Visual novels are a whole class of games that are primarily text-based games that use backdrops, character busts, and text to tell a good story. I believe RPGMaker MV could be used to accomplish this with added benefits so long as the tools are there.
The Added Benefits
RPGMaker MV by default is built for creating roleplaying games. It has a map, functioning message box with text code support, and a large ecosystem of plugins. There are many more benefits and features to the engine, plus the community surrounding it, but these are the ones I want to focus on.
Visual novels don’t have maps usually. Often times, the game in question has a backdrop and the story is told with scene changes occurring more like a play. Each scene is just a change of scenery, and characters shuffling around. Now, if the developer of the visual novel wanted to add more gameplay elements, they could with RPGMaker MV’s built in RPG elements. They could add overworld segments to their game while staying true to the most important part of the visual novel franchise, which is primarily the text. Now, let’s talk about the message box.
The Message Box
The message box in MV has text codes that add the ability to modify the text when it is displayed as a message. Visual Novels rely on their message box only being able to support text, but being able to support things like icons, color codes, and text size while displaying the text could be a great addition to setting the atmosphere of the story. One of the problems though for VNs is that a lot of support isn’t available in the engine from the get go in one specific way that matters the most: visual elements such as images, busts, etc, and controlling character sprites. Although you can use elements such as show picture, and create long events to run your VN, things like image handling could be better.
Plugins In RMMV
There are a lot of plugins in RMMV; many of them are tools designed to solve developer problems. Or, extend the engine in some way. This is great because it allows us to build the necessary tools on top of the Base engine to create a compelling Visual Novel. That brings me to my idea: project Yuna.
Project Yuna is an idea for creating a plugin library for one purpose: making Visual Novels. Personally, I don’t like the idea of having 5 billion plugins in my RMMV Plugin Manager all designed to add small bits of functionality to stitch together a feature I want. I rather have the features necessary in a single package. That’s the design Philosophy I have, and what I want this project to embody.
With that said, you may hear posts about this in the future; stay tuned for more concrete details on Project Yuna.