Narrative-focused video games development with Ren'Py, an open source engine





The game engine, Ren'Py, is an open source engine used to make countless interactive fiction games, also known as visual novels (VNs). These include commercial hits with VN elements such as Persona 5, to viral works such as Doki Doki Literature Club (2mil+ downloads as of Jan 2018).

I learned to program in Python using this engine, and have released my commercial game with it. I have also become a data scientist at (Canadian company) due to this skillset combined with my econometrics background. Talk about an ambitious crossover!

Anyhow, the talk will dig into the source code of the engine,, such as:

How it takes care of OS level stuff for game developers, memory optimization, cross platform game saves, and all that cool stuff.

Outcome: The audience will understand the independent gaming industry and how they can use Python to break into the industry, as I share my journey. There will also be components of source code walkthrough, but will be more of an overview than a step by step tutorial due to the scope of the talk.

Time overview

  • (2 minutes) Introduction and overview of my experience using Python making games.
  • (5 minutes) The difference between large game companies and small, independent companies, and how with Python I was able to make $10k USD in gross sales (in 2 months).
  • (5 minutes) Overview of the genre of game, visual novels. This is important to understand as it points the audience to why Python can be used.
  • (5 minutes) Introduction to Ren'Py, the Python based game engine
  • (5 minutes) Examples of functionality that can be coded with Ren'Py and Python - popular games real life examples
  • (10 minutes) Source code walkthrough of how I used Python to code features in my game, demonstrating the flexibility of this Python based Ren'Py game engine
  • (5 minutes) More details on how Ren'Py is open source and encourages collaboration and contribution

Video URL:

Content URLs:

PyLadies Chennai version:

Speaker Info:

Susan is a data scientist during the day, and develops games as a hobby by night.

She is a steering committee member and blog editor of A.I. Socratic Circles (AISC), which organizes weekly machine learning livestreams (11k+ YouTube subscribers).

Her work in data science focuses on recommender systems at scale, which she has spoken about at the TMLS telecom summit.

On the game development side, she has recently shipped a game on Steam and consoles, and spoke at PyCon Canada and other conferences on being a solo game developer.

Speaker Links:

Section: Game Design and 3D Modelling
Type: Talks
Target Audience: Beginner
Last Updated: