About Visual Novel Art

This is just a quick post to highlight some features of Visual Novel art, as I’m currently looking to commission some art for a different game.

A scene in a visual novel that allows the user to make a choice.

A Visual Novel is essentially a “choose-your-own-adventure” style game for computers. Often heavy on story with a few choices that might branch off the story, or alter dialog, or twiddle some variables.

The graphics in Visual Novels mostly consist of static backgrounds, and static character images, but usually with different poses. The character poses change as they speak. I’ll put a video below to my work-in-progress game. I’m going to show some examples of art I’ve done just to illustrate different features.

Character art

In a visual novel, characters mostly need different facial expressions. This can usually use the same base body with slight changes to the face:

Sometimes, making more expressions can be simply a change in the arms layer of the art. Or also in my case, the wings of this fairy character.

And sometimes, to get the right expression, a whole new body needs to be drawn.

For this character, I have separate layers for the following:

  • torso/legs
  • arms
  • wings
  • head
  • eyes
  • mouth
  • eyebrows

which gives me some freedom in making slight changes to get different expressions:

A Visual Novel in action…

Attack of the Mutant Lawnmowers, November 4th

Back when I was an awkward 12 year old, I loved staying up late, listening to the radio, and building adventure games in Visual Basic 5 on my very own compy. Attack of the Mutant Lawnmowers was one of these games, though I have long forgotten the ending of the game, as it crashes part-way through.

To get the Moo team used to RenPy, we’re having a game jam this month to build a short story with RenPy. It is the Moopy Jam. My project is to remake Attack of the Mutant Lawnmowers.

Sometimes it is a lot of fun to step back from complex programming and just work with art and basic story. I’m terrible at writing stories, but oh well! I’m remaking a 16 year old game, so who cares?!

  • Original title screen
  • New (WIP) title screen
  • Original opening
  • New (WIP) opening