RenPy onto Google Play - lessons learned

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mameshiba
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RenPy onto Google Play - lessons learned

#1 Post by mameshiba » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:19 pm

Hi all,
I’ve recently published my RenPy game on the Google Play store. Hooray! It was a weekend project, but I wanted to see if I could get it on to Google Play, so I can build better, awesomer things once I had the basics down.

However, I really struggled to find instructions for the entire process end-to-end, so I felt dead in the water for several months trying to connect the dots, especially as I am new to RenPy and the Google Play store.

Now, this blog post helped me get 80% of the way there and is a great reference to start with as it has images, but it’s from 2015, so some things have changed: http://traumendes-madchen.com/blog/?p=1292

However, it wasn’t all the info I needed, so I wanted to summarise a few of the tips and resources I found useful along the way which helped me. And, of course, the wonderful folks on this forum helped me connect a lot of the dots!

Here we go!

1. UPDATE YOUR RENPY
I had an old version of RenPy and RAPT. There have been new releases in the last few months specifically to assist with getting RenPy onto Android. I had quite a few technical glitches along the way, but reinstalling RenPy (and any of the extensions for exporting to mobile like RAPT) with the latest software was invaluable. (Thanks team RenPy!)

1. GAME DESIGN FOR MOBILE
Testing in your mobile is essential because the screen size is different to web. It means your characters will be too big, your font takes up half the screen, and your fingers won’t be able to click on the buttons because you don’t use a mouse when playing.

In the end, you may need to play around with the size and placement of your characters and fonts by changing your images sizes and the GUI.

I found these guides helpful:
https://www.renpy.org/doc/html/gui.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnVMA8lvB3Q

I also recommend changing your game icon, so when the game installs on your phone, the little icon will be of your game characters.

More here:
https://www.renpy.org/doc/html/android. ... ash-images

Don’t forget that RenPy has a mobile emulator built in so you can see how things look on a phone screen.

2. TESTING ON YOUR MOBILE
RenPy has a great guide for installing everything for testing on mobiles here: https://www.renpy.org/doc/html/android. ... d-building

Once you’re happy with the app after testing it on your mobile, then you are ready for the next step!

3. SETTING UP A GOOGLE PLAY ACCOUNT

Before an app can be put on the Google Play store, it needs the Google Key installed into it, so, you will need to set up a Google Play account, register a new app, get the unique app key, then go back to Renpy, install this key in your options.rpy file, and then export a new version of your game to publish that has the key in it. It’s a little chicken-and-the-egg, but I can’t find another way to do it!

Setting up the Google Play account so you can publish apps to the Google Play store can be done here: https://play.google.com/apps/publish/

As I mentioned, you also need to add your Google Play Key and SALT into your RenPy options file in order for it to live on Google Play.
Instructions for this are here:
https://www.renpy.org/doc/html/android. ... ash-images
http://traumendes-madchen.com/blog/?p=1292

This is a good rundown of how to publish an app from the Google Play perspective: https://medium.com/@the_manifest/how-to ... f9f533e370

4. PUBLISHING YOUR GAME
Before you can publish an app of the Google Play store, you need to have all the app details filled in for the store listing, like the promo images, description and privacy policy. I recommend spending a few hours just going through and preparing everything you need for that. You need every item filled in (even promo images for widescreen tvs!) before it will publish. It's much easier to prepare all this at once!

When you upload your game and Google Play asks for your .apk file, you will have two files in your build distributions folder from your RenPy export - one that says 86_64 and the other says armeabi. Use the arm version, otherwise, when you publish to the store, it won’t work on your phone.

5. WAIT AND REVIEW
It might take up to 24 hours for your game to publish the store, but keep in mind that you might still have some tweaks. Install in on your phone and test that it works before announcing it to the world!

That's it!

Hope to see more RenPy games in the Google Play store! :D

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Andredron
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Re: RenPy onto Google Play - lessons learned

#2 Post by Andredron » Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:50 am

In addition to Google, there are many more sites. Google is a monopolist, and your projects will not be much to receive many views, if you have not rocked a large audience and you are not in the top for download. This is especially true in visual novels. Instead of fixing on one platform, launch a project on several sites, Steam, itchi.... and here’s a list of mobile platform:

https://code.tutsplus.com/articles/10-a ... -cms-20999

Amazon there is a little trouble the game on the renpy publish. Knowledge of my python is not enough. And on the other sites goes well.
I know, I'm writing terribly in English.

I'm writing a Renpy textbook (in Russian). https://yadi.sk/d/ZX_DonP63USRru Update 22.06.18

Honest Critique

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ComputerArt.Club
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Re: RenPy onto Google Play - lessons learned

#3 Post by ComputerArt.Club » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:55 am

mameshiba wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:19 pm
Before an app can be put on the Google Play store, it needs the Google Key installed into it, so, you will need to set up a Google Play account, register a new app, get the unique app key, then go back to Renpy, install this key in your options.rpy file, and then export a new version of your game to publish that has the key in it. It’s a little chicken-and-the-egg, but I can’t find another way to do it!
If I understand what you mean correctly here, if you are not doing in app purchases, you should choose not to opt in to Google Play key management. Once you click that button though, your only option is to create a whole new listing if you want to go back. Even if you contact Google, they won't be able to undo it. It is very easy to click that button as they really try and push it, but you can avoid those steps if you prefer.

As for GUI, I build mine from the ground up for mobile, instead of a quick menu I will add a few image buttons for key features. I try to make sure that all the buttons and clickable objects are big enough. Text should also be larger, in general. Using RenPy games designed for PC on a phone can be painful. Personally, as an elementary school teacher, I see that the next generation may be a lot less likely to use traditional desktop computers. I think it is time to embrace that.

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