A visual novel setup like a manga??

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inkbrush
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A visual novel setup like a manga??

#1 Post by inkbrush » Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:58 am

Hello again, Lemmasoftians! (Wow, I've been posting a lot recently . . . Thank you to everyone putting up with me. ;~; )

My question today is a little more personal to my own project:

I originally was planning on, instead of having sprites and backgrounds and CG's, I'd format the game completely in a comic-manga format. Similar to that of the comic part of fioricca's 'The Dolls' Stories' (hi, yes, sorry for pointing you out, fioricca :wink:).

Now, I was planning on doing this for the ENTIRE game but looking back on the idea, I wasn't as fond of doing it for the entire game.
(I considered getting rid of the idea but the inspiration originally for my game was shoujo manga so I want to keep that part of it)
It's a LOT more work, I know, but that's why I'm considering only certain parts of the game only being in that comic formatting. Like, the parts that would have CG's.

So, my question is should I continue with the idea of the entire game being in that format or should it only be certain parts of the game? (I WOULD be willing to put in the money and time to put out a full game in that format, in case you were wondering.)
And if it should only be in certain parts of the game, how exactly should they be placed?

I was planning on having the "chapters" of the story really being set up like a manga. There would be "Volumes" you go through and chapters within those volumes. So, it would quite honestly be like you were reading a manga, but you were actually playing a game.


I feel like I'm forgetting to mention some important information . . . Well, if anyone wants more details to try to give me better advice, let me know. I'm pretty open about information on my project.

Thank you for reading!

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Re: A visual novel setup like a manga??

#2 Post by Barzini » Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:37 am

There is a game on the market called The Detail - Take a look at it - Is this something you had in mind?
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Re: A visual novel setup like a manga??

#3 Post by Laniessa » Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:42 am

Lucky Rabbit Reflex (EVN!) has a comicky format for the first part of the intro and the best endings for each of the guys. The game is commercial though, but I know Chris Tenarium LP’d it. I don’t know if he got the best end, but he did get through the intro lol.

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Re: A visual novel setup like a manga??

#4 Post by Kinjo » Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:42 am

I think that's a really cool idea that you should go for, if you want. I'd read it.

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Re: A visual novel setup like a manga??

#5 Post by fioricca » Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:47 am

Thank you for referencing my game, and I'm flattered the format inspired you! ^_^

Confession time: the cut-in sequences are actually a result of my inability to write well. I could spend the same amount time struggling with words as I did storyboarding, colouring and asking the programmer to code, but the impact and polish would be different. Since I'm primarily an artist I just played by my strength. Since Dolls, I've used cut-in sequences sparingly, because I realised that storytelling formats that rely less on visuals allows players to insert a little of their own imagination and there are advantages to that. I also started experimenting with more ways of conveying visual information. In parts of Lemon Project I combined cut-ins with narrative instead of speech bubbles; in a fangame I made for Christmas last year I tried a format that emphasised narratives even more after getting inspired by online CYOAs. (It eliminated the need to have a new BG art for each location, and to be honest time constraints were what pushed me to it... ^_^";;) There is no set rule to visual novels and many other games insert their own aesthetics to create unique experiences. (I love quoting Navigame, Donmai and saguaro because they also inspire me to think outside the box.)

I can't advise you to pick one or the other since the choice is ultimately yours, but suggest picking a direction that would best suit the story you're writing. :D

Good luck!

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Re: A visual novel setup like a manga??

#6 Post by inkbrush » Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:07 am

Thank you for the responses!

@Barzini:
Yes, The Detail is definitely similar to what I had in mind and what I wanted to do.

@fioricca:
Doing the game in full comic-y style is definitely what would be best for the story and game as a whole, considering my inspiration was shoujo manga. (Many of the themes and things that I have planned to happen within the story are very romance manga situations, haha)


I was just playing a game a few minutes ago and I got the idea of making the tenser/more important scenes in the comic-y format and switching back and forth between that and sprites. But I'm worried that if I do that, it might switch back and forth too much. I would definitely have to find a delicate balance between the comic scenes and using sprites . . .

All in all, I feel like doing the game in full comic is the best option but I'm still hesitant to do it. Not sure why, either, which bugs me.

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Re: A visual novel setup like a manga??

#7 Post by Laniessa » Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:21 am

You could have a box boundary that the sprites are in with drawn backgrounds, and the sprites are like comicky (no colour)? Retains the comic look vaguely, but less intense then full out panelling.

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Re: A visual novel setup like a manga??

#8 Post by inkbrush » Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:33 am

I've got a little bit of an image in my head for that exactly. I'm having a little bit of a harder time picturing it, though. Can you describe what you mean a little more? (゜-゜)

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Re: A visual novel setup like a manga??

#9 Post by fioricca » Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:55 am

Maybe something like Quartett! can be considered?

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Re: A visual novel setup like a manga??

#10 Post by trooper6 » Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:24 am

I just played Once an Artist, and there are a few moments where the characters are framed in panels. You could check that out.

But also, have you ever watched a Motion Comic? The first motion comic I ever watched was called "The Secret" and is available on Geek & Sundry, you can see that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgK41TDKYjE

It is very much a comic book...but it doesn't use panels. Anyway...check it out and see if it inspires you.
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Re: A visual novel setup like a manga??

#11 Post by Kia » Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:46 am

I've seen something like this done in flash years ago. comic with sound and advances with click. it was darkbrains.com or something (sorry for being a pervert, flash was my life back then).
by the way the main problem with manga setting is screen orientation for PC players. you can either draw landscape (like dark brains does) or have the page scroll down. other settings are not like manga in my opinion.

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Re: A visual novel setup like a manga??

#12 Post by fleet » Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:37 pm

The "Vera Blanc" commerical releases (Full Moon and Ghost in the Castle) by Jack Norton of Winterwolves Games both used what I would describe as western comic book style art http://www.verablanc.com/.
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