Multiple main characters in a VN.

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Multiple main characters in a VN.

#1 Post by Guest » Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:14 am

Hey there.
I've been playing with the idea of letting the player choose which character s/he wants to play as during some parts of my game. However, I'm not really sure about this idea so I thought I'd toss it out to you guys here.

Have you ever seen this done in a VN? Does it seem like a good idea or not so much. Can you guys think of any possible pitfalls this might lead to?

Thanks in advance for your input!

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Re: Multiple main characters in a VN.

#2 Post by PyTom » Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:16 am

This has been done a few times. IIRC, both Tomorrow (which you can get from the Ren'Ai archive) and the commercial game Ever17 have this mechanic.
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Re: Multiple main characters in a VN.

#3 Post by monele » Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:01 pm

Ever17 is rather a "which path do you play"... with two completely separated versions. Tomorrow seems closer to this concept since you actually switch during the story (and the switching makes up the gameplay too, Tomorrow rocks ^^).

I'd love to see other games like that ^^...

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Re: Multiple main characters in a VN.

#4 Post by Ignosco » Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:09 pm

I think there are some 'zapping' type VN's where you can switch between protagonists at any time :?. I'm not 100% sure though...
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Re: Multiple main characters in a VN.

#5 Post by F.I.A » Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:43 pm

Well, off my head, there is also Eidolon, which allows you to roleplay as a guy or a girl. And so is Camp Handiba, which has 3 characters instead.
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Re: Multiple main characters in a VN.

#6 Post by monele » Tue Jul 03, 2007 1:26 pm

Ignosco : true! One of my favourite from-hentai-conversion is Eve Burst Error where you can control a guy detective and a police woman and switch at any time. It's mostly a kinetic novel since you just move around, look at things, talk through linear convos and after you've done certain things, you can switch to the other and "things" will have happened that let you go on.

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Re: Multiple main characters in a VN.

#7 Post by Doc_Odd » Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:01 pm

Ever17, already mentioned, is what I first thought of when I saw this topic. I liked that game despite what I saw as the quite insufficiently frequent and explicit sex (I know that wasn't the point of the game, which is my entire criticism of the game), so I'd say something like this approach can work. Though you don't exactly just get to choose which character to play at a particular time; there are choices that affect who you're going to be at different points, but only a few of them and they're generally not obvious. It's more of a situation where you play the character the plot calls for you playing at different times.

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Re: Multiple main characters in a VN.

#8 Post by Boch » Thu Jul 05, 2007 9:10 am

A game with multiple protagonists could become very confusing if you're not careful. If you plan to make a simple scenario game, or already have a well-structured story branch, it should be fine.

What do I mean by simple? It could have any or all of the following points:
- you're allowed to switch protagonists only at key points in the game.
- a protagonist does not affect his partner in anyway, and vice-versa.
- there is ultimately only 1 ending, and the player only views the story through different people.

A complex game on the other hand could be like this:
- you can switch protagonists at any time.
- ignoring a protagonist for too long could result in his/her death.
- a protagonist can affect his/her partner's list of options.
- the protagonists can affect their environment.
- one protagonist can handle a situation much better than the other.
- multiple variation of endings *shudder*
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Re: Multiple main characters in a VN.

#9 Post by Vatina » Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:24 am

Doc_Odd wrote:Ever17, already mentioned, is what I first thought of when I saw this topic. I liked that game despite what I saw as the quite insufficiently frequent and explicit sex (I know that wasn't the point of the game, which is my entire criticism of the game), so I'd say something like this approach can work. Though you don't exactly just get to choose which character to play at a particular time; there are choices that affect who you're going to be at different points, but only a few of them and they're generally not obvious. It's more of a situation where you play the character the plot calls for you playing at different times.
Huh? Are you still talking about Ever17? *confused*
You choose who you play as in the beginning, and there is only sex at one time (and you're only told about it later)?
But maybe I just misread it.

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Re: Multiple main characters in a VN.

#10 Post by Doc_Odd » Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:37 am

Vatina wrote:
Doc_Odd wrote:Ever17, already mentioned, is what I first thought of when I saw this topic. I liked that game despite what I saw as the quite insufficiently frequent and explicit sex (I know that wasn't the point of the game, which is my entire criticism of the game), so I'd say something like this approach can work. Though you don't exactly just get to choose which character to play at a particular time; there are choices that affect who you're going to be at different points, but only a few of them and they're generally not obvious. It's more of a situation where you play the character the plot calls for you playing at different times.
Huh? Are you still talking about Ever17? *confused*
You choose who you play as in the beginning, and there is only sex at one time (and you're only told about it later)?
But maybe I just misread it.
I thought I remembered some switching of viewpoints, but I haven't played it in a while. And I did comment on the wildly insufficient quantity and explicitness of sex; only one time and not even described sounds pretty low quantity and low explicitness to me.

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Re: Multiple main characters in a VN.

#11 Post by Vatina » Sat Jul 07, 2007 10:52 am

Lol yeah, I read it a bit too fast.... sorry.
Yes it does switch in the beginning just before you choose. And also somtimes in the very last scenario that explains what happened in all the other scenarios.

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Re: Multiple main characters in a VN.

#12 Post by Sailor Kitty » Sun Jul 08, 2007 5:23 am

An RPG idea I had had two protagonists, switchable at any time. But at certain points in the game, you had to switch to get past that point. It's a nice way, the game flows smoothly.
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Re: Multiple main characters in a VN.

#13 Post by Matt_D » Mon Jul 16, 2007 9:50 am

Sameheart took the multiple leads to an extreme if I remember. Could move between characters at various points (the game was nearly impossible to unlock without a walkthrough.)

Ever17 did have a path with alot of persective jumping.

Problem with switching characters during a narrative is it breaks your connection with a character and is pretty jarring.

Now then it is a very fitting idea for games that
- are split into multiple different stories, like boogiepop phantom anime/manga that run both concurrently and end to end.
- alternate reality stories where each time you play through you get another perspective of the core plot.
- A story with several lead characters that you can pick at the begining, Imagine being the "main lead" then the "funny best friend" then the "geeky loser guy" then the "thug guy".

I havn't been too keen on a story where you jump from character to character, works well for RPGs but I don't think it's too good for VNs
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