Miriam Ruiz
random thoughts on technology and life

{May 17, 2007}   Ren’Py Visual Novel Engine in Debian

Ren’Py is an engine that supports the creation of visual novels and storytelling. I fell in love with it since I first saw it, almost two years ago, and some of my friends know how much work I’ve devoted to that package so that it’s finally in Debian in a proper state, including submitting many patches to upstream. Lots of thanks go to Ana for all her help and support with this package.

Ren’Py is designed to make writing complete visual novels as easy as possible. The engine supports, of course, conversations between the two characters, but also images, different transitions between pictures, music and sound, so playing a game can be a complete multimedia experience. The engine itself is based in Python and SDL (in fact, it is based in python-pygame). Anyway, ccording to the manual, you don’t need to know any programming, or be able to program, to use Ren’Py.

Even though right now there are a lot of games made with Ren’Py available for downloading, most of them are released pre-compiled (for a certain version of python, including the whole interpreter and libraries in the release), and usually targeted towards Windows (even though Ren’Py is supported on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, and can be made to run on other platforms). Of course all the authors of the games are welcome if they want to publish them as Free Software, anyway my plans go towards using the engine for developing educative applications.

My only problem is that I need to draw the characters I’ll use throughout the tutorias, which is something I’m not especially good at. I’ve got myself a book on how to draw manga and anime characters, but it’s probably taking a while until I’m proficient enough at that. I’ll try to find someone to help me with that. In fact, it would be great to release a free set of characters that newbie creators of stories could use as a starting point. Lets see if I can find an artist for that.

The main drawback I see is that the dependencies might be too much to put the engine in a small embedded portable gadget to be able to play a visual novel anywhere. Who knows, maybe in the future.


This is a personal webpage that belongs to Miriam Ruiz.
If you want to contact her, you can do at:

May 2007
« Apr   Jun »

La Lista de Sinde