For those of who you’ve been following this site over the past few months, one recurring element that you probably have noticed popping up every so often is this thing called ‘Edge Engine‘. And what is Edge Engine? The answer to that question has been bit ambiguous until now, but with this new release in the project that will hopefully begin to change.
Edge Visual Novel Engine, or Edge VN, is a suite of pre-made scripts—code—in the Game Maker Language (GML), giving beginner and advanced users of YoYoGames’s GameMaker Studio IDE a simple and powerful way to create visual novels in a familiar programming environment that deploys to every major platform out there. And what is a visual novel? Well, it’s that type of videogame dialog you actually read in a big text box, usually accompanied by illustrations of the speaking character or characters. Sometimes the entire game consists of this type of storytelling (a true visual novel), and sometimes only select scenes as just one feature among many in a much broader type of game (such as RPGs).
And that’s exactly what Edge Engine aims to be: that broader type of game engine, a powerful and beginner-friendly augmentation of GameMaker Studio to give developers a head start regardless of what type of game they are creating. If GameMaker Studio is a blank slate, Edge Engine is the frame. It is there to guide and direct, to start a project off in a specific direction, and yet each aspect is also intended to be easily customizable, and that starts with Edge Engine being modular in nature.
So far released modules have been rather small and haven’t really painted that picture. But with Edge VN, all that begins to change. The big picture starts to take form.
Because yes, Edge VN is huge. The concept may be quite simplistic, but Edge VN doesn’t leave it there. It’s packed with features, all of them highly customizable, and they’ve all been optimized for maximum performance. Modern PCs should easily be able to squeeze well over 1000 FPS out Edge VN, and that leaves more than enough headroom for less powerful devices as well. In mere milliseconds Edge VN handles drawing multi-colored text with optional shadow and typewriter effects, static or dynamic character cut-ins with automatic animations, text backgrounds and prompts with animations of their own, and even a full text log to keep track of past dialog. Dive into the code for yourself and it becomes even more powerful with easy adjustments to suit your project’s needs!
It’s a complete and elegant solution to text-based dialog in Game Maker Studio, and the forerunner of great things to come for Edge Engine.