gonna try my hand at visual novels again, any tips for me?

hey all! some of you might remember me as the OG Honey Dating dev, and while I’ve already passed that torch down, I’m gonna try and make a Visual Novel all by myself
one small issue:
I got no goddamn clue as to what I’m doing
any tips from other visual novel makers?

Don’t underestimate the sheer volume of writing that goes into a visual novel, even a short one :slight_smile: — Depending on how complicated you want the game system to be, the amount of writing can balloon quite considerably.

The most basic mechanics are dialogue choices. Even these, if used too often or with too many branching paths can make the game huge :slight_smile: If you intend to do something more like a dating sim, where the dialogue is affected by statistics, that adds another layer of dialogue writing to deal with the number of possible scenerios.

As for visuals, it tends to be that graphics are… of some importance, at least as far as characters are concerned. The UI also has to be clean and somewhat conform to typical standards of control and use (much like the very well established controls in the RTS genre I suppose) — Making a weight gain VN specifically (I’m assuming that’s your intent lol), you’ll need more art of course, especially if you intend to have a character go from thin to fat and do poses for each of their expressions.

Best of luck!

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The anime style is always welcome and don’t underestimate yourself.

The only thing this hound can tell you is work on a single line at a time, take it to a conclusion then ask yourself “How else could they have handled the situation and what would result”

As someone who has really only played them and done minimal work actually creating them, from a player here are the most important things that all VN need to have:

  • Writing needs to be polished - You don’t have to be the best writer in the world, but a lot of typos, grammar mistakes, etc. really takes a player out of the game. Make sure to proofread your work, and if necessary have someone else proofread it for you as well.
  • Navigation needs to be easy - It should be obvious as a player how to do different actions in the game and how to get to various places. Otherwise a game is very frustrating to play.
  • Limit and fix your bugs - Bugs happen, but nothing is more frustrating that running into bugs that prevent playing the game. Play test your game. If you can, find someone else to test it for you. And then fix any bugs or issues that might come up.

With those things, most topics and stories can be made into a great game.

Try your hand at inkscript. You can basically lay out the entirety of you visual novel in their engine and then work out the visuals, UI, and art assets in unity. There engine allows for easy checking to make sure all your choices lead to an ending of some kind.

Inkscript is going to have the smallest barrier to start plus you can basically get feedback on your demo before you dump a lot of money or time into the art assets.