Post has been edited since originally posted to now additionally include BigSquirrel, who is an incredibly wholesome YouTuber that plays RM Games with great feedback and an amazing personality. Check him out if you haven't yet and tell him to play your game!
RPG Maker Community, Be Safe
(edited since original post to include Big Squirrel, a new RPG Maker YouTuber who is incredibly wholesome)
In case you didn't know, this quote came from Delta, one of the newer content creators in the community. Not only has his Hidden Gems series been great at shining the light onto some of the best projects this community has to offer, but also at explaining what exactly makes these games so great. You should check out his channel and support him whenever you have the chance.
It's no secret if you've been part of the RPG Maker Community, that things have been heating up lately, and not necessarily in the best way. It seems like there's drama, hate and toxicity around every corner, and it can be hurtful, draining and overwhelming. It seems like safe spaces are disappearing and everyone wants to fight. If you're feeling this way, you're not alone. There is hope. I know that I'm not a big name in the community, but I still want to do what I can to help. I can't stop the drama from coming, but there's things we can do to make things better together. So that's what I want to do today. During these dark times, I want to shine some light and trying to bring us together. We can make this community a better place. Here's some things that I've been doing, and if we all do, we'll be stronger together.
1. Look for the Helpers
Mr. Rogers always used to say this during catastrophes. Remember that these problems always come from a small, but vocal, group of people. They aren't representative of the whole. People will use their platforms to focus on the negative and show you that everything is wrong, but you can do the opposite. Look for the people who are in the community trying to better it. You'll be surprised how easy this is to find when you look for it.
If you're lost, a good place to start is on the RPG Maker Beta Tester's Discord. Normally, this discord server is just a place where new developers can go to play and test each other's games and to pick the brains of some of the best devs in the community. Prominent community members like Archea, d757 Gaming, Sawyer, and a host of Sanctuary Games' devs hang out here, ready to help. But lately, this place has been particularly positive. Look through the threads in the general chat and you'll find a ton of great advice on writing character voice, raising the stakes and building tension, encounter balance, and more!
But that's not even the best of it. After a recent rash of someone going around and 1-star bombing prominent members of the community, TheRealTron and PhoenixAstra worked with itch.io to have the person identified, their account deactivated, and their harmful reviews removed. This is a community who stands together and helps each other, even when problems come to them, and it's a place I'm really proud to be a part of. Come join if you haven't already:
And here's a few more members of the community who are putting out wholesome content:
Jaiden Alemni: https://www.youtube.com/user/BoisterousHero/videos
Paladin Ecko: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3OqJ02w-nAnT8lN7eJ3Wkg
RPG and Game Dev Tutorials: https://www.youtube.com/c/OathGame
Studio Blue: https://www.youtube.com/c/StudioBlueGames
Yorkshire Pud: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDqwectjmwbpLngwotKlZww
2. Deplatform the Drama
It's like a train wreck. Everything is going wrong,but you can't turn away. You're hurting, but the hate and toxicity just keep coming. It makes you so angry, but the person who is bringing it to you is extols that they have the solution. So you tune in next time only to learn of the next danger facing you and your community. The truth is, this is an abusive cycle. It's manipulative. It brings you pain, but promises relief next time, only for that relief to never come. The place you go for relief is the same place bringing you pain.
If you find yourself in an emotional turvy every time you tune into a particular creator, or you're going to a community to vent and they're whipping you up to be more angry - then you're caught in this cycle. You need to cut yourself off. Turn off notifications and take a break. If you find you don't have the willpower to do it on your own, then unplug. Leave discord servers, unsubscribe and block the channels, have a temp password sent to you and then don't actually complete the process to reset it. Search outside those communities for the peace you need.
3. Focus on Your Art
Let's face it, we all got into RPG Maker because we love videogames - specifically RPGs. We all have a project we're working on, and we join these communities to find others like us. But if you're finding that you're spending too much time in these communities, and that it's not bringing you joy, then take a step back and remember what's important: your game. You are just as valid of an artist as these people are. Your game is important - you are important. Work on your game. Show us how bright the light inside you can shine. Don't let these people monopolize your time.
4. Closing Thoughts
But most importantly, if you really are feeling bad or overwhelmed or like you want to leave, don't. Reach out to me first. I'm not hard to find, and I'm here to listen if you need it.
Apologies for the negativity everyone. There is a lot of bad right now, but there is also a lot of good. Come join me in communities that build each other up instead of tearing each other down. With all that out of the way, let's talk about what you're probably following me for: Trailblazer.
The next release of the Trailblazer Beta is coming soon. All that remains is creating the cutscenes for Chapter 4, and it will be ready for Open Beta on the RPG Maker Beta Testers Discord. If you are interested in testing the Alpha (which has all dungeons, puzzles, and combat complete) now, please reach out to me and let me know! Otherwise, I hope to have the Beta available for you in July!
Happy Hunting, I'll see you next Trailblazer Tuesday!
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I shoulda got you to write my video lol. Great article.
We're all in the same boat here. We all want harmony, but harmony isn't always possible. The best we can do is to have set an example and hope people are inspired to be better. Just then, maybe we'll be able to have the difficult conversations in a productive way, instead of resulting to mud-slinging, tribalism, and hostility.
100% and its why I removed that section of the video, I stand by what I said but I said it very poorly. I wish I had your gift with words. I think everyone needs to reign it in and try a bit of understanding.
My mentor always said: "A moment of hesitation in a moment of anger will save a hundred moments of regret"
I think it's something we can all apply in these situations. Take a step back, take a moment to listen, and be human. Give people the benefit of the doubt and at least try to build the bridge. If they don't want to, then at least you tried. Better to try with someone who's mind you can't change, than to alienate someone who you could.
Such a great thing to read! We definitely do not want to see Our Childhood dreams get ruined by Negativity. Thank you for all you do.
Right? Dude, we're all here because we love RPGs. Regardless of race, religion, or creed, this is something we can connect over. Can our love of games be the bridge that helps us to make each other better people? I hope so!
Thanks for focusing on the good and highlighting all these great content creators! You too are always a force for improvement in the community. Mr. Rogers is smiling up at you from the neighborhood of make-believe (or Earth-616).
There are countless bright lights in the indie-dev world. Lets turn to them when we're looking to define our community.
There's so many great people in this community doing some really great things. Sometimes it helps to keep things in perspective. I think it's important that when people start to feel overwhelmed, that these problems really do come from small, specific pockets - and they're pockets we don't need to engage with. These problems will fizzle out if we don't engage, and if they fizzle out, maybe - just maybe - we'll be able to talk civilly and make each other better.
Wonderfully worded. This has been a really rough time for the community, but it gives me hope seeing how everyone has been banding together the past few days and really putting in the effort to stay constructive and bring each other up. It's really hard to stay positive at times, but I think if the community as a collective took all of this advice to heart, we can get out of this chaptre and move forwards into something more positive.
You've taken a lot on your shoulders, and I don't envy you for it. But there is good, and we need to remember that. Not everything is a trainwreck. There are some really great, humanitarian people in this community that we can look to, and maybe find a way to be better.