Web Serial KN (and soon VN) Engine: Showpony!

For discussion and support of other visual novel engines.
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Projects: Breakdown, Showpony
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Web Serial KN (and soon VN) Engine: Showpony!

#1 Post by MI_Buddy » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:22 am


I've been working on Showpony for the last few years, and realized I need to open it up more for feedback and to see where I can help people better.

So I made a Discord for it. It's a pretty empty place right now, but if you're interested in hearing more and watching it's progress go here (you can also hear your own echo, echo, echo): https://discord.gg/u4XBJRA

Info is below if you're like "but what be it?"

Example (with older version)
Desktop test version (Windows only; 151MB because of the wrapper, Showpony's < 200KB. I can condense it, but don't have time right now)

Why It Exists
I wanted reading and creating online KNs to be easier than ever.
  • I wanted an easy way to update a KN with new chapters
  • I wanted to be able to jump to any part of a KN quickly
  • I wanted automatic bookmarking
  • I wanted it available on the web for all modern browsers
  • I wanted it to be possible with minimum code
So I started working on an engine for it. It sucked.
Then I took the things I learned from sucking (and from rocking corporate web-dev projects w00t!) and started building a solid engine.

confetti SHOWPONY!!! confetti

I made Showpony because I wanted it all. And I wanted to build an engine that would solve all my story creation problems, and not be a drag to use as a reader if I wanted to backtrack, etc.

You don't have to be great with code. The syntax is pretty simple, you just need to name and organize your files correctly and it should all work no-problema. You set the date for a file to go live based on its name.

Showpony's UI is in the works (definitely needs some love still), but it's made to get out of your way, to work across media, and to work well on mobile too.


Click on the left side to regress; the right side to progress; and the lower-center to pause and toggle the menu UI. When you're paused, you can also click and drag horizontally to go to any point in the story. (A redesign is on the way, and I'm happy to hear feedback! It definitely still needs some love.)

Code Example

It's easy to install, but also easy to use. Here's how you update the story's text:

Code: Select all

	This shows up in the textbox, and it even has automatic pauses for punctuation!
	This is the next line and shows up when you progress.
Just a tab, and then your text!

You can read up more on the syntax at the Wiki.

Unique Features
  • Schedule parts of your story to go live in the future
  • Hide secret images, music, etc until that part of the story goes live
  • Scrub a KN (or a VN! That's incoming) like a video, rather than having to load an old save and skip forward
  • Multimedia support: switch between KN, video, manga, and text, however much you want to!
  • Automatic punctuation pauses
  • Seamlessly transition between story files while reading- your audience won't notice you've gone to the next file!
  • Singing text (definitely the most important feature IMO)
  • ...obligatory "and-more!" (but it's true)
VN functionality is in the works. If you're interested once that's available, feel free to hop into the Discord and let me know! Getting that working with scrubbing is an interesting thing to figure out, but I got plans.

Not-Unique Features
  • Character image layers
  • Video backgrounds and images
  • Use any CSS styles on images
  • Multilingual support
  • Fullscreen
  • Any image type
  • Video layers
  • Preloads images, audio, etc
  • Gives you useful bug feedback (more messaging in the works)
  • You can eat tacos while using it
  • Mmm, tacos...
  • Obligatory "and more!" (but it's true)
Where It's At
(as of April 14, 2019)

It's been used in a project and I have a big project in the works that I want to use it for. Is it production-ready? I'm hesitant to give a big "yes!" because I want to test all the cases, but it's pretty stable (I may just be thinking of all the edge cases 'cause I'm the main programmer :P).

For KNs, you should be good, especially on desktop browsers. A recent browser update made new audio bugs, but from what I've seen things are still fairly stable. I want to do more testing before saying "yes!" but at worst Showpony's the fastest way to test out your KN idea and to check the flow of text, etc.

VN functionality is in the works, but won't be ready for a while.

If you want to try it out, hop into the Discord and I'll help you get started! You can test it on a Windows desktop with this app too (which is 151 MB for the desktop web wrapper, but Showpony itself is < 200 KB. I can condense it a lot, but I don't have the time right now).

I look forward to helping you out! :D
KNs/VNS completed: Breakdown
KNs/VNs in development: Caravan, Project Foresight (working title)
Resources: Your Story Now!: YouTube series Showpony: web vn engine Free software list Free stock list

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