Prototypes and the Engine Behind It
I’m in the middle of making the third prototype visual novel framework this week, to find the fastest and most efficient way to complete things. With the first prototype done a while back, I started making a whole prototype framework from scratch. I find that each time I do that the code is tidier and I find a better way to do things based off the previous prototype.
I decided to use Construct 2 after trying out many of the visual novel engines out there. Ren’py came close, where I can actually have the visual novel running in an hour with no prior knowledge on how to use the engine before. However, due to my knowledge limitation with Python, it slowed me down when I needed to add extra features on top of the existing engine. With schedule already set for the Moonlight project, I choose to use something I was already familiar with, while still having enough flexibility for me to add whatever I needed to it. That is Construct 2.
As Construct 2 is a general game engine, that means I have to actually build the visual novel framework right from scratch. Even though, Construct 2 is advertised as ‘no-coding is required’ to make something out of it, to my point of view it is still coding, just mostly with the mouse rather than typing code using the keyboard. Understanding of basic programming is still recommended to make the most out of this engine.
From the start, I wanted this visual novel to be more than just static image on screen. So what I called ‘Virtual Camera’ is added to create the movement in the scene with pan, zoom, and rotate. With the use of parallax, this really adds dept to the scene, and makes the CG events feel dynamic, which is rather important in The Falconers: Moonlight which has quite a lot of action in the story.
On the left here is a video footage from the second prototype with placeholder images, showing the camera use in the scene.
Live2D has been looked at, but with the limitation on the budget to acquire an indie license, I have to scrap that idea. Perhaps for the next project.
With my record of making a new framework every couple weeks, it seems like there is only one more prototype framework to be done before the full production begins in August. I will keep on updating the progress. Meanwhile, we will be introduces our main characters each week as well as any other updates on the Moonlight project. So stay tune!