Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

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Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#1 Post by fleet » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:43 am

In the majority of visual novels I've played, it seems the characters wear the same clothing throughout the game. Has anybody else noticed this? Does it matter?

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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#2 Post by YonYonYon » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:54 am

more clothes character wears - more work to artist
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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#3 Post by Mocha07734 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:55 am

Well, I think this is mainly due to the fact that making the characters wear only one set of clothings lightens the burden for the artist. Who would have to draw a new set of clothing for the character if they are going to wear a different set of clothes.
(exactly what YonYonYon said)

And honestly it doesn't entirely matter a lot, in my opinion. Unless it's a fashion based game. I would like to see more clothes. <w<;

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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#4 Post by Blue Lemma » Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:39 pm

How convenient for the artists that so many games take place in a school with uniforms! ;)

I'm a fan of multi-clothes for characters. It's more realistic and a nice touch.
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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#5 Post by Celianna » Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:50 pm

It's because different clothes means a lot more work for the artist, not doubling the work, not even tripling the work, but you can pretty much expect ten-fold the work if you want a 'realistic' portrayal of characters wearing different clothes.

Heck, my game is about making clothes, and the reason why I'm not showing the main character's portrait when she is talking, is because she has the option of changing clothes (42 outfits), and that would mean, 42 different portraits. If I'd do that, I'd die. Not only that, you have the option to choose between two girls you can play as in the beginning ... that would double the amount of work! Yikes!

Aka; too much work, and it has become a standard pretty much in every game/story/anime etc. There are times when they do change clothes, but this mostly has a lot to do with the story itself.

While of course it's a nice touch, it's pretty much the same reason why no one's hair grows over time; simply because of the effort. Tough I do compliment Avatar: The Last Airbender for not only giving the main characters a change of clothes (sometimes), but their hair actually grows longer.
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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#6 Post by J. Datie » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:18 pm

Not only is it a lot more work for the artist, it's a lot more work with very little pay off. All that time spent adding a slight amount of realism is time that could have been spent adding a variety of other art related... things. For most VNs, it's just not worth it.

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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#7 Post by LVUER » Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:50 pm

Yup, it's all because it's a hard work to make more clothes. 2D or 3D, it's a hard work to make even a single additional cloth.

But there's a lot of VN where the characters have more than one set of clothes/sprites: naked, underwear, school uniform, pajamas, and casual wear. Sagara Family and XChange Alternative YinYang characters are the examples.
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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#8 Post by papillon » Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:04 pm

There are a lot of games where sprites have more than one clothing set, but VERY few where they even vaguely resemble "real" people changing clothes every day. :)

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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#9 Post by LVUER » Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:12 pm

That's obviously, isn't it ^_^ The reason is still the same though... But having several set of clothes is better than only have 2 (uniform + casual). Even in simulation game that features clothing (or playing "dressing up"), the clothes is still lacking...
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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#10 Post by Crocosquirrel » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:04 pm

I called for several outfits for the characters in Academy Daze, because they were in several different sorts of situations, and there was a near-riot when I put up the sprite list. Cooler heads finally prevailed, but the original primary artist doesn't have time to do it all herself, and I had to recruit quite a bit more help.

For eleven characters, everyone averaged seven outfits, which including minor characters (and not expressions or poses) totaled nearly a hundred pieces.
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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#11 Post by Applegate » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:43 pm

Has anybody else noticed this? You'd have to be blind not to.
Does it matter? No. Absolutely not. Unless the focus of the story is the clothing its actors wear, it is not a matter of vital import that characters change clothes regularly. Some anime and manga don't bother granting their cast an extensive wardrobe for the simple matter that it is more expensive to do so. Others change clothes but don't make it too impactful. (I remember Card Captor Sakura was praised in its time for featuring a high variety of clothing, though...)

There is also a good reason for offering only one outfit for a character: it offers stability and recognisability to the character portrayed, and when you DO change the clothes, it can go paired with character development such as growing out of feety pyjamas and finally embracing the cold but mature way that is underwear-only. (But if your novel features this, I would prefer no images. :lol:)

I think the matter over whether it matters is something you have to personally consider: does it take away from your experience that Ash Ketchum hardly ever changes his clothes despite traveling around the land a lot, or does it definitely make the series more enjoyable for you now that Kyon wears a different outfit in each episode of Endless Eight?

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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#12 Post by EwanG » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:00 pm

Not just art that's a problem, but it can also introduce programming complexity. If I'm starting down one path, and I make a choice that takes me down another, I have to make sure that I either do or don't change clothes accordingly. Also if I have a uniform and a casual outfit (two characters from ROTLB as an example), I have to make sure the change in path doesn't change the setting without also changing the clothes, etc.

I personally think you'd get more bang for the buck adding voices (in terms of player enjoyment and impact), although that explodes the size of the game. Similarly I've noticed many new eroges adding some animation (mouth flap and simple movements of arms and such) which doesn't add quite as much size to the games, though obviously more complexity. Even in those, the clothes tend to be one or two outfits at most.

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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#13 Post by Crocosquirrel » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:19 pm

There are three problems with adding voices:

1) You can't edit after doing voices. No significant changes can be made to script or anything else much after you finish the voices. Redoing voices is a pain in the rumpus, if you can even get the voice actor/actress back in to redo things.

2) Good voice acting will add a special something to a game, sure, but bad voice acting will tank it for sure no matter what else you do. No amount of ultimate writing or knockout art will help

3) If you're not perfect with the language you're writing in, adding voices will magnify your every grammar and spelling error. Even with most excellent voice acting, you'll murder your game if you have more than one or two errors.
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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#14 Post by EwanG » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:30 pm

All those points about adding voices are true, but "for me" the size issue is what has kept me from doing it again. Though as time goes on it seems an 80 Meg archive is not as horrible as it used to be :D
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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#15 Post by Blue Lemma » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:31 am

It would be kind of neat to see a KISS doll approach and have different shirts and pants you could layer and mix to get different-looking outfits from fewer pieces of clothes.
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