The argument against Generic Games

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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#16 Post by Hijiri » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:43 pm

Auro-Cyanide wrote:How does amount effect how something is cliche? You guys were the one's who specifically decided to point at otome, which is why people stood up for it because genre does not dictate quality. To mention a specific genre just because you have something against the amount produced does not factually back up your statement. It just makes you look biased and no-one will listen to your point.
(I had a much harsher reply that answered you, but I'll see if this will work)
Numbers mean nothing about cliche, but when you have numerous releases that are cliche that fall under a specific genre, you can't help but point that out. (Recall that the BxG community have been known as "those porn games" because of the number of H-Games released that fall in that category. Yes, there are non-H games, but a majority of BxG games released professionally are usually H)
Anarchy wrote:You'll have to forgive me for assuming that, given your previous statements attacking otome, but I'm glad that you've changed/clarified your stance.
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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#17 Post by Anarchy » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:48 pm

Someone made a good point that a lot of the users here are relatively young and inexperienced. I wouldn't blame anyone for making a shit, relatively uninspired first game too harshly. Good ideas are hard to come up with, and harder still to frame within an entertaining context. A lot of "originality" in terms of the genres discussed comes with complex plot dynamics and character backgrounds - not something you can set out doing right away. If people continually release bland games, and refuse to develop their creativity, then that's quite unfortunate.
The visual novel, being a "submedium" of videogames, is a pretty young medium itself, isn't it? Every kind of medium needs time to mature, and though we've already had quite a few great VNs that push the boundaries of the medium, like Ever17, the aforementioned Umineko No Naku Koro Ni, Dangan Ronpa, and so on, I think that visual novels are still in their infancy and so it's not surprising that we see certain tropes pop up again and again.

I remember once I did a visual novel for a creative writing class and my teacher thought I put the sex scene in there just because it was something that all visual novels traditionally had to have. Which is sad, but that's the reality of the history of the medium. Just the fact that we've moved past the "VNs are nothing but porn" phase, is something to be proud of, I guess? Not that I have anything against sexy games, in fact, I quite like them, it's just that I think the medium has so much more potential than that.

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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#18 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:02 pm

Hijiri wrote:
Auro-Cyanide wrote:How does amount effect how something is cliche? You guys were the one's who specifically decided to point at otome, which is why people stood up for it because genre does not dictate quality. To mention a specific genre just because you have something against the amount produced does not factually back up your statement. It just makes you look biased and no-one will listen to your point.
(I had a much harsher reply that answered you, but I'll see if this will work)
Numbers mean nothing about cliche, but when you have numerous releases that are cliche that fall under a specific genre, you can't help but point that out. (Recall that the BxG community have been known as "those porn games" because of the number of H-Games released that fall in that category. Yes, there are non-H games, but a majority of BxG games released professionally are usually H)
Not really? Just as stating 'All VNs are porn' is ignorant and not something I would expect to see within the actual creator community, so too would I see judgement based on genre and numbers to be seen as ignorant and not something I expect from the creator community. I expect something more indepth than that. Number of releases do not corrolate with anything apart from the fact there are probably more female creators at the moemnt. The percentage of quality will remain very similar. Have you seen some of the games that have been inspired by Katawa Shojo recently? It's a natural cycle of work when new people come into the feild. Plus, lots of people like their guilty pleasures. There are whole genres for it. While they technically might not be that good, and certainly not something I would play, they do find their audience.

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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#19 Post by CheeryMoya » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:04 pm

Anarchy wrote:I remember once I did a visual novel for a creative writing class and my teacher thought I put the sex scene in there just because it was something that all visual novels traditionally had to have. Which is sad, but that's the reality of the history of the medium. Just the fact that we've moved past the "VNs are nothing but porn" phase, is something to be proud of, I guess? Not that I have anything against sexy games, in fact, I quite like them, it's just that I think the medium has so much more potential than that.
Now that we've moved out of this "VNs are nothing but porn" phase, we need to move out of the "All VNs must be set within a Japanese High School" phase. Would a different location really change the story that dramatically if it's just a simple Slice-of-Life?

OELVNs are a young medium, and we can go places with it. We shouldn't throw ourselves back into Japan because we're "familiar" with it. I want something new and unique, and is that too much to ask? I'll let it slide if the creator is young (then the question arises about why they even have internet access in the first place; you grow up quick when you accidentally stumble upon stuff you probably shouldn't be looking at...), but those who know better should be paving a new road with this relatively new type of game.

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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#20 Post by Anarchy » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:12 pm

Now that we've moved out of this "VNs are nothing but porn" phase, we need to move out of the "All VNs must be set within a Japanese High School" phase. Would a different location really change the story that dramatically if it's just a simple Slice-of-Life?
I agree with you, but I think we're already moving towards the place you want VNs to be in already. If you look at the list of completed NaNo games, you'll see that most of them are NOT set in a Japanese high school. A lot of them, in fact, have incredibly fun, original premises/art/stories/characters, and are generally quite well-executed, especially for something that was whipped up in a month. (I haven't finished any of them yet because school... work... OTLlll, but the games I've played so far have been blowing my mind.) So I think that yes, we should definitely always aspire to move the medium to greater heights, but we should also look at what we already have and appreciate the creativity of creators who are already doing so. Let's all support each other instead of putting each other down <3

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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#21 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:19 pm

Anarchy wrote:
Now that we've moved out of this "VNs are nothing but porn" phase, we need to move out of the "All VNs must be set within a Japanese High School" phase. Would a different location really change the story that dramatically if it's just a simple Slice-of-Life?
I agree with you, but I think we're already moving towards the place you want VNs to be in already. If you look at the list of completed NaNo games, you'll see that most of them are NOT set in a Japanese high school. A lot of them, in fact, have incredibly fun, original premises/art/stories/characters, and are generally quite well-executed, especially for something that was whipped up in a month. (I haven't finished any of them yet because school... work... OTLlll, but the games I've played so far have been blowing my mind.) So I think that yes, we should definitely always aspire to move the medium to greater heights, but we should also look at what we already have and appreciate the creativity of creators who are already doing so. Let's all support each other instead of putting each other down <3
Seconded! It seems like a much better way to go forward. Appluad what has been done well instead of frowning at what hasn't. People respound much better to encouragement and positive arguments. People learn over time which is the best direction to go, and the community certainly isn't stagnant looking at the number of Nanoreno games produced. There was a great deal of variation and creative ideas.

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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#22 Post by Hijiri » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:28 pm

Auro-Cyanide wrote:
Hijiri wrote:
Auro-Cyanide wrote:How does amount effect how something is cliche? You guys were the one's who specifically decided to point at otome, which is why people stood up for it because genre does not dictate quality. To mention a specific genre just because you have something against the amount produced does not factually back up your statement. It just makes you look biased and no-one will listen to your point.
(I had a much harsher reply that answered you, but I'll see if this will work)
Numbers mean nothing about cliche, but when you have numerous releases that are cliche that fall under a specific genre, you can't help but point that out. (Recall that the BxG community have been known as "those porn games" because of the number of H-Games released that fall in that category. Yes, there are non-H games, but a majority of BxG games released professionally are usually H)
Not really? Just as stating 'All VNs are porn' is ignorant and not something I would expect to see within the actual creator community, so too would I see judgement based on genre and numbers to be seen as ignorant and not something I expect from the creator community. I expect something more indepth than that. Number of releases do not corrolate with anything apart from the fact there are probably more female creators at the moemnt. The percentage of quality will remain very similar. Have you seen some of the games that have been inspired by Katawa Shojo recently? It's a natural cycle of work when new people come into the feild. Plus, lots of people like their guilty pleasures. There are whole genres for it. While they technically might not be that good, and certainly not something I would play, they do find their audience.
Since it seems that anything less that "Yes, I am wrong and you are the one in the right" won;t be accepted, I'll end it with this one last analogy.

You want to see a child get better, but of the two parents, one of them babys the child and praises them for their mistakes while you want to teach them to not make those mistakes. When you try and point it out to the child, the coddling parent yells at you for being too strict or not knowing what you are talking about.

That is exactly how I see this entire argument. The EVN community is the child here, and even though I'm pointing out things that can be corrected, I get called ignorant because I don't blindly love what the majority of this forum loves. Just necause they can be used a form of escapism dosen't mean it ALL has to be escapism. Wanting people to write something that can stand on it's own as literature isn't a crime. Hate me for this view if you will, but I won't concede my opinion simply because you disagree with it.
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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#23 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:44 pm

Hijiri wrote:Since it seems that anything less that "Yes, I am wrong and you are the one in the right" won;t be accepted, I'll end it with this one last analogy.

You want to see a child get better, but of the two parents, one of them babys the child and praises them for their mistakes while you want to teach them to not make those mistakes. When you try and point it out to the child, the coddling parent yells at you for being too strict or not knowing what you are talking about.

That is exactly how I see this entire argument. The EVN community is the child here, and even though I'm pointing out things that can be corrected, I get called ignorant because I don't blindly love what the majority of this forum loves. Just necause they can be used a form of escapism dosen't mean it ALL has to be escapism. Wanting people to write something that can stand on it's own as literature isn't a crime. Hate me for this view if you will, but I won't concede my opinion simply because you disagree with it.
If that is the way you wish to view it, feel free, but you can't be insulted when people disagree with you. I'm all for supporting greater diversity, more creativity and in general for the community to push itself. I didn't spend a month working my butt off creating something that questions cliches for nothing. But I don't agree with the way you go about it or who you choose to target. That is all I am disagreeing with.

Dating sims have a lot of potential to be much more and tell some great stories. The mechanisms, the dates, calenders, skills and health mechanisms can all be applied to a wide range of things. And it will eventually get there I think. Like I said, I don't see the community as stagnant, I see a lot of growth in the right direction and it makes me very happy. I'm seeing not only stronger assests and growth in skills, but also more original plot lines, interesting characters and people actually thinking about the medium. I am very impressed by what has been completed recently. But maybe we are looking at the same forum in different ways *shrug*

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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#24 Post by Hijiri » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:50 pm

Auro-Cyanide wrote:Dating sims have a lot of potential to be much more and tell some great stories. The mechanisms, the dates, calenders, skills and health mechanisms can all be applied to a wide range of things. And it will eventually get there I think. Like I said, I don't see the community as stagnant, I see a lot of growth in the right direction and it makes me very happy. I'm seeing not only stronger assests and growth in skills, but also more original plot lines, interesting characters and people actually thinking about the medium. I am very impressed by what has been completed recently. But maybe we are looking at the same forum in different ways.
Let's hope that day does come, because it is a shame to see something interesting get dragged down by it's execution (This is with everything in general, not just VN's)

And yes, we probably do see the forum in different ways. While I'm more open to creative twists and do check out every WIP thread, from my eyes it seems like games focusing only on relationships with bishounen are the only ones being made. I shouldn't care, but it still does no harm for someone to throw in something different that can actually draw in someone who is outside the target audience.
Personally, I wouldn't mind seing more older characters. Grown people can still be attractive, even if they're not pretty like bishounen or bishoujo. Of course, to each their own.
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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#25 Post by Anarchy » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:56 pm

Since it seems that anything less that "Yes, I am wrong and you are the one in the right" won;t be accepted, I'll end it with this one last analogy.

You want to see a child get better, but of the two parents, one of them babys the child and praises them for their mistakes while you want to teach them to not make those mistakes. When you try and point it out to the child, the coddling parent yells at you for being too strict or not knowing what you are talking about.

That is exactly how I see this entire argument. The EVN community is the child here, and even though I'm pointing out things that can be corrected, I get called ignorant because I don't blindly love what the majority of this forum loves. Just necause they can be used a form of escapism dosen't mean it ALL has to be escapism. Wanting people to write something that can stand on it's own as literature isn't a crime. Hate me for this view if you will, but I won't concede my opinion simply because you disagree with it.
Your way of helping this community to "get better" is to tell part of the community that what they're like is bland and cliche, that they're "blindly loving" that thing, and that what they do is bad. And then saying something about how story is more important than art. I appreciate that you've brought up this topic, and I do think that it's a good topic to discuss, but seriously:

Punishment without further instruction doesn't help to extinguish a behavior. If I was one of the people writing what you term "bland, cliched dating games", I would be completely turned off by your well-intentioned "yelling", and probably completely turn a blind eye to whatever else you have to say, however just or well-meaning it is. In contrast, the specific points about how to break out of cliches that Auro-Cyanide and gekiganwing pointed out earlier in this post would be far more helpful to someone who is trying to not be so cliche, because now you're actually telling them what to do and what to avoid. Advice, analyses, and critique are better teaching tools than insults that aren't supplemented with specific pointers.

And like I said earlier, there are people here who have been creating really original, well-written games. Perhaps everybody's time could be better spent giving those creators good critiques and encouragement, so that we'll see more games from those creators. If you think somebody's game is cliched, why not write them a review and politely suggest ways that they can move forward in their craft? That would be more productive instead of making blanket accusations against a whole group of creators who vary greatly in terms of where they're at in terms of creativity and artistic ability.
And yes, we probably do see the forum in different ways. While I'm more open to creative twists and do check out every WIP thread, from my eyes it seems like games focusing only on relationships with bishounen are the only ones being made. I shouldn't care, but it still does no harm for someone to throw in something different that can actually draw in someone who is outside the target audience.
There's nothing wrong about making something targeted to a specific audience either. You can make a really original, creative, well-written work that's nevertheless written for a specific demographic. Take The Song of Ice and Fire, just as a random example.

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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#26 Post by Camille » Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:00 pm

Two things:

1. These are called visual novels for a reason. Yes, good writing is important, but if you want people to focus solely on the merits of your writing, you should be writing straight-up novels instead of visual novels, where the visuals will take up at least half of your players' attention. If you're going to insist on making VNs, stop saying people should focus only on your writing because that's just not going to happen.

2. I'm going to be 23 in a few months. I graduated from high school about half a decade ago. As such, a lot of the drama and development of high school games tends to grate on my nerves because A) I've already lived through that and B) I'm now too old to relate to most of it. You have to realize that almost all the people making these high school dating sims, however, are in high school or middle school themselves. They're writing what they know. You can't expect a 14-year-old girl to suddenly write the visual novel equivalent of a Dostoyevsky book. It's just silly to expect from them. Yes, they should mature and eventually write better, more thought provoking works, but who are you to force it on them now? The things they're writing are relevant to them and to others their age. The fact that these games are getting lots of comments/attention (apparently) shows that they have an audience.

2b. I've noticed that many people who don't like RisAmo are mostly high schoolers who prefer games like the ones you've described. Why? Because they can't relate to my characters or story in the same way that I can't relate to theirs. My characters are older--closer to my age--and deal with more adult problems. (fitting in with society, finding a job, dealing with the economy, etc) So teenagers can't relate to my game and thus won't like it. I can never force them to like it, either, just like they can't force me to like their games. Rather that complain that their games get more attention than mine or whatnot, I learn to just live and let live. There is no point in getting frustrated over something I can't change.

So I think it's perfectly okay for you to think and believe what you want to about otome games or romantic games. Everyone has their own tastes. However, there's no way you can just tell people "stop writing high school-based, cliche otome games". What do you expect/want to happen? What do you hope to achieve by starting this discussion? That's what I'm concerned about.

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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#27 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:05 pm

Hijiri wrote:
Auro-Cyanide wrote:Dating sims have a lot of potential to be much more and tell some great stories. The mechanisms, the dates, calenders, skills and health mechanisms can all be applied to a wide range of things. And it will eventually get there I think. Like I said, I don't see the community as stagnant, I see a lot of growth in the right direction and it makes me very happy. I'm seeing not only stronger assests and growth in skills, but also more original plot lines, interesting characters and people actually thinking about the medium. I am very impressed by what has been completed recently. But maybe we are looking at the same forum in different ways.
Let's hope that day does come, because it is a shame to see something interesting get dragged down by it's execution (This is with everything in general, not just VN's)

And yes, we probably do see the forum in different ways. While I'm more open to creative twists and do check out every WIP thread, from my eyes it seems like games focusing only on relationships with bishounen are the only ones being made. I shouldn't care, but it still does no harm for someone to throw in something different that can actually draw in someone who is outside the target audience.
And that's your personal preference. It does not reflect the actual quality of the games being made. A game with romance and bishounen has just as much chance of being a great game as any other, and if that is what the creator likes, than so be it. If the plot is good, who cares? And some of us did do 'something different' and exposed a great number of people to things they might not have previously looked at. TKOT for instance was very original in it's overall tone of voice, as well as everything else. It's hardly a typical otome. There are a lot of people on this forum attempting something different in different ways, and that's a good thing. You can do your own different thing, but it would be incorrect to presume no-one else is because they are not doing it the same way as you.

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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#28 Post by Anarchy » Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:08 pm

Camille wrote:Two things:

1. These are called visual novels for a reason. Yes, good writing is important, but if you want people to focus solely on the merits of your writing, you should be writing straight-up novels instead of visual novels, where the visuals will take up at least half of your players' attention. If you're going to insist on making VNs, stop saying people should focus only on your writing because that's just not going to happen.

2. I'm going to be 23 in a few months. I graduated from high school about half a decade ago. As such, a lot of the drama and development of high school games tends to grate on my nerves because A) I've already lived through that and B) I'm now too old to relate to most of it. You have to realize that almost all the people making these high school dating sims, however, are in high school or middle school themselves. They're writing what they know. You can't expect a 14-year-old girl to suddenly write the visual novel equivalent of a Dostoyevsky book. It's just silly to expect from them. Yes, they should mature and eventually write better, more thought provoking works, but who are you to force it on them now? The things they're writing are relevant to them and to others their age. The fact that these games are getting lots of comments/attention (apparently) shows that they have an audience.

2b. I've noticed that many people who don't like RisAmo are mostly high schoolers who prefer games like the ones you've described. Why? Because they can't relate to my characters or story in the same way that I can't relate to theirs. My characters are older--closer to my age--and deal with more adult problems. (fitting in with society, finding a job, dealing with the economy, etc) So teenagers can't relate to my game and thus won't like it. I can never force them to like it, either, just like they can't force me to like their games. Rather that complain that their games get more attention than mine or whatnot, I learn to just live and let live. There is no point in getting frustrated over something I can't change.

So I think it's perfectly okay for you to think and believe what you want to about otome games or romantic games. Everyone has their own tastes. However, there's no way you can just tell people "stop writing high school-based, cliche otome games". What do you expect/want to happen? What do you hope to achieve by starting this discussion? That's what I'm concerned about.
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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#29 Post by Hijiri » Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:15 pm

Anarchy wrote:Your way of helping this community to "get better" is to tell part of the community that what they're like is bland and cliche, that they're "blindly loving" that thing, and that what they do is bad. And then saying something about how story is more important than art. I appreciate that you've brought up this topic, and I do think that it's a good topic to discuss, but seriously:

Punishment without further instruction doesn't help to extinguish a behavior. If I was one of the people writing what you term "bland, cliched dating games", I would be completely turned off by your well-intentioned "yelling", and probably completely turn a blind eye to whatever else you have to say, however just or well-meaning it is. In contrast, the specific points about how to break out of cliches that Auro-Cyanide and gekiganwing pointed out earlier in this post would be far more helpful to someone who is trying to not be so cliche, because now you're actually telling them what to do and what to avoid. Advice, analyses, and critique are better teaching tools than insults that aren't supplemented with specific pointers.
Not once do I insult the community. I have tried to keep my own personal emotions out of it.

Sad to say, but negative response usually gets more of a reaction, and more attention from people. And as much as I would like to help them, any critique that isn't behind a rose tinted window is frowned upon here.
Camille wrote:1. These are called visual novels for a reason. Yes, good writing is important, but if you want people to focus solely on the merits of your writing, you should be writing straight-up novels instead of visual novels, where the visuals will take up at least half of your players' attention. If you're going to insist on making VNs, stop saying people should focus only on your writing because that's just not going to happen.
As much as we would all love to have excellent art, some of us can't. Some of us really only have our writing to salvage everything. True: both should support each other, but I still feel that the literary part of a visual novel should be as excellent, if not greater than the art it is acompanied by.
Camille wrote:What do you hope to achieve by starting this discussion? That's what I'm concerned about.
To make people see where they stand now, and where they want, or ought to go. As I said earlier, I don't care if I earn the ire of everyone on this board, so long as someone takes something from it, I'll consider it a job well done.
Auro-Cyanide wrote:A game with romance and bishounen has just as much chance of being a great game as any other, and if that is what the creator likes, than so be it.
True, but they'll have a harder time trying to shine unless they find a way to rope in others.
Auro-Cyanide wrote:You can do your own different thing, but it would be incorrect to presume no-one else is because they are not doing it the same way as you.
This much is a given. I know there are people who are trying something new, and most likely they are doing it different from me.
Last edited by Hijiri on Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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CheeryMoya
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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#30 Post by CheeryMoya » Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:20 pm

Camille wrote:You have to realize that almost all the people making these high school dating sims, however, are in high school or middle school themselves. They're writing what they know... there's no way you can just tell people "stop writing high school-based, cliche otome games". What do you expect/want to happen? What do you hope to achieve by starting this discussion? That's what I'm concerned about.
I was under the impression that there was a world outside of high school and home? I may be a rather sheltered child and lack the worldly experiences most other teens at my age have (riding an airplane, going out of the country, hanging out with friends on a regular basis, actually travelling places, etc.), and that only fuels my desire to write about games outside that damned hell hole I know as high school, with all its mundane drama. Can't I live vicariously through writing and reading about new experiences? It's an escape, yes, but don't make me escape back to the problem from which I was "running" from.

In other words, if we keep saying that we're cool with games set in high schools, we loop back to the generic.

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