Ren'Py specific questions should be posted in the Ren'Py Questions and Annoucements forum, not here.
* Protag is a thief in a low fantasy genre adventurer group. They have to be subtle about their intentions, and they need dexterity in order to survive traps.
* Protag is the medic on a modern day team. They need survival and teamwork skills.
* Protag is a brave member of a paranormal investigation squad. They might not like facing the unknown, but they can outwit / defeat foes. (The first things can come to mind are the Scooby-Doo team and the '80s Ghostbusters.)
An interesting angle for an otome game: "The protagonist starts as the first girl of a male action team, and then avoids becoming a territorial smurfette." At some point in the story, another girl joins the group. However, the protag decides not to become jealous or hostile of her. She believes that the group will survive if they can be friends, or perhaps friendly rivals.
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Basically its a conflict between 2 time-traveler teams. First one prevents the time from being altered and believes what will happen is bound to happen. The second group (and the one with the protagonists) are committed to change certain events from the story so great tragedies and wars would be avoided. The first part of the story will narrate that conflict... however, a bigger menace appears and both sides needs to join to defend time (time-eaters? I don't really know)
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1. You are a girl who dates cute girls who all represent different kinds of lolita fashion
2. You are a girl who dates cute girls who are all based off of important philosophers
3. You are a girl who dates cute girls who all represent different genres of fiction
And on and on like that.
Maybe when I'm done making games with actual substance I'll create an imprint called sappho+ or honey+ or something that releases nothing but stupid gimmicky yuri games. It'll be like retirement, but better.
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"Is stat-building beneficial?" Give the protagonist at least a few statistics (intelligence, art, strength, social skills...) and then let the player shape the protag through stat-building. This will determine what sort of person the protagonist will be. Now... is this a good thing? Maybe it is, if the protag is using their time to become a more complete, refined person. Or maybe it isn't, if the protagonist *only* intends to attract a love interest by becoming smarter or more artistic.
I think it's good to consider whether your story stands on the "entertainment versus educational" spectrum. There are many published works of fiction which exist in the middle ground between escapist fun and a stark reflection on events. There are also many examples of stories which convey a message, while making the world relatively entertaining, and not downbeat all the time.
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There's Asphyxia which kind of does this. In case you're interested in reading something like this
I came up with the following:
Maybe include some choices which lead to one of these endings: you ally with your friend, they get caught by the police, they kill you, you survive the attempted murder but they manage to flee.You befriend a classmate in college (or high school, or a co-worker) who is very nice and calm. The first time you go to their house you notice they are collecting a lot of dolls. They tell you they are making them themselves. It turns out they kill people to get their hair (and maybe clothes or eyelashes) to make the dolls. When they notice you know more than you should, they attempt to kill you too.
* The characters are isolated in an emergency situation. But wait, they have mobile phones! However, their batteries are running low. They can only justify calling two or three times. Also, after a few hours, the batteries will run out of power.
* The protagonist has a supernatural power, but it has a major drawback. Such as a magician who can use a fireball spell, but it only works once per day. Their ability recharges after several hours of sleep.
* The antagonist knows what they're doing, and won't just wait for the heroes to show up. Like Ozymandias from Watchmen, they can say that their plan was activated thirty-five minutes ago, and they aren't bluffing.
* The protagonist has only a few hours or days in which they interact with people. For instance, they meet someone during a vacation or summer camp, and know that they'll part ways rather soon. Of course they can talk afterwards. However, they want to become friends with a person, and their time meeting face-to-face is limited.
* Reading about the recent OJLVN Making Lovers reminded me of things which I like. One of them is a male protagonist whose friends and family want him to find a significant other soon. Another thing which I don't often see in boy x girl stories is a short common route -- quickly transitioning from "several characters meeting each other" to "two characters committing to their relationship." (Incidentally, it sounds like this VN provides justifications for why the heroines are single.)
One possibility: even though the dollmaker is doing horrible things, they have a motivation which makes sense. (They believe that magic will let them revive a dead family member, but they need fifty sacrifices.) When the protagonist learns about the dollmaker's motive, they can choose to side with them, or continue to oppose them.
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The other idea I've had was a time travel fic where an agency goes to the past to recruit you to help catch a terrorist in the future...
While I'd very much like to make these games myself one day, they both feel as though they're quite a big challenge for a first VN project, especially since I lack artistic skills and thus would have to hire everything out if I couldn't find free resources to fit with the overall theme. Though just so I have an idea of which one to start on first, which of the two do you guys find most interesting and why?
* The reader has to live with their decisions and move on. There's no going back.
* Most choices will make a small impact on the story.
* The reader can assume that they'll be warned if a decision will result in characters dying or the world ending.
I didn't get far enough into Minecraft Story Mode to know whether it has at least one negative ending which concludes a story. Likewise, I don't know if it includes at least one sudden Game Over style ending. I will think about resuming the story to see whether it includes these elements.
The story concept makes me think "another remake of Total Recall." That is not a bad thing. The 1990 movie starts with a protagonist who doesn't know who he is. Then it brings up questions such as 'how much of a story is a dream, and how much actually happened?' as well as 'do you know who you are?' And it has plenty of external conflict.
Challenge #1: Time travel fiction is notoriously difficult to write. Even some of the best examples have logic problems.
Challenge #2: Total Recall was loosely based on a Philip K Dick short story. Then it had a remake in 2012.
Nice one lol
One other idea I had was a girl gets sucked into a videogame, only to find out that she's the big bad overlord there. Her army of minions is starting to realize something is up, and they might just try and axe her to take the throne for themselves if they think they can get away with it. Oh, and the world's "heroes" are coming to kill her too. You can try and act like the evil overlord you're supposed to be, you can try confiding in a trusted adviser for help, or you can just plain surrender to the heroes if you really want; though I can't promise all the options will leave your head intact. I imagine it as kind of a juggling game between knowing when to keep your mouth shut and knowing when to ask for help.
I also have several ideas that could be turned into kinetic visual novels, but in general those seem to be a lot less popular. I think for kinetic novels the visuals, audio, and story have to be especially good, as there's not any real gameplay or decision making to help make the player feel more involved. It would certainly be easier to write though as there'd be no need for stats or branching paths.
The diary has 5 pages remaining, and the order of page player selected will determine the ending, so we will have maximum 120 endings. It can be a good ending, bad ending, sad ending, horror ending,...This is my idea
The basic concept is that the protagonist is an average guy, he's humble, he goes to school, lives with his parents. Until one day after being attacked by some hooded people and saved by a girl from his school, it's revealed he's the reincarnation of an ancient hero, after which he joins a secret magical society and is protected by three girls from his school while he learns his powers.
But plot twist! Remember when I said he was humble? I lied! He always had delusions of grandeur and secretly expected something like this to happen, and now that it did it immediately went to his head, though he still keeps the facade of being humble. He acts the part he had always fantasized being, charismatic, smart, powerful, and kind, without even realizing that he's just playing a role.
But as the story goes the facade slowly slips, and he makes decisions based on his personality rather than the role he's playing, acting like the world revolves around him and only doing things for himself. The story can either end with him realizing his mistakes or ending up as a villain in his own right.
I'm not sure how I'd go about making this as a visual novel, preferably it'd be made so that it isn't clear that that's what's happening to make the player get into the power fantasy, but I'm not too sure
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