What's better: extra art/CGs, voiceovers, theme song?

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jack_norton
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Re: What's better: extra art/CGs, voiceovers, theme song?

#16 Post by jack_norton » Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:55 pm

Interesting... so far in my own site poll, albeit a very small sample (but I plan to leave it always running so maybe in some months might have a good number of votes) the 1st is more writing, 2nd more art. Voices is the least chosen option...
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Re: What's better: extra art/CGs, voiceovers, theme song?

#17 Post by clua » Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:57 pm

papillon wrote:A lot of the hardcore otome fangirls (the ones who import games from Japan) are very, very into the sexy voices. However, caveat: they're very into the Japanese voices (and a lot of fans despise English dubbing) and given that even many of the import fans have shaky japanese language skills, the voicing is pretty important in trying to understand what's going on in a way that it isn't for an English games.
I kind of dislike english voice acting when it comes to otaku media...But that doesnt mean that your project cant prove wrong to this!

It would be cool to have a drama cd if it turns good haha
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Re: What's better: extra art/CGs, voiceovers, theme song?

#18 Post by Camille » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:00 pm

papillon wrote:A lot of the hardcore otome fangirls (the ones who import games from Japan) are very, very into the sexy voices. However, caveat: they're very into the Japanese voices
This. (speaking as a hardcore otome fangirl who imports games from Japan on a regular basis--I recently put down more than $100 to pre-order the limited edition of the latest Uta no Prince-sama PSP game) Most of the romantic lines in otome games also just sound weird/too corny when spoken in English, so we were all very happy when Hakuouki didn't have any dubbing. Honestly, unless the voice acting is very very good, I'd prefer not to have it at all in EVNs because I (and many others like me) am very picky about it. I'm even picky about Japanese voice actors. XD; Some of the voiced EVNs I've played, I've turned off voicing altogether because it's just distracting/jarring to me.

More on-topic, I would personally prefer having more art/CGs than anything music or voice-related if it's a matter of choice. Those other things are nice, but not at the cost of art production values. These are visual novels, after all. I know that a large component of what keeps the JVN otome fangirls away from EVNs is the art. :X (though they will be won over if the story/characters are strong enough) Not that you need to cater to them or anything, it's just that that's the part of fandom I'm a part of, so I hear this a lot. XD It's just something to consider.

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Re: What's better: extra art/CGs, voiceovers, theme song?

#19 Post by Arcanum » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:26 pm

A lot of the hardcore otome fangirls (the ones who import games from Japan) are very, very into the sexy voices. However, caveat: they're very into the Japanese voices
They're also famous voice actors whose work we follow or have a particular fondness for… An unknown guy who I can't recognize doesn't really do anything for me. There's also (as a very personal opinion in the matter /o) the fact that I read also very fast and that I'm not american and not very good with spoken english /o So if you have enough international buyers to impact sales, that might be something to be careful of xD? Reading something and hearing something else at the same time (due to different speed of comprehension) confuses me a lot.

New art, though, is always appreciated and a nice bonus - specially if comparing EVNs to japanese ones, that use to have a larger number of images. And you always pick such good artists IMHO! I'm always left wanting more pretty pictures. Having more CGs can also make replays more fun, where I don't think music or voice impact replayability so much.

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Re: What's better: extra art/CGs, voiceovers, theme song?

#20 Post by papillon » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:39 pm

For the right game (one that would call for only a very small amount of voiced dialog) getting proper famous voice actors would be quite cool. ISTR seeing wistful demands for Claudia Black in a dating sim. :)

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Re: What's better: extra art/CGs, voiceovers, theme song?

#21 Post by redeyesblackpanda » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:44 pm

I was going to say extra writing until I read why you're looking to add extras. :lol:

CGs are nice, but I think more music is great. Voice acting would be nice, but if it's done poorly, then it's a very bad thing. If it's good (which is hard to do) then that'd be the best extra.
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Re: What's better: extra art/CGs, voiceovers, theme song?

#22 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:10 pm

jack_norton wrote: Voices is the least chosen option...
No surprise.

1) A lot of people read faster than voices speak, so they never hear all the voice acting to begin with.
2) Great voice acting can make a mediocre game good, but bad voice acting can make a good game mediocre. (Or even bad.)
3) Good voice acting is extremely expensive. The actor's guilds require $100 an hour in studio time. Good voice acting also requires good voice directing. Being able to do multiple takes quickly under supervision while receiving feedback is very important to good results.
4) Voice acting makes script revisions difficult and expensive. It also leads to script shrinkage. Good story revisions or rewrites become impossible if they come after voices are recorded unless more money and time is spent, something you'll be loathe to do.
5) Some people prefer Japanese voices, others English (or their native language) voices. What kind of English voices would you record? American English? If so, Northern dialect, Southern dialect, or Midwestern dialect? Or British English? Or Australian English? Without extensive localization, the voices are likely to sound weird to part of the audience even if done well. Many British people are quite annoyed when medieval knights and ladies are yammering on in an American accent. So to keep Number 2 above from happening you have to spend even MORE money to record new voices for every country you are selling to.

Voice acting is just too hard to do well on the cheap. If I were you and had more money to spend on your titles, in your specific case I would spend the money on multiple writing editors. I know you aren't a native English speaker, and I don't know how you collaborate with your writers to create scripts, but the writing in your games often comes off as very "stiff" or "stilted" in English. It is, in my humble opinion, the only true weak spot in your games. I think spending the money to get native English speakers to rewrite the scripts and proofread them would be the most benefit to you. The extra art and theme songs would just be icing on an already well made cake, and not really necessary given the current quality of your games.

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Re: What's better: extra art/CGs, voiceovers, theme song?

#23 Post by Ziassan » Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:39 pm

[written before reading the post above]

Well, it seems you had already made your mind jack, even before asking here hm ; but think that many people are used to Japanese voice acting, that's really different when people are speaking your native langage, and even more in English where you have so many ways to speak it. The generic one (you find in movie, TV), isn't that easy to have.
At least, since that's really an extra-stuff, I think leaving the option to buy with or without maybe would be good about voice acting, mostly in the indie world.
When comes a VN I would like to buy, paying more for download an heavier stuff I don't want, well that would feel bitter. I think the game is not worth the candle, a decent voice acting need a incredible amount of work and money. Anyway, good luck to find the good people for it.
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Re: What's better: extra art/CGs, voiceovers, theme song?

#24 Post by jack_norton » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:07 pm

LateWhiteRabbit wrote: Voice acting is just too hard to do well on the cheap. If I were you and had more money to spend on your titles, in your specific case I would spend the money on multiple writing editors. I know you aren't a native English speaker, and I don't know how you collaborate with your writers to create scripts, but the writing in your games often comes off as very "stiff" or "stilted" in English. It is, in my humble opinion, the only true weak spot in your games. I think spending the money to get native English speakers to rewrite the scripts and proofread them would be the most benefit to you. The extra art and theme songs would just be icing on an already well made cake, and not really necessary given the current quality of your games.
Yes, I was going to do some voiced cutscenes in Loren but then, the plot changed, there has been multiple review on the texts, and in general people want it finished soon (and I want too) so delaying the game for XX months to have it voiced wouldn't be worth it (I'll have battle voices though, those are cool :mrgreen: ).
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Re: What's better: extra art/CGs, voiceovers, theme song?

#25 Post by gekiganwing » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:17 pm

Given the choice between extra art, voiced dialogue, or a theme song... I'd say extra art. When I'm playing a video game, there is a good chance that I'll be listening to other music or audio programs. But I can always appreciate bonus illustrations.

Options that weren't mentioned: liner notes and creators' commentary.

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Re: What's better: extra art/CGs, voiceovers, theme song?

#26 Post by Ziassan » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:42 pm

gekiganwing wrote: When I'm playing a video game, there is a good chance that I'll be listening to other music or audio programs.
Arghhhhh.


(And for extra, what about a small opening ? It's a lot of work but not more than full-voice, and it can be made with help from prites and existant pictures without looking too cheap)
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Re: What's better: extra art/CGs, voiceovers, theme song?

#27 Post by Tsundere Lightning » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:09 pm

jack_norton wrote:Let's say you could decide what extras to add to a finished game. It would be more valuable for you:
- having more art/CGs
- having the game fully voiced
- have a title/theme song for the game
- something else ?
Better CG's for me. Fully voiced comes in close second.
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Re: What's better: extra art/CGs, voiceovers, theme song?

#28 Post by OtomeWeekend » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:18 pm

papillon wrote:A lot of the hardcore otome fangirls (the ones who import games from Japan) are very, very into the sexy voices. However, caveat: they're very into the Japanese voices (and a lot of fans despise English dubbing) and given that even many of the import fans have shaky japanese language skills, the voicing is pretty important in trying to understand what's going on in a way that it isn't for an English games.
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Re: What's better: extra art/CGs, voiceovers, theme song?

#29 Post by applegirl » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:26 pm

Personally, I'd like extra art/CGs, but a very close second would be theme song.

Voice overs for games are just too expensive and difficult to pull off. A lot of people hammer english voicing regardless of how well it's done (look at Shira Oka or even Bionic Heart). A lot of people prefer the Japanese voices over English and it just seems like too big of a cost with too little return.

Art is good at building immersion without that risk of people hating on english dubs. Not just having a sprite talking in the background allows us to really get immersed in the situation. A theme song is a close second in my mind because I believe it provides a great marketing tool for the visual novel. Upload to youtube with a nice voice actress singing the song and you've got a commercial there instead of just gameplay or a few art scenes (that you have to hold back on in order to not give the visual novel away.)

Now, writing is very important as well. But I admire you going after external contributors with english being a native language. I should only chime in that the important thing there is just to pick a writer who can write the otome/whatever genre is picked. As much as I've enjoyed Christine Love's writing in Digital and DTIPB, I personally didn't think it fit the genre of Love and Order. Having a good writer is key, but having a good writer who likes the subject of the games is essential to people enjoying it.

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Re: What's better: extra art/CGs, voiceovers, theme song?

#30 Post by jack_norton » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:14 pm

applegirl wrote:Having a good writer is key, but having a good writer who likes the subject of the games is essential to people enjoying it.
Yes, I clearly noticed the difference between Love & Order and Flower Shop series just to name one :)
Curiously, when I posted a job offer in the forums last time, almost all the aspiring writers liked horror/mystery but very few romance/otome stuff! surprising considering the amount of otome games made in the forums (or at least, started).
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