ack-smallThis is a selection of game creation toolkits with which to craft classical CRPGs. It is by no means exhaustive, but I have found most of the other available toolkits to be more or less duplicates of those listed here; there are numerous clones of the RPGMaker out there, for instance. You can find links to far more extensive lists here.

I also did not include the different mod creation toolkits for modern commercial titles like the Elder Scrolls or Neverwinter Nights series; they are usually not meant to create classical CRPGs, they often require larger teams to produce substantial content since maps for modern 3D engines take vastly more effort to create, and they get enough coverage as is.


Hosted Editors

These programs are, to the best of my knowledge, not found anywhere else on the net. They’re free to use.

Dark Disciples II – A hidden gem. Not as powerful as RPGMaker, but has the best map/level editor I know of.


Free Editors

Other RPG creation toolkits which are free to use.

Adventure Creation Kit (ACK) – The easiest to use of these programs; designed to create an experience akin to Ultima V.

DarkDale (WIP) – Aims to combine the exploration experience of Legend of Grimrock with Ultima-like conversation and roleplaying depth. Looks very promising.

DungeonCraft – Based upon SSI’s Unlimited Adventures, this toolkit offers step-by-step 3D and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game rules.

IceBlink Engine – A new creation kit with an advanced conversation tree constructor.


Commercial Editors

As you can guess, these are not free. In exchange, they offer smooth interfaces and better technical support.

Legend of Grimrock II – A heir to the classic Dungeon Master, this game expands on the dungeon crawling concept by including lovely outdoor landscapes, height maps and other features.

RPGMaker – By far the most flexible toolkit for CRPG creation. It’s also the only one which allows you to put your creations up for sale.