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

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

#61 Post by Obscura » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:51 pm

Boomsickle wrote: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.

Well, obviously I don't think it's crazy. :lol:
I used that approach throughout my entire campaign. (Targeting webcomic readers and fans of slashfiction.)
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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#62 Post by TrickWithAKnife » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:45 pm

Boomsickle wrote: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.
That's definitely an interesting idea, targeting readers (of digital media) and gamers.
Nothing wrong with adding an extra market.
"We must teach them through the tools with which they are comfortable."
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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#63 Post by Boomsickle » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:25 pm

I was thinking people would call it blasphemy but i think it could sell well if you made it compatible with kindles and nooks and have it on their sites.

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

#64 Post by Obscura » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:40 pm

The reddit threads are actually really pretty interesting and informative. Thanks for the idea Trickwithaknife. Incidentally--your game concept in particular should actually be fairly popular without even the use of any particular term at all. People love language learning games, in my experience!
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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#65 Post by mugenjohncel » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:42 pm

Me?... I'll stick with O.E.L.V.N.

It's pretty much easy to remember and very much describes what I made... Original English Language Visual Novel. Trying to call it E.V.N. or even Visual Novel is just like icing in cake to attract audience. I'm not gonna be around for much longer so I'd rather be truthful and up-front on what I lay on the table and let the audience decide if they want to read my works. This is the Uncle Mugen way... This is delicious OELVN... and you must read it... you no like it?... OK... but in case you change your mind it's always here, waiting for you warmly... remember, I'm not doing this commercially so as long as there is one (1) person who reads my work... I Uncle Mugen is happy...

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

#66 Post by Sapphi » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:02 pm

Boomsickle wrote:I was thinking people would call it blasphemy but i think it could sell well if you made it compatible with kindles and nooks and have it on their sites.
I actually agree with you in targeting "readers" rather than "players" because most of the stuff I'm working on has a decidedly more literary bent.

But I'm not sure about the possibility of compatibility with Nook or Kindle... I had researched them earlier for the possibility of easy access to scanned out-of-print literature, but it seems that even something like an e-book can be incompatible with those devices. I don't know how they are made, but I doubt they would support the kind of language we use in Ren'Py... if they did though I would buy one immediately!
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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#67 Post by TrickWithAKnife » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:06 pm

Obscura wrote:The reddit threads are actually really pretty interesting and informative. Thanks for the idea Trickwithaknife. Incidentally--your game concept in particular should actually be fairly popular without even the use of any particular term at all. People love language learning games, in my experience!
Thanks. I think I'm lucky in that my game is aimed to appeal to another audience - people who are interested in Japan or the Japanese language. Further down the road I'll be following your examples to try and reach out to that community. I think if I do it too soon though, the interest will have died down long before release.

My main interest in making what we create more appealing to the general public is not entirely self-serving. I think everyone should check your Reddit posts and the replies. It might help everyone get a perspective on how we are perceived by the majority, and how our own games game be improved to be more appealing - not just by rebranding, but also content.

This is something that should be taken very seriously.
"We must teach them through the tools with which they are comfortable."
The #renpy IRC channel is a great place to chat with other devs. Due to the nature of IRC and timezone differences, people probably won't reply right away.

If you'd like to view or use any code from my VN PM me. All code is freely available without restriction, but also without warranty or (much) support.

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

#68 Post by Kinjo » Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:34 pm

Deji wrote:If anything, I think WVN - Western Visual Novel would be better, though it doesn't really look/sound very good >>;
I vote for this. It conveys the most meaning in the fewest syllables, and that's what people are looking for, right?
Whether or not it looks/sounds good isn't a problem; people will get used to it over time. OELVN isn't much better.

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

#69 Post by KittyKatStar » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:42 pm

I don't know about abandoning the term... But when people asked what games I was working on, I found it they got it instantly (people over 30) when I said "interactive story" instead of visual novel. Since they were able to say "oh like choose your own adventure!"

Interactive story... Hrm... In-story? Because you're "in" the story? Get it? *shot*

I also like the angle idea of targeting readers. I love reading, so it was a pretty natural step to play point-and-click, Living Books (educational series), Phoenix Wright, etc...

I always have this feeling Cinders would be amazing to play on an iPad or something... I'd totally get a copy for my mom who loves reading, and I think she'd enjoy the art and the more mature telling of Cinderella... (She did love the screenshots and artwork.)
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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#70 Post by azureXtwilight » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:00 am

Deji wrote:If anything, I think WVN - Western Visual Novel would be better, though it doesn't really look/sound very good >>;
Not sure about it. Many of 'em are still heavily influenced with japanese names and setting that I think the term "Western" might lead people to think it's completely "Western".

I think I'll stick with OELVN.
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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#71 Post by Obscura » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:12 am

azureXtwilight wrote:
Deji wrote:If anything, I think WVN - Western Visual Novel would be better, though it doesn't really look/sound very good >>;
Not sure about it. Many of 'em are still heavily influenced with japanese names and setting that I think the term "Western" might lead people to think it's completely "Western".

I think I'll stick with OELVN.
KittyKatStar wrote:I don't know about abandoning the term... But when people asked what games I was working on, I found it they got it instantly (people over 30) when I said "interactive story" instead of visual novel. Since they were able to say "oh like choose your own adventure!"

Interactive story... Hrm... In-story? Because you're "in" the story? Get it? *shot*

I also like the angle idea of targeting readers. I love reading, so it was a pretty natural step to play point-and-click, Living Books (educational series), Phoenix Wright, etc...

I always have this feeling Cinders would be amazing to play on an iPad or something... I'd totally get a copy for my mom who loves reading, and I think she'd enjoy the art and the more mature telling of Cinderella... (She did love the screenshots and artwork.)

So, I'm getting the sense that maybe those who want to stick with the more popular-style VNs are going to stick with the term visual novel. And a few of us who are going in a different direction will probably start using other terms, in addition to or in place of the term "visual novel". (So far, I really dig a few of suggestions. "Interactive story" or "interactive visual fiction" being two of them. Reddit had some good ones as well.)

Either way, I think it's been an educational discussion. I appreciate your responses.

(And yes, I don't know if it will ever happen, but the iPad just always seemed like such a perfect device for VNs. I just don't know whether sales would ever justify the cost of porting it?)
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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#72 Post by nyaatrap » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:59 am

I think this topic title isn't good. Choosing better term for particular market is good to think, but it doesn't mean "Should We Abandon".

Anyway what market I'm thinking is, Android users who never played PC games. Because there's no possibility to expand the PC VN market in Japan anymore.

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

#73 Post by Obscura » Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:19 am

That would have been a better title. is it too late to change it?
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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#74 Post by jack_norton » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:02 am

Obscura wrote: (And yes, I don't know if it will ever happen, but the iPad just always seemed like such a perfect device for VNs. I just don't know whether sales would ever justify the cost of porting it?)
For a game like yours you can save your time, since in the 99% of cases it wouldn't get approved by Apple :wink:
I mean it would be very risky - that's why the best would be to have a cross-platform engine. I port all my games on Android even if they sell peanuts just because with Ren'Py is very simple/fast :)
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Re: Visual Novels: Should We Abandon the Term? And How?

#75 Post by TeeGee » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:02 am

Sorry, I'm late to the party as always :). I should really check these forums more often. Lots of interesting discussion, and on something that we've been thinking about as well.
Reikun wrote: I'd like to point out that Moacube's Cinders seemed to have no issue with calling itself a "visual novel" despite its non-anime art style.
Cinders' page on moacube.com wrote:Cinders is our fairytale-inspired visual novel, ditching the passive protagonist and banal morals of the original story in sake of a more serious approach.
There's no mention of any other term to describe what "kind" of game it was and people seemed to love it.
Actually, we think that calling Cinders a visual novel was a mistake, and we're trying to avoid that with Solstice. It scares people away, unfortunately :(.

There's some stigma involved with the term VN and it affects people's impression of the game before they even play it. If you send the game to press the and call it "a feminist retelling of Cinderella", they'll likely get interested and play it. If you call it a visual novel, there's a large chance they'll think "oh, one of those..." and won't even care to check it out.
Of course I don't know how well it did in terms of "typical VN audience" versus "people-not-familiar-with-the-term-visual-novel audience," but it did get a lot of press outside of VN-centric sites.
Cinders sold mostly to the existing VN audience, even despite the okay mainstream coverage. Features on Kotaku and the likes bring a lot of traffic, but almost no sales. Actually, we got more sales and interested players from mentions on personal blogs and tumblrs of VN fans.

Mainstream gamers are simply not interested in playing visual novels. In a way, you have to trick them to try it. And then hope that it's good enough so they keep playing.
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