Ren'Py 5.3.3 Released

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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Ren'Py 5.3.3 Released

#1 Post by PyTom » Thu Jan 12, 2006 11:52 pm

I've just posted up Ren'Py 5.3.3 "Particle Man". This release includes a new particle animation engine. One can use it to simulate falling snow, of the sort that has been largely absent from Ren'Py central this year. It also includes support for tightly looping sound files (that is, sound files that do not end in silence between loops), tracking of chosen menu choices, and a new filmstrip animation type. It also is beneficiary of quite a bit of testing I did to ensure that sound works correctly across all of the supported platforms. This release also includes fixes for a number of other bugs.

As usual, Ren'Py can be downloaded from:

http://www.bishoujo.us/renpy/

Upgrade to this version by copying over the game directory from the old version of your game.

Like the cherry blossoms falling from a sakura tree (something now included in the demo)... um... I got nothing. Let's cut to what's new.

What's new with Ren'Py 5.3.3

Implemented a particle animation system, which allows absurdly high amounts of control of particles that are on the screen. It also allows these particles to be created during the middle of the interaction. The primary purpose of this Particles displayable is to allow for things like snow and falling cherry blossom leaves. We also have a special case constructor, SnowBlossom, that is intended for snow, cherry blossoms, and rising bubbles.

Finally got around to defining which audio formats Ren'Py officially supports. On the 3 platforms we produce binaries for, Ren'Py supports WAV, MP3, OGG Vorbis, OGG Speex and MOD (Whatever formats ModPlug supports, including MOD and XM). All these formats were tested on all three platforms, and shown to work.

Implemented tight sound and music support. Tight sounds are sounds that do not stop, but instead are expected to seamlessly blend with the following sound or music segment. While these were supported in prior versions of Ren'Py, there was an issue with fadeout. If a fadeout occured near the end of a sound segment, the sound would suddenly stop. While this isn't an issue with normal tracks, for tracks involving tight loops this isn't desirable. Tight loop mode makes fadeouts span tracks, making the fadeout sound correct. Tight loop support only supports spanning a single track boundary, so the fadeout should be shorter then a single track length.

Ren'Py now tracks which menu choices have been chosen by the user (ever, in any game), and gives the choices that have been chosen at least once the new styles menu_choice_chosen and menu_choice_chosen_button. By changing some of the properties of these styles, it's possible to the user a distinction between the choices the user has chosen once, and those the user has never chosen.

Added a new function, anim.Filmstrip, that allows one to make an animation out of an image containing a number of frames.

A set type that participates in rollback has been made available to user scripts. This type is named "set". The code that supports seensets in menus has been modified to accept a set along with a list.

We now use modplug instead of mikmod. This fixes some problems with mod playing that were caused by mikmod not really being able to safely play two mods at the same time. (These problems occured even when someone only played one mod at a time, due to the way in which Ren'Py preloads sound files.)

We now compute the set of rectangles to blit to the screen more precisely. If we have two non-overlapping updated areas of the screen, we now blit them individually, where previously we blit the smallest rectangle containing them both. (Which could be many times the size of the two updates, if they were small and widely separated.) This change makes particle animation more efficient.

Made lint report the number of words per screen of dialogue. Also, made lint not throw Ren'Py into an infinite loop, fixing a regression.

Fixed a problem in which animations were not showing their first frame.

Worked around a bug in SDL that could cause popping in the case where a sound file was being mixed in at a length that was not a multiple of 4 samples.
Last edited by PyTom on Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#2 Post by monele » Fri Jan 13, 2006 2:48 am

Particles!! I'm like a kid who's been given some new shiny toy XD. Well... I still have to test it out tonight but waiii~! *bounces*
I wonder : could rain be easily simulated with this ? (thin lines going down in an oblique manner I suppose)

The difference between already selected choices and others is also a very cool thing ^^

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#3 Post by Quin » Fri Jan 13, 2006 5:20 am

Is he a dot, or is he a speck? When he's underwater, does he get wet... or does the water get him instead? ^_^

The particle effects were the real "gee-whiz" moment in the demo for me... but I'm most thankful for all the work you've put into audio in this update. Thank you!

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#4 Post by Tony » Fri Jan 13, 2006 6:13 am

That's quite impressive indeed =)

Nice work :!:

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#5 Post by PyTom » Fri Jan 13, 2006 8:38 am

Quin wrote:Is he a dot, or is he a speck? When he's underwater, does he get wet... or does the water get him instead?
Nobody knows...

monele>> I probably wouldn't use this to simulate rain, at least heavy rain. The new engine scales to the dozens of particles, but not the hundreds... which probably isn't enough for rain.

For rain I'd probably go with either simply drawing the background in a way that indicates rain. If that wasn't good enough, I'd try an animation that indicated rain, and if I couldn't make that work I'd need to write a custom widget (but I'm not sure how that custom widget would work).

Particles and indicating selected choices were both inspired by features of Ever17, BTW.
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#6 Post by rioka » Fri Jan 13, 2006 9:56 am

Sugoi! Particle animation! Sweet! I've got to try this out later today. ^____^
(And here I thought there wasn't anything more to add to Ren'Py... )
Last edited by rioka on Fri Jan 13, 2006 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#7 Post by PyTom » Fri Jan 13, 2006 10:23 am

I'm sure there are features left to add to Ren'Py... but I don't know what they are yet. Basically, what happens is that a game gets translated, and while I'm playing it I keep an eye out for features that I can add to Ren'Py.

So I'm sort of in a holding pattern until people send in bug reports, people send in feature requests, I make a game and decide I want something, or a translated VN comes out with a feature I haven't seen.

Assuming 5.3.3 seems stable, my next project should be MW 1.1, and then I'm thinking about restarting work on another game. But everything will wait until after my big move this weekend... to a new house of my own!
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#8 Post by mikey » Fri Jan 13, 2006 4:38 pm

The particle system is absolutely amazing! Now every game will have to have a snow sequence! :P :P

Seriously, it livens it up so much, that the rest of the demo feels dull... It's going to be a challenge to balance a project - nevertheless, what a great idea, wow... You should play even more games! ^_^

And don't lose your hard drive while moving! :wink:

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#9 Post by PyTom » Fri Jan 13, 2006 5:16 pm

Honestly, I don't think snow or cherry blossoms are all that great of an idea for the inside of games, except perhaps at certain times of the game (like the flashback sequence in E17, where I think they used it in lieu of drawing younger characters). I'd expect them to be used more on menus and the like then as part of backgrounds.

But what do I know? I hope people surprise me. I just make the paintbrushes.
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#10 Post by Counter Arts » Fri Jan 13, 2006 7:17 pm

Awww.... Maybe I'll make the switch from ONScripter to ren'py. lol...

But seriously, having those kind of effects could be really interesting.

Random idea...

Have flashback sequences black and white with these particle effects for most of the game. The flashbacks are of happier days. Never actually use those effects when you are out of the flashback sequence.

At the climax or good endings, show this effect in true colour to show that things are okay again.

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#11 Post by ShiraiJunichi » Fri Jan 13, 2006 9:46 pm

That particle feature is awesome! And I was just talking with snowshine about animating snow- this will be great! Though, I've noticed one small problem. I increased the count to 50, and 50 particles were generated before the first ones reached midscreen. This resulted in an absense of newly generated particles until the first ones fell off screen- it was quite a stark contrast. Though, it evened out after a few seconds, so it really isn't too big of a deal

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#12 Post by PyTom » Fri Jan 13, 2006 10:58 pm

Wow, I wasn't expecting this sort of reception.

I'm probably going to go and add in some sort of feature that will allow a startup time to be given to SnowBlossom, so that the initial wave is more even.

I did wind up calling the convenience constructor SnowBlossom, although a small part of me wanted to call it DeathBlossom*.

* Spot the reference.
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#13 Post by mikey » Fri Jan 13, 2006 11:54 pm

PyTom wrote:Wow, I wasn't expecting this sort of reception.
Well, give us something shiny & animated, and we're back to kid mode ^_^

Actually, I wanted to do something like this with Milk Swim almost a year ago. I had the idea of a slow-moving fog, it would have made the atmosphere quite good, and with the rain in some parts, this feature would be just the thing.

I'd perhaps go for the all-out approach, and design a game taking part entirely in snow etc... I generally like the idea of something constantly moving in the backgrounds and we've done some relatively unsuccessful experiments - such as a moving road, so you'd have the effect you were walking... and so on. Phantom had some sequences like this, more or less seemlessly looping, it had an action feel to it. We'll just have to see whether NaNoRenO will see someone implement these things.

I almost forgot...
PyTom wrote:... and then I'm thinking about restarting work on another game...
Good to have you back. I'll also have to shut up, write less, leave my encyclopedia for a while, so I can get back to making games. I mean I like the other things I do, but it's always such a great feeling to be back behind the "drawing board", thinking how to cheap out on graphics and how to structure a game and trying to convince others that an idea will work ^_^

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#14 Post by PyTom » Sat Jan 14, 2006 10:51 am

mikey wrote:Actually, I wanted to do something like this with Milk Swim almost a year ago. I had the idea of a slow-moving fog, it would have made the atmosphere quite good, and with the rain in some parts, this feature would be just the thing.
It's not totally clear to me that particle motion would be right for this, though. While one could do fog with particle motion, one could also do it with an SMAnimation, which could simply dissolve beteen various fog overlays. I would need to run some tests to decide which is better.

Rain will be, I think, a hard one to get right... I would probably do it by making several versions of the background with things like raindrops and spray halos, and then dissolving between them at random. Planetarian did rain by drawing a few sets of subtle rain streaks on the image, and then switching back and forth fairly quickly. This would seem to be far more efficient than trying to model each rain streak as a particle. (There are some problems with scaling when you have too many particles, as some parts of Ren'Py are worst-case quadratic in the number of images drawn to the screen.)

I'd say Planetarian is a game to study if one is planning to set a game in the rain.

IIRC, it was Planetarian that also convinced me I didn't need to go and implement a blur effect (something that would have been hard to do efficiently, as blurring well is quite expensive). Instead, one can simply have a clear image and a pre-blurred image, and just dissolve between the two of them.

A problem with particle motion, as it stands now, is that all of the particles need to move from the top to the bottom of the screen. This means that the particles need to be strictly closer to the user than any part of the background horizion plane that is seen in the view window. So one needs to be careful about using PM when there's a visible background in place. (E17 didn't show a background when it did its cherry blossome effect, so there wasn't this problem. It was just the effect over a white screen.)
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#15 Post by miakosummin » Thu Jan 26, 2006 12:16 am

I'm completely new to Ren'py, game making, and bishoujo games in general, but I'm currently writing a game myself ^^;
My question is: Does Ren'py allow you to change the style of text boxes and menus and the like? I'm sorry, I havent really read anything or looked at the demos, so if this question is answered, I apologize. Basicly, I want to be able to customize the appearance of the things in the game, so they dont always look default. Can I do that?
If you cant, maybe thats a suggestion. Like in RPGMaker, you can upload a picture that controls all the different things like corners and such.

Again, sorry if this has been answered ^^;

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