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DragonRuby Game Toolkit

An intuitive 2D game engine. Fast, cross-platform, tiny, hot loaded. 路 By DragonRuby

New User Experience is Crap

A topic by Colin EUMP created Jul 19, 2020 Views: 1,712 Replies: 14
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Edit 10-15-2020: Now that the documentation is in HTML, the .md stuff is no longer relevant.

So far I've downloaded your engine, tried running the exe with the same name, taken a guess at what program the readme file needs to be opened ("readme.txt" is not the same as "", the file the windows 64amd version came with, nor is ".md" a file extension typically found when using windows), then gotten bombarded with a bunch of junk about social media I have no reason to care about (due to not even being sure I want to use your engine).

Particularly, this part "Those who use DragonRuby are called Dragon Riders. This identity is incredibly important to us." is an utterly terrible thing to put at the start of your readme file. This is the readme for a game engine, not the rules of a club.

After that, half the text explaining the actual use of the engine is dedicated to explaining what's wrong with other game engines.

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FWIW, the community on Discord is friendly and helpful, including the developers.  I got DR on the cheap with a bundle, so my expectations were different than they would have been had I paid full price for it, but then, ostensibly, I also would have been more invested as well.  It's "professional" in that it's been used for games on the Switch, but there is the feel of a start-up and you can sense it in the enthusiasm of the folks behind it (and in the armchair psychology you point out with identity and trying to build community).  I'm having a lot of fun with it, but yes, there are needed improvements with documentation and on-ramping.  I would put more emphasis on


Yeah so.. markdown is a standard format in the programming world. This is game engine. I get that you don't know what's going on because you don't have experience but maybe don't pretend like it's someone else's fault?


You've completely missed the point. How is it my "fault" that the example program has the wrong filename?

Also, I get that you don't know why it matters because you don't have indie game dev experience, but maybe don't pretend like all game engines are programming libraries that need to be compiled by the user.


No, you've completely missed the point... there is no such as "the wrong filename". Dragon Ruby has not made any attempts to market themselves as an "accessible" or "starter" game engine, plus it's still very early on in development so it's not fair to compare it to other game engines that have been around for years and are much more mature.


The file's name is "". The dragonruby.exe file, when run, refers to it as "readme.txt".

The first line of the engine's page says "DragonRuby Game Toolkit is a professional grade (yet beginner friendly) 2D game engine.". Notice the words in parentheses.

I only mentioned other game engines to point out how little sense it makes to refer to the "programming world" in the context of game engines.

Look, this product has a 47.31 USD price tag on it (for my area at least) and has been marked as "released" for almost a year. It shouldn't be beyond the same criticism that any commercial piece of software would get.


First of all, there is a difference between beginner friendly and scratch. If you are incapable of looking up what a .md file is, that is in no way the developers fault. Just because the engine refers to a file by an incorrect extension, doesn't mean that the entire thing is worthless. You can open .md files with notepad, or really any other text editor. If the contents of the readme file are not to your exact liking, so what? If you don't want to use the engine, don't. If you have never seen a .md file before, that is not the developers fault. Beginner friendly does not mean that everyone will automatically understand everything. The entire base for this complaint is that you were unable at first to open a .md file, then when you opened it there were some lines of text that you did not like. If you are going on about having indie dev experience, then you should know what a .md file is. Nobody said it was your fault that the .exe referred to a file incorrectly. What was said is that it is not somebody else's fault that you are unable to look something up, or even try opening it.


At no point was I unable to open the file. The initial problem was that I wasn't able to find the file, because it had the wrong name.  And as I said in my initial post, I took a guess at what could open it once I noticed the file was there. Turned out notepad could.  Have I done that before? Who knows. I don't keep track of every time I've had to deal with less familiar file formats, nor which operating system I had to deal with them on. It's very well possible I did so when I compiled the dependencies needed for the current custom C++ wrapper I've been using around SDL2. I just checked and one out of nine of them had a "" without an accompanying "README" or "readme.txt". I guess that's not zero.

More importantly, have you actually read that file?

I didn't come here to complain, nor to call the engine "worthless". I came here to point out something that this game development tool failed to do that even less developed tools managed to do: be helpful.


30 years of game development experience.


I must say, you really sound like a first class Wanker.


Actually the files are standard. Your points not really valid. complaining about a file format? my windows 10 out of the box can open the file no problems in VSCode.

We鈥檝e released quite a few version updates in the past couple of months. Mind giving it another shot?


Using HTML for the documentation is definitely a better choice. The headers actually working makes it a lot easier to ignore parts too. That said, I'm not really sure what else has changed that would relate to my original complaints.

If you meant that "giving it another shot" in the sense of just seeing again if I want to use your engine, then I suspect you've misunderstood. The complaints I started this thread for were the things I would expect to make a lot of people in general have trouble with your engine. They're not at all the reasons I haven't been using it. My reasons for not using it start with the suspicious absence of any documentation or modules that address the game window. Anything I make will be targeting PC first and foremost, so not having a clear way to provide fullscreen mode, windowed mode and some form of resolution persistence is a deal-breaker. I also prefer if my games remember where the window was when the player closes the game, with some safety check to ensure the window isn't stuck off-screen. 

I鈥檒l add windowing features (full screen mode) to the list of things to add 馃憤

The web based documentation was the major change that was made along with removing the .md file (sorry for the confusion on that).

What engine do you currently use? Do you have any other feature requests?


Fullscreen APIs have been added. Lemme know if you need anything else.

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