Text styles and quotations in VNs?

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Text styles and quotations in VNs?

#1 Post by やまと » Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:15 am


I am starting to create a Visual Novel. I would say better: I am adapting one of my previously written novels to become a VN.
That is a rather short roman novel, able to be read in less than 1 hour, always depending on your reading speed.
That is just perfect for me to start in this VN world, since it is short, not much characters and easy to read. So I decided to try and convert it to a more "visual" format, so I can share with others my own thoughs and my own vission of the physical part of the world and characters.

I have been writting prose many years (unluckily not in English, but in German and Spanish U_U), and writting just prose is really different from writting for a VN in what the writting style is more... plain, in the prose.

So, the problem I have is the next one, I hope someone here would be willing to help me:

lets say we have two characters, Mr. Peter and Ms. Alice
The story is related as a first person novel. It is Mr. Peter and/or Ms. Alice who relates everything using always the present tenses, if possible, so for example, a dialogue could be:

"Suddently, Mr. Peter stands up and with a manly voice of true decission states:
- I think that I will attend to the Poor Alms Classical Music concert tonight. It will be really wonderful event. And I have two passes. Would you like to join me in this romantic event, sweet Lady? -

Ms. Alice looks at him with a view of indiference that turns into anger in no time.
After a pair of seconds that seem like hours, she decides to break her silence:
- I told you a thousand times that I would NEVER go out with a stinking fool like you! - Like a maul colliding a huge gong, this is how the answer sounded and reverberated in Mr. Peter's tympanus.

- That stupid man... I need to do something with him. He is now starting to really bother me. I cannot stand him, and if this continues further, I am not responsible of whatever disgrace can happen to him. - Mr. Alice thinks, while grabbing her Champagne cup, moisten her lips and returning her attention to the newspaper in the table, as if nothing happened.

Ok, enough, in this little piece of dialogue, we have three types of texts, maybe three formats, if you prefer to call it that way.

1.- A person talking to another one: Mr. Peter and Ms. Alice talking to each other.
2.- A person thinking about something: Ms. Alice and his final thoughts about Mr. Peter.
3.- A narrator, that tells us extra information about the situations.

So, the question is: how to represent those 3 types of formats in a Visual Novel?

I know that dialogues use the name of the character that is talking. This is pretty straightforward.
Thoughts are usually represented with the name of the person that is thinking, but the text is enclosed in parenthesis.
But now, how should I include what the narrator says, so it doesn't mix with the character thoughts? Or even to know that this is the narrator's "voice" and not the previous character voice or thoughts?

Also, how is represented a text that is told by a character, but it is not a dialogue, nor a thought? For example, a character describes a car, he is not really thinking about it, just taking the role of the narrator, and he is not talking to any other character either. I need to show the "player" that such car is being described by X or Y character instead of the narrator, but the "player" needs to know that such description is not a though or that the character that is describing the car is not giving any subjective oppinion of the car, like may happen with a though.
For example, Mr. Peter could say "This car is really a top-notch car, with that huge engine, lightweight and aerodynamic chasis, it can probably reach light-speed. But the tires seem a bit overused. Also some bully broke one of the lights..."

Well, I think I miss nothing.


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Re: Text styles and quotations in VNs?

#2 Post by Talann » Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:28 pm

I'm not sure if this is what you meant but you can just add a narrator like this:

Code: Select all

$ narrator = Character(None, window_background="frame2.png")
Or, you can add a NVL menu
One last choice, you can have Ms. Alice (for example) using italic text when she's thinking...
I hope this helped you :)

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Re: Text styles and quotations in VNs?

#3 Post by leon » Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:43 pm

Some games use quotes for dialogue and no quotes for thoughts.

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Re: Text styles and quotations in VNs?

#4 Post by Greeny » Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:53 am

It's also common in novels to use italic text for characters thoughts in novels written in 3rd person, and I think that would easily translate into Visual Novels as well fairly naturally.
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Re: Text styles and quotations in VNs?

#5 Post by xavimat » Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:01 pm

I'm using also different colors to tell apart the thoughts of every character in my KN Fear&Love. I don't have a narrator outside the characters.
It's not usual to have a "narrator" in VNs. It's usually the MC (=his/her thoughts)

I've defined three renpy characters for every character in the game:
- what the character says (with the name)
- what the character thinks (without the name, and in a different color)
- what the character thinks in nvl mode (also without the name and with the color as a hint)

I have too one scene where the two MC are speaking and thinking, and use the italics + the different color to make it more clear.

Also, this KN was formerly a short narration. To adapt to VN I've deleted the descriptions that the images show (he smiles, she frowns, etc.)
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