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Novelty forum • View topic - Novelty development thread

Novelty development thread

Have any technical questions or suggestions? Post them here.

Novelty development thread

Postby ErikB » Tue May 12, 2009 7:35 pm

This is a thread where I dump ideas or talk about features that I am currently working on.
Of course, you are all welcome to comment.

=================================

Last week I wrote some posts on a few improvements I had made, including .

This week I want to talk on a new feature I'm working on, specifically the Cast manager.
The Cast manager lets you specify who's going to be the in of your story, your cast members.

For instance, you will be able to place a character in the scene, right-click on them and choose "Add cast member". Then you can enter a name and select a dialog text color.
Once that's done, Novelty remembers the character so you can delete the original from the scene.

Then, in any page of the story, you can bring out that cast member using the Enter cast member action.
What this means is that you don't have to manually place characters in the scene when you want to use them. You only bring them out when needed.
You will also be able to change the name of a cast member and everything will be updated automatically.

I believe this will make it a lot easier to write stories with many characters.
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Re: Novelty development thread

Postby Taishi » Tue May 12, 2009 8:01 pm

God Bless topic's like this one =)

i guess this is the topic where we coment what we think?
about the cast thing... i think more intuitive would be making a button that opens a popup window where you have all the cast listed -> with pictures and where you can type in a simple bio of them or something like that
of course in that window you could add them to the list or edit too =)

And adding to game can be done by right click as you said =)

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Re: Novelty development thread

Postby ErikB » Wed May 13, 2009 1:38 pm

I've thought about attaching notes to cast members, or rather having some sort of built-in notepad in Novelty for making notes and story drafts.
That feature will come later I think.
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Re: Novelty development thread

Postby ErikB » Thu May 14, 2009 5:27 pm

Here's some info on another change I've made:
When configuring Move actions you will be able to use your mouse instead of manually typing in the x/y-coordinates.
Additionally I've added Rotate, Scale, Resize and Transform (all of the above) actions. These can be sequenced or combined for doing some simple animations.

novelty61.png
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Re: Novelty development thread

Postby Taishi » Thu May 14, 2009 10:28 pm

would that do as a semi zoom opton for backgrounds? =)

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Re: Novelty development thread

Postby ErikB » Fri May 15, 2009 12:31 am

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Re: Novelty development thread

Postby Langknow » Fri May 15, 2009 2:59 pm

Hey,

Thanks for continually working on this visual novelty, and I'm already thinking about new possibilities with the new features you've implemented.

In the mean time, I'm working on another visual novel, and should be released to you guys in the next few weeks.

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Re: Novelty development thread

Postby ErikB » Sun May 17, 2009 10:23 pm

Check this out. Here's another thing I've been experimenting with.

top-menu.png

Since I implemented the OnMouse-events, I realized I could make a drop down menu as seen in some of the fancier VN engines.
You can't see the menu at first, until you move your mouse to the top of the screen and it slides down and displays the buttons.
The buttons animate and highlight nicely as you hover them with your mouse and when you click them they trigger various functions.

All of this was done with scripts but here's the awesome part: I've built the entire menu as a Template asset.
This means that I can create a new project or open up an existing one, double-click the "Fancy menu" template in the asset library and voila! ...my menu is automatically inserted with all of the scripts and it will just work!

I still need to expand upon the scripting engine to make menus like this one possible, but I am really happy to know that these kind of complicated interfaces can be made "plug-and-play" in Novelty.
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Re: Novelty development thread

Postby ErikB » Thu May 21, 2009 12:07 pm

So I'm getting ready to release the next version soon. It doesn't have all the features I wanted but it's a nice round amount and I'd rather release something sooner than later.

Also, with every new feature I ideally need to write documentation or even tutorials on how to use that feature. Any change in the editor needs to be reflected in the help files. And that leads me to my question:

What is better for you? If I release versions early, letting you play around with new features but without the proper written explanations, or wait until I've updated the help files?
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Re: Novelty development thread

Postby Langknow » Thu May 21, 2009 3:11 pm

Hi,

I think you should update or make tutorials about the new features before releasing it. I just find it fustrating trying to figure out how stuff works.

Something that is common sense for you in the program might not be so clear for others.
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Re: Novelty development thread

Postby ErikB » Thu May 21, 2009 5:35 pm

The reason I ask is because writing the help files sometimes takes longer than implementing the actual feature. Tutorials take the longest because it requires a lot of preparation and writing.

Some people tend to not read help files at all while some prefer to read tutorials. I still don't have a good idea of how many actually read the help files, which is why I asked.

Maybe I could make unofficial releases here on the forums for people who want the latest stuff right away and keep a stable, well-documented release on the main site?
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Re: Novelty development thread

Postby nuke_bloodaxe » Thu May 21, 2009 11:12 pm

You can do it that way without too much trouble, essentially you have "Novelty: Here be Dragons" and "Novelty: Charted Lands".

By the time the documentation has been brought up to date, a reasonable amount of bugs may have been fixed from what the brave few found. This will result in an even more stable official release in sync with the documentation.

That's my perspective anyway :)
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Re: Novelty development thread

Postby Taishi » Sun May 24, 2009 6:19 pm

I woud go with new functions =P
some of us will figure it out =P and well f some one comes to the forums we can sure help him/her =)

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Re: Novelty development thread

Postby ErikB » Tue Jun 09, 2009 1:12 pm

I will soon put up the latest (undocumented) version of Novelty on the forum. I would had done it sooner but I just got myself a new computer. A cute little netbook.

I tried running Novelty on it but I discovered some bugs due to the less than par graphics hardware. I've since fixed those bugs and Novelty should run better on older computers (and newer netbooks) as a result.

I'm sure that running Novelty on a netbook is a plausible scenario, even if it might only be to touch up the script of a story while on the move. I've also gotten a few ideas on interface improvements for working on such a small screen.
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Novelty running on my netbook
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Re: Novelty development thread

Postby Coatl » Thu Jun 11, 2009 10:28 pm

I had an Idea where you can (instead of making them stills) animate poses and faces and put the animations as a character file. but I'm not sure if that is possible, if not, it there anyway you can add that in the next installment?

And then maybe for the beginners, you can have a menu mode or a mode where you can have an options menu that can let you see unlockable images, endings and music.
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