do we need a Ren'py maker with a user-friendly interface?

In this forum we discuss the future of Ren'Py, both bug fixes and longer-term development. Pre-releases are announced and discussed here.
Message
Author
User avatar
jack_norton
Lemma-Class Veteran
Posts: 4029
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:41 pm
Completed: Too many! See my homepage
Projects: A lot! See www.winterwolves.com
Tumblr: winterwolvesgames
Contact:

Re: do we need a Ren'py maker with a user-friendly interface

#16 Post by jack_norton » Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:39 pm

Honestly renpy is THE easiest tool I've ever seen. You need the help of someone who can code ONLY IF you want to do lot of customization, minigame, etc. If you want to make a pure simple VN (and that's what Renpy was built for after all) I doubt you can find something so easy and fast.
A full graphic tool might be nice but once you understand the really FEW rules of renpy you will make games much faster than any GUI.
Is faster to type directly the lines of dialogues just adding a simple letter as character, or:
1. click to select speaker
2. enter text and press enter
3. click to select the other speaker
4. click to select sprite, click to position on screen

etc etc, I think you got the idea :)
follow me on Image Image Image Image
computer games

neowired
Regular
Posts: 199
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:33 pm
Contact:

Re: do we need a Ren'py maker with a user-friendly interface

#17 Post by neowired » Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:19 pm

Honestly renpy is THE easiest tool I've ever seen. You need the help of someone who can code ONLY IF you want to do lot of customization, minigame, etc. If you want to make a pure simple VN (and that's what Renpy was built for after all) I doubt you can find something so easy and fast.
A full graphic tool might be nice but once you understand the really FEW rules of renpy you will make games much faster than any GUI.
Is faster to type directly the lines of dialogues just adding a simple letter as character, or:
1. click to select speaker
2. enter text and press enter
3. click to select the other speaker
4. click to select sprite, click to position on screen
1. I agree with you that coding directly in text can be faster, in some cases, if you are used to it.
2. you are speaking from a coder point of view, you are coder, aren't you?
I think you don't understand how hard this can be for someone who isn't a coder, it looks like magic. There are many people who would love to do such things but will see this as a barrier. If you make even one small mistake it will not work at all. and it has all those symbols and numbers, srsl, I think you are strongly over estimating what people who aren't coders can and cant do and that many people will find themselves so frustrated with trying to understand how it works at all that they will quickly give up before they even start.
Have you never tried to teach a beginner to use word, or paint ; p? or to explain what files are? lol, and what you are asking from people is to edit code full of strings, variables, symbols, in a simple text editor, when they may even have problem finding the right file to edit.
And many such people can still be great writers or graphic artists, but they may not want to collaborate with other people on their project, they may want to just make something themselves.

Instead of having most succeed you will only have the most devoted succeed in anything, and lots of their time will be spend trying to understand even the basics of what goes where.

I think you are expecting too much from people
If this is supposed to become a popular sort of entertainment (and personally I think that would be awesome, but maybe you think otherwise) I think it needs to be easily accessible to the lowest denominator, and not only to the most devoted people who are analytical enough to understand how writing code works.

The point isn't if renpy is or isn't the easiest, the point is it could be much easier.
It leaves the more complex parts of renpy to the coders, but at the same gives bonus easier tools for people who aren't coders.


And I do not like how my last post was butchered/edited by someone in a very weird way making it seem like the answers are what I said, instead of giving me a simple response in another post. I do not know who edited my post like that, but it makes it look like I said things which I did not say. And that is not good. If you wish to edit my posts in the future, please at least do so in a way which will not blend what we both say into one post under my name. Or just give me a simple response.

User avatar
Jake
Support Hero
Posts: 3826
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 7:28 pm
Contact:

Re: do we need a Ren'py maker with a user-friendly interface

#18 Post by Jake » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:42 pm

neowired wrote: And I do not like how my last post was butchered/edited by someone in a very weird way making it seem like the answers are what I said, instead of giving me a simple response in another post. I do not know who edited my post like that, but it makes it look like I said things which I did not say. And that is not good. If you wish to edit my posts in the future, please at least do so in a way which will not blend what we both say into one post under my name. Or just give me a simple response.
This kind of thing has happened before - generally it's when PyTom hits the 'edit' button instead of the 'quote' button by mistake and doesn't realise. IIRC PHPBB hides edits made by adminstrators to other people's posts by default, or possibly it happened before there were other replies.

(One could make snide comments like "this is why you never log in as root unless you need root!" but that would just be mean. :3 And I guess it would make administering the forum more of a hassle than it already probably is. PHPBB needs a sudo.)
Server error: user 'Jake' not found

User avatar
PyTom
Ren'Py Creator
Posts: 15444
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 10:58 am
Completed: Moonlight Walks
Projects: Ren'Py
IRC Nick: renpytom
Github: renpytom
itch: renpytom
Location: Kings Park, NY
Contact:

Re: do we need a Ren'py maker with a user-friendly interface

#19 Post by PyTom » Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:44 pm

Neowired, please accept my apology for editing your post. It was (as Jake suggested) me hitting the edit button instead of the quote button. The interface for the two is very similar, and it's easy to post an edited message without noticing it.

You put a lot of time into your post, and while I may disagree with some of what you said, changing it disrespects the time you spent thinking and writing about it. So again, I apologize for doing so.
Supporting creators since 2004
(When was the last time you backed up your game?)
"Do good work." - Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom
"Silly and fun things are important." - Elon Musk
Software > Drama • https://www.patreon.com/renpytom

Agent-J
Newbie
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:34 am
Projects: Kiss from Cupid
Contact:

Re: do we need a Ren'py maker with a user-friendly interface

#20 Post by Agent-J » Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:48 pm

Coming from someone whose entire coding experience comes from ren'py (and playing with html and css five years ago, but I was awful at that), it's not a difficult system to pick up. The tutorial on the main site covers anything a person new to coding would need, and anything more advanced can be found elsewhere on the site.

Personally, I think even with a more 'user-friendly' interface, there wouldn't be the same community of people who often have already run into the coding problems a person using ren'py for the first time finds. Any questions someone might have are usually answered fairly quickly, either by PyTom or another member. On a new interface, it would take quite a while for that same support to exist.

User avatar
jack_norton
Lemma-Class Veteran
Posts: 4029
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:41 pm
Completed: Too many! See my homepage
Projects: A lot! See www.winterwolves.com
Tumblr: winterwolvesgames
Contact:

Re: do we need a Ren'py maker with a user-friendly interface

#21 Post by jack_norton » Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:16 am

I know to code but, believe me, I am A TERRIBLE coder.
I was self taught. I still don't have any idea what a POINTER is in C (if you tell this to coders they'll laugh in your face), and so on. So yes, I am really neither a genius, nor "a coder". I HATE coding :) but since I have no other option I had to learn it.
My thought was that if I was able to make it, almost everyone should be able! Of course you need to spend time and dedication (I didn't learn Renpy in 1 day, took me like 3-4 months).
follow me on Image Image Image Image
computer games

User avatar
Phosis
Regular
Posts: 64
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 11:40 am
Projects: The Polaris Account, The Color Of Misery
Location: Calgary
Contact:

Re: do we need a Ren'py maker with a user-friendly interface

#22 Post by Phosis » Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:25 am

neowired wrote:
Honestly renpy is THE easiest tool I've ever seen. You need the help of someone who can code ONLY IF you want to do lot of customization, minigame, etc. If you want to make a pure simple VN (and that's what Renpy was built for after all) I doubt you can find something so easy and fast.
A full graphic tool might be nice but once you understand the really FEW rules of renpy you will make games much faster than any GUI.
Is faster to type directly the lines of dialogues just adding a simple letter as character, or:
1. click to select speaker
2. enter text and press enter
3. click to select the other speaker
4. click to select sprite, click to position on screen
1. I agree with you that coding directly in text can be faster, in some cases, if you are used to it.
2. you are speaking from a coder point of view, you are coder, aren't you?
I think you don't understand how hard this can be for someone who isn't a coder, it looks like magic. There are many people who would love to do such things but will see this as a barrier. If you make even one small mistake it will not work at all. and it has all those symbols and numbers, srsl, I think you are strongly over estimating what people who aren't coders can and cant do and that many people will find themselves so frustrated with trying to understand how it works at all that they will quickly give up before they even start.
Have you never tried to teach a beginner to use word, or paint ; p? or to explain what files are? lol, and what you are asking from people is to edit code full of strings, variables, symbols, in a simple text editor, when they may even have problem finding the right file to edit.
And many such people can still be great writers or graphic artists, but they may not want to collaborate with other people on their project, they may want to just make something themselves.

Instead of having most succeed you will only have the most devoted succeed in anything, and lots of their time will be spend trying to understand even the basics of what goes where.

I think you are expecting too much from people
If this is supposed to become a popular sort of entertainment (and personally I think that would be awesome, but maybe you think otherwise) I think it needs to be easily accessible to the lowest denominator, and not only to the most devoted people who are analytical enough to understand how writing code works.

The point isn't if renpy is or isn't the easiest, the point is it could be much easier.
It leaves the more complex parts of renpy to the coders, but at the same gives bonus easier tools for people who aren't coders.


And I do not like how my last post was butchered/edited by someone in a very weird way making it seem like the answers are what I said, instead of giving me a simple response in another post. I do not know who edited my post like that, but it makes it look like I said things which I did not say. And that is not good. If you wish to edit my posts in the future, please at least do so in a way which will not blend what we both say into one post under my name. Or just give me a simple response.
To be quite honest, I don't think that "the lowest common denominator" is going to have the dedication to complete a project of any kind.

Again, what is your definition of easy, here? Have you ever looked through any Ren'py code?

Sure, some of the complex games have a lot of it; (though considerably less than any game made from scratch) but any basic VN is pretty light on actual coding, and much much heavier on script.

Honestly, I think there is a big difference between being a "good coder", and just being intellectually lazy. I have never programmed any damn code in my life, I have never even USED a game making tool to any extent graphical or otherwise apart from RPG Maker, and I am finding this INFINITELY more streamlined and simplistic. I was able to get a complete demo finished in about two hours from front to back.

I can't think of many ways it could be easier to use, without bloating it out and making it unecessarily complicated.
If you made the effort to attempt to read this, you have far too much time on your hands. Good job, slacker.

User avatar
blakjak
Veteran
Posts: 224
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2007 2:36 pm
Location: France
Contact:

Re: do we need a Ren'py maker with a user-friendly interface

#23 Post by blakjak » Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:56 am

I've tried other engines with a GUI and though it's fun and simple at first, it becomes very messy as your game starts to grow. On top of that, like Jack said, as soon as you want to customize, you'll have to start coding in them, so you'll have to mix both, and sometimes learn how to code in a language not even as high level as python is. The tutorial game in Renpy really covers just about anything you need to make for a VN and even some customization. Maybe just the screen language is missing some examples to show the user how to customize the game's GUI, but I'm sure an example will pop up at some point ( maybe it already has ? ).

neowired
Regular
Posts: 199
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:33 pm
Contact:

Re: do we need a Ren'py maker with a user-friendly interface

#24 Post by neowired » Fri Oct 01, 2010 4:49 am

Neowired, please accept (...) I apologize for doing so.
It's ok, I understand when you're in a hurry things like that can happen.
For the code above, what should the preview display on the line "this line"?
that can very simple, for example instead of normal speech you chose a "menu" where you write the question, all the answers you wish, and you can for example set a "go to frame number attribute for each answers" It would have to be simple like that (well, it could be more complex, it's all a matter of how complex you would want it to be, you could add variables or whatever else if you wanted). And if anyone would need more complexity, that's when you'd go to the code files and start editing

I have another reason why graphic editors like that are good. They can create a sort of clear standard code for you, while when writing the code by hand you will often have problems keeping a clarity of code.

I always loved working with rpg-maker and found it easier to work with than things like renpy (which make me spend countless hours wondering how to get something work and having to go through the whole tutorials part by part, looking in the code

Things like rpg-maker I can use without the help of any tutorials, you just open it and the whole interface is very clear
I can't think of many ways it could be easier to use, without bloating it out and making it unecessarily complicated.
As a code renpy is very easy, I don't think it could be much easier either. I don't wish to change it (well maybe some easier way to use novel mode instead of writing nvln on each script line would be nice; I mean, writing it once, to make any following dialog display as novel untill you switch back; but it's not really needed; the code is very easy to use for a code)
What I'm saying the way to write the code could be made easier by the use of some GUI

Personally I love the simplicity of graphic editors

What I'm thinking of isn't a final editor. More like, something to generate the base code, and after which you can start reading the tutorials IF you wish for something more complex
I've tried other engines with a GUI and though it's fun and simple at first, it becomes very messy as your game starts to grow. On top of that, like Jack said, as soon as you want to customize, you'll have to start coding in them, so you'll have to mix both, and sometimes learn how to code in a language not even as high level as python is.
exactly what I said, the graphical editor would be used to streamline creation of the basic text, it would help you generate clear simple code and even break it into easily manageable files
And you would use the text editor on top of it, to add complexity and make the larger projects easier to manage

This could even be an editor which would only create the main story rpy file or files, you would then place them into the project and you would have a clear basic frame to work with (instead of having to edit the demo files and search for all the code words, and get frustrated because whole thing doesn't run, just because you missed one space or mark somewhere.
Adding more complexity on top of such a clear frame is much easier and faster to me.

There are reasons why software like dreamweaver or rpgmaker is as successful as it is, and this is one of them. Same goes for flash. it's a mixed software which gives you a graphic interface for simpler things and let you edit the code for more complex things. It is also because they use many ready elements and templates easy to insert from the graphic interface (whole renpy wiki is a giant base of code template really, but actually implementing the code into the game can be very tedious, time consuming and annoying while you are trying to work out where and what you have to insert.

While I can edit the code just fine right now, I'm just sharing this idea with you. Editing the renpy code right now can be pretty quick and easy, but it can also be tedious and frustrating (like any coding), not to mention It may be pretty hard to manage the whole script if you aren't really really really organized and structured yourself.

I can see you guys don't really agree with me here, but I feel you are looking at it from the point of view of someone who has already learned the code, and not someone new and frustrated who only wants to create a branching visual story... (of course this specific idea wouldn't be very useful for more complex things like dating sims, just for the simplest things)
I think such a thing would open us to a group of completely new users. Many of them would grow to be more advanced users with time, and the whole scene would grow

Again, I'm not forcing anyone to make something like that. I'm not asking for miracles either. I'm just proposing it as an idea to ponder.

User avatar
Mikan
Veteran
Posts: 364
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 12:20 am
Contact:

Re: do we need a Ren'py maker with a user-friendly interface

#25 Post by Mikan » Fri Oct 01, 2010 4:50 pm

ujhgdf
Last edited by Mikan on Sat Oct 16, 2010 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
pkt
Veteran
Posts: 322
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:09 pm
Completed: I dunno
Projects: Something special
Contact:

Re: do we need a Ren'py maker with a user-friendly interface

#26 Post by pkt » Tue Oct 05, 2010 6:46 pm

Same as Jack Norton, I am far from the best coder. I was also self taught and I am no kind of genius when it comes to that but I noticed ren py is possibly the simplest programming language I've come across. And I've been trying to learn python, javascript, c++, x86, ruby, and so on. Video tutorial might make it easier. But that would be out of the scope of the project and take up a lot of space if it wasn't on Youtube or something.

Another thing is that renpy could get is something like a branching editor maybe similar to freemind or xmind. Just a thought. If not some one could mention it somewhere.
No Active Public Renpy Projects...

User avatar
jack_norton
Lemma-Class Veteran
Posts: 4029
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:41 pm
Completed: Too many! See my homepage
Projects: A lot! See www.winterwolves.com
Tumblr: winterwolvesgames
Contact:

Re: do we need a Ren'py maker with a user-friendly interface

#27 Post by jack_norton » Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:07 am

Code autocompletion or at least highlight wrong syntax would be the best addition ever to Renpy. 90% of the "bugs" I have are typos in renpy keywords... :oops:
follow me on Image Image Image Image
computer games

User avatar
Crocosquirrel
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 707
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:28 am
Completed: Mobile Food Madness, Super Otome Quest
Projects: Academy Daze
Organization: Polymorphic Games
Location: Perpendicularly parked in a parallel universe
Contact:

Re: do we need a Ren'py maker with a user-friendly interface

#28 Post by Crocosquirrel » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:30 am

jack_norton wrote:Code autocompletion or at least highlight wrong syntax would be the best addition ever to Renpy. 90% of the "bugs" I have are typos in renpy keywords... :oops:
This... Definitely this. Most programming errors are typos, as stated, no matter what the language.
I'm going to get off my soap-box now, and let you get back to your day.

Academy Daze- Back in production! Complete with ecchi-ness ;)

User avatar
PyTom
Ren'Py Creator
Posts: 15444
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 10:58 am
Completed: Moonlight Walks
Projects: Ren'Py
IRC Nick: renpytom
Github: renpytom
itch: renpytom
Location: Kings Park, NY
Contact:

Re: do we need a Ren'py maker with a user-friendly interface

#29 Post by PyTom » Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:44 am

The Ren'Py editor situation is bad because it's not very interesting to me, personally. I use emacs to work on Ren'Py (and all the other projects I work on), and it works well for that. But at the same time, I realize that emacs is not for everyone - or even most people.

The thing is, porting Ren'Py support to something like peppy would mean a good deal of work - and work that isn't very interesting, and that would require me to learn a relatively large codebase well enough to extend it in a couple of ways. I'd also then be stuck packaging the result.

Frankly, Ren'Py is a hobby for me - and when it starts to feel like work, that's where I have to draw the line.

I'm probably going to revise the interface that Ren'Py uses to communicate with editors, and also update jEdit to a newer version. (We use a very old one, by today's standards.) But if people want a new editor/IDE with the features listed above, it's up to them to create one - Ren'Py itself is a big enough project for me, without also working on an editor plugin.

(That doesn't mean I wouldn't be willing to extend Ren'Py to output all sorts of information about the script, including lists of various names and where they are defined.)
Supporting creators since 2004
(When was the last time you backed up your game?)
"Do good work." - Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom
"Silly and fun things are important." - Elon Musk
Software > Drama • https://www.patreon.com/renpytom

User avatar
jack_norton
Lemma-Class Veteran
Posts: 4029
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:41 pm
Completed: Too many! See my homepage
Projects: A lot! See www.winterwolves.com
Tumblr: winterwolvesgames
Contact:

Re: do we need a Ren'py maker with a user-friendly interface

#30 Post by jack_norton » Sun Oct 10, 2010 3:54 am

But there aren't any ready made editor that can launch an external file (renpy.exe) with a key combo AND have a list of keyword (so they highlight in red the wrong ones)? Seems strange to me that no editor has those two very simple features which would made coding in renpy even easier than it is now...
follow me on Image Image Image Image
computer games

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users