[Visual Novel Devlog] White Room Journal 0.3 -> Animating & Polishing

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2 years ago

"White Room Journal" is a short 5 minutes Visual Novel about a girl in a hospital and her weekly meetings with the player character. This Visual Novel was made to practice Ren'py engine.

Play Links:


This story is about a girl who likes reading and her time in the hospital, waiting for your weekly visits.


As I explained in the ver. 0.2 Devlog this project had three goals:

  • To be a short experience to practice the engine, so I won't need to learn the basics while creating a longer story, and ideally I would be able to port it to other engines to learn their basics as well.

  • To be a simple "Kinetic Novel" to let the story be easy to write & follow. It should also be visually appealing.

I fulfilled these goals to some extent in version 0.2. (Read More: Devlog 0.2.)

My goal for version 0.3 is to add some juice. To increase the visual appeal of the game by adding some animation and fixing bugs and/or misspellings along the way. I also improved the theme of the itch.io page of the visual novel.


While making the pilot version of "White Room Journal," one of the essential features I wanted to have was the typewriter effect. It wasn't hard to do. Ren'py had this feature built-in, I just needed to learn how to activate it.

After that, I learned how to use Text Tags to change how the text is presented and how to use Transforms to position a character on the screen.

For this version, I learned how to create my own Transforms. I looked for a way to add animation to the heroine's portrait(s) and eventually decided to implement an illusion of animation by having the portrait itself jump around.

Just after making my first "Pop Portrait" effect, I watched some GDC talks that made me go all out in adding a small Pop effect for every message. Two of the GDC talks I watched stressed the importance of making GIFs as soon as possible. The developer of "The First Tree" talked about his strategy of sharing gifs of his game during development and taking data of what gets shared and what doesn't.

Since my Devlog of last week, I practiced drawing more than usual, which made me more comfortable adding three new portrait faces for the heroine which I hope help convey the emotional side of this story better, I also corrected the ending background a bit after (of all people) my father's feedback.

Pieces of Feedback

I didn't get a lot of players for this project, but the few people who played it and gave me their opinion were very helpful.

Before publishing the game, I gave it to my brother to play. He didn't like the ending I wrote at the time, describing it as "too vague" and "low effort." I changed the ending to be less vague which became the version 0.2 I first published.

I appreciate all the feedback I got since then, most of it was from Hive: like @ditoferrer comment "You can try a happy ending." and @rarej comment "but I don't get the plot and ending that well." Another user @luueetang, asked if I really drew the background and the characters. I didn't get as much feedback on Read.cash but I got two players.

Thanks for appreciating my work

There are still things this visual novel lacks. There's no audio and sound design isn't my specialty, though if possible, I want to have an Ace Attorney-like Message bleeps. I'll focus on my other projects for now, but I'll keep "White Room Journal" files on my PC in case I got inspired to edit it more in the next weeks.

Thanks for reading and playing, and I'll be happy to hear more of your opinions.

Ramadan 2022 just started. I pray for a blessed Ramadan and rewarding fasting for all Muslims. إن شاء الله

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