Category: tools

Tool: Ren’py

Ren’Py is a free editor for visual novels. Download the SDK, run the launcher and use the jedit editor to modify the scripts.

Click here to download the tutorial
. Copy the folder in your renpy project folder and run the launcher.

Advanced tutorial here

Forum here

Notable visual novels/dating sims
Digital: A Love Story and most games by Christine Love
CAVE! CAVE! DEUS VIDET! based on Hieronimous Bosh’s work
Save the DateHatoful Boyfriend
Tusks: the orc dating sim
Hot date
SC2VN – The eSports Visual Novel
Three fourths home
Benthic Love
Saturday Night Symbiosis
Till Cows tear us apart
Air Pressure

Exercise: Pixel Party

This is a quick character design/characterization exercise. We collectively create a semi-interactive scenario: a party where a bunch of different characters are dancing. On click each character says something (via textbox).

1) Create an original character in pixel art, their gender should not be the one you identify as. The size of the character’s bounding box should be around 160×160 (you can draw in 80×80 double the pixel size)
2) Devise its own peculiar dance and create an animation loop – min 4 frames
4) Write 4 or more lines that the character would say at a party
5) Export it as animated gif and as PNG image sequence with transparent background



Curated graphics

PixelJoing sharing community

Pinterest curated list

Way of the pixel message board for in-depth feedback

Basic Tutorials:



Follow with Photoshop animation + pixels


Websites to follow
Gamasutra (industry/development)
Kotaku (daily news)
Polygon (longer reads, reviews)
KillScreen (game + culture)
Rock Paper Shotgun
Edge (AAA, has job section)

Indie / DIY reviews
Offworld (indie, experimental)
Warp door (freeware)
Indie Games
Free Indie Games (2012-14)
Forest Ambassador (Accessible indie games) (distribution, Steam for small devs)
Humble Bundle (curated indie and not)

Critical Distance (game criticism weekly dispatches)

Conferences (US)
GDC (early March)
Indiecade (mid October)
Indiecade East (mid February)
Fantastic Fest (indie)
Games For Change (serious, edu)
Dice Summit (AAA, for suits)
Come Out and Play (street, pervasive, sport)
DiGRA (game studies, academia)
Pax (fanboys, “gamers”)

The Game Source (Indie)
Glorious train wrecks (DIY, Klick n Play/Game maker)
Game Creation Society (local CMU)
Pittsburgh IGDA (local IGDA, professional industry) (board games)

Ludlum Dare
Global Game Jame (January 23-25) jams

Indie business mega list

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How to publish assignments

For critique purposes we are publishing all the assignments in the student area.
Title: Title of the project
– 1 image, either screenshot or “cover image”
– short description + instructions if needed
– link to online project or downloadable files

Using the andrew space

All CMU students have a personal web space at:
(obviously insert your andrew id)

We are going to use this space to publish the assignments.
In order to do from a computer in the lab you simply have to copy all of your files in the directory www of your “home”

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 8.48.57 PM

And go to the andrew publish page here

Type your id in the field and hit “publish”. Now your files are on the internet for the world to see at the corresponding address:

Please create a folder for each assignment or it will get very messy in there!

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Tool: Twine

Twine 1.4.2 is the recommended tool for this assignment.
You can download it for OS X (Mac) or Windows (PC).


How to make your first twine game

This is a story file with some advanced functions I didn’t show in class (choices, actions, display, html, css).

Video tutorials 1 2 3.

Adding images

Changing appearance with CSS

Adding dynamic states with variables and macros and Expressions.

Additional macros for advanced interactions or effects

Other Tools

If you are making a parser-based story you can try Inform 7 way more complex to use for both the writer and the reader. It’s a whole different way to conceive programming. Here is a snipped of “source code”:

An electric light is a kind of device. Carry out switching on an electric light: now the noun is lit. Carry out switching off an electric light: now the noun is unlit. Carry out someone trying switching on an electric light: now the noun is lit. Carry out someone trying switching off an electric light: now the noun is unlit.

The lamp is a fixed in place electric light. It is switched off. Understand "light" as the lamp. The description of the lamp is "Exceptionally bright, to help you pick out any features you might need to observe"

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