When you see a visual novel, what's your first impression?

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When you see a visual novel, what's your first impression?

#1 Post by Haika » Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:23 am

What I meant by that question is, what do you usually rate first?
The art? The plot? Or the way it have special effects? Or music background?
Do you like NVL or ADV?
Is voice acting really necessary?

I need your opinion, so that maybe I can concentrate to that point, so in case it can help me make a better visual novel.
I really admire famous visual novel, usually because of their plot, art and music background.
When I see some of own made visual novel, I mostly likes the art.
But that doesn't mean the plot and music are bad.
The plot quality depends on whether you messed up the endings or not. If not, then good.
For the music... so far, I think it's rare to find a great one that actually match up with the atmosphere.

That's just my opinion. Sorry if I said anything wrong.

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Re: When you see a visual novel, what's your first impressio

#2 Post by fleet » Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:13 pm

In my opinion, a good story 'teaser' and good art will bring a reader to start playing a VN, but the story has to be good to keep the reader's interest.
There's another similar topic at the link. http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... =4&t=25723
Last edited by fleet on Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: When you see a visual novel, what's your first impressio

#3 Post by Fenrir34 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:14 pm

Some people really care about the art more then the story. I can understand that art is very important, especially if you are trying to show examples of your game. You can't do that with the story however, as the player needs to play the whole game in order to know if they like the story.

I however, am attracted to the story and characters. I've played games where the art is not so good, but the story is wonderful and I enjoy it. I've also played games, like Voltage games, that have beautiful art, but the characters and story kind of suck. I need a good story and characters in order to play the game.

So it's the story that really captivates me, then the characters, then art. Still, I'll admit that art is what makes people attracted to the game in the first place along with the title, which is a problem for me because I suck at titles :lol:

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Re: When you see a visual novel, what's your first impressio

#4 Post by curry nochi rice » Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:44 pm

regardless of the ability of teasers, I'd ask "is this generic?"
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Re: When you see a visual novel, what's your first impressio

#5 Post by gekiganwing » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:22 am

Before reading:

1. Do I like the art?
2. How much does it cost?
2a. Is there a full English version or patch?
2b. Might it be expensive -and- difficult to import?
3. Is it on a device that I like using?

While reading:

1. Do I care about the characters, plot, world, and so on?
2. If there's gameplay, do I like it?

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Re: When you see a visual novel, what's your first impressio

#6 Post by Lesleigh63 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:22 am

When I'm thinking about downloading a game, I look at the artwork and the type of game.
However, it's the story that will keep me playing it.

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Re: When you see a visual novel, what's your first impressio

#7 Post by chocojax » Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:09 am

Before reading:
Art (not necessarily skill, but charm and style) => Story/descriptions.

While reading:
At this point, if you've drawn me in enough to start up the VN, the writing takes a very large amount of what I rate, and would be the main reason if I don't finish reading.

In the beginning, I was quite used to NVL format due to Umineko and F/SN, but I'm pretty okay with both now.

As for the art thing, it's almost always the first thing people will see and register in their mind. Seeing art is much more quicker and takes less effort than reading a passage or a teaser. Although, you should really focus more on writing--there's always a chance someone will read your VN despite no art/stock art/bad art/etc, and if the writing holds strong, they'll most likely recommend it to others. You shouldn't expect the art to hold your writing up, but it should be the other way around!

Of course, everything (writing, art, music, gui, etc.) is important. Everything should be at an average/okay level, I suppose. If something's worse than average and tips onto "annoying", it ruins the entire VN for me. Music is the one thing that can narrowly escape this, since I can mute it.

Voice acting isn't really necessary. Especially since there are a lot of amateur English-speaking VAs that are... bad at their craft.

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Re: When you see a visual novel, what's your first impressio

#8 Post by Tempus » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:45 am

The last few games I've played have had stock / amateur art either in whole or in part. To me it really doesn't matter. If I wanted to browse an art gallery I'd go do that. What I'm looking for is something interesting. If the description doesn't interest me or the VN hasn't been recommended to me, I don't bother. Passage is an example of an amazing game which uses just a few pixels to represent the characters and yet it's more powerful than most of the games I've played in full HD with professional voice acting. And it's five minutes long.
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Re: When you see a visual novel, what's your first impressio

#9 Post by Asceai » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:09 am

For me 'any of the above.'
Good art is probably not enough to get me to read a dull VN, but it could at least trick me into playing it (even if it's commercial, so that's a plus, since I'll plonk down money for good art) - I'll stay for the story, writing and characters, though. It's harder to show that you can write a good story than to show that you can draw, though, so if nothing else good art definitely gets people in so your story has a chance to express itself. Plus, good art certainly makes the VN more pleasant.

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Re: When you see a visual novel, what's your first impressio

#10 Post by DaFool » Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:48 am

The pedigree behind it. It's hard to quantify. If it's an unknown, then the art will be the deciding factor. If it's the writer, then any art will suffice.

A Scar of the Doll was written by the writer of Folklore, a PS3 JRPG by now defunct Game Republic. It basically looks like an amateur game with filtered photos. But it's immersive. It was one of my inspirations on why I decided to go with mobile VN design (As long as they're not using F2P payment model), stripping away UI and impressive graphics just to concentrate on what's most important to me.

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Re: When you see a visual novel, what's your first impressio

#11 Post by ameliori » Fri May 02, 2014 4:29 pm

I usually look at a genre first, and then my mood. I'm a huge fan of mystery/horror stories, so if a game has a "synopsis" available, that's what I look at first. If it piques my interest, then I'm almost guaranteed to take a look at the game.

Second thing I check is the art. Not if it's badly drawn or whatnot.. But if it fits the story and genre. To me, this is very important. As an artist myself, I'm pretty lenient when it comes to what can be called "art". If you show me a game with stick figures and it absolutely gives the game a unique vibe (ala Bad Dream: Butcher, Gretel and Hansel, etc.) then I would eat it right up. For example: If I see a mystery novel, I'd expect a more realistic style or something quite unique. You can still do it with generic sprites.. It can still work if you have a good story. But I feel that if a developer took enough effort to plan for his game's visual style, I'd say there's a bigger chance that the game is going to be a winner.

Third thing I check is the music (If it's available). It's a big big plus of the music is awesome. It just stays with you, see? It makes a game memorable.

These are my first impressions before I buy/play a game. If the game delivers on those art and music, I'd say it's an okay game. If it backs it up with some awesome story, likeable/relatable characters and well-written plots, then that's a great game :)


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Re: When you see a visual novel, what's your first impressio

#12 Post by gaians » Tue May 06, 2014 11:05 pm

To be honest, sometimes I don’t read a visual novels if the art is not of my liking (this is quite rare), but even so, I think the most important thing is the story of the game and the way that the writer tells, even if I’m not a native English speaker

Art can attract people to read your VN but you can’t keep them reading for more than 4 hours if the story is not good enough

That’s what I think :P

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Re: When you see a visual novel, what's your first impressio

#13 Post by rmt_2011 » Wed May 07, 2014 2:43 pm

Since you can't judge the story much until you've played it, it is important to show good art and music. The quality just shows the dedication and time put into this game. The synopsis of the game tells you the basics but sometimes it can be misleading - it may be exactly what you expect it to be when you play the game or the opposite. Danger with that is that when starting the VN, players would have certain expectations which must be met story-wise. The art actually often reflects the genre and the type of story it will be and as they say - a picture can convey a thousand words. So I'd say that you should concentrate on the art. Anyone can go and read a book or some online story but visual novels brings stories to life which is why art and music are crucial.

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Re: When you see a visual novel, what's your first impressio

#14 Post by Kyra10 » Wed May 07, 2014 10:22 pm

The art attracts me, the synopsis and characters reel me in, and the story catches me.
I'd say the story and character development are what's most important to me. Second to that is art and music. ^_^

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Re: When you see a visual novel, what's your first impressio

#15 Post by Washu_Ira » Thu May 08, 2014 12:40 am

I admit to focusing on the characters how expressive they are in there personality, thus the art defiantly comes into play. Doesn't have to be fancy or anything like that. If the characters seem interesting enough or well rounded I'll give it a shot regardless of genre if it doesn't cost. If the VN does cost the genre and the story are the deciding factor. A trailer or a preview is a huge plus.

If the writing is bad I don't even give it a second look an banish it from my mind.

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