Let me give the traditional thanks to DaFool, whose timely update to the list of Ren'Py games earlier today saved me from having to dig through the forums to find the games released in the last few days.
In 2004, the initial version of Ren'Py was released, but no games came out that year. 2005 saw 11 games, while 2006 saw 18. In 2007, 50 games were released. (We discovered 2 more since compiling last year's statistics.)
The current count of Ren'Py games released in 2008 is 51. Unlike last year, where many of the games were NaNoRenO projects, games were released throughout 2008, with a release in every month of the year, and every month but August having at least 2 games.
Ren'Py itself saw 8 releases in 2008, going from version 6.5.0 (released at the end of 2007) to 6.8.0 today. Major changes include:
* A rewrite of the way menus and themes are handled, to make them easier to customize.
* The introduction of imagemap customization for the main and game menus.
* The addition of spline motion code (contributed by Aenakume).
* Massively improved Mac support.
* Improved font support, including proper font outlines.
There are a bunch of other improvements that were made in 2008. If you have a favorite, please let me know. I already have a roadmap for the first two releases in 2009, so it doesn't look like Ren'Py development will be stopping anytime soon.
January 30th, 2009 will mark the 5-year anniversary of Ren'Py. At least, the oldest Ren'Py code I have dates from January 30th, 2004.
2008 marked several changes in my life. I finally graduated with my Ph.D., after all these years. I formed a company, and have been supporting myself exclusively through it. Although most of my work was unrelated to Ren'Py, I did earn several thousand dollars off of Ren'Py this year. At the same time, let me reiterate my commitment to keeping Ren'Py free on general-purpose computer platforms.
Of course, Ren'Py wouldn't exist without the community... without people making games, answering questions, _asking_ questions, and in general making this worth doing. There are a couple of lines I added to the acknowledgements section of my forum spam:
Scott is, of course, Lemma, and this is the forum he runs.And I’d like to thank Scott and the members of the forum he runs. Without them, my graduate career would have been a bit shorter, but a lot less fun.
In conclusion, let me just say that I'm honored and humbled to see the amount of creative energy people have put into this piece of software I have made. I'd like to wish everyone a happy new year, and to say thanks for letting me make the paintbrushes.