Novelty - My game maker

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Sin
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Novelty - My game maker

#1 Post by Sin » Thu Oct 18, 2007 4:19 am

PyTom found me and pointed me to this forum. Let me just introduce myself.

I'm 24 years old and I work as a game developer for a game company in south-east asia (although I'm european). Besides programming for a living I'm also somewhat of an hentai artist and about a year ago I decided to combine the two and create a hentai game.

Hentai aside, I have a way of overdoing things, so I decided to first make a game editor and then make a game with it. As I was doing research I found Ren'py, but other than that I couldn't find any other program that lets you create visual novels. That's when I started thinking about making an editor not just for myself, but for others as well.

It's not done yet, by far. It'll probably take a few more months to whip out a beta. But I thought it couldn't hurt to show you the progress I've made.

The name of the program is Novelty. You can find a video demonstration of it here:
http://www.delicious-art.com/novelty/preview1/

I'd be thrilled to hear what you guys have to think about it.

Ren

Re: Novelty - My game maker

#2 Post by Ren » Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:36 am

OH JOY OH JOY!Buddha listened to my prayers!!!I mean...the first time I ever read about Ren'Py I imagined something like this and when I tried it I was so confused!(this is not to say Ren'Py isn't simple, I just never ever did anything even slightly related to programming so until then I always thought every program had an interface like Photoshop...T_T<---stupid person with no talent for computers)
I also remember I tried a Japanese program to make visual novels even before that but your is much more intuitive and takes care of so many things in a seemingly pratical way.

Oh yeah, sorry for the weird post...

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Re: Novelty - My game maker

#3 Post by monele » Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:27 am

Quite amazing o_O... You can place things visually... you can use pixel values if needed... you give "roles" to text zones which is nice (does it mean we could have 2 different text boxes displaying the name for example?... as useless as this is). And the instant preview of what you've done is probably one of the big plusses. I also like the fact you can have different blending modes :3 (what renderer do you use btw? Raster or 3D?).
Seems you can copy/paste a whole bunch of text+actions too... which is nice for copying scenes and such I think.

What was not apparent and could be nice : being able to define magnet positions to ensure a character on the right is always at the same spot... for long term consistency (and if changing that magnet position could automatically update positions throughout the game, it would be nice ^^).

How will the chaptering work? How much depth is available (chapter, page, paragraph...)? Will the "goto" be only possible between chapters? How will conditionals work (goto chapter after a test only or something more detailed)?
Hmm... How does it work if I want a character to appear mid-scene? Will she be already there but not visible and then be made visible by an Action?
Oh and I suggest having "aliases" for names so that we don't have to type "A pretty girl" 20 times when scripting but maybe just "apg" which will be replaced at runtime.

Ah well... it's just the beginning eh? ^^;... But it's really amazing already.

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Re: Novelty - My game maker

#4 Post by Sin » Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:50 am

monele wrote:Quite amazing o_O... You can place things visually... you can use pixel values if needed... you give "roles" to text zones which is nice (does it mean we could have 2 different text boxes displaying the name for example?... as useless as this is). And the instant preview of what you've done is probably one of the big plusses. I also like the fact you can have different blending modes :3 (what renderer do you use btw? Raster or 3D?).
Seems you can copy/paste a whole bunch of text+actions too... which is nice for copying scenes and such I think.

What was not apparent and could be nice : being able to define magnet positions to ensure a character on the right is always at the same spot... for long term consistency (and if changing that magnet position could automatically update positions throughout the game, it would be nice ^^).

How will the chaptering work? How much depth is available (chapter, page, paragraph...)? Will the "goto" be only possible between chapters? How will conditionals work (goto chapter after a test only or something more detailed)?
Hmm... How does it work if I want a character to appear mid-scene? Will she be already there but not visible and then be made visible by an Action?
Oh and I suggest having "aliases" for names so that we don't have to type "A pretty girl" 20 times when scripting but maybe just "apg" which will be replaced at runtime.

Ah well... it's just the beginning eh? ^^;... But it's really amazing already.
You're quite observant. Lemme see if I can go through your questions one by one.

The game can only keep track of one name-field and one dialog-field at once, since that's usually the norm in most VNs. It's just to let the the dialog actions know which text box to update. If you need to change some other arbitrary text box there'll be more a generic "Set text"-action for that.

The renderer is using DirectX and it's techically a 3D engine. I'm only using 2 dimensions but I could add support for 3D models if I wanted to.

You'll be able to copy/paste actions but also entire scenes, pages or chapters. At it's core everything is described as text (XML) so you could in theory create/edit a game in a text-editor.

Magnet positions is something I've thought about for a long time, so that'll definetly be implemented later.

In the current design, there are just chapters and pages. Every page has a scene and a list of actions. Scenes can have layers and "global layers". Global layers are for sharing layers between pages (like the front end).

I'm still finalizing the design on how the conditionals and gotos should work. All I can say now is that you'll be able to goto to chapters, pages or labels within a page. Grouping of actions is something I'm currently thinking about.

I've been experimenting with the same situation you just described. It's possible to place a character in the scene, hide it and have it fade in using an action. Another solution would be to use an action that creates the character on the fly, maybe at a specific magnet point or something. Note that you currently create actions using a popup-menu, but this is just a temporary solution until I've made the proper UI for it.

Naming aliases is definetly something I'll take a look at. Either by replacing the string like you said, or have a drop-list with all the previously entered names.

Just to clarify; I probably won't be able to fit every user's need with the pre-made actions (even though I intend to create a lot of them). In cases where you want to do something that's beyond what comes in the box there will be a scripting language that will give advanced users full control.

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Re: Novelty - My game maker

#5 Post by monele » Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:23 am

"The game can only keep track of one name-field and one dialog-field at once"
Fair enough ^^

"The renderer is using DirectX and it's techically a 3D engine."
It was either that or OpenGL :). I suppose it means no support for Mac (and I don't know if Linux supports DirectX).

"At it's core everything is described as text (XML) so you could in theory create/edit a game in a text-editor."
Or easily make code generators I suppose. Pretty neat feature :)

"Another solution would be to use an action that creates the character on the fly, maybe at a specific magnet point or something."
Even if it would be my favorite programmatic solution (for maximum freedom), it might be better to keep with the "place actors and tell them when to act" concept here.

"Note that you currently create actions using a popup-menu, but this is just a temporary solution until I've made the proper UI for it."
I thought you clicked on the "dialogue" icon and others? ô_o

"have a drop-list with all the previously entered names."
Nice ^^... But maybe have both :). Once you get enough characters, it'll become a chore having to click-select all the time.

"In cases where you want to do something that's beyond what comes in the box there will be a scripting language that will give advanced users full control."
Sounds fair too :)

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Re: Novelty - My game maker

#6 Post by rocket » Thu Oct 18, 2007 11:31 am

Wow! Awesome!

But...

I'm seriously distracted, she's so cute!

Looks fantastic though!

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Re: Novelty - My game maker

#7 Post by Dilettante » Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:03 pm

That looks extremely useful. Will it be free for others to use? I'd love to have a go at making my own game with it.

(I wish I had more to contribute, but that's it)

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Re: Novelty - My game maker

#8 Post by Blue Lemma » Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:19 pm

I must say that's quite the user interface you've designed there :) One thing I'd suggest: Have the ability to export Ren'Py scripts so that advanced users and those who are familiar with Ren'Py can design the basic stuff in Novelty and then add in Ren'Py features (minigames, etc. etc.) if they want with Ren'Py.

Cool stuff there 8)
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Re: Novelty - My game maker

#9 Post by monele » Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:36 pm

Actually, big question : has this anything to do with Ren'Py for now? (I thought it was a visual editor for Ren'Py for a few seconds at first but then dismissed the idea...)

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Re: Novelty - My game maker

#10 Post by Sin » Thu Oct 18, 2007 3:50 pm

Dilettante: Yes, Novelty will be free.

I didn't mean to give the impression that it's a Ren'py editor. It's a new engine written from scratch. Consequently Ren'py scripts won't be compatible at all with Novelty. But like I said in a previous post, you will be able to script stuff to make minigames, etc.

I don't really want to make any comparisons between Novelty and Ren'py in fear of coming off as arrogant. All I can say is that they have two completely different design paradigms.

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Re: Novelty - My game maker

#11 Post by magi » Thu Oct 18, 2007 4:17 pm

Regardless, its something to look forward to. I am also looking forward to when people actually starting to make H-game with it. :p

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Re: Novelty - My game maker

#12 Post by PrettySammy09 » Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:13 pm

Wow! You are a very talented programmer! That looks like a lot of fun! :)

I'm so glad that there are more ways to make VNs. I know that I'm so programming-ly challenged that I find everything difficult, so people who can make things like these really amaze me on so many levels.

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Re: Novelty - My game maker

#13 Post by Sin » Fri Oct 19, 2007 5:22 am

PrettySammy09 wrote:Wow! You are a very talented programmer! That looks like a lot of fun! :)

I'm so glad that there are more ways to make VNs. I know that I'm so programming-ly challenged that I find everything difficult, so people who can make things like these really amaze me on so many levels.
Thank you ^.^
Other kids played soccer, I sat inside making games. xD
It's not the coolest hobby to have, and no one will ever understand what the hell you're doing.. but it has treated me well.

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Re: Novelty - My game maker

#14 Post by NetGenSuperstar » Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:28 pm

That program looks absolutely amazing. I wish it was available for Mac OS X. It's not a problem for me, since I can always run the editor and games in Crossover or Parallels, but if I make a PC game, I like it to be available to everyone possible. That doesn't mean I won't use your program, though, since the Mac OS X-using VN-fan demographic is probably not very big.

Actually, I don't know how your game engine works either. If you had the means available, would it be possible to at least create Mac OS X games by writing a new engine?

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Re: Novelty - My game maker

#15 Post by eezergoode » Sun Oct 21, 2007 1:46 am

Very, VERY nice.

If you had released this program a year ago, I probably never would have found myself working with Ren'Py... It took me quite some time to actually try to use it, I haven't done any coding since the '80s... and needless to say, it was a bit different than Ren'Py scripting. Of course, I'm glad to have found Ren'Py, since it has brought my interest in programming back to life after an almost 20 year hiatus.

Now I'm happy that I will have two choices of engines to use, and to be honest, I will most likely use both of them at some time. I just have to figure out which one I'll be using for my first game... Most likely, Ren'Py though, since I've already started scripting it.... But I'll be all kinds of happy when this is released, I like choices.
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