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Ren'Py Visual Novel Engine
Ren'Py's mascot, Eileen, surrounded by a Python.[1]
Ren'Py's mascot, Eileen, surrounded by a Python.[1]
Wikipe-tan visual novel (Ren'Py).png
An example of a Ren'Py-created scene.
Original author(s)Tom "PyTom" Rothamel
Developer(s)Tom "PyTom" Rothamel[2]
Initial releaseAugust 24, 2004; 17 years ago (2004-08-24)
Stable release
7.4.11 / December 2, 2021; 50 days ago (2021-12-02)
Written inPython, Cython
Operating systemWindows, macOS, Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Android, IOS
Size115 MB
Available inEnglish for the engine – UTF-8 use for resulting programs
TypeGame engine (visual novel)
LicenseMIT[3] Edit this at Wikidata

The Ren'Py Visual Novel Engine is a free software game engine which facilitates the creation of visual novels. Ren'Py is a portmanteau of ren'ai (恋愛), the Japanese word for 'romantic love', a common element of games made using Ren'Py; and Python, the programming language that Ren'Py runs on. Ren'Py has proved attractive to English-language hobbyists; many games use the Ren'Py engine, nearly all in English.


Ren'Py includes the ability to create branching stories, save file systems, rollback to previous points in the story, a variety of scene transitions, DLC, and so on. The engine also allows for movie playback for both full-screen movies and animated sprites, in-engine animation (using the built in "Animation and Translation Language", or ATL), and full animation and customization of UI elements via "Screen Language". Ren'Py scripts have a screenplay-like syntax, and can also include blocks of Python code to allow advanced users to add new features of their own. In addition, tools are included in the engine distribution to obfuscate scripts and archive game assets to mitigate copyright infringement.[4][5][6][7]

Ren'Py is built on pygame, which is built with Python on SDL. The Ren'Py SDK is officially supported on Windows, recent versions of macOS, and Linux; and can be installed via the package managers of the Arch Linux, Ubuntu, Debian, and Gentoo (in experimental overlay[8]) Linux distributions. Ren'Py can build games for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android,[4] OpenBSD,[9] iOS.,[10][4] and HTML5 with Web Assembly.[4]


Ren'Py has been recommended as a video game creation engine by several outlets, including Indie Games Plus, MakeUseOf, and The Guardian.[11][12][13] It has been used in classes at Carnegie Mellon School of Art,[14] Faculty of Art at University Tunku Abdul Rahman, Kampar, Perak, Malaysia, and as a tool for information literacy.[15]

Notable games[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Art Card Information". Retrieved 2021-07-06.
  2. ^ Lin, Maria (December 2005). "Returning the Love: Three Fans Taking the Next Step". Animefringe. ISSN 1705-3692. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  3. ^ "License". Ren'Py. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d "The Ren'Py Visual Novel Engine". Ren'Py. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Writing Visual Novels with Ren'Py: The Ren'Py Tutorial". Ren'Py. Retrieved 5 Oct 2019.
  6. ^ "Building Distributions". Ren'Py. Retrieved 5 Oct 2019.
  7. ^ "Why Ren'Py?". Ren'Py. Retrieved 5 Oct 2019.
  8. ^ "Installing Ren'Py on Gentoo Linux".
  9. ^ "games/renpy". OpenBSD Ports at Retrieved 5 Oct 2019.
  10. ^ "Ren'Py 6.99". Ren'Py. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  11. ^ D., Konstantinos (8 May 2012). "Indie Tools: Ren'Py". Indie Games Plus. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  12. ^ Wiesehan, Robert (7 July 2014). "Learn To Make Your Own Visual Novels With Ren'Py, Or Play One Of These". MakeUseOf. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  13. ^ Stuart, Keith (20 March 2014). "How to get into the games industry – an insiders' guide". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  14. ^ "Experimental Game Design". Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  15. ^ Sullivan, Dean; Critten, Jessica (2014-11-01). "Adventures in Research Creating a video game textbook for an information literacy course". College & Research Libraries News. 75 (10): 570–573. ISSN 0099-0086.

External links[edit]