Why do you make Visual Novels?

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Why do you make Visual Novels?

#1 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:16 pm

So, why do you? Why are you here?

I want you to look deep into your soul and figure out why you specifically have chosen this particular medium. Why Visual Novels out of all the gaming mediums? Or out of all the story telling mediums? Why the specific aspect you do? Why did you come here and why have you stayed?

Visual Novels are almost as niche as you get when it comes to games, so I think it will be interesting to hear why we have come here, whether it was a personal reasons, a search for self worth, a desire to create something that didn't exist, because a friend told you so. The reasons may vary, or there may be some very strong common threads. I'd specifically like to hear from some of the long service guys about what brought them to a medium that had barely been heard of years ago.

Please be as specific as possible. We are all here because we like stories and games, but I'm sure that with some of us there is more to it than that.

*This is because I am bored and at work, otherwise I would be making sprites right now >:(


Okay, I'm not getting any busier, so here's my story.

I have always loved stories, ever since I was little. In the beginning I wanted to write, and I wrote some pretty shocking fantasy stories in this period of time. When I was a bit older I was exposed to games and found myself attracted to the pretty character portraits in the booklets as much as the actual game. At some stage I contemplated becoming a game concept designer, and this idea did presist someway into university. I did a small stint with comics (uber long stint with comics, all five pages), because I do really, really love visual story telling, but they are really, really hard and I always found myself feeling the stories I had in mind weren't that great.

I knew vaguely of visual novels, though they don't sell many here. I played Ace Atternony, Hotel Dusk, Lux Pain, some of the Harvest Moon series, Populious and Professor Layton. Yes, that is about all we get here. So I was interested in the medium. One day I ran into someone looking for artists for a visual novel and that exposed me to Lemma Soft. And it was amazing. I was so excited to be part of something like this. I could be a part of making games! Unfortuanatly I was given the job of backgrounds even though I wanted to do characters, and due to a couple other reasons, I stopped working on it. But I stayed here. I like the atmosphere, I like most of the people, I love the creativity and seeing what people were doing really inspired me to try again. I worked on a couple things, finally figured out to do sprites properly, got a RL job as a graphic designer and found a perfect partner in Camille and haven't been happier making VNs. I have NEVER stuck to something so long, so I figured I sold my soul somewhere along the line.

Why VNs? They are probably a good match for me. I don't have the patience to do a comic, so something like this probably fits better. I love the fact VNs focus so much on story, the thing I love. I love choices and the aspect of immersion. I love helping to create a world and I love working with someone who is as excited about it as me. I love how it's possible and how I can play a part. VNs will always be a work of passion for me, and I'll admit that it seems like coincidence has lead to where I am now. Now I want to help create stories that I will enjoy, games I can't find anywhere else. And above all, I want to be apart of creating something I can be really proud of that can bring happiness to others.
Last edited by Auro-Cyanide on Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:12 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Why do you make Visual Novels?

#2 Post by Sapphi » Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:32 pm

Well... When manga was getting really popular, I thought "Cool, these Japanese comics have really deep stories! I'd like to make manga!" Well... I think I do have the ability to make doujin-level stuff, and I tried for awhile, but I realized that making comics takes forever! Not to mention the fact that in order to draw even the first panel, your character designs must already be finalized.

When I first discovered visual and kinetic novels I was stunned, like "Wait, they just have these static pictures of characters that change according to their mood? That's so lazy! But... it's okay? People like it?!" Then I slowly realized the awesome potential they have over sequential art on paper, which is that they can use music and ambient SFX to set a mood, and that you can stuff a TON more words into a visual novel than you can into a comic. I mean, you can make a really text-heavy comic, but people will probably complain.

Another plus with visual novels is that an amateur artist like me is not going to be able to keep up the same drawing style for the duration of a manga series, but I CAN do all my visual novel art at roughly the same time so that it all looks consistent. At least if it looks bad, it will all look equally bad.
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Re: Why do you make Visual Novels?

#3 Post by Death_HUG » Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:45 pm

Well, I loved games in general, especially games like Tokimeki! Me and my friend were talking on the phone one day and that's when we decided to make a game together. Plus, I've always wanted to make a game and have a profession related to game making. I googled somethings and that's when I came across ren'py~ ^o^ I stayed here because the forum members are very nice, friendly, and encouraging ^-^

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Re: Why do you make Visual Novels?

#4 Post by TsukiShima » Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:02 am

I want to share my stories to the world!

It's true, that's the main reason I want to make a VN. And I'm trying in a different medium, a more interactive way. To be honest, I do make comics, write essays, VNs, and illustration for reasons. I want to try all of them. VN is one them. But all of them are for the same reasons, I want to share my ideas and stories to all of them. Either they will enjoy it or read it, I don't mind, I achieved what I wanted.

I do play RPGs, shooting game, racing and fighting games, but VN has a different feel into it. It's like you're a part of the story, and I like that feeling.

And the reason why I'm here is to learn more about people's opinion. To know their point of view as well. Each person has different talent and different interest, I would like to check them out and help them as well. That's how the world works right? The more you share, the you more you gain.

I think there's more reasons of why I want to make VNs, but that's all the major points I can give. I'm sure everyone has a different reason. Can't wait to hear their part.

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Re: Why do you make Visual Novels?

#5 Post by Camille » Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:13 am

I've always loved writing, but I also love music and looking at pretty art. I used to dream about being a movie director or something, but realized pretty early on that it's very hard to succeed in that field. I've tried writing novels in the past, but I could never finish them because I'd be writing them all alone and kept stopping and re-writing and stopping and editing my work. XD; (also I was a young and lazy teenager)

I think the first VN I ever played was either Yo-Jin-Bo or Tokimeki Memorial GS, but after that I played more and more. Nowadays I think I play more VNs than other types of videogames. Being able to play more VNs was my driving force behind learning Japanese, even. xD (so now I get to enjoy quite a lot of Japanese visual novels without having to wait for localization) While I love playing them, the common clichés and emphasis on romance in the otome games I play get on my nerves at times.

I eventually had the idea of making my own VNs based on my clear likes and dislikes. Then I stumbled across Ren'Py and the rest is history. I want to make VNs that aren't purely romance-based and to bring a lot of different characters and worlds to life. Now I work with other people, as well as talk to other people who are interested in VNs, so I don't feel alone. The blend of writing, music, and art in a VN is just something that I love and I feel like this is something I want to do for a long time to come.

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Re: Why do you make Visual Novels?

#6 Post by LVUER » Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:17 am

I love drawing and I love making manga. As much as I love manga though, I realize interactivity is impossible in manga medium.

On the other hand, I also love video games. Sonic being the first game that I absolutely love (Sonic 2, and then Sonic&Knuckles, back to Sonic 1, before finally Sonic 3, I don't really like the other Sonic games). But I also realize that making video games is ... hard and resourceful.

Sometime in the middle of my school life, I was exposed to Visual Novels (at that time I don't even know what is VN). I forget the first title I play but I think it is Sakura Season. But I still have no interest in making VN. And then when I was in college, my big bro introduced me to several VNs that he borrowed from his friends (he himself never interested in VN or video game at all). Again, I was still not interested in VN (though I finished all thosed VN and unlocked every possible ending/CGs)

It was when my (would now be) best friend that exposed me to VN (again). This time it's a little bit different... I can't remember all the titles but the most memorable ones being Heart de Roomate. And after that, I buy Critical Point and Snow Drop on my own (I also bought WC, but I don't like it).

At that time, I realized that VN is kinda a cross-breed between video game and manga. A story-telling medium that offer interactivity that's impossible in manga but never as complicated as a full-fledged video game.

That's... how I eventually exposed to RenPy, LSF, and finally the world of VN making ^_^
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Re: Why do you make Visual Novels?

#7 Post by DaFool » Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:20 am

I wanted to become a "game developer" but wasn't good enough at pretty much anything. Then I saw how visual novels were 90% of the Japanese PC games scene, where all the start-ups and doujin circles congregated, so I thought why not, this will be simple enough. It's tough to make all original content though.

In another life I would have become a modder (I used to make levels for Duke Nukem 3D) but there is nothing so satisfying as building your own world completely from scratch, even if it's just mostly text and pictures.

I didn't use Blade Engine, Onscripter, or even Novelty because you can ONLY make visual novels with them. My ultimate goal in life is to make a JRPG less sucky than the ones made by Idea Factory/Compile Heart (although that's like running to catch the train... they're already using Motion Portrait technology).

So what if this is a niche? Let others expand the medium (such as MoaCube -- they know how to get the casual audience). I like how you can still afford to create stories and situations which would have never been greenlighted in any other more expensive medium. If I have to find my own little corner of the internet to mope, then that's what I'll do.

I am also thankful to this medium since it drove me to acquire skills I never had before. I can safely say I am actually pretty damn good now at what I do, whether it's composing music, programming, creating art, designing interfaces, or writing. I could still turn out a shitty product, similar to how a shovelware developer can turn out shovelware but still feel good about a professional job well done. Everything's a matter of personal tastes anyway.

I'm still involved in projects that are generally 100mb and below in terms of assets (un-optimized, bloated ones don't count), and 100,000 words and below. Perhaps one day I can break that barrier and really work on one of those really big games. But with the saturation that's taking place in the indie market right now, I'd rather keep on cranking those small games and charge $5 rather than spend an eternity trying to achieve a more premium feel.

Also seconding the wanting to make manga or movies, but don't have the stamina for them.

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Re: Why do you make Visual Novels?

#8 Post by Funnyguts » Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:35 am

I just went with it because I thought it would be the best way to present some of the games I want to make, especially with my current skill level. That's really all there is.
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Re: Why do you make Visual Novels?

#9 Post by KomiTsuku » Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:45 am

I've said this once, I'll say it again. I'm here for world domination, pure and simple. Really. People keep acting like that's a joke, but it isn't. With the rapid rise in mobile technology, the decline of paper medium, and the massive success of the Wii at bringing new blood into the world of gaming, I'm banking heavily on the future increase of the visual novel industry. Interactive Fiction is something that has always held an interest of mine, and seeing its potential early on gave me a lot of motivation to start staking my claim. You can call me a cold-heart capitalist, but I truly believe that they are the way of the future, or at least a medium that hasn't been completely tapped out yet. I've stuck my money, most of this year's pay, where my mouth is in pursuit of both making this medium a greater reality and having my place in it. As the android and iOS keep shoving us further and further forward in the digital era, I am most intrigued to see where we can take gaming and storytelling next.

The fact that I can write the stories I've spent the last decade on in a visual medium is simply icing on the cake.

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Re: Why do you make Visual Novels?

#10 Post by DrakeNavarone » Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:54 am

Camille wrote:I've always loved writing, but I also love music and looking at pretty art. I used to dream about being a movie director or something, but realized pretty early on that it's very hard to succeed in that field.
My reasons are very similar to this. The VN medium is the perfect blend of others that allows for the perfect (bizarrely three-way) marriage of my dream jobs (Director, Author), hobbies (Games, Anime), and talents (Writing, Programming) that isn't really possible elsewhere. I've tried my hands at this and that, but nothing else ever really stuck to me like VN making has. And now with all the time I've put into it, I can't quit at this point. I'm stuck with it for the long haul.
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Re: Why do you make Visual Novels?

#11 Post by DaFool » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:04 am

Komitsuku is on to something:

http://thefictionengine.com/2011/10/gam ... -are-back/

http://venturebeat.com/2011/02/23/nancy ... game-book/

Just two days ago I found out that "A Different Bookstore" was swallowed up by "Powerbooks" (our local Barnes & Noble). Also almost all the music and video stores have closed down, replaced by clothing shops. So physical is out, digital is in. And the VN format is perfect for the digital age.

Since the market we're catering to grew up on anime, once the baby boomer generation moves on, I won't be surprised if future game books decidedly take a more anime style approach.

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Re: Why do you make Visual Novels?

#12 Post by JustAnotherMe » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:49 am

I always like manga and story. I love reading, and I love playing games that has story and beautiful art in it, I sometimes like to draw and write too.

The truth is, I don't have many friends that like the same thing as me. They usually into modelling, k-pop, j-pop, JB, hanging out, fashion, etc. Even my BF is into basketball and read just sport manga.

But I have a bad health and sometimes I can't go with them. And while in my rest mode, I find myself reading and playing games (and chatting via BBM), usually PS2. I want to play dating sims game, but I don't know a thing about japanese language, and I just... ignore it.

Then one day when I was browsing through mangas on internet, I found a pacthesis game and I thought, "Is it a dating sim game in english? And the protagonist is a girl??" That's how I'm into VN.

From then on, I searched through google for 'dating sim' games, and I found there's KN too. Then I was led to LSF, searched for another game, either the completed or demos. But I was disappointed by the length of time the games take to be finished (sorry XP), then while in my impatience, I thought, "why not join this forum and see what I can do to help them finish the game?"

But somehow I got interested on making my own game, and now I'm in the process on making my first ^w^ (I hope I could make a WIP soon)
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Re: Why do you make Visual Novels?

#13 Post by HigurashiKira » Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:02 am

The only reason I got started at making VN's is because of the lack of exposure I was getting by just writing. The only piece of writing I did that has ever gotten complimented was a quick porn fic. And that was something I wrote in less than a day. When I discovered that visual novels were essensially books with pretty art and music, I decided that "hey, maybe this could be my last chance of getting my writing out there" since then I've been working dilligently. However, it feels that even here you have to play to the crowd's wishes to even get a small audience, which is quite sad really.
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Re: Why do you make Visual Novels?

#14 Post by Fawn » Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:24 am

Because I'm a huge weeaboo and want to make cute moe bishoujo games with cat girls and maids and... Yeah, my reasons are pretty shallow.

Like most weeaboos I saved a lot of anime artwork found around the net and I always wondered why so many of them were 800x600 and so detailed. The first time I heard of a visual novel was Neko Kawaigari (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIS5RgORotM) then Pure Pure, then Wanko to Kurasou, and all the billions of eroge out there... After some "research" I realized a lot of those pretty anime pictures I saved were from eroges.

So, I became fascinated and started watching lots of game openings and read as many game descriptions as I could (since I can't read Japanese nor do I want to pirate games).

My addiction to cute things is what really got me into VNs because so many eroges are just adorable... And like everyone else that has posted, I liked the medium a lot, you can put more effort into individual sprites and CGs and make a more descriptive story; not to mention choices that branch your story!

Then I found ren'py through a person on youtube that I talked to because they uploaded visual novel openings. I instantly began work on my first (awful) VN: http://games.renpy.org/game/nekomimi.shtml

These days I still play eroge game trials and anything I can find that looks interesting... And I still dream of making a big moeblob dating sim.

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Re: Why do you make Visual Novels?

#15 Post by Junker-Kun » Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:42 am

Hm... I always loved books. When I was 12 I already read everything I could find in my house and began to going to shop. I don't read as much as I used to now but I still love reading. That's probably why I played Higurashi (but when I was 17). Back then I said "cool! The story is awesome and sound effects are stunning!".
Since the same 12 I wanted to learn drawing. Since 14 I began writing stories (of course they was crappy at that time ^__^). And finally, when I was 17 I wanted to do something original. In the fandome I was in there were only stories and pictures. No games or something like that (though there were some unfinished games but I won't count it). I remembered Higurashi and thought that it may be a good idea. So here I am, making VNs and thinking about how-to-make-this-piece-of-crap-called-my-vn-look-good.

P.S. Oh, and of course I knew about VN a long-long time ago. When I played Ero-ge called "Paradise Heights" and "True Love" XD
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