PIXI-VN – A new visual novel engine

That girl with the paintbrush hair is Vivi! She’s going to be the Pixi-vn mascot ­čÖé

I’ve been working on a new project that I haven’t been very vocal about but I’m super excited to get going: a new visual novel engine! I know-I know- “Another one?”, you say. But I was inspired by the work that I was seeing from others and thought I would try to use what I had learned from using the various engines already out there and build something exactly how I wanted.

For now it’s called Pixi-vn because the visuals in the back are on a canvas made from Pixijs.

My rules were…

It must be open source under MIT

I thoroughly believe that open source is the future. Keeping this code under lock-and-key would do nothing to help the creative community. The potential help I could get in developing Pixi-vn is exciting to me.

It should be usable by novice computer users but customizable by advanced users

This is still one rule I’m working hard on. I need to build up the framework underneath and then build up for novice users. Text files and unfriendly config files will be moved to friendly interfaces. I’m hoping I can make that a priority in version 2.0.

Users can run and develop it without a high-end computer

My biggest problem with Unity is that it’s bulky. Sure, you can do crazy awesome things with it, but the player file size was huge and some of the things I wanted to do carried a big footprint. Things I would develop on my beast of a computer, when ported to someone else’s fairly ok computer, looked terrible!

I decided on es6 javascript because I could pick and choose what libraries I wanted to use and webpack would shrink it down to a manageable size–at least I hope that’s the case. We’ll see as I keep adding new features.

The project would use cutting-edge tech

This was more of a self-serving goal. I wanted to stay up-to-date on the new stuff so I would have an edge at work :p Sometimes getting the new stuff to work can be a pain because it’s new territory for most people, but I think it will be worth it.

If you want to take a closer look at what I have so far, check it out on github. Pull requests and testers are welcome!

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Using a Video as a texture

Warning! I have figured out this is super slow and there is a better way to do this!!!!

I didn’t realize it was so slow until I watched it run on someone else’s laptop. It was baaaaaad.

I found a better way to do this, which is export the animation frames as a series of jpegs, and in Unity, if you drag and drop all those frames into your game, it will automatically make an animation object. From that you can set up triggers to start and stop it. Fungus has a command that sets animation triggers you can use, but if you’re like me and doing way too much in Lua, I made this:

 

But for archive purposes I’ll just leave this post here.

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I was able to import animation made in clip studio into my Visual Novel!

These are the steps I took.

  1. I exported the animation I made from Clip Studio Paint as an AVI2.0 mp4 (AVI1.0 doesn’t work).
  2. Created a cube in Unity and made a Fungus view screen like you would for a background image and resized it to fit. I couldn’t get just a normal plain to work.
  3. Dragged and dropped the video from My Project folder to the cube so that it uses the video for the texture.
  4. It doesn’t play unless you also add a script to the cube.

    It plays the movie texture when the scene starts and I set the option for it to loop.

Hope someone finds this useful. I was jumping around the room when I figured this out.

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