Date: 2006 July 24 03:58
Posted by Joe
Fans of dating games will be pleased to hear that the nice folks from CuriousFactory and Buredo have released a free game engine and construction kit, designed at making Visual Novels easy to produce in English. In a nutshell this will allow users to create their own interactive stories, anime and manga fans will probably be most familiar with dating games, but the companies are keen to promote that you can also produce other games using their game engine.
A good story is a must, good artwork is always nice too, but there are some crafty ways around this, such as taking photos of things and then using a bit of photoshop magic. It’ll be interesting to see if any otaku take up developing games on this engine. Currently the engine is Windows only.
Press release as follows:
CuriousFactory and Buredo Release
Free English Visual Novel Construction Tool "Blade Engine"
HERNDON, VA – July 24, 2006 – CuriousFactory and Buredo today announced the release of "Blade Engine", a free game engine and construction kit aimed at making Visual Novel easy to construct, fully localized into English.
For more detail, please visit Blade Engine official site.
What is Visual Novel?
Most Visual Novels have multiple storylines and many endings; the gameplay mechanic in these cases typically consists of intermittent multiple-choice decision points, where the player selects a direction in which to take the game. This style of gameplay has been compared to the Choose Your Own Adventure novels. Most, however, strive for a higher level of plot and character depth than the aforementioned series of interactive children's books. These can be more closely compared to story-driven interactive fiction.
Content and Genre of Visual Novel
In the West, there is a stereotype of: "Visual Novel = Dating Sim Game = Hentai", but that is wrong.
Visual Novels CAN be Dating Sim games, Ren'ai games, Bishoujo games but also can be Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Adventure and Horror Fiction games, or anything that the user’s creativity comes up with.
Creating Visual Novel
Visual Novel usually consists of text window, background graphics and character graphics. In addition to those elements, music, sound and sometimes voice are added to make the VN more dramatic.
Producing Visual Novel is just like producing Japanese animation or Manga.
Good storyline is important, but also facial expressions of characters, their posing, the timing to use sound and screen effects are also important elements to create interesting Visual Novel.
You don't need to be computer expert and have programming skill to create Visual Novel.
Blade Engine Overview
Blade Engine was developed based on professional Visual Novel engine being used in Japan. CuriousFactory and Buredo hope that Blade Engine provides creators in the West the opportunity to explore the new medium of expression, Visual Novel, which has already gained tremendous popularity in Japan.
To learn more about Blade Engine, visit http://www.bladeengine.com where you can try the sample Visual Novel created by Blade Engine.
CuriousFactory is a developer and publisher of software as well as online information provider. Besides running its Doujin information site Akiba Angels (http://www.akibaangels.com), CuriousFactory has released its first International collaboration Doujinshi, "Neko-Mimi Project Vol.1" in January 2005.
CuriousFactory Website: http://www.curiousfactory.com
Buredo is a group of people in Japan which consists of staffs such as comic writer, scenario writer, programmer, game designer, music composer. Mainly producing Manga and Visual Novel in Japan, Buredo also develops Visual Novel construction tool for Japanese creator, and their tool has been used for a long time with constant improvement.
Now, Buredo is bringing this tool to non-Japanese audience, with our USA partner CuriousFactory.
Buredo Website: http://www.buredo.jp/