Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#16 Post by Meatpie » Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:20 am

Another reason could be, that the clothes define the character.

The punk wearing the black muscle shirt and cut off jeans, the cute girl next door wearing the floral pink dress ect.

Anyway, not all VN's try for realism, and many that do fail.
Cartoon characters don't change their clothes much either, or if a lot of the time, ever. And these characters are redrawn frame by frame, there's no real reason they can't have their clothes changed from episode to episode, other than the fact that the clothes help make the character, they give them personality and make them easily identifiable.

It isn't really an issue, VN's aren't the only medium in which clothing is never changed.

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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#17 Post by sake-bento » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:11 am

Not only is it easier on everyone involved, I think giving a character a set outfit makes him or her more recognizable. A lot of live action media features characters in a very small selection of clothing as well. Even the Doctor only changes his suit once a season.

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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#18 Post by cosmo » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:15 am

Ah, The Doctor!
But he may be a bad example, as he changes his face every now and then … … well!
I agree with you!
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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#19 Post by Funnyguts » Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:16 am

The really cheap way to do this is to have one set of clothes and then do pallete swaps. Worked for Final Fantasy.
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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#20 Post by fleet » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:19 pm

Changing clothes is easy to do in 3D (I use 3D, but 3D VNs aren't popular).

I've played several games by winterwolves games (the Vera Blanc games and Bionic Hearts), and in those games the characters change clothes. It's also not that hard in 2D VNs, using layers in Photoshop or GIMP (or palette swaps as suggested by Funnyguts). I've made mods for both the Vera Blanc and Bionic Hearts games.
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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#21 Post by gundestiny » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:26 pm

While it's true that it's not overly difficult if you utilize layers properly, it can still take some time (particularly if there are many characters). And there's always the risk that the extra effort or work you put in, may not ever get published. (eg, the game is dropped)

Although, VN's where characters do have different clothing sets are much more immersive and realistic as said previously :3
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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#22 Post by Mink » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:40 pm

Eh, depending the VN, it could be little pay off. Also, it could depend on whether or not you're paying money or if the artist is doing it for free. If you've have, say, upwards of ten characters, and the game takes place for about a month, and if they change clothes in a realistic way...that's a lot of work. A free artist would have to be *really* dedicated to do that amount of work. If the artist is getting paid, you'd probably better be willing to shell out some money.

As for the art, even if you do use layers, drawing/coloring the outfits are still going to take some time. Even then, some people may want really ornate clothes, which would take even more time.

And I've seen way worse leaps in logic in realism than just how often a character in a show/game/whatever changes clothes.

As a note, not to sound harsh or anything, if you want a realistic change of clothes that badly, there's always learning to draw yourself.
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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#23 Post by ririruetoo » Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:17 pm

I guess I'm lucky, my artist ( who is doing everything for free) has every sprite have around 2 different outfits ( besides their school/main outfit) awwwww~! I love her so much!
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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#24 Post by LVUER » Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:46 pm

@fleet:
It's not making the program to change the clothes, but the extra time and effort you have to churn in order to design and make the additional cloth.
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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#25 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:37 pm

As someone who would be doing so called 'extra work', I would like to say that I don't mind doing extra outfits, but they do take up time and effort and they stretch out timelines more than they already are for a game. Getting something close to reality (as in the characters change clothes everyday or so) would be a waste of effort for the amount of pay out you get. A single pose, single outfit sprite is SIGNIFICANTLY easier to do than multiple poses and outfits. Basically, artwork for games take long enough to do without freaking out over details. I would rather see a finished game where characters never change outfits, than an unfinished game where several characters have a whole wardrobe.

(And it's not that 3D VNs are unpopular per se, it is unpolished 3D graphics. 3D stuff quickly falls into 'uncanny valley' and so you have to work a lot harder for people to find them appealing. You pull of something like that which is seen in 3D movies, then people will love it. But half polished stuff will generally only make people feel uncomfotable)

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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#26 Post by gundestiny » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:02 pm

^ Agreed. The major time consuming constraint when producing sprites would be either: another pose, or a different wardrobe. With a new pose, you'd have to redraw the whole sprite (angle, position, clothing). And say if you want the extra pose to have both (or more outfits) there's even more time sucked down the drain.

Yes, money is a delicious incentive to putting in the extra effort, but it's still time constraining ^^"
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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#27 Post by Sapphi » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:58 pm

sake-bento wrote:Not only is it easier on everyone involved, I think giving a character a set outfit makes him or her more recognizable. A lot of live action media features characters in a very small selection of clothing as well. Even the Doctor only changes his suit once a season.
This. If you're writing super straight slice-of-life then I guess various outfits could be expected, but... for me, as a character designer, I try to come up with the very best outfit I can for my character in the first place, and then I don't want to change it because it's iconic. As Meatpie noted above, sometimes outfits define the character. I mean, the clothes can be as recognizable (if not moreso) than the face. Think about everyone who cosplays... sometimes you only know it's a certain character because of the details in their clothes.

And even IRL, I would bet that most of us have one or two "favorite outfits" that we wear more often than others, to the point that they could be considered a trademark outfit. If you were to draw yourself, more likely than not, you would draw yourself in those clothes. I mean, take Mugen for example, he's always wearing that red Hawaiian print shirt :P
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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#28 Post by fleet » Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:04 pm

So the bottom line appears to be that
(1) artists don't like the extra work (unless they are getting paid for piecework and do not have a deadline), and
(2) varying character outfits doesn't matter a lot to the readers of VNs
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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#29 Post by papillon » Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:30 pm

and CREATORS don't like the extra work causing either huge delays or huge costs or both, too, don't forget that :)

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Re: Why do characters in visual novels rarely change clothes

#30 Post by Crocosquirrel » Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:49 pm

The only time I've ever seen costume changes happen in VNs is when their clothing would normally *have* to change. Uniform/swimsuit/streetclothes/nightclothes/underwear, etc.

But even that is a significant multiplier. So you either have to keep movement to a minimum, or clothing. In those cases where you can do neither, expect much screaming an gnashing of teeth.
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