Sign in to follow this  

How do I make a visual novel?

This topic is 2848 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone. Thanks in advance for reading this. I am wanting to program a visual novel like program for a blackberry. My biggest problem is, how do I do it. LOL What I have thought of would be create each scene as an object, but I want to be able to save the game in the middle of dialog and load it back up without messing up where you are in the story. Does anyone have any ideas, or any books/tutorials I could read that would be of use?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Have you developed anything for a Blackberry before? Why do you want it to run on a Blackberry?

If you really are a beginner, you really, really, really should first learn how to write programs that run on desktop computers. It's vastly easier to find teaching resources, get the program running, test it, etc. Basically, programming for anything else is chock-full of additional problems that are irrelevant to actually learning how to write a program.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm just thinking of a mobile platform. I have taken programming classes before and I am really trying to teach myself how to do more, and this seems like a simple enough project to start with.

Well, ignore the mobile platform stuff. I'm really just looking for the programming concepts behind setting up the scene, progressing through the story, and being able to stop and start the story in an efficient manner. The way I've thought of to make it seems very clunky and not a good way to do it.

Books or tutorials on something like this would be awesome if anyone knows of any.

Thanks again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What is a "visual novel like program"? To me that just means a comic-book you read on a device. So there's no "game" there that I can think of. You just display each page as the user presses "next"? Perhaps if you give a more clear explanation of what you're talking about we could better answer it.

But if you've never done a graphics program on a PC definitely do not try to do it on a mobile device. It's hard enough to program on a device if you really know what you're doing on a PC.

-me

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ah. Not just a reader. A "Visual Novel" is like the dating sims you see, or games like Phoenix Wright.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney gameplay
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_p7QjYYm4_g

It's like a reader, but the user has input in what happens. Some games let you have more input then others though. They are similar to the old text based adventure games like Kings Quest or Zork.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ren'Py would be the obvious recommendation. Especially if you don't mind sticking with desktop development :) I don't really like a lot of the things it does, but I can't really suggest a better alternative, and you can work around it in a lot of ways (especially since the custom scripting language it provides lets you drop into pure Python).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would use it, but I'm really trying to learn how to make it myself. That's why I'm looking for books and such so I can learn the concepts and build on them.

Any thoughts? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If there are any books at all on this subject, they're likely to be in Japanese. It's a niche market in the west. Having said that, it's not that complicated. I think you can easily model it as some kind of graph. Every node contains text, graphics, and pointers to the next and previous node. A multiple choice is a special kind of node with more than one "next" node and a flag to remember which "next" node was chosen. Everything else (animation, sound) is just icing on the cake. You could store node definitions in XML.

How about you just get started on it, then if you run into trouble with something specific you can either look at the Ren'Py source code or come back here for help?

Other potential sources of inspiration would the be dialog editor in Neverwinter Nights' Aurora toolset as well as the interactive fiction languages such as Inform.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anything that helps you learn how to write better fiction is useful for improving one's skills for developing a visual novel, at least from the writing perspective. The important elements of a visual novel aren't really all that different from those of ordinary novels; the only differences are a VN is on a computer (or console) and instead of the reader imagining the scene, he or she gets to see it, as the writer/director envisions it himself.

A visual novel needn't even provide choices for the reader to take. A subgenre of visual novels, known as kinetic novels, might offer as many as three choices throughout the entire "game", none of which really has any lasting effect on the story. Most have none.

For traditional VNs, of both the NVL and ADV variety, though, placing choices and deciding their outcome isn't all that difficult. Just plan out your story, look for any places where things might go in two or more different directions, and use that as a choice point. The story needn't even diverge entirely; many VNs will go along a different route for a while, but will return to a common thread until the next choice, or until the climax of the story, where a different ending is given based on reader choices.

As for doing the actual development work itself, just use Ren'py, Novelty, or ONScripter. For a good visual novel, what it's built on is secondary to the story, graphics and audio.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is 2848 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this