Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Making an RPG Book Update

 The book is now out! 
See the release post on How to Make an RPG.  

(I'll add a release post here too when I get chance!)

For the last two years (ok maybe a little longer! :o) I've been steadily working away at my How to Make an RPG project. This is a digital book, collection of art assets, step-by-step projects and game engine that helps the reader make their own Japanese style RPG. It's the book I always wanted to read but didn't exist...

It's very rare for a book to tell you, step-by-step how to make a game. I've learned the reason for that; because it's a massive undertaking! But it's nearly over :)

You can see all the details of the project here. But basically:
  • Digital book (tome really), that tells how to make a full JRPG-style game.
  • Over $2500 worth of bespoke pixel art you're free to use however you want
  • A full C++ engine with source
  • Example projects that take you step by step from sprite to full game
  • Instructions on how to create three full games: 
    1. A narrative based dungeon escape (with simple puzzle)
    2. An arena fighting game 
    3. A full but small quest based game that has everything you'd expect a JRPG to have. 
The engine supplied is in C++ but all the game code for the book is in the nicer, more high-level language: Lua. This lets us concentrate on making a game, instead of worrying about system details (memory allocation, pointers, etc etc).

The package is pretty comprehensive.  I don't deal with combat status-effects (slow, poison etc) but I intend to write an article about them post-release. The book was just getting a bit too big. (I do cover stealing, magic and special abilities, though :))

I've been writing updates on my progress and other RPG-focused stuff over on this website.

Here are some screenshots:

and there many more locales including a sewer, prison, world map, town etc and many more enemies, and a few NPCs, weapons, spells and abilities to discover.



In early January I opened up early access for the book to the people on the mailing list. I'd had a few requests from people who wanted to purchase it early and I'd decided if I hadn't finished by January then I'd make it available. If you want early access you can sign-up to the mailing list over on this page.

Early Access Comments

It's been well received so far! Here are some of the comments I've had. (Posted with permission. There are more I wanted to post but I forgot to ask permission at the time and it feels weird asking after a few months, so these are the ones you get :D)

Your book is amazing! Best buy I've made in a while!
 - Oli Bedsole 

Your book is helping my dreams come true
- Terrence Young

I've been programming for much longer, but in the last year I've really wanted to make an old-school SNES style RPG. Your book has been well worth the money, has a load more content in it than I ever expected (when I first opened it and saw 900+ pages, I was amazed!!). Also, the step-by-step explanations with visual examples for everything are just amazing. I've been though a ton of different guides and have made Zelda clones, but the detail and depth of your guide and well-written explanations/functions, UI design, and generally everything have been amazing.
I've been waiting for this eBook since you first announced it, and I wish that I had been able to read this when I first started game development, it would've saved a lot of headaches and frustration! 
- Async0x42

Forget Early-Access When is it Out?

Since January I've released five version updates and the book text is now at version 1.0. The text is nearly ready for release.

Before release I need to:

  • Write and upload the engine documentation
  • Clean up the engine code and upload it
  • Update all the examples so they're using the correct final engine binary.
  • Make the mac version statically link the library binaries so it *just works* rather than needing a work around
That's where I am. From experience, I try not to predict when I'll have the final release but it feels like the end is in sight :)
If you have been following this project for a long time - thank you for your enduring patience!

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