Ren'Py is a free, 2D, and cross-platform engine that helps you make story-based games including visual novels and simulation games. It uses a scripting language based on Python.

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One of the most important tools used in the majority of Visual Novels is showing character portraits. You can see that we use this feature in Tales From Windy Meadow as well:

PIC01


It is a powerful help for visual storytelling and many video game genres use it, especially RPGs and adventure games. Portraits allow you to cheat the game’s resolution (canvas) and display detailed characters with varying emotions. In some games it becomes the very center of focus - especially if the game uses a first-person protagonist, who literally talks with NPCs who stand right in front of them.

Showing a specific character pose or emotions allows you to limit narration and focus on visuals and dialogue. The information is provided fast and fluent, what in a text-heavy game is quite crucial. To be fair, we don’t have these “face emotion sets” drawn yet, but it’s on a very high position on our list of priorities.

However, as you can also notice, not only we introduce character portraits, but their sprites as well - which are set as a part of the background:

PIC02


These sprites currently gather our main programming focus. The backgrounds and their animations are meant to strongly support our worldbuilding, while the characters themselves often interact with their surroundings. Providing them with idle animation or setting them in specific spots is also important - we try to eliminate narration as much as possible and focus on what characters say, not what they think.

It’s even easier to notice how much attention (and effort) we want to put in our backgrounds when you compare the sizes of our portraits with many other Visual Novels. In most cases, each portrait tends to cover between 20%-40% of the screen, and when three of them appear at the same time, the background is almost completely hidden. In Tales From Windy Meadow it’s closer to 8%-12% for each.

The whole process provides some limitations and requires a lot of planning and tinkering. Very often our plans need adapting since results turn out to look quite bad. For example, from time to time an important character spite becomes covered by a character portrait:

devlog4first


And, of course, lacking the important animations makes the current placeholders look pretty funny:

devlog4second


Thankfully, having these basic positions and movements planned out will be priceless later on when the real animations and character sprites are going to be implemented.

Also! If you missed our latest ScreenshotSaturday entry, you haven’t seen this cool juxtaposition between the older and the newer versions of the wild parts of our forest:

WinyMeadowForestOldVSNew


And we were especially happy to see the positive reception of our latest IndieDevHour post, that introduced the mayor of Windy Meadow, Lacerta:

MayorLacerta


Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay in touch with us and keep up with our updates.

To those of you who celebrate Easter, we wish peaceful and outstanding holidays. And no matter what your beliefs and personal background are, we want to express our gratitude - the first month of weekly devlogs is behind us we plan to continue this series. We want to wish you a fantastic week! : )

Tales From Windy Meadow - Weekly Devlog #2 - Maps & Websites

Tales From Windy Meadow - Weekly Devlog #2 - Maps & Websites

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We’re introducing our in-game map as well as the website updates.

Teen & Demo Update. The Project is Over

Teen & Demo Update. The Project is Over

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Finally, KNDWTEEN and KNDWDEMO has been updated on all my favorite distribution platforms. Check out it.

Garden of Oblivion now on Steam!

Garden of Oblivion now on Steam!

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Our second update on Crimson Sunrise, a mystery-horror visual novel and dating sim by Esoteric Legacy! Many new characters revealed!

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Comments  (0 - 10 of 13)
OneSavageRaven
OneSavageRaven

Hey, can someone help me with the Ren'Py engine? It's just that everytime I type new code into the script.rpy, I get an error saying "Tab characters are not allowed in Ren'py scripts." Can someone help me?

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brandon4117
brandon4117

Could you show me the code? If it's code that's trying to define an item like "image nblnk = im.Scale("nblnk.png", 320, 575)", that HUGE space you see right there after "image nblnk" is a tab space (EDIT: Okay, so indiedb takes out the space, but the space is as big as when you hit tab in the script editor). Usually it changes tabs into spaces but when defining something if you use Tab it marks it as an error. If it's not that that's the issue, show me a bit of the code and I can work on it for ya.

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brandon4117
brandon4117

Make sure every line of code defining something only has one space between each variable, like so:
"variable nickname = "realname.filetype", where variable is the type of file or action, such as image, play music, play sound, or with (EDIT: with is used in other places, NOT with an "=" sign. My bad. the "play music" or "play sound" however are almost like that, just without the "=" sign). If you don't know what those are, the engine itself when downloaded has a tutorial game that explains pretty much everything (except the more complex errors.) This is just an add-on to what I said above, if it still doesn't fix it, I'll gladly check your code.

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Yldrania
Yldrania

If this place is inappropriate to say this, please forgive me and delete the comment. If not, I would be very happy if it actually helps: I am planning on releasing a couple of longer stories as visual novels.. games, with this engine. I am a writer mainly, and not the best artist. I would love if, if someone is an artist or has interest and experience in the creation of artwork, would be interested in working with me, they could contact me via PM.

Again, I apologize if this is not the correct place to post this, but on the forums things like that are lost within hours with no results so I figured I would try my luck here.

Thanks in advance. I love this engine :)

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Guest
Guest

I wouldnt mind helping with the artwork! You can reach me at Lucr3tcia.deviant art.com and we can talk about it xD

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smileyman00
smileyman00

ren'py engine. Whoever has played a game similar to this engine, please send me a message. It sounds very familiar.

(dark humor laugh)

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Maxen1416
Maxen1416

its a bit saddening to see many ren'py games releasing with a price up to $20, even when the arts, story, and or "gameplay" is not that good.

-not to be compared, look at Katawa Shoujo being one of the greatest, yet totally free

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hagamablabla
hagamablabla

Yes.

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Benben516
Benben516

how download engines sorry im new cant see download :L

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bloodywing
bloodywing

Go to Renpy.org and look at "How do I get Ren'Py?"

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