Tuesday, March 10, 2009

RGSS Player for MacOS X

The idea is taunting me. It's beyond explanation. Perhaps even hopeless. Very little commercial games are based on RPG Maker XP/VX, reaching the incredible number of (5) five. And I do not have my very own game(s) based on either engines to fully benefit (and profit) from such venturous project. The maker and player fans would love it but they wouldn't pay for it, would they? The task at hands is tremendous. Consequently, the perspective of implementing a RGSS Player for MacOS X is borderline suicidal.

Yet, the challenge is compelling.

Developing an emulator is like building robots. It's exciting. An emulator is a form of computer simulation that seeks to replicate exactly the behaviour of a given system. This can be built according to specifications and non-intrusive tests since it focuses on behaviour, which will certainly prevent regardlessly taking apart other's work.

Specifications outline that each RGSS{1, 2} system has more than 50 classes on top of existing Ruby classes. RGSS1 and RGSS2 have compatible classes but some things actually differ: the latter has new classes, new methods and sometimes different behaviour. Databases are only the outcome of these classes and straightforward once you have the classes defined. The fancy scripts included with RPG Maker, or yet even custom scripts, only require Ruby+RGSS to work.

Emulating RGSS would mean to comply to one or both specification by implementing its classes, low level specifics {graphics, audio, etc.}, regression tests and an entire release process to produce a shiny new and wonderful binary file, installer, etc. This is a tremendous work. It has to flawlessly run RPG Maker games on MacOS X after all.

An interesting outcome from such project is that it would eventually allow a more up-to-date approach to programming RPG Maker games, because it's a step away to create an SDK that can be used in your favourite Ruby IDE (NetBeans, Eclipse, SciTE, vim, etc). There are many features not available in RPG Maker's Script Editor, if only for syntax completion, refactoring, being able to easily use RubyGems, and running unit tests or RSpec.

Will this project ever see the light of the day ?

Thank you for asking, Miss Daisy! There is absolutely no certainty about an eventual release. However, designing prototypes, proof-of-concepts and custom softwares are usually my daily bread. I might write a prototype some day just for the kick. Though commercial demand could get things started. Right now, I am mostly taking notes related to this more-than-uncertain project.

5 comments:

  1. Hmm intriguing. So if this idea was to become a reality, finished RPG Maker VX games could run on OS X? This certainly has my interest as an indie Mac game developer. I would buy it along with a licence to RMVX to make games for sure. ^_^

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  2. Absolutely, Cobra. It would allow nearly unmodified games to run on MacOS X. The changes would roughly look like using Cocoa bindings rather than Win32 API, whenever and only if you have used it in your games.

    I would also like to invite you to read about an SDK for RPG Maker. This would be an outcome of developing an RGSS Player for MacOS X. http://mecenia.blogspot.com/2009/03/sdk-for-rpg-maker.html

    Provided that we have enough clients to get this started, a prototype would eventually be available within 3 months.

    It would be delightful to have a chat about this. Any further input related to MacOS X market might be helpful.

    Your featured game "Soulless" seems quite interesting. For some reason, it makes me think about Postal (the first and original). And I was enjoying it.

    There is no contact email on your website. Could you provide me a contact point to reach you? You can reach me to this spambox lvieb at hotmail dot com. I'll be providing you my real address upon contact.

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  3. I'd be interested in participating in the development if this ever gets started.

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  4. I'm interested in this. Is this actually being developed? is it already developed?

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