I am always seeking ways to make game development fun because it often isn't . Can making a game be as fun as playing one? I would like it to be.
Enter Smile Game Builder. It's a kawaii game creation tool for making JRPGs. It's (relatively) easy to use and produces decent results.
What's really interesting about it is that with a DLC add-on, you can export your game as a Unity project. I spent an hour or so digging through the generated project and was fascinated to learn a few things. For one, the code that drives the Unity project is actually open source with the liberal af MIT license.
SGB Engine for Unity 188.8.131.52
Copyright (c) 2018-2020 SmileBoom Co.Ltd.
This code is what enables reading/using of Smile Game Builder data in a special Unity game that replicates the original engine's functionality. What's truly impressive is how the SGR files are handled. For example: the SGR files for the maps (level geometry) are made render-able by conversion into Unity scenes and meshes; meanwhile other SGR files for game data (like items and monsters) are read from file streams and stored in a big dictionary called the Catalog.
I think this is madness, but the kind of madness I like. It's very close to having game data that is not tied to a game engine. We almost have engine-agnostic game development over here! The game data is the true value of a game; it's where most resources are spent and what gamers engage with the most.