How does publishing work?

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How does publishing work?

#1 Post by l1997 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:59 pm

I am planning on making my own visual novel. I can both write and program my stories. Can someone explain to me in detail the fundraising process work?
How and which website works and what is the process? Ex. Patreon, Kickstarter.
And finally what is the process to get published? How to do it by yourself or how to get it published by some established company?

It would be of great help to any beginner wanting to make his way in the VN industry.

Thank you beforehand. :D

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Re: How does publishing work?

#2 Post by Selidor » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:15 am

The vast majority of English-language VNs are released independently by the dev team. It’s a niche type of game that doesn’t command a lot of mainstream attention (and by association, money). Publishers like Sekai Project and Mangagamer who mostly release localised Japanese visual novels will sometimes pick up games by western devs, if it fits in with their catalogue. If you have something quirky enough that it can attract mainstream attention as a novelty product, sometimes a more mainstream publisher might like it (Hatoful Boyfriend, the pigeon dating sim, was a good fit with Devolver Digital, who specialise in weird games). Since you don’t seem to have a track record in the gaming industry, you’re probably better off starting with releasing smaller games independently.

As for funding, I think many of us are probably working on these in our free time, and are effectively self-funded by other jobs. Patreon seems like a pretty difficult way to fund a game, because you’re relying on people paying an ongoing subscription for a product that isn’t available yet, and a lot of game development is pretty boring to an outsider. Most of the games I’ve seen succeed with this are adult games, because you need something to keep people’s attention (and money) as you work on the game, and porn is a good way to do that.

Kickstarter is better for a wider range of genres, and visual novels often have lower budgets than other types of game, but it will involve a lot of extra work besides actually making your game, and you only have a limited amount of time to raise your goal. You also need a very clear idea of your budget, and you’ll have to stick to it. Many Kickstarted games have failed because they ran out of money before they finished.

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