Questions about Ren'Py should go in the Ren'Py Questions and Announcements forum.
Or is that too weird? Is that bringing in unnecessary elements and it would be better to not try and figure that out and stick with the good ol standby?
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If you are new to both, I recommend avoiding the common mistake of making something too ambitious for your first game. If you have some experience and you are confident that you can pull it off, sure, experiment!
Although I have finished a few games with Renpy now and I am currently working on a new one, my first game was too complicated and ambitious and still isn't completed. I made some progress, but ultimately it would have made more sense to start with something simpler.
Just out of curiosity, how do you intend to merge the two engines? Have you figured that out yet? I sometimes think how I could add drawing elements to my games, I'd probably have to use another program to do that but I haven't tried anything like that myself before and I'd like the end result to be in the same Android package.
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Character movement can be a way to show a person making choices. Asking the player to move the protagonist and interact with another character seems like an an alternative to writing "She walked across the room" and showing an illustration.
It's been about eight years since I experienced Sakura Wars 5. It had several frustrating aspects. However, one reason why it was memorable was the walking-through-town segments. The protagonist sometimes needs to wander through the city and interact with people.
About six years after I started hearing positive things about Telltale Games' products, I finally made time to try one last month. It was Minecraft Story Mode... and it's basically a visual novel. During several segments, the protagonist needs to walk through environments and interact with characters. I don't know how much the protagonist's choices will affect the ending, but the user interface lets the reader know every time that an event flag is triggered.
In any case, it can definitely work, but the player has to expect the grand interaction-ability in the first place instead of just expecting to follow the narration, pick some choices, and get a guy.
Edit: So it can work if it is more of a life-simulation instead of just pure visual novel style otome game. I'm sure there are several samples out there. I can think of several job simulations, but I don't know the interactions with other casts than the bachelors in those games, like Tokimemo Restaurant, Summer in Fairbrook (florist-based), Amber's Magic Shop (alchemy), and others... You might want to see their reviews to see what are the players' expectations (and what works and don't!). Will look forward to what you have in your mind about this, though!
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