What is your opinion about minigames in VN's?

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ImmortalDreams
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What is your opinion about minigames in VN's?

#1 Post by ImmortalDreams » Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:23 pm

What is your personal opinion about minigames in VN's? Do they add or subtract from player experience? When and where is it appropriate to use them? What kinds of minigames go well with a VN?

I started this topic partly out of plain curiosity and partly because I want to know if I should use minigames in my VN. Please speak your minds.
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Re: What is your opinion about minigames in VN's?

#2 Post by OtomeWeekend » Sun Oct 30, 2011 2:58 am

Personally, I hate mini-games. Or just raising stats and stuff if it's a VN. If not, it's a full dating sim, then I'm fine with it. Though it varies on the mini-game whether it's fun or not. UtaPri's mini games are addicting and I don't hate them especially the rhythm test *_*

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Re: What is your opinion about minigames in VN's?

#3 Post by DrathFox » Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:07 am

I'm not a heavy visual novel gamer, but mainly more of a regular video gamer. However with my thoughts going through a visual novel I would think it's best to have a minigame as a optional / extras feature to have instead of 'forcing' someone to play though a minigame to advance. However if you're making an rpg game then yeah the whole game would be a video game with a huge story in it and that would defeat the purpose of it being a visual novel I suppose :lol:

So my thoughts are when a reader is progressing through the novel give them a button or an option that pops up that prompts them if they want to play the game or skip / keep reading without playing. Or just give the minigame as an extras feature from the main menu. I think I'd find that most enjoyable for both the VN and minigame.

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Re: What is your opinion about minigames in VN's?

#4 Post by PrinceNukeNinja » Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:27 am

I agree with DrathFox. If you want to add a mini game to you VN, It's best if said mini game is optional because not everyone likes them. I actually know several people who hate mini games.

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Re: What is your opinion about minigames in VN's?

#5 Post by MiSi » Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:02 am

I don't like mini games that much... if they're too difficult, you get stuck right in the middle of the story. But if the game doesn't really change the story and you can continue it nevertheless... well, then maybe you might add the mini game ;)

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Re: What is your opinion about minigames in VN's?

#6 Post by Wright1000 » Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:37 am

In the preferences menu, there should be an option to skip the games. I will not say that I like minigames nor I will say that I hate them. Because some are according to my taste, while some minigames bore me to death. But, in some visual novels, winning a minigame may be the way to escape a life and death situation. That's a different matter. That kind of minigames should be a must win. But I have played VNs where if you go to an amusement park, you enter a gaming zone and you are forced to play a game no matter what. This is what I call annoying.
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Re: What is your opinion about minigames in VN's?

#7 Post by Endorphin » Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:44 am

Hmmm... I think they are okay, as long as they aren't hard or that important.
For 1+3, I'm currently working on a puzzle thingy [and some other things] and I liked the minigames in X-Note because they weren't that time consuming or hard.
About the situation Wright1000 talks about - the amusement park thingy - it's fine if the main character is "forced" to it too, but I think you could still refuse.
(Which would affect your frindship points negativly, maybe?)
But I have pretty bad reflexes and I'm bad at logical stuff, so I am fine with easy stuff. :o
I still think that people should use SOME kind of minigame/dress-up/whatever, just so that it is more dynamic.

However, it's still your opinion.
People will get used to it eventually. =o
As long as it's fair and well made, I believe that even people, who normally don't like minigames, will be fine with it.

Just don't overuse it.
Minigames are supposed to be like spicy - if you use a little it can better up everything, but too much will ruin everything.

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Re: What is your opinion about minigames in VN's?

#8 Post by aestate » Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:13 am

Ryouko raised some very good points (it's a great idea to have the option to refuse and have friendship points be negatively affected).

I personally find that minigames are a fun distraction, because just reading text can be a little monotonous at times. Still, I find that they can get a little annoying if too numerous or just generally too challenging! ALSO maybe kind of unrelated, but the minigames in "Harvest Moon : ToT" (I know this isn't a VN, strictly-speaking) were so GAH. I found them so ridiculously difficult, and to add to that, every time the player fails the minigame, relationship points with a certain character decrease.
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Re: What is your opinion about minigames in VN's?

#9 Post by YonYonYon » Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:45 am

I don't like difficult minigames in VNs. Especially if you're forced to play them.

But if a game isn't only VN (RPG maybe?) minigames will looks more natural, which means I'll enjoy them despite the difficulty
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Re: What is your opinion about minigames in VN's?

#10 Post by sake-bento » Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:27 pm

Here are some numbers from one of my biweekly polls if it helps. The comments section is probably more telling than looking at a few percentages, though.

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Re: What is your opinion about minigames in VN's?

#11 Post by jack_norton » Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:06 pm

I recently made optional the minigames in my Vera Blanc VN and I felt like an idiot for not offering this possibility sooner, since there's a good amount of players who hate them (not "don't like", but really *hate*).
I think minigames in VNs should all be optional too.
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Re: What is your opinion about minigames in VN's?

#12 Post by fleet » Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:29 pm

Of the criticisms I've received on my VN's I can only recall one about mini-games. I state in the summaries if a VN includes mini-games, so if somebody really hates mini-games, they are forewarned.
Jack, I hope the minigame optional feature on the Vera Blanc VN improved sales for you.
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Re: What is your opinion about minigames in VN's?

#13 Post by gekiganwing » Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:01 pm

I'm trying to think of a crucial or mandatory minigame which I've genuinely enjoyed. Nothing comes to mind. The only ones which I actually liked were either optional, or slightly important.

Hmm... perhaps the only way that people might enjoy crucial/mandatory minigames in a visual novel would be if they were central to the game. For an example, see the review of Vitamin Y, which is an untranslated DS game that's more about minigames than VN, at http://www.gamertell.com/technologytell ... -ds-review
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Re: What is your opinion about minigames in VN's?

#14 Post by leon » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:43 am

I'm pretty new to VNs, but I think mini-games can be very frustrating in many other genres as well, particularly adventure games, simulations and RPGs.

I recently played a game called "Kudos: Rock Legend". It's a wonderful life sim, that includes a mini-game. This mini-game is the only way to raise your stats. This may work for those that actually enjoy the game and are good at it, everyone else is forced to play trough the game with a crappy band. To make matters even worse, you need to practice musicianship all the time or your skills fall down. It doesn't literally break the game, you can still become a famous band that can't play their instruments. But it takes a very important part out of the game. I hacked the game, so I could cheat trough the mini-game. If I couldn't do that - I wouldn't bother playing the game. According to the forums, this is the most frustrating part of the game for most people. This has to have a negative effect on their sales. I find it simply impossible to understand, why would a developer not include an option to skip it.

The biggest frustration I ever had, was with a mini-game that had a critical bug. I can't remember the title, I just remember I was Sherlock Holmes... The game apparently wasn't tested with a full playtrough and they published a game that was playable about 50%. The biggest frustration here, was spending several hours trying to solve an unsolvable puzzle.

Another case of forced mini games is a very old simulation called Oil Tycoon. I would spend half of the game making business decisions and making billions. The other half I would spend drilling holes and fixing the pipelines - personally. The mini-games weren't too bad, but they managed to kill any realism; am I supposed to be a tycoon or a worker on an oil platform?

Sierra used to include arcade mini-games in their adventure games. After a few failures, you would get an option to skip the mini-game. Even in this form, they were quite frustrating and in later games there was always an option to skip them.

Arcade games are almost always frustrating in any story-based game. Puzzle games can sometimes work, but there is no reason why you wouldn't include an option to skip them, unless they are integral part of the main game.

I really see two problems with mini-games.
- They are usually too simple to be really enjoyable. You can't spend too much time polishing, testing and balancing a mini-game. If you would, your main game might suck...
- They often require quick fingers, good memory or some other skill, that doesn't go well with the genre.

Minigames should be optional and there should be a law enforcing this!

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Re: What is your opinion about minigames in VN's?

#15 Post by Anna » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:07 am

I dislike mini-games in VNs a lot, though not just there. As others said it can be annoying in an RPG too.

However, if they're optional (for example, you get a mini game as extra content after you finish) or if the game is about mini-games it's not that bad.

Mario Party only uses mini games, but that's the entire idea of the game. There was also a Kirby game on the Nintendo 64 which gave you mini-games as extra content, which was fun too. Another thing to consider is whether you can play them with others or not. While I like playing the Kirby and Mario Party mini-games with my friends, I wouldn't have played them or enjoyed them on my own. So just because people like certain mini-games doesn't mean they would work well on their own in a VN.

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