How fast can you build a visual novel with VS that takes 2 hours to play?

  • #1, by stellarTuesday, 01. August 2017, 13:07 3 years ago
    Hi Everyone,

    This is my first post on the forum. It's nice to meet you.

    My team will be building a visual novel, and we are considering to use Visionaire Studio.

    We downloaded and tested the trial version of VS for the first time today, but we wanted to hear from those of you who would consider yourselves to have a high level of experience in using the software.

    Our game is a traditional Japanese style visual novel with a straight forward story and limited path choices. It will consisit of many episodes, each being around 2 hours of game play. If there is not a lot of "extra" programming, and if we have every asset ready to go, how long do you think it would take to build one episode?

    Also, if we prefered to outsource the game building, are there people here who take on projects? If so, we would like to get budget estimates.

    Thank you!


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  • #2, by MachtnixTuesday, 01. August 2017, 14:47 3 years ago
    Last year was a game contest. I remember it takes three months. Look at the winners which are on the download site and look what's possible. I think some months are necessary because of graphic, sound, dialogs and game logic. For absolut beginners I think more than three months. But it depends on your team, your goals, your time you have. 

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  • #3, by afrlmeTuesday, 01. August 2017, 15:52 3 years ago
    Really depends on what you are making & how complicated the features are that you want to implement. If you are creating one of those typical visual novels that are mostly close-up talking with dialog choices & minimal character & environment animations, then it shouldn't really take you all that long to put together - most time would probably be spent on creating your artwork rather than development.

    You should also be able to create it without having to use Lua script by using the built in dialog system & condition/value based if queries for determining dialog choices & general choices the player has made while playing your game.

    If you already have all the asset files you need to create a scene handy, you can probably build a finished scene in less than a day. Anything from a couple hours up depending on how complex it is, but this time doesn't include sorting out all the actions/events or debugging. I'd say 2 or 3 days is needed per scene development wise - providing you have all the asset files already available.

    @Machtnix: I don't think it took all the people that entered 3 months. We gave x time for them to take their time & submit something that was fairly polished. They were all third person games with multiple rooms as far as I can recall.

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  • #4, by MachtnixTuesday, 01. August 2017, 16:08 3 years ago
    @AFRLme: there was a pdf which contains all participants and the rules but I don't find it. Some games are amazing, I can't believe they are made in this short time. And you are right: testing takes more time than you (won't?) believe. Really!! In every case there is a stupid tiny bug you will search for weeks wink The contest games are mostly well debugged, I think the developers must worked day and night 24/7... wink

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  • #5, by afrlmeTuesday, 01. August 2017, 16:49 3 years ago
    I know how long debugging takes. It's one of the the most time consuming parts of game development. I was talking about how long it takes to put a game together. Create the scene, add the objects, some actions etc. That sort of stuff doesn't take long...

    Debugging on the other hand is a whole other kettle of fish because fixing something often leads to breaking something else & it ends up being similiar to those whack'a'mole arcade games.

    I think a visual novel should be somewhat easier to create in VS than a third person point & click adventure game as they tend to use fairly static scenes & limited character animations rather than fluid animations, so they are shaving a lot of time off by not having to deal with creating walking & interaction animations for their characters.

    Only person I know that's creating Visual Novels with VS is this developer: https://www.patreon.com/kexboy - you could try asking them how long it takes on average to create a visual novel. I think they are working on a few at the same time. Not sure if they are all being developed with VS or other engines too.

    P.S: I'm curious as to what you mean by 2 hours. Do you mean 2 hours worth of content or 2 hours approx. playtime?

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  • #6, by stellarWednesday, 02. August 2017, 05:24 3 years ago
    Thanks for the replies!

    To Machtnix: We'll check the game contest out. Thanks!

    To AFRLme: Sorry that wasn't clear, I meant 2 hrs of gameplay (I've updated the original post to clear up any confusion). Yes this game would be as you described "one of those typical visual novels that are mostly close-up talking with dialog choices & minimal character & environment animation". Any other thoughts? FYI: I'll have my team contact KEXBOY. Thanks!

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  • #7, by afrlmeWednesday, 02. August 2017, 13:07 3 years ago
    Cheers. Ok, so I think Machtnix is probably about right with his estimation. If you hussle with the graphics & animations & other asset files, then I think it should take you approx 1-3 months, though likely 3 months if you are learing Visionaire Studio as you go. Once you've nailed down a workflow though, you should be able to create any additional episodes much faster, though again, this all depends on how complicated you make things, like the story branches for example as you have to deal with those & if they affect things later on in the game, then you have to deal with those too.

    If you aren't already using some kind of mind mapping application for your story branches then I recommend looking into yEd or mind maple lite. Both are free & you can create flow diagrams with them, which you can easily use to make maps of your story-line branches & what each decision does, where it leads to & what it affects.

    Anyway, welcome to the VS community & good luck with your game.

    P.S: please feel free to join our Discord server if you like. Invite link can be found in the news article at the top of the forum topic board.

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