SmileBoom released their game creation tool RPG Developer Bakin to Steam Early Access on October 18. The software boasts that anyone can use it to make an RPG without programming knowledge, but according to SmileBoom CEO Takaki Kobayashi, users have been using it to pump out action games.
In addition to tools like the map and events editors, Bakin also provides users with graphical and sound assets to use in their games. Games made with Bakin can also be released royalty free as either free or paid titles. SmileBoom’s past releases include the Petit Computer series and Smile Game Builder, and RPG Developer Bakin looks to be a culmination of all that knowhow rolled into one development tool.
As the name implies, RPG Developer Bakin is being sold as a tool for making RPGs, but like the tweets below, it’s being used to make side scrollers, stealth action games, and other genres outside of RPGs.
To find out why, we decided to reach out to Kobayashi.
While there are a lot of factors, the inclusion of a physics engine seems to have had a big impact. When Smile Game Builder was being developed back in 2016, SmileBoom held off on including some elements because of the hardware limitations of their users. When making Bakin, they wanted to put in all of those elements and set out to develop a tool that would allow for a better and broader range of expression.
Smile Game Builder is an RPG development tool that used basic tiles for movement and collision detection, but Bakin has a physics engine called Bullet and features collision detection between models instead of through tiles. Movement was also switched to physics-based processing which allows for jumping and movement with inertia.
Kobayashi explains that they developed their own PBR (Physically Based Rendering) system and that Bakin supports Effekseer for particle effects and effect creation. He says that by combining these modern flourishes with smooth movement, games made with Bakin may start looking more like action games.
Additionally, there’s a dynamic event generator, so something like having the protagonist shoot a bullet can be implemented relatively easily. Kobayashi ponders if being able to perform actions like jumping and shooting awoke some dormant action-loving spirit within the tool’s users.
Kobayashi also stated, “Elements and expressions common in RPGs nowadays can now be easily used which may have resonated with users who want to try out those sorts of features.” With the tool itself getting modernized, users have a wider range of expression available to them which sounds like it’s led to more users making action games.
When asked how he feels about all the action games being made, Kobayashi said he greatly welcomes them. Bakin is ultimately a tool and users are free to use it to make whatever they please. Whether it’s a traditional RPG, an action game, or a visual novel, Kobayashi says he welcomes experimentation with the tools.
It also sounds like a large number of users are implementing jump mechanics into their RPGs as well. Action mechanics, whether in an RPG or otherwise, sound like a big draw for Bakin.
Sales look promising
It looks like Bakin is also selling well. It reached number 1 on the Steam Top Sellers list on its launch day and hung around the top 10 for a while after that which surprised Kobayashi.
Kobayashi gave us multiple reasons why that might be the case. First is the spread of gaming PCs. Next is how we live in an age where users can share and supplement their knowledge through sites like Twitter and YouTube. Videos can make game development look fun and the pace information spreads around has increased.
In addition, the tool is getting attention in the RPG Maker community because of a review from a famous plugin developer.
Bakin is currently in Early Access and SmileBoom is continuing development while combing through feedback and bug reports on social media. Here’s what Kobayashi told us when we asked about the future of Bakin:
- Fixes to make Bakin a stable tool with few bugs.
- Implementing guides and supplementary materials so users don’t get lost when seeing it for the first time.
- Expanding features and materials to help with the ease of importing outside data.
- Adding features that let users easily bring out their originality.
- Daily tuning for speed and performance improvements.
- Coming up with a system for data management and task distribution for larger games made by groups.
It looks like the plan is to squash bugs, add more encompassing tutorials and guides, and increase the expandability of the tool. When you add in wanting to make it able to handle large-scale group development, we can see that the SmileBoom team is ambitious. Kobayashi kindly left us with this final message for Bakin users, “A lot of users have been creating works we didn’t anticipate in a short period of time. Let’s enjoy making games to put out into the world together!”
Written by. Nick Mosier based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-10-27 14:19 JST)