Game Engine Search
Well, that was a along break between blogs. Who'd have thought parenting would take so much time, right? ;)
The hardest thing for me to figure out in the beginning was what engine I was going to build Assassin at Crimson Keep on. I had a decent handle on Gamemaker, but only in platformers. Not that I couldn't cross over, but it just seemed like a lot of work to relearn and write all the system to handle a Visual Novel. Unity was there, of course, and I had gotten a free plugin called Fungus. It was fine, but it didn't stick with me. I even thought of using RPG Maker (I think is was VX Ace at the time).
Honestly, I'm not even sure how I found Ren'Py, but almost immediately I realized it was what I should use to make this particular game (certainly a better alternative that C++). It was fairly straightforward for what I thought was a basic game idea.
But, I'm going to be honest. I struggled like crazy with Ren'Py at first. It took me months to even understand that Screen Language was different than the Script Language. Even with that sentence, I'm not sure I'm using the correct terminology. Even now, after publishing a game, it baffles me that there are two different languages needed to make what I view as a simple game. Perhaps if I were to make a purely talking game, having the separated language would make sense. The official documentation also makes things a lot harder on someone like me. Perhaps it makes sense to professional programmers.
Regardless, I do enjoy making games in Ren'Py. I'm pretty sure my next commercial release will be a Ren'Py game. A lot of the time I feel like I'm fighting the engine rather than working in it, but, frankly, every program I've ever written has felt like that, whether it was Ren'Py, Unity, or Flash. When I first started learning C++ nothing really made sense. I would follow along the course material and every once in a while something would click and I'd leap forward in my programming know-how. Then, after a year or two, when I was writing in Flash (ActionScript 3.0) I'd write something and then laugh as I recalled struggling to comprehend the most basics of programming.
Eventually, things started to work out, as long as I kept trying. I may have shot myself in the foot a thousand times by stopping development for a time, but in the end I completed what I wanted to do, even if it took an extra few years.
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