Liking Shizune but not enjoying her route?

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Anonymous22
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Re: Liking Shizune but not enjoying her route?

Post by Anonymous22 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:13 pm

It's been a year and I'm bored as shit.

When I decided to write for this game I thought that aside from having fun with it I was going to make my route more of a character study than focusing on a plot, because high school plots are dull and transient and it's more interesting to me to focus on characters and how they think. I also wanted to make it so that large parts of the story would be implied, because much like in real life you would have to read into things, guess what people are hiding, and make assumptions instead of having all the "action" coincidentally happen in front of Hisao. So you would have to read it a couple times to get a full sense of the story because things would be more clearer with the foreknowledge learned from already having played through the game once. I even thought of having Shizune's sign language [...]s be filled with actual lines on subsequent playthroughs but I thought that would be gimmicky and I'm too lazy to do shit like that. Long story short, I decided I'd rather be unclear than cheap.

I always found things like "I like Shizune but not her route" and "It's actually Misha's route" to be funny because this entire route was written to reflect the character, and everything in it exists for the character. Thus making these meaningless statements.

Hold more interesting discussions. Smell ya later, nerds.
hurr durr

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Potato
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Re: Liking Shizune but not enjoying her route?

Post by Potato » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:49 am

Anonymous22 wrote:So you would have to read it a couple times to get a full sense of the story
This is what I tell people who play it once and say it was awful. :lol:
I love the interpretation of Pac-Man where he's a just a lowly worker retrieving golf balls left all over the course by the rich masters and the ghosts are all previous workers who got conked on the head and killed by incoming golf balls in the line of duty.

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Re: Liking Shizune but not enjoying her route?

Post by SpunkySix » Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:33 am

Anonymous22 wrote:It's been a year and I'm bored as shit.

When I decided to write for this game I thought that aside from having fun with it I was going to make my route more of a character study than focusing on a plot, because high school plots are dull and transient and it's more interesting to me to focus on characters and how they think. I also wanted to make it so that large parts of the story would be implied, because much like in real life you would have to read into things, guess what people are hiding, and make assumptions instead of having all the "action" coincidentally happen in front of Hisao. So you would have to read it a couple times to get a full sense of the story because things would be more clearer with the foreknowledge learned from already having played through the game once. I even thought of having Shizune's sign language [...]s be filled with actual lines on subsequent playthroughs but I thought that would be gimmicky and I'm too lazy to do shit like that. Long story short, I decided I'd rather be unclear than cheap.

I always found things like "I like Shizune but not her route" and "It's actually Misha's route" to be funny because this entire route was written to reflect the character, and everything in it exists for the character. Thus making these meaningless statements.

Hold more interesting discussions. Smell ya later, nerds.
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Re: Liking Shizune but not enjoying her route?

Post by Potato » Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:41 am

SpunkySix wrote:Look kids... a fucking legend. ^^^
Anonymous22 wrote:Smell ya later, nerds.
Gary Oak?
I love the interpretation of Pac-Man where he's a just a lowly worker retrieving golf balls left all over the course by the rich masters and the ghosts are all previous workers who got conked on the head and killed by incoming golf balls in the line of duty.

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Re: Liking Shizune but not enjoying her route?

Post by SpunkySix » Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:42 am

Potato wrote:
SpunkySix wrote:Look kids... a fucking legend. ^^^
Anonymous22 wrote:Smell ya later, nerds.
Gary Oak?
...wrote Shizune's route. It's all making sense now.
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Re: Liking Shizune but not enjoying her route?

Post by Silentcook » Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:30 am

...whaddafuq?

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I foresee a lot of linking to this thread in the future...

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Re: Liking Shizune but not enjoying her route?

Post by AaronIsCrunchy » Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:03 am

A22 appeared! :o It would appear that, for the most part, he succeeded in what he was aiming for.
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Re: Liking Shizune but not enjoying her route?

Post by Oddball » Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:20 am

AaronIsCrunchy wrote:A22 appeared! :o It would appear that, for the most part, he succeeded in what he was aiming for.
Well, he did what he wanted. Whether it was a success or not is debatable.
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Re: Liking Shizune but not enjoying her route?

Post by Atario » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:53 am

Anonymous22 wrote:you would have to read it a couple times to get a full sense of the story
Mission accomplished. This has been verified by many, including me.
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXJ8tKRlW3E
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Re: Liking Shizune but not enjoying her route?

Post by Liminaut » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:51 pm

Anonymous22 wrote:It's been a year and I'm bored as shit.

When I decided to write for this game I thought that aside from having fun with it I was going to make my route more of a character study than focusing on a plot, because high school plots are dull and transient and it's more interesting to me to focus on characters and how they think. I also wanted to make it so that large parts of the story would be implied, because much like in real life you would have to read into things, guess what people are hiding, and make assumptions instead of having all the "action" coincidentally happen in front of Hisao. So you would have to read it a couple times to get a full sense of the story because things would be more clearer with the foreknowledge learned from already having played through the game once. I even thought of having Shizune's sign language [...]s be filled with actual lines on subsequent playthroughs but I thought that would be gimmicky and I'm too lazy to do shit like that. Long story short, I decided I'd rather be unclear than cheap.

I always found things like "I like Shizune but not her route" and "It's actually Misha's route" to be funny because this entire route was written to reflect the character, and everything in it exists for the character. Thus making these meaningless statements.

Hold more interesting discussions. Smell ya later, nerds.
What you're saying is what a lot of us figured out: that the Shizune route is about ambiguity, and implication, and makes a great, challenging story. However, for exactly these reasons it makes difficult gameplay. That gives the big, challenging question of how to write for this medium.

A22, you talk about this very well in the VN "The Answer". VN games need art, story, and music to come together; if any one component is too good by the standards of the individual component then the work as a whole suffers. For instance, imagine a VN with, say, cubist art. Or Picasso at his Picasso-est.

Making stories that work for games is a big, non-trivial, interesting question. For instance, I've been a part of tabletop RPGs for a long time. Often, GMs will try to tell a story with their game. The trouble is, as soon as the GM has a story, then the GM's biggest task is protecting the story from the players. This usually makes the game sucky from a player's point of view. There's a fancy word for this: deprotagonizing the players. In tabletop RPGs the question becomes how to have a good story result from the game. One wants to give the players freedom to direct the game without the game degenerating into kick door -- kill monster -- loot room -- repeat.

Shizune's route is a good example. The whole route, as you say, is a character study of Shizune. Hisao is there to be a fairly passive observer. The trouble is, for game play the player needs to be the protagonist, the prime driver of the action. Contrast Shizune's route with Rin's route. Rin's route very much is all about Rin, but Hisao drives the resolution.

No other route has produced nearly as much discussion about "what does it all mean" and "what's going on" and "what is it with Jigoro, anyway", so the route was a big success on that count. This thread especially, and many others, is in a deep, question-behind-the-question sense, about how to make effective stories for visual novels, and that's not a meaningless question at all.
Last edited by Liminaut on Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Liking Shizune but not enjoying her route?

Post by brythain » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:55 pm

There's ambiguity in A22's line, "Hold more interesting discussions." :)

Yes, I'm sure we all intend to hold more of those...
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Re: Liking Shizune but not enjoying her route?

Post by d2r » Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:19 pm

I actually think it's fairly insightful to say that Shizune's route is her own character study. With time, I've come to like the route more & more for that reason. I also liked that her route focussed on what A22 described as the "transience" of the high school locale/plot, which is why I felt like the route made such a good bookend to KS as a whole.

TBH I viewed KS' "interactivity" as entirely subordinate to its plot, and actually appreciated the fact that A22 kept choices to a minimum therein. It's a visual novel, after all - if I wanted a game with a lot of player agency, I'd play Fallout or something. I've never understood the complaints from people about how few choices there are: shouldn't we evaluate on the strength of the writing (either artistically or in terms of evoking emotion), as opposed to whether we had "maximum options" or something?

At any rate, I'm glad A22 came out of hiding long enough to share his thoughts. God speed, A22. God speed.
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Re: Liking Shizune but not enjoying her route?

Post by Potato » Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:21 pm

Oddball wrote:
AaronIsCrunchy wrote:A22 appeared! :o It would appear that, for the most part, he succeeded in what he was aiming for.
Well, he did what he wanted. Whether it was a success or not is debatable.
He did what he wanted. Sounds like a success to me.
I love the interpretation of Pac-Man where he's a just a lowly worker retrieving golf balls left all over the course by the rich masters and the ghosts are all previous workers who got conked on the head and killed by incoming golf balls in the line of duty.

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Re: Liking Shizune but not enjoying her route?

Post by Anonymous22 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:45 pm

"Writing for this medium" is the kind of thinking that leads all visual novels to be the same banal girl-centric slop where you pretend you're actually making decisions beyond which emotionally manipulative girl you want to bang. Really, I was thinking of adding more choices in Shizune's route later on but realized it was pointless because I was too lazy to effectively structure the thing so every choice meant something. So in the end the choices would be false choices tripping arbitrary switches to put you on rails to one of two endings. Aura did interesting things with structure, but most of the time, you're not going to see that in a VN and I would just take the standard route out of laziness. If given the choice between a bunch of meaningless fake choices that people would just reload the game through until they got to their ending of choice, and a choice that actually changes the writing in noticeable ways, I'd rather have the latter.

On visual novels in general, these things aren't really novels, and using words like "gameplay" is giving them a little too much credit. It's more like a play where you're given multiple endings. Comparing it to D&D is dumb because D&D can take you a whole lot of places while visual novels are a static experience with illusory engagement.

Also I find it repugnant to have to explain anything. I'm out of here.
hurr durr

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