For discussion and support of other visual novel engines.
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I've been using VNM for the past few months, and I thought it was great with the easy to see UI and seeing what commands you need to drop in was pretty useful since it's my first time using a visual novel engine. But now I'm starting to have doubts, with the amount of bugs and very specific ways the VNM engine works is starting to bog down my project. I always wondered if Renpy would fix these problems for me if I just learned how to code instead.
The other problem is I would have to relearn how to use an engine and would make my project start from the beginning. I would have to remake the mechanics and such, but the idea of thinking of how easy it would be to do it compared to VNM makes me feel at ease a little.
Here is an example, I set a timer for an important mechanic in the game, but when I switch scenes in VNM it resets that timer and it can't continue. This ruins my entire idea of how the game would work, and now I have to find a workaround. I'm not certain if Renpy is like that at all, I would think you make it how you would like it to work. Which to me sounds pretty nice.
I'm a bit overly stressed thinking I wasted my entire time when I could have went with something better. Is Renpy easy to learn and use? and what restrictions does it have? If I had someone walk me through with it I would be very grateful. Or if someone can help me determine if what I am doing right now can be done in Renpy that would be wonderful.
For example, I have a few game mechanics working, a point system easy enough with a few twists. And a minigame which has a strict way of working, and was complicated enough to implement that I'm worried about doing it in Renpy. I'm going to be posting it on steam once it's finished, but I want it looking polished and professional as possible.
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I've never checked out visual novel maker, but if you're looking for an easy to use engine that is quite powerful and can make simple mini games as well as a point system, I recommend checking out https://cloudnovel.net/
It works for online web browser and offline on Windows and Mac.
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"Better" is a very subjective term, and since I'm not experienced in either Ren'Py or VNM, I couldn't tell you for certain. However, a great deal of users on this forum swear by Ren'Py, citing that it lends itself well to anything from a simple VN to one with more complex machanics. When using Ren'Py, you also have the advantage of a big community that you can turn to if you need help with coding - check out the "Ren'Py Questions and Announcements" section if you ever hit a stumbling block and need help with something you're working on.
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I haven't used Visual Novel Maker, but I had a similar experience when I used TyranoBuilder. The drag and drop system was nice and easy for just basic stuff like sprites and dialogue, but when I started wanting to get a bit more complicated, I realized it was probably more work with less general applicability to try to figure out how to manipulate this specific program in ways it wasn't intended for than it was to just learn some real programming. And as far as programming goes, learning to use Ren'Py is pretty easy - I still consider myself to be bad at programming, but I can make VNs in Ren'Py. I highly recommend looking at the documentation
, starting with the Quickstart section, and just seeing what you can do.
Although, don't think of your time with Visual Novel Maker as wasting your time - it probably helped you at least build a bit of a foundation in following the basic logic of programming, and that's helpful!
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