Small Game Confession and Problems

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Blue Lemma
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Small Game Confession and Problems

#1 Post by Blue Lemma » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:35 am

All right, I'm going to come forward. Back when this forum was small, I'd play every VN people made. Now there are so many that there just isn't enough time! This is why I don't personally play small games.

This might sound backwards. If there isn't enough time, wouldn't small games be a good thing? In a way, yes, but there are significant drawbacks to small games. And when I say "small", I'm talking about your 5000 or fewer (or there about) word games.

So why don't I play them? I'll lay it out here, as I don't think I'm alone in the community on this:
1) small games = increased download, unzip, and virus scan time to enjoyment ratio
2) small games = a bunch of Ren'Py common files on my computer, and they're all duplicated every single game
3) small games = often beginner games, and in general (making big generalizations here) are not as enjoyable for me

All right, that last one might sound kind of elitist and unfriendly, but I think it's true. Don't misunderstand - everyone needs to start somewhere and get feedback to grow, and a done small game is better than something that doesn't get done. Given reason number 1, though, they're usually not worth it to me.

I really wish there were more things like the "Cute and Fluffy Project" where short VNs were combined into one nice little product. Less download, more stories, and more play. If there was some way people coordinated that stuff more, I think it would improve the audience for smaller VNs and make an all-around better mini-VN experience for people. Thoughts?

(And note to PyTom: optional namespaces for easy VN aggregation? Possible? Worth it?)
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Re: Small Game Confession and Problems

#2 Post by DaFool » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:48 am

You know I was just reading Ken Akamatsu's dialogue/rant the other day regarding the state of the manga industry. New talent is hard to discover since people are cherry-picking only from their favorite established authors -- they buy full volumes from one author but not compilation magazines where the editors try to introduce people to fresh blood through one-shots. New editors aren't trained since nobody dares criticize your million-selling author no matter how far their works have lost focus.

Since visual novels are more or less another storytelling medium, perhaps it might make sense to have a rudimentary compilation magazine format similar to Cute and Fluffy done every one or two months. But instead of being highly curated, just use an automated system that grabs all the /game directories that have been uploaded during the month and creates an automated single installer with a title selection screen. Nothing too fancy... just standardized, and regular. Then works which people think are particularly special can have their own re-release. I don't think people mind if their "first games" are distributed this way. It's another reason why humble bundle type releases are so special, although in those cases there's a heavy-hitting popular title that will carry the publicity for everybody else. With this case as long as there's a regular compilation release, people will look forward to it at the end of each month rather than ignoring the smallest of games.

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Re: Small Game Confession and Problems

#3 Post by TyranX » Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:15 am

I'm gonna have to agree with DaFool on this one. I had a longer post but it was pretty much saying the exact same thing; that people tend to focus on their 'favorite' or 'prehyped' forms of media and are less likely to chose something they've never heard of before, and that having an automated process choose random VN's according to certain parameters (genre, wordcount, etc) and compiling them into a single release could help to bring notice to newer material that might have been missed otherwise due to poor or maybe even lack-of a publicity strategy.
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Re: Small Game Confession and Problems

#4 Post by Blue Lemma » Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:46 am

I'm really in agreement, too. Small-game bundling would really help these games get some more exposure and get more feedback to the creators.

What can be done about this?
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Re: Small Game Confession and Problems

#5 Post by chensterrain » Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:55 am

(I don't seem to be able to vote in the poll, but I think that might just be my computer. Whoops :/)

I think DaFool's suggestion sounds like a really good idea! I have to admit, I hardly ever play any of the new games added to the forum unless they're games I've been looking forward to for a while - it does sound a little elitist and I honestly don't mean it that way, but when most new games are introduced with the same 'hey, this is my first game, I just made it in a night to test out Ren'py so it's pretty bad, and I'm not really an artist, so please forgive the crappy art!' spiel, I'm not really enticed to take the time to download them. (Plus, I'm a bit of a graphics whore - the second I see the default UI, 99% of the time I'm like 'nope!' and click out of the topic. I'm a terrible person!). I'm absolutely fine with playing games by new authors I'm not familiar with, but if someone's literally just testing out the engine I'm not particularly interested, to be honest.

That and I have absolutely no time these days, ugh. :(

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Re: Small Game Confession and Problems

#6 Post by Silvere » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:14 am

Blue Lemma wrote:What can be done about this?
Concerning games of the forum->
What about~
Finished "small" games can also be sent to someone else (or another forum) and at the end of this 2 months the better ones of ´em will get bundled and posted here as a bigger download option :3
Or something like that.. Just my 2 cents of a little idea ^_^
"hey, this is my first game, I just made it in a night to test out Ren'py so it's pretty bad, and I'm not really an artist, so please forgive the crappy art!"
Déjà-vu ..... :3



Edit, for the poll itself:
(Can´t vote.. :<)
I don´t download any game which just isn´t attracting me with a screenshot OR a better introduction than (Hey, first game, blub) .. [Shame on me! ;_;], since this is most likely the first time I get to make up an image of the game itself. (And the first image is the one that counts, right? :P) ... Well, if the art is shit from the start(And I really mean it, no 3D somewhat figures or a 4-corner head ... Everything you won´t die off immediately :D) .. So.. uhm.. my 2 cents(Again!) .. Now that makes 4. <3
Last edited by Silvere on Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Small Game Confession and Problems

#7 Post by lordcloudx » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:21 am

I think the bundle is a good idea, but a certain degree of respect should be afforded to the creator/author of these works. In other words, ask for permission before including anything in the bundle even if you believe in good faith that the creator will not object.

This is the professional way to handle such an endeavor and ensures that there are no unintentional misunderstandings that follow. It also shows that the forum itself respects all levels of creators regardless of the public's perception of their actual works.

edit: having a screening committee/a decision by vote or any other analogous system as to the perceived quality of these small games in order to judge whether they make it into the bundle or not is a bad idea, IMHO.

As for me, I only play the games that catch my attention for some reason. Whether they're someone's first game or not doesn't really matter. What catches my attention depends on my mood at the time I download.
Last edited by lordcloudx on Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
How do you make your games? I see. Thank you for the prompt replies, but it is my considered opinion that you're doing it wrong inefficiently because I am a perfushenal professional. Do it my way this way and we can all ascend VN Nirvana together while allowing me to stroke my ego you will improve much faster. Also, please don't forget to thank me for this constructive critique or I will cry and bore you to death respond appropriately with a tl;dr rant discourse of epic adequately lengthy proportions. - Sarcasm Veiled in Euphemism: Secrets of Forum Civility by lordcloudx (Coming soon to an online ebook near you.)

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Re: Small Game Confession and Problems

#8 Post by Silvere » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:28 am

lordcloudx wrote: edit: having a screening committee as to the perceived quality of these small games in order to judge whether they make it into the bundle or not is a bad idea, IMHO.
Didn´t say so - It would be a completely wrong way to do it.
It was just the way I was judging about "download" or "Never" when seeing a new game pop up :3 (Just for myself!)
And if there is no picture I need a bit more lines of text than "hey, blabla" so I can see that there really is something behind the game except "Just wanted to release something" *g*

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Re: Small Game Confession and Problems

#9 Post by lordcloudx » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:30 am

Silvere: Of course. That wasn't really directed at you but I just had to state that to voice my personal objection to such a system or something similar.
How do you make your games? I see. Thank you for the prompt replies, but it is my considered opinion that you're doing it wrong inefficiently because I am a perfushenal professional. Do it my way this way and we can all ascend VN Nirvana together while allowing me to stroke my ego you will improve much faster. Also, please don't forget to thank me for this constructive critique or I will cry and bore you to death respond appropriately with a tl;dr rant discourse of epic adequately lengthy proportions. - Sarcasm Veiled in Euphemism: Secrets of Forum Civility by lordcloudx (Coming soon to an online ebook near you.)

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Re: Small Game Confession and Problems

#10 Post by Silvere » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:42 am

Ah okay, sorry - Misunderstood you here.
Well then, this bundle thing actually seems quite interesting.
*Stares at Blue Lemma*
:3

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Re: Small Game Confession and Problems

#11 Post by Voight-Kampff » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:51 am

I'm not entirely sure what to think of the auto-bundle compilation idea. But if it goes forward, I think lordcloudx has the right idea...
lordcloudx wrote:...but a certain degree of respect should be afforded to the creator/author of these works. In other words, ask for permission before including anything in the bundle even if you believe in good faith that the creator will not object.
I think that's especially important if someone's game happens to use resources that come from...Shall we say, legal gray areas?

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Re: Small Game Confession and Problems

#12 Post by Silvere » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:58 am

That´s the reason I at first suggested an extra forum / some person(tester, whatever) where the games are sent to and tested. Therefore this problem wouldn´t be.

If that´s not possible, it would only be natural to ask for permission (and other things), right? :0

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Re: Small Game Confession and Problems

#13 Post by Voight-Kampff » Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:10 am

Hmm...

Giving the concept more thought, it really seems like a "quarterly compilation" game would only make sense if LSF wanted to use it to promote Ren'Py-made games to the wider world.

Creating such a compilation for the members inside of LSF doesn't really do much more other than to increase the download size for people who want to play a specific title.

Let's be honest - if a thread/title doesn't catch peoples' attention with its synopsis, artwork, etc., then that happened for a reason. I don't think trying to "force" people to play a title will do much for the author or the reader.

After all, don't we already have http://games.renpy.org/ ? People familiar with LSF can certainly use that to look for new titles and filter results by genre, release date, title, etc.

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Re: Small Game Confession and Problems

#14 Post by pondrthis » Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:36 am

It would be really nice for people like me who would probably like a lot of the games made here, but aren't impressed by any of the synopses.

Being able to trust in the community to pick the best 8-10 small games of the quarter allows me to sample the EVN scene's best while only actively seeking out games that bring serious attention (ala Re:Alistair++). I'll be honest... most of the synopses sound really awful to me. However, I also know that synopses can be very deceptive; I thought Fate/Stay Night's synopsis sounded miserable. REviews are far more important than PREviews.

Thus, a "Lemma Quarterly" which selects and highlights the best games of the quarter would do wonders to get me to play games that I don't know I want to play. It doesn't even have to bundle the games... it can just contain articles about them. I just want an official statement about which games were good (and I didn't even know, because I stopped reading when I read "MC gets involved with demons and gets to choose multiple boys from among them and her classmates).

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Re: Small Game Confession and Problems

#15 Post by Snowflower » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:02 am

Is it weird that I download the games whether or not the file size is big/small the game playtime long/short? I just decide whether or not it's worth the download or not.
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