The argument against Generic Games

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Camille
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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#31 Post by Camille » Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:44 pm

CheeryMoya wrote:In other words, if we keep saying that we're cool with games set in high schools, we loop back to the generic.
You can choose to write about or like whatever you want. (obviously) That is your right and I applaud you for writing outside of what's immediately familiar to you. I actually agree with you on some points--high school settings generally aren't my thing, either. (inb4 someone points out BCM and goes "BUT WAIT, THAT'S SET IN HIGH SCHOOL")

Still, you can't just tell people that they're not allowed to be interested in high school settings or cliches, etc. (first of all, one person's idea of cliche and underdeveloped is different from another person's, so how do you even evaluate something like that?) Not everyone can be like you or think the way you do. D: Like I said, those games have an audience. I mean, clearly you realize that, too, hence your problem. You can't just tell that audience to go away or tell the people making those games to stop writing the stories they want to write. The beauty of the creative world is that you have so many different kinds of people and ideas. No matter what your idea is, chances are it'll appeal to at least one person... So all you can do is take pride in your work no matter who's watching or, if you really want an audience that badly, change your work until it suits the audience you're aiming for.
Hijiri wrote: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.
I agree that the story should at least match the level of the art. It should, in a perfect world, but our world isn't perfect and life isn't always fair. I work very hard to make sure that my writing isn't overshadowed by Auro's art. (because let's be honest here, I'm pretty sure most people try our games solely because of being drawn to her pretty art first) But like I said, you can't force people to be interested in something. You have to accept that visuals are just as important (if not moreso) than the writing when it comes to visual novels. That's why it's a visual novel. @_@ If you feel your art isn't up to par and you're not getting the attention that you want, you might want to rethink the medium that your work is in or evaluate why you're not getting the audience you want. Not all stories need to be a visual novel. D:

Aaaand slightly unrelated, but I feel like most of these so-called cliche high school dating sims don't really exist. Yeah, there's a lot of them in the WIP section, but how many actually get finished? I don't recall seeing a single game like that coming out of NaNoRenO, for example...

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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#32 Post by Anarchy » Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:54 pm

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.
From my experience being in various writing workshops both inside and outside the classroom, people take criticism much better when it's constructive, specific, and balanced with appreciation for the better aspects of their work. When you want somebody improve, you don't just tell them what they're doing wrong, you also tell them what they're doing right and to keep doing it. Even if the work is completely horrible, and the only thing you can find to praise is something small like a particularly well-crafted phrase, or a funny line of dialogue, it's something that a good teacher should definitely point out. I've learnt that the most effective/standard way to get constructive criticism across is to start with a compliment - that gets the person's attention and makes him/her more open to listening to you - and then you go on to deliver your criticism in a respectful way with attention to details and the specifics of that person's work. I don't always follow that myself, especially when I'm slacking off/in a non-workshop situation, but I would call that less... "rose-tinted criticism", and more of a practical, efficient way of conveying that points you want the author to get.

If you give a negative response, sure, you get more of a reaction, but that reaction tends to be "no, you're a jerk and I don't want to listen to you anymore", especially with younger people. And then you don't get your points across.
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.
If you don't think that you are a good artist, and that your writing is your best quality, consider delving into text-based games, or writing CYOA fiction, which has basically the same structure as VNs minus the art. Otherwise, perhaps collaborating with artists might be a good idea. A visual novel is a completely different medium from a novel, and shouldn't be treated as a novel with illustrations. Even in picture books, or novels with illustrations, the art is generally well-executed and plays its role well as a supporting element.
True, but they'll have a harder time trying to shine unless they find a way to rope in others.
I don't see why you necessarily need to attract a peripheral audience in order to shine. This goes for any kind of game. For example, you can have an absolutely fabulous, well-written, creative horror game that doesn't target non-horror fans. (Like Saya no Uta.)

[soapbox]How about BxG games, then? Don't they need to work hard to attract a female audience as well by not portraying all female characters as mere sex objects to be conquered/acquired? Or should girl players be expected to automatically identify with male characters, whereas boy players don't need to do the same and it's the creator who should take full responsibility for making games targeted towards females accessible to males too?

I like that this forum has a lot of otome games. I'm sick of the domination of male perspectives and male protagonists in mainstream media, especially gaming media. Let the boys feel like the outsiders and the ones being objectified for once.[/soapbox]

(Bitter? Me? Absolutely not.)
Aaaand slightly unrelated, but I feel like most of these so-called cliche high school dating sims don't really exist. Yeah, there's a lot of them in the WIP section, but how many actually get finished? I don't recall seeing a single game like that coming out of NaNoRenO, for example...
That's what I've been saying. Maybe looking at the Completed Games section would give a better idea of the kinds of games being made, instead of the WIP section.

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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#33 Post by Hijiri » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:00 am

Anarchy wrote: [soapbox]How about BxG games, then? Don't they need to work hard to attract a female audience as well by not portraying all female characters as mere sex objects to be conquered/acquired? Or should girl players be expected to automatically identify with male characters, whereas boy players don't need to do the same and it's the creator who should take full responsibility for making games targeted towards females accessible to males too?

I like that this forum has a lot of otome games. I'm sick of the domination of male perspectives and male protagonists in mainstream media, especially gaming media. Let the boys feel like the outsiders and the ones being objectified for once.[/soapbox]
Please don't go there. The last time this argument was brought up, it ended horribly for everyone and just made everyone bitter. This is about the cliches in all games, no just otome. I've said that NUMEROUS TIMES.
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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#34 Post by CheeryMoya » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:03 am

Camille wrote:That is your right and I applaud you for writing outside of what's immediately familiar to you.
And suddenly I'm constantly applauded for trying to write about human relationships with actual emotions
Camille wrote:Aaaand slightly unrelated, but I feel like most of these so-called cliche high school dating sims don't really exist. Yeah, there's a lot of them in the WIP section, but how many actually get finished? I don't recall seeing a single game like that coming out of NaNoRenO, for example...
This isn't a topic that applies just to this NaNo (I don't think it ever was). This is a topic about all games in general, and the type of rut we stuck ourselves in. Most of the unfinished games in the WIP may be set high school, but the occasional one does get finished. If I may point at a game, take teacup's (P)lanets:
it could have been unique, but teacup seemed to forget that she was writing about a high school with people who had psychic powers.
I'm not bagging on her, but that is an example of when the execution could have been better IMO.

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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#35 Post by Anarchy » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:06 am

^^Yes, you've made that very clear.

To be fair, I was responding to you talking about games with romance and bishonen, so, I assume you were referring to either GxB or BxB games, so the "I was talking about games in general" thing doesn't apply to that specific argument, BUT - that second paragraph was a tangent unrelated the discussion at hand anyway. I just like to rant sometimes. There WAS a reason I labeled that entire section "soapbox".

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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#36 Post by Camille » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:09 am

CheeryMoya wrote:And suddenly I'm constantly applauded for trying to write about human relationships with actual emotions
These games that you dislike so much are also about human relationships with actual emotions; they are just on a level that you cannot relate to. However, plenty of other people can. That's the reason why I brought up the players who didn't like RisAmo--because they can't relate to my characters, they called some of them "shallow" or "uninteresting", as well. Does that mean my story is a cliche wreck that shouldn't allowed to be written?

Anyway, why do you think young adult fiction is so huge right now? I may not like Twilight, but clearly it resonates with a lot of people and I won't deny them the right to enjoy it.

That's pretty much what I've been trying to get at. D:

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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#37 Post by CheeryMoya » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:18 am

Camille wrote:Anyway, why do you think young adult fiction is so huge right now? I may not like Twilight, but clearly it resonates with a lot of people and I won't deny them the right to enjoy it.

That's pretty much what I've been trying to get at. D:
And suddenly the best solution to this problem is to lower your standards; now everything is good! Problem clearly solved in the best way possible, everyone go home.
While a good example to prove your point, it's a sad truth I want to fight in the OELVN community. Do we want Twilight quality writing in a medium with so much potential? No, at least I don't.

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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#38 Post by SvenTheViking » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:24 am

This seems like a good place to get into this argument.

Preemptive TL;DR: Visual novels are NOVELS with VISUALS, not VISUAL novels, as so many people are saying. Good writing is far more important than good art, as the point of a visual novel is to tell a story, not to have an interactive image gallery. If all you want is a way to showcase your pictures, you should that very clear upfront.

You lot seem to see visual novels as a primarily-visual medium. You could see them that way, or you could look at them as visual novels. The point is to tell a story, not to show off art. If you want to show off art, go to deviantArt or buy a website and put them up there or get to the point where you can start selling your work independent of the novel part. Nobody should focus ONLY on the writing, as the medium gives a wonderful chance to express ideas in a way writing alone cannot, but writing should be the PRIMARY focus. Otherwise, it's just an image gallery, and that's as bad as trying to release a visual novel without any pictures in it at all.

What it comes down to is that we are not so much two parents instructing a child in different ways, but we are two factions striving to control of the future of a society. We each think, vehemently and without falter, that the other is flat wrong with no exception; I certainly know I do, and will until the end of time itself, and that's how everyone everyone else is acting, as well. However, my side is supported by those seeking to elevate video games in general from a from of mere entertainment, as it is seen by the world at large, to a form of art. As such, having pretty pictures only goes so far. You NEED a good plot, and good characters, and good visuals all equally, but above all else, you need good writing. Otherwise, it's just pictures and words, and if that's all you want, then by all means, but don't drag us down with you because you can't be bothered to put the proper work into HALF of the project. If you did that at school or at your job, you'd be in deep trouble.

And Camille, you're a writer, for God's sake. You should care more about the story than the pictures than most people, as that's your field. Taking the visual side is effectively marginalizing your own work; you're saying that because the visuals are the important aspect, your own work, your writing, your contribution and reason for making games, is lowered to a mere accessory.
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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#39 Post by Dollywitch » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:28 am

Camille wrote: Anyway, why do you think young adult fiction is so huge right now? I may not like Twilight, but clearly it resonates with a lot of people and I won't deny them the right to enjoy it.

That's pretty much what I've been trying to get at. D:
I really resent this reasoning, from a feminist perspective as much as a reader.

Twilight could be popular for any number of reasons, but one reason could be that it's a module that plugs in with the somewhat way society still views women in "idealised" relationships. It feeds off the kind of fantasies that are prescribed to young girls and housewives. It doesn't resonate with them personally so much as what they're taught to believe they should be, it extends a powerful societal construct. It's successful partially because society is rigged in such a way for things like that to be successful, and in many cases(like with pop music) things can also be designed to achieve a large degree of short term popularity by appealing to superficial sensibilities. Psychology is complex and quite simply, there are many ways to trick someone into thinking they like something more than they do.

Maybe some people do find something in Twilight, but as a cultural phenomenon I don't like this post-modern view of literature - not everyone and everything is completely honest and filled with artistic merit. Sometimes things are popular for dodgy reasons. It happens.

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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#40 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:36 am

SvenTheViking wrote:This seems like a good place to get into this argument.

Preemptive TL;DR: Visual novels are NOVELS with VISUALS, not VISUAL novels, as so many people are saying. Good writing is far more important than good art, as the point of a visual novel is to tell a story, not to have an interactive image gallery. If all you want is a way to showcase your pictures, you should that very clear upfront.

You lot seem to see visual novels as a primarily-visual medium. You could see them that way, or you could look at them as visual novels. The point is to tell a story, not to show off art. If you want to show off art, go to deviantArt or buy a website and put them up there or get to the point where you can start selling your work independent of the novel part. Nobody should focus ONLY on the writing, as the medium gives a wonderful chance to express ideas in a way writing alone cannot, but writing should be the PRIMARY focus. Otherwise, it's just an image gallery, and that's as bad as trying to release a visual novel without any pictures in it at all.

What it comes down to is that we are not so much two parents instructing a child in different ways, but we are two factions striving to control of the future of a society. We each think, vehemently and without falter, that the other is flat wrong with no exception; I certainly know I do, and will until the end of time itself, and that's how everyone everyone else is acting, as well. However, my side is supported by those seeking to elevate video games in general from a from of mere entertainment, as it is seen by the world at large, to a form of art. As such, having pretty pictures only goes so far. You NEED a good plot, and good characters, and good visuals all equally, but above all else, you need good writing. Otherwise, it's just pictures and words, and if that's all you want, then by all means, but don't drag us down with you because you can't be bothered to put the proper work into HALF of the project. If you did that at school or at your job, you'd be in deep trouble.

And Camille, you're a writer, for God's sake. You should care more about the story than the pictures than most people, as that's your field. Taking the visual side is effectively marginalizing your own work; you're saying that because the visuals are the important aspect, your own work, your writing, your contribution and reason for making games, is lowered to a mere accessory.
Oh yeah, cause images can't tell a story http://mattrhodes.deviantart.com/art/My-Hero-290155853 How silly of us.

If you think we don't care just as much about telling stories you are just dead wrong. If you think Camille has ever in one moment not put in every bit of effort she has, you are dead wrong too (and obviously haven't read anything by her). Both 'sides' as you put it want the same thing, but are going about it different ways. That's fine, but it doesn't make one side 'better' than the other or more 'right'. Visual Novels is the combination of written words and visual and are meant to balance each other. One is not better than the other since they both have different strengths in communication. It is what the medium is and it would be for the worse to dismiss one or the other.

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Re: The argument against Generic Games

#41 Post by Anarchy » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:44 am

@Moya

It just occurred to me that it's possible to accept that some people may like reading Twilight, without necessarily aspiring to write something like Twilight yourself.

@Sven:

You, kind sir or madam, seem to like thinking in black and white. You're drawing an arbitrary line between "factions" and assigning random qualities to sides that don't really reflect what individuals really feel. I believe that all of us in this thread are united in wanting visual novels to progress past cliches and to "elevate video games in general from a from of mere entertainment, as it is seen by the world at large, to a form of art", and that all of us want awesome characters, storytelling, originality etc. etc. It's just our ways of expressing that wish is different.
Taking the visual side is effectively marginalizing your own work; you're saying that because the visuals are the important aspect, your own work, your writing, your contribution and reason for making games, is lowered to a mere accessory.
I don't think anybody's been saying that the art has to be the most important aspect. I think what Camille's been saying that is both the visuals and the writing are essential parts of a visual novel. The best works is when you get a synergy between the story and the art style, in a way to brings the whole to greater heights. Trying to elevate one aspect over the other is, I think, counter-productive to the "making visual novels true art" process. Sure, there are works that can succeed with just exceptional story - Umineko comes to mind - but wouldn't Umineko have been much better than the already mindblowing experience that it was with better (or even just serviceable) art? Wouldn't it have risen to the realms of "true art" if it had been handled by a truly talented artist?

Instead of thinking in a binary "art vs writing" dichotomy, I argue that we should think of all of the elements of the visual novel, including sound design, music, and so on, as all being integral to the experience. Perhaps certain elements should be emphasized in different individual games, depending on the goal(s) of the creator(s), but I feel like we should look at games holistically instead of going "ARGH writing is more important" or "ARGH art is more important", and applying that blanket statement to all games in general.
Oh yeah, cause images can't tell a story http://mattrhodes.deviantart.com/art/My-Hero-290155853 How silly of us.
This. So much.

TANGENT TIME
Twilight could be popular for any number of reasons, but one reason could be that it's a module that plugs in with the somewhat way society still views women in "idealised" relationships. It feeds off the kind of fantasies that are prescribed to young girls and housewives. It doesn't resonate with them personally so much as what they're taught to believe they should be, it extends a powerful societal construct. It's successful partially because society is rigged in such a way for things like that to be successful, and in many cases(like with pop music) things can also be designed to achieve a large degree of short term popularity by appealing to superficial sensibilities. Psychology is complex and quite simply, there are many ways to trick someone into thinking they like something more than they do.
I think that it's sad that society prescribes these roles to young girls, while simultaneously condemning them for it, as can be seen from the huge backlash to the popularity of Twilight. Can't say more on the subject, since I've never actually read the book in question.
Last edited by Anarchy on Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#42 Post by Camille » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:46 am

My point is not that everyone should lower their standards and like Twilight. My point is that you cannot force people who do like Twilight into not liking it and paying attention to something else instead. It's just not going to happen.
SvenTheViking wrote:And Camille, you're a writer, for God's sake. You should care more about the story than the pictures than most people, as that's your field. Taking the visual side is effectively marginalizing your own work; you're saying that because the visuals are the important aspect, your own work, your writing, your contribution and reason for making games, is lowered to a mere accessory.
I believe I said "I work very hard to make sure that my writing isn't overshadowed by Auro's art". If I really thought that my writing was just an accessory to her artwork, I wouldn't work as hard on it as I do. However, I accept that the visuals are very important to a visual novel, hence I try to make my writing complement her art instead of just worrying that that people focus on her art too much. If I wanted people to pay attention to just my writing, I would write stories without bothering with art. And I do that quite a bit, actually.
Dollywitch wrote:I really resent this reasoning, from a feminist perspective as much as a reader.
I agree that Twilight is worrying because of how it portrays women and tries to paint a picture of what women ought to be. Bella has barely 2 brain cells to rub together. As I said, I'm not a fan of it at all. But you can't just go up to a Twilight fan and be like "HEY YOU. Twilight sucks and it's brainwashing you to become a subservient, idealized woman!" They're not going to listen to that and, in fact, might be less likely to agree with you just because of how you went about it.

Now look at the biggest YA novel currently out there: Hunger Games. Here we have a set of books with a strong female protagonist who doesn't give much of a crap about which guy likes her or how she looks or stuff like that. Katniss is a strong role model for young girls and the books are obviously resonating with people, as well. The movie broke all of the Twilight movies' records and it's making people reevaluate how they think about things--which is great!

Now, would this have happened if Suzanne Collins had just sat around thinking "Oh no, why is Twilight so popular? How stupid of people to like such a thing!"

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Re: The argument against Generic Games

#43 Post by CheeryMoya » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:57 am

Auro-Cyanide wrote:Visual Novels is the combination of written words and visual and are meant to balance each other. One is not better than the other since they both have different strengths in communication. It is what the medium is and it would be for the worse to dismiss one or the other.
Anarchy wrote:I don't think anybody's been saying that the art has to be the most important aspect. I think what Camille's been saying that is both the visuals and the writing are essential parts of a visual novel.
Teehee! :lol: Oh man, this is hilarious!! :lol: :lol: Simply hilarious!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: If you tell one more joke, I'll just burst with laughter and won't be able to control myself anymore.

On a more serious note, since when were the two sides ever treated as equal? I mean, aha, Cyanide Tea has art that's nice to look at and at the very least decent writing. That's okay, but what about the rest of us? We'll get ignored because we don't have that familiar "anime" look.

Edit: Never played Umineko, but remember: one success story, plenty of untold failures.

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Re: The argument against Generic Dating Games

#44 Post by Crocosquirrel » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:03 am

Camille wrote:Now, would this have happened if Suzanne Collins had just sat around thinking "Oh no, why is Twilight so popular? How stupid of people to like such a thing!"
Actually, from what I've been hearing of late, it was rather a lot like that. But rather than just go with the flow, she decided to write something of her own to show up Stephylococcus.
I'm going to get off my soap-box now, and let you get back to your day.

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Re: The argument against Generic Games

#45 Post by Anarchy » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:05 am

Teehee! Oh man, this is hilarious!! Simply hilarious!!! If you tell one more joke, I'll just burst with laughter and won't be able to control myself anymore.

On a more serious note, since when were the two sides ever treated as equal? I mean, aha, Cyanide Tea has art that's nice to look at and at the very least decent writing. That's okay, but what about the rest of us? We'll get ignored because we don't have that familiar "anime" look.
I'm not speaking as somebody who wants to make popular games. I'm somebody wants to see original, creative, high quality games that push the boundaries of the medium. I thought we were on the same page with that, but sadly I seem to have been mistaken...

Yes, well, if you want your games to be popular on this particular forum, sure, go ahead and use pretty anime art in your games, if popularity is what you're aiming for. But if it's "true art" you're aiming for, I think that synergy of all aspects of the VN is essential for it to truly mature as a medium.

Heck, my own game's been (mostly) ignored all this time, probably at least partially because it has no sprites to speak of at all, just backgrounds, but I'm not complaining because I followed my own artistic vision. (Not very successfully, but hey, we're all learning.) And that's what's most important to me as a creator - trying to do new, interesting, creative things with the medium/genre I'm working in, instead of worrying about popularity.
Actually, from what I've been hearing of late, it was rather a lot like that. But rather than just go with the flow, she decided to write something of her own to show up Stephylococcus.
^What are you talking about? She obviously wrote it after marathoning the Battle Royale novel, manga, and movie!
Last edited by Anarchy on Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

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