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The so call VN engine [the truth behind them all] [10/28/2015]


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I have seen so many users saying "I can make a visual novel with [name_engine] , its so better than [name_engine_2] because [name_reason]." Yet they forgotten that there are always bad things in a engine, you could fall for paying such engine to only discover that it has no way to make that dream game. This is why why i'm listing well known vn engines and their cons, I hope the guide will help you pick the right engine for you not the company.

renpy - One of the most known engine in the world (i'm not kidding), it uses python language to make vn. It's being updated as much as it can and also people have been able to make rpg from it. The main reason people choose this over any other engine is due to the freedom to add anything, learning python takes a while but most people have the novels stay in dating sims or storyline. Another key reason it's used is due to the fact that it can make windows, linux, mac, android, and IOS, which is very great advantage for anyone wanting to build games in a certain area or so. Finally it can be use for commercial  and non-commercial use, however the art is not free but that is another topic itself.

tyranobuilder - The main problem with this engine is the price but if you willing to overlook that it offers almost the same has renpy. HTML is the reason people have buy the game, however there have been problems with the HTML from not being able to click anything to buttons not working. It claims to be the fastest VN maker but that is something the user has to figure out. If you are able to code 2 scenes in renpy under 30 minutes thats fast progress, tyranobuilder is drag&drop meaning you have to waste 50% of your progress to clicking on a button. lastly tyranobuilder script language is javascript, almost no indie developer even dare use javascript, the reason is due to the fact it was never built for games. It's the main reason why tyranobuilder games lag campre to any other engine in this list. Also the maker of tyranobuilder fail to understand that it was Processing.js that make games work better in javascript not ECMAScript.

Novelty- its the same idea of tyranobuilder but it was first built way before tyranobuilder, also its free so there is no reason to even buy tyranobuilder other than the HTML that lags. Novelty use C++ and java to script the language, this is a huge advantage since you can use this language to get jobs faster in the world and people from unity will hire you for just knowing how to code a vn in C++. As far as i understand, the main reason no one goes there is because its only windows OS which limits everyone who is not windows.

Belle - Another VN engine that works like tyranobuilder, one big difference is that it's free. If you looking for tyranobuilder alternative for its HTML, this will be the one (again it was build first). Another advantage is that it really does run well in HTML but the bad news is that it only builds HTML which is the only thing it can build the game.

Unity plugin: Fungus - Now i dont know much about this engine (reading things off google), it does seem like it another no code engine. what really makes this one different from all other engines that i list is its ability to run animated sprites, unity build (standard build, no consoles included), and the script is whatever unity has right now. Since this is Unity you will face these problems, Poor graphics quality as compared to Unreal Engine, Unfriendly User-Interface (even if you download the plug-in you will still have a bad time on it), and lastly dependent of unity, if their web browser stops working you have to wait for them to fix it, if unity discover a hack bug you have to update, if they going to upgrade you have to upgrade.

Cloudnovel- A website browser to make VN, the reason i put this one so low is because it does a poor job to help developers. You'll find that there is no scripting language so you cant really do anything new with it. Another thing is that you cant use it outside their website so it stays in cloudnovel with no way to gain money. The drag&drop has pages that you must click and wait for the website to load your pictures, music and your gameplay. Lastly on why it makes such a bad vn maker is due to the fact that its only in english, sure it might be possible that someone might do it without reading but most of the great stuff is in english writing and in english videos.

 

Thats everything, I didnt add GM because its design to build platform games not VN, construct is way too basic gaming that offers unneeded elements in VN, RPG maker is only build for RPG, adding long dialog will not help in a rpg (only the boss does that) 80% of the game is fighting not learning about the story. I hope this little insight of what each vn engine offers and what doesn't offer will help you. If you have any questions post here or want to ask why [engine_name] is not added it's because i can't post all of them.

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There's also Edge engine, never used it though so I can't tell how it works.

yes but its not simple has TyranoBuilder, it doesnt really explain everything so it may work like GM with less building. On GM free version you lose Mac OS X, Linux, HTML5, Android, IOS and Games Consoles. it also seems like its build for multichoice novel because it doesnt tell users that it has build-in rpg code, date system or how easy it is to make it work (theres like 75 images for this thing than the video has shown).

so when it comes to better money and better export options, TyranoBuilder beats it.

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Where is infamous Kirikiri2 engine? It is free, easy to use and develop. And lot of commercial games, including Fate//Stay Night, G-Senjou no Maou, Sharin no Kuni, Kara no Shoujo etc., etc. is written using it. And as it support additional effects libraries, you can do virtually anything with it, as you can see for example Thief and Sword (which have a gamebook feel with tabletop dice mechanics battles), or Kara no Shoujo with evidence collection and murder investigations..

Only 2 good novels, written in Renpy I know was Katawa Shoujo and Everlasting Summer. So Renpy right now is known only as a toy for indies.

Edited by Scorp
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Only 2 good novels, written in Renpy I know was Katawa Shoujo and Everlasting Summer. So Renpy right now is known only as a toy for indies.

Apart from being the engine of choice among p. much all the people firecat would be talking to, OELVN devs, it's also been used for ports of Japanese visual novels by official localization companies. I know MG's Sonohana release uses it.

Last time I checked, Krkr2's problem is lack of English-language documentation. Until that changes, it seems an unwise recommendation.

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Only 2 good novels, written in Renpy I know was Katawa Shoujo and Everlasting Summer. So Renpy right now is known only as a toy for indies.

Apart from being the engine of choice among p. much all the people firecat would be talking to, OELVN devs, it's also been used for ports of Japanese visual novels by official localization companies. I know MG's Sonohana release uses it.

Last time I checked, Krkr2's problem is lack of English-language documentation. Until that changes, it seems an unwise recommendation.

I read using Google Translation, all interpreter commands have an understandable translation. So it is good enough. Anyway you can learn all you need even without docs, as you can just take a sample game test (as it is translated and commented, I believe somewhere in TLWiki).

Edited by Scorp
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Only 2 good novels, written in Renpy I know was Katawa Shoujo and Everlasting Summer. So Renpy right now is known only as a toy for indies.

Apart from being the engine of choice among p. much all the people firecat would be talking to, OELVN devs, it's also been used for ports of Japanese visual novels by official localization companies. I know MG's Sonohana release uses it.

Last time I checked, Krkr2's problem is lack of English-language documentation. Until that changes, it seems an unwise recommendation.

I read using Google Translation, all interpreter commands have an understandable translation. So it is good enough. Anyway you can learn all you need even without docs, as you can just take a sample game test (as it is translated and commented, I believe somewhere in TLWiki).

well we have to look at the disadvantage (too many), first one is very common, the language is only japanese. its also only for windows so not many mac or linux users will even pick it up. possibly but maybe english words wont work on it (seen some codes that dont show english), it be really hard to read anything without getting a japanese System Locale as well so you need to know how the keyboard works all over again. As far as wikipedia has told me and the games that only have been only in windows this tells me that it cant do anything other than windows games. As far as coding works, that depends on the user since renpy can do almost anything with python so its no different than Kirikiri C++ language.

 

the only difference is export, that is why Kirikiri wasnt added. it was too limited to just windows with one language. yes it has popular vn but not really famous for its engine, most likely they use it so no one will be able to steal the art. renpy is known to always have the art open in one file or so, if possible you could change it into another game. i would recommend Novelty as a replacement for Kirikiri since its basicly the same thing.

Edited by firecat
forgot about Novelty
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Kirikiri could use any language, all engine commands are in english, all text alignment etc. works in english too - or how you think Mangagamer was able to recode and have ENGLISH release of Kara no Shoujo on Kirikiri2? So all you told now just shows you know nothing about Kirikiri2... Only thing is that yes, its native interpreter uses Windows, but as exist interpreter for Android, I assume there is no big problem to get also Linux/Mac version as well, just not like too much people interested.

Anyway, no way to steal art - this is ridiculous statement, KRKR2 was always open-source, so nothing prevented anyone to read source code and "steal art". Same for renpy - user could implement any crypting mechanism if really want to and you will be prevented from "stealing art" from renpy...

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Kirikiri could use any language, all engine commands are in english, all text alignment etc. works in english too - or how you think Mangagamer was able to recode and have ENGLISH release of Kara no Shoujo on Kirikiri2? So all you told now just shows you know nothing about Kirikiri2... Only thing is that yes, its native interpreter uses Windows, but as exist interpreter for Android, I assume there is no big problem to get also Linux/Mac version as well, just not like too much people interested.

Anyway, no way to steal art - this is ridiculous statement, KRKR2 was always open-source, so nothing prevented anyone to read source code and "steal art". Same for renpy - user could implement any crypting mechanism if really want to and you will be prevented from "stealing art" from renpy...

*looks at mangagamer stuff blog* https://mangagamer.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/kara-no-shoujo-changes/

The first major change is actually one least likely to affect you, the customers. The specific engine originally used was not one compatible with English Text. As a result, we at MangaGamer have had to hire a team to port the game to new engine which is not only capable of handling English text, but also capable of accurately reproducing the Notebook System which makes Kara no Shoujo so unique.

so who is wrong now, its really is a mystery how Kirikiri2 got linux and mac support so fast but never been major news or maybe its in a new engine.

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Kirikiri could use any language, all engine commands are in english, all text alignment etc. works in english too - or how you think Mangagamer was able to recode and have ENGLISH release of Kara no Shoujo on Kirikiri2? So all you told now just shows you know nothing about Kirikiri2... Only thing is that yes, its native interpreter uses Windows, but as exist interpreter for Android, I assume there is no big problem to get also Linux/Mac version as well, just not like too much people interested.

Anyway, no way to steal art - this is ridiculous statement, KRKR2 was always open-source, so nothing prevented anyone to read source code and "steal art". Same for renpy - user could implement any crypting mechanism if really want to and you will be prevented from "stealing art" from renpy...

*looks at mangagamer stuff blog* https://mangagamer.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/kara-no-shoujo-changes/

The first major change is actually one least likely to affect you, the customers. The specific engine originally used was not one compatible with English Text. As a result, we at MangaGamer have had to hire a team to port the game to new engine which is not only capable of handling English text, but also capable of accurately reproducing the Notebook System which makes Kara no Shoujo so unique.

so who is wrong now, its really is a mystery how Kirikiri2 got linux and mac support so fast but never been major news or maybe its in a new engine.

Obv you are wrong, who else? Original engine for KnS was NOT KRKR2. It was own custom engine of Innocent Grey, which did not supported english at all. This why they ported it to Kirikiri2 for English release (this is what I told you from beginning) and actually KnS2 had to be converted to Unity VN engine (dun remember which one Doddler used though) for same reason. So please educate yourself before going into discussion next time. I never told KRKR2 got linux/mac support, I told that was written an interpreter for Android, which could be ported (maybe author also did that, who knows). Support for linux/mac was planned in KRKR3, but author seems lost motivation and did not worked on it for years.

Edited by Scorp
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Kirikiri could use any language, all engine commands are in english, all text alignment etc. works in english too - or how you think Mangagamer was able to recode and have ENGLISH release of Kara no Shoujo on Kirikiri2? So all you told now just shows you know nothing about Kirikiri2... Only thing is that yes, its native interpreter uses Windows, but as exist interpreter for Android, I assume there is no big problem to get also Linux/Mac version as well, just not like too much people interested.

Anyway, no way to steal art - this is ridiculous statement, KRKR2 was always open-source, so nothing prevented anyone to read source code and "steal art". Same for renpy - user could implement any crypting mechanism if really want to and you will be prevented from "stealing art" from renpy...

*looks at mangagamer stuff blog* https://mangagamer.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/kara-no-shoujo-changes/

The first major change is actually one least likely to affect you, the customers. The specific engine originally used was not one compatible with English Text. As a result, we at MangaGamer have had to hire a team to port the game to new engine which is not only capable of handling English text, but also capable of accurately reproducing the Notebook System which makes Kara no Shoujo so unique.

so who is wrong now, its really is a mystery how Kirikiri2 got linux and mac support so fast but never been major news or maybe its in a new engine.

Obv you are wrong, who else? Original engine for KnS was NOT KRKR2. It was own custom engine of Innocent Grey, which did not supported english at all. This why they ported it to Kirikiri2 for English release (this is what I told you from beginning) and actually KnS2 had to be converted to Unity VN engine (dun remember which one Doddler used though) for same reason. So please educate yourself before going into discussion next time. I never told KRKR2 got linux/mac support, I told that was written an interpreter for Android, which could be ported (maybe author also did that, who knows). Support for linux/mac was planned in KRKR3, but author seems lost motivation and did not worked on it for years.

you saying these things but i cant find any evidence about it, you first told me that it had came from  Kirikiri2:

Where is infamous Kirikiri2 engine? It is free, easy to use and develop. And lot of commercial games, including Fate//Stay Night, G-Senjou no Maou, Sharin no Kuni, Kara no Shoujo etc., etc. is written using it.

and now you saying its not from Kirikiri2 engine and that Innocent Grey coded an engine (i dont know what language it was used) that is only in japanese System Locale. MangaGamer does not always make custom engine has told in their questions

Generally speaking, it's something that we do consider when a port is on the table (or the original engine is multi-platform friendly to begin with), but in most other cases it's simply not worth the additional development costs.

so this leads me to believe that the engine was custom build or else it be hard to turn somethings into the new engine. No i'm not mistaken when i'm talking about Kara no Shoujo and not Kara no Shoujo - The Second Episode that also has the same engine or else there would have been problems. again they never talk about using unity or Kirikiri2, it was custom made.

 

the evidence is clear, both Kara no Shoujo and not Kara no Shoujo - The Second Episode have custom engines for the 2 countries to enjoy.

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The English version of Kara no Shoujo (the first one) was recreated on the kirikiri2 engine, Doddler also posted a twitter status saying that the engine IG had was too much trouble to even try to port from.

Kara no Shoujo - The Second Episode was done on unity5, Doddler even posted screenshots of it on twitter.

The Japanese version (for both games) were made on the main engine that IG made them selves, like a shit tonne of other companies have done in the past and present.

Enough of this topic.

Edited by CryingWestern
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firecat, as I told - educate yourself before starting discussion about things you know nothing. There is no contradiction or wrong information in my words, that's just you. Obv when I told KnS as example I was speaking about Mangagamer version, which I further explained later.

Got enough of this, ciao.

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Basic visual novel functionality - text display, manipulation of images, ect - is generally easy to find an engine for.  Barring particularly... ambitious designs, at this point it's just simply best that VN developers look into all of the options and find the one that a) fits what they want to create and b) they are comfortable with creating content with, and use that one.  It's generally less of a matter of one being skies above better than the other, it's a matter of the engine being a good fit for the developer and their VN.

If the engine doesn't have the functionality that the creator is looking for, move on to one that hopefuly does.

If it has that functionality, but requires the use of something the developer may not be comfortable with, try and find something that works.

Look at the options available.  Do your research.

Worst comes to worst, depending on their ability there is always the option of creating one's own proprietary engine.

 

On a side note,

I will say that KiriKiri2 is all over the place though, speaking as someone who plays a lot of Japanese VNs.  It's probably one of the most common, if not the most common engine I see being used in the games I play.

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firecat, as I told - educate yourself before starting discussion about things you know nothing. There is no contradiction or wrong information in my words, that's just you. Obv when I told KnS as example I was speaking about Mangagamer version, which I further explained later.

Got enough of this, ciao.

The English version of Kara no Shoujo (the first one) was recreated on the kirikiri2 engine, Doddler also posted a twitter status saying that the engine IG had was too much trouble to even try to port from.

Kara no Shoujo - The Second Episode was done on unity5, Doddler even posted screenshots of it on twitter.

The Japanese version (for both games) were made on the main engine that IG made them selves, like a shit tonne of other companies have done in the past and present.

Enough of this topic.

guys unless you have screenshots or anything proving Kara no Shoujo was made in kirikiri2 engine or unity, then i will still think its made without them. you guys have been making so many rumor stories, that i cant even find anywhere online. none of you have pictures, video, or interviews, its just talking back at me for doing real research. follow the rules of journalism to writing real articles that show the real story, things that you guys did would ruin a company's image.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journalism_ethics_and_standards

http://insideanalysis.com/2013/04/keep-it-real-the-five-golden-rules-of-quality-journalism/

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Yes, I know I told that I got enough, but wanted to save some pennies for CryingWestern on buying KnS.

First of all, file structure is completely kirikiri2, e.g. all these xp3 files, patch3.xp3 etc., so it is enough to tell that this is Kirikiri2 already.

Second, I unpacked patch3.xp3 with krkr unpack tool (really, what a wonderful coincidence that it perfectly unpacked the "custom engine" - your words, btw) there is a bunch of krkr scripts (yeah, what else there could be). Here is screenshot of the starting script: 

kns.png

For anyone it is obvious, that this is kirikiri2. Even for you, I hope. If not - go and prove opposite. And do not forget to buy the game from Mangagamer. We're against piracy here.

So the engine citied on Mangagamer blog as "new engine which is not only capable of handling English text, but also capable of accurately reproducing the Notebook System which makes Kara no Shoujo so unique" is actually Kirikiri2 :) By me it is enough to prove that Kirikiri2 is one of the best free engines for VNs and it could totally used for English language novels and that's why it should be mentioned in the first post. Actually if you try it, you can change your opinion about it, I hope.

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While I currently do not have Kara no Shoujo 2's translation installed...

 

ITH and AGTH explicits calls out when it hooks into the KiriKiri engine.  That's how I know when a game uses it.  I just took the English translation of Kara no Shoujo (the first game) and hooked ITH into it.  When I pull the text, it explicitly says "Kirikiri1".  Furthermore, when I right-click the program, it says "TVP (KiriKiri) 2 core / Scripting platform for Win32. Kara no Shoujo's English version does use a form of the Kirikiri engine.

 

Now, I can post up a screenshot of this for you if you really want me to.  But I shouldn't have to.  I should be able to tell you "hey, yeah dude, this is the engine being used" without bringing in 'journalistic ethics' and you can safely say 'oh, ok, cool'.

 

Do you want me to post up a screenshot?  Because I will if necessary.  But I'm lazy and I really can't be bothered to do so without good reason to.

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Here's one of Doddler's screenshots of Kara no Shoujo 2 in unity.

I'll be right back with the other shit, i've now got to purchase the games.

cant see any thing and doesnt show the vn, it could be anything.

Here's his comment on IG's engine.

we already know tha its on a new engine

Yes, I know I told that I got enough, but wanted to save some pennies for CryingWestern on buying KnS.

First of all, file structure is completely kirikiri2, e.g. all these xp3 files, patch3.xp3 etc., so it is enough to tell that this is Kirikiri2 already.

Second, I unpacked patch3.xp3 with krkr unpack tool (really, what a wonderful coincidence that it perfectly unpacked the "custom engine" - your words, btw) there is a bunch of krkr scripts (yeah, what else there could be). Here is screenshot of the starting script: 

kns.png

For anyone it is obvious, that this is kirikiri2. Even for you, I hope. If not - go and prove opposite. And do not forget to buy the game from Mangagamer. We're against piracy here.

So the engine citied on Mangagamer blog as "new engine which is not only capable of handling English text, but also capable of accurately reproducing the Notebook System which makes Kara no Shoujo so unique" is actually Kirikiri2 :) By me it is enough to prove that Kirikiri2 is one of the best free engines for VNs and it could totally used for English language novels and that's why it should be mentioned in the first post. Actually if you try it, you can change your opinion about it, I hope.

there is no way to show that its the vn (i havent read it so i dont know the story), since this could be fake i cant change Novelty into Kirikiri2 because again it might never work well for other people. Also Salurian i cant use Kirikiri engine, so i cant just buy the novel and expect it to hack into it. that would been too easy and the fight would have ended.

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