An example of a Ren'Py-created scene.
|Original author(s)||Tom "PyTom" Rothamel|
|Developer(s)||Tom "PyTom" Rothamel|
|Initial release||August 24, 2004|
Ren'Py 126.96.36.199 / February 28, 2017
|Operating system||Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Android, IOS|
|Available in||English for the engine - UTF-8 use for resulting programs|
|Type||Game engine (visual novel)|
The Ren'Py Visual Novel Engine is a free software engine which facilitates the creation of visual novels, a form of computer-mediated storytelling. Ren'Py is a portmanteau of ren'ai (恋愛), the Japanese word for '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; over 1000 games use the Ren'Py engine, nearly all in English.
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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.
Ren'Py is built on pygame, which is built with Python on SDL. Ren'Py is officially supported on Windows, recent versions of Mac OS X, and Linux; and can be installed via the package managers of the Arch Linux, Ubuntu, Debian, and Gentoo (in experimental overlay) Linux distributions. It has also been ported to Android, as well as OpenBSD and as of the pre-release of version 7, iOS.
Ren'Py has been recommended as a video game creation engine by several outlets, including Indiegames.com, MakeUseOf, and The Guardian. It has been used in classes at Carnegie Mellon School of Art, and as a tool for information literacy.
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