Ren’Py, the software development kit written in Python and used by many developers to create visual novels and other games, has been updated to version 7.4.0. The release, subtitle “The Big One”, has been in development for nearly a year and packs a lot of new features. The new version contains contributions from over thirty collaborators, headed by the project’s lead Tom “PyTom” Rothamel.
One of the major changes is a compatibility layer allowing to ensure a smooth transition to Python 3 which will be the standard version in a future release of Ren’Py. Python 2, on which Ren’Py currently relies has been declared end-of-life in 2020 prompting the move towards version 3.
Ren’Py 7.4.0 also comes with a new model-based rendered which allows for the use of Live2D animated sprites, among other things. Live2D is a technology to create animations out of single 2D illustrations, without the need for 3D models or frame-by-frame animations.
The build process to produce packaged games for various platforms has been revamped as well. Web builds now allow for incremental downloading for example, which should drastically speed up the load times.
Due to all these changes Ren’Py 7.4.0 no longer runs on Windows XP and no longer supports 32-bit versions of iOS.
There’s a full changelog available here, listing the various changes in more detail. The new release can be downloaded by using the update function in the Ren’Py launcher, or by downloading the full SDK here.