Now that it’s clear I may not have to make many of the game mechanics from scratch, I set up an intro scene with some stock photos and I’m going to initiate the calendar and farming system from there. Here’s what that looks like on my end:
A little lower down:
And on the user end:
Renpy lets you use whatever your preferred text editor is. Mine is Atom, because that’s what I learned on, but I’d recommend whatever you’re most comfortable and can work the fastest with.
Next up: Calendars, calendars everywhere.
Digging around in the guts of Renpy’s included exmaple game is much less intimidating than I feared. Thanks to finishing Zed Shaw’s famed free Python guide Learn Python the Hard Way, I feel well-equipped. The example game is in addition to the tutorial that features Eileen in Washington DC for some reason.
Eileen also had the good sense to address my creeping fear that Renpy will not have the muscle for a simulation game.
A tutorial after my own heart.
So after dicking around on the Renpy developer wiki, turns out there’s an entire open source library of Python game tools called (duh) Pygame that Renpy fully supports. Wow, the depths of discovery you can reach when you don’t do your homework.
I can’t overestimate my excitement that this library exists. It seems that will drastically reduce the labor required to get all the mechanics in place, though tweaking will be necessary to get them all to play nicely together.
My thoughts now are that I should first write an introduction scene, with characters and setting and such, then work out all the mechanics stretched out over a calendar (and astrological) system, then go back and finish the story once it seems like everything works.
Estimated time to completion: 9 months