So you wanna make an Android port of your visual novel?

If you’re following us on social networks, you already know that Being Beauteous and Ambre were both released on Google Play a few days ago. At first, I hesitated over giving you the technical details, but since Mystery Corgi dev asked me for precisions on Twitter, here’s my experience with Android ports. Warning: it’s gonna get ugly!

Ambre MM Android

It makes you proud to see your game working on a phone *__*

To get started
You finally finished your latest visual novel and you’re thinking that multimedia is the future. So, you want to make your work available on every platform possible in order to be read. The good news is that RenPy provides you with a small guide. So you start to download a succession of softwares that you will never open but that RenPy will use in your place.You’ll need Java Development Kit, Apache Ant and Android SDK. Once you’re done, you will still need to get the Ren’Py Android Packaging Tool, if you haven’t yet. This RAPT consists of a file that you’ll have to place in the Ren’Py directory you’re using. If you open RenPy, you will now be able to configure your project.

RenPy Launcher
Configuration of a Google Play Publisher Account
Here’s where things are going to get complicated. Because you can’t create a build yet, you’ll just make RenPy crash, as I did. Before going to the next step, you’ll need something important: a signing key. And nobody will explain you how to do it. From what I understood (but it’s really not clear), you’ll have to get a Google Play Publisher Account, even if you don’t want to publish your product in their store (?). In order to get that account, you have to sign in with a Google account (I think almost everybody has one) and pay a $25 USD registration fee.

Acces API

I couldn’t change the language setting on my Google Play account so you’ll have to bear with my French screenshots <_<

Once you got it, you’ll have a whole lot of options to configure. It seems that you absolutey need a OAuth client and a service account (see the API Access menu above) and for this, you’ll have to retrieve the SHA-1 certificate footprint. Which turned out to be quite a headache for me. I searched through the web how to get this from the android.keystore file generated by RenPy at the start of the operation, but in vain, nothing I tried worked. In desperation, I turned to Keul who suggested I download the HashCheck Shell. extension.Thanks to that tip, I only had to open the properties of the file to retrieve the SHA-1. I have no idea if iI did it the way it was intended to or not but configuring that account was annoying as hell. I rarely saw more uselessly complicated and it made me realize how life was easy with the community around RenPy: there’s always someone with an advice or a guide T_T.

Projets GPAt this point, you should be able to create projects and generate a key for each one (don’t lose it!).

RenPy takes care of everything…almost
Back with RenPy, you have to put the key in your game. Following the advices of Sleepy Agents I found on the net, I copypasted mine in the options.rpy file.

Clefs RenpyYou’ll also need another sequence of numbers, and once again you can’t find an easy generator to do that for you, so you’ll have to take care of it yourself (or use the simple but risky sequence that the RenPy guide is showing you as an exemple). Once those two lines are added to your code, you will finally be able to make a build.

RenPy Launcher2One last word concerning the configuration: RenPy will ask you if you want expansions for your Android port (depending of the size of the file). You will actually need both versions: the 1st one will allow you to install the game on any Android device to quietly go through your testing phase, whereas the 2nd one is crucial if you want to put the game on Google Play. The limit being of 50MB, it’s nearly impossible to have a smaller file, even with a short project.

Configuration of a Google Play store page
Let’s work on the basis that you want to put your game on Google Play, here are some tips that, I hope, will help you.

Google Store• To begin with, you need to upload your APK file. I suggest you do so by directly assigning it to the Alpha track, otherwise Google Play won’t allow you to upload an expansion file (thankfully, you’re still able to modify that anytime).
• When filling the description page of your project, you will quickly realize you have to be concise. Be careful, Google Play will try several time to encourage you to use the translation service. It may sounds harmless but those services are not free and you will soon be asked to pay an amount that isn’t that small! Unless you have money to spend, I’d advise you to do the translation yourself or just pass.
• The questionnaire you have to fill to get a rating really isn’t adapted when it comes to visual novel. And it isn’t always clear on top of that. It’s quite difficult to get what each option really means. Like this, the confusion caused me to get a 18+ rating with Garden of Oblivion on my first try because I didn’t know the difference between “far” and “close” portrayal of violence. Pay attention and don’t hesitate to fill the form again to compare the results!
• In order to sell a game, you have to use a Merchant account and for that, you’re asked informations about your company. If you don’t upgrade to Merchant account, your games will have to be free.

With all that, your app should be ready to be published. But before clicking on that fateful button, you really should make a small verification: is your game adapted to Android?

Ergonomics issues
In order to make you think a bit, here’s a sequence of issues I got when I asked Keul to test the games on his phone for me.

Finger issue

As you can admire, thanks to Keul’s finger, it’s difficult to click with the original GUI…

• Most quickmenu (you know, the navigation buttons above the textbox or below in NVL mode) were way too small. So I needed to turn some pictures into text in order to increase their sizes as I wanted (it was the case with Ambre) but also increase the space between each button.
• Needless to say the font in general had to be increased as much as possible as well to allow some reading comfort.
• It got more complicated when the games were using lots of pictures. HVNCML, especially, took me a whole afternoon to get fixed; I had to increase the background picture to put bigger buttons and space them out, which lead to text collisions since the text was scrolling under that picture. Same with the PM system. Only after many tests was I able to balance everything.
• Just as bothersome, Garden of Oblivions icons were too small and too close to each other, which meant I had to increase them and adjust their positions. Another problem: the button that should be used to make the pause menu with all the options appear was, according to Keul, not really used by people anymore. So he advised me to add a quickmenu and I had to create new buttons inspired by the existing GUI and place them accordingly. For exemple, I had to keep an eye on whether the quickmenu was running over the sprites (it was the case with the rabbit). I also had to hide that quickmenu during the puzzle phases in order not to bother the player.
• Since you can only play a game in fullscreen on Android, the Fullscreen/Window button in the Options menu became completely useless! However I decided to keep it because I didn’t want to make a hole X).

Anyway, if you don’t have to remake entirely your visual novel for an Android port, you will still need to adjust the GUI!

To conclude
Here you are, finally ready to publish your app! You still need to wait for Google Play validation (it can take a couple of hours) and your game will be available. You suffered but it was for a good cause! Fortunately for you, I’m here to tell you all I did wrong so that you’ll suffer less than I did =’D.

pythonw 2015-09-15 22-37-28-53

Screenshot of the Android version: look at the new quickmenu on the right =’)

Don’t forget that HVNCML will be released wednesday and GoO the week after that! If you have some time, try out our Android ports and tell us what you think about it, it’ll make me happy :3.

D-3 : restlessness and overexcitement

It’s on starting blocks that the team is delivering to you the latest news before Japan Expo 2014. And, to start off on the right foot, here is our promotional visual !



Last time we told you all the orders had been send. In the meantime Projet Saya received the packages and was kind enough to take some pictures to satisfy our curiosity. Here is a sneak peek, I hope you’re drooling as much as we do XD.


The cover for the Short Story Collection’s hard copy


The music album


The bookmarks (don’t mind the ones on the left, they’re from Atelier Dreamnoid, one of the teams we’re sharing the booth with)


Being Beauteous’ posters


Hard copies


After a long month of fierce work, we were finally able to finish the Short Story Collection we promised during the Indiegogo campaign. Therefore we will sell it next to Milk first volume (episodes 1 to 3). Speaking of Milk, we’re deeply sorry to announce we didn’t made it on time for the English translation. If you buy Milk hard copy on our booth, you’ll have access to a patch later (if you want so) to correct that mistake. As for the free wev versions, they still are planned way later this summer, so if you didn’t preorder, you’ll have to be patient ~

Booth activities

In addition to the goodies sales, we really want to make the most of our talented artists. Roganis won’t be able to bring his music instruments as planned, due to technical issues, but our three lovely designers will make drawings on request. Morsy will only be there on Thursday and Sunday, whereas Melow and Orties will be there the entire week. Don’t hesitate to ask them !

Since Projet Saya has a camera, we won’t forget those who can’t go to the convention ! If you follow us on social networks (Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook), you’ll be able to see us clown around  live XD.

Japan Expo is getting closer

Japan Expo is coming soon, so let’s give some news about what we’re preparing for this event ! Spoil : a lot of things (as usual).


Items have been successfully send to be printed. Among the various stuffs we already showed you, there is one we hadn’t finish at that time. Indeed Morsy couldn’t find the time to do the last bookmark so Orties had to take care of it in her place. Here’s the result, I hope you’ll like it !

Miruku_Marque_Page-typoThe other thing is about the music album. It was intended to allow you to fully appreciate Roganis’ work but we also thought about making it a Milk OST, which wasn’t a good idea given that we haven’t finished the game’s music yet. So, all things considered, Roganis finally made up his mind and produced the following tracklist for The Milky Way of Music !


1 – Shadow of the Moon, Sea of Shadow
2 – Un Matin Rayonnant
3 – Clepsydra
4 – The Dream of a Little Planet
5 – Les Cloches du Couchant
6 – Wind in the Hair
7 – Song of Storm ~Roganis Remix
8 – Crépuscule du soir mystique
9 – Endless Road
10 – Lost Woods ~Roganis Remix
11 – Le carrousel des Rêves
12 – Pluie de Cendres ~Gymnopédie
13 – Nevermore

The music album will have 13 tracks including a good amount from Milk (all episodes mixed up, even those that haven’t been released yet) or Träumendes Mädchen’s games, but also some covers and an original one. The first edition will be printed in very limited numbers and a lot of people already reserved their copies during the crowdfunding campaign, so there won’t be much left. If you’re interested in having one, please do tell, so that we know in case we’ll have to produce some more copies !

Milk Episode 3

Milk 003

Good news : the game is almost finished. We only have some programming to do and Episode 3 will be available for the convention. We took that chance to completely remake the textbox (from the old GUI) and enhance Episode 1 translation that wasn’t on a par with the rest anymore. Yet, having to deal with some withdrawals, we find ourselves very short to finish Episode 3 English translation. We’ll do everything we can in the remaining time but we might not be able to finish it on time for those attending the convention. We’re crossing our fingers !

Short VNs collection

Since we met the first strechgoal of our Indiegogo campaign, we’re working on a compilation that will include all of our little projects.

Being Beauteous is currently receiving quite the makeover ! Roganis remade his old tracks and some new ones to enhance the sound experience while we’re doing a brand new GUI inspired by Melow’s poster. We’re also redoing all of the CGs to stick to the new size (1280×720 instead of the old 1024×768) and ofer a more polished experience. Since Morsy didn’t have the time, Orties once again took care of the art and her style is of course very different. We tried to stick to the original spirit and we hope you’ll like the new graphics.

scene 01

As for Ambre, as promised we’re redoing the translation. We’re trying to enhance some backgrounds as well, as you can see on Melow’s sketch.


However we’re experiencing issued with How visual novel changed my life. We wanted to add some extra scenes but we’re finding ourselves overwhelmed by the workload. Since it’s our more recent game, we’d rather focus on improving the old ones and won’t be able to deliver the extra scenes. We’re deeply sorry for the inconvenience.

Our schedule before Japan Expo is tough but we have a lot of energy to burn and we really want to please all of our fans =).

On a very different subject, the Träumendes Mädchen team is finally getting a real website. The devblog has become inadequate and we want browsing to be easy. Modifications are to be expected soon, we’re keeping you informed !

Träumendes Mädchen at Japan Expo 2014

The whole Träumendes Mädchen team is very proud to announce that we’ll be at Japan Expo 2014 from 2nd to 6th July !

For a long time we were hoping to come at a convention in an official way and that’s now a reality. You’ll be able to find us at our booth to discuss our various projects, chat or enjoy our fabulous artists : our composer will improvise some music and many designers will do little illustrations on request. If you’re passing by, go visit us, we’ll be very happy! Chibi_1Those who read How visual novels changed my life, our recent Nanoreno project, must have understood by now but we’re planning to come to japan Expo with something for you. Indeed, as exhibitors, nothing would please us more than to offer our fans some goodies. The thing is, we’re too poor to afford it by ourselves, that’s why we teamed up with Atelier Dreamnoid and Enless Seasons, two others visual novel creators, to gather our ressources. With the help of Projet Saya who kindly proposed to take care of logistics. We just launched an Indiegogo campaign to collect the funds we need to go to our first convention together.


Here, at Träumendes Mädchen, we’ll be offering some goodies : three designs for posters, three design for pin-badges and three designs for bookmarks (the last one isn’t finished yet) for our different games (Being Beauteous, Ambre and Milk). There will also be a music album composed by Roganis (we’ll be showing the tracklist sometime soon) as well as physical copies of the first three episodes of our visual novel Milk. This edition will feature technical improvements over the online version, a new illustration for the main menu and the exclusive episode 3! Indeed, the lucky owners of the physical version will have access to the story as soon as early July while the others will have to wait until the end of summer.


If the initial goal is met before the end of the campaign, we’ll be offering even more choice! With the first stretch goal, we’re going to produce a re-mastered compilation of our short projects with improvements here and there : How visual novels changed my life will include additional scene with new extra illustrations, the translation of Ambre will be enhanced and we’ll redo some of the backgrounds, where Being Beauteous will receive a new GUI (with some graphical enhancement if we still have the time). And with the second stretch goal, we’ll have twice as much goodies to offer!


So, if you liked our work or if you want to support the western visual novel creation, don’t hesitate to pre-order on our Indiegogo campaign, even if you’re not coming to Japan Expo : we’re shipping products, with additional fee sadly. Even the simplest donation will be helpful. The whole team is counting on you ;).