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Free game engine suggestions for a single-player top-down 2D RPG?

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#1 krndude   Members   


Posted 24 August 2014 - 06:28 PM

Hi everyone,

I am a computer science major but I have not gotten to upper-division classes yet so I have little programming experience. I have only taken some intro to C++ and Java classes.

I definitely do not want an RPGMaker program, I want to actually code.

I want to make a top-down single-player 2D RPG (Such as the older Final Fantasy games).

Ideally, I would want the final product to be/have:

-A turn-based battle system.

-A world map where the player travels and encounters random enemies, stuff like that.

-Save/load feature.

-Equippable weapon/armor that affects damage given/taken.

-A menu where the player can change equipment, look at inventory, view character stats, skills, and the like.

-Multiple characters in a party (would be nice).

-Dialog boxes so there can be some sort of storyline and scenario.

-As for art and sound, I would be happy just to learn how to implement them. I will just make some mediocre visuals/sound just so the game is playable. I have friends who are into art and audio so I may ask them though.


I would like to program in either Java or C++ but I am willing to learn something different; I just want coding experience.

Anybody have some game engine(s) in mind that are capable of doing stuff like this? Although I did look for around for quite some time, I came up short.


Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Thank you.



#2 BeerNutts   Members   


Posted 24 August 2014 - 07:03 PM


Just FYI, 2D RPG isn't the easiest thing to make as a 1st game, you'll have to make tons of quests, tons of enemies, tons of places on the map, and also learn to program it all.  You might want to start on something easier.  Regardless, here are my suggestions.


Well, for C++, SFML can handle all the graphics, input, sound, windowing, etc.

For your maps, I'd suggest looking at Tiled, and finding a good C++ Tiled parser (I believe there's one specific for SFML).

Then you'll probably want a UI, SFML has support for some linked here, unless you want to roll your own.

My Gamedev Journal: 2D Game Making, the Easy Way

---(Old Blog, still has good info): 2dGameMaking
"No one ever posts on that message board; it's too crowded." - Yoga Berra (sorta)

#3 krndude   Members   


Posted 25 August 2014 - 01:33 AM

Thanks for the reply BeerNutts. Yeah I realize that it is going to be a challenge but I have a bunch of time on my hands and I need to do something productive. I will definitely check out those links that you provided. Really appreciate the help!

#4 Olaf Van Schlacht   Members   


Posted 25 August 2014 - 01:55 AM



if you are considering Java then take a look at http://libgdx.badlogicgames.com/ (LIBGDX). It already comes with a tiled parser https://github.com/libgdx/libgdx/wiki/Tile-maps so you wont have to bother with your own tile map format.


Libgdx also prodivdes other useful tools for creating UI components https://github.com/libgdx/libgdx/wiki/Scene2d.ui.


With the newest version 1.3.0 you could also use the integrated entity component system of libgdx (Ashley) but if you start programming I think the best way to learn is using the object oriented approach.


There are also some examples of good design patterns for your code which maybe help you out in some situations. Take a look at this site if you want to know more.



I hope you take a look at this information and maybe we will see some progress of you in the future.


Happy coding!

Edited by Olaf Van Schlacht, 25 August 2014 - 01:57 AM.

Follow my hobby projects:

Ognarion Commander (Java/LIBGDX): https://github.com/OlafVanSchlacht/ognarion-commander

#5 Vikato   Members   


Posted 25 August 2014 - 02:22 PM

I think the scripting is done with Lua and not a C-based language, but RPGMaker VX Ace looks like it would meet all of your requirements. I've played around with it and seems to have a lot more depth than it first appears. Retails for $70 USD I believe. Also has a Lite version you can try for free.

Edited by Vikato, 25 August 2014 - 02:28 PM.

Manufacturing metaphores in my melancholy mind.

#6 moneal2001   Members   


Posted 26 August 2014 - 01:38 PM

every thing you want can be done in unity.  it is free for the base, though the pro is kinda pricy.  you can do all the programming in c#.  I think you would be able to pick up c# pretty fast if you already know some java and c++.  it has been described as both similar to java, and c++.  I would recomend the 4.6 beta due to the additions added to UI implementation.

#7 krndude   Members   


Posted 26 August 2014 - 09:28 PM

Thanks for the replies all.


@Olaf Van Schlacht: Cool, I'll check those links out. Appreciate you taking your time to post those. Looks like some good stuff.


@Vikato: Yeah I heard of RPGMaker but I do not really want to use a program that assist's you THAT much. It really defeats the purpose of learning to code the actual game; which is my goal. Even if I make a game and it turns out to be complete poop, which is very likely, if I learn some coding from it I would be more than happy. Thanks for the suggestion though.


@moneal2001: I know of Unity but I heard it was really advanced and I did not want to use such an advanced engine for a game at this level, or am I overthinking things? Maybe I'll check it out though.

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