The Walking Dead and Visual Novels

Some people like to slap the term "visual novel" on just about any game with a semblance of a story. The latest target for their misguided labeling is Telltale’s video game adaptation of The Walking Dead. Unlike Phoenix Wright where I can see why someone would call it a VN, The Walking Dead isn’t even close. It’s a completely standard Western-style graphical adventure game all the way through.

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[review] The Elf and the Warrior PG13

The Elf and the Warrior PG13
The Elf and the Warrior PG13 screenshot
genre fantasy, romance
creator fleet
summary Elf girl gets her ass handed to her by a dragon, pays a bum with her body to kill it.

The mastermind behind the amazingly entertaining Arnie and the Hitchhiker is back with a short kinetic novel about the love between an elf and a warrior.

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NVList v3.2

nvlist-3.2-tutorials

The most prominent change in 3.2 is a large restructuring of the bundled tutorial scripts. I tried to group things more logically and order them by usefulness/difficulty. The newly added setExitFunction allows you to replace the default exit confirmation dialog.

I’ve also updated Cottage on the Moor (NVList example VN) to be compatible with NVList 3.0 and above.

→ NVList project page

Changelog:
2013/01/09 — 3.2 (r94)

enhancements:
– Reduced latency when starting audio while another audio track is already
  playing by implementing a more fine-grained locking system.
– Reduced default fade-in/fade-out time when changing background music.
– Screenshot size for the save screen is now configurable through the
  vn.saveScreenshotWidth/vn.saveScreenshotHeight preferences.
– Added a chapter to the manual with the differences when running on Android.
– Large cleanup/restructuring of bundled tutorial scripts.
– Added setExitFunction() which allows you to override the default behavior
  of the exit confirmation dialog (whether activated by the window close
  button, exit menu item or the Lua exit function).

bugfixes:
– Playing video in an upscaled window while an FBO is used for rendering caused
  the video to be clipped (only lower-left rect visible).
– Screen didn’t redraw when changing a textless TextDrawable.
– Improved error handling for the edit button in the build command panel.
– Image gallery script was broken.
– Anim.par() will no longer override its components’s loop attribute.
– Incorrect return value for yielding Lua functions invoked from a Java
  function (in practice, that means call/dofile).

→ NVList project page

Best EVN of 2012

It’s been an odd year in the OELVN world. The long-awaited release of Katawa Shoujo back in January set the tone for an unexpectedly strong first half of the year. Several strong titles came out of this year’s NaNoRenO event, including Dischan’s first completed work: Juniper’s Knot. Shortly after NaNoRenO ended, Christine Love’s Analogue: A Hate Story became the first EVN available on Steam with remarkable commercial success. More so than Moacube’s Cinders, which despite amazing visuals and lots of press coverage never became a breakout hit.

The second half of 2012 was markedly less strong. The only commercial release I wouldn’t feel guilty about calling a visual novel was Encarmine. Existing commercial groups seem to be turning further away from visual novels in favor of casual/simulation games. New commercial groups are able to deliver competing quality, but almost always with massive delays to their planned release dates (Cinders was originally slated for summer 2011).

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2012 Review Index

NaNoRenO 2012 mini-reviews