why hasnt a post been made about which program to use

why hasnt someone made a post about the pros and cons and types of games you can make with each program used to make games like renpy or twine or quest? most of my fave games on here are renpy and quest and ive messed around with quest before but id like to more about the other programs used on here. it dont have to be/shouldnt be this post exactly that becomes it but maybe somethin pinned somewhere else listin the pros and cons and types of games you can make with each program.

if this dont belong here please move it where it should go.

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I feel like a huge reason stuff like that hasn’t been posted here is because there’s a lot of stuff covering that on other sites and articles. I doubt theres any specifics here that hasn’t already been noted and found via a “renpy vs twine” search or something like that.
That being said, making a list of programs and their pros and cons relating to weight gain content could be interesting. I don’t know much about text adventure games, but I assume there are at least a few aspects between them thay could be discussed like how they handle audio or video or whatnot

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youre prob right i just think somethin simple here would help someone pick 1 and then they could go to those sites to learn more i guess. and yeah since we wanna make somethin for here we should at least have easy info on here to help us pick.

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I can quickly go though the ones I’ve toyed with in order from easiest to learn to the hardest IMO.

Twine - Pro: Free and easy to make simple choose your own adventure stories with some room to explore more advanced stuff with HTML, CSS and Javascript. Con: The games you make are would be as interactive as a website, which still leaves you with a lot of choices when it comes to game genres, but you’re not going to be seeing many Beat 'em ups or Rail Shooters in the engine. Also the latest version of Harlowe does not support making your own functions and macros. Also, also, because these games come out in HTML files, it is remarkably easy for users to hack into the game and mess with the code or steal assets. Best Examples: Abducted: a WGHFY story, Insatiable Hearts Recommended for: It’s primarily meant for “Choose Your Own Adventure” style games, but I’ve seen really good Visual Novels, Turn Based RPGs, and Management Sims made in this engine. A good choice if you want to focus on your writing skills.

Quest Text Adventures - Pros: Free and easy to learn Cons: Minimal text based interaction with very little support for audio/visual elements. Can sometimes feel really janky on the player’s side. Some games require the player to register to the Quest website to save and download games. Best Examples: Leotard Leslie in the Land of the Luscious Ladies Recommended for: Someone who wants to remake thy Dungeonman for some reason.

RPG Maker - Pros: A classic choice with lots of userbase support. As interactive as a game you can make without having to code collision detection. Also comes with plenty of art and sound assets to use in your games. Cons: Expensive as hell, I was able to RPGMaker MV on the Humble Bundle a few years back, but there’s no telling when the next time it’ll come on sale for a reasonable price. Also there are a bunch of features that start to become constricting once you learn how to be a better game designer. The best games I’ve found on this engine basically have to break the engine in order to make the game work, which at that point, you might be better off using something else on this list. And while there is the option of greater encryption than twine, it is still easy for hackers to steal assets. Best Examples: Super Fatty RPG, Apostles, Draconic Expansion Recommended for: Creators who want to make an interactive game without having to work hard at programming or sound effects or making art assets. Also, JRPGs (Obviously)

Ren’Py - Pros: Free, easy to code and make a game with as many or as little art assets as you want. Supports still pictures, simple sprite animations and playing prerendered videos during gameplay. Cons: It’s a visual novel engine, that said I have seen some creators make some interesting minigames out of it. And like Twine and RPG Maker, it is somewhat easy for hackers to edit the code and steal assets. Best Examples: The Weighting Game, Fill Me Up, Feed My Affection Recommended For: Same as Twine except with a focus on Art and Visuals over Writing and Text descriptions.

Gamemaker Studio - Pros: Fre- wait, what? Cons: $5 a month? Oh, fuck off! Best Examples: A lot of good old games from previous jams… sigh… Recommended for: No, no! You don’t want this. You want the guy in the next paragraph.

Godot - Pros: The New Hotness, Free, Supports multiple programming languages, regarded as the best engine right now for making fast paced 2d games. Cons: You need to know actual computer programming and game design in order to use this. Best Examples: Honey Combat, SWEET (No Public Release at this time), A bunch of other games that I can’t seem to find right now due to a lack of tags. Recommended for: Wheel Game Devs, especially those who have been soured by GameMaker Studio going to a subscription based business model.

Unity - Pros: The Old and Reliable, Free*, Used by professional game studios and so has major user-based support. Cons: User Interface is part of the game process which can result in weird glitches, poor support for 2D graphics. Best Examples: Chub, Chomp, Chill, Helltaker (and therefore Fattaker) Recommended for: Folks who might end up working for a major studio someday, or who hate Godot for whatever reason.

*At the time of this writing, Unity is free for individuals and companies who make less than $100,000 per year in revenue from products that use their software, but require a subscription to one of their business plans when the revenue exceeds this cap.

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This is about as good a list as can be made, well done! I’d honestly suggest copy/pasting this into a new topic for easier access

Hero’s effort on your post, but i want to expand on this:

Quest’s editor is a visual language with some nice built-in functions, so you’re able to get things like an inventory, stat tracking, timers, a map, etc with no coding required. Compare with Twine, where to do any of the above, you’d need to break out some javascript and/or css

EDIT: thujuht’s post just reminded me you can get some of these goodies in twine with macros, which act as a halfway between true coding and easy text editing. Twine also has a fairly large community with lots of templates and plug-and-play scripts you can use

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Adding on the Quest train of thought

I use Quest for my work and the only problem I’ve really expericed with it is on the player end.
Since you need to download the Quest Player to actually try the games offline, or you’re stuck using the infamously laggy TextAdventures site player.

So it works well enough for the creator but not so well for the players

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I can’t speak for most of the information in this post, but this is objectively false. (macro:) serves this function exactly.

Sorry, another nitpick. Leotard Leslie is made in Inform7, which is a cool engine for making parser-based text adventures but is unrelated to Quest.

Some possible substitute examples:

3rd Circle

The Master of Flesh

Sarah Goes to College and its WIP remaster

The Fat House

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It’s not much - even the tutorial I’m about to give states it doesn’t fully prevent asset theft - but if you want to at least obfuscate your image assets in a Twine game you can always render them directly in HTML. This prevents people from being able to just scrape a “media” or “images” folder to pull everything used in the game. They’re still able to save images, but they’ll have to at least crack open the raw HTML and go digging or, y’know, play the game to get the images to save.

(For the record, I… don’t do this. But then, I wouldn’t describe myself as an artist either.)

I only still use Gamemaker Studio 1/2 because I got grandfathered into the indie tier and I don’t need to pay for any subscriptions, but it’s a shame that it now costs a pretty penny to use…
Pros: Friendly development environment where you can choose either a DnD (Dragon and Drop) or GML (Gamemaker Language) style of programming. GML is an easy language to pick up if you already have coding knowledge. It’s best for 2D games, but it can be manipulated for low-poly games.
Cons: It currently now requires a subscription if you want to export to Windows/Mac/Linux/HTML5/etc. The “free” version let’s you export to gx.games, which isn’t much :confused:
Examples: I’m not sure whose using it currently ATM, but most of my games use it https://kantoruki.itch.io/ (I’m not that good of an example since mine are rough on all edges, lol)
Recommended For: People with money who want to develop in a 2D environment

Aside from all of the above, there’s also other engines that COULD work for wg-centric games, but haven’t seen use, primarily due to being more obscure or otherwise having a higher barrier to entry.

  • Adventure Game Studio
    Old as balls engine built around C; not the hardest to learn but it’s specialised for point and click games
    Adventure Game Studio - Wikipedia

  • Open 3D Engine
    No idea what this is like to work with, but it’s supposedly a successor to Lumberyard; powerful, but despite being foss, probably not advisable unless you REALLY want to build assets from scratch and go ham but if you really want to make something with complex softbody 3D physics this could probably do it.
    Open 3D Engine - Wikipedia

  • OpenFL
    You can revive flash games I guess?

  • Pygame
    The engine that Ren’Py is built on top of. You can use it to make the latter do things it wasn’t supposed to which can be delightfully devilish.

  • Stride
    Again, not sure what it’s like to work with but it looks interesting at least.

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thats why i started this to begin with and i wanted the end result to be. but it doesnt seem like anyone has maybe a mod could do it and then up date it as needed.

idk if i should make this a new topic or leave it here since it kinda fits, but its another thing i just thought of to ask. lets say i started a quest or twine and later want it to be renpy, would it be hard to convert 1 to another?

All the written content can be ported as-is, but the code is going to be another matter entirely. Ren’Py uses Python as a base, and so it’s completely different from Quest and Twine - and while Quest and Twine both work on a base of HTML/Javascript, they are parsed in different ways due to how their systems are built. Code that works in Quest won’t when ported into Twine… or, at least, it’s not going to work the way you think. This is because both the Twine and Quest engines are shells built over the raw HTML/CSS/Javascript code, which utilize inherent scripts and functions called upon first loading to build the “game” based off the creator’s instructions. Since they use different methods to build the end result, the same instructions will likely produce meaningfully different outcomes. Think of it like… pasting a mod built for one video game into another one entirely. They both may work using the same type of code, but because it’s interpreted differently by each program the same instructions may produce vastly-different outputs.

It’ll be easier to jump from Quest to Twine, as long as you’ve done some fiddling in the coding sections of Quest instead of just using the GUI, but that’s just because you’ll be familiar with how some of it is going to look. Which isn’t that big a hurdle if you want to write for Ren’Py either. It really depends on what sort of game you’re looking to make, since Ren’Py is much better suited for visual novels and Twine is much more suited to lengthier text “choose your own adventure” style games. If you don’t have visuals, and you’re debating between those two, use Twine. If you have a LOT of visuals, take the extra time to get acquainted with Ren’Py. There are ways to make a visual novel in Twine - I’m quickly coming to realize that there are MANY things you can make happen in Twine if you’re willing enough to bash it out in the raw HTML/CSS/Javascript - but it’s really hammering the square peg in the round hole to do so when Ren’Py is designed for the thing to start with.

thanks for the answer and dam i really wanted it to be easier lol i kinda wanted to do like barebones/testin in 1 then bring it to another, if that makes sense.

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Yeah, I’d suggest you don’t do that. Do your storyboarding/rough draft in the same engine you’re planning on using for the final product. I say that because it gets you more used to using that engine and gives you experience in the basics of it when you’re making the simpler one. That way you’re already acclimated to the common usage of it once you’re trying to make the thing you actually want to show people, and it’ll be easier to navigate implementing the harder-to-make-happen features you want if you’re not also trying to learn how to do the general “go to next screen” stuff.