Would you play a "mental disability" VN similar to KS?

A forum for general discussion of the game: Open to all punters

Would you play a "mental disability" VN similar to KS?

Postby Honeymuffin » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:25 pm

EDIT: THIS IDEA IS NOW A FULLY-FLEDGED PROJECT! You can find us at:

http://mentarushoujo.forumotions.com/

We are currently not accepting any more writers or programmers, but that may change at some time in the future.


Yes, yes; it could be argued that a few of the current KS cast members already have a mental disability,

But I'm talking about a game based on female characters who have solely mental problems; say, a girl with disassociative identity disorder who could flip between a few different personalities in one date. Or maybe a girl with bipolar disorder who suffers from extreme (and unpredictable) mood swings. Maybe even a girl with schizophrenia who has spent her whole life hearing voices, and the only one she can truly count on is YOURS!

KS just got me thinking about what sort of twists you could put on a VN's story, and this seems to me like it would be an interesting one. I think it would have to be harder; after all, every girl would probably be just as hard to communicate with as Rin in one way or another.

So, would you play a VN with a theme like that? Maybe the english name could translate to "crazy girls" in japanese or something. XD

Also, feel free to post other interesting themes for VNs. Maybe someone will take to your idea and actually make it!
Last edited by Honeymuffin on Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
Honeymuffin
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:29 am

Re: Would you play a "mental disability" VN similar to KS?

Postby imperial.standard » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:50 pm

Writing a character with "mental disability" would be MUCH harder than you thought. And to associate with as well.

In fact, what kind of "mental disability" that the date-able character can have? I think if it is way too far out from the "normal" thought processes the game could feel very surreal.
Image

"With words like these, we DON'T CURE patients, we make them INCURABLE"

Saint Peter Canisius, S.J., on polemical attacks against John Calvin & Melanchton
User avatar
imperial.standard
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:37 am

Re: Would you play a "mental disability" VN similar to KS?

Postby MDV » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:01 pm

Also, feel free to post other interesting themes for VNs. Maybe someone will take to your idea and actually make it!

OK. I posted this in a different thread, but I'll repeat it.
I'd like to make a VN that takes place in a contemporary European setting, but still drawn in animesque style. It would start out as pretty much every VN, with an average high school dude meeting some girls, but evolve into a serious story with a lot of social commentary in it. If have some ideas for routes as well.

I have some (vague) ideas for paths. I'll post them if anyone is interested.
MDV
 

Re: Would you play a "mental disability" VN similar to KS?

Postby Benkei » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:17 pm

Honeymuffin wrote:Yes, yes; it could be argued that a few of the current KS cast members already have a mental disability,

A few? Sure, I'm only two and a half paths in, but from what I've seen so far, KS is as much the story of the wide range of psychological problems people with physical disabilities may have as it is the story of those disabilities themselves. For example ...
- Emi: her story is more focused on the psychological trauma she suffered as a result of losing her father than it is on either the psychological or the physical problems she developed as a result of losing her legs
- Hanako: her entire path is purely psychological. Psychological issues that resulted from a physical one, yes, but still only psychological problems. Also: half of her psychological baggage would still be there even if she hadn't been burned, considering how much she beats herself up for being the reason her mother (if not also her father) died.
I don't expect this trend to let up, either. I very much expect Rin's, Shizune's, and Lilly's paths to be as much about the psychological side of things as the physically disabled side.

But I see what you mean. You're wanting to explore a game which focuses on things like anterograde amnesia, dissociative identity disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and so on.

Honeymuffin wrote:So, would you play a VN with a theme like that?

I can promise I would at least try it, especially if it were a free, legal, and relatively small (filesize-wise) release just like Katawa Shoujo was. There'd be a lot of hurdles for such a game to overcome, though. Perhaps the most troubling one of all is the setting. The likeliest place that you would find all manner of exotic and mundane psychiatric problems is a psych ward. However, I think the idea of an eroge set in a psych ward is just a little too off-putting. Yamaku was a high school and Hisao never felt like a sexual predator preying upon vulnerable girls as some critics of the project have argued they perceive him to be. But if you had an eroge set in a psych ward, that would strike me as a little hmmmmmm. :| That you've got this guy who is committed (if a patient) or else who gets assigned there (if a nurse or doctor) and who then, in less than a year, starts up a relationship with one of five patients there. If you chose not to have the setting be a psych ward, then the question would have to be: where else? Where are you going to find a girl with DID, a girl with bipolar disorder, a girl with OCD, a girl with ADHD, etc all in the same place? If it were only the sorts of things you might find in any typical high school -- anorexia, ADHD, Asperger's -- then I could buy the setting being a regular high school. Throw in one exotic disease (e.g. DID) and I could still buy it. Maybe. (Though with DID, I'm not sure that they wouldn't be home schooled or privately tutored.) But throw in two or more exotic psychiatric diseases and I'd start to have problems suspending my disbelief. Yamaku High worked because we all know that there are schools for the blind and so it's only a hop, skip, and a jump to imagine an academy which caters more broadly to the needs of physically disabled students, in part because by doing so they create a diverse student body which in turn is passively therapeutic for the students who attend. But I'd have a hard time imagining a "Psychiatric Yamaku High." I don't think society would want to put all of those students into the same classroom. It'd make it incredibly difficult to teach them properly. While the KS students all had their own psychological issues, none of them got in the way of higher learning. Problems like DID, ADHD, and OCD would. And they would get in the way of higher learning in very different ways.

If you want to write a VN with girls who suffer from psychiatric disorders, one thing to consider (if you have not already done so) is to play a number of the most popular VNs which feature one or more such characters. You might be able to take some inspiration from what others before you have tried. By no means is the idea of a VN with someone who suffers from split personalities a novel one, so seeing how others have done it first might better help you to imagine how you would try to do it in a harem-style game like Katawa Shoujo.

The most important thing of all, though, is to be tasteful. That is what KS has been so far through and through, and it's what allows the excellent writing, music, and artwork to shine brilliantly, unsullied. If you write a game starring girls with various psychiatric problems and it comes across that you haven't done your research, that you don't know what it's really like to have that problem or to deal with people who have that problem, or that what you've written is insulting, that'll sink your project immediately. It's one thing to want to write a story with someone in it who has a psychiatric disorder. It's another thing entirely to do so in a way that is so tasteful that the people who suffer from that disorder say to you, "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for making this game."
Benkei
 
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:14 am

Re: Would you play a "mental disability" VN similar to KS?

Postby MDV » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:20 pm

I would play it, and if people would want to make it, I'd help. My high school was actually like that, so I can share some experience.
I do think this concept sounds too much like KS though, I fear it would turn out like something that feels like a ripoff (as much as I dislike that word).
MDV
 

Re: Would you play a "mental disability" VN similar to KS?

Postby Honeymuffin » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:27 pm

imperial.standard wrote:Writing a character with "mental disability" would be MUCH harder than you thought. And to associate with as well.

In fact, what kind of "mental disability" that the date-able character can have? I think if it is way too far out from the "normal" thought processes the game could feel very surreal.


I wouldn't propose this idea if I didn't think it could be done well while still portraying the characters respectfully. KS challenged my previous ideas about how one would go about that, and the extent to which it could be done.

I would argue that Rin's way of thinking is akin to some form of mental disability, and in my eyes she has one of the best-written stories in KS. At this point I don't think I could portray mental illness realistically in my writing, but with enough research I believe I could. I'd say that's true of most reasonably talented writers. Finally, the day we (as writers) stop tackling tough subjects just because they seem hard to write is the day innovation dies. Finally, I believe mentally ill girls would be easier to relate to than disabled ones; not everyone has a physical disability, but everyone has their little mental ticks.

And yes, you would not relate to these girls as you would anyone else. Does that make it more surreal, or more AWESOME? I tend towards the latter.
User avatar
Honeymuffin
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:29 am

Re: Would you play a "mental disability" VN similar to KS?

Postby QbertEnhanced » Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:11 pm

MDV, if you could write down your ideas because I'd love to read them. If they get some interest it might get the ball rolling.
QbertEnhanced
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:58 pm

Re: Would you play a "mental disability" VN similar to KS?

Postby Bix » Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:29 pm

To answer the original question, yes. I would play a "mental disability" VN similar to KS.
So long as 'similar' means as well written.
**Library 99% complete.**
1. Emi *Done*
2. Rin *Done*
3. Shizune *Done*
4. Hanako *Done*
5. Lilly *Done*
User avatar
Bix
 
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:42 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: Would you play a "mental disability" VN similar to KS?

Postby MDV » Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:39 pm

QbertEnhanced wrote:MDV, if you could write down your ideas because I'd love to read them. If they get some interest it might get the ball rolling.

I will do that, it would be hard to post it without spoiling most of the important twists in the story though. I got the idea about a year and a half ago, so I kind of need to refresh my memory and find the right words. I'll post them soon.
MDV
 

Re: Would you play a "mental disability" VN similar to KS?

Postby kosherbacon » Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:48 pm

Kyouki Shoujo

Featuring characters with Anorexia Nervosa, Tourette Syndrome, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Anterrograde Amnesia, Dissociative Personality Disorder, Hypersexuality, and others...

I totally would do a VN in this setting.
User avatar
kosherbacon
 
Posts: 903
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:30 pm
Location: San Jose, CA, USA

Re: Would you play a "mental disability" VN similar to KS?

Postby alabaster » Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:59 pm

For a project like this to be successful and not just stand in the shadow of KS, I think there are a few vital things to remember:

1. Wait for the KS craze to die down. Take all the time you need to make it a really good game -- don't try to "cash in" on KS's success.

2. Make something that stands on its own. As much as I love KS, starting with "what if we make Katawa Shoujo but with mental disabilities" is not a good place to start, and will make it feel like an inferior copy. Don't be afraid to be wildly different and take things in unexpected directions.
imperial.standard wrote:In fact, what kind of "mental disability" that the date-able character can have? I think if it is way too far out from the "normal" thought processes the game could feel very surreal.

This is exactly what I would want out of it. At least a path or two (or maybe more, if it fits the girls' disabilities) that are very surreal., to fit with the subject matter

3. Give yourself some space from KS. Once we've all come down off the high that this game has given us, start to think about this idea again. Is it still a good idea? Do you still feel passionate about it? Then go for it.

All that said, yes, I would be interested in a project like this, if done right. I'll even tentatively offer my services as writer and photographer, if one is needed.
User avatar
alabaster
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:37 am

Re: Would you play a "mental disability" VN similar to KS?

Postby Honeymuffin » Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:21 pm

The response to this idea is far better than I'd hoped, and I would like to thank everyone who has posted so far.

I welcome any and all content having to do with everyone's own VN ideas in this thread. Don't be shy!

As far as making this game a reality, though, I have to say I'm torn. I believe in my writing skills, but despite having a clear vision of how this game would play out, I don't think I'm fit to oversee such a project. I would leave that up to a jack-of-all-trades (who has at least a moderate understanding of writing, artistry, and programming, and who preferably has some good, creative online contacts to draw on). It doesn't help that I've never done anything like this before, and have no idea what to expect.

I can't promise that anything will come of it, but please PM me if you would consider working on such a game. At the very least we can exchange ideas; at the most, we might have the beginnings of a team. I expect artists and programmers will be the hardest skillsets to obtain, so experience in either of those areas would be ideal. Finally, for obvious reasons, anyone pursuing a psychology/medical degree would be an asset for obvious reasons.

This thread already has me thinking about details, which is good. Personally I see KS as a genre-redefining game when it comes to VNs, so I wouldn't be surprised if this game (if finished) would bear some resemblance to it. In fact, I don't think we'd go amiss in crediting KS for the inspiration.

I believe a story in a mental ward could work just as well as a "special" school as a setting provided the main character has a mental disability as well. I'm toying with the idea of amnesia; it allows the player to more easily slip into the MC's skin due to his lack of memory before a particular accident. I want to treat the issue of mental health respectfully and ask questions throughout the game; what is normal? What is insane? Is everyone who fulfills their social roles sane? What determines whether or not you should be institutionalized? And so on.
User avatar
Honeymuffin
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:29 am

Re: Would you play a "mental disability" VN similar to KS?

Postby imperial.standard » Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:27 pm

OK then for a start let's list out all the possible "Mental Disability" that can be applied to characters for a dating game.

OCD maybe? Autism? Sociopathic? Hoo boy, the last one is probably the closest to a "suicidal relationship" route in a VN, I can tell you from someone who has experience in real life with this kind of mental disorder...
Image

"With words like these, we DON'T CURE patients, we make them INCURABLE"

Saint Peter Canisius, S.J., on polemical attacks against John Calvin & Melanchton
User avatar
imperial.standard
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:37 am

Re: Would you play a "mental disability" VN similar to KS?

Postby The Local Hentai » Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:53 pm

Saya no Uta is pretty much like it. 'Cept the girl is amazing and the protag is the one with the mental insanity
User avatar
The Local Hentai
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:53 pm

Re: Would you play a "mental disability" VN similar to KS?

Postby Ockbald » Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:08 pm

I would but with some reservations.

The protagonist should have a mental disability as well, and this somehow impact the storytelling in a way. Someone with autism perceives the world in a different manner for instance. A regular guy in an academy for the disable could be an endearing story as well, but I would demand more of the writting. I wouldn't like if every girl was a proto-Hanako type for instance.

I would also judge the game more about it's story than if the girls are "cute" or anything like that. KS made me care about the characters, Saya no Uta made me care about Saya and so on. It's character developtment and interesting characters what truly make a VN, a setting may spark interest but what carries are the characters.

Then of course, there is the issue with the girls themselves. I really want them to feel realistic and not fetish fuel. KS almost delves in that territory on Act 1 but as soon as you start to know the girls more you understand what the game really is about.
Ockbald
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:11 am

Next

Return to Public Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot] and 7 guests