For this part, it’s imperative that you have Ruby installed on your machine. You can download it here.
You also need this folder and this little program. We’ll get to using them later in the post, but for now, tuck the folder somewhere not in your project, and the program anywhere you’d like (I use it as a shortcut on my desktop). Finally, remember that you need a bare minimum license in Chat Mapper to export as JSON.
Once you’ve finished up making your dialogue tree in Chat Mapper, it’s time to package up our tree and extract it from the program. Today we’ll deal with exporting and converting our tree; next week, we’ll finally start talking RPG Maker.
We’re going to be exporting our project as a JSON object.
Exporting from Chat Mapper is rather easy. Just click File => Export => Project as JSON. Choose a location and name it whatever you’d like. And we’re done with Chat Mapper!
Unfortunately, when people say that RPG Maker uses Ruby, they really mean it. While Ruby is well supported with libraries a plenty to support reading things like XML or our brand new JSON file, RPG Maker – or more specifically, RGSS3 – does not and cannot use these. It can use the Ruby equivalent, an .rvdata file. So we need to convert our JSON file to a Ruby Data file. We’ll be using the program you downloaded at the top, but you’re going to need to do a little hacking to get it started.
We need to edit the .bin file you downloaded above, the program. Open it up in notepad, and you’ll see two very simple lines. We need to fill a bit in.
1) We need to tell the .bin where you installed Ruby. Add that as a file path
2) We need to tell the .bin where you put the folder you downloaded at the top of this post. Add that as a file path right next to it.
Your final product will look something like this:
Now double click on that .bin, and in theory, it will run! It will pop up a window asking for the JSON file. Point it to the thing you exported out of Chat Mapper.
Another box will appear, asking where you want to export. Out of everything we’ve done all week, the .rvdata export is the only thing that needs to go into your RPG Maker Project folder. Find a directory (I put mine somewhere in the Data folder) and export your file, naming it whatever you’d like.
And that’s it!
Invariably, once you play your game you’re going to want to edit your dialogue tree. Add things, move things, take things away, fix typos, etc. Any time you do, you need to do the following:
- Re-export the tree as a JSON out of Chat Mapper
- Run the Converter Program (you don’t need to do all those customization things, that’s a one-time setup)
- Convert the JSON to .rvdata and save it in the appropriate folder with the appropriate name (the converter program will ask you if you want to overwrite your old .rvdata file – you do).
All in all, an easy fix. Next week, we’ll talk RPG Maker!