What do you want to see more of in EVNs?

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Katy133
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What do you want to see more of in EVNs?

#1 Post by Katy133 » Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:30 pm

What do you want to see more of in English Visual Novels?

This can be in any aspect of VNs: Art, Writing, Plot, Characters, Sound, and Music. Your list can be as long/short as you want.

My list for example:

In VNs, I'd like to see more...
-Choice-based VNs
-Stories surrounding more obscure occupations (protagonist who is a paleontologist, an animator, a PR person, etc.)
-More grumpy & snarky player protagonists
-More comedic dialogue/narration
-Western animation-style artwork
-Voice acting
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Re: What do you want to see more of in EVNs?

#2 Post by gekiganwing » Fri Sep 12, 2014 12:29 am

Katy133 wrote:What do you want to see more of in English Visual Novels?
Glad you asked, 'cause I've been thinking about this topic. The two most important things in my opinion...

#1: I want to see more VNs get released. I say this because I've seen a few too many promising works in progress stall and never get past the planning stages.
#2: I want to see more VNs that have been checked for typos/inconsistencies, and that will work with as many computers as possible. I understand that freeware is imperfect. Please put in enough effort to make sure there are no errors or bugs.

Much less important:

* I'd like to see more creators who are willing to use any kind of art style.
* Likewise, I'm hoping that more people will not equate visual novels with cute school-based love polygon stories. The format can be used to tell many more types of stories.
* More integration of art and text. The two don't need to be completely separate. The fan-translated VN Quartett! is one of just a few examples of an OJLVN which could be an inspiration, since it uses speech bubbles. Consider what else you could do.
* Intentional minimalism. For example, can you tell your story in as few words as possible? Or perhaps zero words? (The inactive project Grass Symphony tried this.)
* Regionalism. Tell a story that reflects places you have lived, or places you have visited.
* Can you get your work released as an indie game on at least one game console? EVNs have arrived on iTunes and Google Play, but there were only a couple on XBLA, and perhaps none on other systems.

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Re: What do you want to see more of in EVNs?

#3 Post by Adoxographist » Sat Sep 13, 2014 2:29 am

Personally... I want to see more GxG visual novels targeted towards women.
I really like games with romantic fluff, especially those more geared towards girls (being one myself), but I've kinda gotten tired of seeing the same dude stereotypes being used over and over again. GxG stories strike me as UNTAPPED STORY POTENTIAL.

And also like Gekiganwing, I'd LOVE to see more variety in the kinds of stories visual novels are used to tell! Like I mentioned before, I love me some slice of life and romance, but sometimes you just want something else.
I'd also personally like to see less stat building for the sake of padding, but I also totally understand the desire for it.

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Re: What do you want to see more of in EVNs?

#4 Post by Mad Harlequin » Sat Sep 13, 2014 2:52 am

Priority one for me: different kinds of stories. Fluffy romances are pleasant now and again, but there's so much more we can do here. Why not a classic detective story? Why not one of horror and morality in the style of Bram Stoker? Why not a Native American folktale? Or an African or Spanish one?

You get the idea.
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Re: What do you want to see more of in EVNs?

#5 Post by fruitionpaper » Sat Sep 13, 2014 3:46 am

I love romance "pick your dream lover" games as the next obsessive fangirl, but a game like "Cave Cave Deus Videt" by We Are Muesli BLEW my mind. Just think of the potential VNs could go if they went in that direction!

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Re: What do you want to see more of in EVNs?

#6 Post by SundownKid » Sat Sep 13, 2014 4:33 am

Well, I don't play a ton of EVNs because so very many of them are inspired by JVNs and not the art and culture of the West. It seems most people started making EVNs because they wanted to copy JVNs or various anime tropes (high school, harem of girls/guys, etc.) instead of making a unique game that is similar in structure. Not that anime is a bad thing, I am a huge fan of some animes and jRPGs, but I would like to see more that are high quality and unique or at least make an effort to add some art and culture based on the West into the mix.

Also more VNs that aren't otome, galge or pure romance wouldn't be bad either. It seems the vast majority are under the romance genre.

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Re: What do you want to see more of in EVNs?

#7 Post by sasquatchii » Sat Sep 13, 2014 7:41 am

Couldn't agree with Mad Harlequin more! I'm tired of all the cookie cutter romance stories that have been done 1000x already, I'd like to see more original types of stories that push to do something different.

Also, I'd like more visual novels with quality writing and story telling. For me, the writing in a VN makes or breaks it. I don't care about the art as much, and will even play a game with bad art if the writing is good and I like the story. I feel like a lot of the time visual novels (yes, I'm talking about you, beautiful commercial VNs with gorgeous art) lean too heavily on the art, and that their stories are weak, without any backbone or structure. I've played too many VNs where I just don't care or feel anything for the characters or the story.

Although I'm a lot more quick to forgive weak story telling in free visual novels, as a lot of the time they were done for fun by hobbyists who are still learning how to write & draw. It makes me really mad when I play a visual novel that I paid for where the story and writing are weak.
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Re: What do you want to see more of in EVNs?

#8 Post by gekiganwing » Sat Sep 13, 2014 9:57 am

"Can you compete in a blue ocean?" In other words, can your story stack up when compared to published prose novels, comics, and other forms of fiction? Likewise, does your video game seem competent when compared to professionally made games? This is not an easy challenge to accept. If you have already created several products, and if you're confident in your work, then perhaps you're ready. Consider reading TVTropes' article "Win the Crowd" first.
SundownKid wrote:Well, I don't play a ton of EVNs because so very many of them are inspired by JVNs and not the art and culture of the West. It seems most people started making EVNs because they wanted to copy JVNs or various anime tropes (high school, harem of girls/guys, etc.) instead of making a unique game that is similar in structure.
One thing that might discourage writers is the thought, "The place where I live is boring." In other words, you look at your culture and only see banal and negative things. You see what's different about other nations, and wish that you lived anywhere else. You enjoy fantasy and science fiction as a way to escape your ordinary life.

One interesting example of this: there was a student I knew who had family living in Korea. They were able to travel there from Chicago once per year. It should be exciting to see another nation and another continent, right? But he thought it was boring. For him, this amazing opportunity had become mundane. Perhaps it had become frustrating from visiting too many relatives, or not knowing how to fit in... Anyway, the reason I bring this up is that the seemingly dull place where you live might be more interesting than you think. I can choose to view Chicagoland as a boring dot on a map with a negative history of violence, racism, and sports-related failure. But I can also choose to view my hometown as a flawed but unique place where stories happen every day -- many of them waiting to be turned into fiction.

Think about where you live, and places you have seen. What makes the location interesting? You don't need to portray it with stark realism, but at the same time, you don't need to turn the setting into a fantasy or sci-fi world.

If you're reading this topic, and if you enjoy love polygon / harem stories, that's fine. I enjoy them too. At the same time, I also encourage you to look at the early examples of the genre, and then consider what you can learn from them. Urusei Yatsura was a romance comedy in which the main character had little to no positive qualities. Kimagure Orange Road might not seem noteworthy now, but consider what a recent House of 1000 Manga article said about it.

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Re: What do you want to see more of in EVNs?

#9 Post by Holland » Sat Sep 13, 2014 11:53 am

The #1 thing I'd like to see more of in EVN's are stories that take place in America and have unbiased culture to them. As much as I love anime, I'm tired of seeing school romances that take place in Japanese private schools with stereotypical leads and Japanese cultural references. America is huge. There are so many different states you can have a story take place in, all with their own cultures and styles, yet there are so few that take place there (or really, anywhere outside of Japan). The worst part is that a lot of people making EVN's live in interesting places all over the world but are so caught up with the anime-desu-nee appeal of Japan that they're not willing to write in localized settings.

Seeing something with story and setting styles similar to the old cartoons like Codename: Kids Next Door or Danny Phantom put into a visual novel, even (/especially) if it's with an anime art style, would have huge appeal to me.
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Re: What do you want to see more of in EVNs?

#10 Post by pocoscon » Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:03 pm

BarabiSama wrote:The #1 thing I'd like to see more of in EVN's are stories that take place in America and have unbiased culture to them. As much as I love anime, I'm tired of seeing school romances that take place in Japanese private schools with stereotypical leads and Japanese cultural references. America is huge. There are so many different states you can have a story take place in, all with their own cultures and styles, yet there are so few that take place there (or really, anywhere outside of Japan). The worst part is that a lot of people making EVN's live in interesting places all over the world but are so caught up with the anime-desu-nee appeal of Japan that they're not willing to write in localized settings.

Seeing something with story and setting styles similar to the old cartoons like Codename: Kids Next Door or Danny Phantom put into a visual novel, even (/especially) if it's with an anime art style, would have huge appeal to me.
That's very true. It's tiring actually. Now don't get me wrong I do like those games, but I've really scene only a few based in America and Canada for example. Even Europe only has a few. But if you'd like a good dating sim with good characters I suggest Lucky Rabbit Reflex. It has good characters, is based in London, and is really fun :mrgreen: .


For me personally though I'd like to see some more different portioned body types. A bit tired of seeing perfect bodied boys and girls. I know girls and guys like that, but it's not realistic. I don't mind it at all, but I want more VN's that explore different body types. My friend and I are doing Vn's that at least have a heavy boned girl or boy. Sad thing is I know some users don't like that. I know that's fine, but when they say something rude about it, it's very hurtful. Now don't get me wrong, I know there are a few Vn's on here that have that, and it's great, but I want some more.

Also, some more races like Hispanic, Indian, and so on. Now I know different races are coming in games, and I'm happy about that. Just hope to see a mix of them all in a future Vn :)
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Re: What do you want to see more of in EVNs?

#11 Post by meiri » Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:37 pm

BarabiSama wrote:The #1 thing I'd like to see more of in EVN's are stories that take place in America and have unbiased culture to them. As much as I love anime, I'm tired of seeing school romances that take place in Japanese private schools with stereotypical leads and Japanese cultural references. America is huge. There are so many different states you can have a story take place in, all with their own cultures and styles, yet there are so few that take place there (or really, anywhere outside of Japan). The worst part is that a lot of people making EVN's live in interesting places all over the world but are so caught up with the anime-desu-nee appeal of Japan that they're not willing to write in localized settings.

Seeing something with story and setting styles similar to the old cartoons like Codename: Kids Next Door or Danny Phantom put into a visual novel, even (/especially) if it's with an anime art style, would have huge appeal to me.
Yes, yes, yes! This is my goal as of late, to make a VN that takes place in America. I dont mind ones that take place in Japan, but when they have American or English names and have everything styled as if it were in America, it doesn't really set well with me. There's a lot of diversity in America which makes it sensible to have unique casts and venture outside of the box.

As for what I'd like to see:
- English Voice Acting: A lot of people don't like it, but I do. I'd love to see more people doing that.
- Authentic GxG story plots. Sometthing beyond the "my best friend is now my girlfriend" and the "but she's a girl, she could never like me!"
- School romances not in Japan and not in private schools. Heck, I'd even be interested in a online schooling romance where you fall in love over a webcam lecture.
- Different races and body types.
- Characters with more negative qualities. I see a lot of great characters but some don't have any negative listed. If it is, it's something like "perverted," or "clumsy" (which is considered endearing by some).
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Re: What do you want to see more of in EVNs?

#12 Post by Mad Harlequin » Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:50 pm

sasquatchii wrote:I feel like a lot of the time visual novels (yes, I'm talking about you, beautiful commercial VNs with gorgeous art) lean too heavily on the art, and that their stories are weak, without any backbone or structure. I've played too many VNs where I just don't care or feel anything for the characters or the story.
Get out of my head! :lol:

But in all seriousness, I really can't stand this. I mean, I love pretty art too, but it should enhance the experience. It cannot and should not be used to redeem weak writing.
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Re: What do you want to see more of in EVNs?

#13 Post by trooper6 » Sat Sep 13, 2014 1:15 pm

What do I want?

More VNs that do not reference ubiquitous Japanese VN styles. So that means:
*non-Japanese anime art (you want to use traditional Japanese rice painting style? Cool that's different, do that!)
*non-Japanese high school romance
*non-polygon romances where romancing is the entire plot

Other things I want:
A greater variety of genres.
More VNs aimed at an adult audience. I don't mean porn, I mean more games with adult protagonists dealing with hard topics.
More VNs that are challenging, smart, and thoughtful.
More VNs that are made from a point of view of self-consciously being works of art (very broadly defined).
More VNs that engage self-consciously more directly with social and cultural politics.
A greater variety of size, gender, racial, class, regional, and sexuality diversity.
More VNs that are made from a creator's inner vision rather than by committee (in other words, I dislike it when a thread pops up that asks: "I'm making a VN, tell me what to put in it." And then they put in everything that everybody else wants and there is no authorial voice. Just super generic).
More VNs that deal with teenagers in a grittier, less idealized way. I'd like more things like The Chocolate War than high-school romance. Heck, I'd even be happy to see more things like The Breakfast Club.
More branching paths.
More choices that are meant to help define your character as opposed to just changing plot.
More risks in format. More expansions of what VNs can do.
Experimentation!
More women, sexual minorities, and people of color as VN creators.
More butch women as characters.
More games that don't seem to be pandering to the male gaze, even if they are aimed at a female audience...perhaps then especially not.

I want to see a VN avant-garde.
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Re: What do you want to see more of in EVNs?

#14 Post by melelisun » Sat Sep 13, 2014 3:15 pm

I agree with different storylines and settings. Seeing something unique is always refreshing. At the same time, I think romance has a lot of merits. So yeah, maybe no average high school polygon romance, but romance in a medieval rebellion, or futuristic game immersion? I'd like that :)
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Re: What do you want to see more of in EVNs?

#15 Post by Adoxographist » Sat Sep 13, 2014 4:21 pm

pocoscon wrote: For me personally though I'd like to see some more different portioned body types. A bit tired of seeing perfect bodied boys and girls. I know girls and guys like that, but it's not realistic. I don't mind it at all, but I want more VN's that explore different body types. My friend and I are doing Vn's that at least have a heavy boned girl or boy. Sad thing is I know some users don't like that. I know that's fine, but when they say something rude about it, it's very hurtful. Now don't get me wrong, I know there are a few Vn's on here that have that, and it's great, but I want some more.

Also, some more races like Hispanic, Indian, and so on. Now I know different races are coming in games, and I'm happy about that. Just hope to see a mix of them all in a future Vn :)
Yeeeeaaaahh! I'd love to just see generally more diversity in visual novels! More diverse bodies, races, sexualities in characters, and more diverse stories.
After all is that not.... the spice of life?

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