Blue Hippo XML Narrative System
Updated a month ago
In development
An asset package allowing game devs to create full-feature Visual Novel games by writing screenplays in XML.
Blue Hippo is a Visual Novel and Adventure game system where the narrative text, stage direction and gameplay transitions can all be choreographed from the same script. The game scripts are written in XML, so they are machine AND human-readable. This allows a game's writer to be in full control of the narrative, while still accessing the complete power of the Unity engine.
Is there a need for this system? Many visual novel plug-ins already exist for Unity, although most of them use a drag-and-drop approach to creating narratives that relies heavily on the hierarchy and game object components. I'm secretly anxious that in a world with solutions like Ren'py, this kind of project is redundant. At the same time, what lead me to build this system rather than adopt an asset-store alternative was the desire to better integrate game logic into my narrative.
What separates a visual novel from a dating sim or adventure game is the inclusion of game mechanics that affect and are affected by the narration. This system is designed with that functionality in mind, so that after learning the required XML tags, a writer can design a narrative with mechanical depth and complex staging, and can control it all from within their game's story script.
Also it should help make spell-checking easier :]
The project is still in pre-release state; Right now I'm tuning it up for a free release on the Unity Asset store. There are a lot of new features planned, including an interactive tutorial presented in a visual-novel format! The video included here is almost a year old - even though the underlying mechanics have evolved a lot in that time, the place-holder sprites have not.... In the next few weeks I'll hopefully have many new developments to show off though, including a much more professional look!

Jonny Aiello
Programmer / Designer / Artist - Programmer