Editor-san and I are now working on the Robo-Rinku Visual Novel! I should call her Author-san since she’s doing the writing this time around, but she insists on being called Editor-san. The reason being this character from Monthly Girl’s Nozaki-kun:
We collaborated on the script for the comic during the Webtoons Sci-fi contest, but I’m handing over the reigns to her while I work on the programming and art.
To keep us going, I’m going to write a little blurb talking about the progress we make every week. I also want to share our struggles with others that might want to work on a similar project. So here we go!
My workplace uses agile methodologies to get stuff done, so of course I would use it on my creative projects! Basically, a sprint is a short time window to get a set amount of work done (measured in points), evaluate the work and then continue onto the next sprint. We just finished our very first sprint on the project with a whopping 9 points completed!
This week we:
Set up our sprint board on tree.taiga.io – It’s pretty darn useful for tracking your work wtih a team.
Printed off the old comic for review.
Investigated Lua scripting in Fungus – I definitely want to use it since I think we’ll be able to add dialogue faster than using the point and click interface in Unity.
Created the Private Github Repository to store story and code – No peeking until it’s done!
In my quest to make the perfect visual novel, I started to research the Fungus Visual Novel Engine for Unity 5. So far it’s been really enjoyable and I feel like this might be a viable option, but there are some hangups I still feel unsure about.
It’s lack of the basic Visual Novel system.
If you’ve tried Ren’py or played any Visual Novel, you’ll know that it comes with an options menu, save menu, title screen, rewind, etc… If I chose to use Fungus I’ll have to build a lot of that myself. It would be a good opportunity to contribute some code back to the Github project.
It can be inconsistent at times. I’ve noticed that some of the portraits will move in directions I don’t mean them to move when I try to hide them. Flying off the screen even when I set them to fade. I’m hoping I’m just doing something wrong with my commands and I’ll figure it out later.
But there are some BIIIIIG draws that make me want to switch to Fungus.
It’s built on Unity! I’ve been using Unity for a while and the development experience just keeps getting better with each release. If you can set up Visual Studio with Unity, you can use a debug console and step through the code as you play – something Ren’py sorely lacks.
User Interface customization is easy. If you want a new look for a dialog box or a new spot for your character to pop up, you just have to add it by going to Tools->Fungus->Create and you’ll have a handy graphic interface to make your changes in.
The code is open and reasonably easy to customize. I found I wanted to change the way a character portrait changes. The default behavior makes the previous portrait fade (alpha -> 0) before fading in the new portrait — So the character disappears briefly… which looked a little weird to me. In animation, you don’t make the character fade out between frames.
The line I needed to change was pretty easy to find and fix and now I have the effect I want! I’ll see if I can submit a pull-request to add that as a portrait change option.
That’s all I have to report for now. I’ll keep on working with Unity+Fungus to see how far I can go before I start tearing my hair out.
If you’re interested in trying Fungus out, here’s some youtube tutorials to get started: