Ren'Py specific questions should be posted in the Ren'Py Questions and Annoucements forum, not here.
- Elsa Kisiel
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Definitively coding, or at least writing first. If you draw first, some drawing are going to be unnecessary because some scenes have been removed. Or some scene might be rewritten and the drawing are going to have to be modified, ... Or you might go with a totally different interface than what you planned. (Exemple: you wanted to do character portrait, but you're gonna go with full body instead.)
Now, it doesn't mean you can't draw anything before coding. I usually draw a few concept art, especially characters concept art, or props concept art for important elements, to help me writing. But when I draw these concept art, I do it knowing I might not use them at all in the finished product.
Especially if you're beginner in coding. That way you can assess on how many expressions you need, CGs you need to make, effects, item, etc etc (Sketch is okay to help for visualization). So you don't waste drawing them then getting stuck on coding cuz you can't figure out how the code works, frustrating you so much that you losing all interest to the project. Also, start easy. Don't force yourself to learn everything in one go.
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You're probably best off putting a framework for the story in place (as far as writing and coding go) so that you know what art you need and don't make a bunch of stuff that ends up being worthless.
But once you have the art, you'll almost certainly need to do more work with coding as far as adjusting positioning and posssibly improving other aspects. This may also take some tweaking of art. (E.g. you might realize that an animation looks really funky because something about the legs is off when you actually see the sprite walking.) You may also end up re-writing some things then, as certain ideas may not make sense in execution.
Note that a lot of this is more pertinent to a game with a lot of programming than a very basic visual novel. (For one of those, you might not have to work through multiple iterations.)
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However, and especially if you're solo, it's wise to code and plug the script in first, because you'll get a much better idea about the art assets you want to include after you've got the story and code in. It's very useful to be able to "play" the script and see what's wrong with it, and make changes before you commit to making art assets.
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nothing hurts more than having to re-do art because a part of the story change. trust me, I speak from experience.
Think of it this way, you could create an amazing game with interactive cutscenes, gameplay etc. with nothing more than stick figures and still have people like it. Unlike Pokemon RBY we don't always have a Satoru Iwata to save us if our code isn't working lol. If you know that history then props Jokes aside from what I have seen with VN's, great art only goes so far if the UI or coding is not good and typically that's passible in NSFW 18+ type games.
Like your art skills, once you understand how to code something it's not very difficult to NOT use if that makes sense and most importantly as you build your project and nail down a solid UI or other core elements that'll be reused you don't really have it touch it past that. In coding we call this the DRY principle (Don't Repeat Yourself). Since I am a coder and writer first; artist second, I tend to want the foundation built before anything else.
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