The VN or The KN?

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The VN or The KN?

#1 Post by Mandy » Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:57 pm

Hey all!

I was just thinking, which do most people prefer or expect when they play a visual novel. Do you expect there to be choices and different endings? Do you prefer a VN with multi choices and outcomes?

Do kinetic novels turn people off because they have no choices and only one ending? Do you enjoy reading linear stories in the visual novel medium? Would you be willing to read a KN as much a tradition VN?

I'm just curious as to what the LSF community thinks on this topic.

I know that I personally enjoy both! But I think I prefer the KN over the VN. Just because I don't like being disrupted while I'm reading or being forced to make a decision. I also dislike having to read the same or similar text every time I play a different route in a VN which I know can be skipped...but even when you skip it you have to try and fill in all the gaps yourself once you read new text.

I see people writing more VNs than KNs. As an aspiring visual novel writer, I want to concentrate on writing linear stories through the visual novel medium and I want to know if there's a readership for them, I guess. So that's the point of this post... xD

Thanks for reading!

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Re: The VN or The KN?

#2 Post by MaiMai » Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:37 pm

I play/read both. Visual and kinetic serve different purposes in my opinion. Some people want to see different branching paths, some people don't mind reading a straight up linear story (although you'd have people who would say you're better off reading a traditional novel in that case). There's quite a good number of kinetic novels that I like.

You can do very interesting things with a story using the visual novel format writing wise, and it seems like you're kind of glossing over some examples of what visual novels do in terms of branching paths. Not all VNs use the same chunk of text to go through different paths. For example, the original Fate/stay night novel has three routes that build up up off of one another and each route has a huge amount of various endings that make it enjoyable for readers to achieve. Those different routes also serve the purpose of showing various characters, their personalities, and how they react to events and to one another. FSN basically uses the traditional VN format to help build up its characters and world.

I guess what I'm saying here is that I like kinetic if the story is decent enough, while I think visual novels are good for exploring characters and their world because you give your reader the option to see different angles through the choices implemented in that format. Granted, you can do that with kinetic, but the experience and momentum wouldn't be quite the same.

So I guess my point is, is that your story, kinetic or not, should be interesting. Give your reader an interesting premise, good writing, decent visuals.
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Re: The VN or The KN?

#3 Post by Fox Lee » Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:25 pm

I think both are great. I don't mind at all if a VN doesn't give me choices, as long as it's a good story and I can enjoy it without wishing I had been able to change things.

I'm a very visual person, and I enjoy reading dialogue/interaction more than prose, so a linear VN is more of what I really enjoy than a conventional novel is. I mean, the format has its own strengths and weaknesses of course - it's not better at being a novel than a novel is - but it has its own unique traits that make it enjoyable for different reasons. It's like comparing a comic book and a novel (and all other things being equal, a comic book is probably what I'd prefer).
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Re: The VN or The KN?

#4 Post by MimirollCookie » Sun Mar 20, 2016 12:37 am

Anything! :) It doesn't matter though.
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Re: The VN or The KN?

#5 Post by trooper6 » Sun Mar 20, 2016 1:49 am

Some people here like KNs, some like VNs. You should make the art that you want to make. If what you make is great, you will find an audience.
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Re: The VN or The KN?

#6 Post by KnotUntied » Sun Mar 20, 2016 4:59 am

I'm fine with either. I've yet to see a style-breaker though.
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Re: The VN or The KN?

#7 Post by FonaCall » Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:07 am

Okay, here's our opinion on it:

Piet - I lean more towards VNs rather than KNs, but I do know that there are times when VN is the way to go, and there are times when KN is the way to go. I think it depends on the story you want to tell, really. Both formats can be effective if used properly.

Rivaldi - I have never really thought about preference when it comes to these kinds of things, but I think I prefer KNs, personally. Sometimes, when I am presented with a decision, even with the knowledge that it is a game, I take it a bit too seriously and so I get paralyzed, to an extent. I would still play a VN, as long as it has a good story and execution.

Jin - I like both! Making choices in VNs is fun, and at least I don't really have to experience the consequences. XP I also like being able to just read through scenes and not worry about anything too in KNs.

Shin - No care if KN or VN. If like, then like. If not like, then not like. Per game basis.

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Re: The VN or The KN?

#8 Post by YuukiCrossPudding » Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:29 am

I love playing both VN and KN, in the end it's all depend on how it was made and done.

VN that include choices are interesting to see through, it's like they have different timelines and how choices in real life affects our lives, so I love that aspects in VN with choices. (akin to collecting the stories)
I play VN/KN because I want to know the story told by the people who create the game. Understanding what they're projecting, thinking and imagine via VN they made, same with KN.

Reading is one of my hobby since I was little beside drawing, for me VN/KN is reading a whole new world via interactive novel (and that's what Visual Novel is) So I don't mind reading/playing both c:

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Re: The VN or The KN?

#9 Post by Electromancer » Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:18 pm

I feel like I'm biased because all the VNs I've written have been kinetic except for one, but I do feel like I usually end up preferring kinetic novels to interactive ones. There's just something about experiencing the complete, singular, and perfectly-formed story arc that the developer set forth for you to feel when you play a VN. There's something about it that seems... masterfully crafted, pinpointed in its measurements. Kinetic novels, such as Narcissus and Planetarian, always seem to have much more staying power with me.

I suppose it's because I know the way I experienced the story was the best way to experience it, and was itself crafted to be the exact intended experience. There's something in that I love.
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Re: The VN or The KN?

#10 Post by Green Glasses Girl » Mon Mar 21, 2016 5:14 pm

I'm fine with either as long as it has nice art and a good story.

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Re: The VN or The KN?

#11 Post by Ghost of Crux » Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:34 am

Definitely a fan of both, for different reasons. I think if you think you can deliver a stronger story using KNs, having arbitrary choices is just a shame because it could weaken the story itself. But I think a lot of VNs have choices because they think they can strengthen their stories through choice. Which is great! The entire "skipping until choice because it gets repetitive" thing is totally true, though. I kind of wish more people would let you replay starting from multiple different sections, like in Locked-In. It doesn't really help on the "I forgot the first parts" thing, but at least it saves you from the fast-flashes of skipping through a lot of text and visual changes. I personally rarely replay games for different endings; I tend to choose based on what I want and assume it's how the entire story goes :'p (This is doubly true for otomes)

KnotUntied's comment makes me wonder, though, what a style-breaker would be in this case. I might be thinking a bit too literally here, but hmm.

A VN that ends up like a KN might make people feel cheated, but a KN means it's probably impossible to allow the player to put some input that would indicate that they react to things differently. Well, maybe with some coding magic you can do that. It would totally be interesting, though, to see non-conventional things like this coming true. Like I said, though, probably not what they meant.
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Re: The VN or The KN?

#12 Post by Georgel » Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:24 am

I think that there are times when you want a VN and times you want a KN.

I had read/played great VN and great KN, while played examples of both that I was not really into.

Created good, a Kinetic Novel can create a unique experience, and the user will not be able to lose at all in the story, but experiment the exact plot that was intended.

On the other hand, if you create a Visual Novel, the player might feel more in the shoes of the main character, this adds to the involvement, and also adds to the replay value, but depending on how different is each route, it adds a multiplier for each route. For example you have 3 routes, it could take 3X the time to create it, or even more, depending, again on how different is each route.

The time spend on creating VN could pe spent on creating 2 KN, if you think it this way, and not all players will be enough of enthusiasts to complete all routes.

There are good sides and bad sited of both, the most important characteristic of both is the quality of writing, art and sound. A greatly done VN will make players come back to finish all routes, while a KN with a satisfying ending will be great (given that for one person, not all routes of a VN can give an equal amount of satisfaction with the ending to all players) !

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Re: The VN or The KN?

#13 Post by Nylan » Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:33 pm

This is a bit like asking if an action-RPG or turn-based RPG is better. They do different things well, and it depends on what will enhance your story.

How important is understanding the consequences of player choices to your story? How important is "What if?". Do you want to tell more than one story, but have them start at (roughly) the same point in space and time or have the same characters?

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Re: The VN or The KN?

#14 Post by Doodled » Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:52 pm

Nylan wrote:How important is understanding the consequences of player choices to your story? How important is "What if?". Do you want to tell more than one story, but have them start at (roughly) the same point in space and time or have the same characters?

Also, the level of choice you allow within your VN/KN can affect the way the themes in your story are received. This is especially true if the idea of choice and consequence is a factor in your plot.

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Re: The VN or The KN?

#15 Post by Krel » Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:21 am

I agree with many people in this thread; KNs are easier to write to create a strong, unified story, and that's why it's nice to read them.

I think that if you're not set up to expect to be able to change the outcome, then a KN is completely fine. It's only when you have an expectation that it's going to be a VN, then you feel cheated (although I guess this is rare).

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