I'm guessing when it comes to distributing your games, most people would like to just hand a single file to their users. It's simple, organized, and hard to access your game files (cuz we all know how to extract assets from compressed games and modify them with our own :P). Following this tutorial, you will be able to do just that! This guide uses the freeware Enigma Virtual Box
to achieve this effect. I'm also using RPG Maker XP as the example because, let's face it, it is the superior RM around /bias. The tutorial should work for any version though.
Step 1: Download Enigma Virtual Box
Go to the website http://enigmaprotector.com/en/downloads.html and download said program. Run the installer, choose a place to install it to, couple more clicks, and done. Really easy.
Step 2: Load Your Project
Upon running the software, you should see something similar to this:
At the top, hit the Browse button next to the "Enter Input File Name" textbox. Select your project's Game.exe file and OK. It will auto-generate an Output File Name in the same project directory. Go ahead and change it so that it outputs elsewhere (like to your Desktop) and rename it to "Game.exe".
Now click the Add button below and choose to Add Folder Recursive.
Locate and select your project folder.
You will get a pop-up that looks like this:
It is okay to leave it as is, so go ahead and OK it. %DEFAULT FOLDER% will ensure that your game's files will be "extracted" in the same location as your single executable (this is what we want).
Step 3: Finalize
Go ahead and remove the Game.rxproj as this is not needed. Mess with the other options if you know what you're doing, but you're pretty much done here. Click on Process to compile everything together and generate your stand-alone EXE.
A new Game.exe file should have appeared on your desktop. Try running it and see if your game works. Now give that to a friend!
Step 3a: RPG Maker ACE and Gothic Font
If working with RPG Maker VXA or XPA, you'll probably see a "Unable to find VL Gothic font". Right click the two VL Gothic font files, select Properties, and change their Virtualization Method to Write to Disk if not Exists.
This will create a Fonts folder containing these two files when you run the Game.exe. Not exactly a single file anymore but...I don't know any other way to resolve that error message. Of course, you could just tell your players to install the font instead of having to do this.
Just a reminder: Your stand-alone EXE has to have the SAME FILENAME as your INI file. If it's ChaosProject.ini, it will have to be ChaosProject.exe. Otherwise, the game will not work.
This is pretty neato. I'll try it out if I actually make it through to completing something!