Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

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Boomsickle
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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#46 Post by Boomsickle » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:14 pm

Biotikos wrote:
Well, actually, I think that at one side you're right, about the long-standing reputation and tradition part, but then we go to talk about the teminology itself - it's rather not correct, because in VN's one of the most important parts are the interaction, so you're not just "visualizing a novel", you're also interacting with it.
The interaction part is a given its kinda like that movie "django" the d is silent but its still there just like how the interaction part is also a given or else we would call it a "Kinect Novel"


If we try to conform everything so that it's at the simplest form (even just a name) we might as well gain remote access to their PC's and play the game for them at least than someone would have interaction and they can just "visualize" it.

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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#47 Post by Endorphin » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:46 pm

Boomsickle wrote:
Biotikos wrote:
Well, actually, I think that at one side you're right, about the long-standing reputation and tradition part, but then we go to talk about the teminology itself - it's rather not correct, because in VN's one of the most important parts are the interaction, so you're not just "visualizing a novel", you're also interacting with it.
The interaction part is a given its kinda like that movie "django" the d is silent but its still there just like how the interaction part is also a given or else we would call it a "Kinect Novel"


If we try to conform everything so that it's at the simplest form (even just a name) we might as well gain remote access to their PC's and play the game for them at least than someone would have interaction and they can just "visualize" it.
But I never got this part.
A KN is also a visual novel if you just look at the term, why is it even called kinetic?
Which part of a Kinetic Novel is... kinetic?

While I love the term VN, it just... doesn't make enough sense and it's a pain to explain.
It doesn't even sound like a game, though it can be one - it sounds like a picture book or something, not like a complex, story-based game.

- R.
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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#48 Post by Biotikos » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:49 pm

Boomsickle wrote:
Biotikos wrote:
Well, actually, I think that at one side you're right, about the long-standing reputation and tradition part, but then we go to talk about the teminology itself - it's rather not correct, because in VN's one of the most important parts are the interaction, so you're not just "visualizing a novel", you're also interacting with it.
The interaction part is a given its kinda like that movie "django" the d is silent but its still there just like how the interaction part is also a given or else we would call it a "Kinect Novel".
I was actually thinking that Kinect Novel would be the most appropiated term for today's VN, but I think you are right.

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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#49 Post by TrickWithAKnife » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:00 pm

We all have our views about the branding of what we create, but has anyone actually asked the views of people outside of the VN community? What we think is probably less important than their views.

The dream situation would be a name that hints to what we do, and is appealing to other people, especially those who are willing to open their wallets. It's been said this is a niche market, but it would be nice if we could make it a little less niche. Marketing is just as important as any other skill.
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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#50 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:49 am

TrickWithAKnife wrote:Marketing is just as important as any other skill.
Maybe more so. It doesn't matter what you've done or who you've appealed to with your game if no one knows it exists. Especially in a digital market where you are competing with hundreds or thousands of titles, you can't just assume your game is going to be so good it'll draw its own attention. Even a niche game or genre needs to advertise itself to that niche!

Marketing is about getting eyes on your product - and then letting the subject matter or game itself determine who sticks around and tries it out. That's why what the games are called is so important - if the term is boring or not descriptive, people aren't going to notice your game or look twice. The term needs to convey the "brand" and personality of the community, and it needs to be memorable.

The term "visual novel" actually fails from a business and marketing standpoint of dos-and-don'ts. You want to be evocative - not super literal. The word itself turns off a huge segment of gamers that don't like to read - only they DO read - they read mountains of text in RPGs and shooter games and handhelds. But they'd never pick up a book, and you just hit them with the word "novel" which is also a very static and sedate word. But most of these same players would love a lot of VNs if convinced to try them. And the thing is, you may not get the opportunity to have a conversation with them to convince them. The name itself - what the game or genre is called, has to "hook" them.

Most of the gamers I've known who aren't anime fans (talking of real life acquaintances) have only ever had 1 of 2 opinions upon hearing the term "visual novel". Either, "Oh, that pedophile crap from Japan?" if they are tangentially familiar with the term, or "A computer novel with pictures that you have to click through?! One sentence at a time?! That sounds horrendous." The term makes them imagine reading a book v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-ly.

And one of these SAME people spent an afternoon enthusing to me about a game he was playing on his phone where you were a king and you got different scenarios from people you met and you could make choices to affect the outcome of battles and court intrigues. All of which you read about in paragraphs with static accompanying pictures. He was playing what was functionally a VISUAL NOVEL, but I believe that particular game had labeled itself a "strategy simulator". An active term that implied player interaction and things happening. It had quite a bit less gameplay than Papillon's "Long Live the Queen".

The worst thing isn't potential new fans not knowing what "visual novel" means. It's potential new fans not WANTING to know what "visual novel" means, because it sounds like homework.

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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#51 Post by Boomsickle » Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:56 am

Biotikos wrote:
But I never got this part.
A KN is also a visual novel if you just look at the term, why is it even called kinetic?
Which part of a Kinetic Novel is... kinetic?

- R.
Kinetic means "Hands Free" A visual novel can become Kinetic if you push Auto Play which makes the story play continuously with out your moving of the mouse. While a visual novel requires your input at different times a kinetic novel wont.

We don't have to force it to become a less niche audience just let nature take its course i highly doubt this style of gaming will die no need to start a crusade for something that isn't in need of changing.

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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#52 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:13 am

Boomsickle wrote:
Biotikos wrote:
But I never got this part.
A KN is also a visual novel if you just look at the term, why is it even called kinetic?
Which part of a Kinetic Novel is... kinetic?

- R.
Kinetic means "Hands Free" A visual novel can become Kinetic if you push Auto Play which makes the story play continuously with out your moving of the mouse. While a visual novel requires your input at different times a kinetic novel wont.
Haha. Yes, but don't you see - that means a "kinetic" (as in "moving") novel is the one where you do NOT move. At all. You just have to "watch it" as in "visual". And the "visual novel" requires you to click and make choices and be an active "moving" participant. It requires you to be "kinetic". :lol:

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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#53 Post by Boomsickle » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:03 am

This seems to be a never ending battle that no one is going to win.

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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#54 Post by Obscura » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:06 am

TrickWithAKnife wrote:We all have our views about the branding of what we create, but has anyone actually asked the views of people outside of the VN community? What we think is probably less important than their views.
Great idea. I've posted the question on r/indiegaming and r/gamedev.

If you guys have reddit accounts, don't be shy about upvoting so it can get more visibility.

http://www.reddit.com/r/gamedev/comment ... rm_visual/

http://www.reddit.com/r/IndieGaming/com ... ual_novel/

I'm sure there's a better way to ask these questions or do this research--but this is all I can think of at the moment.
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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#55 Post by Blane Doyle » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:11 am

Boomsickle wrote:This seems to be a never ending battle that no one is going to win.
Tis true.

But it is an interesting debate, nonetheless.

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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#56 Post by leon » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:39 am

I really don't see a need to change the term, everyone in this niche is familiar with. Just add more descriptive terms that apply to your game when promoting it. I don't think we'll find (or need) a general one-fits-all term. Gay dating sim worked in Obscura's case better than visual novel and I think adventure game is better term for Phoenix Wright. A year and a half back I didn't knew what a visual novel is, but that didn't stop me from playing them...

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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#57 Post by TrickWithAKnife » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:29 am

That's the issue though. Everyone in the niche is familiar with it, but people outside the niche (as in 99.99% of gamers) have no idea, and those that do probably have an incorrect, negative idea of what a VN is.

Obscura's Reddit posts show a pretty good reaction, and I'll presume the people replying saw the topic titles, and are probably more interested than the average person.

For those people who want to keep it niche, that is fine, but some of us want to sell our games. A bigger audience = more sales = bigger development budgets = higher quality games.

I don't think anyone here is making a game with the hope that as few people as possible will play it.
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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#58 Post by Deji » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:06 pm

Wrong topic, lalala~
>>;
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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#59 Post by leon » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:29 pm

@TrickWithAKnife: I agree with that, but I don't think another term would fit all VNs. Dating sim is too narrow, adventure game is too broad and misleading... I think interactive comic book would be rather misleading for longer (novel-sized) VNs too. I think it's up to individual creator to find the terms that describe their specific game, so that it targets a larger audience.

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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#60 Post by Boomsickle » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:05 pm

Has any one wondered what would happen if we targeted readers instead of gamers? I know its a crazy idea and one im not going to pursue but its just a thought.

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