It looks like the scheduled Japanese release date for RMVX Ace is December 15, 2011, with no announced date for an English version yet, although it might be a few months after the Japanese release or it might be longer. According to their official website, the operating specifications are:
- OS: Japanese version of Windows XP/Vista/7 (both 32- and 64-bit)
- CPU: Pentium 4 2.0 GHz processor
- RAM: At least 512Mb
- Display: 1024×768 or greater
- HDD Space: Minimum 400Mb
- DirectX: Yes, DirectX compatibility is a prerequisite
- Internet: Internet connection for authentication
These are the minimum, anticipated stablest specs required, though the website doesn’t guarantee RMVX Ace will work efficiently, depending on how the Maker is used.
RPG Maker VX Ace adds following features:
- Updated RGSS (Ruby Game Scripting System) to version 3;
- Return of multiple tile sets support (omitted in RMVX), which includes “passability” and “bush”;
- Modifiable skill and item attack damage formulae, set in the Database;
- A character generator (based on the Chibi characters, which I personally do not like one bit!), as well as a corresponding character portrait editor;
- Additional effects, such as “provocation” and “cover”;
- Characters will follow you around “caterpillar” style, i.e. walking in formation on the map;
- The addition of a fifth party member;
- Increased eventing functionality;
- Adjustable damage formulae;
- Customizable combat scene background, comprising 2 mergable background images;
- Introduction of a new regular battle parameter, “TP”, which accumulates during combat and when it reaches its maximum allows a new, devastating attack, usually known as “Overdrives”, “Limit Breaks” or “Finishers”;
- The return of movies in the event scripting, this time in OGG Theora format (I don’t know anything about that).
- The fifth character is not visible on the map and in combat;
- No guarantees of backward-compatibility with RMVX game data, which I assume means scripts and projects, although graphics and audio should still work, as the formats haven’t changed. That said, there will inevitably be patches and plugins, as there are for its predecessors (MACL, SDK, ARC, etc.) to compensate for that;
- The price is 12,096 yen (reduced from 13,440 yen), which at the time of writing this equates to around $157-$170 or £100-£150! Owch! That’s gonna hurt me IF when the English version (I’m assuming) will be priced as such.
To name a few for more information, updates and discussions, these links (also accredited for some of the information here) are worth checking out:
- RPG Maker VX Ace English-Translated Page – Good for we “Westerners” who can’t speak Japanese.
- Expanded VX Ace Information – An awesome features and functionality breakdown!
- RMRK VX Ace Discussion – My favorite forum!
Regardless, I’m definitely looking forward to trying this new RPG Maker, and I WILL be saving up for it, although I can guarantee I won’t be able to afford it when it first comes out. The chances are that I’ll be the slowpoke among the rabbits and, by the time I’m able to buy it, I’ll be way behind everyone else. That’s how it went for me with RMXP and RMVX. But at least I’ll be able to learn from other people’s experiences with it, rather than struggling alone, as I did with RM2K/3 and to a point with RMXP and RMVX.