Game-creation kits have been around nearly as long as personal computers. Broderbund’s The Arcade Machine let Apple II owners build simple shoot ‘em ups in 1982, and Garry Kitchen’s GameMaker let Commodore 64 fans build arcade experiences in a number of genres.
Through the decades, these titles have come and gone, but few platforms have stood the test of time quite like RPG Maker. Japanese developer Enterbrain released the first installment, RPG Tsukūru Dante 98, in 1992, but they were simply continuations of other products made by developer ASCII. Over more than a quarter of a century, RPG Maker has been used to create hundreds of thousands of games and built a devoted fan community, most recently with RPG Maker MZ. PC Mag explores how it happened.