Comparison with Visual Novel Maker

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DirkB
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Comparison with Visual Novel Maker

#1 Post by DirkB » Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:48 am

I read a few reviews, but I was wondering if people have already some idea about how to compare Ren'Py with Visual Novel Maker.

Does Visual Novel Maker have the same (or more) functionality, stability as Ren'Py?

I recently switched from Tyranobuilder to Ren'Py, but I am now considering switching again to Visual Novel Maker because of an issue I am having with a video backdrop.

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Re: Comparison with Visual Novel Maker

#2 Post by Ryue » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:06 am

Currently I have no clue there, but on visal novels maker steam page tehre has been a question (so far no answer to) which has a few points in that direction inside of it.
http://steamcommunity.com/app/495480/di ... 082637387/

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Re: Comparison with Visual Novel Maker

#3 Post by DirkB » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:46 am

Yes. That's my post there :D

In the meanwhile, my video backdrop problem has been solved, so I am probably going to stick with Ren'Py.

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Re: Comparison with Visual Novel Maker

#4 Post by SundownKid » Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:24 pm

I really highly doubt that Visual Novel Maker will have similar functionality to Renpy, which has been constantly developed and updated for a decade. While it has the benefit of showing you all the features upfront so you don't have to consult the documentation, that kind of thing can be learned in a relatively short time, and it's a lot faster using code. Basically, if you can figure out how to use Renpy, you should probably be using Renpy.

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Re: Comparison with Visual Novel Maker

#5 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:33 pm

DirkB wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:46 am
Yes. That's my post there :D

In the meanwhile, my video backdrop problem has been solved, so I am probably going to stick with Ren'Py.
It's funny, but your Steam post actually reads like a list of reasons to use Ren'Py. Like, "Ren'Py does this thing perfectly, or makes all these things easy, does X do this too?"

Other engines have more off the shelf options for 'default' style VNs, but Ren'Py definitely has the most options for customizations, and definitely the best support community to get answers and help from.

Visual Novel Maker already appears to be running into the same issue all these 'drag-n-drop' GUI engines do - people are asking to do things like simultaneously change poses and expressions and the solution is ... to copy developer code into a custom extension using a command line action. :shock:

Ren'Py has the longest history of development and improvements, and through the incredible generousity of PyTom, is free. Meanwhile, if their history with RPG Maker is any indication, Visual Novel Maker is going to charge you for every extension and improvement they make, until if you want the full package, you will have spent hundreds of dollars.

As an artist, yes, Ren'Py is a bit of a pain in that even though most of the code is really easy, yes, it is still code. However, I long ago learned that making a game without learning how to code is a pipedream, and I may as well just buckledown and learn to code if that's what I want to do. I'll never forget a program package I got in the late 90s that loudly proclaimed everywhere on the box and display that it would let you make games with "No Coding Experience Required!" When I got home and unboxed the thing ... it included a large paperback manual on programming. :roll: That's when I realized it was all just clever phrasing, and no where did it say you would NOT have to code to make a game ... just that you didn't need to know how to code to buy their software.

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Re: Comparison with Visual Novel Maker

#6 Post by DirkB » Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:05 pm

Lol. Yeah I just realized also while rereading my post that I always seem to say how awesome Ren'Py actually is.

The fact is that I am happy with Ren'Py and I only thought about changing because of the video backdrop issue.

I never did any coding in Tyranobuilder, so my comparison with Tyranobuilder was based on its drag and drop features. But when you are going to combine drag and drop with coding, that just makes things more complicated I think. And instead of just typing the code you have to first drag the code button, which is a waste of time.

I could have said something also about how easy the search function is in Ren'Py. You just need to make sure that you keep a list of all your labels and then finding anything becomes in fact easier than when you have separate tabs for each scene.

The only thing so far I think that could be better is to have an easy way of doing a preview from a certain line. I looked for it a bit, but couldn't find much about it, and what I am doing now is that I put jump test in the beginning right after label start and then I write label test anywhere I want to start the preview and just launch the project as normal. It's quite fast but not like in Tyranobuilder where you can right click anywhere and select preview.

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Re: Comparison with Visual Novel Maker

#7 Post by fanoflefanu » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:09 pm

I intend to buy and use VN Maker for one simple reason: it is undoubtedly the best visual novel engine...that exports to the Web.
Ren'Py is a fantastic program, but since it can't export for running on a webpage, it's something of a chocolate teapot as far as I am concerned.
Naturally, this isn't an issue for many people (although I'm slightly surprised at the scarcity of the people for whom it is an issue).

I don't think I'd look twice at VN Maker if Ren'Py could do export to the Web...but unfortunately it can't.

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Re: Comparison with Visual Novel Maker

#8 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:07 am

fanoflefanu wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:09 pm
I intend to buy and use VN Maker for one simple reason: it is undoubtedly the best visual novel engine...that exports to the Web.
Ren'Py is a fantastic program, but since it can't export for running on a webpage, it's something of a chocolate teapot as far as I am concerned.
Naturally, this isn't an issue for many people (although I'm slightly surprised at the scarcity of the people for whom it is an issue).

I don't think I'd look twice at VN Maker if Ren'Py could do export to the Web...but unfortunately it can't.
I've never seen the appeal of running games off the web. I didn't care for Unity Web Player either. It's all so limiting - it depends on the player's internet connection, which in many parts of the world and even the United States can be pretty spotty, and it limits some things you can do design and gameplay-wise.

App packaging and export are available in Ren'Py if you want to play on a mobile device. So web-based games only seem useful for playing on a desktop or laptop machine, but then you could just download the game....

I don't know, maybe someone could explain the allure of just pushing a game out on web only, but I don't see the merits.

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Re: Comparison with Visual Novel Maker

#9 Post by Errilhl » Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:06 am

LateWhiteRabbit wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:07 am
I've never seen the appeal of running games off the web. I didn't care for Unity Web Player either. It's all so limiting - it depends on the player's internet connection, which in many parts of the world and even the United States can be pretty spotty, and it limits some things you can do design and gameplay-wise.

App packaging and export are available in Ren'Py if you want to play on a mobile device. So web-based games only seem useful for playing on a desktop or laptop machine, but then you could just download the game....

I don't know, maybe someone could explain the allure of just pushing a game out on web only, but I don't see the merits.
Well... depending on where in the world you are, web-based can be very nice.
First, no need to download and install anything - you could even play it in incognito mode, which could avoid problems running specific types of games on business machines, school laptops, etc.
Second, there really isn't any limits to what you can do on the web anymore (there is, but not that much that will affect a VN-type game). If you have the ability to modify background tasks, like you do with Monogatari, you can mostly disperse of anything that might be a problem. You can create user accounts, store the progress online, and pick up the game from anywhere, as long as you have access to a device connected to the Internet, with a browser. You can connect to larger social media platforms (FB, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and so on and so forth), and use that for both promotional and in-game content. Creating new avenues of gameplay.
As for the spotty Internet-connections. Yes, some places suffer. Europe rarely does, and Japan, Korea, Singapore and several other Asian countries doesn't either. Depending on where you see your market, it might not matter that the game is online. With modern tech, you can also reduce filesizes and data-transfer quite a bit, so it might not need that much of a data-transfer to begin with.

So, there are plenty points. Not to mention that you, as a developer, mainly only have to concentrate on one version, if you have a support forum or the like. No need to ask what version they're playing, since it will all be the same one.
Currently working on: Image

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Re: Comparison with Visual Novel Maker

#10 Post by fanoflefanu » Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:18 pm

@DirkB
I’ve been following your posts regarding VN Maker on this and the Steam forum, and feel (judging from your comments on both) that the stuff we’re interested in producing (such as seamless video, and overlays for character expressions, etc.) is very much the same.

Like you, I feel that it would be nice to have a trial version available, but even without one, I’m already getting a strong impression that VN Maker is a big deal! For those who don’t want to touch scripting, VN Maker seems to provide a readily accessible way of creating visual novels, and for more advanced developers, it provides great flexibility with regard to custom scripts for your game, and even easy customization of the editor itself.

One thing that particularly impresses me is that (within two days of its release), two or three useful extensions for VN Maker have already become available on the RPGMaker forum. In addition to which, the way in which the developers have taken the trouble to give a detailed answer to each of the queries you raised on the Steam forum makes me feel that these guys are really in earnest about the product that they’re trying to deliver.

I can’t give you proof positive, but something tells me that VN Maker will soon develop into the new “industry standard” for visual novels.

All of which makes me sound like a some kind of “Degica troll”, although I can assure you I’m no such thing! I have to admit that I haven’t used Ren’py in earnest, but I’ve investigated its capabilities in some detail. It really is great software. Nevertheless, in terms of its extensibility for experienced users and accessibility for new ones, I’m getting the impression that VN Maker is going to take the lead.

What do you think, guys? I’d really like to hear your impressions.

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Re: Comparison with Visual Novel Maker

#11 Post by DirkB » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:30 pm

I read a few more reviews on steam and some people are complaining VNM is unfinished, buggy and the only important advantage vs Ren'Py would be live2D. I am going to continue with Ren'Py.

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Re: Comparison with Visual Novel Maker

#12 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:37 pm

DirkB wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:30 pm
I read a few more reviews on steam and some people are complaining VNM is unfinished, buggy and the only important advantage vs Ren'Py would be live2D. I am going to continue with Ren'Py.
That's the only advantage I saw as well, and while Live2D is awesome, I don't think it adds enough to be worth the hassle unless you are using it for some kind of touch or click based gameplay. That and the English documentation for Live2D is not great, and the VNM team are just directing all Live2D questions to the Live2D team, so....

And Live2D is pricey. All you get with Visual Novel Maker when you buy the Live2D bundle is a license to release visual novels commercially using Live2D, the software itself has to be purchased separately.

I tried some tests with Live2D's trial and Tyrannobuilder at one point and it was rough. Because of the price and the language barrier, it is hard to find help with Live2D in English, and ultimately, setting up a character in Live2D is more labor intensive than just doing a ton of separate expressions and poses, so unless you have a compelling gameplay reason to use Live2D it isn't a great investment.

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Re: Comparison with Visual Novel Maker

#13 Post by Timberduck » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:25 pm

They just have to Iron out a few things, then it will be great, Just like minecraft was in the beginning.
The best feature I must say is the live editor, this feature saves a boat load of time when editing. This engine has a bright future , as well as it's mascot Metis! "She must be Eileen's daughter or younger sister. "

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Re: Comparison with Visual Novel Maker

#14 Post by MrTAToad » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:00 pm

I've run into a few serious problems when testing my novel with VNM :
  • Reloading a automated save file seems to corrupt or reset persistent variables - and as soon as one is accessed the running program halts (or possibly the bug where variables cant be accessed by name is still present in the current beta)
  • Takes 20+ seconds for each scene transition - and occasionally it won't at all. This is in NVL mode
  • The editor itself is sluggish, which is a shame - it slows everything down.

I'm actually converting my story to Ren'Py, and whilst all the advanced stuff isn't in yet (name entry, prologue check and various other bits aren't in yet), it is, on the whole going much quicker.

It's a shame really as a WYSIWYG editor is handy.

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Re: Comparison with Visual Novel Maker

#15 Post by ocimpean » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:29 pm

I like VNM, it has potential to grow, but be aware, it has its own way of doing things and you will not know if you like it or not, until you play with for few days.

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