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Novelation - A Visual Novel Tool for Unity


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Hello everyone! My name is Kristian Skistad, and I would like to present to you Novelation, a visual novel toolkit made for Unity 5. It is in development right now, and I need your help to build it!
Why Unity?
Novelation takes full advantage of Unity's rich feature set. It can be exported to 21 platforms, has a suit of graphics options, and Novelation makes extensive use of the new UI. The new UI allows for quick and easy layout customization, with minimal programming required! It is an industry standard, and as such is well documented and the support community for it is larger than that of any other game engine. You are also able to take full advantage of Novelation's source code, which was done in C#. If you dislike Novelation's interface or want to modify one of its features, you are free to do so!
Current Features
Novelation is still in the early stages of development, but here are some of the key features already in:
  • Exportable to 21 Platforms
  • Fully Modular UI
  • Flexible rendering resolutions
  • Support for multiple aspect ratios without designing your UI around each of them
  • Source Code Access
  • Easy Screen Creation and Editing
  • UI preview as you build it
  • High Performance
  • Debugging Tools
Screens are simply things like the title screen, credits, the main game screen, ect. I wanted a way for you to easily make and switch between these different screens. The debugging tools are a must for those who are not familiar with Unity, so a lot of work is being put into them. I already have more advanced debugging features such as recovering lost screen data. This is just short list of what Novelation has to offer and it will grow with time.
Planned Features
Well for the most part, that is up to you fine folks! I am looking to make the tools you need to work your craft, so who better to ask than you? I want to know what all you need to make a visual novel, and what kind of workflow you are looking for. Though I do have some general features I want to put in:
  • Drag and Drop Scene Scripting
  • Node Based Scenes for easy overview and editing of you branching paths
  • Novelation Scripting Language (optional use)
  • Screen Transitions
  • Animated Characters
  • Skip Feature
  • Auto Advance Feature
  • Save and Load
As time goes on I am sure this list will continue to grow, I want to make the tools you need to bring your stories to life.
So for the overall design I want the user to be able to stay away from coding, but not exclude it entirely. Anything that can be done in the scripting language should also be able to be done within the Novelation interface. I want to allow creators to get that story out of their head with minimal resistance. Novelation actually started out as a way for the narrative designer at my studio to get ideas out of his head without needing our programming staff to assist him. This way he can write stories in his spare time and actually release them as full games! That simplistic approach is the ultimate goal of Novelation, while still allow for complete control by more advanced users. And if you know C# the sky is the limits, as you will have complete access to Novelation's source code!
Final Remarks
So, I want to hear what you all think of Novelation. I will be putting up some videos of it in action when I get the time, but for now I need to know a few things. Does this sound like something you guys would like? Why or why not? What sort of crucial features do you need to get those stories out of your head? What sort of features have you always wanted but never had an easy way to implement them?
For any questions simply post them below and I will answer! I thank you all for your time in reading this, and look forward to continuing development with you all   :)
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I think it's important for the medium to have the option, but I don't think it will be used much, at least to begin with. That being said, this sort of customisation could encourage out-of-the-box thinking which could finally get a stagnating medium moving again, even if it is just a different way of delivering text to the screen. But dodgy, traditional wisdom stands in its path. 


For example, VNDB has propagated dodgy information by tying the definition of a Visual Novel to the style and manner the text box is presented. This is not only inaccurate but encourages stagnation in the medium, especially considering it's a popular Visual Novel website. While I encourage and support the addition of multiple text boxes, you'll have to realise that while this sort of customisation is important, not many will use it in the short-term future.

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