Development team

From VNDev Wiki

A visual novel development team can be composed with as little as a single, independent individual to sprawling organizations. The exact responsibilities of these roles may vary from team to team. Depending on the size of a given team, some roles may be combined and performed by the same person.


Creative director

The creative director, or just director, of a visual novel acts as the funnel that guides all of the different creative aspects of a team’s efforts into the final product as a cohesive whole. In small indie and game jam teams, they may also act as the producer and manage the project's schedule and time investment. Usually, they are considered the project’s lead developer because the nature of this task obliges them to have the final word on whether or not something adds to the whole of the project and/or might add too much to development time.

Because of the heavy reliance on text and programming in VN development to control direction, a VN director may work directly with the writing and/or programming teams. At the very least, they are the ones interpreting any points of direction not covered by the script writers or altering direction notations in the script that don't come across as intended on-screen. If they are not writers themselves, they should have a feel for stage/film direction and understand how to draw a reader's attention correctly.


The producer's role is to act as the lead organizer for the team. Producers facilitate the development team by creating schedules, organizing resources, and ensuring the team is meeting their deadlines. [1] Producers keep track of the game development with task management tools such as Google Drive, Trello, or Jira.

Producers must have good organizational and communication skills in order to keep the team motivated and stay within the planned scope of the game. The producer plays a key role in avoiding and/or managing crunch and minimizing burnout of the team. Producers don't make creative choices for the game, but serve as the point of communication between the development team and the director. However, the producer and director may be the same person in small teams.


The role of the writer, or scenario writer, is to write the content for the game. They are chiefly responsible for creating the 'novel' part of the visual novel. Writers use a variety of software to manage their stories, from drafting and organization tools like Scrivener, to simple text editors such as NotePad. Many writers are directly involved with the visual novel scripting in the language/engine tools their team is working with to reduce the need to convert a more traditional writing form, like screenplays or novels, into something readable by a visual novel engine.


The Editor reviews the text and story of the game and makes suggestions for improvement. This may include grammar or spelling fixes, but more commonly, editors focus on things such as flow, pacing, character development, and overall storyline. Editors often work very closely with writers, and may provide feedback on a scene-by-scene basis as they are written. Sometimes, though, editors are brought in after most or all of the story is written.

The role of Proofreader is similar to, but distinct from, that of editor. A proofreader provides suggestions only regarding grammar, spelling, and other line-by-line edits. In contrast, and editor may provide this type of feedback, but primarily focuses on broader issues. There are many different types and styles of editing, so it's important for an editor to communicate clearly with other members of the development team to ensure that everyone is on the same page about what services are needed.

Character artist

CG artist

Background artist

GUI artist

Script director


The programmer's role is typically to assemble the parts of the game into a fully functional game. Programmers work within the game engine being used by the team, as well as resolve any issues that may arise while testing the game. The programmer typically joins a team based on their familiarity with a specific game engine and/or programming language or, for indie or game jam teams, their willingness to learn them.

The role of a programmer on a VN dev team may involve some or all of the following:

  • Scripting, which involves turning the writers dialogue and prose into a script that can be compiled and run by the engine. May include adding music, sounds, images and sprites as directed by the writer or director.
  • GUI Programming, which typically involves taking assets and designs provided by the GUI artist and implementing them into the game engine, including any animated parts or effects if required.
  • Adding extra functionality that is not included as standard by the chosen game engine, which may differ between different game engines.

Other tasks that may fall under the role of programmer if not already handled by another member of the team could include, building or updating game versions with changes if needed, handling source control for the project, or uploading builds to storefronts if more in-depth knowledge on those systems is required.

Audio director

An audio director's purpose is to procure audio assets, including sound effects, ambiance, voice dialogue and music. They oversee the quality of produced audio assets and communicating with those providing said assets, such as sound designers and composers.[2] Furthermore, an audio director may seek out and contract audio staff and create lists of needed audio resources.[3]

Sound designer

A sound designer creates sound effects, records on location, edits dialog and music files and works with programmers to implement audio assets into the game.[4]


A game composer composes and most of the time also produces a game's music.

Audio engineer

Voice actor

Voice director

Casting director

Social media manager


  1. Lucy Morris, Game Development Cheatsheets: Producer,, published July 23, 2018, retrieved June 18, 2022.
  2. Phillips, Winifred (2014). A Composer's Guide to Game Music. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology. pp. 139-140. ISBN 978-0-262-02664-2.
  3. What’s an audio director and why might you need one?,, published January 12, 2020, retrieved July 16, 2022.
  4. Phillips, Winifred (2014). A Composer's Guide to Game Music. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology. pp. 140-141. ISBN 978-0-262-02664-2.