RPG Maker VX Ace: The Book of Metal with Commentary

Alan finally gets the chance to play Pete’s game in progress made using RPG Maker VX Ace, The Book of Metal.  We start out in the quaint town of Soddington as metal is soon stolen by evil mastermind Stubbs and his minions.

Watch footage of an earlier build – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdo0yBxKlW8

We have outtakes too – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tTGif0yqvA


RPG Maker VX Ace – The Book of Metal Outtakes

Watch as Alan repeatedly cocks up the intro for our upcoming video where we play Pete’s RPG Maker VC Ace game The Book of Metal.

Stardew Valley Review



Available on: PC (Steam, GoG, Humble Store)

Release Date: February 26th 2016

Genre: Farming Simulation, RPG

A few weeks ago I posted about Stardew Valley and how excited I was for it, and now the game has been out for a little over 36 hours as of writing.  In that time I’ve put 13 hours into the game, which is an early indication for how much I’m enjoying it.  Here’s my review of the early parts of the game.

Stardew-Valley-free-game-300x169Stardew Valley sees a welcome return to the farming simulator/RPG hybrid gameplay dominated by Harvest Moon over the past twenty years or more, and shares a lot of similarities with that franchise as well as forging its own path in the genre.  The core story will be a familiar one to fans – your Grandfather leaves you a farm in his will, and years later you decide to take it over and transform it from a dilapidated pile of overgrowth and rubble into a thriving money making venture.  Along the way you’ll meet the local Pelican Town community and attend various events and play through various randomly generated scenarios, and follow various sub-plots crucial to the over-arching story.  There is absolutely loads to do in this game taking all that into account, as forming and maintaining relationships, progressing through the story and maintaining the day-to-day running of your farm allows for a varied and enjoyable experience each time you play.

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Now I Feel Silly Wanting Turn Based Battles Back In RPG’s

PeteI’ve mentioned Final Fantasy a few times over the last few months, either about the incredible news of a Final Fantasy VII remake or my cautious optimism concerning Final Fantasy XV.  One opinion I had was, as it turns out, a rather silly one – I believed a return to a turn based battle system in both games would be for the best.

I now appreciate that I’m wrong.

In my defence I didn’t mean a direct cut and paste of most 90’s RPGs with prettier graphics; more like turn based with a few added features thrown in – a little like Final Fantasy XIII’s battle mode, which was about the only thing that game did right.  After watching gameplay footage of Final Fantasy VII recently I was starting to think maybe a more action-oriented approach was the right decision (especially armed with the knowledge that the game is a ‘re-imagining’ rather than a straight up remake), but after seeing the following footage from Final Fantasy XV I now appreciate that this way of fighting is the only way forward.

This just looks incredible, and we’re hopefully approaching a release date too – rumours are rampant for a Summer 2016 release, with the announcement hopefully being made at the end of March.

Stardew Valley – What Harvest Moon Fans Need


Pete*UPDATE* You can read our Stardew Valley Review here.

I’ve been a fan of Harvest Moon since it first came to the Super Nintendo console in 1998.  Since then I’ve owned and played several of the sequels spanning across almost every console Nintendo has made, and put hundreds of hours into the series overall.

One of my favourites and one I probably put the most time into was Animal Parade on the Wii.  Unfortunately that was the last of the Harvest Moon titles to see a release on home consoles in 2008, with everything else since being made exclusively for handhelds – and handheld gaming is something I’ve never quite been invested in, not for want of trying.

gfs_125147_2_5So, eight years later and with a Wii U release of a new Harvest Moon game (or Story of Seasons as it’s now known) looking increasingly unlikely, ‘ConcernedApe,’ a one man developer, has created Stardew Valley and it looks impressive.

Scheduled for release on February 26th 2016, it boasts a handful of familiar features essential to the farming simulation / RPG genre.  There are a ton of customisation options for both your house and character, and an interesting leveling mechanic that pulls the game more towards an RPG style than a straight up farming simulator by way of improving five different key skills – farming, mining, combat, fishing, and foraging.  Add to that a thriving local community, places to explore and creating the ultimate farm, this game is looking like the game PC and Harvest Moon fans have been waiting for.

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The Book of Metal – WWE Triple Triad

The Book of Metal is Pete’s first real attempt at creating a video game through RPG Maker VX Ace, and the idea behind The Book of Metal is that metal itself has been stolen in the form of a book and it’s up to our heroes to claim it back.

Triple Triad is a game I wanted to add from the beginning but not directly rip off the Final Fantasy 8 version, so I decided to make it based on WWE and NXT Superstars.  So for fans of RPGs, Triple Triad, metal music and professional wrestling (which is a niche audience, but hey) this is something you’ll hopefully enjoy.

RPG Maker VX Ace – The Book of Metal

PeteFor those unaware of what RPG Maker is think back to the classic SNES RPGs of that era – the early Final Fantasy games, Secret of Mana and of course A Link To The Past.  The RPG Maker software allows you to create your own games with a similar style, but with much more creativity available.  There are literally thousands of ‘scripts’ available to add to a game made by talented developers, which means an aspiring game maker is pretty much only limited by their imagination.

Book of Metal 4The RPG Maker software itself has been around in one form or another since 1988 would you believe, but it wasn’t until 1992 where it started to take shape.  With the release of RPG Maker 95 and later 2000 it truly became a powerful tool for creating detailed and intricate RPGs, only to be improved further with each subsequent release which included RPG Maker 2003, XP, VX, VX Ace and most recently MV.

I’ve personally tinkered with the software on and off since about 2002, playing about with RPG Maker 2000 and later 2003 where I started developing my first game, tentatively titled ‘Truro vs Treno’ which involved two rival soldiers developing a common bond and friendship in order to end a decade-long war.  Unfortunately I had no particular direction for the overall story to go in and the game was ultimately abandoned… and a bit boring, if my girlfriends brutal yet honest review was anything to go by.

Book of Metal 2It wasn’t until a Humble Bundle appeared in mid-2014 selling both RPG Maker XP and VX Ace, so both Alan and I jumped on the deal and bounced around a few ideas for a game.  This was just before ‘Alan & Pete Play’ became a semi-serious thing for us, and with that taking up most of our gaming time the idea of creating an RPG took a back seat.

I can’t remember exactly what made me come back to RPG Maker nearly 18 months later, but I’d had an idea for a game called ‘The Book of Metal’ in my mind for quite a while leading up to firing up the software again.  Of course what’s taken shape now is pretty far from what I wanted to put into the game originally, but the core idea is the same – metal music is stolen in the form of a book, and it’s up to a band of heroes to get it back and follow a (hopefully) amusing and entertaining story.  It’s a simple premise and one I wanted to generally keep that way as its my first game, and not only that but having not touched an RPG Maker for more than 12 years I had absolutely no clue as to what I was doing at first. In many ways I still don’t, but I’m happy with how the game is going and some of the frankly awesome things I’ve put in it – for example there’s a WWE style Triple Triad game (the card game from Final Fantasy 8) in there, simply because I can do that.  There’s also a guild system akin to that of the Fairy Tail anime series, which I very proudly programmed myself after spending hours reading and learning about how things like ‘events’ and ‘switches’ work.

Book of Metal 3But that’s enough about all that, you’ve hopefully read this far because you either have an interest in old-school RPGs or metal music, so please check out this 11 minute video of the opening to The Book of Metal.  I currently don’t plan on making it publicly available but if there’s enough interest I’ll happily release it for free when the game is complete.  If you have any questions, critique or ideas please put them in the comments box, I’d love to hear them.  My girlfriend likes it too, which is a plus.