Beginner's Delimma...

A place to discuss things that aren't specific to any one creator or game.
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GorillaKick
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Beginner's Delimma...

#1 Post by GorillaKick » Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:12 pm

Ok...I have a problem. I'm thinking about starting my first ren'ai game project. First off, I don't have any programming experience. Second, I don't know wether or not to use Flash or another program. Third, I got Ren'py but I don't know how to use it. And finally, I don't know wether or not to make it animated or just feaux-animated visual novel style. The last one is the most important to me. Help!

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#2 Post by Sai » Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:41 pm

First - You could always see if anyone you know has any programming experience. Or ask around to see if anyone would be willing to help, I'm sure at least one person out of the whole internet would have the time ^^ You don't necessarily have to do all aspects of the project yourself. However if you're determined you could learn a programming language. I reccomend the QuickPro or QuickStart books for a start in programming for any language, just type those titles into Amazon.com and watch the many results come up.
Second - Flash would be fine really. As long as the project isn't too complex. I think Flash is capable of a lot of things but there are some things you might need to pick up external add-ons for. However I don't start Flash until this coming Uni year so I can't tell you much. Overall Flash is a good program. Beyond that you'd be looking into programming from scratch rather than using an application for the most part, unless you find another application that can do what you want.
Third - There is documentation already I believe for Ren'Py check out the Ren'Py section here on the forum for the Ren'Py site and help. If you get confused on anything in the documentation then post in that section and I'm sure someone will help you out. I've never used Ren'Py but someone once demonstrated to me how easy and quick Ren'Py can be and did a short scenario (one character, one background, some dialogue and one question/path selection), they did that in 5 minutes.
Fourth - From the ren'ai games I've caught a glimpse of, commercial or non-commercial, any animation is not common. What I, personally, find wonderful about ren'ai games is that they aren't animated and so the quality of artwork is much higher. Animation requires lots and lots of frames, so the quality of artwork has to be reduced considerably to account for time and so on. However still images can have greater depth and quality and this really shows in ren'ai games. However there are those, certainly that use animation and they are still cool and look great. It's really up to you and what you think you'd be capable of. Animation requires more work and determination. I would say to be careful with your first project not to get ahead of yourself and probably start with the lesser before going into something that requires lots and lots of frames. You could try the "false" option if you'd really enjoy adding animation (you mean like people blinking?) and that would be less work but still incorporate the idea.

Best of luck with your project.

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#3 Post by rioka » Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:22 pm

Hi Gorilla! Welcome to the forum. =)

For more advice, hop on over to the Lem'ai Ren'Ai Development Center and check out Lemma's words of wisdom.

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#4 Post by Grey » Fri Sep 10, 2004 5:32 am

Weelll, normally I'd be pushing Flash, but since PyTom's been working so hard on it, and you say you have no programming experience I'll reccomend RenPy instead.

For one its designed to create ren'ai games, whereas Flash can be used for lots of things, secondly it comes with a very comprehensive looking tutorial. Flash has a very nice help file as they go, but it only instructs in using all of Flashes commands in a general way, and you have to know more or less what you want to do, and what with.

thirdly it's code is more natural language based, which you may find easier to understand and work with, ie

show Rielle confused at right
r "You really think so?"
p "yeah..."
show Rielle angry
r "Baka!"

rather than at the most basic level in flash: Rielle.gotoAndStop("confused")

of course you have to do some clever stuff with Flash, so that you can have more than one line and one action to a frame, and have them execute at the right time. For example in Kasuka I would make the RenPy script above by doing:

move("Rielle","right")
action[0]="Rielle,confused"
action[2]="Rielle,angry"
Write(
"R:You think so?",
"P:Yeah...",
"RBaka!"
);

where Write() is my main text/event hangling procedure. Basically in Flash you have to know how to bend the actionscript and built in flash stuff to what you want to do, wheras in RenPy PyTom's made a language specifically to do that sort of thing.

Also I think your third problem really should be the least of your worries.

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#5 Post by Tyler » Fri Sep 10, 2004 3:53 pm

Go with Ren'py. Once you spend time with the code, it's not that hard

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#6 Post by GorillaKick » Fri Sep 10, 2004 6:14 pm

Yeah, I know Ren'py is easy. It's just I don't know how to edit a script and make a script. Would I need Python or Pygame to do that? Because, I can't open anything in Windows. I literally don't know how to do anything with Ren'py.

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#7 Post by BlackSpider » Fri Sep 10, 2004 6:20 pm

Good, another potential ren'ai VN creator. I'll also advise you to go for Ren'py. Why? It's simple. Ren'py has good documentation (didn't read it myself though :)), has it's own section at the Lemmasoft forums and is actively developed. I'm sure someone with good Ren'py knowledge will surely help you get started. And I agree with Grey here that animation is the last thing you should worry about :). First you could start by writing down on paper a short resume of the story and then define your game characters. Then, if you don't have an artist for your project try to find one or better start drawing game characters yourself basing on the specs of the engine you'll be using. You may also start by writing a short script (even in pseudo code) and later find an artist... Most important with this kind of VN stuff is to get results quickly. Therefore if you can manage to write a very small script with one character and see the result by playing your game, then you'll likely to continue with your project...

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#8 Post by rioka » Fri Sep 10, 2004 10:22 pm

GorillaKick wrote:Yeah, I know Ren'py is easy. It's just I don't know how to edit a script and make a script. Would I need Python or Pygame to do that? Because, I can't open anything in Windows. I literally don't know how to do anything with Ren'py.
You can directly edit the script that PyTom uses in his current release which is found at game/script.rpy

If you get that Choose Program window box, your best bet is to use WordPad as it'll keep all the structure (i.e. spaces, tabs, etc). I suggest you check the "Use this program always" or something like that so you don't have to keep going through the Choose Program window box.

To edit the Ren'Py window, open up style.rpy in that same folder and edit it manually.

Leave all the other files alone under lib and renpy unless you know what you're doing.

Once you've edited the game, all you do is run the file "run_game.exe". If you programmed something wrong like didn't link an image, you'll get a traceback text file. The traceback file will tell you what exactly you did wrong. The most important info I've noticed is the last line. Check out what it says and go back to that line it indicates and debug.

I suggest you code your game line by line and keep running it so you can debug it easier. If you code it at one time, you'll have a harder time checking for errors.

Common errors: mispelled commands, missing punctuation (:, %, etc), not correctly indented, use of tab instead of spacebar, improper coding (i.e. n/ instead of n\ for newline command; n/ wrong, n\ right)

I suggest you download the old RenPy demo with Miko in it - it'll explain better (or at least in simple speak ^_^ ) about writing script and give you a better head start than the tutorial found under the doc folder with the current release. If you want to use the new features such as moving character to the left or right of the screen, go through the tutorial and if you have any questions, hop over to the RenPy section. =)

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#9 Post by PyTom » Fri Sep 10, 2004 10:49 pm

Um... n/ wrong, n\ wrong, \n right. :-)

Do people really think the old demo with Miko was much better? If so, I can go and port it over to the new codebase as part of the 4.1 demo.

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#10 Post by mikey » Sun Sep 12, 2004 6:02 am

PyTom wrote:Do people really think the old demo with Miko was much better? If so, I can go and port it over to the new codebase as part of the 4.1 demo.
I kind of like the new look :P

GorillaKick>> well, eclipse pointed you the right way... just make sure you follow Rule Nr. 1, with the addition that you don't have to polish it too much - your first project should give you a feel for game-making, not be the rival to Tales Of Lemma 3 :P

Also, try to give your project something the other games don't have. It could be a special kind of plot, an interesting character design (my characters always wear glasses for instance), perhaps a genre that was not yet done (a small detective story, action or horror - naturally with ren'ai elements) - anyway, something that will make your game special.

And then, time management is absolutely crucial. Read Lemma's document again and again - he wrote it for a reason. Also, look at the topics on this forum and see why people's projects got delayed (work, school, artist, too many people, etc...), so you can avoid the problems they had.

Okie, my lecture's over :D
Good luck with your project!

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#11 Post by rioka » Sun Sep 12, 2004 10:42 am

lol I knew something was wrong with it! I guess I shouldn't rush next time. :P

Anyways, I don't think of the Miko demo as better or not. It just has information that can get a newbie started.

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#12 Post by kara24601 » Wed Oct 27, 2004 3:43 am

There's Adrift , it's mostly for interactive text games but some people have made ren'ai games with it.

Also something you could try is AGS ( adventure game studio ) , I use that for game creation also.

I haven't tried Game Maker yet.
Last edited by kara24601 on Wed Oct 27, 2004 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#13 Post by rioka » Wed Oct 27, 2004 11:35 am

And there's the Game Maker engine papillon is making for dating sim's specifically.
Last edited by rioka on Thu Oct 28, 2004 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#14 Post by papillon » Wed Oct 27, 2004 9:20 pm

I toyed with doing one in TADS years ago... all the input was done by choosing numbers or clicking the mouse on the number-buttons... It was sort of lame and I'm never really going to get back to it, but there was a vaguely playable demo somewhere that had at least first scenes for all the girls, I wonder if I still have it...

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#15 Post by Naraku » Wed Nov 24, 2004 4:16 am

There are some free C compilers for download on the web.
http://www.bloodshed.net/devcpp.html

C is a difficult language to learn, I have yet to make anything
usefull with it. After all I am a beginer myself.

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