Ren'Py @ Otakon 2008

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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PyTom
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Re: Ren'Py @ Otakon 2008

#31 Post by PyTom » Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:49 pm

Okay, so I finally got everything from Otakon uploaded to http://www.renpy.org/.

I have to say that overall, I thought the con went well. I made it there a few hours early, and after a little bit of a mix-up at the special needs registration desk, finally got my badge. I checked out the computer lab in advance, and it's a good thing I did, as the Ren'Py build I made for Otakon didn't make it to the con computers. Apparently, both issues were due to some staff problems in the workshop division... big thanks go to Aldrich Gamboa for installing Ren'Py on 24 of the 40 workshop computers. (I did the rest, as well as the presenter's machine.)

When it got closer to the time of the presentation, I returned to the computer lab. There were a few people there who weren't clear about what a VN is, so I modified the first slide to mention that a VN is a computer program, not a comic or manga. Some people left when I put this up, but they were replaced by others, so it seemed like a good idea. IIRC, 38 of the 40 computers were occupied when I started the talk.

The talk went reasonably well, I think. I divided the talk into two parts. The first was a generic talk on making visual novels, describing what they are, why people make them, what the roles of the different people involved are, and so on. I covered some of the common mistakes when it comes to writing and art, as well a cautioning people to start with a relatively small game.

Then I went into the Ren'Py portion of the talk, basically covering the material in the quickstart manual.

A couple of lessons learned from this:

- I tended to write the talk in a way that presented the code first, and then presented what that code did. In retrospect, I should have demoed the feature first, and then went ahead and gave the code for it. (I used rollback a lot during the talk.)

- Also, the code examples didn't mesh together into a coherent game. It would have been nice to have a full-if-short game I could have put up at the end of the presentation, that people could crib off of.

- I walked around alot to give people advice. A long-distance way of manipulating slides would have been nice... wiimote, I choose you.

Still, I think it went well. I'd say 3/4 of the people stayed until the end of the formal lecture part (90 minutes), and all but a few had a working game. Once that happened, I just turned people loose to work on their games. I know I saw people using the various characters included, so that was a good thing. I walked around, answering peoples questions about Ren'Py, and so I think it worked.

At the end of the 3 hour period, there were still a good half dozen people there, and we just hung out for another hour or so. I showed some of the games I had on my laptop (Summer Session, mostly). And that was it for Ren'Py.

Later Friday, I went to the Flash Programming tutorial. The guy who was scheduled to teach it never showed, so it was taught by two con staffers... it was an heroic effort, but the results were only so-so. Well, I learned alot just from playing around with a trial version of flash.

Saturday, I spent the morning at Fort McHenry, where I got to help raise a full-size replica of the Star-Spangled Banner over the fort.

The rest of Saturday and Sunday were a blur of various panels and anime. I don't have much to report... well, I did commission a Ren'Py logo sculpture from the artist's alley. That will show up in a couple of days.

Pictures of my trip are at my flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/renpytom/sets/. I ran out of camera battery at Otakon, so I didn't get as many pics as I would have liked.
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Re: Ren'Py @ Otakon 2008

#32 Post by bowling pin » Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:09 pm

Hello. I attended the panel on Friday (I was the guy with a shaved head rocking the blue/yellow/white striped polo shirt and shaded eyeglasses in the second row on the right; you might've seen me) and enjoyed it. The coding seemed to catch a few people in the lab off guard but Ren'Py isn't that difficult to learn. I would've liked to see a few aspects of the engine expounded on, like customizing windows, config screens, etc., but I guess that's what the demo's for.

Anyway, here's hoping we'll see new content from the panel's attendees soon. Including me, maybe.

Edit: Yes, I have lurked here for two years and only just now learned basic Ren'Py coding. I'm sorry. :(

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Re: Ren'Py @ Otakon 2008

#33 Post by akizakura » Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:48 pm

I'm so glad to hear the panel went well, despite the PC mix-up! I was late getting to the BCC and completely missed the VN photoshoot. I popped in and saw the MVN panel looked full, so I didn't stay. I would have liked to have heard the presentation, especially about "beginner mistakes" in writing and art and tinkering with Ren'Py with other people around, but it's all good. Thanks for posting the slides.

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Re: Ren'Py @ Otakon 2008

#34 Post by Nafai » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:40 pm

I'm glad things worked out alright Py'tom, despite minor snafus ^^
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Re: Ren'Py @ Otakon 2008

#35 Post by chronoluminaire » Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:46 am

Sounds like it went well! Keep it up - doing this sort of thing is a brilliant way to raise the profile of VNs in general and the OELVN community in particular. Ren'Py is an awesome tool that deserves even wider recognition.
I released 3 VNs, many moons ago: Elven Relations (IntRenAiMo 2007), When I Rule The World (NaNoRenO 2005), and Cloud Fairy (the Cute Light & Fluffy Project, 2009).
More recently I designed the board game Steam Works (published in 2015), available from a local gaming store near you!

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Re: Ren'Py @ Otakon 2008

#36 Post by Vatina » Wed Aug 13, 2008 8:40 am

Aww wish I could have been there. Sounds like it went well, I'm happy about that.
I did commission a Ren'Py logo sculpture from the artist's alley. That will show up in a couple of days.
Now this has me interested :P

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Re: Ren'Py @ Otakon 2008

#37 Post by JDC » Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:55 pm

PyTom wrote: Pictures of my trip are at my flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/renpytom/sets/. I ran out of camera battery at Otakon, so I didn't get as many pics as I would have liked.
Yotsuba, Gordon Freeman... and the Party Van? Why do I think horrible things when I see those three things together?!

Nonetheless, those are some pretty choice pictures. Cosplay needs moar Danbo!

EDIT: Speaking of Yotsuba & the Free Man, I'm suddenly reminded of this picture I doodled ever so long ago:
Yotsuba_Freeman_by_tralu.png
First there was Daikatana, then there was Too Human, then there was Duke Nukem Forever... now it's...

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Re: Ren'Py @ Otakon 2008

#38 Post by PyTom » Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:12 pm

The Ren'Py logo statue I commissioned came in today. IMO, it came out well as a fairly faithful reproduction of the logo (which explains the lack of nose :-)). All the artist had to work from was logo.png included with Ren'Py, so I'm happy with how he extrapolated the sides, back, and top of the design.

The sculptor's website is http://www.silverdrakestudios.com
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statue_back.jpg
Back view.
statue_side.jpg
Side view.
statue_front.jpg
Front view.
statue_coins.jpg
Size comparison, with US Quarter and 1 Euro Coin.
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