Learn JS with RPG Maker MV

TomatoKing

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RPG Maker MV motto is "Simple enough for a child; powerful enough for a developer", but we are missing a very important step in there, how do we go from "child" to "developer"? As of right now, it would require the child to go learn coding elsewhere and then come back, what will happen probably is they either never learn coding or never come back when they do.

Unity is considered to be one of if not the most widespread used game engines out there, but why is that? Unreal engine is more powerful, has better performance on desktop/mobile/console, and it's pricing scheme is just as fair if not better for smaller devs, so why are people still picking up Unity in droves? In my personal opinion, it's because of the quantity and quality of learning resources it has, Unity has plethora of "Learn C# while making a game" courses and tutorials, which for someone go wants to make games is a million times more interesting than making a Point of Sale program on visual studio using a traditional book, which is roughly the equivalent we currently have in RMMV with JS. Game Maker back in 2010 and earlier had plenty of good learning resources, and GM was THE indie darling back then, but then they shifted focus to the more "professional" crowd and didn't make any new learning resources, no new people picked up GM over the years and it has gotten to a point that GM is nearly considered a joke in gamedev circles.

In my opinion, RM is very lacking of in depth learning resources, when I got the software gifted to me I ordered a book from amazon, it basically covered "how to make generic RM game #124675", just like nearly all tutorials on youtube, conditional branches are seemingly the most advanced topic people making these are willing to go, and JS code is almost never touched, and when it is it's either brushed over or directed to people who already know JS.

I honestly don't know how this could be approached, either a tutorial series on the blog, a paid for course sold as dlc or a book; and how to approach teaching JS while applying it to MV, some of the most commonly needed things like customizing menus, scripting cutscenes and making simple plugins could be a good starting point.

I personally consider the move to JS the first chance RM has ever had to rise above it's toy status into actual tool territory, and Degica is seemingly doing a good job moving RM forward at a decent pace for the first time in over a decade, adding a staircase to help people go from "child" to "developer" can only do good for the engine in the long run as people won't have to leave the community in order to grow as devs.
 

Shugo

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I think that not only how to use JS could happen, but also teaching how OOP works (and giving examples of how what you see in MV and the JS use it for a good contextualization) could be great, but that would go in a more advanced explanation maybe?
 

TomatoKing

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Teaching how to use JS would need to go into programming fundamentals like oop, variables, loops, arrays, etc...that would be the whole point, an introductory programming course applied to MV.

The book "Game Maker's Apprentice" is a perfect example of what I mean, it teaches you programming foundations applied to Game Maker context, it will not make you a programmer, but will greatly help you get over that hard first step and set you on your way to teach you yourself.
 

Sarlecc

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I believe one of the reasons why there aren't in depth "how to program XYZ" for RPG makers is there are significant resources already out there. One of the issues is how far does one go when writing these books, tutorials etc? Do they cover the basic topics or do they assume you know basic programming and try and teach you how to write basic plugins/scripts?

With me I spent around a year reading through the base scripts in RPG maker VX ACE before I really attempted anything. At the same time I was reading everything I could on how each method of each Class of Ruby worked online. With RPG maker MV I spent roughly 3-5 days teaching myself JavaScript before I felt comfortable with it (and I am still learning new things). Since I was already familiar with programming it was merely a change in syntax for the most part.

There are also lots of resources made by the community for example @Trihan has written out how the default Ruby files (RPG maker VX ace) and JavaScript files (RPG maker MV) work.
 

TomatoKing

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With me I spent around a year reading through the base scripts in RPG maker VX ACE before I really attempted anything
One year before you attempted anything? Doesn't that sound terrible to you? When I started with GameMaker 8.1, I went from not knowing what an instance or a variable was to making simple games in 1 month, within 1 year I was making half decent full engines, thanks to the fact that I had good books to spearhead my learning instead of having to waste time browsing hundreds of tiny learning resources spread thin across a wide array of subjects.

If I was completely new, I could grab a Unity course from Lynda/Skillshare/3DMotive and learn OOP fundamentals plus C# syntax in ONE month while actually making something playable, one year before writing a plugin that extends an engine is insane when you consider that people using other engines are capable of building completely custom games after a similar time period.

And as I said, yes, there are plenty of resources out there, but they are on both ends of the "child" and "developer" spectrum with nothing to bridge the gap, bridging this gap without having people need to go out and learn programming elsewhere will help MV since average users would be more likely to pick a book about making a game using JS and MV than having to try and find what book about JS would suit them out of the hundreds out there, and then have the patience to endure mindblowingly boring examples and exercises.
 

Sarlecc

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One year before you attempted anything? Doesn't that sound terrible to you?
No it doesn't sound terrible to me at all. Probably because I had other things that I had to do back then besides programming. However Like I said with MV I spent only 3-5 days before I felt I could effectively program in JavaScript. Essentially if you devote yourself to learning something you can learn it in a very short time frame.

and then have the patience to endure mindblowingly boring examples and exercises.
I really don't think any example is mindblowingly boring if I learned something from it.
 

Solwern

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In my opinion, to accomplish this, they would need to have a tutorial mode built in or allow persons to hard code (is this the right word?) attachments to the editor itself to create tutorials (Along with other benefits like easier to code battle systems and easier to edit scripts).

I'm not sure if the program creator would allow for open sourcing the engine or maybe a modular design for the engine that would allow for direct editing of the components...

Not sure if what I said makes much sense haha
 

TomatoKing

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Every other engine accomplish this by having ebooks or video tutorials, no reason why it should be different for RM.
 

Celianna

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I don't know. I mean, it would be nice for it to teach us JS - but that's not what MV is for. It's not a teaching program.

It's kind of like asking Adobe Photoshop to give us tutorials on how to draw, because people can draw using Photoshop. It's basically outside information that needs to be learned elsewhere, and not really RPG Maker's job.

That said, it could totally work as an e-book sold in the store, that specifically uses MV to guide people through JS.
 

feckyeslife

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That said, it could totally work as an e-book sold in the store, that specifically uses MV to guide people through JS.
I would buy the crap outta that. I struggle to understand JS but being able to learn it through MV would be really quite nice. Examples talking about changes to the combat system or through showing/hiding events based on conditions would allow for visuals to see what the result is of the script.
 

BubbleMatrix82

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I don't know. I mean, it would be nice for it to teach us JS - but that's not what MV is for. It's not a teaching program.

It's kind of like asking Adobe Photoshop to give us tutorials on how to draw, because people can draw using Photoshop. It's basically outside information that needs to be learned elsewhere, and not really RPG Maker's job.

That said, it could totally work as an e-book sold in the store, that specifically uses MV to guide people through JS.
Unpopular opinion is unpopular.

As I've said in the editor suggestions section, this "community" does a lot of ladder pushing instead of helping people climb the ladder out of novice. It's almost like the "git gud" people feel they earned their stripes and everyone has to struggle like they did (working class mentality).

I agree, there needs to be a "learn Javascipt with RMMV" publication somewhere, whether it's in an Amazon ebook or a built in tutorial or a YouTube channel it doesn't matter; we need people to be coders, not plugin users, and the only way to do that is to educate your clientele.

While object oriented programming is a great place to start, I think helping people understand what modular design is in the first place would be a great entry point so people understand how the program works and why scripting is needed.
 

The Stranger

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I'd like to see something like this. The only downside is there's no script\plug-in editor in MV, so it couldn't pull up example plug-ins to show you anything. I wouldn't mind seeing an e-book on Javascript in MV, rather than using those general Javascript online courses.
 

TomatoKing

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As I've said in the editor suggestions section, this "community" does a lot of ladder pushing instead of helping people climb the ladder out of novice. It's almost like the "git gud" people feel they earned their stripes and everyone has to struggle like they did (working class mentality).
And make sure RM stays as a niche toy rather than grow into something more.

In order to learn MV people would need first to find what the best introductory JS book is (which people around the internet can't agree on) that is not even related to RM in any shape way or form besides syntax, and it STILL would leave a gaping hole of learning how to customize MV that would still need to be filed by sorting through piecemeal tutorials scattered thin among hundreds of "RM basics" ones and reverse engineering plugins other people made.

"I learned that way so step up", many people learn drawing by dabbling on paper all day long for years and years, yet someone with proper instruction can learn the same in a far shorter amount of time.
 

mogwai

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Every kid and 30 year old man who still lives with their parents knows some javascript; making those confounded Tumblr themes and whatcha-ma-call-its.

I would really like to see a function manual though. I'm a script kiddie, must look up every line I write stage.
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The RPG libraries are over 1000's of lines. Lol, jQuery.min has a way better online manual/API and that thing is only 1 line.
 
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BubbleMatrix82

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On the flipside, if all the indie devs gave up their secrets for free then no one would hire them to make X plugin for $YYY.YY per plugin. So I understand the reasons it isn't free information; beause, student loan debt slavery.

Anyways, maybe what RMMV is, is a mock (non-functional outside of each lesson) emulator built in html5 that's interactive and can show people how to use the product on rails. It isn't the same as having it built into the install package and in the help menu, but it's better than nothing.
 
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Rukiri

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While I know js from web development I don't find it intuitive with MV it's probably just me and the way I program things but a lot of the core stuff is needlessly difficult granted I do follow what's going on but prefer coding literally everything from scratch so I know and can follow my own patterns. Still a great toolkit for RPGs none the less.

This will help out anyone, and there are some useful tutorials granted they're quick and not much explanation though on youtube unless you dig around.
 

Sarlecc

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I should note that I am not really against this idea; that being said I also don't understand the difference of learning:
1. JavaScript Syntax
2. Constructors
3. Prototypes
4. etc
On free online generic programming teaching tools vs a teaching tool that only covers RPG maker MV. The above would hold the same for both.
Like it has been mentioned MV also has no editor for editing plugins so already you have to have a separate application for learning anyway.

1. Aptana Studio 3 (this is the editor I use and have been using since I was making scripts in ACE)
2. Codecademy (this is where I learned JavaScript also has resources for Ruby too)
3. https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/JavaScript (this is where I go to learn more about base JavaScript functions)
4. Stack Exchange (if you are uncertain of how to do something; typing what you want to do in a search bar will most likely bring this site up with a similar question)
5. Rexex Tester (this is good when making regular expressions)
 

Indsh

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SumRndumDde and Soulpower777 (someone please correct me if there are digits wroung) have both done just that. There really good!
 

BishoujoHelper

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As an MV noob, I agree with OP that it would be cool to have. But in the meantime, I'd already used 2 of the resources Sarlecc mentioned (his #2 and #3) before I even downloaded the trial version, at the very least to refresh what I could barely recall from website coding years ago. Knowing that MV used a widely-used language underneath was the reason I went with it instead of another version of RM.
 

2d_quest

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I don't know. I mean, it would be nice for it to teach us JS - but that's not what MV is for. It's not a teaching program.

It's kind of like asking Adobe Photoshop to give us tutorials on how to draw, because people can draw using Photoshop. It's basically outside information that needs to be learned elsewhere, and not really RPG Maker's job.

That said, it could totally work as an e-book sold in the store, that specifically uses MV to guide people through JS.
A few things could ether be made simpler to write, or the construction could be better explained in the manual. Being able search the manual for terms (eg. priority to bring up the script code for it) would be a tremendous help. After taking quite some time to find the code to change priority in game during an event, I found priorityType. It still did nothing, and I had to search a while online to find the construction to refer to it was $gameMap.event(this._eventId).setPriorityType(0). I don't know why I need to write all that if I'm doing it from the event that it's setting, but at least the manual could have said at the top of the page put $gameMap.event(this._eventId). then add any one of these lists of variable to alter them in scripts. Searching and showing full variable references would go a long way.
 
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