Visual Novel Writing Contest (planning thread)

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papillon
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Visual Novel Writing Contest (planning thread)

#1 Post by papillon » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:34 pm

Okay, I know I said ages ago that I meant to get this thing set up, but I have kind of been having a busy summer! SO. If I'm going to go ahead with this, I need to find out how many folks are interested and there needs to be agreement on rules.

Basic idea:

I provide a super-short concept and a character sprite. Everyone gets the same thing, plus whatever background art you can scrape off morguefile and the like. No custom art. That includes GUIs. Use one of the RenPy defaults.

The resulting stories should have a lint count of minimum 1000 and maximum 10,000 words.

Entries would be sent to me privately so that I could post them without author names attached, in a thread for public discussion. Since one of the key goals is to get people to talk about what is good or bad writing, voting should probably be restricted to people who take part in the discussion and post critiques. Not sure whether the actual votes should be public in the end or not. In any case, the discussion period would go on for a while before the final voting.

Winners would receive prizes. I'm currently willing to throw in one cash prize (well, paypal, close enough) and one Free Game From My Site. If the contest draws a lot of attention I'm sure more prizes would materialise, if only like three people are taking part then obviously the prize isn't gonna be much. :)

So - comments? Ideas on how best to handle the voting? Interest declarations? I need to get some idea of how many people are in before I set out how much cash I'm passing out :)

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Re: Visual Novel Writing Contest (planning thread)

#2 Post by Nellie » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:48 pm

This is really interesting xD I'm willing to donate some to the prize pool too :)

While I think it might help prevents 'cheating' (ie vote for friends without going through all submissions, vote gathering/popularity contest - could still happen even if the submission will have no names attached) to limit voting to those who take part in discussion, it might put some ppl off from voting. I guess maybe the preliminary could be done via voting/judging from those who participate in the discussion, and having the final voting open for 'public'? Will have to check out how the folks at RPG Maker forums handle their competitions xD
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Re: Visual Novel Writing Contest (planning thread)

#3 Post by Deji » Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:15 pm

I'm not a writer, but I approve of this!

I was thinking that the winning entry could get custom art? (: I could contribute with some of it, if anybody is interested.
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Re: Visual Novel Writing Contest (planning thread)

#4 Post by papillon » Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:20 pm

While I think it might help prevents 'cheating' (ie vote for friends without going through all submissions, vote gathering/popularity contest - could still happen even if the submission will have no names attached) to limit voting to those who take part in discussion, it might put some ppl off from voting.
It's not really about preventing cheating so much, it's more that I want people to discuss the entries and what they think are good or bad about them. This whole concept originally came out of wanting to stimulate discussion on writing techniques. If everyone just reads the entries and silently votes, nothing will have been achieved. :)

Making people post publicly what game they're voting for would also serve to stimulate debate but it might make people feel awkward.

---

Things I forgot to say earlier:

Choices not required. Total KN is fine.

Genre not restricted. The prompt and the sprite will suggest something obvious. You do not have to go there! Feel free to take things in whatever weird direction you like.

Should there be any content / age restrictions? Since the graphics are limited there obviously cannot be traditional H, but I don't know if anyone wants restrictions on the words they can use.

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Re: Visual Novel Writing Contest (planning thread)

#5 Post by Victoria Jennings » Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:29 pm

Ooh, sign me up. When will this take place?

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Re: Visual Novel Writing Contest (planning thread)

#6 Post by Ishikatsu » Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:41 pm

Oh wow, this sounds like a cool idea *absolutely loves contests of any kind/is too competitive for her own good* :D

I would love to participate. Just letting you know :)
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Re: Visual Novel Writing Contest (planning thread)

#7 Post by Shoko » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:05 pm

Sounds amazing! I'll definetely enter if this materializes.

On the account of votes though, if you really want to decide something like "good writing" through a voting process, then I would reccomend a panel of judges rather than a public vote. After all, does the most popular = the best? Of course ideally the most popular is supposed to be the most well written one. But it could be more vague, perhaps, then having a certain amount of people discuss the reasons why they liked/disliked it. However, either way would be interesting to see.

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Re: Visual Novel Writing Contest (planning thread)

#8 Post by DeeKay » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:11 pm

papillon wrote:Winners would receive prizes. I'm currently willing to throw in one cash prize (well, paypal, close enough) and one Free Game From My Site.
Your radiant smile is more than enough to me.
Yeah... Um... sorry for the cheesy line, this heat is getting to me..

Anyway, it's definitely a good idea ! It might be motivating for people who want to make their first VN.

Hmm... should I participate ? I think I might actually ! (if I can manage to squeeze enough of my time at least ^^''')
papillon wrote:Genre not restricted. The prompt and the sprite will suggest something obvious. You do not have to go there! Feel free to take things in whatever weird direction you like.
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Re: Visual Novel Writing Contest (planning thread)

#9 Post by Blane Doyle » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:23 pm

I would love to see and participate in something like this. It's a nice challenge!

I'd like to see more about what is allowed and what is not in terms of assets. Would the sources need to be pre-approved, like only from the OELVN Wiki? What about music and sound effects? (I would assume that we would be locked into the sprite you offer us and no more).

I think it may be best to make the voting open to the public, but keep the counting itself private. Perhaps require them to link to their post in the discussion? (A bit much, if you ask me, but you did say you wanted discussion to happen)

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Re: Visual Novel Writing Contest (planning thread)

#10 Post by papillon » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:37 pm

Hmm. Would 'no sound' be too limiting to people? I don't want to face a dozen games all using the same tiny set of sound resources, and it'll keep the filesize smaller if there are no giant music files kicking around.

For backgrounds, yeah, best to stick with OELVN wiki sources and/or any art that is specifically donated to the contest to ensure everyone has access to the same. Might even need to get more specific than that, like a no-editing (except for crop/resize) rule. Use it as you find it, don't get distracted by art... you could always make a prettier re-release after the contest if you wanted.

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Re: Visual Novel Writing Contest (planning thread)

#11 Post by Victoria Jennings » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:41 pm

papillon wrote:Hmm. Would 'no sound' be too limiting to people?
You could also limit it to jamendo stuff freaking amazing music, omfg? As for sfx, I don't think it'll be that big a deal if you didn't want us using them. 0:

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Re: Visual Novel Writing Contest (planning thread)

#12 Post by Blane Doyle » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:44 pm

I think no-sound could be a bit too limiting myself, but at the same time it may be better to forgo it with a contest focused on the writing aspect of the game. Then again, you could always limit the use of a single site with a very large library, or one with a great but small selection that would not get annoying after a while.

Sound effects could go the same way, but limiting to nothing is much easier and less of a hassle for developers. They'd help, but not having them may not be a hinderence to most giving the limitations of everything else.

Either way, I think I am getting excited for this!

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Re: Visual Novel Writing Contest (planning thread)

#13 Post by DeeKay » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:50 pm

Same opinion here. If writing is the focus of this contest, it makes it interesting if there's no sound.
Sometimes when I'm reading something I'm sucked into, I imagine the different sounds in my head as I follow the story. If the writing could stand on its own, wouldn't this be neat to achieve on a short VN ? ^^
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Re: Visual Novel Writing Contest (planning thread)

#14 Post by Sapphi » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:27 pm

Ah Papillon I am sooooo doing this!

I don't think sound and music are important; in fact, they might get distracting.
And I'm thinking about the voting, and wondering if maybe it could be like the art exhibition at my college. There was a panel of art professors that awarded the big prize for what they felt was the best entry, but there was also a People's Choice award that was given to the person whose entry received the most votes from gallery attenders.

It's just a thought, though. I'm most excited about the fact that we are going to talk about good and bad writing!

Now, I have a question... how are we going to handle ESL writers? Are they allowed to have their work checked by a proofreader for grammatical inconsistencies?
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Re: Visual Novel Writing Contest (planning thread)

#15 Post by redeyesblackpanda » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:39 pm

This is tempting my competitive urges, but I've got too much on my plate to do something like this. I should know my limits :lol:

That being said, I think it's great that you're organizing this, and I hope everyone has a lot of fun.
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