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Cover image for ADV vs NVL Style in RenPy
Ash Freels
Ash Freels

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ADV vs NVL Style in RenPy

Renpy has two styles of presenting a visual novel: ADV and NVL. This article will compare and contrast between the two styles.

ADV

ADV visual novel present dialouge and narration per line inside of a text box. ADV visual novels are the most common visual novel presentation. Most popular visual novels are in ADV style.

NVL

NVL is another style of visual novel that shows multiple lines of text in a window. While NVL is the less popular choice for visual today.Earlier visual novels used NVL before ADV was popular. Some indie developers still chose to use it for aesthetic purposes.

Which one to use?

ADV is the most popular style of visual novel you will see. ADV visual novels are common to both indie publishers and game companies.

NVL is used for text heavy stories with more narration in the story.The text window covers most of the graphics. Think of it as a traditional novel exeperience with text across the screen.

Developing a ADV or NVL visual novel

ADV is the RenPy default and makes it easy to create dialouge in script files. RenPy allows you to switch to NVL mode if you want to create a NVL style visual novel.

Developing ADV style visual novels are straightfoward compared to NVL style where you have to make a few changes. To switch into NVL mode start by defining the characters. The only difference is adding kind=nvl.To define a narrator use nvl_narrator. Here is what it looks like:

define j = Character("John", kind=nvl , color = "#0E6818")

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Another thing with NVL is pagination. Lets create a script that set up our visual novel by breaking the script into two pages.

define j = Character("John", kind=nvl , color = "#0E6818")
define narrator = nvl_narrator


"I'm so glad to be back home. Last semester was so stressful."
"Deciding where to spend the summer I just wanted to relax. I rented out a cabin at a small town."

nvl clear

"The cabin is smaller than I'm used to. It has 2 bedrooms, a living room, bathroom and kitchen."
"I unpacked my things in my room."

nvl clear
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Here what it looks like in ADV style.

define j = Character("John", color = "#0E6818")

"I'm so glad to be back home. Last semester was so stressful."
"Deciding where to spend the summer I just wanted to relax. I rented out a cabin at a small town."

"The cabin is smaller than I'm used to. It has 2  bedrooms, a living room, bathroom and kitchen."
"I unpacked my things in my room."

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When using ADV default , we don't have to make as many declarations compared to NVL.

What's next?

I would recommend ADV for most since ADV style is the default choice for many modern visual novels, and the artwork is the main focus on the screen. A downside of NVL is it requires more formatting and customization if you want to make it unique. It all comes down to which style fits your visual novel.

Resource

NVL Mode documentaion

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