to create animation frames and resources for a high-resolution side-view battle system then the front-view is going to be easiest and cheapest.

However, side-view adds a lot of possibility for animations and special graphics effects. A side-view battle system will make your RPG Maker project stand out from the rest, and frankly that's what's important when marketing an RPG Maker game. If you want to make a commercial game in XP/VX/VXA/MV then you will struggle massively if you stick with the default battle system simply because you've put no effort to make your game stand out above the rest.

That being said, first-person front-view can be done correctly, just that VX/VXA/MV - in my opinion - has not done it correctly.

If I were to make a commercial MV game I'd use a spinning, 3D camera ATB battle system. I would literally make it as detailed as Final Fantasy IX:
But then at that point, I'd probably not be using MV and I'd have made my own engine designed with this game-play and graphical detail in mind.

On the subject of ATB, I feel that ATB is more effective when you can see your party characters inside the battle. ATB adds a real-time component (unless you use ATB:wait, in which case, why are you using ATB?) and I think in a gameplay sense the player is more likely to empathise with the players if they can see that the real-time ATB has a real-time visual effect in what they see during the battle.
The default MV battle system with MV would just have the player staring at bars filling up and inputting actions, that would have no connection to what's visually happening on the screen, so I don't think it works as well.

There's also other systems than side-view. The spinning camera (as I mentioned I'd do above), top-down, isometric, on-field (Chrono-Trigger) and probably some obscure ones I haven't thought of.