Ever wish there was a definitive RGSS(x) Guidebook?

Discussion in 'Learning Ruby and RGSSx' started by ei8htbit, Mar 14, 2012.

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  1. ei8htbit

    ei8htbit Mega Member Member

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    While there is certainly merit in learning the entire Ruby language before tackling RGSS(x), there is no overarching RGSS-specific guidebook that focuses on the API itself and how it applies to RPG Maker game creation. Wouldn't it be great if there was a communal wiki or similar online book that served as a beginner's guide to RGSS(3)? A guide that explains the fundamentals of Ruby only as they apply directly to the RGSS API so that budding RM scripters could more easily jump into scripting or at least better understand the definitions presented in the Help File Documentation?

    Despite the presence of certain scripting tutorials, there has never really been a cohesive and thorough go-to 101 resource (as far as I'm aware). As a result I feel there has always been a huge divide between those who script well, and those who don't understand or take the time to learn the language, which sometimes creates frustration between the two sides (for obvious reasons). I think if such a resource existed it would offer a better understanding for all. With this knowledge more easily accessible to the junior scripters and by alleviating some of the intimidation and mystery behind scripting RGSS(x) I believe it would encourage more experimentation and contribution by many rather than dependance upon the relative few, and then everyone joins the party and levels up and we all win ;)

    What do you guys think, would there be value in something like this? Is it too big of an undertaking to be realistic? Should all scripters just suck it up and learn Ruby flat out before even attempting RGSS? Is there anyone in the scripting community who would consider helping build such a resource? Would RGSS4 be released before it would even be relevant?

    Who knows, perhaps this very forum will be the birthplace of such a tome...
     
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  2. AstoXx

    AstoXx Subconscious Punmaster Member

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    Yeah, all the other guides I've seen are just how to code with RGSS, full stop. And not how it applies to RPGM. It would be great to have that direct link as it would make entry much easier to understand given you're working with something you're already familiar with. Examples and stuff would make a lot more sense as you'd be able to envision how they would actually work a lot better, too. Syntax would be clearer to explain as you'd be able to go, "This class right here would give this effect" and everyone would understand exactly what that would mean because, as I said, we're all familiar with the RPGM interface and how it interacts.

    Possibly have this paired with a syntax guide? Most of the ones I've seen bopping about out there in the ether of the interweb are just giant blocks of text that no-one really reads.

    Given the amount of scripting celebs that are slowly jumping on our budding band-wagon of a forum we got here, this is a great idea and one I really think should be implemented.
     
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  3. Lord Valdyr

    Lord Valdyr Team BlackHawk Dev Veteran

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    Yes I have looked in to ruby before but I can never seem to connect it and apply it to making an rpg. Perhaps this time will be different.
     
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  4. amerk

    amerk Veteran Member

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    Thanks, this is somewhat of what I suggested in the Site Feedback. We have tons of tutorials on events, but not very much on scripting as it would apply to RM. My suggestion was for somebody to create a tutorial series, maybe setting up them up as different levels of courses:

    Absolute Beginners (the Noob Guide's Intro to Scripting), then a Beginners course, Intermediate, Advanced, and perhaps Master

    Absolute Beginners would probably discuss very basic coding, as it would apply to newbies with limited knowledge. It would explain what some of the commands are, what they mean, and maybe why they are set up a certain way. Maybe basic coding in terms of minor tweaks to existing scripts (such as font changes).

    Beginners would move forward with more clarification on commands and adjustments of existing scripts, and introduce variables and how they work (ie., when I see X = Variableset (xid) or something of the sort, what does that mean, and how do I define X. I've taken my algebra courses and whatnot, but I'm trying to create that link in terms of RM.

    Intermediate would continue with variable tweaking in scripts, introduce the ability to type new scripts from scratch by following a few examples, as well as explanation of why it's done a certain way over others, and how to get various non plug-n-play scripts to work.

    Advanced would offer more advanced features in terms of designing your own scripts, and understanding and tweaking current advanced scripts.

    And Master... The most complicated of all things would be to build your own script from scratch that has advanced features.]

    Anyways, that's an idea, and perhaps a dream of mine, but the implication of such a thing is so remote it will probably not happen. It would take a tough crew to work out the kinks and have the dedication to do a tutorial like this.
     
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  5. ei8htbit

    ei8htbit Mega Member Member

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    @amerk Yeah I see what you mean in terms of breaking tutorials down into categories like that.

    For me, I think there is more value in a definitive guide that defines and explains the "tools" people have to work with in RGSS and how they can be used specifically to create game functions and elements - as opposed to specific tutorials that tend to focus on one person's interpretation of how something should be done that people ultimately have to re-engineer and decipher for their own purposes (which can be just as frustrating because a tutorial just explains how it's done, not how or why it actually works which is the key difference for me).

    With the basic functions, components, and theory of RGSS broken down, categorized and explained I think a wider audience will have the building blocks they need to create their own figurative "machines" without having to constantly ask others for the figurative "bolts".

    I constantly feel like I am feeling my way through the dark when scripting and stumbling onto "how it works" only through long hours of trial and error. I am thoroughly in awe of some of the more proficient scripters (who all seem to be half my age :blink: ) when I pore through their scripts and try to make sense of how they fit their pieces together - its currently the only way I have to learn how to script better and more efficiently but its a lot like driving a car without any GPS...

    I just want a roadmap, I think a lot of others feel the same way and I think we'd all get to where we want to go a lot faster without having to ask for so many directions ;) In that spirit, when I gain more proficiency at scripting RGSS myself I will definitely take a shot at this quest to share what knowledge I've gained in the hopes that others can learn a little bit easier...
     
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  6. Touchfuzzy

    Touchfuzzy Rantagonist Staff Member Lead Eagle

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    One thing I've thought about doing is sitting down and mapping out RGSS3 on a flowchart so its easier to tell how it all fits together. It would be a huge undertaking, but something that I was thinking of doing myself just to understand it better.

    It will have to wait until at least summer though, as I still have classes at the moment.
     
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  7. AstoXx

    AstoXx Subconscious Punmaster Member

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    Oh, my! Nick has thought to grace out thread with his presence! Great to see this is a possibility, Nick! I really think and I'm sure ei8ht will agree here, that this is something that's needed as a lot of people get thrown off by all the jargon and ability it expects comes easy to you for beginners...

    I know when I've tried to learn how to script, the fact that I don't have a reference going "and this is what will happen in your project" or something of the like, I get really confused. Especially, since often the wording and such is so vague. I don't want to have to learn RUby in all of it's entirety if I'm only going to use it for RM and I'm sure others feel the same.
     
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  8. ei8htbit

    ei8htbit Mega Member Member

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    :blink: Wow!! :blink: That would be pretty amazing!! I can fully appreciate how big of an undertaking this would be though, that's why I figured maybe a wiki that all the super-power rock star scripters contributed to might make it an easier undertaking but the flowchart model seems very cool (a literal "road map").

    The whole object.oriented nature of Ruby (and thereby RGSS) would completely lend itself to such a breakdown (as every object is inherited by class, etc.) OK now I'm extra excited, I hope it's something that one day will come to be but of course such things take time and a lot of effort so understandably it would be a while.
     
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  9. Rex

    Rex Warper Member

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    In the german community we have Scientia, a wiki for game development which includes a huge and growing part about the RMs.

    http://www.rpg-studio.de/scientia/Hauptseite

    http://www.rpg-studio.de/scientia/Scientia/Team

    As far as I know the admins looking for someone who translate and extend this.

    So there is a base you can build on.

    Well anyway, I would helping build such a resource in english, but I'm not sure, whether my school english is good enough. ^_^"
     
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  10. Klandaghi

    Klandaghi Resident Werecat Veteran

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    Bah, just need a wiki site, people to mod it and people to host it. If people are willing to contribute I can probably get something online. Though I might need to add storage space to my server to support it all. Never hosted a wiki before...

    Would also need/want people to adopt it and use it for it to be worth it.
     
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  11. AstoXx

    AstoXx Subconscious Punmaster Member

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    A wiki would be a good idea because it could be used for more than scripting help.

    The issue is a lot of wikis often become stagnant or don't get enough input, both user and admin.
     
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  12. ei8htbit

    ei8htbit Mega Member Member

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    Well, I'm glad at least a few people like the idea. Following through on it is the tricky part (like Klandaghi said there's no point if people don't adopt it or use it). I think I will continue to plug away on this as a side project until I turn into a mad scientist who lives far atop the mountain in a cave talking to himself and laughing at his own impossible jokes... or at least until a better alternative becomes available :rolleyes:

    If anyone has any better solutions or would like to contribute their own RGSS knowledge/experience into a cohesive learning resource, I guess at the very least I'm happy this conversation has been started and sooner than later The Definitive Guidebook to RGSS will come into existence :D
     
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  13. Rex

    Rex Warper Member

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    Ah, nice idea ei8htbit - it's fun talking to oneself and laughing at its own impossible jokes :)

    Well, I would prefer one big multilingual wiki, instead of three or four monolingual ones with the same topic and content.
     
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  14. AstoXx

    AstoXx Subconscious Punmaster Member

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    I'd prefer the Hitchhiker's Guide to RGSS but only because I'm a gigantic nerd. :3
     
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  15. amerk

    amerk Veteran Member

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    I don't see a problem with people putting this to use. It's been something plaguing my mind now for the past few years, and from what I see here is something a lot of people have wondered about. But yeah, it would be nice to have an understanding, if not for our own scripting then to at least manipulate current scripts to work to our advantage without having to bother the authors.
     
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  16. deilin

    deilin Ranger/Elementalist Veteran

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    I loved the blog post by tim. You want this, so you need to do this, Never actually explains what this is, what the factors are, or pretty much anything for those who are new to the scripts.
     
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  17. ei8htbit

    ei8htbit Mega Member Member

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    This is a good point, the rpg maker community extends around the world so it would be selfish not to allow for multiple languages. But I think in order for my mind not to explode thinking of the daunting amount of work that might involve, one master version would probably have to be completed first and then translated individually from there (google translate is only reliable to a certain point after all :) )
     
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  18. AstoXx

    AstoXx Subconscious Punmaster Member

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    Alas, seeing as the vast majority of users are English-speaking, it would make more sense to do an English one to start with. But seeing as a lot of people are giving the thumbs up to us here, I'm sure that translations would get done in no time at all.

    Another issue, though, is if it's done in a wiki format, how do you seperate those different languages out. We can't have a language altered page for everything... How would you navigate the Main Page? How would you search, and what would you do if the search comes up empty? How would you debug an English-based script?

    I'm sorry to say that just the ONE reference is the ideal, when it comes to multiple languages, it is a whole lot easier to use seperate versions.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2012
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  19. deilin

    deilin Ranger/Elementalist Veteran

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    Here's an semi-dumb question... the scripts will be in english still, just the "comments" in other languages?
     
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  20. AstoXx

    AstoXx Subconscious Punmaster Member

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    You'd still need to translate and then group all those scripts. The reality is it would be more pragmatic to translate the scripts yourself, so you can guarantee that the scripts you want to use are translated.

    Also, not every script has comments. Now, I'm not saying it won't happen, just that a seperate grouping for each script and guide would have to be used until such a way that allows simple, understandable accessiblity is written up.
     
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