Ren'Py specific questions should be posted in the Ren'Py Questions and Annoucements forum, not here.
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Maybe add a little bounce to a sprite when a character's excited? A jitter when they're nervous? Some squash and stretch? More 'traversal' back and forth across the screen for pacing, or something? I've got a handful of ideas, but not many.
What sort of little tweaks do you like to see to make still images feel a bit more lively? Or do you prefer a more static view that doesn't distract you?
- Jackkel Dragon
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I think a good game to look into is 9 hours, 9 persons, 9 doors (999). In that game, the portraits are mostly static, but sometimes have little animations that play. Like the little girl will bounce into her happy pose, or the big guy will throw his head back into his laughing pose. That way you can have at least some visual movement without having something too difficult to implement or too distracting to the player.
Edit/Side Note: I really liked the HeX coda series, so I just wanted to thank you for those games while I have the chance.
Edit 2: I don't know how static your current portraits are overall, but having them move across the screen or visibly leave the screen when they exit can help to emulate movement. Like having character A on the left side and B at the right side of the screen, then having B move to the center when patting A on the back in narration. That sounds like one of the things you already mentioned though, so that might not be news.
- Eldritch Academy: A Romance/Paranormal Thriller Visual Novel about a Japanese boarding school's dark secret. (Lemmasoft) [Nightshade]
- Blooming Nightshade: A lighthearted Romance Visual Novel set at the school from Eldritch Academy. (itch.io) [Nightshade]
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- Eileen-Class Veteran
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Personally I like to animate these instead.
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/f2/9d/6f ... bda62f.jpg
Note: image hotlinked so may not work
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Not just the character sprites, but think of moving the camera, too(zooming, panning,...). I notice that it can really make things feel way less static. Directing/coding these are a lot of work, so sometimes one might not think that it's worth the time/effort for it.
Hope my insight helped! ^^;
Need some graphics for your game?
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to see what a little sprite animation can do to a game.
TOIRE NO HANAKO (A Story About Fear)
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I definitely prefer these types of animation over static characters. Really adds to the gamefeel, giving the player a stronger sense of input. And unlike fully animated characters, animated transitions don't draw the eye away from the text.
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