Novelty glossary


Here is a list of terminology used in this documentation and the Novelty editors.

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Novelty games are built using actions. An action is something you wish to be performed in your game, such as story narration, modify an object, etc.

See also: Action reference


By defining objects as actors you can use a set of story-related actions.

See also: Using actors


Angelscript is the scripting language that Novelty utilizes. It has many similarities to C++ so experienced programmers should feel familiar using it.

See also: Scripting reference


Animation is a resource type. It's used by Image objects in combination with a texture to display an animated image.

See also: <Animation>


Collective name for objects and resources. All assets are defined in NoveltyML, a markup language.

See also: <Object>, <Resource>

Asset library

You can browse all of your available assets in the asset library. Double-click any asset to add it to instantiate it.


Audio is a resource type. It loads an audio file.

See also: <Audio>


Behaviour (Traits)

Behaviors can be added to any object in the scene. The effect it has on the object depends on the behaviour. One example is the Constant rotation behaviour, which will cause the object to automatically rotate around it's pivot point. To add a behaviour to an scene object you right-click to bring up it's context menu.

See also: Traits

Bitmap font

Unlike a native font which is native to the system a bitmap font reads it's characters off one or more texture and are rendered as polygons. There are many benefits that come from this, such as arbitrary transforms (like rotation) and per character manipulation.


Border is an object type. A border acts like an Image but can stretch, yet retain the aspect ratio of its corners.

See also: <Border>


Button is an object type. Buttons can change their appearance depending on their current state and you can set it to trigger an action when clicked.

See also: <Button>



Canvas is an object type. A canvas works like an Image, only it has an internal texture. Any child objects of the canvas will be rendered to the internal texture and displayed as a single image.

See also: <Canvas>

Channel (Video)

To play a video in Novelty you need to play it in one of three video channels. The three channels enables you to play up to three videos simultaneously.

See also: <Video>


A collection of pages. Chapters can be named and are useful for organisating your story.

Child object

Refers to an object whom is a child of another (parent) object. Transforming the parent will affect its children. In NoveltyML this is done by placing the object's markup code inside the body of another object.

<Image name="Parent">
	<Image name="Child"/>

See also: NoveltyML: Parents and children

Content package

A content package is a file (.NVZ) that can contain multiple assets. Compiling several assets into a single file makes them easier to distribute.

See also: Importing assets



Dialogue (or Dialogue actions) are paragraphs of text, containing a phrase (what is said?) and a name (who is saying it?).

See also: Writing and displaying dialogue



Font is a resource type and refers to a Bitmap font. Text objects with a system font can be created by selecting the Native font in the Asset library.

See also: Making bitmap fonts

Function (Script)

A function is a body of script code. It is made up of four parts: a return type, a name, a parameter list and a body.

The following example shows a function called Add that takes two integers and returns an integer; the sum of a and b:

int Add(int a, int b)
  return a+b;

Calling Add(5,2) would return 7. You call functions from other functions or by using the Run script-action.

See also: Making bitmap fonts


Global layer

Global layers works just like regular layers only they can also be shared between multiple scenes.

See also: Reusing layers in multiple pages


Gradient is an object type.

See also: <Gradient>


Group is an object type. You can group objects together by making them child objects of a group.

See also: <Group>



Image is an object type. Displays a static or animated image. An image should not be confused with a texture, which refers to an image file.

See also: <Image>



Within a scene you can organize objects by putting them in layers. A layer can be locked, which locks the objects within that layer so you can't move or select them by mistake.

See also: Global layer


Menu (template)

Menu is an asset type that contains information on how an interactive menu should look.

See also: <Menu>


Native font

Refers to a font that is native to the system. ie. Arial, Verdana, Times new roman, etc. Text objects that uses native fonts are restricted in how they can be rendered.

See also: SystemText


NoveltyML is a markup language that you use to create and design assets for Novelty. It's not a programming language. It has more in common with HTML than C++. You build objects by writing specific tags and attributes.

See also: NoveltyML reference, Using NoveltyML Designer



An Object is an assets that can be placed within a scene.

See also: Object, Resource, About objects and resources



A contained piece of story. Every page has a scene, a list of actions and threads. When all of a page's actions have triggered, the story will move to the next page or chapter.


A prefab, or "prefabrication" is an asset type that holds information about a scene layout. It has the ability to add new objects and layers to a scene and import scripts. You can use this asset type to make prefabricated scenes that you can then share with other Novelty users.

See also: <Prefab>



A resources is an assets that can be used by other assets. Mostly resources refer to some kind of file.

See also: Resource, Object, About objects and resources



There is one scene per page. In a scene you can place objects and organize them in layers.


A screen is a page that is not directly tied into the story progression. Screens can be opened ontop of the playing story. Cases where screens are useful is for creating loading/saving screens and popups.


Script is a resource type.

In computer science, scripts are small programs that run inside another program (such as Novelty). It should not be confused with the sense of a story script or a movie script.

Through scripts you get programmatical control over different aspects of your visual novel.

See also: <Script>, Scripting reference


Scripting is a mean to control the game programmatically at runtime. Novelty has a built-in script editor and you can attach script functions to individual objects in the scene. The scripting language is called Angelscript.

See also: Scripting reference

Set (or Image set)

Set is an object type. A set act like an image, but can have any number of states. You can switch between states in the editor or with an action.


Shape is a resource type that lets you define custom shapes for your objects.

See also: <Shape>

Smart canvas

A container object type with dynamic rendering for increased performance and visual fidelity.

See also: <SmartCanvas>


In programming, a string is a variable type that contains text, or a string of characters. Strings in code are enclosed in quotation marks (").

See also: Scripting reference


SystemText is an object type. Unlike regular text objects, these use native fonts.

See also: <SystemText>


Text (object)

Text is an object type. Uses a bitmap font.

See also: <Text>


Texture is a resource type. It loads an image file for use by other assets, such as Images.

See also: <Texture>


A thread is a separate action list associated to a page. Threads can be played from any point of the executing page. When a thread completes the game will return to where it was first triggered.

See also: Story threads


Previously known as "behaviours". Traits are dynamic manipulators that can be added to an object via NoveltyML.

See also: Behaviour, Object traits



XML (or eXtensible Markup Language) is a general purpose markup language. It is the basis for NoveltyML.

See also: Introduction to NoveltyML, XML (Wikipedia)

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