Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Arcane Erudition Production Blog - Novelty: Visual Novel Maker

* Screenshot artwork is a temporary placeholder

This is the program we're using to develop our game "Domesticus".

If you take a look around Novelty's website, you should get a pretty clear idea of what sorts of games this program was originally intended for. Our game is far from a Japanese dating simulation experience, but all of the example games, tutorials, included character art (which we're using as placeholder art until we get our photographs imported) and voice samples included with Novelty are tailored to towards people who want to create their own games in this genre.

It's important to note though, that Novelty is a "visual novel" maker and not a "dating sim" simulator, the latter of which is often a subgenre of the former. So even though the program is not usually used for people working on projects like ours, all of the essential functionality that we needed in the game is very easy to use with Novelty's interface. We can have branching paths, multiple conversation threads, import our own media, insert video and overall just put together a package that is very close to our vision of what we want "Domesticus" to be.

The flexibility of the software mixed with it's streamlined focus on telling a story was a major reason we decided to switch to it after working with Multimedia Fusion 2 for the early development of the game. Multimedia Fusion 2 is certainly more powerful and one could conceivably put together a Novelty-esque interface given enough raw programming time, but Novelty took care of so much of the work for us that we were able to save tons of time and focus on just getting the game done.

Novelty is also distributed as freeware, which is a huge plus. We don't have to worry about obtaining copies for all of the people in our group. Anyone can download it and get to work.

If you're interested, you can check out Novelty's website here.

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