Author Topic: What is ARC?  (Read 13811 times)

Offline ForeverZer0

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What is ARC?
« on: May 15, 2011, 01:37:07 AM »
What is ARC?


Introduction

So many of you may have some questions regarding exactly what ARC is.  ARC is an acronym which stands for Advanced RPG Creator.  It is exactly that, a new and powerful tool that can be used to design and play 2-dimensional games. Although it will be primarily designed for RPG creation, other genres are very possible to make other than role-playing games, it will be held back only by the imagination of the user.  ARC is being built from the ground up in C++, with Ruby 1.9.2 embedded, which is about 30 times faster than the Ruby 1.8.1 RMXP uses.  What does this mean for you?  Far less lag and a higher frame-rate, resulting in smoother gameplay.  In fact, ARC's default frame-rate will be 60 FPS, as opposed to RMXP's 40 FPS.  You can get a feel for what 60 FPS feels like by trying out the current development build, which you can find the link to at the bottom of the post.

ARC doesn't stop with just the core engine, though.  A brand new editor and Run-Time Package will be included in the bundle.  The editor, written in Python, will be a brand new intuitive interface that has not yet been seen in the RPG creator community.  It will be more like an advanced IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that you may see for programming, such as what can be found in Visual Studio, Eclipse, or NetBeans.  The  entire editor will be able to be customized by what windows are displayed, where they are located, and how they behave.  This way, you can set your editor up exactly as you prefer that allows you to be the most productive, without the need to navigate through clunky menus.  It is also going to be very extensible, allowing for various add-ons, whether they be future updates, or menus for configuring custom scripts.  It will take no more than dropping a file into the Plug-Ins folder, and starting the editor up.

The RTP will be a large set of custom graphics and audio files packaged together and distributed alongside ARC.  All the resources are being created by the talented RPG making community for free of charge.  Unlike other RPG creating engines, you will never have to worry about legal issues using the RTP in a commercial game if you plan to sell it, they are made by the community, for the community.

And now, saving the best for last: ARC IS FREE!
There is a small disclaimer to this. ARC, although absolutely free for private use, will require a one-time per game purchase of a license to sell your final creation commercially.  The fee is nominal (300 USD), and will not require any type of royalty payment, even if you managed to make millions from your game, it will only ever be the single flat-rate payment.  Other than commercially, though, ARC is absolutely free for the everyday, casual game creator.


Summary of Features
 
  • Can convert RMXP projects into ARC ones
  • Cross-Platform. Whether you use a Mac, Unix, or Windows operating system, ARC will work just as well
  • High Performance.  Much faster than and more powerful than RPG Maker XP or RPG Maker VX
  • Ruby 1.9.2.  A new version of Ruby and it's included libraries for scripters to take advantage of
  • Completely new editor for easier game creation
  • Free Run-Time Package included so you can get started right away
  • And much, much more! For a fuller list of features, please be sure to check out the ARC Community Feedback, and let us know what you think, or feel free to post ideas of your own that you would like to see!


Links
 


Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Why does ARC not support MP3 audio files?
Answer: The use of the MP3 decoder is protected by US patent law and adding it would require that the developers of ARC buy a license which is not cheap. That way ARC could not be free software. It also would require you to buy a license for using mp3 files and you probably don't want that. Instead ARC offers a range of alternative formats including the popular OGG and FLAC formats, along with various others. Current MP3 files that you may have can be easily converted into any of these with a range of free software. For more information about the usage of the MP3 format, please go here.

Question: Can I use my scripts and graphics that game with RPG Maker XP?
Answer: Yes and No. All graphics, audio, and scripts that are part of RMXP's RTP and engine will work perfectly well with ARC, but they are copyrighted materials. This means that if you decided you want to sell a game that you created with ARC and use them materials, Enterbrain would have the right to legal action against you. For this reason, ARC is no way affiliated, nor uses any resources or materials from any of Enterbrain's products.

Question: How much does the ARC RTP cost?
Answer: The RTP is free for use in ARC and outside of ARC without limitations. Only credit to the ARC RTP is due. ARC is being shipped with the RTP for convenience, you can get just the RTP if you want and use it with other game making software (such as RPG Maker XP, Game Maker, etc.). or with your own game engine.

Question: Do I have to credit every person that worked on and contributed to the RTP?
Answer: No. You only have to credit "Advanced RPG Creator Run-Time Package Standard".

Question: How much do I have to pay for using ARC?
Answer: ARC is free software. No fees are being charged for just using ARC. Fees only apply for the distribution of finished games.

Question: How much do I have to pay to distribute my game.
Answer: If your game is free software, there is no fee. If your game is commercial (meaning that you want to make money by selling copies of your game), there is a one-time fee of 300 USD before you distribute. Updates, patches, expansion and extensions of any kind on an already existing and paid game are not being charged.

Question: How do I properly credit ARC?
Answer: Include in your game either in the title screen or in the credits (or anywhere else reasonably visible and accessible) the text "Developed with Advanced RPG Creator" or "Created with Advanced RPG Creator". That is all the credit you have to give for using ARC.

Question: Will ARC use scripts from RMXP or RMVX?
Answer: Most definitely not. Due to legal reasons, ARC will in no way use any scripts that were written by the developers at Enterbrain or anywhere else. Either it will come without scripts at all or we will make our own brand new set of 100% original scripts. ARC will be able to run with any existing RMXP script if the user were to place them in the script editor, but the creators of ARC take no responsibility for any copy-right infringement against Enterbrain if this was done. It is your responsibility to come to an agreement with Enterbrain on how you use their scripts.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2014, 05:40:50 PM by Blizzard »
I am done scripting for RMXP. I will likely not offer support for even my own scripts anymore, but feel free to ask on the forum, there are plenty of other talented scripters that can help you.

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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2011, 02:02:48 AM »
Very nice. I will put together the whole legal stuff and add it to your post once I'm done.
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Offline ForeverZer0

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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2011, 02:32:57 AM »
Sounds good.
I just thought, I should have included a Frequently Asked Questions section to it...
I am done scripting for RMXP. I will likely not offer support for even my own scripts anymore, but feel free to ask on the forum, there are plenty of other talented scripters that can help you.

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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2011, 02:37:59 AM »
It's never too late. :P
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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2011, 12:44:50 AM »
The first post has been updated with an FAQ.
I no longer keep up with posts in the forum very well. If you have a question or comment, about my work, or in general I welcome PM's. if you make a post in one of my threads and I don't reply with in a day or two feel free to PM me and point it out to me.

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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2011, 06:28:08 AM »
This is positively amazing.
:~

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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2011, 12:17:24 AM »
So am I to understand that when my RMXP project becomes an ARC project, scripts written for VX will then work in said project?

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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2011, 12:25:02 AM »
No, RGSS2 scripts written for RMVX, may or may not work in arc in the same sense that they may or may not work in RMXP. However, if it works in RMXP it will work in ARC.
I no longer keep up with posts in the forum very well. If you have a question or comment, about my work, or in general I welcome PM's. if you make a post in one of my threads and I don't reply with in a day or two feel free to PM me and point it out to me.

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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2011, 02:11:27 PM »
I am curious about audio formats, since we're so limited to audio formats, what if we script the use of other audio formats ourselves?
A game i am currently making in RMXP uses a script that allows me to use some ... unusual audio formats, but i prefer using them.
Will there be some kinda block from allowing the scripted use of other audio formats?

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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2011, 04:07:15 PM »
It's difficult to make this work properly. Our audio system basically is a standalone that handles everything internally which include audio formats. Technically you can decode audio in another format and use a temporary file .wav file to play it. I'll have to see about this.
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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2011, 06:58:05 PM »
I ask cause i like using SPC format, it's basically what the old super nintendo used, it uses some DLL files nomrally used for winamp, and let's me use the format in RMXP, i prefer doing this, midi's don't work too well on my system (thankyou windows 7 >_<) and other formats tend to get pretty big, and are hard to add intros with looped sections.
Plus i just love the way a lot of the music is with the SNES, it fits my game well... and considering how MP3's can't be used, which is annoying as can be... this is like the next best thing for me honestly.
It would suck if you had it some how had DLL addon scripts blocked some how..

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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2011, 07:14:17 PM »
No, you will be able to use DLLs. It's just that it's highly likely that the script won't work well.
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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2011, 08:08:00 PM »
Your best bet is too just stick to standard audio formats instead of exotic ones. Audio files can be converted easily enough, such as MP3 to OGG (which is better suited for game creation IMO). Any decoding that needs to be done through a script instead of being processed by the engine is not going to be near as efficient (the same goes for the current script your using for RMXP). I personally don't have any problems with MIDI on my PC, so I can't really comment on your specific issue, but it sounds like more of a problem with your personal computer, whether it be the drivers or your sound card. It is more than likely repairable, although I am sure you would need to do some extensive googling to get to the root of the problem.
I am done scripting for RMXP. I will likely not offer support for even my own scripts anymore, but feel free to ask on the forum, there are plenty of other talented scripters that can help you.

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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2011, 08:19:57 PM »
I hate to base this choice on 1 issue, but it's a big one for me, and i love the format for music i'm using, so it's likely i will stick with RMXP, until someone using ARC comes up with a similar script.

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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2011, 08:34:08 PM »
I personally think you will miss out on a lot for the sake of just not converting formats, but that is your decision, and I respect that. 
I am done scripting for RMXP. I will likely not offer support for even my own scripts anymore, but feel free to ask on the forum, there are plenty of other talented scripters that can help you.

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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2011, 09:08:48 PM »
Maybe, but so far .. and i am not trying to be a jerk... so far i don't see a lot that wows me with ARC anyhow, in fact it tends to be kinda underwhelming, with what i have learned about it so far.
And this little issue will add to that underwhelmingnes.
One of my reasons for using these "exotic" audio formats is also size, these files are SMALL and still sound good no matter who will play the games i make.
I tried using OGG and ended up with some pretty large files.
When i go to upload a game using OGG and it's likely to be HUGE, and take a good while to upload.
As for midis, Microsoft seems to be trying to phase out the Midi, windows 7 came with so little when it comes to midis, and for some odd reason my system stutters with some midis, keep in mind that my computer is a BEAST, it has a 6 core CPU and 32 gigs of ram.. RMXP gives me very little trouble, though i do worry that anyone who plays my game might experience lag i'm not experiencing.
But if it will still use the DLL plug in files i am using, it should play these music files i use, all i can do is try when it comes out, if i am not happy... then i just gotta use something else.

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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2011, 09:40:05 PM »
I'm generally not having any problems with MIDIs, but when a MIDI is supposed to play in RMXP, the game freezes for a few moments.
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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2011, 10:03:31 PM »
Support for OGG and WAV is really all that is needed any more.  OGG for music, WAV for sounds that don't compress well.  Also, the frame rate increase from 40fps to 60fps alone warrants switching to ARC from RMXP.

I think you four (core developers) should think of how you want to advertise this as it nears completion.  I don't mean internet ads or anything, but what you say about ARC, and how you say it.  You have a far superior engine compared to the competition, you just need to communicate that more clearly and convincingly.

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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2011, 10:41:11 PM »
I agree with winkio about how ARC has been presented, or I should say, the lack of presentation.

There really hasn't been a lot to "show" people, which goes much farther than an explanation. Really the only thing we have demonstrated is a working engine, which is actually a HUGE thing, but I fear the significance of that is lost on many people, because all they see is that it is playing the same old RMXP game they have seen 100 times, with the only noticeable improvement being the frame rate. From what I have seen, there are many people who don't understand the differences between an engine and the scripts, the feedback thread is testament to that. I haven't counted, but I would guess that half of the requests in there are script requests that people want included by default, not so much engine or editor capabilities, which are the real factors that hold you back, not the scripts that can be easily re-written.

They lack of good examples of the front-end GUI at work will be coming to end shortly, and hopefully that helps eliminate any doubts.

@MikePjr:
I know you meant no insult, and none was taken when you said that you have been "under-whelmed", but I was hoping you could explain better what has been "under-whelming".  With the exception of the engine's dev-build, I really don't understand what you have seen/learned that you are basing your opinion on. There has been an open thread for feedback to bring up issues with RMXP that you have, so that we can improve it, and I believe the vast majority of them have been addressed.
I am done scripting for RMXP. I will likely not offer support for even my own scripts anymore, but feel free to ask on the forum, there are plenty of other talented scripters that can help you.

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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2011, 03:42:32 AM »
I'm generally not having any problems with MIDIs, but when a MIDI is supposed to play in RMXP, the game freezes for a few moments.
For some reason i sit there for like 10 minutes before they play, it's kinda silly.. i mean back when i used to use windows xp it played well, i had no waiting.. in fact it reminds me of a load time from older CD based games lol

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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2011, 05:04:02 AM »
I think the problem is definitely Windows 7 related (maybe even Vista as well), because the same games run normally under Windows XP.
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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2011, 05:20:40 AM »
I wonder if its a glitch from running in compatibility mode for XP. It actually might be worth checking into and making a bug report to Microsoft about. Who knows, it may even be fixed in some future update, though I wouldn't hold my breath...
I am done scripting for RMXP. I will likely not offer support for even my own scripts anymore, but feel free to ask on the forum, there are plenty of other talented scripters that can help you.

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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2011, 05:43:51 AM »
It's nothing like you think Forever, i just wanna see more having to do with the actual editor, i hate to get excited then end up with something i get aggravated with.

For instance.. there is this one program that was made and i tried using, it had all kinds of promises, but it ended up being an over-bloated piece of software that was annoying as hell to use, cause it was TOO different from the simplicity of anything made by EB

It was called Stencyl, and in the end it ended up being annoying to use, not very simple to understand and get into, and to top if all off, the blasted thing used flash *shivers*.

When ever a group gets together to make something like this, and it's not being made by an actual company, i end up with software i wanna scream at and stay away from... then again.. IGM ended up sucking and it was made by EB.

I hate to try and jump into this maker and then go "wait.. where the hell is this?, why can't i that?"
I have not seen anything having to do with the interface...

Some times, people who're only good with programing, get to doing something like this, and end up making something that only ends up being useful to programers, and the rest of us who are not as technical end up sitting and scratching there heads.

Another thing i wanna say is about scripting, you should leave scripting wide open so that people with the know how can expand on what can be done with this software, that way if someone is not happy with the limited formats, they can find away around it, specially if they're doing stuff that's not commercial, or it won't be commercial.

I'm worried that scripting will be limited somehow, even though i'm not a scripter, but i do worry scripting will be locked in, in a way that prevents people from coming up with cool things that ARC might not be capable of on it's own.

I hope people really can still come up with cool things through scripts and DLL use that ARC can't do on it's own.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2011, 05:46:31 AM by MikePjr »

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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2011, 07:11:31 AM »
I understand your apprehension, but I am confident that you will be pleased with the result. Thus far, I believe we have achieved a great deal of success in the area of drastically increasing the capabilities for those who are very technical, while at the same time, I would even say IMPROVED, the learning curve and ease of use of RMXP.  That recipe has been are primary goal from the start: to create an easy to use program, much like RMXP, but also allow it to have the power and capabilities for those who want to take it to new levels.

As for your worry about scripts, because we have Ruby 1.9.2 embedded, it actually has far more capabilities than RMXP does with its Ruby 1.8.1.  There will actually be cases where you would have needed an external DLL for RMXP, but you won't need it for ARC, for the simple fact that it is running a newer, and full version of Ruby (RMXP's version is trimmed down). Because the underlying engine is totally different, it is likely that many existing DLL's made for RMXP will not work with ARC, but that is not to say they can't be made.

I really just don't want you to be disappointed and form opinions based on what Stencyl, or any other program, turned out to be. I'm not asking that you commit mind, body, and soul and scream that "ARC is going to be the best thing ever", but just maintain an open mind, and give it a fair assessment based what IT is, not what OTHERS have turned out to be. Hopefully in the very near future we will have enough of the editor merged together to show you a good example.
I am done scripting for RMXP. I will likely not offer support for even my own scripts anymore, but feel free to ask on the forum, there are plenty of other talented scripters that can help you.

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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2011, 10:47:29 AM »
You have to be aware of one thing. We didn't sit down and say "let's make everything from scratch", we sit down and said "let's take what RMXP did well, improve what it messed up and add some additional stuff". If you take a look at the suggestion topic, there have been many ideas that have been turned down, because they were not good. They were either of a too technical nature and hard to understand, features that are too complex to make a simple interface in the editor, features that are basically pointless to implement or features that shouldn't be part of the editor but a script of some sort.

Actually I think that most DLLs should work with ARC and this DLL for SPC scripts might just work, too. I was just concerned, because a secondary audio system is being used for the playback (or is it?).
I don't think you actually understood me right there what I said. I said that you won't be able to simply get a script for a format reader and then just pass on the audio stream to our underlying audio system. This is something that might be difficult to implement. ARC will still support external DLLs just as RMXP did. As I said, I was just concerned about the fact that the DLL uses a secondary way to play audio and I'm not sure how it will work out. There's basically a 90% chance that it will work without problems.
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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2011, 02:21:31 PM »
@MikePJR: Wanna know why Stencyl is an overbloated, complicated piece of crap? Its because of the fact that their ultimate goal wasn't an RPG Maker. Ir may have been that at one time but its now aimed to make any kind of game. Its just as complicated as Game Maker. If you plan on using an editor thats made for any genre, of course its going to be complicated. ARC is specifically for, but not limited to, RPGs. So the interface of course is going to be all RPG related and much simpler to use. Also, the editor will allow plugins. So if you do feel limited by the interface in any way, you'll be able to compensate for it with a simple python plugin by adding new event commands, maybe even new tabs to the editor. I have no idea how it will work or what the limits will be when it comes to creating plugins.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2011, 05:28:19 PM by game_guy »

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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2011, 07:15:26 PM »
I have no idea how it will work or what the limits will be when it comes to creating plugins.
I do,
long story short, there will be no limits
as for how it will work, well it alrady works in the sense that the entire editor is built as a set of plugins, but the first release won't support plugins or more accurately there won't be an API to support plugins. but theoretically speaking, if someone managed to get a hold of our source code and understand how it worked, them could make one.
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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2011, 07:36:50 PM »
@MikePJR: Wanna know why Stencyl is an overbloated, complicated piece of crap? Its because of the fact that their ultimate goal wasn't an RPG Maker. Ir may have been that at one time but its now aimed to make any kind of game. Its just as complicated as Game Maker. If you plan on using an editor thats made for any genre, of course its going to be complicated. ARC is specifically for, but not limited to, RPGs. So the interface of course is going to be all RPG related and much simpler to use. Also, the editor will allow plugins. So if you do feel limited by the interface in any way, you'll be able to compensate for it with a simple python plugin by adding new event commands, maybe even new tabs to the editor. I have no idea how it will work or what the limits will be when it comes to creating plugins.
I don't think i ever called stencyl "crap".
My problem with stencyl is it became something trying too hard to be for EVERYTHING, to the point that i sit there with it going "umm.. how do i just make a good platformer with cool bells and whistles? i can't code" and then you have the fact that i think they either went with like, flash or java or something, all i know is i start using stencyl and maybe it's the layout or something, but i end up at a loss.

Just kinda worried ARC will try too hard, and end up being useless, like IGM *shivers* IGM became a piece of junk.

As for the audio script i'm using, i think it uses some DLL files and then some how plays them through wav during game play, but otherwise they are small files... so i do think it's some kinda conversion process that happens a lil more on the fly, it's still wav when played, but the files are not wav.

Don't get me wrong, i'm still looking forward to anything it gets right, i noticed with RMXP it takes more work doing simple things that were easy to do with events in RM2K3, like having a wait happen while some pictures move, without making the player be forced to go along with the wait.
The other day i was setting up some pictures for the name of a town to come up and do this... like.. effect where it fades in one way and fades out another way, and i have to add a wait, but the wait effects the player to, and i only wanted the wait to effect the picture, another small simple thing where EB cocked it up, and it was so easy to do with RM2K3.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2011, 07:43:08 PM by MikePjr »

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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #28 on: April 11, 2012, 11:00:11 AM »
i'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.

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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #29 on: April 13, 2012, 04:58:59 AM »
(Im)patiently waiting to see this pull through.

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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #30 on: January 03, 2014, 07:26:20 AM »
"ARC is being built from the ground up in C++, with Ruby 1.9.2 embedded, which is about 30 times faster than the Ruby 1.8.1 RMXP uses.  What does this mean for you?"

can we port it to console?

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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #31 on: January 03, 2014, 10:29:35 AM »
that entirely depends on the console in question and whether or not you know someone with the expertise to port all the libaries. as is we are only going to support Windows, Mac, and Linux. Possibly android and IOS as time permits

I also feel the need to point out that we are actually using Ruby 2 now instead of 1.9.3, I also feel the need to correct my 2 year old self and say that the 30x speed up in ruby 2 is only in one or 2 specific uses cases the real average speed up is closer to 4x
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 10:31:33 AM by Ryex »
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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #32 on: January 03, 2014, 07:06:06 PM »
so XNA Framework 4.0 will most likely not be supported? or any ports to it? Since it is based on C# when I'm not mistaken :O

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Re: What is ARC?
« Reply #33 on: January 03, 2014, 07:56:02 PM »
ARC is not written in a .NET language, so XNA doesn't really apply or even make sense with it.
I am done scripting for RMXP. I will likely not offer support for even my own scripts anymore, but feel free to ask on the forum, there are plenty of other talented scripters that can help you.