Ask!

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Gofindnova
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Re: Ask!

Post by Gofindnova » Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:04 pm

There were a few turns of phrase in the text that I thought ‘sounded Japanese.’ So I was surprised to discover that none of the writers are Japanese. Was there any conscious attempt to make the dialogue sound like Japanese translated to English, and/or to emulate the language of Japanese VNs/anime?

Which of the writers know Japanese?

You guys subvert the idea of ‘white-knighting’ in the game. Are there any other conventions of the VN genre that you consciously tried to avoid? More generally, are there any conventions you dislike (besides the overused high school setting)?

Thanks for your hard work on the game.

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Aura
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Re: Ask!

Post by Aura » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:46 am

We didn't try particularly hard (or at all) to make the dialogue sound like the characters are actually speaking Japanese. With some regards we deliberately moved away from that even, such as everyone using each other's first names when referring to them and ignoring pretty much all potential keigo usage. The language is a messy mishmash of American English colloquialisms, Standard English prose, and commonly used structures in JA-EN translations, weightings depending on the writer.

Three writers speak Japanese to varying degrees of proficiency: crud, Suriko and myself.

While working on KS, we weren't so fed up with VNs as we are now(or didn't feel strongly at all about them), and part of KS's concept was to make a very traditional looking ren'ai VN, so most conventions I wouldn't now touch with a ten foot pole are pretty easily found, even embraced in KS. Biggest divergence was probably us wanting to handle sex in a different way from the eroge traditions, and not rely too heavily on otaku culture shorthand (as far as our limited skills allowed) when writing the stories.

Other than those, I personally dislike the insane length of most AAA visual novels. Most are way too long for the amount of content they have, often due to a massive "common route" that's full of inconsequential filler material. KS is guilty of this too: while I managed to pack the act 1 kindasorta decently, it still makes up something like 40% of an average readthrough and is unfortunately kinda bland. All in all, conventions aren't bad per se, everyone following them is. More diversity would be nice.
<Aura> would you squeeze a warm PVC bottle between your thighs and call it "manaka-chan"
<Suriko> I would do it if it wouldn't be so hard to explain to my parents

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wazuzu
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Re: Ask!

Post by wazuzu » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:55 am

What kind of medicine Rin gobbled down while she was sick? Some kind of codeine pills? I don't really know if codeine helps with common cold, I only know it was used to cure coughing, but she looked relaxed, euphoric and spacey, which sort of looks like a typical opiate first-time reaction. I also think if she got a delayed hepatotoxic injury from Paracetamol overdose, since Paracetamol is commonly found in cold medicine. So, what was that?
Yes, it might even be in the novel, but I don't have it right now, and my internets are unstable in here.

appleplusy
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Re: Ask!

Post by appleplusy » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:40 am

Hello, I have been thinking about an idea for the past few days. I'm planning to make something like a katawa shoujo "story creator". Basically, it will be a program that I'll make from scratch with ren'py. People like fan fiction writers will be able to write a dialouge in a "script" in a txt file, and deciding which background and character to use and also what music to play during different scenes. They can also give player choices which will affect the events that will happen. You will be able to run the script written by people with the program and enjoy the story like a visual novel. I have some programming experience and a rough plan of how I want to code it. I may or may not succeed.

Anyway, I will have to use the game images, art and music. Therefore, I would like to ask for permission to use the game art, images and music for this project. I will not use anything else from the original game or edit it. All credit would go to 4LS.

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Aura
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Re: Ask!

Post by Aura » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:27 pm

appleplusy wrote:Hello, I have been thinking about an idea for the past few days. I'm planning to make something like a katawa shoujo "story creator". Basically, it will be a program that I'll make from scratch with ren'py. People like fan fiction writers will be able to write a dialouge in a "script" in a txt file, and deciding which background and character to use and also what music to play during different scenes. They can also give player choices which will affect the events that will happen. You will be able to run the script written by people with the program and enjoy the story like a visual novel. I have some programming experience and a rough plan of how I want to code it. I may or may not succeed.

Anyway, I will have to use the game images, art and music. Therefore, I would like to ask for permission to use the game art, images and music for this project. I will not use anything else from the original game or edit it. All credit would go to 4LS.
As per KS license: no. The assets are only for KS itself, not for any derivative works.
<Aura> would you squeeze a warm PVC bottle between your thighs and call it "manaka-chan"
<Suriko> I would do it if it wouldn't be so hard to explain to my parents

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Aura
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Re: Ask!

Post by Aura » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:29 pm

wazuzu wrote:What kind of medicine Rin gobbled down while she was sick? Some kind of codeine pills? I don't really know if codeine helps with common cold, I only know it was used to cure coughing, but she looked relaxed, euphoric and spacey, which sort of looks like a typical opiate first-time reaction. I also think if she got a delayed hepatotoxic injury from Paracetamol overdose, since Paracetamol is commonly found in cold medicine. So, what was that?
Yes, it might even be in the novel, but I don't have it right now, and my internets are unstable in here.
Yes, codeine.
<Aura> would you squeeze a warm PVC bottle between your thighs and call it "manaka-chan"
<Suriko> I would do it if it wouldn't be so hard to explain to my parents

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TheVUP
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Re: Ask!

Post by TheVUP » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:03 pm

So... Aura, how old are you? :)
Til I finally died, which started the whole world living

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Liminaut
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Re: Ask!

Post by Liminaut » Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:09 am

Aura wrote: While working on KS, we weren't so fed up with VNs as we are now ...
Ow.

TheHiveMind mentioned a while ago that he was really burned out at the end, and it sounds like he wasn't the only one. Seems like 4LS flopped over the finish line.

I'm glad you made it :D

Can you talk a bit about why you're so fed up with VNs?

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Aura
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Re: Ask!

Post by Aura » Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:41 pm

Liminaut wrote:
Aura wrote: While working on KS, we weren't so fed up with VNs as we are now ...
Ow.

TheHiveMind mentioned a while ago that he was really burned out at the end, and it sounds like he wasn't the only one. Seems like 4LS flopped over the finish line.

I'm glad you made it :D

Can you talk a bit about why you're so fed up with VNs?
It's probably best to emphasize that by being "fed up with VNs", I specifically mean that many if not most of the VNs that get published are pretty aggravating reading experiences for me and this all has pretty much nothing to do with the production of KS. For specific examples, you can look at these two posts on my blog. I'm being pretty onesided in them, and even unfair to Grisaia, but I seriously hated reading both of these. Also notable is that other 4LS members have had vastly different experiences with the medium, so don't interpret that this is a stance shared by us all.

I liken VNs most to books, and I'm a fairly avid consumer of literature. I want literature from VNs too, but I don't really get much of that. Comics are already there. There are some great literary works in that medium. Animation has produced some too. Movies, theater, and so on are no brainers. Visual novels? Crickets. Basically, the visual novel scene is almost in its entirety inside the Japanese or Japan-derived otaku culture niche. I have nothing against it, pop culture of all kinds is fucking cool and I do watch anime too, but... It is so deeply entrenched in these subcultural conventions that are super counterproductive to producing stories that I enjoy, that I simply haven't been able to find an awfully many VNs I've liked to read. These days I don't really even try much. Why would I?
<Aura> would you squeeze a warm PVC bottle between your thighs and call it "manaka-chan"
<Suriko> I would do it if it wouldn't be so hard to explain to my parents

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Leaty
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Re: Ask!

Post by Leaty » Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:50 pm

Hmm, Aura, based on your criticisms (which I completely agree with, honestly,) I'm very curious how you'd feel about some of the English-language indie visual novels that have started to roll out, like The Royal Trap, Magical Diary, Winter Wolves games, etc. Their quality can vary dramatically, but one thing they almost all have in common is a complete lack of regard for Japanese visual novel tropes. The Royal Trap in particular is a game I highly recommend, if you've got ten bucks to spare. (It's the source of my avatar, so obviously it made an impression on me.)

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Aura
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Re: Ask!

Post by Aura » Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:46 pm

Leaty wrote:Hmm, Aura, based on your criticisms (which I completely agree with, honestly,) I'm very curious how you'd feel about some of the English-language indie visual novels that have started to roll out, like The Royal Trap, Magical Diary, Winter Wolves games, etc. Their quality can vary dramatically, but one thing they almost all have in common is a complete lack of regard for Japanese visual novel tropes. The Royal Trap in particular is a game I highly recommend, if you've got ten bucks to spare. (It's the source of my avatar, so obviously it made an impression on me.)
Of those I'm only familiar with jack_norton's (Winter Wolves) output, but I've read dozens of indie OELVNs. As you say, the quality is uneven and often not so good (which could be said for anything), but there have been some okay products. I don't follow the scene basically at all anymore, but maybe I should.
<Aura> would you squeeze a warm PVC bottle between your thighs and call it "manaka-chan"
<Suriko> I would do it if it wouldn't be so hard to explain to my parents

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Aura
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Re: Ask!

Post by Aura » Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:26 pm

TheVUP wrote:So... Aura, how old are you? :)
Old enough.
<Aura> would you squeeze a warm PVC bottle between your thighs and call it "manaka-chan"
<Suriko> I would do it if it wouldn't be so hard to explain to my parents

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Atario
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Re: Ask!

Post by Atario » Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:39 pm

Aura wrote:
TheVUP wrote:So... Aura, how old are you? :)
Old enough.
Good enough for me! [zzzzzip!]

Seriously, though, folks.

You've said a few times now that Katawa Shoujo itself has lots of things that annoy you in this "visual novels suck" way you're talking about. Any specifics?
NB: none of the above is a request

Mutou Gets Fired — a little one-shot fanfic I wrote

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Aura
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Re: Ask!

Post by Aura » Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:58 pm

Well it should be pretty obvious. KS is a romance story with a theme harem set in a Japanese highschool stuffed with a bunch of (sometimes) weakly justified tropes that come with that territory. I don't think KS sucks (or even that VNs in a more general sense do), it just belongs to a genre that doesn't interest me much as a reader and doesn't really break stuff hard enough to be interesting because of that. People sometimes ask me if I don't feel conflicted about my attitude towards (some) VNs despite having made KS, or even straight out accuse me of hypocrisy, but I've sorted my feelings perfectly well. Making a visual novel is a completely different experience from reading one and involves a ton more stuff than whether you enjoy the genre or not.
<Aura> would you squeeze a warm PVC bottle between your thighs and call it "manaka-chan"
<Suriko> I would do it if it wouldn't be so hard to explain to my parents

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Atario
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Re: Ask!

Post by Atario » Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:47 pm

Mmmm, I can kinda see what you're saying. However, don't be too hard on it; it does several things that aren't often seen in the medium (that I know of):
  • It pretty thoroughly deconstructs each heroine's assigned trope, and subverts a few others
  • It addresses a topic that is woefully unaddressed even in Western media, much less Japanese media (disabilities)
  • It does a good job of making the reader feel intense and often very personal identification with the characters and situations involved
I wouldn't fault it just because it doesn't upend everything in the world all at once. Rome wasn't built in a day.

This has been today's episode of Defending An Author's Work To Himself. WTF.

Oh, and just in case it's not kosher to not ask a dev question in this thread:

Was the dev group fairly egalitarian? Or was there one person or small group who was felt to be "in charge"?
NB: none of the above is a request

Mutou Gets Fired — a little one-shot fanfic I wrote

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