Game Info:

Visual Novel Maker
Developed By: Degica
Published By: Degica
Released: November 16, 2017
Available On: Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows
Genre: Game creation, Visual Novel
ESRB Rating: none specified
Number of Players: Singleplayer
Price: $59.99
(Humble Store Link)

Note: If anyone would like to see what this product is capable of, click here for a short demo project for that purpose (Windows 64-bit build only)

If the average gamer checks game distributors these days, visual novels are a very common choice. The quality tends to be all over the place, and if you want to have a good one to catch the eye of gamers, then you need to have software able to help produce a quality game of that genre. The same minds behind the RPG Maker series decided to try filling that niche with Visual Novel Maker.

While bearing a mild resemblance to their RPG Maker series, it's closer to the Pixel Game Maker MV spinoff, as it supports Javascript and Coffeescript for those who wish to extend the programming for specialized functions. It uses a visual logic GUI for the creation of visual novels, including a preview window above the input window to show the results in real-time.

Visual Novel Maker

Strong Points: Cross-compatible with RPG Maker resources; extensive official support; powerful scripting that supports web publishing
Weak Points: Very pricey; free alternatives exist that do much the same things
Moral Warnings: None by default

Graphically, the editor provides a color-coded programming interface, where each different action like showing text, movie files, scene transitions, and other actions is represented by colored sections for easier navigation. The actual visual novel display is the typical 2D, first-person view used in nigh all visual novel creators. PNG and JPG are supported file formats for the display of all images.

Sounds and music are generic though pleasing to the ear, mostly suited for romantic or slice-of-life visual novel genres. The creator can provide any other music or sound files they please to spice it up themselves, and since the engine is multiplatform, it supports either OGG or M4A formats.

Controls in the editor are primarily keyboard and mouse-driven, with the actual games using the mouse, though they can be ported to platforms like Andriod/iOS, with built-in support for their control schemes.

Visual Novel Maker
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 82%
Gameplay - 16/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 100%
Violence - 10/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

The stability of the editor is generally good for all supported operating systems. There are a few harmless bugs in the visual interface, such as some debug characters showing up in the preview window (which don't appear in playtesting or finished builds) and there is an initial "blur filter" that goes away as you start editing (due to how the editor hooks into the GPU for rendering). Actual playtesting and deployed builds of game projects run well if configured for the supported platforms VNM can build for at runtime.

Morally, this is a fairly clean product by default. None of the stock resources are inappropriate in any sense, and the only depravity is what the creator decides to add.

In terms of whether this is worth it, it is pricey, but if you want access to a huge amount of potential resources, HTML5 support, and powerful scripting possibilities, this may be worth your money. If not, you may want to looker into cheaper or free alternatives. Either way, Visual Novel Maker provides a lot of potential out of the gate for any aspiring visual novel creator.

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Daniel Cullen

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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