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Ren'Py Visual Novel Engine
Ren’Py Logo 6-13-6 200x307px.png
An example of a Ren'Py-created scene.
An example of a Ren'Py-created scene.
Original author(s)Tom "PyTom" Rothamel
Developer(s)Tom "PyTom" Rothamel[1]
Initial releaseAugust 24, 2004; 14 years ago (2004-08-24)
Stable release
Ren'Py 7.1.3 / November 18, 2018; 27 days ago (2018-11-18)
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inPython, Cython
Operating systemWindows, Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Android, IOS
Size60 MB
Available inEnglish for the engine - UTF-8 use for resulting programs
TypeGame engine (visual novel)
LicenseMIT License[2]

The Ren'Py Visual Novel Engine is a free software engine which facilitates the creation of visual novels, a form of computer-mediated storytelling. Ren'Py is a portmanteau of ren'ai (恋愛), the Japanese word for 'romantic love', a common element of games made using Ren'Py; and Python, the programming language that Ren'Py runs on. Ren'Py has proved attractive to English-language hobbyists; over 1000 games use the Ren'Py engine, nearly all in English.[3][4]


Ren'Py includes the ability to create branching stories, save file systems, rollback to previous points in the story, a variety of scene transitions, DLC, and so on. The engine also allows for movie playback for both full-screen movies and animated sprites, in-engine animation (using the built in "Animation and Translation Language", or ATL), and full animation and customization of UI elements via "Screen Language". Ren'Py scripts have a screenplay-like syntax, and can also include blocks of Python code to allow advanced users to add new features of their own. In addition, tools are included in the engine distribution to obfuscate scripts and archive game assets to mitigate copyright infringement.[5]

Ren'Py is built on pygame, which is built with Python on SDL. Ren'Py is officially supported on Windows, recent versions of Mac OS X, and Linux; and can be installed via the package managers of the Arch Linux, Ubuntu, Debian, and Gentoo (in experimental overlay[6]) Linux distributions. It has also been ported to Android,[5] as well as OpenBSD and as of the pre-release of version 7, iOS.[7]


Ren'Py has been recommended as a video game creation engine by several outlets, including, MakeUseOf, and The Guardian.[8][9][10] It has been used in classes at Carnegie Mellon School of Art,[11] and as a tool for information literacy.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lin, Maria (December 2005). "Returning the Love: Three Fans Taking the Next Step". Animefringe. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  2. ^ "Legal Notice". December 2011.
  3. ^ "List of Ren'Py games".
  4. ^ QuickJump staff (24 November 2007). "Ren'Py Visual Novel Engine: make your own visual novel, dating sim". QuickJump. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  5. ^ a b "The Ren'Py Visual Novel Engine". Ren'Py. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  6. ^ "Installing Ren'Py on Gentoo Linux".
  7. ^ "Ren'Py 6.99".
  8. ^ " - The Weblog Indie Tools: Ren'Py". Retrieved 2016-05-11.
  9. ^ "Learn To Make Your Own Visual Novels With Ren'Py, Or Play One Of These". MakeUseOf. Retrieved 2016-05-11.
  10. ^ Stuart, Keith (2014-03-20). "How to get into the games industry – an insiders' guide". the Guardian. Retrieved 2016-05-11.
  11. ^ "Experimental Game Design". Retrieved 2016-05-11.
  12. ^ Sullivan, Dean; Critten, Jessica (2014-11-01). "Adventures in Research Creating a video game textbook for an information literacy course". College & Research Libraries News. 75 (10): 570–573. ISSN 0099-0086.

External links[edit]