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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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Last time we talked about dynamic shots, let’s backtrack a bit to bring up polishing in general…and background animations in particular!

Chapel rain

A simple rain animation


Most of you are probably very familiar with the standard visual novel presentation: there are sprites of characters on top of backgrounds and a textbox where all the juicy action happens: reading! It’s a very static genre that relies heavily on abstraction: you can only show the bare minimum on screen so the player has to imagine some parts of the story in their head. Which means that people who don’t appreciate reading that much will very likely find visual novel boring because of that. And that’s a shame because I think the genre is actually perfect to rekindle those people with the joy of reading!

Those bees were a pain to code but I really wanted to add some:
you can’t have a sunny weather without bees and flowers, after all!


That’s partly why I experimented a lot with Chronotopia (and because it’s fun): I tried to go beyond the usual visual novel presentation with little tricks here and there to make the game look as good and as unique as possible. One of my goals was to see if I could help some casual gamers warm up to the genre simply by using a slightly different presentation. I already evoked dynamic shots in a previous article but this is not the only trick at our disposal~

See those dead leaves falling gracefully? Those use the same system as the pollen particles, believe it or not.


On top of what the RenPy 3D camera plugin allows, we’ve added backgrounds animations to make Chronotopia’s world come alive. It’s actually rather sublte, a candle light flickering here, grass moving under the wind there, but it’s meant that way. After all, animations shouldn’t distract you from reading the story! In some cases, we even added some particles to have dead leaves and snow in the desired seasons. It’s nothing revolutionary but again, the devil is in the details, and it does build the atmosphere.

Same with the snowflakes here. The backgrounds look rather empty without them though.
It’s not winter without a bit of snow!


What I’m trying to say is that, even if programming a visual novel is very simple compared to other types of games, it’s still a pretty important task. You can focus on the technical part and call it scripting or you can focus on the creative part (which is actually quite close to what a director would do for a movie) and call it directing. But in the end, however you call it, the way you code is also what gives your visual novel personality through little things.

In any case, we experimented a lot with Chronotopia: Second Skin and we hope our love is peaking through the amount of polish~

[Spotlight] Prince Thalie (C1-C2 routes)

[Spotlight] Prince Thalie (C1-C2 routes)

Chronotopia: Second Skin

Last time I introduced prince Griselde and his subliminal dagger, so let’s move on to the next candidate: prince Thalie!

[Spotlight] Dynamic shots (+RenPy 3D camera)

[Spotlight] Dynamic shots (+RenPy 3D camera)

Chronotopia: Second Skin

At first I did not plan to write about programming at all, but then it struck me during the Kickstarter campaign that it was actually a much needed talk...

Making Progress

Making Progress

News

Finally making good progress on the mod, aiming for a September release.

Pushing Through The Second Chapter - Roadwarden Devlog

Pushing Through The Second Chapter - Roadwarden Devlog

Roadwarden 2 comments

The development of Rodawarden is not fully focused on writing new dialogues and quests. There are many details related to the interface and general design...

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Roadwarden

Roadwarden

Role Playing

Roadwarden is an illustrated text-based RPG in which you explore and change a hostile, grim realm.

Chronotopia: Second Skin

Chronotopia: Second Skin

Visual Novel

Chronotopia: Second Skin is a dark rewriting of the fairytale Donkeyskin in the form of a branching visual novel.

Mirt. Tales of the Cold Land

Mirt. Tales of the Cold Land

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Mirt is a small town, lost somewhere in the northern valleys, welcoming none. Everything is frozen here, even time itself. A newcomer will have difficulties...

holonoptic

holonoptic

Realistic Sim

Become the CEO of our multinational conglomerate and expand it into the weakened Euro zone.

Meiji wa Yuri

Meiji wa Yuri

Visual Novel

Un VN court yuri sur le tout début de l'époque Meiji.

reality

reality

Visual Novel

When a withdrawn virtual reality nerd has the opportunity to beta test a neural device that feels more “real” than reality itself, everything she...

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Crimson Sunrise

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Crimson Sunrise is a mystery-horror visual novel with dating sim elements. Love is in the air!

Shibari Mushi

Shibari Mushi

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VN yuri fanmade court sur Yuuka et Wriggle de Touhou Project. Short fanmade VN with Yuuka and Wriggle from Touhou Project.

Introvert(I)

Introvert(I)

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Maxim Zaslavsky's new apartment is a whole different reality, in wich there's no place for outside problems: People, conversation or any interaction at...

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Lighthouse of guiding flames

Adventure

Ethani lost her way and ended up at the Lighthouse. Where did she come from and where should she go? Explore this fantasy Visual Novel to reveal her past...

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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