English Visual Novel Engine Comparison

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Blue Lemma
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English Visual Novel Engine Comparison

#1 Post by Blue Lemma » Fri Aug 04, 2006 1:06 am

Here's a draft of a comparison of the main (only?) engines available for us English speakers:

http://lemmasoft.net/renai_dev/comparison.htm

Comments? Suggestions? Factual errors or unfair statements? Please let me know!

Thanks :)

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denzil
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#2 Post by denzil » Fri Aug 04, 2006 2:58 am

Nice. Comments:
Some foreword would be nice (what are visual novels...). Also it's completly missing links to engine homepages and communities.
Ren'Py being Pygame based possibly can run on other platforms supporting it (without sound).
Audio support - Ren'Py support more module formats than just MOD (XM, S3M, I'll test what else latter).
Variables - Blade - there is some support planed.
Licenses - should be noted that both Ren'Py and ONScripter use libraries having theier own license (SDL - LGPL...).
Practice makes purrrfect.
Finished projects: Broken sky .:. colorless day .:. and few more...

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#3 Post by monele » Fri Aug 04, 2006 3:16 am

Ren'Py effects : where is ImageTransition ? Is it the Masked Fade one ? Because with ImageTransition, you could say Ren'Py has an infinite number of possible transitions.

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#4 Post by Jake » Fri Aug 04, 2006 4:13 am

I kind of figured 'masked fade' probably referred to the way you could apply transitions to characters as well as just whole scenes... but yeah, I'd say that item could probably do with expanding into 'scene transitions' and 'other image effects' or something, since people already recognise the concept of scene transitions from movies.

I'd also note that MIT is a 'more free' licence than GPL, no matter what Richard Stallman says - GPL places some heavy requirements on the creator of a derivative work or modification, not least of which the insistence that their code is also licenced under the GPL... the MIT license allows you to do pretty much anything you like with the code, including re-licensing and/or selling sourceless, and is often compared to releasing into the public domain without ceding copyright. (Myself, I'd give Ren'Py the 'win' in that category, but Stallmanites would disagree with me. ;-) And it probably doesn't make any difference at all to your average VN author, anyway.)

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#5 Post by mikey » Fri Aug 04, 2006 6:50 am

IMO the "winner" and runner-up isn't really the optimum thing to include. Being hopefully an unbiased comparison, the winner should be picked by the reader. Just listing what the engines can and can't do is IMO sufficient.

Anyway, maybe the file size could be a nice information (how much space does the engine itself take, unpacked and zipped - not including the extras or samples).

- Engine-only Size unpacked
- Engine-only Size packed

Also, a list of full games created could be something interesting.

While it's true thats Sample demos exist for blade, there are countless demos made with Ren'Py as well, which could count in that category. So maybe there could be two categories:

- Samples/Tutorial Demos/Project Demos available?
- Full Productions available?

Under this the translated full doujin games could go for ONS, perhaps noting they are translations. But they should be included.

Also, while listing something (like platforms or games or anything), each entry could begin with a new line, and be sorted alphabetically, so it's easier to look for supported music formats for instance...

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#6 Post by DaFool » Fri Aug 04, 2006 8:09 am

Many thanks. While I've learned the info by crossreferencing forum posts, its good to have it all summed up in a single whitepaper.

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Blue Lemma
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#7 Post by Blue Lemma » Fri Aug 04, 2006 4:24 pm

Thanks for the comments!

monele: I'm not sure about the ImageTransition thing. I couldn't find info on it.

Anyway, the next revision is out. This is the one I'm going to stick with for now, unless there is something major I messed up on ^_^;

Like before, you can find it at http://lemmasoft.net/renai_dev/comparison.htm

There's also a chart-only version without my commentary (for mikey :wink: ) at http://lemmasoft.net/renai_dev/chart.htm

Feedback still welcome, of course! :)

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#8 Post by yuirei » Fri Aug 04, 2006 8:10 pm

I also made a comparison in my blog however mine already favors Ren'Py ^^ http://yuirei.animeblogger.net/?p=4

However, it's not yet over for Blade .. I think it's not even at 70% of it's expected "translated" performance
Last edited by yuirei on Sun Aug 06, 2006 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

Shish

#9 Post by Shish » Sun Aug 06, 2006 8:14 am

How much can you extend / abuse each engine? Thanks to Ren'Py's extensability via python, I've managed to turn it into something nearing a MUD*, with the world map stored in a SQLite database, and a plot which develops based on where in the world you wander; it can also be extended with new world areas, characters, and plots by dropping a new .rpy file into the game folder...

* It's currently single user, but MUD is a term more people would be familiar with. I think it may be more accurate to describe it as Myst-like, but I only ever played myst once, when I was ~6 years old, and I can't really remember it...


> an unbiased comparison

I don't think "having word wrap is better than not having it" is particularly biased -- even someone working for blade (and hence very biased towards it) would have to agree that the others are better (they could claim otherwise, but they'd be lying :P )

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#10 Post by RedSlash » Sun Aug 06, 2006 1:32 pm

Blade seems to be at a disadvantage over ONScriptor, and renpy. Here's my question. Is there something that blade can do that neither ONScipter nor ren'py can do?

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#11 Post by yuirei » Sun Aug 06, 2006 2:01 pm

I guess the answer to that lies on the original version of Blade Engine which is Japanese. Unfortunately we can't use it T__T

But currently in the available translation .. I guess the answer to that is none.

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#12 Post by Rika-chan » Sun Aug 06, 2006 2:18 pm

Blue Lemma, I'd say your analysis is fairly accurate, and once I learned more about Ren'Py, I wanted to use it instead. It basically has everything (and more) that I wanted Blade to have.

Off topic, but thanks for posting on the Blade Forums. If you hadn't, I might not have found Ren'Py. (Even censoring you didn't stop me.)

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#13 Post by Blue Lemma » Mon Aug 07, 2006 12:50 pm

mikey wrote:Being hopefully an unbiased comparison, the winner should be picked by the reader.
I believe the facts in the chart are all, well, facts. I hopefully pointed out well enough to readers that the big version of the document contains my personal commentary and analysis. I like to think of it like a sporting event on TV where they provide expert commentary to keep things interesting and provide perspective (If you want to call me an "expert" ^_^; ) However, I know there are advantages to a plain feature comparison without commentary, so that's why I made that version as well :wink:

The commentary and chart might seem harsh against Blade, but strictly considering the features, it is certainly fair (and I believe accurate, of course.) It is not Ren'Py's, ONScripter's, or my fault that Blade's feature set is less developed. I also do not believe I omitted any categories in which Blade would do better because at this stage, from my investigation, there aren't any. They do a good job in the ease of learning/support, though, and I did give them credit for that.

RedSlash wrote:Blade seems to be at a disadvantage over ONScriptor, and renpy. Here's my question. Is there something that blade can do that neither ONScipter nor ren'py can do?
All I could come up with is:
* possibly prettier default buttons
* automatic logo watermark covering your graphics
* engrish in menu descriptions

(Those last two are somewhat sarcastic, but still true.)
Shish wrote:How much can you extend / abuse each engine?
Good idea - I might add this in the next version.

Rika-chan: I'm glad you benefitted from the extra information! Helping people be aware of the various options has been my mission this last week, so it's rewarding to hear from you 8) As you know, if you have any questions about any of the engines, you're always welcome to post - we'll do our best to help! :D

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