Games you learned to code from or would recommend learning from

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ComputerArt.Club
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Games you learned to code from or would recommend learning from

#1 Post by ComputerArt.Club » Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:38 am

When someone starts learning to make a game with Renpy they probably start by looking at the documentation, the bundled game and the cookbook. While a lot can be learned from The Question, inevitably no one game is going to teach you everything you need to know.

What are some other games that you learned to code from?

Are there ethical issues related to viewing a game's code or is it accepted practice? If there are ethical issues, are there some developers that are more open to the idea of letting others learn from their code?

What games would you recommend learning from and why?

Personally, this was an issue that I had when I started and I've seen other newbies with similar issues.

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Re: Games you learned to code from or would recommend learning from

#2 Post by Empish » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:47 am

All the games I've learned from are my own and still unreleased, ie Cassandra Acts, True Selves, Bog (not mine but I learned how to make minigames for it), It Ends With Graduation. Obviously the code for these is not available publicly for any of them.

But the general concept is that people learn best by doing. When you have an idea for something that could be achieved, the best thing to do is to sit down and take it apart, piece by piece. You want to make a gallery, for example? Great! Do you want one page, or multiple pages you can click through? How many images do you want per page? Do you want a basic grid or a more complicated system? Do you want the gallery to be static or to change based on gameplay? Asking these questions can help pinpoint the functionality you want, and only then should you go looking for examples of how someone else has done it.

Now, full disclaimer, I'm a coder by trade, so I already was familiar with computer science concepts when I started learning Ren'py. But I've seen people spend too much time trying to adapt someone else's code to their own purposes when it would have been faster just to do it from scratch. If you don't understand what's going on, taking a piece of big, complicated code is only going to muddy the waters. It's better to do small experiments and get a feel for what behavior you'll have in what circumstances, and THEN you can add it to other code of yours to make something more complicated.

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Re: Games you learned to code from or would recommend learning from

#3 Post by Donmai » Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:28 pm

ComputerArt.Club wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:38 am
Are there ethical issues related to viewing a game's code or is it accepted practice?
You will find many Ren'Py games that are open source. The author doesn't mind or explicitly encourages you to study the game scripts. See the open source section here: viewtopic.php?p=386691#p386691
Doing some search you will find more examples. Cyanide Tea released the scripts from Ristorante Amore for downloading: http://risamo.cyanide-tea.net/rpy/
Another free game with open source is Time Labyrinth: https://games.renpy.org/game/time-labyrinth
Yes, studying other people's scripts and trying to understand how things work is a really good way of learning.
Personally, I only keep my own game files archived because I don't think I'm a good example to others. :oops:
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Re: Games you learned to code from or would recommend learning from

#4 Post by Ezmar » Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:38 pm

Yeah, I can't imagine that many people who code VNs in something like Ren'Py guard their code super carefully. The code isn't really the part that makes the work special, after all. And with a free to use engine... there's no real reason to keep code a secret.

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Re: Games you learned to code from or would recommend learning from

#5 Post by chocochino » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:08 am

Since my lecture did cover VN in class, he told us to reverse engineer DDLC as part of the lesson. I don't know if this practice is illegal in your country, but if it's not just try it. Learning how other people manage their own code is really interesting and the more you play, the more you understand.

(fyi I used viewtopic.php?f=50&t=42952 and their work are just so awesome).

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Re: Games you learned to code from or would recommend learning from

#6 Post by NocturneLight » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:26 am

ComputerArt.Club wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:38 am
When someone starts learning to make a game with Renpy they probably start by looking at the documentation, the bundled game and the cookbook. While a lot can be learned from The Question, inevitably no one game is going to teach you everything you need to know.

What are some other games that you learned to code from?

Are there ethical issues related to viewing a game's code or is it accepted practice? If there are ethical issues, are there some developers that are more open to the idea of letting others learn from their code?

What games would you recommend learning from and why?

Personally, this was an issue that I had when I started and I've seen other newbies with similar issues.

I've learned from exactly 0 game's codes. I also consider the documentation for Ren'Py almost useless when it comes to learning to code. Just doesn't work for me.

There are ethical issues to viewing a game's code unless you get permission from the one who made it, I feel.

For coding, you're not going to learn to code anything from playing someone's game if you don't have their source code. That doesn't mean don't bother playing other games though. Play other games to get an idea of what you want to implement into your game. From there, figure out how to code it into your game.

If you want to learn to code, your best bet is to learn by doing. Or if you're one of those people that can understand what to do just by reading a book, then read the documentation or something. Once you have an idea of something to implement, try and code it in. If you get stuck, Google it. Google is a programmer's best friend. Use it unashamedly and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Just be sure to try and understand the other person's code instead of blindly copying it into your game. There's a good chance someone's asked the question before. And if no one has asked the question before, then ask the question on a forum somewhere so you get help.

That's how I code. So far, it seems to work for me. Until it involves math. Then it gets confusing because I'm the one programmer who hates math and is terribad at it.
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Re: Games you learned to code from or would recommend learning from

#7 Post by Mammon » Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:06 am

NocturneLight wrote:I've learned from exactly 0 game's codes. I also consider the documentation for Ren'Py almost useless when it comes to learning to code. Just doesn't work for me.
I'm the exact opposite of this. Either I see someone spell it out for me, or I don't know it at all. And I mean it needs to be spelled out exactly and in full, so I can just copy it and impliment it for my own. And even then it can sometimes scare me too much and not result in me using it. Like Composite for my expressions, instead I added them all separately. :'D

I also keep a map of scripts of all VNs I read, did something code-wise I never saw before and had their .rpy files visible in the maps. I wrote down what the script did so I can look at it when I want to know how that trick works. And one day I'll definately use any of those scripts! One day...
One script I've learned a lot of is the one from my own project Stalker&Yandere, coded by Darksentinel. I had to meticulously read through it for bugs, and saw a lot of neat tricks and I finally comprehended Im.Composite. That's going to be so much easier with my next project...
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Re: Games you learned to code from or would recommend learning from

#8 Post by ComputerArt.Club » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:57 am

chocochino wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:08 am
Since my lecture did cover VN in class, he told us to reverse engineer DDLC as part of the lesson. I don't know if this practice is illegal in your country, but if it's not just try it. Learning how other people manage their own code is really interesting and the more you play, the more you understand.

(fyi I used viewtopic.php?f=50&t=42952 and their work are just so awesome).
Hmm, everyone always talks about DDLC but I had never actually played it. Just gave it a quick go and looked at the source files. They are rpa files, so they would need to be unpacked, but I suppose part of the ethical issue there is that they were probably packed because they didn't want people reading them. I also checked the Wikipedia page while playing the game and went down to reception to see exactly how big/popular the game was. One massive spoiler in there that already gave away more about the direction of the game than I would have liked :/.
Mammon wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:06 am
Either I see someone spell it out for me, or I don't know it at all. And I mean it needs to be spelled out exactly and in full, so I can just copy it and impliment it for my own.
I can relate to this, and even if I didn't, as a teacher it is important to be able to show students examples or point them in the direction of examples. In my case I showed them demos that I had made of what we were trying to do and examples within my own games. This is why I think it would be cool to have a more complete list of games for newbies to look at.
Donmai wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:28 pm
ComputerArt.Club wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:38 am
Are there ethical issues related to viewing a game's code or is it accepted practice?
You will find many Ren'Py games that are open source. The author doesn't mind or explicitly encourages you to study the game scripts. See the open source section here: ...
Another free game with open source is Time Labyrinth: https://games.renpy.org/game/time-labyrinth
Yes, studying other people's scripts and trying to understand how things work is a really good way of learning.
Cool, I didn't know Time Labyrinth was open source. My first game had a lot of similarities (dungeon crawler and RPG elements). I put a lot of time into and got quite far but then moved onto easier projects and finished those instead. That first project still isn't finished. Maybe someday... :)

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Re: Games you learned to code from or would recommend learning from

#9 Post by NocturneLight » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:54 pm

Mammon wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:06 am
NocturneLight wrote:I've learned from exactly 0 game's codes. I also consider the documentation for Ren'Py almost useless when it comes to learning to code. Just doesn't work for me.
I'm the exact opposite of this. Either I see someone spell it out for me, or I don't know it at all. And I mean it needs to be spelled out exactly and in full, so I can just copy it and impliment it for my own. And even then it can sometimes scare me too much and not result in me using it. Like Composite for my expressions, instead I added them all separately. :'D

I also keep a map of scripts of all VNs I read, did something code-wise I never saw before and had their .rpy files visible in the maps. I wrote down what the script did so I can look at it when I want to know how that trick works. And one day I'll definately use any of those scripts! One day...
One script I've learned a lot of is the one from my own project Stalker&Yandere, coded by Darksentinel. I had to meticulously read through it for bugs, and saw a lot of neat tricks and I finally comprehended Im.Composite. That's going to be so much easier with my next project...

Interesting. We're the same in this regard. I have to see it spelled out too, but I never find a solution for me in someone else's game. Though the main reason I don't look is because other people's code that's being put into actual use tends to look long and incomprehensible to me. How are you getting hold of other game's scripts though? I was under the assumption most of the visual novels out there are hiding their .rpy files.
Are you a Character or Background artist? Do you want to work on something that ISN'T a regular, old dating sim set in high school? Are you interested in Christianity and H.P. Lovecraft?

If you said yes to any of the above questions, take a look at this:
viewtopic.php?f=60&t=46609

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Re: Games you learned to code from or would recommend learning from

#10 Post by Mammon » Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:35 pm

NocturneLight wrote:Though the main reason I don't look is because other people's code that's being put into actual use tends to look long and incomprehensible to me.
That's not really a problem if you know where to look. If it's an effect or something that happens somewhere specific in the story, you can Ctrl+F for that sentence and look a few lines above for how they made the effect. After that it's just tracing it to the base code.
How are you getting hold of other game's scripts though? I was under the assumption most of the visual novels out there are hiding their .rpy files.
This year and the year before, maybe, go back to older VNs and hidden .rpy files become rare. Also, I can find good coding in very amateurish projects that don't know how to hide those files.
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