18 06 2019
Naninovel — Visual Novel Engine
Extremely useful tool for VN Developers.
Visual novels are a tricky medium, because despite appearances, a lot of work actually goes toward programming one. Naninovel attempts to simplify this process, creating an engine that's focused on writers.
Personally, I felt the engine had a slight learning curve, but was easy to pick up and run with it. My favorite part is that it's very well integrated with Unity core features, allowing you to add effects and visuals that would be near impossible in other engines.
The engine is extremely flexible. I dropped it in an existing on-going RPG project I was making, and it took me, no joke, about 5 mins to integrate it. The documentation is extensive and well written but there are some parts that are unclear and require some exploration. But if you have any level of skill with Unity, using this will be a breeze.
And what is the cherry on top is that you can make 3D Visual Novels with this is very easy! Normally, 3D Visual Novels are only made by studios with a medium to big sized team (e.g Life is Strange) but with Naninovel, the entire experience is seamless. There are no annoying node-based structure so you can easily change around the script and visuals without much effort.
If you are an experienced VN dev, you are probably wondering, why would I use this over a free open source alternative like RenPy? There are many reasons for this:
1. If you want to port to console (e.g Nintendo Switch), you can do it far more easily with Naninovel + Unity than any other engine. Some creators that used RenPy even had to switch to Unity just to port to other devices.
2. You can easily integrate additional gameplay very easily. By far, Naninovel is the BEST if you want literally any sort of gameplay in your Visual Novel.
3. Just... there are SO MANY cool APIs to add easily that would take months to implement elsewise.
Ultimately, I greatly recommend this asset. One thing I will let you know though: it is still in beta, so expect to run into a few bugs. I had a few myself but with a bit of tweaking I could fix it easily.