Wow, thank you both for the replies.
Writing in prose is certainly not a bad way to get story development started. Now... are you thinking about using prose with Ren'py? It is possible, but it would not be easy. You can take one to three sentences' worth of prose and use relevant images.
I've actually been working on two separate pilots (hence "Pilot 2"), but the first was more of an introduction to the main character's backstory, and is written as a script, whereas the one I posted is more of an attention-grabber in prose form. I wrote it quickly and without thinking, to explore some possible direction for some of the characters, and possibly to have some sort of detailed something-or-other to try to attract a base team of concept artists and writers, then elaborate further on the development of each character separately.
If you're planning to use your current ideas and rework them as script, that's a possibility. Once you're settled on names, or once you have an outline, that might be a good next step.
I have settled on names for the two featured female characters... but if I gave out too much information before it's settled on, then where would the fun of really fleshing out the characters in private go? I want to keep things under wraps, and keep people guessing.
* How large is AniCon? You mentioned "thousands of people." That can make a convention hectic. In my experience, it's difficult to focus on individual people for more than five minutes once the crowd is that large. Maybe that's just me...
In my personal experience at Anime Central (http://www.acen.org/
) and Anime Milwaukee (http://animemilwaukee.com/
), each of which had several thousand people, ACen having over 25,000 at last year's convention, and this past year's Anime Milwaukee having about 3,000. (For a look at Anime Milwaukee, see the beginning and end of http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videol ... 4338-ponyo
) That said, I only spoke with about 30 or 40 people at Anime Milwaukee, tops, and I couldn't have talked with more than 100-120 people at ACen. Clearly, this will still be a bit much for the main character, and I've been considering using crossfades, short timeskips, and crowd noise background frames, among other tactics, to reduce the artistic strain of having to draw that many unique people. Plus, no one really cares about the differences between the 10,000/25,000 generic Bleach, Naruto, One Piece, Vocaloid, and furry cosplayers that all look the same. Having minimal details like that optimized out to a large pool of generic models and a few specific details (children, parents, unique cosplayers, etc.) would help greatly.
* Hmm, you have a crash into hello
scene. This is a concept that's been used quite a bit in BxG romance and harem stories. But as the TVTropes article will tell you, it shows up all over the place.
It's one possible (and likely) scenario I want to look at. I've selected it for the pilot because it goes well with the excitement and crowded atmosphere of an anime convention, in that it causes you to stop and open conversation with someone. That said, I am considering any and all situations and encounter types as possible candidates for the story, and I want to choose the ones that fit my ideas of each character.
* You mentioned a Vocaloid cosplay, and I'm pretty sure the keychain is Kyubey. Therefore, will your characters be cosplaying as specific characters from specific shows, and wearing real fashion styles? (For comparison, Hinano used accurate real world cosplay references in Renai Blogger. Series such as Otaku no Video, Lucky Star, Nogizaka Haruka No Himitsu, and Comic Party also use authentic costumes. Some other shows include generic cosplay outfits, or characters who only exist in their fictional universe.)
Nice job on the Kyubey reference, that was exactly what I was going for. Some of my characters will be using accurate, specific costumes, but I don't want to overstep fair use laws, especially with the current state of legal quagmire surrounding the "incorrectness" of copyright infringement. I would like to supplement these with genericized series or external fictitious works, such as Ghost Slide. I also would like to use the costumery to symbolize the values of each character.
* Some people definitely look down on giving "free hugs" at conventions. In fact, this behavior is banned at some cons. I found a brief discussion on the cosplay.com forums
... Anyway, what is the hugging character's intentions?
Hmm... I wasn't aware that some conventions had banned free hugs, but I could understand this being the case. The hugging character's intentions are simply to make friends, and be affectionate in a touchy-feely sort of way. Plus, people do give free hugs at real American anime conventions, so therefore, my character will give free hugs. I have friends who do this same thing, and the point is that this is set in the American Midwest, and we are not nearly as awkward about touching strangers as most parts of the country, and far less than in Japan.
* Giving a stranger one's name and number shows an awful lot of trust, or bravery...
And yet I've experienced this at an anime convention before. She's a really social character, hence embodying the "friendship" role. Also, there are many people to whom sharing contact information is not much more of a big deal than saying hello or sharing one's name; conversely, there are people who won't say hello to strangers unless forced. Besides, why should I conform to some ideal of "what a character should/shouldn't do" from somewhere like TVTropes when it doesn't match with my personal experiences? I do, though, have a plan to keep the story interesting from that point on; I won't just turn it into "you go to the party and live happily ever after", if that is what you fear will happen. (In fact, simply being sociable with her will get the main character nowhere; you have to dig deeper to figure her out.)
Anyway, good luck writing. Hopefully development will go well!
Thank you again for your input. As for Auro-Cyanide:
On a technical aspect, gekiganwing is correct in questioning the novel type script. It's just not a good idea for longer works, you waste too much time describing things that you don't have to. It's much more efficient to write in script format with some visual notes, unless you are planning for an unusual approach to text and visuals and not standard visual novel form. It's a good habit to get into if you plan to be a writer for visual novels.
Secondly, what is your goal for this game? Who do you want to play it? What do you want them to get from it? I might very well not be a part of your audience, so my take on it might be irrelevant, but I'll give it in case anyway. Feel free to disregard if I'm not who you are going for.
I want fans of anime conventions, visual novels, and people new to the genre to play this, and to get a bit of a better appreciation for what the American take on anime and visual novels really is, since it's something that's new and big, but not well-understood. That said, I'm not quite sure how to go about accomplishing that, but I'm figuring it out as I go, and your advice is quite helpful.
The characters are kind of walking tropes. The shy girl is particularly... annoying. No-one is that shy (and if they were they would probably avoid a con with thoasands of people like the plague) and it makes me wish she had a backbone. The falling over, the crying. Why? I've ran smack bam into a man much more studier than I was and apart from knocking my glasses crocked I was fine and perfectly able to keep walking. The other girl isn't too much better. Who runs up accusing people? Plus, the whole 'Hi there strange man. Here, have my number and hey, why not come to our hotel room! X3' is a bit :/ Does she have no sense of self-preservation? As a girl, this is just ugh. Women are wary of these types of things, we have to be. Again, I might not be your audience, but the girls throwing themselves at a random person they barely know could wear thin reeeeeeeeally quickly.
Again, this was more of a brief, quick exploration. In terms of self-preservation on the part of "Friendship", she's also able to kick the main character's ass, but I was saving that tidbit for later. I had hoped to get that across with the initially-defensive stance, after she saw her friend knocked over onto the ground, and with her stuff spilled everywhere. She's a very protective type of person, but she's quick to forgive and try to laugh off violence and aggression. On the other hand, in terms of the shy, awkward "Appreciation", I had meant to have her as a deliberate fan-pandering character, but I'm thinking of toning it down a little more, given your clear annoyance with this. Also, having her like Kyubey, from Puella Magi Madoka Magica, should have hinted at the fact that she's got a lot more underneath the shy facade than you might realize, since, you know, Kyubey is a cute catlike creature that kills people and manipulates reality to sow the seeds of grief, and that's being quite literal. As another partial counter-argument, I see several different concerns, and how they have been addressed in the past:
- Characters are too similar to each other --> Make each character closer to some ideal, but extreme, archetype.
- Characters are too similar to archetypes --> Make each character more well-rounded, possibly making them more bland or unrealistic.
- Characters are too bland or unrealistic --> Draw from reality.
I'm trying to base each of these characters off of people I've known or met in the past, or stories my friends have told me. While I did pander a little bit with "Appreciation", I also have a plan for her character that requires a bit further depth to uncover.
So that's just my point of view on it so far, which is obviously opinion. Take what you will. I know those types of characters really appeal to people, but I still think it would be nice if they were rounded out a bit more and that their actions made a bit more sense, if you know what I mean.
Again, thank you very much for your input. I appreciate your distinctly different viewpoint on the development of this VN; I hope to not disappoint you with the other characters, especially Talent and Competition. (On the other hand, even I don't like the idea of Attention's character, since she is, as the title implies, little more than an attention whore. I apologize in advance, but since I know the character exists, I want to explore it in detail to see where it is coming from.)