Developer Blog

How (Not) To Make a VN

One year ago today, I released the first demo of Detective Butler to the world. And one month from now you'll be playing the final version. (ironic how I said the same thing a year ago...)

Anyway, it's times like these that make me feel a bit nostalgic. I've compiled a small variety of screenshots to demonstrate just how far the game has come.

Those are just the visual aspects, of course. The story's taken quite a lot of changing and so has the internal code and various inte ...

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Major Decisions

Writing's almost done. However, I've stumbled into one final roadblock of sorts.

The story has taken a direction I didn't really anticipate. I've heard that most writers experience this situation, where the characters lead the story places they didn't think were possible. I have been changing things quite drastically in order to accommodate for the characters, but I wonder how far I should go.

Part of me feels like the omission of certain things seen in the demo would be far t ...

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Summer Plans

Not much to report this week. I want to finish writing Detective Butler as soon as possible, but I hit a few roadblocks. It feels as though the story is too short, and I might attribute that to poor planning... but at the same time, I can't think of a 'way' to make it longer. Should it be longer? I don't know.

All I do know is that I will get it done before summer ends. I'll then probably take a break from writing for a while. That doesn't mean I'll stop making things, but I'll probab ...

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Opening Movies in Visual Novels

This is something I need to tackle eventually, so I'll blog about it now.

Most EVN do not have opening movies. It's even questionable whether or not they SHOULD have movies, given their potential quality (or lack thereof). However, I'll admit that a lot of OP movies seem to have a decent amount of effort put into them. I'll give a list of some I knew of / could easily find just to show a variety of what is out there:

@CameliaGirls Doppelganger Doppelganger (2) duplicity Dy ...

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Mystery Discussion

First off, I'm probably gonna ditch the forums since they're dead and all. These blogs posts have been working out as better vehicles for discussion anyway.

Now, writing a murder mystery is not easy. While it is quite fun to think of all the ways the culprit could go about committing murder, there are a few things I've noticed in my progress:

  1. Occam's Razor -- the simplest solution is usually the best. That is, a solution should not prompt more questions than it ans ...

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Writing For Fun

I'm going to start this off with a quote a friend of mine from Black Witch Project said: "Writing something because you enjoy what you are writing and want to tell the story will always make for the best writing you can write."

This is very true, and over the past two years the notion has been firmly cemented in my head. Usually I first noticed that I was not enjoying the end product, and I asked myself what I could have done better. But that was backwards thinking. Because I wasn't h ...

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Presentation in Visual Novels

Now I've talked a lot about writing in my previous blog posts, so I'd like to mix it up with some new topics. Starting off, since it's relevant to what I'm working on: presentation. Making a VN look good before you release it (and I'm not talking about the graphics).

What I find is that the majority of EVNs (there are a few notable exceptions), even if they have decent writing or art, aren't presented well. I would say that this is because of a lack of programming expertise, as well a ...

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Character Development

That's what I've been doing and currently am working on.

One thing most EVN lack is character development. One reason may be that most EVN are short stories, often ranging from 5 to 30 minutes, in which there is hardly time to develop a character. However, a more prominent reason may simply be that most EVN writers don't know HOW to develop characters.

It's a bit confusing, I think, but let me explain it like this: when you have a character concept, it always makes sense in yo ...

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