VNs with more story?

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azureXtwilight
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VNs with more story?

#1 Post by azureXtwilight » Sat May 14, 2011 8:35 pm

I've seen so many comments about wishing about VNs with more story into them. I just want to ask a simple question, what do you think about VN with story? How do you define them? Just share your opinions here!

As for myself, I think playing games with story equals to stabilizing the romance (if it's a renai game) with the background story. It'll be like the game doesn't focus entirely on "chasing this person, go on a date, forget everyone else, and such". It's like something else is happening back there, hmm... How do I put it simply, something like Fate/stay night. It's also nicer to have different perspective of what happens in a big storyline by going into different paths...

How about you guys? :D
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Re: VNs with more story?

#2 Post by Snowflower » Sat May 14, 2011 8:42 pm

Having an actual story within the plot definitely makes the game more enjoyable. Well, at least for me it does.

I do agree that bluntly chasing after the guy is boring and redundant. Also, if each path has a lot of different scenarios, it makes me want to play and read all path.
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Re: VNs with more story?

#3 Post by KimiYoriBaka » Sat May 14, 2011 8:58 pm

Well, there is that. However, even if the story focuses on just the individual person the player is trying to catch, there can still be a fulfilling story if the character has some depth to him/her. What's important is that the story has enough to it that the player feels it was worth taking the time to read.

In the case that a vn does have an over-arcing story to it, it should at least be complex enough to support the number of obtainable characters. In addition, if there is any fantasy elements, it's a good idea to thoroughly describe them so the player gets a good feel for the world.

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Re: VNs with more story?

#4 Post by Camille » Sat May 14, 2011 11:05 pm

The VN I'm working on right now actually has a really expansive story because I enjoy VNs with a stronger storyline. Machina Jewel seems simple enough from our synopsis, but does end up getting more complicated and having lots of twists and turns. Case in point--I've only written 2/8 chapters (not to mention the endings/epilogues) and I'm already at 20,000 words. XD; I'm actually worried people will think it's TOO elaborate and be turned off...

Personally, I like VNs that have more of a story because there are already so many games where you can go after X or Y guy, you know? There's more to life (and a story!) than just chasing after a love interest, so when I approached the story, I decided to make the romance more of a subplot than the actual focus. I also like games where all the mysteries can't be solved in just one playthrough. You have to try all the routes or play a little bit differently in order to get the full picture. Maybe some people don't like replaying VNs or trying a lot of different options, but that's what I like, so that's what I've been aiming for, myself. XD
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Re: VNs with more story?

#5 Post by Applegate » Sat May 14, 2011 11:23 pm

Since olden times, a story has always been about someone or a group of someones being in one situation, then overcoming hardships to get to another situation, either voluntarily or by force. Naturally, I prefer anything I read to actually have a semblance of story: reading just to click a few times to arrive at the conclusion that X really loves Y despite him having no redeemable features at all isn't that interesting to me.

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Re: VNs with more story?

#6 Post by Sapphi » Sat May 14, 2011 11:54 pm

My personal feeling about it is that if I want a good story, I'll play a KN or read a book. :P

That isn't to say there aren't visual novels with a good story, it's just more common for them to be character-centric because it's easier to write. I think part of the weak story problem visual novels tend to face is that if the protagonist is a shell for the reader, they are not really a character that can be written into a story the same way a protagonist like, say, Kazuma Torisuna or Domon Kasshu can be. If the protagonist is NOT a shell for the reader and has a definite personality, then the dilemma becomes, "How can I write choices for this protagonist that don't contradict his nature?" and eventually "Well, if I already know how the protagonist is going to act, shouldn't I just be writing a KN?"
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Re: VNs with more story?

#7 Post by azureXtwilight » Sun May 15, 2011 12:38 am

For protagonist with personality, I think the choices can be who to trust, or what the protagonist will make like what to cook or something like that...
I don't quite agree that VNs must have blank MC.

Mystery VNs can have protagonists with personality, with us choosing who to ask, what to ask to the person, who to suspect, and where to go first...
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Re: VNs with more story?

#8 Post by Camille » Sun May 15, 2011 1:07 am

My MC has a customizable personality! :D She has a bit of a base personality, but based on how the player wants her to be, she can be more nice, more stubborn, lie more easily, say sarcastic things, etc. I mean, if you look at western RPGs like Mass Effect and Dragon Age, etc., they have strong storylines despite the MC being largely customizable by the player (gender, looks, and personality). You just have to account for all those choices and different personality types in your VN.
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Re: VNs with more story?

#9 Post by Mirage » Sun May 15, 2011 1:35 am

I thought the idea of VN is a story with multiple endings. Since when did it become which character should I end up with? lol~

Other mediums (Manga, anime, games, movies, etc) have wide arrays of genres, but many VNs seem to stuck with nothing but romances. What a waste of a fine medium. lol!

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Re: VNs with more story?

#10 Post by azureXtwilight » Sun May 15, 2011 2:34 am

Aha, I have to agree with that XD
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Re: VNs with more story?

#11 Post by flowerthief » Sun May 15, 2011 3:09 am

Then again, romance is a comparative advantage of the VN, is it not? I've never encountered a manga, anime, or movie that made me feel as if I was in love with a character AND that that character was in love with me. Ren'ai VNs and ren'ai sims do exactly that.

Also, I think Sapphi was making a legitimate point. In order to simulate romance, the player and the player character must as much as possible resemble each other. (thus the prevalence of "blank shell" PCs) Convergence of the player with the player character requires that the player be interacting with the story. But the more control a player is allowed to exert over a story the less control the author retains, and the less the author is in control, the harder it is to tell an interesting story. So I think that to some extent the goal of telling an interesting story conflicts with the goal of simulating romance targeted at the player. And I think that even a massive RPG like Mass Effect or Dragon Age has to deal with that problem. (they deal with it by...well, by being massive)
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Re: VNs with more story?

#12 Post by Taleweaver » Sun May 15, 2011 3:54 am

VNs with more story is what I'm striving to create ever since I started making VNs. Ever played any of mine?
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Re: VNs with more story?

#13 Post by Fawn » Sun May 15, 2011 4:07 am

@ Mirage: That's true. But vns in general are mostly about reading and interacting.... It can be strongest when the story and interaction is related to emotion. Attraction, sadness, fear, ect.; Attraction and fear being the most impacting.
For example, when I played Saya no Uta, I was very engaged in the fear of the characters. Fear is a very personal thing, just like love and attraction, some things scare people while other things don't. So there probably should be more vns that focus on those powerful emotions.

That being said, I'm still a sucker for generic romance games (if the romance is cute and not shallow)

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Re: VNs with more story?

#14 Post by PervertPrince » Sun May 15, 2011 5:42 am

For me the characters were always more important than plot. I can handle a boring plot if it has interesting characters.
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Re: VNs with more story?

#15 Post by Coren » Sun May 15, 2011 6:17 am

VNs are supposed to have story in the first place, why else would it be called a novel? It's a pity that VNs these days seem to have degenerated more and more into a plain 'chase the guy' plot. It's kind of sickening, imo. Even speaking as a teenage girl, I have to say it feels downright airheaded.

I actually dislike the romance genre the most out of all genres. Sure, I won't mind romantic subplots, but full-blown romance ends up being all chick-lit-ish. Isn't a visual novel ultimately a story, not some "choose-between-the-shy-or-the-outgoing-guy" thing you usually see on YouTube?

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