ThinkBoxly is the personal developer blog of Lucas Chasteen, author, programmer, artist, and always learning. Read more

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Coming Soon - Edge VN 1.1

It may be a bit quiet around here as of late, but behind the scenes things are moving faster than ever before for Edge Engine. Edge VN was the biggest release yet, but being the first iteration of its kind for Edge Engine it left a lot of room for additions and improvement, and Edge VN 1.1 will deliver on most of them shortly. All features for the update are currently in-place and in-progress, with only a handful of outstanding checkboxes left to be ticked. Originally the plan was to have the update published by this weekend, but certain features are proving to be a bigger challenge than originally anticipated, so please be patient while 1.1 gets the finishing touches to be the best that it can be.

Here's a quick rundown of what to expect:

  • Updated syntax: Edge VN 1.0 relied heavily on 'if' statements and custom code to control the finer details of script parameters. A major goal of the 1.1 update has been to eliminate the need for additional code by providing new built-in scripts to do the heavy-lifting for you. This results in one-line commands with simple, easy-to-understand parameters so that everything 'just works'.
  • New ways to navigate: Starting with Edge VN 1.1, 'auto' mode with custom pause time will be fully supported, as will be real-time backtracking. This backtracking will serve a similar function to the text log, allowing players to revisit old text in the current text block, but unlike the text log backtracking will also revisit characters, scenes, and effects from before.
  • Improved drawing scripts: Text drawing has been merged from two scripts into one, combining the best features of each without really sacrificing the functionality of either. The main reason for edgevn_draw_text_ext's existence was essentially redundant and can even be triggered more directly than the script afforded. The new edgevn_draw_text is feature-rich, simple, and fat-free.
  • Rebuilt character engine: Characters in Edge VN 1.0 were already some of the best of any visual novel engine out there, but many Edge VN users felt that they were a bit too automated and asked for deeper control. With the 1.1 update, characters have been reworked from the ground up to afford the deepest level of customization without sacrificing features. All the automatic goodness of 1.0 is still there--you simply have the power to switch it on or off as you please. Please note however that dynamic characters will be taking a break from the 1.1 release, as reworking them to suit new and exciting plans will take some time. Expect to see them return in Edge VN 1.2. Until then, static characters are the best yet.
  • New background scene engine: A key piece of every visual novel puzzle is background scenes. While any specialized support was absent from Edge VN 1.0, the 1.1 update will include a full set of fully-customizable scene scripts complete with a range of visual effects (earthquakes, lightning flashes, and so forth). This effects system is extensible as well, so programmers can easily write their own to accompany those which will be included out of the box. Like everything else in 1.1, fine-tuning is handled with built-in scripts, no 'if' statements required.

I hope you will enjoy this massive update when it hits very soon. Again, thank you for your patience in the meantime, and I hope you will look forward to using Edge VN 1.1 for yourself!