Best engine for a sim game

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Ly Erg
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Best engine for a sim game

#1 Post by Ly Erg » Sun May 20, 2018 3:09 pm

So, I'm just looking for some advice.
I would like to create a game that leans closer to a "dating sim" than a "visual novel". My idea is too have a stat system similar to Tokimeki Memorial or True Love 95, and also allow the character to freely move around different areas. I've noticed that some games made in Ren'py allow for systems like this, but it seems like it would be impossible with out a significant amount of programming knowledge.

I am okay with studying a bit to learn to use Ren'py, but before I invest the time, I just wanted to get some opinions.
So basically, I'm wondering what people consider the best engine for making a "sim" type of game, as opposed to a visual novel.
I've heard very strong opinions both for and against all the usual engines, like Ren'Py, TyranoBuilder, Fungus, etc.
I just kinda thought it might help to talk about it a bit, before I decide on what engine I should invest my time in learning to use, so I don't regret it later.

*Apologies if there has been a thread like this before, I searched around an could not find one.

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Re: Best engine for a sim game

#2 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Sun May 20, 2018 4:13 pm

Ly Erg wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 3:09 pm
So, I'm just looking for some advice.
I would like to create a game that leans closer to a "dating sim" than a "visual novel". My idea is too have a stat system similar to Tokimeki Memorial or True Love 95, and also allow the character to freely move around different areas. I've noticed that some games made in Ren'py allow for systems like this, but it seems like it would be impossible with out a significant amount of programming knowledge.

I am okay with studying a bit to learn to use Ren'py, but before I invest the time, I just wanted to get some opinions.
So basically, I'm wondering what people consider the best engine for making a "sim" type of game, as opposed to a visual novel.
I've heard very strong opinions both for and against all the usual engines, like Ren'Py, TyranoBuilder, Fungus, etc.
I just kinda thought it might help to talk about it a bit, before I decide on what engine I should invest my time in learning to use, so I don't regret it later.

*Apologies if there has been a thread like this before, I searched around an could not find one.
As someone who has dabbled and experimented with all those engines you mentioned, I keep coming back to RenPy.

1. It's always free. (Thanks, PyTom!)
2. It is the most feature complete engine out there for dating sims and visual novels. It is about to release as version 7.0 anytime now.
3. Performance-wise, it beats TyranBuilder and Visual Novel Maker by quite a bit. (No waiting for scenes to load.)
4. You are going to have to gain some programming knowledge to do what you want REGARDLESS of the engine you pick. RenPy's coding and Python are easier than most.
5, There is WAY more help and support available for making a dating sim or visual novel in RenPy than with those other engines. The community for RenPy is huge - it has been around almost a decade at this point.
6. To that last point, more commercial dating sims have been released that use RenPy than with those other engines combined. I think that tells you something.

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meyaoi
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Re: Best engine for a sim game

#3 Post by meyaoi » Sun May 20, 2018 5:44 pm

As someone who's making a dating sim myself (and a pretty complicated one to boot), I'm really grateful I use Renpy as the game's engine.
Renpy's screen language is really powerful (+ super simple to use) and is more than sufficient for most features a dating sim needs. I can even make interactive sex with only screen language + Python, that should tell you how powerful it is. There's also a neat dating sim framework that is convenient for event handlings.

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Re: Best engine for a sim game

#4 Post by Ly Erg » Sun May 20, 2018 6:18 pm

meyaoi wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 5:44 pm
As someone who's making a dating sim myself (and a pretty complicated one to boot), I'm really grateful I use Renpy as the game's engine.
Renpy's screen language is really powerful (+ super simple to use) and is more than sufficient for most features a dating sim needs. I can even make interactive sex with only screen language + Python, that should tell you how powerful it is. There's also a neat dating sim framework that is convenient for event handlings.
Oh dang, meyoai! I didn't expect you to comment on my thread! Actually, your game is the reason I was particularly interested in using Ren'Py. I am a big fan of Seiyuu Danshi so far. Thank you for your advice! :mrgreen:

LateWhiteRabbit wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 4:13 pm
As someone who has dabbled and experimented with all those engines you mentioned, I keep coming back to RenPy.

1. It's always free. (Thanks, PyTom!)
2. It is the most feature complete engine out there for dating sims and visual novels. It is about to release as version 7.0 anytime now.
3. Performance-wise, it beats TyranBuilder and Visual Novel Maker by quite a bit. (No waiting for scenes to load.)
4. You are going to have to gain some programming knowledge to do what you want REGARDLESS of the engine you pick. RenPy's coding and Python are easier than most.
5, There is WAY more help and support available for making a dating sim or visual novel in RenPy than with those other engines. The community for RenPy is huge - it has been around almost a decade at this point.
6. To that last point, more commercial dating sims have been released that use RenPy than with those other engines combined. I think that tells you something.
And thank you as well, LateWhiteRabbit. I have messed around with both Ren'Py and Tyranobuilder, and was a bit disappointed with Tyranobuilder's current inability to do much of anything "off the beaten path" from a standard VN. Although, my main worry about Ren'Py has been that the maker does not really have a "GUI"(I think that's the right term for what I mean?) I'm kind of a visual thinker I guess, and lines of code look like cuneiform to me. And I was a little concerned since Ren'Py seems aimed primarily at making VNs, as opposed to sim stuff.
You do make a very convincing case though, I guess when deciding any on any type of program, a lot of it comes down to "customization options vs. ease of use"

I will most definitely look into Ren'Py a bit more.

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Re: Best engine for a sim game

#5 Post by kivik » Sun May 27, 2018 9:04 am

The newer versions of Ren'Py does have an interactive director: https://www.renpy.org/doc/html/director.html I've not tried it myself but it may make the story scripting part a bit easier.

However you'd need to do a bit of actual coding to build the Dating Sim engine anyway, so I'm afraid you'll have to bite the bullet on that - use Atom if you don't know any coding text editors already.

What you talked about isn't hard particularly hard (in fact everything you mentioned is in my own game), but can be a bit overwhelming for someone who hadn't done programming before. I'd recommend you read up on object orientated programming in python as it'll be the best way of approaching it - and the good thing is, object orientation is a pretty visual orientated idea, I just visualise objects in my head when I code them so hopefully as a visual person you'll find it easy enough to pick up.

There're plenty of help on the questions forum here so feel free to pop in and ask technical help!

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Re: Best engine for a sim game

#6 Post by gas » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:42 am

Turn based like Tokimemo : ren'py. If you like me eviscerate the Konami game intricacy, a procedural approach is far much better. But it require for you a very savvy use of logic and a robust python knowledge, at least standard methods, as renpy alone can't manage that.
Dinamyc game (like rpg): any other game engine, preferably GameMaker or Unity.
Coming wth a decent scrolling routine in pygame is... well, can't be done.
Anyway, those require for you to learn relative languages the same, to come with a decent game (not speaking the visual approach become hellish if you have a LOT of variables like a sim).
10 ? "RENPY"
20 GOTO 10

RUN

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