WIP/Idea threads: What turns you on/off

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redeyesblackpanda
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WIP/Idea threads: What turns you on/off

#1 Post by redeyesblackpanda » Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:59 pm

I figured it'd be interesting to discuss what catches your attention in WIP threads, and what makes you cringe and run away. :lol:


I guess I'll start with my things:

Things that catch my attention (in a good way):
Threads written in a unique and entertaining style. (I think: "Ooh! The final product will probably be good if I already like how the posts are written!")
Threads with wonderful art (I think: "Ooh... pretty...")
Threads tagged BxG (I think: "Sweet! Even if it's bad, BxG represent! :lol: I really hope it's not bad...")
Threads tagged GxG (I think: "=.=")
Threads tagged [slice-of-life] (I'm a slice of life junkie)
Threads that show significant progress in word count and/or art (I think: "This is actually going to get done! Nice!")

Threads that I avoid, that make me run away, that make me get sick, or that make me pound the table with my fists in anger:
Threads where the user doesn't bother to write proper posts, using text speak, failing to capitalize, failing to punctuate *continues raving* (I think: "If this person can't/can't be bothered to write a decent post, how will the game be any good?")
Threads tagged GxB (I think: "Might not be my cup of tea here.")
Just idea threads (I think: "This will never get done.")
Fan games (I think: "Probably not going to be good. It might even face legal trouble :| ")
Games with multiple writers (I think: "This game's going to be broken, unless there's a supereditor lying around somewhere...")

Things that I see as red flags:
Threads created by artists, who are looking for writers (Reason: It's tough to judge writing. Writing is something that, unless you're good at it, you can't judge the quality of as easily. Artists will tend to take the first writer they can that can work at a decent pace. It always hurts to see a promising project take up a poor writer...)
Games with posts from users saying "I love this idea! It's so original!" (Reason: Although this sounds a bit messed up, odds are that a game that's called "original" is being made by somebody that focuses on originality and innovation. People tend to focus way too much on those things, and that often leads to finished product of poor quality. Originality and innovation are highly overrated.)
Threads for games that pretty much copy everything from another game (Reason: Originality may be overrated, but direct copies suggest a lack of competency in other fields.)
(All projects currently on a hiatus of sorts. I blame life.)
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Re: WIP/Idea threads: What turns you on/off

#2 Post by Samu-kun » Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:17 pm

At this rate, I think most WIP topics should only have pictures and less than 75 words of text. Most people spend less than 3 seconds in any given WIP topic, so you need to have a lot of information ready to be absorbed in just a glance.

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Re: WIP/Idea threads: What turns you on/off

#3 Post by CheeryMoya » Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:24 pm

I like in the first post:
  • Tagged Genre in thread title (helps me find what I want)
  • Originality
  • Character Descriptions and Images (if available)
  • Story Synopsis/Premise
Visuals might push me along to finish reading if I'm not completely enamored by the thread.

I hate in the first post:
  • Laundry list of things
  • Lack of things that I listed above
  • Incorrect grammar, spelling, etc. (Lowers my faith in the quality of the finished product)
  • Scant descriptions, story or characters
  • Unnecessary babble at the top of the post (please save it for last, when I decide if I care or not)
  • General sloppiness of organizing information
  • An idea that's in the WIP section
I'm more inclined to look at:
  • GxB (forgive me for being a girl, damn it)
I actually check out most of the threads, truth be told.

I shy away from:
  • Commercial games (even if I wanted a game limited by its obligation to a market, would I have the money to spend on it if someone else didn't buy it for me?)
Samu-kun wrote:At this rate, I think most WIP topics should only have pictures and less than 75 words of text. Most people spend less than 3 seconds in any given WIP topic, so you need to have a lot of information ready to be absorbed in just a glance.
Ah, the sad truth. I would have put up a WIP thread for my games, except I'm too stubborn to not break the rules/suggestions for the WIP section. Even if I did put them up now, all I'd get is a bunch of squealing users and no critique... don't know if it'll change even with images.

Edit: Also irksome is when the creator ignores critique. Hi selective reading, shows me how much you care about quality.

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Re: WIP/Idea threads: What turns you on/off

#4 Post by MaiMai » Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:57 pm

I look at every thread to be honest although I agree with redeyeblackpanda on most points (but I still like GxB fight me).

If a thread in the WIP section is just words and no screenshots or character blurbs I tend to roll my eyes. As for fangames I feel as if those are unnecessary, but that would be sayng the same thing regarding fanfiction and fanart (and besides can't stop fandoms doing what they love so just go for broke). Still, I really don't care much for fangames that have been proposed here because they never have a decent production value and it's basically fanfiction in VN form. I'm more of a fan of other VNs that have their own original stories and characters.

Also, if you're going to write in English please, please, please, please, PLEASE, use proper grammar. And anyone who's proofreading, please, please, PLEASE do your job thoroughly! I find that games that have been proofread STILL have ten different mistakes in word choice and overall readability.

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Re: WIP/Idea threads: What turns you on/off

#5 Post by Hijiri » Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:46 pm

Tags to look for:
[*]Mystery
[*]Horror
[*]Psychological
[*]Survival
[*]Combination of the above
[*]BxB There's not enough of this

Tags to question:
[*]GxB Shocking, I know
[*]BxG
[*]GxG

Tags to outright avoid:
[*]Slice-of-Life
[*]Comedy (If combined with the above)
[*]Drama (If combined with the two above or just with S'Life)
[*]Dating Sim (I'm more of a story person than a "date every pretty thing" person)
[*]Romance (If combined with the any of the four above in any order)
[*]Any pairing tags combined with the any of genre tags in the "Tags to look for" section

What to look for in thread:
[*]Interesting premise
[*]Synopsis that can hook me
[*]Some art
[*]Screenshots

What makes me ignore threads:
[*]Statment saying "There are x number of obtainables" in one form or another
[*]Dull premise
[*]Overused "storylines"
[*]Faceless MC's
[*]Overly ambitious games (Almost never get finished)

That's about it for me, really

EDIT: Just noticed how cynical this sounds. To clear up some of the "outright avoid" section, I still look at them, if they can impress me, I'll give it a benifit of the doubt (Save the Dating sim, that I will avoid like the plauge)
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Re: WIP/Idea threads: What turns you on/off

#6 Post by Sapphi » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:06 pm

The biggest turnoff is when someone posts an idea with their cast of characters and just a wisp of a plot. As in, they don't have a plot yet, they're just coming up with characters they hope will be appealing. But characters need to be given a good plot to live in to realize their full potential.

Everyone, characters shape the plot, but plot reveals character! >O<
MaiMai wrote: Also, if you're going to write in English please, please, please, please, PLEASE, use proper grammar. And anyone who's proofreading, please, please, PLEASE do your job thoroughly! I find that games that have been proofread STILL have ten different mistakes in word choice and overall readability.
Yeah, this is something where I would really like to see improvement. It's understandable if you're not a native speaker and your WIP post has grammatical errors. But there is no reason your game should have grammatical errors (or programming errors!!). During WIP, find someone to proofread your game. Maybe find someone else to proofread it a second time. Grammar is serious business. A typo or a grammatical error pulls the reader out of your story and instantly lowers the perceived "quality" of the game. Don't rush your stuff out the door as soon as it's written. Take time to polish it... your hard work deserves it!
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Re: WIP/Idea threads: What turns you on/off

#7 Post by Arelune » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:23 pm

I don't really dig that much in WIP/Idea threads, but

What catches my attention:
Foremost: Screenshots. (Give me something to look at. :D )
Threads where you can see a lot of thought has went into presentation. (Shows (s)he cares)
Threads tagged Fantasy. (<3)
Threads tagged GxB (Yeah... :roll: )
Threads tagged Friendship (Friendship > Romance)
Threads where a lot has already been done, or it is progressing nicely. (No hiatuses of months or so.)
Threads with a 'dark' sounding summary. (Give me interesting storylines, death, betrayal, destruction,... ! )

Do not want:
Fangames
Threads tagged Dating Sim
Walls of text (*point at screenshots above*)
Threads where the person is looking for almost every single occupation (I mean: Writer, Musician, ...)
No punctuation and capitalizations (Presentation!)
Characters that seem like cardboards (Okay, you can't say much in just a thread, but you can atleast see some thought is put into it)
Hijiri wrote:[*]Psychological
Shame you don't see that much, I would so click that. :D

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Re: WIP/Idea threads: What turns you on/off

#8 Post by teacup » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:33 pm

What I want
Everything that redeyesblackpanda said, minus the GxG. :p
And is it weird that I'm more likely to read through the first post if the game has a logo? It just looks more professional, I guess...
What I don't want
-Ones with no pictures. I'm a visual person. Maybe they're still looking for an artist, but I think it's better to at least have concepts up than nothing at all.
-Huge walls of text explaining the plot/idea/characters, with very little, or no actual progress to show. Makes me think that the idea is too huge and I'm very doubtful it will ever get done.
-Tagged GxG. No thanks :/
Red Flags
-Games that have huge teams. Usually these games tend to become a mess because team members quit and they just never get finished. :/
-If the person posting the WIP has already posted 2 or more WIPs in the past that didn't get finished, I will probably avoid anything else they post like the plague unless they get something playable out [like a demo]. Serial WIP posting just means to me this person has too many ideas, which may be great, but can't execute them.
-When the poster says something like 'This is my first game so it's not that good' or 'Please go easy on me' or 'I know this is cliche, but...' before they even describe their game is a major red flag for me. If you have to apologize for your game right off the bat, it just lowers expectations.
-Tagged GxB is a red flag nowadays, despite the ironic fact that I'm making a GxB game as well. Mainly because there are TONS of GxB threads that get abandoned within a few weeks. I usually look at these out of curiosity, but I always have that voice in the back of my head saying 'No way this is ever going to be released :| '.

I'll click on pretty much every WIP/idea thread. But I might exit out within seconds if any of those red flags are triggered. ^^;
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Re: WIP/Idea threads: What turns you on/off

#9 Post by Obscura » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:35 pm

Aha, I think I got you guys beat on turn-offs:

--> anime/manga style art

That said, this is the VN world. When in Rome...
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Re: WIP/Idea threads: What turns you on/off

#10 Post by Funnyguts » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:40 pm

No love for fangames T_T

As for what I like and don't like, I think I go for anything that has an interesting thread title. Shallow as hell, but it can be hard to remember something that just says 'GxB' or something.
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Re: WIP/Idea threads: What turns you on/off

#11 Post by Obscura » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:41 pm

Oh yeah, as for turn ons, a unique premise and good writing supercedes everything. And I mean, all of my turn offs evaporate if the creator knows how to tell a story and can write worth a darn.
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Re: WIP/Idea threads: What turns you on/off

#12 Post by Nuxill » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:51 pm

When wip threads have overly long descriptions of their characters I can't help but feel that they're trying to compensate for something. Character interactions in the game should tell you what the character is like. Long bios can be a crutch where the writer just points to it and says "Here is my character!" without having the character act the same way in game, if they have any personality at all. It's classic Show don't Tell!

A lack of pictures is bad too; it makes it look like you haven't even started your project! A wip thread should be made after one feels that they have enough invested enough into the project that they won't be likely to quit it anytime soon. Polished art with a well designed GUI is a plus.
Nothing says 'I don't care' more than using the default ren'py look with no attempt at customization. It doesn't have to be amazing; it just needs to show that you put some effort into it. GUI is just as important as backgrounds and character art. At least to me. :P

I'm also not fond of 'pick your love interest' games, especially if the story only focuses on the characters' relationship. Love and romance are important parts of humanity but if it's not a part of a bigger story I'm more likely to pass it up.

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Re: WIP/Idea threads: What turns you on/off

#13 Post by Hijiri » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:52 pm

Nuxill wrote:I'm also not fond of 'pick your love interest' games, especially if the story only focuses on the characters' relationship. Love and romance are important parts of humanity but if it's not a part of a bigger story I'm more likely to pass it up.
A thing I would find interesting is to have a route where you don't end up with anyone at all, just continue the story (Of course, dating sims end if you don't romance anyone, so...)
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Re: WIP/Idea threads: What turns you on/off

#14 Post by Camille » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:55 pm

These days I have a lot less time to spend going through LSF... I used to read a lot (if not all) of the new posts that popped up in the WIP forums pretty carefully, but nowadays I skim more often and close tabs if they don't interest me. Of course, I may come back to one of those threads later if it looks like they've put some more effort into it... Anyway!

Things I like:
+ A compelling story that doesn't just sound like a hodgepodge of popular shounen/shoujo manga or jRPG plots.
+ Non-Japanese settings. It's not like I'm opposed to stories set in Japan—BCM is set in Nagasaki—but I generally prefer other settings.
+ Screenshots and/or videos. (or a demo, though truth be told, it's not like I have time to play them x_x) They show that you've started putting your game together and it's not just a pipe dream.

* To me, a page with just a short synopsis and a list of characters (even with portraits) is extremely unappealing. Anyone can make a list of characters—it's all about how they fit into the story. You know how you can be tricked by the cover when buying doujinshi? (buying one because of the pretty cover art only to find out that the inside isn't so great) That can happen with VNs, too. Pretty characters =/= a great game. I'd much rather play a VN with a great story and less stellar art than vice versa.

Things I don't like so much:
- When a new thread is simply the latest in a developer's string of unfinished games.
- BL/BxB games being referred to as "yaoi". This is just me being a nitpicky elitist, haha. At least I can admit it!
- VNs where there is no plot beyond chasing the love interest of your choice. Bonus negative points if they take place primarily in high school or middle school.
- Excessive typos. They make me think that your game script will follow suit.

Things I don't care about:
= The genre. A good story is a good story regardless of whether it's sci-fi or fantasy or what have you. If I can connect to the characters and the story doesn't make me try too hard to suspend my disbelief, that's wonderful.
= The gender of the protagonists and love interests. Why should it even matter? I'm pretty shocked that so many people will dismiss a game just because it's got a female main character or whatever.
= Pretty art. As I said before... Art is nice and all, but your game better have more than just looks going for it.

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Re: WIP/Idea threads: What turns you on/off

#15 Post by pricklish » Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:03 pm

Hijiri wrote:Tags to question:
[*]GxB Shocking, I know
Don't worry, you're not alone :lol:

As for the real deal:
What turns me "on" :
- Originality
- Looks 'polished', even if it's just an idea. (No typos and such)
- Comedy (If it looks like that they're not 'pushing' the jokes)
- Slice of Life (My favorite genre)
- At least some art done (Sketches counts)
- Nice art (Not that much, but just sometimes)

What turn me "off" :
- Ones with no pictures (I'm the kind of person that's not really imaginative...)
- GxB (As mentioned above)
- BxB
- Fangames
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