Beginner level tutorial

Discuss how to use the Ren'Py engine to create visual novels and story-based games. New releases are announced in this section.
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rinrin
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Beginner level tutorial

#1 Post by rinrin » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:36 am

(I'm not entirely sure this is the right sub-forum - please move if appropriate)

I have been working on a total-beginner-level Ren'Py tutorial for quite some time:
How to Make a Simple Otome Game

It's meant to be a step-by-step guide for people who want to make visual novels (primarily otome) and have absolutely no idea how to go about it. The tutorial is very detailed and the pace is extremely slow. Placeholder graphics (characters and backgrounds) are included, so even people who can't produce their own art can follow it.

The basic difference between this tutorial and Tutorial Game that comes with Ren'Py itself is that the tutorial game seems to be about "What Ren'Py is and what it can do" (very useful for advanced users) while this tutorial answers the question "How do I make my game?" directly and in lots of hand-holding detail.

I would appreciate some feedback from people who don't know how to use Ren'Py, have very spotty knowledge or only know the most basic basics. I suspect most active users of Lemmasoft don't fall into any of these categories, but I'm hoping for some lurkers to come out.

Topics covered so far: downloading and installing Ren'Py, Ren'Py basics, graphics, text tags and color, planning the story and the branching options, menus, variables and switches (the last chapter is still in development and will be followed by two more chapters).
tutorial-preview.png
This is just a preview to give some general idea - see the link above for the whole tutorial.

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Re: Beginner level tutorial

#2 Post by Nellie » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:52 am

As a beginner in Ren'py, I find this tutorial helpful so far - although as there are so many words to read (images being relatively small), I think light colour fonts and dark colour background aren't exactly too kind on the eyes. Maybe that's just me =/
Image

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Re: Beginner level tutorial

#3 Post by Blane Doyle » Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:11 am

Oh wow, thank you so much! I have been using Ren'Py for a while, but many parts of the official tutorials still confuse me. Just by looking at the first part I understand this very nicely, and I am sure this will be of great help to many more people.

Thank you so much!

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Re: Beginner level tutorial

#4 Post by Samu-kun » Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:46 am

Great job.

Now someone make one for punipuni moemoe bishoujo games before I do. :3

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Re: Beginner level tutorial

#5 Post by rinrin » Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:46 am

@ Nellie
Unfortunately there's not much I can do about that, since it's the color scheme of the whole site (not just the tutorial part) ^^;
But I agree it might be a bit hard to read. I thought more people would complain about images not being clickable!

@ Bane Reiko @ Samu-kun
Thanks! It's always nice to hear encouragement :D

I just finished working on chapter 6 (the one about menus, variables etc.) - two more chapters to go.

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Re: Beginner level tutorial

#6 Post by OokamiKasumi » Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:24 am

Thank you so much for writing this tutorial!

While I have made (and completed) a couple of games, your tutorial covered a whole pile of things that had never made sense to me, such as:

-- What a Call statement was, as opposed to a "jump" statement.
-- How the If statement works; and how you're actually supposed to write (and indent) it.
-- What the heck elif was, and when to use it.
-- How a Flag worked, but more importantly, how to set one up, and where to put it.
-- How to set up Point Variables systems, and where to declare them.

All the tutorials I've been running across are little more than "Copy / Paste this code..." In many cases, it doesn't even tell me Where to paste said code, beyond "--in an init block." In other words; recipes with lists of ingredients, but no instructions on when, or where, or why one uses these ingredients -- or which ingredients won't mix well.

Even something as simple as making sure to have a "return" at the end of every label, and why, was something I'd never learned. It was just something I copied -- if it was included with the code. Sometimes it Wasn't.

Yours is an actual Tutorial that teaches not only what to do, but why you should do it that way.

I know you'd rather have comments from raw beginners, but I for one am very grateful to finally have these things explained in layman's terms. Copy / paste recipes can only get one so far, and I had reached my limit.
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Re: Beginner level tutorial

#7 Post by Princess Akina » Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:47 am

Ohmygawd! You are my saviour ;;
Back when I ran Renpy for the first time, I ran the Tutorial Game like a typical newbie would. I remembered reading through each section and scratching my head at the mention of these random things you call flags, ypos, xpos, you get the drift.
Rinrin, you have just saved my life.
I FINALLY understand exactly what a flag was! The way you described it as a switch was just pure genius!
And all those if, else and elif statements finally make sense! And the point variables! I was wondering what the heck developer tools were. I thought they were hacking programs @_@;
You have cleared so many things up for me!! I thank you :D
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Re: Beginner level tutorial

#8 Post by silenteve » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:36 am

Thank you so much! Explaining the calls and if statements were so helpful!
I did the stupid jump scene thing and the code started to look incredibly messy. But your guide helped me out a lot! Now I'm gonna go and use it to help me finish coding the first scene in my game. Thanks again!
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Re: Beginner level tutorial

#9 Post by kaleidofish » Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:37 pm

Thank you for your help! It's really clarified a lot of things that I wasn't sure of.

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Re: Beginner level tutorial

#10 Post by rinrin » Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:20 am

Thanks, everyone!

I'm really happy to hear so many people found it useful. :D

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Re: Beginner level tutorial

#11 Post by akizakura » Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:02 pm

Thank you soooo much! This tutorial was a huge help and, as others have said, clarifies a lot! I hope you keep going and make more!

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Re: Beginner level tutorial

#12 Post by luminarious » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:26 am

At some point I tried to put together a bit more complete tutorial, but then life intervened. It's still up at http://renpy.org/wiki/tutorial, if anyone wants to complete it. Maybe even merge this tutorial and yours? :)

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Re: Beginner level tutorial

#13 Post by rinrin » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:44 am

@ akizakura:
Thanks! Glad you found it useful :) I'll try to make more, but it will probably take some time.

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Re: Beginner level tutorial

#14 Post by wulfae » Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:40 pm

Rinrin, I wanted to thank you for all the effort you've put into that tutorial, it has certainly helped me start writing things in this program. I'm looking forward to part seven!

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Re: Beginner level tutorial

#15 Post by rinrin » Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:14 am

I'm really happy to hear that! I hope I'll manage to work on part seven sometimes soon (parts of it are already written, but it will take some time to rearrange and organize everything into something readable).

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