What is "Commercial"?

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Re: What is "Commercial"?

#31 Post by babyfish » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:25 pm

I don't have a problem with published titles personally, as I've bought plenty of titles from Hanakogames and Winter Wolves, more recently Super!63, and I've been more or less satisfied with their products. Besides, I think if a game shows quality and promise, I would be willing to support the creators through a reasonable payment/donation. I think the publishers have a huge part to play in bringing a title to life, not just as an investor, but also as another member of the game-making team.

I can see one issue with working with a publisher is that the creator may fear a loss of control over his/her own work. But I think that a positive experience is definitely possible when there is cooperation on both sides. Besides, projects tend to follow through a little better when there is cooperation between all members, as opposed to control by one party over the other. vNovel certainly has demonstrated a lean towards this cooperative approach, at least from what I've seen.

Besides, if the vNovel succeeds in helping to bring the VN genre into the mainstream, I think it would benefit the community. More people would become interested in Ren'Py and VN-making in general, and we'd see an even greater variety of titles, both free and commercial.

As for their opening post, I can see how they would want to address the community at large due to the reaction to the Songs of Araiah thread. That said, I think posting it on a forum for general discussion ended up generating more confusion and controversy than if they had responded directly to the original WIP thread in question. As a result, the responses thus far have been noticeably defensive. That said, vNovel does seem to be approaching the community in good faith, and I think it's safe to say that the purpose of this thread is to clarify, not criticize.

That said...
jakemorrow wrote:Anyone else got any attacks to direct at a decent publisher who has shown nothing but courtesy and support? o.O ... JESUS!!! What is wrong with you guys!!

Just because they are a business doesn't mean that they are a representative of the "evil" Microsoft and Apple corporations. Seriously, get a grip on yourselves.
Perhaps I'm clueless, but I have yet to see any actual 'attacking' being done in this thread. What I see is a lively exchange of opinions and healthy debate all around. That's not to say that there isn't any tension in the discussion, but such should be expected given how much controversy stems from the 'commercial vs non-commercial' debate, no?

I don't really see people bashing vNovel just for being a business. Besides, this isn't the first time we've had a business representative of some sort interacting with the community. Sakevisual, WinterWolves, Hanako Games all follow a business model, yet I don't see much prejudice against them. In case you haven't noticed, people have been trying to establish within the last few posts that Lemmasoft as a community is NOT 'anti-business'.
jakemorrow wrote: I'm not saying this to defend vNovel, I have a problem with your attitude! This is a friendly community, and it should stay as such for individuals and businesses alike. They are no different to any other indie studio around here. We're all in this sh*t together. So stop ramming heads like apes, be civilized and pay respect some respect!
"Pay respect some respect?" If you're going to throw around platitudes, at least have a bit of integrity. In other words, have some respect for the fact that people will stick to their opinion one way or another, especially where controversy exists. So far, I've seen posts that are rather opinionated, but none that are overtly indecent about it. The only 'disrespectful' post I've seen on this thread thus far is yours. Continue on to see why.
jakemorrow wrote: If a Japanese elder person would be reading this thread, he couldn't help but laugh out loud from unbearable sorrow at how disrespectful and egotistical these westerners are.
To be honest, it's also pretty laughable how you generalize the Lemmasoft Community as being composed of all 'westerners', when that's really an unfair statement. Besides, making generalizations against an entire social group is pretty insulting, not to mention, ignorant.
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Re: What is "Commercial"?

#32 Post by Fawn » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:27 pm

I'm a bit late, but I am one of the "naysayers"/"negative commenters", so I want to explain my view on this. I don't expect anyone to agree with me, infact I expect the opposite, but I would like you to know so possibly you can understand why I said what I said.

In the previous thread I said that I didn't approve of a remake of an already good free game going commercial. The reason I feel that is because Songs of Ariah was such an inspiration for the indie community, it feels like the old game is being thrown out for a shiny new commercial version.

To me, it feels like you're saying "Indie will never be good enough, you need to spend money to make good game"- which is totally not the case with Ariah, it was great on its own and deserves to be kept that way. I know that might be a strange opinion to you, but that's how I feel.

I totally support Team BG getting into the commercial scene, but I believe remaking an indie "classic" (at least to me) is a little disappointing. Leave your past works in the past and work hard on your new games, I bet they can be ever better. Also, as Aleema mentioned, Sake Visual's model works because there are both smaller games for free (like the original Songs of Ariah was) and larger games for a good price. It starts people out to let them see what they can expect from the company.

And, I guess I can say I'm one of those people who believes creativity shouldn't be associated with money. It's a childish view that definitely doesn't apply in today's business-oriented world, but it's one of the reasons I love lemmasoft, or any other indie forum: It's a place where you can find people putting all their effort into ideas they love without expecting anything in return. It seems that you're trying to make Songs of Ariah into a "professional business property" rather than leave it as its organic indie expression.

Of course there's commercial games too, it's great that they can use Ren'py to make profit on their massive games- The creators of games like Lucky Rabbit Reflex, Planet Stronghold and others that are very long and have tons of mini games totally deserve the money they ask for. If you can make Songs of Ariah like that (which, I don't see how, unless you create the game over entirely) I will totally understand you making it commercial. But it doesn't seem the case, until you give more info.

T;DR: I believe Songs of Ariah was great on its own and doesn't need a tune up (unless you want to make the game loosely based on the original with a lot more interactive features and even longer story). If you have the resources, it would be more palatable to make a fresh game that will go down in history as being an awesome original idea, not a shiny remake of a once free game...

I'm saying this respectfully and honestly. I am also not saying I'm right, I am only explaining why I have this view in the hope that you understand it. If this offends you I am sorry.

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Re: What is "Commercial"?

#33 Post by vnovel » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:52 pm

PyTom has kindly asked us to clarify that Jakemorrow's views in no way reflect that of the team at vNovel Interactive. In fact, it goes directly against our policy. It seems this user somehow appears to share the same IP address on our network. We have launched an investigation into this case with the help of the Lemma forums administration. In the meantime, we ask that you kindly refrain from responding to the posts of this user.

This thread has swirled completely off track, and we have no wish to contribute to a debate. The purpose of this thread was to be informative, and initiate a peaceful conversation where users can share their thoughts.

Jake, if you're reading this, please contact us to clarify your standing.

Best Regards,
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Re: What is "Commercial"?

#34 Post by DaFool » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:58 am

BCS wrote:
We are also very strict on whether the interactive elements of the story game are closely tied to the story itself. Traditional dating sims or RPG games (with stats, etc.) are not acceptable for publication with us. We welcome interactivity, but only as long as it's seamless and doesn't interfere with the story.
I find it interesting that Vnovel is implying that roleplaying mechanics or dating simulation elements work against a story. Of course, since they are the ones fronting the money, I suppose they have the right to be choosy about which projects they would like to sponsor.

I just don't find it very admirable to announce their ... strategy ... quite like this. Frankly, I came into this thread bright-eyed, thinking it was a discussion of indie devs going commercial or what it means to be "commercial" and ... well, I did not get what I expected. I've been on these forums a long time, and I feel like the community has always had its ups and downs but we've come a long way.

I think that corporate publishers getting involved is a good thing!

... I don't think I care for this one, though.
If I can provide a simplistic explanation, it's because their cross-platform web and iOS engine is not capable of such mechanics. The Ren'Py games that have dating sim and RPG battles are well into hardcore python programming territory. The irony is that it's games with such mechanics are the ones that actually sell compared to plain reading novels. Lack of RPG support is why I'm still not fully on-board. I'm more likely want to be a developer of Utawarerumono clones than other types of games.

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Re: What is "Commercial"?

#35 Post by Taleweaver » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:05 am

I also find it a little sad that vnovel receive quite a bit of "bad vibes" essentially because they support a member of our community going commercial with an older title. The decision to remake SoA is not vnovel's, they have simply taken the game under their wings and are giving it a makeover now. While I understand that people here would rather see new games than an old one remade, it's not vnovel's fault that this is happening.

So far, I believe they have shown a professional approach to what they do (if maybe a little elitist), but in my opinion, there's no reason to hold that against them. I'm seriously interested in publishing one of my next games under their label because, put bluntly, going commercial on your own devices is a large step for a semi-pro writer, and I'm not sure whether I'm up to it alone.

Holding things like "the royal "we" level of diction against them when they're clearly a group of people using one account sounds more than a little unfair to me. Lumping them in with others making "grandiose promises" after vnovel have stated in their opening post that making VNs will not make you rich and, unlike others we've seen before, have already proven that they can do what they say they can (publishing VNs) isn't good form either in my book.

Please, folks. Stay civil.
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Re: What is "Commercial"?

#36 Post by Aleema » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:15 am

vnovel wrote:PyTom has kindly asked us to clarify that Jakemorrow's views in no way reflect that of the team at vNovel Interactive. In fact, it goes directly against our policy. It seems this user somehow appears to share the same IP address on our network.
For some reason, this doesn't surprise me. Not in the least.

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Re: What is "Commercial"?

#37 Post by HikkiPanda » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:23 am

Aleema wrote:For some reason, this doesn't surprise me. Not in the least.
wooo ... I bet saying that made you feel good ^^

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Re: What is "Commercial"?

#38 Post by Aleema » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:30 am

Lol, is that a ^_^ face at the end of your post, or 2 up arrows? xD

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Re: What is "Commercial"?

#39 Post by Fawn » Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:09 pm

So, is it a bad thing to have an opinion of a business posting here? A lot of you are acting like it's hateful to have an honest opinion. If we're skeptical we have the right to say so, this IS a forum, isn't it? Or did I take a wrong turn at Venus again?

Shouldn't a business be allowed to take criticism? Criticism should be a beneficial thing- if they don't know what people find adverse, they'll keep making the mistake of doing adverse things. It's impossible to please everyone, but it's never a bad thing to think about opinions other than positive ones in order to make a better product/game/whatever you make.

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Re: What is "Commercial"?

#40 Post by Hayzel » Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:32 pm

Fawn wrote: Shouldn't a business be allowed to take criticism? Criticism should be a beneficial thing- if they don't know what people find adverse, they'll keep making the mistake of doing adverse things. It's impossible to please everyone, but it's never a bad thing to think about opinions other than positive ones in order to make a better product/game/whatever you make.
Yes they should be subjected to criticism, and it usually is a beneficial thing but....that's only you if you know how to deliver criticism in a way that is constructive and doesn't come off as being elitist or sounding like you are telling them what to do/change. (Both parties are sort of guilty of this)

Vnovel did come off a little elitist and rude when it came to their opening and closing statement, but I think they were just trying to send out a PSA in their own way...Though it ended up like Cloud said....both parties in this just sound like they are lecturing at each other or the community and this thread will just lead to no where...

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Re: What is "Commercial"?

#41 Post by Taleweaver » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:00 pm

Fawn wrote:Shouldn't a business be allowed to take criticism? Criticism should be a beneficial thing- if they don't know what people find adverse, they'll keep making the mistake of doing adverse things.
Half the things that vnovel were criticized for in this thread is either stuff they were not responsible for ("you published a game commercially, which is unnecessary because that game was already great when it was free"), behavior that was perfectly normal for a group of people ("you use the royal 'we' and sound snotty because of it") or things they never did in the first place ("you criticized the community for having concerns").

Really, if it's about the SoA re-release, you're barking up the wrong tree. vnovel apparently don't write games, they publish them, and a creator has to come to them and ask them to publish a game. They don't approach people saying "this was a neat title, may we re-release it commercially", and even if they did, that would still be no reason to make faces at them.

There's a lot you can say about vnovel. You may criticize them for coming across as elitist and for declaring themselves "the best" (or rather for declaring they can recognize and only publish "the best", which is a rather pompous claim). You may criticize them for having an inflexible game engine and promoting it as the greatest thing since sliced bread. However, unfounded criticizm is hardly fair, and that's what I feel is happening here.
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Re: What is "Commercial"?

#42 Post by Aashtarsrain » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:08 pm

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:lol: "Déjà lu"... Reminds me (slightly) of last year's delightful and epic argument : http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7654 Good old days ! :mrgreen:
Last edited by Aashtarsrain on Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What is "Commercial"?

#43 Post by KomiTsuku » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:13 pm

I've honestly lost track of what the topic was about... Then again, I'm not really sure what the original point was...

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Re: What is "Commercial"?

#44 Post by Fawn » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:17 pm

Hmm well, I see your point.

vNovel just seems so out of place, out of the norm, posting here- typically when people see something that's abnormal, they can embrace it, question it or just plain hate it. I am in the questioning group, poking it with a stick to see what exactly it is- it's hard to tell if they're people who enjoy visual novels and want to make a business out of it because they enjoy them, or just people who see a business opportunity in visual novels and nothing more. Not that anything would change from knowing that- business will be business.

@KomiTsuku: we are discussing the ethics of sending puppies to mars in hope that they will grow into giant mutants and become a sentient species. At least that's what I think it is, I'm not sure.

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Re: What is "Commercial"?

#45 Post by jack_norton » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:28 pm

I'm one of the published authors (though technically Flower Shop is written by Ayu, so...) and the only thing I didn't like of vNovel post was the line where they say they publish "only the best". I think there are lots of good writers here that can make better stories than me.
Even if I'm sure vNovel intentions were good, since they behaved very politely whenever I dealt with them, I think that phrase was not needed :)
About the rest I agree with Taleweaver that was a bit excessive reaction towards them. And I vote against sending puppies on Mars!!!
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