To Light: Ex Umbra Gamedev Shares RPG Maker Basics

It’s been just over a year since Branch Games successfully funded their fantasy RPG, To Light: Ex Umbra on Kickstarter. With help from 54 backers the developers were able to raise $8,093 to create an allegorical game about Christ with popular development software, RPG Maker.

Lead Developer, Craig Hodge posted a Kickstarter update explaining the progress the team has made over the past year and some of the ways that RPG Maker is helping bring the project to life. RPG Maker is advertised as a way for non-programmers to jump right into game development. The trade-off for being easier to use is the programs’ graphical limitations. Many indie developers are drawn to the program when they have a story to tell, but not enough experience to work with the more robust Unity or Unreal engines.

“It is the content that makes games great in my opinion, not the process,” Hodge explained.

Bringing RPG Maker Basics To Light

The video is a nice ice breaker if you are unfamiliar with the program. Hodge demonstrates how he programs events for the game. He also quickly explains how he uses ‘switches’ to change the programming of these events during gameplay. Again, it’s a very basic overview. But, aspiring developers who are still dreaming of designing their own game may find it useful to get a look at the tools To Light: Ex Umbra has utilized.

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Joanna Mueller
Joanna Mueller is a lifelong gamer who used to insist on having the Super Mario Bros manual read to her as a bedtime story. Now she's reading Minecraft books to her own kiddo while finally making use of her degree to write about games.
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  • To Light Ex Umbra has pretty much gone exactly as I expected it to so far. With sparse updates and the developers colliding with the limitations of RP makers (Considering they admitted they do not have coding experience and spent the largest potion of their budget on art when they could have brought on someone to vastly improve the experience). I genuinely hope they do a good job with the game a prove me wrong. Otherwise I feel sorry for the superbacker who threw down $2000 simply to prove me wrong. Than again, I guess a lesson in pride before the fall could be a lot worse.

    I just pray they don’t disappoint their backers. I may not have a lot of faith in their kickstarter but I feel a certain expectation for them to put their nose to the grindstone and make it work. I’ve seen many kickstarters have a lot more strain on them and still engage with their communities better.