Rubygame Needs Help

Rubygame is in a sad state.

It has been months since I’ve even looked at the code. Rubygame 2.7 has been sitting in the repository for months, 90% complete, but no one with the drive to finish it. It is still difficult to install on Mac and Windows. There are few or no high-quality introductory guides or tutorials to get people started. The IRC channel is silent, questions in the forums are going unanswered, and users are leaving.

A few months ago, I was ready to pull the plug on Rubygame and move on to other things. I wrote up the announcement, and even started on a post-mortem to analyze why Rubygame failed, and try to learn from it. But abandoning Rubygame after 6 years is tough, and there has been a trickle of activity lately. Not much, but enough to make me hesitate, to give me a modicum of hope that Rubygame can recover.

Rubygame has potential. It currently uses SDL 1.2 as its backend, but there’s no reason it couldn’t offer other backends. It could use OpenGL and OpenAL to provide hardware-accelerated graphics and audio. It could run on Mac and Windows using native frameworks like Quartz or DirectX, so there’s less to install. It could run on Android devices using Ruboto/JRuby, allowing people to write Android games in pure Ruby.

But, I can’t do any of that alone. I don’t have the motivation to even maintain Rubygame by myself. I need more people to help. Not just contributors submitting patches and bug fixes, but enthusiastic and capable people actively pushing Rubygame forward. I’m not looking for anyone to volunteer out of pity; I want people who are genuinely interested in working on Rubygame.

Unless more people get involved, I’m going to have to put Rubygame down. That’s not a threat or demand, just the fact of the matter. Without more people, Rubygame will continue to wither and die, which would be painful for me to watch. I’d rather end it quickly than let it drag on towards the inevitable. But, watching Rubygame grow and flourish would be even better.

At a bare minimum, Rubygame needs one person to take over as owner/visionary, plus at least one other developer (besides myself and the new owner) working on Rubygame in general. Beyond that, it would be great to have additional developers focused on specific platforms and back-ends (e.g. Mac expert, Windows expert, Android expert). Finally, it would be nice to have someone whose main job is to write docs and tutorials, and help out users in the forums.

If you are interested (genuinely interested) in working on Rubygame in any of these roles, or another role you have in mind, please contact me at


shevy submitted a comment on #

I know how you feel man.

I think you are not the only one by the way. Some Ruby projects seem to struggle since one or two years.

Take FXRuby. FOX the toolkit is no longer developed much and FXRuby neither as a result.

I think the main problem with many projects is that for some time they are fun but lateron they become boring maintenance work.

What would be best for Rubygame would be a big game that is being developed in and with it. Take Wesnoth for instance. It has managed to build a big community, people are still interested in it.

As long as there are only single developers playing with it then lateron they will just leave the project again ….

D Crowder submitted a comment on #

Has interest picked up? I am interested in experimenting with RubyGame, but not if it is withering on the vine. I cannot volunteer to help yet as I am just playing around with it at this time.

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