Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day of the Nerd: Learning RPG Maker

We live in a world increasingly full of useful tools that make game development accessible to everyone, even those without programming experience. I'm a member of the Game Development Society at my university, and my group (calling ourselves Day of the Nerd) has decided that our team will be using RPG Maker to create a game in our spare time. Normally I wouldn't bother learning a tool like RPG Maker, and would be focusing on more technical mediums such as C++ or at least C# or Java. However, since this is going to be more of a fun project in our free time, I think it will be nice to use a tool that makes the process much easier, while possibly sacrificing customization power and run-time efficiency.

My role in the group will be programmer. Specifically, I will be learning the scripting system of RPG Maker. It uses Ruby, a scripting language I've not had any experience with previously, so it will be a chance to learn both a new technology and a new language on top of that.

I've also noticed my team-mates don't have much experience with game design documents (GDDs) or with version control tools. I'm hoping to help them learn about these useful subjects so we can use them in our project.

Overall I'm cautiously optimistic that the process will be a good learning experience, and help add another item to my portfolio.

You can learn more about RPG Maker on their website:

They have free 30-day trial versions of all of their RPG Maker products, and several versions of the program to cater to different development needs - some as cheap as $30.

I'll be using tutorials from all over the internet, but I've found some useful ones here:

They are well written, easy to follow, but a bit simple. I'm hoping to find some more advanced scripting tutorials, and will share those when I try them out.

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