This weekend, I set myself a goal of recreating the first 10 “pages” of Date Ariane in Renpy. I was going to call it my “Proof of Concept”. I only got to page 3 before deciding it is way too freaking hard.
I’m not saying there won’t be a Renpy version of the Date Ariane story, I’m saying that the cool searching around the screen looking for stuff to click on aspect is simply not going to happen. It is doable, but way too much tedious work, and not really worth it, especially considering that doing it that way will make it unplayable on touch screen tablets.
In creating just the first three pages, I learned an incredible amount about how screens work in Renpy, which is an alternative to the simple default menu system. That is going to at least help me create a different interface than SITA, something touch screen friendly.
Since searching the screen for stuff to click on gave the game some complexity, there are other ways to make the game complex. What I am thinking about doing instead is rewriting Date Ariane, taking the “Done It All!” option in SITA as a model. Every time you play, new dates and locations open up, and Ariane will remember what you did in the past and respond accordingly. Something along these lines:
Date 1: Simple dinner out at the diner, followed by hanging out downtown.
Date 2: Hanging out a Ariane’s place, steak or spaghetti dinner, choice of park or swimming.
Date 3: Choice of backyard picnic (and Truth or Dare), or Romantic restaurant dinner (and trip to the lake)
After that the choices available open up wider. Depending on choices Ariane responds with “Oh we have never done that before” or “That was fun last time, we can do that again” or maybe “Considering what happened last time, maybe we should wait before trying that again.”
I also plan to update in other ways. Disposable cameras are no longer cool, so I suspect one of the photo shoots will be done by camera phone instead. Her portable stereo may turn into an MP3 dock. And getting stuck without gas will mean a cell call to roadside service. New technology has ruined so many plots.
This weekend wasn’t a total loss. I created the first 10 Ariane re-renders, the picture above is the redo of this picture. Now to start figuring out how to do this new plan.