Tomorrow, March 1st, is the start of something called NaNoRenO. Along the same lines as NaNoWriMo for novels and NaGaDeMon for game design, it’s a contest where you basically compete against your own procrastination and create something in one month. NaNoRenO is the version where contestants use the Ren’Py game engine to create a visual novel and/or life simulation (or dating sim) game. Think about games like Magical Diary or Long Live the Queen (or yes, even Hatoful Boyfriend…)
And I intend to take part!
Last year for a little bit I worked on a game in the Ren’Py engine and I found it wonderfully intuitive to work with. On the forums people said things like “Go out and make your first game, then throw it in the bin, cos it will be rubbish”. Well that’s certainly true, my first game was pretty terrible but it taught me how to use the system and how to make a better game.
So now I am coming back to it with my experience and further research into the genre, and starting tomorrow I will be making a game called “Prince of Cats”. You play a female cat-spirit, in the Fae court of cats (or cat-like things). The Prince of Cats has gone missing and you fear that without his protection your place in the court is too dangerous, so you venture into the mortal world to find him. What will become of you in the mortal world? Will you retain your spirit powers, or forget them and become a simple animal cat? Will you find the Prince? Does he even want to go home?
My rough timetable for making this will be along these lines:
1. Work out the event scheduling system
2. Work out the stats
3. Work out the different possible endings (there will be many, in the style of Princess Maker 2)
4. Write the events
5. Write any leftover bits of the story
6. Create character art
7. Create background art
8. Create music (or find free music)
9. Create a gallery so you can look back at all your achievements and endings
10. Create custom UI
And all within a month! But I’m really looking forward to starting. Wish me luck!