PC/Mac/Linux
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Game Info:

SRPG Studio
Developed By: SapphireSoft
Published By: SapphireSoft
Released: August 20, 2018
Available On: Microsoft Windows
Genre: Game Creation, Turn-Based Strategy
ESRB Rating: None specified
Number of Players: Singleplayer
Price: $59.99

Tactical turn-based RPG gaming is a passion of many. Those who particularly enjoy series like the Fire Emblem games will attest to this for sure. Now, one of the official tools made to create Fire Emblem games is available for everyone to use.

SRPG Studio is a Microsoft Windows-based game creation engine. It's not a broadly featured framework engine like Unity or Unreal, which have to be custom-tailored for specific game creation. Rather, it's a more tightly focused engine like RPG Maker, with all the functions already geared for making tactical turn-based RPGs. Given it was created for the express purpose of creating Fire Emblem games, all the basic gameplay features and mechanics of that series are pre-included.

Graphically, it's a top-down, 2D based tiled engine, with graphics on par with PS1/GBA style 2D games. It features animated PNG style chipsets, and the engine loads all graphics from tile-based sheets. JPG and BMP files are also supported, but for ideal picture clarity and transparency, PNG is the best format.

SRPG Studio
Highlights:

Strong Points: Well designed for creating Fire Emblem style tactical RPGs and other games in that vein
Weak Points: Pricey; some of the documentation is sparse
Moral Warnings: RPG style violence in the games one can create; mentions of demons and necromancers (inclusion of these elements optional)

former especially due to its cross-platform capability, which I shall elaborate on further below. Any external sound editing program like Audacity can be used to edit custom music and sounds for use in this game engine. The included music and sound effects have the standard "heroic medieval" styling that Fire Emblem fans will find pleasing to the ear.

Video formats such as MP4, WMV, and AVI are supported for playing special cutscenes or introduction videos. The last one is best for non-Windows platforms, more on that below.

The mouse and keyboard are the primary controls, both for the editor and any games made with it, though games do come with basic controller support. The game editor UI is pretty straightforward and navigated by menus. Both the editor and the games made with it tend to be very responsive to input.

Stability is excellent on Windows; this program has incredibly modest requirements that even a low-end laptop should be able to meet or excel. For Linux users, SRPG Studio also works on the latest builds of Wine/Proton at the time of writing with little issue, though using cross-platform media formats like AVI/OGG are highly recommended on Linux. Javascript-based scripting is allowed to provide more features if the designer is skilled in programming, which may affect stability.

SRPG Studio
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 86%
Gameplay - 17/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 78%
Violence - 7/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 2/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10


Morally, this program does not have very many concerns.

There is violence, of an RPG "give orders and watch it happen" variety, as this engine is tailored for turn-based strategy RPG style combat action. The violence is very sterile, bodies disappear immediately after death, and the extent of it and why it's taking place is entirely at the discretion of the designer of the game they are making.

Language is only as severe as the designer intends. All graphics included are completely kid-friendly by default. While there is magic depicted, it's of the generic fantasy variety. Necromancers are available as a generic class and some generic demonic and undead enemies are available by default, but whether they are utilized is entirely up to the designer.

Morally speaking, what games are made can range from something innocent like a game about tracking down and dealing with bandits and outlaws to a game where you are killing everything that moves. By default, each stock game starts as a blank slate you pencil in the details of. Otherwise, this has no outstanding issues in that regard.

I have to admit this is a somewhat pricey engine, and it's best to get it on sale. The DLC is expensive and it would probably be best to import custom resources to save money. On the other hand, the engine is not hard at all to learn if you have any experience with similar programs like RPG Maker, and since it's explicitly designed to make turn-based strategy games, if you simply need an engine for that purpose, this is not a bad place to start. Morally, this is overall mostly clean save the potential violence and occult issues noted, but if you are fine with that, this would be fine for anyone older than a young child to use as a game creation tool.

About the Author

Daniel Cullen

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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