10/21/19 - New Bedford Assistant

Tags Android Ren'Py Tabletop Games

I finished up the NB assistant. I spent more time on it than I should have, but I decided refactoring it was good practice and worthwhile. I had a couple of goals, one was to streamline the AI decision making process as much as possible without requiring additional recordkeeping, the other was to create code that would be easy to port.

I have long been interested in learning Java so I could make small native Android apps for my personal use. The last time I looked into it I ran into all kinds of frustrating issues with Android Studio. That’s why, when I decided to make this helper app, I chose to use an engine I’m familiar with, Ren’Py, which makes porting to Android trivial. Since Ren’Py is a visual novel game engine it is great for GUI/information display and it is certainly easy to use. So it only took me a few days to make a helper to my satisfaction, and I learned a few new things about Python and Ren’Py while I was at it.

The only downside is Ren’Py is honestly overkill for basic apps like this. The finished .apk is about 17MB. Not a big deal at all, but definitely large for what the app does. I was exploring some of my options to see if I could reduce the build size and I discovered Ren’Py Web, which allows Ren’Py games to be played in the browser. Games can now be played directly on itch.io. This is a really cool and welcome development, as previously the only way to get Ren’Py games into HTML5 was using sandbox-adventure, which is apparently gone.