Do I need to know how to program to use TyranoBuilder?

Not at all! TyranoBuilder’s visual UI is perfect for people with absolutely no programming knowledge.

Do I need to learn scripting to use TyranoBuilder?

Nope! Scripting is handy for the use of variables and deep customization, but TyranoBuilder’s visual UI alone is more than enough to make quality visual novels!

What platforms does TyranoBuilder run on?

TyranoBuilder is available for Microsoft Windows Vista / 7 / 8, and Mac OS X 10.6 / 10.7 / 10.8. Both versions are included in a single purchase from Steam. A Linux version is on the way!

What platforms can TyranoBuilder games run on?

TyranoBuilder can export created games directly to programs that run on Windows, MacOS, and to files that can be uploaded to a server and played via Internet browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer.TyranoBuilder also exports for iOS and Android, but the exported files must be ‘wrapped’ before they can be launched on devices that run these operating systems. This requires the use of third party software (PhoneGap), but the process does not require high technical ability, and all necessary links and step-by-step guides are provided in the TyranoBuilder Tutorial. Linux support is on the way!

Can I sell the games I make with TyranoBuilder?


What licensing fees or royalties apply to TyranoBuilder games that I make and sell?

None at all. The one-time purchase price of TyranoBuilder is the only payment required and includes all future upgrades and new versions.

What are the differences between TyranoBuilder and Ren'Py?

Let us start by clarifying that we have nothing but MAD respect for Ren’py and its community. It’s an amazing tool and has contributed immensely to the visual novel genre and creators outside of Japan.

Presently, the major differences between Ren’py and TyranoBuilder are ease of use and accessibility. Ren’py is a purely script-based engine aimed at programmers and presents rather a steep learning curve for anyone without an understanding of Python, while TyranoBuilder is made to be accessible to anyone, from people with absolutely zero programming experience to experienced visual novel creators.

The visual editor really does make a HUGE difference in terms of eliminating the technical hurdle and creating games rapidly and easily. Besides easily building visual novel games, the visual editor also allows easy management and use of available assets such as characters, music, backgrounds, etc., and tracking and using branches is made easier due to the easily distinguishable component colors. This kind of efficiency translates very easily into time and cost savings.

One other functional difference between Ren’py is that TyranoBuilder allows games to be exported and played as browser-based games. This is arguably the best way to get your game played by many people immediately.

Where can I find some examples of games made with TyranoBuilder?

TyranoBuilder has only just released in English, so there few English games we can point to YET. For now, we have a couple of examples of Japanese games made in TyranoBuilder and TyranoScript here.

Where can I find a tutorial for TyranoBuilder?

Right here.

Is there forum / message board for TyranoBuilder?

The TyranoBuilder Steam Discussion Group is our official forum and we’ll be regularly dropping in. Stop by and post any time!


Program Features & Specs

What version of Javascript/ECMAScript is used in TyranoBuilder?

EcmaScript 5.

Does TyranoBuilder leave any watermarks or ads when exporting games?

No, there are no watermarks or ads of any sort. The default program icon (used when viewing the program itself and in the top left corner of the program window) is the TyranoBuilder icon, but this can be freely changed using an icon changing utility. See ‘How can I change the program icon for my TyranoBuilder game?‘ below for details.

What languages are TyranoBuilder available in?

Presently, English and Japanese languages are available. Localizations into French, Spanish, and German are planned to follow the English release. timing will likely be around summer 2015.

How do I switch to the Japanese / English version?

From your Steam library, right-click on TyranoBuilder, select Properties, go to the LANGUAGES tab, then select the language you’d like from the drop down menu.

Can I use Russian / Japanese / Chinese / Thai / *other non-English character set* in TyranoBuilder?

Yes. TyranoBuilder uses UTF-8 and fully supports non-UNICODE characters sets such as Cyrillic, Japanese, Thai, Korean, etc.

How do I know if I'm running the most recent version of TyranoBuilder?

The Steam version of TyranoBuilder will automatically update from the Steam client, so you are always running the most up to date version.

I want to use a previous version TyranoBuilder. How can I do that?

Having access to previous versions of TyranoBuilder can be useful for working with projects created in earlier builds. Previous versions of TyranoBuilder can be installed at any time via the Steam Beta options.

To install a previous version:
Right click on TyranoBuilder in your library, left click on Properties, select the “Betas” tab, then select the version you would like to install from the dropdown. TyranoBuilder will immediately update to the selected version via the Steam client.

This NEEDS Steam Workshop! Why don't you add support for Workshop?

We couldn’t agree more! No promises or dates, but we’re working on it and will announce plans as soon as we have nail down our solution.

Will XXX / YYY feature be added?

If it’s an important or in-demand features, then most likely yes. Thanks in no small part to the release on Steam and support by purchasers, TyranoBuilder will receive frequent updates! We already have a number of planned new features and modes that will be added over the coming weeks. We anticipate that TyranoBuilder six months after launch will significantly expand and improve upon the initial launch version. All of these updates will be pushed out as free updates to the build on Steam.

I have a suggestion / feature request for TyranoBuilder. How should I propose this?

Please make a post at our Official Suggestion List. We’d love to hear your feedback and it will be considered by the dev team!


Making / Customizing Games

Where can I find free character art / backgrounds / music / sound effects to use in my games?

You can find a pinned thread with a list of free resources sites in the TyranoBuilder Steam Discussion Group.

Can I customize the game title screen?

Yes! Title screens can be freely customized. See here for the relevant tutorial page.

Can I customize the GUI?

Yes. The message window and menu buttons and menu backgrounds can all be customized. We have a tutorial page on this right here.

What file types can I use for images / audio / movies / other?

TyranoBuilder allows a variety of files to be used, but what can actually be displayed in-game may vary depending upon the platform in use.
For maximum portability, the recommended file types are:

Images: jpg, png, gif
Audio: .ogg and .mpa
Movies: .ogv and .webm
Mouse pointer / awaiting click icon: gif

Why aren’t mp3 or mp4 files types supported for music and video files?

Early versions of TyranoBuilder supported mp3 and mp4, but they are no longer supported in order to prevent TyranoBuilder users potentially becoming liable to pay licensing fees for using files in these formats in their games. mp3 and mp4 are patented technologies and are NOT free to use(!)

For mp3:
Currently, games that sell more than 5,000 copies are required to pay $2,500 per game.
Visit here for more details about royalties to be paid for games using mp3:

For mp4:
The situation is potentially even stickier, as over two dozen companies claim to have patents covering MPEG-4. The rights situation is so complicated that the standard has a separate organization – MPEGLA – manage its licensing. The exact figures to be paid to use mp4 vary from case to case, but there may be an initial fee of $1,000 for a shareware app and $15,000 for a commercial app, plus additional royalties for AAC from Nero.
Bottom line: best to use another format. If you would like to learn more above the licensing mp4, visit the MPEGLA homepage here:

In view of the above, supported media file types in TyranoBuilder are presently the royalty free(!) standards of .ogg and .mpa for music, and .ogv and .webm for video.

What fonts are available in TyranoBuilder? Can I use my own fonts?

Presently Arial, Georgia, Times New Roman, and Tahoma are available to use. Custom font functionality will be added in a later update.

Can I add movies / cut scenes to my game?

Absolutely. You can insert movies in .mp4 or .webm format, and / or create cut scenes by using montages of image (background) slates, or by using TyranoScript’s animation functions.

How can I link / make branches / jumps from text within the message window?

Easy! Just use TyranoScript’s [link] tag (see here for details) to link the text to a jump or new scene.

How can I change the position of the menu (cog) button?

To change the position of the menu (cog) icon:
From the project folder, open the file data/system/Config.tjs and find the following:

This defines the position from the top left of the game screen in pixels.

Edit the values as above to change the position of the menu button.

Visual UI-based support for this will be added soon!

How can I change the size of the system buttons, like Load, Save, etc.?

Functionality to change the size of these buttons will be added to TyranoBuilder in a later update, but for the moment these have to be manually changed.

Presently, these buttons are set to automatically resize. To resize, edit the HTML files in the folder data/tyrano/html/

Can I animate my character graphics?

Yes, animation can be done in three ways: by using TyranoScript’s animation functions (see here for details), by using animated GIFs, or by using Live2D in conjunction with TyranoScript. See here for details about using Live2D with TyranoBuilder!

Can I add mini-games to my game?

Yes. Mini-games are not an area of focus for TyranoBuilder at this time, but basic games can be created using the existing functionality in TyranoBuilder and TyranoScript. In addition, TyranoBuilder fully supports JavaScript, so anyone with sufficient programming knowledge can code and implement their own mini games within TyranoBuilder games.

How can I run my locally exported browser game?

Games exported for browser are by default restricted from running locally for security reasons, but they can be easily run locally using Google Chrome or by using a utility called Tyranode.

Here’s how to do both:

1) Using Google Chrome
Create a shortcut to Google Chrome, right click on it and go to Properties, then add the below after the Target link:


Open Chrome from the above shortcut, then use it to open index.html from the exported game folder.

2) Using Tyranode
Download TyraNode* from here:
*Click on the blue folder marked ‘TyraNode(v2.0)’ toward the top right of the screen to download

Unzip the downloaded file
Open the file package.json within the TyraNode folder
Edit the line “server”: false, to “server”: true,
Save the file

Copy the contents of your exported TyranoBuilder game to /html/ folder in the TyranoNode folder (just overwrite any existing files)

Run TyraNode.exe (grant application access if a confirmation window opens)
Open your web browser and point it to http://localhost:8080/
You’ll see your game in the browser window!

How can I change the program icon for my TyranoBuilder game?

This feature is planned for a later update, but until then other, third party utilities must be used. See here for an example of some methods for Windows.