Can I really call my game a VN?

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Goddiga
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Can I really call my game a VN?

#1 Post by Goddiga » Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:27 am

Hello! I am making a choice-based VN as of now. But, I'm a bit worried if I should call it a VN.

It didn't have characters or maps for you to move or enter, just still pictures(portraits,bg,cg). It did have a romance dating simulation system in the game, but it also leans more toward the fantasy story as you would commonly find in RPG (heroes save the world from evil.). You need to break up with your girl after you confessed and dated with her for a while (is it sound crazy? but it's one of a main point). And a gameplay about choices and various minigame(timed choice,button mash etc.) also take a huge role in it. It relied on conversation rather than a narrative.

So, I would like to know what you guys expect from a VN? Does my game consider as one? I was just afraid that most people might get what they didn't expect from VN genre.

Thank you very much!

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Re: Can I really call my game a VN?

#2 Post by TheJerminator15 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:26 am

It sounds like it fits the VN definition very well. VN mainly refers to the still portraits, choice based branching narrative presentation and gameplay. Adding extra gameplay and such onto that is completely fine and doesn't generally detract from the VN definition.

Also, don't worry about it being more focused on conversations, most VNs are anyway since the visuals and music etc provide most of the necessary description.
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Re: Can I really call my game a VN?

#3 Post by Aviala » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:29 am

I'd say that what you have actually sounds like a visual novel, but possibly mixed with some other genre depending on what your game mechanics are. Adding additional game mechanics may make your game a visual novel-RPG-hybrid. For example, I'm making a game (Your Royal Gayness) that's made with renpy, but it has some randomized elements and resource management features, so I usually call it a "story-driven management game" rather than a visual novel since I feel like visual novel usually means a game that just has character images, backgrounds, story and choices and not a lot of additional game elements. But it really just depends on who you want to market your game to. I feel like my game wouldn't appeal to the usual Visual Novel audience, so I think it'll reach more players if I don't call it a visual novel. But if you think your game would appeal to people who often play visual novels, then it might make sense for you to call it a VN.

I don't think it matters what the subject of your story is, btw. Even though japanese visual novels are often set in japanese high schools, I think the genre is defined more by the game mechanics (clicking to advance the story, making choices) rather than the subject or setting of the story. There are a lot of VNs with a fantasy setting, especially among OELVNs.

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Re: Can I really call my game a VN?

#4 Post by gekiganwing » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:54 pm

Goddiga wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:27 am
So, I would like to know what you guys expect from a VN? Does my game consider as one?
If you want to call your project a visual novel, then my response would be "sure, go ahead." If you prefer some other term (story-driven game? narrative game?), then I will continue to say "sure, go ahead."

I want to see more VNs which explore unexpected themes, have unusual presentation methods, contain offbeat pacing, and so on. Look to well-regarded VNs in order to understand why people like them, but don't just imitate them. Bring your own perspective and attitude.

If you're curious, the Visual Novel Database staff have a few thoughts on what exactly defines a VN, and a few examples which do or do not qualify. I don't know whether they have a point.

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Re: Can I really call my game a VN?

#5 Post by Goddiga » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:47 am

Thank you very much everyone! I think I can go with Visual Novel (or maybe hybrid). I've read the rules in vndb and it seems like I have to add some narrative if I want to post the game there.

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