How often does one person create a full VN by themselves?

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SundownKid
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Re: How often does one person create a full VN by themselves?

#16 Post by SundownKid » Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:06 pm

Remayre wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:40 pm
SundownKid wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:26 am
Basically, it's certainly possible, but often it's not the best course of action to make an entire thing yourself. Sometimes it's faster and easier not to. Usually people who do entire games themselves do it out of personal fulfillment rather than because it's more economical.
Honestly, I do think it's more of a personal fulfillment when it comes to me. I'm stuck in a career I was forced into, that doesn't use my talents at all besides some critical thinking skills. I'd have preferred to have gone into graphics or programming (which I could still do, it'd just be harder without a degree). I'd love to make a VN all by myself to put in a portfolio with other works.
A game can be a portfolio piece without doing it entirely yourself. If you just want to show off your art or your writing abilities then you can just do that aspect of it. Considering you want to assemble a portfolio as soon as possible, you likely just want to hand off the hard parts to people who can do them faster. And especially because you have a full time job, you can afford to hire people for things that aren't necessarily important for you to do yourself, and likely won't have time to do. So based on that, it's probably a better idea to work with other people.

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Re: How often does one person create a full VN by themselves?

#17 Post by Remayre » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:30 pm

SundownKid wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:06 pm
Remayre wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:40 pm
SundownKid wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:26 am
Basically, it's certainly possible, but often it's not the best course of action to make an entire thing yourself. Sometimes it's faster and easier not to. Usually people who do entire games themselves do it out of personal fulfillment rather than because it's more economical.
Honestly, I do think it's more of a personal fulfillment when it comes to me. I'm stuck in a career I was forced into, that doesn't use my talents at all besides some critical thinking skills. I'd have preferred to have gone into graphics or programming (which I could still do, it'd just be harder without a degree). I'd love to make a VN all by myself to put in a portfolio with other works.
A game can be a portfolio piece without doing it entirely yourself. If you just want to show off your art or your writing abilities then you can just do that aspect of it. Considering you want to assemble a portfolio as soon as possible, you likely just want to hand off the hard parts to people who can do them faster. And especially because you have a full time job, you can afford to hire people for things that aren't necessarily important for you to do yourself, and likely won't have time to do. So based on that, it's probably a better idea to work with other people.
It's not particularly something I need in hand within the next year, or even next year. It's something I can take my time with. I could afford to hire people, but I think I'd feel better about it if I completed all myself.

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Re: How often does one person create a full VN by themselves?

#18 Post by Donmai » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:42 pm

How often does one person create a full VN by themselves? I've seen it happen many times, that's why I decided to try it myself.
Try it, if you really want to. If you discover you can work solo on your project, and you feel comfortable this way, then everything is fine. If not, you will discover what things you can do well and you will have a better understanding of the things you can't do, so it will be easier to work with other people being able to better understand what they do.
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Re: How often does one person create a full VN by themselves?

#19 Post by YossarianIII » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:59 pm

If you want to get really specific about it, you could argue that nobody's ever made a full VN by themselves. You're using Ren'Py (which someone created), written in Python (which someone else created), on a computer (which someone else created). :D

But I think the actual helpful answer is to do what donmai suggested: try it and see what works. I'd figure about 1 out of 3 (?) VNs created for jams are made mostly by a single person. There are limitations on what one person can do, but you can absolutely make something.


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Re: How often does one person create a full VN by themselves?

#20 Post by timepatches » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:27 am

I did it!
But in my case, it was purposefully on a very short project, and while I'm proud of the project itself, it was more of a proof of concept and work ethic (since I'm a new dev, I wanted to prove that I could stick with a project the whole way through). There are also a lot of issues with the final product that I'm certain would have been fixed if I wasn't working alone.
I also wouldn't reccomend tackling a long project on your own without experience, or a ton of self belief and perseverance to compensate.
Just because you can do everything yourself, does it mean that you should? It depends on whether you're making something just because you can and to develop your skills, or whether you want the final game to be the best it can be. No matter how skilled you are, you will always have biases and blind spots, and IMO working in a team is the best way to fill those in.
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Re: How often does one person create a full VN by themselves?

#21 Post by LVUER » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:56 pm

SundownKid wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:26 am
Dust: Elysian Tail was programmed, written and drawn by one person, but had music by HyperDuck Soundworks and I believe programming assistance from someone else. Undertale was obviously drawn by Temmie Chang, so it wasn't just Toby Fox. Cave Story however was entirely by Pixel, but it's rarer than you think for an entire commercially successful indie game to be made ENTIRELY by one person. It tends to be more confirmation bias when it does happen as most of them are small hobbyist projects made as experiments or for fun.
Like I said, how much assets needs to be made by yourself to be considered as "one person work" or "one man team"? If I made my own brand, and then make my own story and do the coding myself, but pay a person to make the art and then buy the music or use royalty free music... is it still considered as "made by one person" (which is I)?
Or to stretch it even further, if I pay (different) people to do all the assets, and then combine them all together into one game/VN, can I be considered as one man team?
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Re: How often does one person create a full VN by themselves?

#22 Post by sake-bento » Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:32 pm

I did a couple on my own back in the day - art, writing, code, music, and voice all on my own. They were both fine, but I wound up remaking them eventually. Partnered with an artist on one, and used photo assets and music from other sources for the other. Given that the second was done with free assets instead of a team, it could still be argued I made it "on my own."

It's certainly feasible to do a project on your own from front to back. The example I usually drop when someone asks is Lucky Rabbit Reflex. It's a quality VN, and the art, writing, and code, were all done by a single developer.

Honestly even with the rise of teams, I usually recommend that every dev does a solo project first (even a tiny one that never gets posted online), just to get the hang of things and have a better understanding of the role of your fellow team members in future projects.

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Re: How often does one person create a full VN by themselves?

#23 Post by PixelFade » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:37 am

sake-bento wrote:
Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:32 pm
Honestly even with the rise of teams, I usually recommend that every dev does a solo project first (even a tiny one that never gets posted online), just to get the hang of things and have a better understanding of the role of your fellow team members in future projects.
110% agree with this.

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Re: How often does one person create a full VN by themselves?

#24 Post by BreakingMachines » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:07 pm

I'm saying this as a game student who's had to make full games in periods of two weeks to a semester. You can but it’s going to be a rough road.

Making a game takes a lot of time, and I've often lost sleep just focusing on the programming portion.

Narrative games like visual novels are very time consuming, because each component of the game is very time consuming and reliant on the other parts of the game. It is totally feasible to make a game by yourself, and I have. But quality really differs depending on the time you spent working on the game. Realistically a two week game working in at least 13 hours a week , with programming, art and writing is more of a prototype or vertical slice of a game. The game willl be pretty functional, and demonstrate your skills. I have made games with a playtime of 15 to 30 minutes in this timeframe. I think you need at least a month to really polish a small game enough that it's presentable as a designer making the game themselves.

I’d recommend as a game plan, you focus on story and programming before you dive into the art assets.


But honestly I would recommend working in teams, because your work really becomes polished. You can really focus on one aspect of the game, and focus your time and energy on that. Different aspects of visual novel creation takes a significant amount of time, writing branches, coding, and asset creation can take hours . It can take me up to 4-6 hours to make a sprite or GUI component, 8 hours for coding, and writing can go anywhere from 2-4 hours a scene. If you work in teams you can divide the work, and you'll see the game get polished very quickly.

That said it's pretty satisfying to work on a project your own, and realize it. If anything at the very least I would recommend you get playtesters, to check the game out and give you some feedback.

If you need any advice, I'd be happy to help you.
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Re: How often does one person create a full VN by themselves?

#25 Post by Zylinder » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:13 pm

Remayre wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:40 pm


Honestly, I do think it's more of a personal fulfillment when it comes to me. I'm stuck in a career I was forced into, that doesn't use my talents at all besides some critical thinking skills. I'd have preferred to have gone into graphics or programming (which I could still do, it'd just be harder without a degree). I'd love to make a VN all by myself to put in a portfolio with other works.
Nothing wrong with personal fulfilment of course, it's a commendable goal. For purely job-hunting however, it might be better for you if you complete more projects with others than a single project on your own, depending on which job you're ultimately shooting for. I work making graphics full-time, and the only thing that talks is how good your art is and how many projects you've completed. How many hats you've worn in the project itself is usually a fringe consideration. Perhaps it is different for indie games, but you'll have to double-check this.

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