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Hello.... And, what I'm doing. My own RPG Maker!

Posted by Gregory Cheyney, 12 August 2014 · 314 views

ARPG games development design RPG Maker editor engine project free open source
I've been tinkering with developing games for quite some time, in general since before the Y2K rollover. I've been primarily focusing on the Java language, though I've taken a peek into just a bit of C++, PHP, and Python as well.

I have tinkered with making Minecraft mods, as well as examined some game-making software, such as the RPG Maker series from Enterbrain. I've currently been using VX Ace to try developing my tile-based game ideas, and am reading up quite a bit about Ruby scripting as a back-end to the RGSS part of RM. I also read a lot of the forum threads where other gamers and game-makers wish for features in the next version of RM.

FYI, I have found other 'makers' out there on the web; for one example, I know of the Open RPG Maker editor on Sourceforge. I like that the data is stored as openly-readable/parsable XML data, but the program is incomplete, as the developer has mentioned going off to college. Developed in C++ and the Qt library, the program has random crashes inferring the Qt components' fault, when navigating the Database sections. Perhaps the UI needs a bit more of a lookie-loo.

Which leads me to my newest project: my own "Alternative RPG Maker" editor and engine. Since I'm most familiar with Java, this is what I'm using as the coding language and interface design. I actually do have quite a good idea of the prerequisites for developing this, and I do have the Java projects underway.

As a project, this ARPGM, or Alternative RPG Maker (trying to think of a catchy name), will remain open-source and free to use, even for commercial game release; although I may include a "suggested donation" phrase in the licensing, so that it's not so disadvantageous to me.

Where I Am Starting.
I'm programming using NetBeans IDE v8; some of the modular projects are plain Java class-libraries, and the engine project is a Java application project, and the editor is being implemented using JavaFX, for the componentization of the interface with FXML.

Whereas Enterbrain's products utilize the main part of the program as the map editor, and the tabbed Database as a dialog box, I am taking a slightly different approach: the map editor and tabbed Database sections are to be designed as on tabbed-pane hierarchy, all available in the application main interface, to ease navigation. I dislike the requirement of opening the Database from a menu entry all the time, when it seems half the time I am opening it anyway, to edit some feature within it.

Where is it now?
  • I'm finishing the general XML format of my project's data files. I'm taking cue from Open RPG Maker's formats; although with the improvements I have in mind, my formats will be restructured somewhat.
  • I already have an initial approach with loading and saving of the XML data in the editor; I just have to figure out how to represent the data to the engine.
  • The editor program UI is perhaps 50-60% "complete". Mostly it's waiting for me to finish the XML formats above, before completion.
  • The game engine part is somewhere around 10-20%, so, still not quite ready to test and debug; but I do have a specific direction to go with it.
And more. These comments are just a starting point; I'll be refining things as I go on, but overall I believe I'm off to a good start.

Final Thoughts.
I intend to keep posting to this developer's journal, where possible. Please follow, and give a comment if you feel like it.




Sounds like an interesting project to follow along with, looking forward to reading your updates! :)

Sounds cool, I'll follow your progress! Will you share the code repository? I've played a bit with JavaFX and I'm curious about how a big project would look like.

Sounds like an interesting project to follow along with, looking forward to reading your updates! smile.png

Thank you. And I hope to have something interesting to say, too.

Sounds cool, I'll follow your progress! Will you share the code repository? I've played a bit with JavaFX and I'm curious about how a big project would look like.

Yes, it will be open-sourced. I've got an account at Sourceforge and one at Github; right now it's looking like I'll stay with Github as the target for the repository.

The JavaFX is very interesting to use - at least for the editor part - but I have to figure out if the engine also can use it. I've been reading just a bit on StackOverflow and other forums where people ask about mixing from the Graphics2D context and the JavaFX canvas/scenegraph things. True, I can keep the engine pure java.awt.Graphics2D et cetera; but if at all possible to mix in FX elements -- implementing FXML as the message dialogs and window system -- I think that would be great.

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