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Re: Reach for the Stars

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:42 am
by Aura
McCool009 wrote:Has the smartphone market really been tapped for VN's yet? I'd think that would be a nice fit, what with the being able to pause and/or save pretty much anywhere in most VN's. And you'd be reaching far beyond the stereotypical fanbase (wonderful and interesting people perpetually entrenched in their battlestations who most likely have no need for phones.)

Also, when you were drawing broad pictures of possible directions for VN's to go or expand into, I wondered what you guys thought of adventure games. They're pretty much VN's with point and click puzzles added in.
No they havent, and I think mobile VNs are a really interesting prospect, as is doing VNs as a streaming applications you play on your browser instead of installing. I know fuck all about the realities of technical part of these apart from the fact that the two streaming VN projects that appeared over last year were totally insufficient, and that our engine, Ren'Py is being ported to Android (which is possible because it's basically Linux). VNs as a whole would likely benefit greatly from stuff like this, just like the development of Ren'Py is responsible for the existence of 90% of the current OELVN scene

Re: Reach for the Stars

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:15 am
by MKScorpion04
Can't say I agree with some of the things stated in this blog post. What I can say is that there are many VNs that have clouded the skies you could say, for onlookers. The VN scene is littered with visual novels that are pretty much based on how you can get to the H Scene and really just throwing a random rushed out story to get you there. However if you really do search there are a few that are outstanding stories and I would go even as far to say the opposite of your claim and say that they are even better stories than the big novels and plays you can see or read.

Im talking the select few, some that everyone knows, and some that only some do. This includes of course the amazing Infinity series, more specifically Ever17 and Remember11. Two of the most thought provoking stories and neither of them even have any H scenes in them to distract you from the main point, which was what originally made me want to check them out.

Another big one is one that had just gotten a fan translation out, and that is G-Senjou no Maou. I have to say that is probably the greatest story I have ever read, or seen played out in either a movie, a game, or a play. Hands down no question about it, G-Senjou is an absolute must-read. While there ARE h scenes in the story, they can be easily skipped, which is what I did, without causing you to miss anything that would mess up your experience. Kind of like a sex scene in a movie, it isn't important, but some people enjoy watching haha.

Now those are the two big ones that come to mind but id also like to give "Honorable mention" to stories like Fate/Stay Night, Muv-Luv Alternate, Princess Waltz, and Chaos;Head. I feel the blog was a bit stereotyping visual novels, but I can also see where you were coming from. Again though, if you haven't already then check out G-Senjou, can't say anything bad about that story.

Re: Reach for the Stars

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:46 am
by Aura
So let's say you come to me and say "movies don't actualize the great potential of the medium". I respond with "You should watch Citizen Kane, after that you will think COMPLETELY DIFFERENTLY about movies." How inane that exchange is? Very. Yet it's what just happened. There's something fundamentally wrong, when every time people are confronted with the notion that the VN scene as a whole is less than optimal (most often it's simply "all VNs suck", which is not what I tried to posit), the immediate response is "you just haven't read the right VNs". I reckon movie or literature fans would rather argue the merits of the medium from a more general point of view, or want to know how on earth someone has come to the conclusion that movies (or literature) are coming short of what they could be.

Sure it's possible that a person who reads some awful hentaifest as their VN suspects that that's all the medium has to offer. But I'm not an "onlooker" as you put it. I've read dozens of VNs, including ones you mentioned. I've read visual novels that I liked too, and some that I thought did some things well, even a few that I thought were really good. Despite this I still think the way I do, and it doesn't diminish the statement I made about the medium and the scene AS A WHOLE in that blog post.

I'll try to put the point in another form for easier understanding: As long as a randomly picked VN release is overwhelmingly likely to disgust the crap out of a normal, average person, either through horrible quality or horrible content, the VN scene is not doing justice to the VN medium.

Re: Reach for the Stars

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:23 pm
by MKScorpion04
I understand what you're getting at completely, I just think that the potential for the VN scene to be better than ever is there, and there are already writers for Visual Novels who do outstanding works. I feel those visual novels should be put in a different genre than the lot of them that dont offer a captivating story, if you know what I mean. I think that THAT is what the main problem is with the visual novel scene.

The good being separated from the bad would be great, as of now all VNs fall under the category of Eroge games in most people's minds. There isn't anything standing out to let people know "This isn't that kind of VN" I almost think they should be called something different to distance themselves from the ridiculous stuff that is put out in the medium.

I've had quite the opposite experience, only playing the ones that offer the great stories, I bought almost all of Hirameki's releases which were dedicated to releasing non-h VNs, while some were lackluster, they localized good ones such as Ever17 and Phantom of Inferno (one that I forgot to mention), which is why I wish there was some kind of separation between those kinds and the others. Just want to bring it out there that the potential is there and there are people trying to make them actually good story-wise, but perhaps you're right of moving from their target audience because the ones now seem to be ok with the ero littered in the VN scene.

Also one thing I DO agree on is raising the interactivity of some. I feel games like Hotel Dusk and Phoenix Wright could be considered forms of visual novels, and they go out of their way to produce more for the player to do. While I don't think ALL VNs should be like this, I like the ones that are almost a straight novel with some choices, it IS something they could experiment on more.

Re: Reach for the Stars

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:17 pm
by delta
I think we're less superficial than people who say "visual novels are those Japanese porn things right". It's not even about porn, though that doesn't help. Even the top tier non-ero thoughtful full price high budget VNs like Ever17 are twice as long as they need to be, for example. And works like Umineko that are not commercial productions and thus don't really need to pander to anyone have their share of problems as well, to put it mildly.

Re: Reach for the Stars

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 5:01 pm
by Hamadyne
I agree with a lot of what was said on the blog post. There's a lot of work and effort that needs to be done in order to ensure the completion of any VN. It's a shame that the VN genre is so underdeveloped outside of Japan; there's plenty of stories - not just in a school setting, mind you - out there that could be made into VNs.

Seeing the development and evolution of this game throughout the past two years or so that I've been a member of the forums has really gotten me interested in writing and making believable characters. I'm still really excited to see the finished product, and I'm rooting for all of the KS devs out there!

Re: Reach for the Stars

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:48 pm
by Le_Shad
Paragon wrote:Think of the scene where Hanako asks for a second game of chess. The game clearly shows her being shy and hesitant, but only the written word can say that she's asking for a game of chess "as if she's asking me to saw off my own arm."
I think that's pretty much the point. In a lot of VNs, these messages are carried by text, and almost by text alone. VN creators should be able to show these kind of things through visuals alone, or through a better combination of both visuals and text. Hell, we can even add the sound dimension to that, with possible voice acting. That would be creative, and that would be using more of the potential of the medium.

Re: Reach for the Stars

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:05 pm
by gian fucking carlo
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Re: Reach for the Stars

Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:41 am
by CanadaAotS
gian fucking carlo wrote:...since KS is coming out for free and when 4LS will want to start making money...
4LS is going to try to start making money after KS is done? First I've heard about it.
gian fucking carlo wrote:If you could actually put up a Donate Button for 4LS I could give you some cash too.
There's no donate button because it was established at the beginning that if people want to donate, they can do so to the charity of their choice. Adding money into the mixture of what's been a 100% non-commercial production seem like a pretty bad idea to me.

Re: Reach for the Stars

Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:26 am
by Esa94
CanadaAotS wrote:
gian fucking carlo wrote:...since KS is coming out for free and when 4LS will want to start making money...
4LS is going to try to start making money after KS is done? First I've heard about it.
I recall them saying – on multiple occasions – that they aren't gonna do anything else as a team after KS.

Re: Reach for the Stars

Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:09 pm
by Aura
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=for8c0lESTU

Check this shit out.


Also we have no concrete idea whatsoever what happens after KS is done.

Re: Reach for the Stars

Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:35 pm
by Mirage_GSM
Mass Effect would make a great VN.
I'd buy it ;-)

Re: Reach for the Stars

Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:42 pm
by Guest
Aura wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=for8c0lESTU

Check this shit out.
This is probably a really ridiculous observation, but... this and the video linked in the blog post proper only work because they're automated. The immersion and dramatic timing shakes off the moment the player has to click his way past exposition boxes, and then all you've got is an all-CG visual novel.

Auto mode on by default? Now it's starting to sound more like a visual audiobook than a visual novel. But iunno, I don't even know why I'm so apprehensive about it myself. Ten hours of the Homeworld 2 opening would be pretty kickass even without a backlog function.

Re: Reach for the Stars

Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:27 pm
by gian fucking carlo
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Re: Reach for the Stars

Posted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:45 am
by Qaenyin
Honestly I agree with the lack of quality of the current market, both in America and Japan(America suffers from market emptiness and japan from market stagnation).

What really strikes me as a large fault on the american market however has nothing to do with the products at all. It's the mistaken perception that there is no market for VNs in the states.

I find this to be quite frankly untrue. I can count at least 3 games/series of games that did exceptionally well in the states despite lack of advertisement. Phoenix Wright, Ever17, and Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. All three of those have been quite successful in the states, Ever17's english version is practically a collector's item, and 999 is sold out everywhere and Aksys is having to reprint it because they didn't expect so many sales. Phoenix wright is very well known for the most part. Many people look at the sales count and dismiss them out of hand, because they sold significantly less than, say, Final Fantasy XIII. But it has to be considered also the cost of production of these games is dramatically lower. In terms of profit, the ratio of cost:profit for all three of these games was likely very high. You could even throw Heavy Rain into the mix as a markedly notable VN game, in the respect that it is almost completely driven by story control through the player through choices made.

The biggest issues are that A:The VN market is highly undertapped in the USA, and B:The definition of VN by most people is too rigid, and as a result we end up with a lot of VNs that don't try to break the mold at all. Ultimately any adventure game is effectively a VN. Heavy Rain, Monkey Island, the new Back To The Future game by Telltale. All of these are as much VNs as say Phoenix Wright. A game need not be based on routes and dating teenage girls to be a VN. I think that misconception needs to have its boundaries pushed.