Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

RGSS Player : A View on Its Product Perspective

[The] world of Indie Developers would greatly benefit from the implementation of a RGSS Player for MacOS X. Expanding their market to an entire new popular platform is without a doubt an enchanting idea. Following up on a series of articles written here, we shall pass the immediate and obvious questions to focus on what an Indie Developer would get from licensing a RGSS Player for MacOS X.
  • RGSS Player for MacOS X
  • Deployment User-Modifiable Script
  • Porting Games Developer Manual
  • One-Year Free Updates and Bug Fixes
  • One-Year Limited Developer Support
  • Flexible Licensing Scheme
Also, Indie Developers can benefit from additional services:

Porting and Further Technical Assistance
Porting RPG Maker VX/XP games from Windows to MacOS X is a simple and straightforward process. Nevertheless, let's face it, some games might be harder than others to port. A game extensively relying on Win32, Win32OLE, and any other OS-centric API will require to port those parts of the code to Cocoa. Some Indie Developers might have a very ecletic and unusual deployment scenario. Take your pick. The extended assistance is all about going the extra mile for a subscribed Indie Developer.

Porting Games For Developers
Some Indie Developers have no experience porting to MacOS X nor own Apple computers and might be interested to have their games ported by us. We can painlessly port any games from/to Windows and MacOS X.

Non-Profit, Non-Commercial Games License
We are currently evaluating the possibility to allow passionate developers to get their free games on MacOS X. There are plenty of existing RPG Maker VX/XP games that would also benefit from being available on another platform. Games made by developers who do not aim commercial activities. We are interested to hear about you as well.

Something is missing? Different expectations?
Write a comment and tell us more about what you think.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Onion 0.0.2 has been released

Onion, or Array Onion, allows peeling an array like an onion. It shreds one layer after another, from the outer inwards the inner nested array, according to the given depth. Infinite depth (or greater than current nested array depth) is equivalent to Array#flatten.

gem install Onion

Version 0.0.2 introduces few changes:
  • Improved Performances
  • 100% Code Coverage
  • You Can Now peel!
  • Small Bug Fix

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Shop Around The Corner

I was blessed with an Apple Authorized Reseller on my door step during my childhood. The feeling of walking around in the store was no less than ecstatic. I was dreaming of something different than a PC, different from the DOS world, different from the overly ridiculous Windows 3.11. Something hardly affordable to the young lad that I was...

The store owner always been nice to us despite we would probably never buy a PowerPC on our own. Oh, boy! We must have been annoying. He was also doing programming on MacOS and would show me the cool things he did. He often had stories about the Mac Universe that was making us dreaming even more.

This is how I have been introduced to Mac. And I have fond memories.

"Hello, Mac Community!", especially Inside Mac Games fellows.

Thanks to Cobra Blade for writing a little bit about my project: RGSS Player for MacOS X.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A New Member Has Joined Forces

My software design team has the pleasure to welcome its new member and join forces to deliver high-quality products. Pavel is from Saint-Petersburg, Russia and will fulfill an intership and then a junior position within my team. He is a young, vibrant, passionate and skilled programmer.

Pavel will be working on L10nTool as his first assignment. He shall work on the completion of the existing code, tests and documentation. He will then be entitled to add new features such as RPG Maker XP support.

Let's have a warm welcome for Pavel...

Monday, April 06, 2009

Pea in a Box

There is a pea in a box and it is dry.
Pour some water, my little friend.

And then the box is filled with water.
There is a pea in a box and it is floating.

The box, however, suddenly begins to leak.
And soon it soaks water and shatters to pieces.

Crate is an incredible tool used to deploy Ruby applications to end-users. It magically creates self-contained statically compiled binaries. Crate is flexible and package applications the right way. The tool can target multiple platforms. In Theory, That Is.

Crate is developed on MacOS X, AFAIK. There is no instructions given on how-to use Crate on Windows. It clearly doesn't work as advertised. What are the current elements of concerns?
  • Poor documentation
  • Too many requirements
  • Fully Microsoft® Windows Awkward
  • Lack of integration with IDEs
  • Doesn't work as advertised
  • Overly forgiving policies on building rules
  • Very little control over dependencies
  • Painfully slow
Crate uses MinGW, MSYS, MinDTK and many other UNIX tools. These are mandatory in order to compile packages used in your applications. Even if you only need Ruby, don't forget that it has its own requirements to be compiled as well.

Unfortunately, your pain is not over once the software requirements are met. The system is absolutely Windows unfriendly and despises your long path names with spaces. This will force you to hack your way in and run Crate from a valid UNIX path. It seems also impossible to either set and use CC environment variable or pass a reference down to MAKE in order to use a different compiler than cc (MinGW has gcc). A symbolic link is necessary. Moreover, as a complementary annoyance, I had to create a Bourne shell script to use Ruby from my Windows installation.

That's nothing you would say. Right. I just mean that it currently doesn't work right off the box.

The tutorial provided by the author of Crate is relatively straightforward. I am sure that it is absolutely great for those who can actually make it work. However, on the Windows platform, this tutorial won't work at all. The requirements met will only give you the keys to ...nothing. Nothing else than a working script that won't be able to compile properly. Some to many modifications are likely to be necessary. Likewise, I have unsuccessfully tried to produce a simple test by reducing its requirements from both the tutorial and Ruby.

Using Crate through MSYS rather than just using MinGW tools makes it challenging to integrate the process within your favourite IDE. I would like to have a deployment process that can go through all steps automatically and from one source (e.g. my own packaging script).

This is undoubtedly possible to manage files in the generated directory structure and then compile within MSYS by sharing a common UNIX valid directory. Then, you would have to figure out how to run Crate in MSYS from your IDE. Oh, wait. Shall we catch the output in your console pane? Unlikely! Besides, MSYS is also painfully slow.

Crate is a series of recipes for Rake. Heavily relying on Rake to performs its tasks, Crate completely hides the low-level operations such as unpacking, patching, and compiling dependencies. This would be wonderful if only it wouldn't be so forgiving and continue executing its recipes until the very end, without stopping on critical errors. Furthermore, there is apparently very little control over the low-level operations such as compiling (Ruby, zlib, and friends).

And So...
The fact remains that Crate is perfect for my needs by its definition. It's just not mature enough for now. I have been in contact with its author, Jeremy Hinegardner, in the hope to bring progress to Crate For Windows. His track record includes the famous RubyGem amalgalite providing SQLlite support for Ruby. Therefore, the future of Crate is most likely a sure thing...

...there is a pea in a box

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Oh, dear. Let's not forget about the famous RGSS script named SDK (Standard Development Kit). Either some tasteless humour or pure ignorance from the authors of the script. RPG Maker designers, please, just keep in mind that SDK is not SDK. Or, well, Software Development Kit related here is fundamentally different from the so-called Standard Development Kit. That must be April's Fool for them but on a yearly basis.