As the community continues to remain fairly stagnant, I begin to wonder if we'll ever enjoy the glory and productivity of how things were before. Right now, it seems that the Verge and Sphere communities remain small and vigorous while the much larger RM2K community has yet to truly begin pushing for a rebirth of sorts; a way for the community as a whole to get going again. It seems to me that the focus of the RM2K community has shifted from actual game development into a more forum and chat-orientated state of general apathy. Talking to the staff of a major RM2K website, I found that not only my opinion of the CMS and CBS [Custom Menu and Battle Systems] is one of disgust. The concept of a custom battle or menu system in RM2K is fine in itself, but recently people are beginning to put more time into their custom systems than the essentials of their RPG, such as the storyline and graphics. Of course, we are amateur game developers, but that doesn't give anybody the excuse to cut short their own work and value a custom menu above an original storyline or self-drawn graphics. A majority of the games that are produced with RM2K are knockoffs of the last Final Fantasy with worse resolution and a custom battle system.
Is this what we want to become?
It's certainly where we're heading. To better ourselves as a community, we must all focus on what really matters in the games we're making. It's not disputed that a good storyline can make an okay RPG great. Without a strong storyline, you have an adventure game. Music carries emotion throughout the game, while graphics portray the storyline. If all we use are the RTP graphics or the latest FF6 rip, what does that say about our game? Lately it seems that only the weak titles of our games distinguish one from another. There are alternatives to using the RTP and existing rips. The RPG making community needs to get motivated again, and a wave of well-playing, original games from all makers is the way to spark that.