Ever since the debut of RPG Maker Unite a few weeks ago, the game dev community has been abuzz with mix excitement, concern, and curiosity. Over here on the VisuStella Bunny Team, we received many questions, and among the most frequently raised questions are regarding the future of VisuStella MZ's plugin library, as it major element that has been instrumental to RPG Maker devs over the years. We recognize the growing concern that many of you are feeling regarding this important matter, and we understand its significance in your creative journeys. This article is dedicated to addressing these uncertainties and to sharing our plans going forward, providing an in-depth look into what you can expect from our endeavors in now evolving landscape of RPG creation tools.
tl;dr We won't be making plugins for RPG Maker Unite. Instead, we'll focus on RPG Maker MZ up until 130-150 plugins and possibly tools for you to use.
Reason for Not Moving
There are a couple of reasons that the Bunny Team has decided to not move over.
We feel it's vital to address certain queries and concerns regarding the integration of VisuStella's plugins into RPG Maker Unite's framework. After careful consideration, we have arrived at the decision that we will not be developing plugins, or 'Add-Ons' as they are referred to within RPG Maker Unite, for this particular platform.
Our rationale for this conclusion primarily hinges upon the fundamental incompatibilities we perceive between RPG Maker Unite and VisuStella's plugin developers. While we acknowledge the innovative potential of RPG Maker Unite, it is integral to understand that this platform is Unity-based. In practical terms, this subjects RPG Maker Unite, and all its associated Add-Ons, to the cycle of Unity's updates. Now, why is this a problem and why is it incompatible with us?
Over the years, Unity's updates have acquired somewhat of a notorious reputation. It is an observable trend that these updates have frequently led to compatibility issues, often disrupting or completely breaking many products available in the Unity Asset Store. Considering this historical pattern, we foresee a very likely scenario that given enough time, RPG Maker Unite could encounter similar difficulties. While yes, the devs will definitely work in tandem to make RPG Maker Unite compatible with whatever future updates Unity will provide, there is no promise that the same will necessarily be true for its Add-Ons.
Some may argue that simply avoiding Unity updates could circumvent these potential hurdles. However, this proposition, while momentarily soothing, does not serve as a viable long-term solution. It's nothing more than a band-aid solution. The industry of game development is one that is continuously progressing and evolving. Not updating Unity would result in stagnation and inevitably, obsolescence, thereby inhibiting the creative and technological potential of the developers. We are committed to avoiding such a scenario for our users, and hence, have taken the decision as stated.
An additional, and indeed integral, reason we have opted not to engage with RPG Maker Unite stems from a significant change in our team dynamic: the retirement of Yanfly. Yanfly's contributions to the RPG Maker community span over a decade, where his name is synonymous with plugins. His influence allowed us to create the bedrock upon which the VisuStella MZ plugin library was built.
Yanfly's guidance has been the driving force behind the growth and success of the VisuStella MZ plugins. His vision, expertise, and steadfast commitment have been vital to our team, even amidst his transition into retirement. Even after his semi-retirement midway through VisuStella MZ's development, Yanfly remained an integral part of our team, generously sharing advice and offering insightful suggestions to ensure the success of the projects we undertake. In fact, even though he is no longer in the management position, it's safe to say that he's still the one calling all the shots.
However, the landscape changes with RPG Maker Unite. Yanfly will not be involved in the advisory or development process for this new platform since he will finally be retired. Given Yanfly's profound impact on our work, we believe that any product we might create in the context of RPG Maker Unite would lack a crucial part of what has made our past projects so successful: his direct involvement and wisdom in regards to how to create plugins for RPG Maker as a whole. His absence is not merely the loss of an individual; it's the absence of a cornerstone of our development process. This significantly influences our decision and reaffirms our choice not to migrate to RPG Maker Unite.
Focus on RPG Maker MZ
Moving forward, our primary focus will be to invest our energies and resources into the completion of a comprehensive VisuStella MZ plugin library for RPG Maker MZ. Our approach towards this goal is deeply rooted in our intention to treat RPG Maker MZ as the culmination of the RPG Maker series. We aim to shape the VisuStella MZ plugin library with a vision of longevity, creating a resource that withstands the test of time and continues to serve the RPG Maker community for the foreseeable future.
A cornerstone of this strategy is our commitment to ensure extensive coverage of general-purpose plugins within the library. We are dedicated to not only providing a rich and diverse collection of plugins but also to ensuring that these are as comprehensive, versatile, and user-friendly as possible. This ambition involves integrating a significant number of plugins from past iterations of Yanfly Engine (such as Yanfly Engine ReDux, Yanfly Engine Ace, Yanfly Engine Plugins), provided they align with our vision and are technically feasible.
The ultimate goal of these concerted efforts is to create a combination of RPG Maker MZ and VisuStella MZ that stands as a powerful and reliable tool for RPG Maker game development for the present and future. We aim to provide the best mileage out there for developers, effectively meeting the broad spectrum of needs, challenges, and creative ambitions they encounter in their projects. We aspire to be the preferred choice for developers, driving the continued growth and evolution of the RPG Maker community.
Future of VisuStella MZ
Now that we've mentioned that we're focusing on RPG Maker MZ, let's talk about how we'll do it.
130 to 150 Plugins
We have set an ambitious yet balanced target of creating between 130 to 150 plugins in total. We firmly believe in the philosophy of 'quality AND quantity'. The goal is not to overwhelm, but to provide a carefully curated, comprehensive suite of tools that are truly useful to developers. In Yanfly's experience, he has found that general-purpose plugins typically reach their breadth of functionality within this projected range. Anything beyond this could risk becoming redundant or excessive, detracting from the overall usability of the library. As similar with human cognitive numbers, Yanfly believes the same applies to plugins, too.
Our developmental trajectory involves a mixture of legacy and innovation. We will be focusing on reincorporating more of Yanfly's influential past plugins, breathing new life into them within the VisuStella MZ library. At the same time, we are committed to introducing new plugins that will seamlessly complement the existing library, enhancing its versatility. In tune with the RPG genre, we also plan to incorporate plugins that reflect elements observed in modern-day RPG's.
In addition to expanding our library of plugins for RPG Maker MZ, we are thrilled to announce that we are also developing a range of new tools designed to streamline your game creation process. These tools are created to ease the intricacies of RPG Maker MZ game development, optimizing your workflow, and ultimately saving you precious time.
Once we have reached our plugin development goals, our focus might shift towards further enhancing and expanding this suite of tools (although we might shift to them during them). Our intention is to create a holistic development environment, combining versatile plugins with user-friendly tools, thereby offering an all-encompassing resource for RPG Maker MZ developers.
However, we appreciate the importance of adaptability in the rapidly evolving world of game development. We understand that our plans must remain fluid to effectively respond to changing needs and emerging opportunities. Therefore, the potential shift towards tool development is currently under consideration and is not set in stone. There are several factors yet to be decided, and many decisions will be taken based on how the landscape of RPG Maker MZ evolves over time.
As previously mentioned, we have made the strategic decision not to pursue the development of plugins ('Add-Ons') for RPG Maker Unite. Instead, our commitment remains towards the continuous development of plugins for RPG Maker MZ, a platform that we believe aligns best with our vision and technical expertise.
Our objective is to shape and finish the VisuStella MZ plugin library into a thorough and dynamic resource that is geared towards RPG Maker MZ. Once we have reached a point of completion with the VisuStella MZ library, or potentially even beforehand, our focus may transition towards the creation of tools designed to facilitate the game dev process.
We hope this update provides clarity on our future plans regarding the VisuStella MZ library and dispels any uncertainties regarding our production lineup with the recent release of RPG Maker Unite. While we understand the potential excitement, concern, and curiosity that new platforms like RPG Maker Unite can generate, our goal remains focused on maximizing the capabilities of RPG Maker MZ through the VisuStella MZ plugin library and possibly any prospective development tools. We greatly appreciate your understanding and continued support as we work towards these goals.
Happy RPG Making!
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