That is mostly a confusion about the terminology. When the Deep8 devs are talking about EasyRPG Player and mobile ports they mean a modified version of EasyRPG Player directly designed for the requirements of the game.
For GPLv3 conformance all these modifications are available here: https://github.com/DeepIA8/easyrpg-player-deep8 (The demo version available on Steam is built from the “release” branch)
Obviously I don’t want to leak any details about the Deep8 crowdfunding or the roadmap, you should wait for official announcements there, but here some general information for EasyRPG Player:
I wasn’t sure how this intended to get a mobile port since Easy RPG Player doesn’t have this feature and neither does RPG Maker 2000/2003 itself.
EasyRPG Player already runs on Android.
There is right now no (usable) iOS port but we want to provide one someday (ETA 1-2y)
What the Deep8 devs means with the mobile stretch goals is: Changing the game to make it mobile friendly, some design concepts just don’t translate well to touch UIs. Testing and adjusting the whole game for this takes time. (maybe you already found some RPG Maker games with fast action sequences that are almost unplayable on mobile devices because the touch controls are inferior to a keyboard)
How is development currently going for this feature?
Actually there is already a very rough, undocumented standalone mode available for Android:
This assumes you know how to build an APK for Android:
When you put a game in the folder “game” in the “assets” directory or a “game.zip” in the “assets” directory the game will be extracted and booted directly. Though this is not really well integrated and needs some polishing, but it works.
The planned standalone mode feature that is still not supported is: Booting the game directly from the APK without extracting. This needs basicly reading from a ZIP archive in memory. This is a bit more involved because it requires rewriting the whole file access code in the Player, so it can handle these compressed streams. This is finished by ~80%, is currently on hold because for 0.6.2 I want to fully implement the RPG Maker 2003 battle system, afterwards I return to this feature.
Is this going to be exclusive and have closed usage?
The standalone game mode will be available for everyone to use, free of charge which you can use to distribute your games.
Will there be terms and restrictions for usage with this?
The terms of the GPLv3 apply. In short the most important parts:
- You keep all the copyright on your game files, assets, etc., the license only applies to the executable
- You must provide the sourcecode of all modifications you did to EasyRPG Player.
- You must provide a Readme file which states that the game uses EasyRPG Player which is licensed under GPLv3 and a link to the sourcecode of the engine
- It could be the case that you can’t use some of the optional Google Play libraries because they are incompatible with the GPLv3 (but this must be decided on a per-case basis).
It is possible that some of these requirements (especially the last one) are lifted sooner or later because we want to make it easier to integrate with Steamworks SDK (Steam achievements, scoreboards, etc; License GPL incompatible) and allow publishing on the Nintendo Switch (Nintendo Switch SDK is GPL incompatible).
Would this allow commercial usage of the engine for the purpose of mobile games?
Yes. The terms of the GPLv3 apply.
There are already commercial games using EasyRPG Player, just not commercial, see Desolate City on Steam.