Ren'Py must survive the Apocalypse

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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DaFool
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Ren'Py must survive the Apocalypse

#1 Post by DaFool » Tue Nov 20, 2007 4:46 am

To do so, it must be robust and easy to disseminate, and Ren'Py applications must do likewise.

When Spanish conquistadors wanted to overthrow a nation, they burned its books and literature.

Likewise, when the forces of Anti-Otaku come to destroy anything related to Japan, anime, or bishoujos, they may target our media to destroy them.

I propose the following measures so that in the next Dark Ages of the human race, a lone child might still stumble upon a copy of Starlit Sky and therefore achieve Enlightenment.

I am reminded of this issue since I tried linking to Of Apes and God again, being a tiny but impressive piece of work, and alas, it's gone, not having been mirrored in the RAA.

1.) Export Signature feature integrated in Ren'Py launcher. Similar to hash/md5/gpg/whatever, the purpose would be to uniquely identify a particular release for purposes of distribution such as torrent nfo or sfv (note i don't actually know what most of these things work)

2.) Torrent portal for Ren'Py games. Visual News did explore the idea in March... what has become of it? I mean right now each sparse download of Elven Relations probably hurts little, but how about in the future.

3.) Testing Ren'Py on super low cost platforms such as the $100 Laptop http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XO-1_(laptop)
(side note: wtf is Thailand doing on that list, we're 'poorer' than them! Note: not that poor)

4.) Ren'Py Doujinshi Standards. This part I expect to be controversial, but the idea is to have some form of self-rating for content based purely on technical qualifications. It should go beyond the RAA standards. For now let us call this RDS ratings:
RDS Level 1: Game / Application was scripted and programmed using entirely off-the-shelf components
RDS Level 2: Game / Application used about equal percentage off-the-shelf as well as custom components
RDS Level 3: Game / Application used fully customized resources

The logic behind this is much as we'd like to be open playing field to whoever can even finish a game in the first place, I think we pretty much all agree that Silliness (RDS Level 1) is not the same as Elven Relations, and Sexual Fantasy Kingdom is not the same as O3 (RDS Level 3). While descriptions and reviews give the audience a hint of the content, its still easy to be deceived as to the actual effort used to make the game. A primary motivator for this is because a lot of RDS Level 1 games easily get more audience (and nice backgrounds! nice music! praise) than RDS Level 3 games purely because the resources (graphics, music) used is just shinier. People seem to ignore that more love and attention was placed on RDS Level 3 games. And if RDS Level 1 games keep having that "built-in-shininess" advantage, then less artists and composers would be willing to lend their help in RDS Level 3 projects if they feel that they are not up to par or that their effort would just be wasted and not appreciated enough. Recently I am guilty of this since I have the bad attitude of "Use off-the-shelf resources dammit" towards many of the work in progress posts I read.

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Re: Ren'Py must survive the Apocalypse

#2 Post by monele » Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:41 am

Of Apes and God : I should still have it on my HD, if needed.

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Re: Ren'Py must survive the Apocalypse

#3 Post by PyTom » Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:58 pm

Some thoughts:

I think the forces of apathy and changing interests are far more dangerous to us than any sort of organized anti-Otaku campaign. IIRC, I know of exactly one political candidate who ran on an anti-manga platform, and she lost.

I wonder why "Of Apes and God" didn't make the archives. That seems like an oversight... are there any other games we're missing?

Torrents are useful when you have a large number of people downloading the same game simultaneously. We don't really have that problem. so direct downloads are probably superior for the archive.

That being said, one thing I worry about is that I'm proving too pivotal to the community. I run the forums, the RAA, and the Ren'Py page. So if something sufficiently bad were to happen to me, we could conceivably lose all 3 of them at once. (They share a server.) It would be nice if someone could donate an additional server for the RAA, which would mirror at least the game archive.

I suspect Ren'Py could be made to run on XO, although I don't know how well. Moore's law being what it is, I suspect that games that run poorly today will run well 5 years from now, on updated hardware.

I'm not sure about rating games based on how much original content they have. I'm not even sure if "original content" can be strictly defined, in a world where artists tend to post commissions on deviantart the moment they're done with them.
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Re: Ren'Py must survive the Apocalypse

#4 Post by Adorya » Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:53 pm

PyTom wrote:Moore's law being what it is, I suspect that games that run poorly today will run well 5 years from now, on updated hardware.
*cough* Do you mean that future hardware will be able to run smoothly a simple zoom in 1600x1200 background with text as images randomly pop around at 0.07 speed and it won't be necessary to tweak down that? *cough* :mrgreen:

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Re: Ren'Py must survive the Apocalypse

#5 Post by Jake » Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:01 pm

PyTom wrote:I wonder why "Of Apes and God" didn't make the archives. That seems like an oversight... are there any other games we're missing?
I seem to vaguely recall it being held up as an example back when the "Should the Ren'ai Archive archive things which aren't Ren'ai but are VNs" discussion was going on, so perhaps it cropped up long enough ago to fall foul of that and nobody got around to correcting the oversight since?

(Incidentally, if people happen to have copies of that lying around and there's nothing obviously wrong with it in the documentation, I'd like to see it. IIRC I was busy when it was first mentioned here, and figured I'd come back to it later...)
PyTom wrote: That being said, one thing I worry about is that I'm proving too pivotal to the community. I run the forums, the RAA, and the Ren'Py page. So if something sufficiently bad were to happen to me, we could conceivably lose all 3 of them at once. (They share a server.) It would be nice if someone could donate an additional server for the RAA, which would mirror at least the game archive.
What would be the requirements, here? I mean, in terms of space, services and so on? I could happily donate some of my webspace (I'm hosted with PowWeb) but I don't have the same level of control over it as one would over a rented colo server or anything, and do have hard limits to adhere to. I doubt the RAA comes close to them, let alone would tax it as a secondary mirror, but...

In all seriousness, though, if something were to happen to you I expect the community would suffer more from the lack of Ren'Py development and your constant sensible commentary than losing the contents of the RAA. I mean, if we really need to, we can dump the game archive after you get hit by a bus.
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Re: Ren'Py must survive the Apocalypse

#6 Post by monele » Tue Nov 20, 2007 4:13 pm

Here we go.
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Apes_0.4.zip
(8.61 MiB) Downloaded 70 times

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Re: Ren'Py must survive the Apocalypse

#7 Post by BellosTheMighty » Tue Nov 20, 2007 9:28 pm

PyTom wrote: I suspect Ren'Py could be made to run on XO, although I don't know how well. Moore's law being what it is, I suspect that games that run poorly today will run well 5 years from now, on updated hardware.
Hardware, yes. Software, no. When the standard moved from Win95/98 to NT-based systems, a lot of old games became unplayable. DOSBox and similar programs eventually put most of them back on the radar, but there's still a chunk of games that are difficult/impossible to get working without a copy of at least Win98SE- Including one of the better eroge to get English release, True Love.

And now comes Vista, and it's same song, second verse. Screw the media watchdogs, who's going to save us from Microsoft?
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Re: Ren'Py must survive the Apocalypse

#8 Post by Tayruh » Tue Nov 20, 2007 11:31 pm

That being said, one thing I worry about is that I'm proving too pivotal to the community. I run the forums, the RAA, and the Ren'Py page. So if something sufficiently bad were to happen to me, we could conceivably lose all 3 of them at once. (They share a server.)
Rather than worrying about the servers (which is indeed a problem, I agree), I also worry about you yourself, Pytom. From what I've seen, you're the only person who's able to answer like 90% of the questions on here. What if you were to take a sick leave, or--god forbid--a vacation? Just think of the amount of projects put on hold until you got back to answer their simple question? I'm sure most of their answers could be found by RTFMing, but I also wonder how much of that is actually documented. Beyond that, you really should have someone else working on the code (or at least as familiar with it as you are) for this very reason. I mean, when people have issues with Linux, they don't ask Linus for help. Well.. some do.. but most are able to find the answers in other places. That's not the case here, and that's a big problem.

As you said, apathy and change of interest is the biggest factor in losing users here, and nothing inspires apathy and interest change than hitting a brick wall in your game. Believe me. :P

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Re: Ren'Py must survive the Apocalypse

#9 Post by PyTom » Wed Nov 21, 2007 2:01 am

Tayruh wrote:From what I've seen, you're the only person who's able to answer like 90% of the questions on here. What if you were to take a sick leave, or--god forbid--a vacation? Just think of the amount of projects put on hold until you got back to answer their simple question?
Well, I did take something of a vacation (at least from Ren'Py development) this summer. I suspect that more than half of the questions were (and are) being answered by people other then myself.
Beyond that, you really should have someone else working on the code (or at least as familiar with it as you are) for this very reason.
On one hand, I'd like that... on the other, collaboration is fairly hard. (And to be honest, the Ren'Py code isn't as well documented or intuitive as it could be.) Well, it's not like there are loads of people volunteering to help me out.

(Want to volunteer? I'm looking for new themes and layouts to include in the next release.)
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Re: Ren'Py must survive the Apocalypse

#10 Post by Tayruh » Wed Nov 21, 2007 2:10 am

Want to volunteer?
Sure, I wouldn't mind volunteering. My job actually offers me a lot of free time to do stuff like this. (I work overnight at a hotel and I basically just sit on my ass using the computer for about 6 hours of my shift. My boss lets me install python and whatnot on here and code to my heart's content, as long as I do my real job too, which I do.)

I'll have to familiarize myself with the code first before I can feel comfortable enough to take on big parts of the project (to be honest, I haven't even finished reading the tutorials yet.. >_>), but I'm more than willing to help out in any way I can.

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