Visual Novel Survey.

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clayton
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Visual Novel Survey.

#1 Post by clayton » Wed Aug 12, 2015 11:57 am

Hello, so in short I am writing a visual novel and this is a survey to see what you as a reader like to see/read in a visual novel story. If you decide to answer these questions you can pick which ones you want to answer and how long your answers will be.


1. Do you need a love story in a game in order to enjoy it?

2. If you are playing a slice of life game do you need sex scenes?

3. When you hear the term slice of life what comes to mind? This can be games or a general setting.

4. When a character is about to die from just a life event such as suicide, car accident, falling off the roof of a building because they were drunk, or over dosing would you want a warning that the character is going to die? Or just make it feel random so it is more realistic and if connected to the character feel a bit more real?

5. what is more important to you sound, writing, art, or the story? (Writing and story are two different things, your writing can be god awful but if you tell a somewhat decent story then even I will stick it out to the end.)

6. Would you ever read a slice of life visual novel that takes place in an American college where you play as an early twenty something year old, where the focus of the story is you and one of your friends are trying to start an independent record label and then bring it to be a corporate company? Or pass on the opportunity of a life time to climb your way up the retail world living an average life with friends and family.


Okay so number six is kind of a low ball shot on my part of being nervous while I am writing and just wanting to know what people think of the idea... anyways have a nice day!

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Re: Visual Novel Survey.

#2 Post by TsukiShima » Wed Aug 12, 2015 12:42 pm

1. Do you need a love story in a game in order to enjoy it?
No. I played some games that has no focus on a love story, and it's still a great game. However, a love story can be a distraction, in a good way if done well, to lessen the stress after going through some difficult scenes.

2. If you are playing a slice of life game do you need sex scenes?
No. Slice of life is its own genre. I don't see why you would even need sex scenes for a slice of life game. Based on Wikipedia; Slice of life is a phrase describing the use of mundane realism depicting everyday experiences in art and entertainment. Sex scene is not needed. It can be added under the R18 genre with Slice of life instead.

3. When you hear the term slice of life what comes to mind? This can be games or a general setting.
Well based on my own understanding and knowlegde, it's what we undergo through the real life. It has little less magic or unreal phenomena happening, and mostly focuses on the characters' developments or the life events happening around them. Honestly to me, that's the beauty of slice-of-life.

4. When a character is about to die from just a life event such as suicide, car accident, falling off the roof of a building because they were drunk, or over dosing would you want a warning that the character is going to die? Or just make it feel random so it is more realistic and if connected to the character feel a bit more real?
I don't really get this, and I don't get how the warning would appear as. I have played games such as Misao that warns the player that doing some actions will probably be dangerous and result to death, but still have the options to do so anyway. If that's the case, I think the warning is fine within a game. However death such as car accident, falling down or anything accidental may no need such warning as they are unexpected deaths. So for me, warnings can still appear in the form of narration, as actually the characters themselves knew that they are going to die in case they decided to do suicide attempts, etc.

5. what is more important to you sound, writing, art, or the story? (Writing and story are two different things, your writing can be god awful but if you tell a somewhat decent story then even I will stick it out to the end.)
Each of them has their own importance. Without proper writing, a game with beautiful art would still suck. Without a solid story, the game wouldn't achieve its objective. Without music, the game is less exciting.

6. Would you ever read a slice of life visual novel that takes place in an American college where you play as an early twenty something year old, where the focus of the story is you and one of your friends are trying to start an independent record label and then bring it to be a corporate company? Or pass on the opportunity of a life time to climb your way up the retail world living an average life with friends and family.
Sure, why not.

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Re: Visual Novel Survey.

#3 Post by trooper6 » Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:29 pm

clayton wrote: 1. Do you need a love story in a game in order to enjoy it?

2. If you are playing a slice of life game do you need sex scenes?

3. When you hear the term slice of life what comes to mind? This can be games or a general setting.

4. When a character is about to die from just a life event such as suicide, car accident, falling off the roof of a building because they were drunk, or over dosing would you want a warning that the character is going to die? Or just make it feel random so it is more realistic and if connected to the character feel a bit more real?

5. what is more important to you sound, writing, art, or the story? (Writing and story are two different things, your writing can be god awful but if you tell a somewhat decent story then even I will stick it out to the end.)

6. Would you ever read a slice of life visual novel that takes place in an American college where you play as an early twenty something year old, where the focus of the story is you and one of your friends are trying to start an independent record label and then bring it to be a corporate company? Or pass on the opportunity of a life time to climb your way up the retail world living an average life with friends and family.
I won't answer #6 because I don't really like answering survey questions about people's ideas for their stories. Everything is in the execution. Don't listen to what other people say...do what you want to do.

I will answer the other questions because they are more general and might generate interesting conversation.

Disclaimer: I come to VNs from table top RPGs, CRPGs, Adventure games and art games rathter than JVNs...so my opinions will be colored by that.

Okay, on to the answers>

1) No. I don't need a love story in order to enjoy a visual novel. I just need a well written story. I will also be annoyed if the love story feels artificial and shoe-horned in just because "you must have romance." If there is romance it should be organic to the story.

2) No. I don't need sex scenes in slice of life stories. There are people who aren't having sex in real life, why can't there be people who aren't having sex in the game? If there is sex, it should only be there beause it is organic to the story. Just tell me a good story.

3) When I hear slice of life, I think about those RPG sessions where we focus on the daily non-adventruing life of the PCs. It is the time when they do maintenance with their NPC friends and family. The time when they have RP with the other PCs outside of the pressure of adventures. It is a time when we get to learn something personal and intimate about the PCs. It is a time for a different type of growth. It invests the players in their PCs in a deeper way. This is a time when personal goals are often pursued rather large plots. It could be any genre. It could be when the sorcerors take the pause in their dragon killing to do their laundry and talk about their childhoods, or when the high school student is going about the routine of his life before and after school (school would count as "adventure" to me in most VNs). Just the break from the big adventures to focus on the intimate. I know that JVNs have slice of life as a genre in and of itself...but I've never played one of those games and when I incorporate slice of life into my games...it is going to be based on my experience playing table top RPGs.

4) I don't like anything that breaks immersion. So I don't want any sort of artificial warning. However, that doesn't mean their can't be any warning at all. "You are driving home and then your car slips off the side of the road and you die" is not good story telling, in my opinion. The player should be told that it is night, it is rainy, and the road is slippery. Also, because this is an interactive medium (unless you are doign a KN, in which case, do whatever you want), I want some interactivity--I want my choices to have some influence. For example, maybe I had chosen to drink alcohol at a cocktail party in the scene before...and that means that I am going to die on that slippery road because my reaction times are slower. Or maybe I am on that road and I can choose so slow down and drive more carefully...but then I am too late for this other thing...but if I rush, I slip off the road and die. If we are talking about the death of NPCs, I'd like some realistic foreshadowing, thanks. Dragon Age 2 did a great job with this. There were some abrupt things that happened that you had no control over...but there were signs of what was to come if you had put two and two together. Basically, the game maker needs to play fair with the player--just as the writer of the mystery novel has to play fair with the reader.
5) What's more important sound, writing, art, story? Well...they are all important. Bad on any of them will make me unhappy. But I suppose...in this order: Writing, Story, Sound, Art.
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Re: Visual Novel Survey.

#4 Post by Kailoto » Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:35 pm

1. Do you need a love story in a game in order to enjoy it?
No. Some of my favorite stories have nothing to do with love. If it brings something important to the story, then by all means, include it. But if it exists purely for the sake of existing, it will detract from the experience.

2. If you are playing a slice of life game do you need sex scenes?
I don't need sex scenes in any game, including slice of life. Again, if it contributes something, I'm down for it. But forced sex scenes are another common aspect that cause harm to the story instead of elevating it.

3. When you hear the term slice of life what comes to mind? This can be games or a general setting.
Friendly, relaxed interactions between friends (and sometimes enemies.) The setting doesn't matter; it can be a magical academy, ancient civilization, or even a cyberpunk cityscape. What's important is that there's no deep conflict that forces the characters to adapt, and no crucial objective that is ever reached. The focus is on the characters and how they interact with each other, rather than how they grow and change when faced with conflict. Slice of life can have dynamic characters, but your entire cast can be static and nothing would suffer. Just place them in all sorts of situations and let their personalities and motivations run wild.

4. When a character is about to die from just a life event such as suicide, car accident, falling off the roof of a building because they were drunk, or over dosing would you want a warning that the character is going to die? Or just make it feel random so it is more realistic and if connected to the character feel a bit more real?
Any warning that breaks immersion is a no. Foreshadowing within the confines of the story is kosher, though. Blindsiding the reader with a sudden an unexpected death is fine, but the fallout had better be explored, otherwise I will question the author's intent. I don't mind death, but it has to be meaningful and uncontrived.

5. what is more important to you sound, writing, art, or the story? (Writing and story are two different things, your writing can be god awful but if you tell a somewhat decent story then even I will stick it out to the end.)
Sorry, but we disagree there. Writing must be competent, or I won't stick around. I haven't the time or patience to deal with broken syntax and improper spelling, no matter how incredible the story. Once the writing is an acceptable level though, then I personally prioritize the story over the rest, but improving any aspect raises my enjoyment, so it's all about doing the best job that you can do with each medium.

I'd also like to point out that art and sound can also be so bad that I reject a work outright, but it's far less common to see than bad writing. This is part of the reason I believe that most aspiring VN creators neglect writing.

6. Would you ever read a slice of life visual novel that takes place in an American college where you play as an early twenty something year old, where the focus of the story is you and one of your friends are trying to start an independent record label and then bring it to be a corporate company? Or pass on the opportunity of a life time to climb your way up the retail world living an average life with friends and family.
Depends. Almost any story has potential in my opinion. The real question is whether it's worth my money or time to indulge it. So factors that I'd pay more attention to are the reviews (how did others find it?), the genre (is this a genre I enjoy?), and the creators (is this a name/studio I'm familiar with?) The story could be about a sentient, psychokinetic watermelon and I'd still be interested if it received glowing reviews and was made by someone whose previous works I enjoyed.

Here's the long and short of it: at the end of the day, you should make something that you believe in. I dislike works that are created without a strong vision in mind. If you have an idea you want to see come to fruition, don't worry about appeasing the masses or seeking vindication. Listen to feedback, but don't be afraid to ignore it. Any story has potential, so what's important is you tell the story that only you can tell.

I think this world needs more artists - including writers and composers, of course - that have a singular drive to create something they can call their own. A lot of people simply do what they do for the love of their medium, and the actual product they create comes secondary. I'm the exact opposite; I have no affinity for words, but believe in their power to shape narratives that are worth more than just the sum of their parts. I do not care for writing itself, but what I'm creating with my words is of the utmost importance to me. I'd like more people to care about both.
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Re: Visual Novel Survey.

#5 Post by Quelcezot » Wed Aug 12, 2015 5:42 pm

First three, I'll answer in one.

I think love is an important and vast theme, and it being explored in some way is generally interesting to me. Not all games need to be about romantic love, but games made without love tend to make me feel sad. To me, slice of life would be hard to get through without exploring the theme of love. Whether that be between friends, lovers, or even coworkers. I don't think most people automatically connect sex scenes and slice of life. I hadn't thought to.

I can't make a general statement for the fourth question. The effect would be different so I can't really compare their effectiveness.

As for the sound / art / writing debate... They're all important. And balance is important. When each of these is good and the whole is constructed well, the whole will be good. If a visual novel has incredible writing and art, but music that is noticably out of place - I think that would diminish my experience.

As for number 6, frankly it don't fill me with enthusiasm. It could well be very interesting, but my interest wouldn't be in following a person's trials in order to become "successful" and avoid an "average life". The premise alone doesn't sell me.
Kailoto wrote:Sorry, but we disagree there. Writing must be competent, or I won't stick around. I haven't the time or patience to deal with broken syntax and improper spelling, no matter how incredible the story. Once the writing is an acceptable level though, then I personally prioritize the story over the rest, but improving any aspect raises my enjoyment, so it's all about doing the best job that you can do with each medium.

I'd also like to point out that art and sound can also be so bad that I reject a work outright, but it's far less common to see than bad writing. This is part of the reason I believe that most aspiring VN creators neglect writing.
I normally really agree with you on writing and vns. I think the standard is very low, which is kind of sad.

However, the bigger problem to me is the lack of incredible and diverse ideas in play. Rarely do I come across stories in unique or untested settings. 90% of all vns, frankly probably more than that, are set in high school or college. Most of them deal with romantic love and focus on winning over romantic interests. I have thoroughly enjoyed some of the vns that fall into this immense pool, but as a result many others fall into what is essentially a bottomless pit.

I'd be highly receptive to incredibly badly written but ingeniously plotted or inspired stories dealing with unusual themes that affect me on an emotional level.

Not everyone even has the education to "write well". But they may still have an amazing story to tell. Ultimately words are only vessels for meaning, if I can see what the writer is getting at it's all good for me. It's convenient when it's nicely written, and I love interesting writing styles, but what is most important are what the words on the page represent.

I don't think you'd really be as strict as you claim if you did come across something really wonderful, regardless of how badly it was written, but I did feel like I wanted to respond all the same.

In my own case, I have some trouble with writing by pen. Luckily my problem is solved by the use of a keyboard, but I know for others with similar problems it's very strenuous to pay close attention to words on a page - and for them recording their thoughts even roughly might be a strenuous task. If the ideas and the feelings and thoughts they project are valuable though, it annoys me that someone might reject them for being written poorly.
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Re: Visual Novel Survey.

#6 Post by Kailoto » Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:47 pm

Quelcezot wrote:However, the bigger problem to me is the lack of incredible and diverse ideas in play. Rarely do I come across stories in unique or untested settings. 90% of all vns, frankly probably more than that, are set in high school or college. Most of them deal with romantic love and focus on winning over romantic interests. I have thoroughly enjoyed some of the vns that fall into this immense pool, but as a result many others fall into what is essentially a bottomless pit.

I'd be highly receptive to incredibly badly written but ingeniously plotted or inspired stories dealing with unusual themes that affect me on an emotional level.

Not everyone even has the education to "write well". But they may still have an amazing story to tell. Ultimately words are only vessels for meaning, if I can see what the writer is getting at it's all good for me. It's convenient when it's nicely written, and I love interesting writing styles, but what is most important are what the words on the page represent.

I don't think you'd really be as strict as you claim if you did come across something really wonderful, regardless of how badly it was written, but I did feel like I wanted to respond all the same.

In my own case, I have some trouble with writing by pen. Luckily my problem is solved by the use of a keyboard, but I know for others with similar problems it's very strenuous to pay close attention to words on a page - and for them recording their thoughts even roughly might be a strenuous task. If the ideas and the feelings and thoughts they project are valuable though, it annoys me that someone might reject them for being written poorly.
I hear what you say. Originality is hard to come by, although I have high hopes for visual novels made for non-Japanese demographics. I think we're still in a transition phase, and lots of creators are still only targeting other otaku, but we're also adapting our own culture into our works, and more and more VNs are escaping the standard Japanese setting. Given time I am confident that things will change, but I agree that I'd like to hurry it up and see that day sooner.

As for writing talent, I understand that - I actually can't write that well by pen or pencil either. (The inability to easily restructure my sentences as I write them is surprisingly taxing on my mind.) And I want to be absolutely clear that I don't think writing in general is better than a story; just that particularly egregious writing kills my immersion and renders me unable to enjoy the story, no matter how good it might be. I'll agree that my standards are higher than average (being a writer myself), but I don't think they're as high as you're imagining.

Here's the problem for me, though: great stories are merely ideas, and as has been stated in another thread, ideas are pretty cheap on their own. Very rarely have I found a story so unique that it carries the entire experience. Furthermore, and maybe this is just because I'm a storyteller myself, I don't really want good ideas - I want polished products, entire experiences that deliver from the onset. If I hear of a good story idea, at best it'll make me want to write it - and while that's a good sign for the story, it's bad for me. I want to be in the audience, not backstage, and the inherent consequence of that is that someone else needs to be telling the story.

Again, I think I recognize how much of this is just personal bias. I'm coming at storytelling from a different direction than most people, so I'm bound to think of things differently.
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Re: Visual Novel Survey.

#7 Post by trooper6 » Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:41 pm

Quelcezot wrote: In my own case, I have some trouble with writing by pen. Luckily my problem is solved by the use of a keyboard, but I know for others with similar problems it's very strenuous to pay close attention to words on a page - and for them recording their thoughts even roughly might be a strenuous task. If the ideas and the feelings and thoughts they project are valuable though, it annoys me that someone might reject them for being written poorly.
No one says this about other art forms. Let's say I have really valuable ideas and feelings and thoughts regarding what I want to say on the violin...but I'm a terrible violin player. No one is going to listing to my terrible violin playing and no one would judge those who reject me for being a terrible violin player and not wanting to hear my scratchy playing. What they would say is, write down those ideas and hire someone who is a good violin player to play them.
Same thing with singing. And for many people it is the same with art. If you have many art concept ideas but you draw poorly, people will usually say--go hire someone who can draw to realize those ideas.

Why is it with writing we insist the craft isn't important enough to hire someone who knows how to do it?
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*Currently Doing: Coding of emotions and camera for the labels--On 5/10
*First Next thing to do: Code in all CG and special animation stuff
*Next Next thing to do: Set up film animation
*Other Thing to Do: Do SFX and Score (maybe think about eye blinks?)
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Re: Visual Novel Survey.

#8 Post by SundownKid » Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:01 am

1. Do you need a love story in a game in order to enjoy it?
Definitely not. If the game is good, I couldn't care less whether it has romance.
2. If you are playing a slice of life game do you need sex scenes?
Again, definitely not. There's no way I would ever in a million years put down an otherwise good game b/c of sex scenes.
3. When you hear the term slice of life what comes to mind? This can be games or a general setting.
Japanese high school setting. Probably b/c that's what slice of life games usually take place in.
4. When a character is about to die from just a life event such as suicide, car accident, falling off the roof of a building because they were drunk, or over dosing would you want a warning that the character is going to die? Or just make it feel random so it is more realistic and if connected to the character feel a bit more real?
I have seen random deaths that were emotionally impactful before. But if it was TOO random then I would probably feel like it was just the writer pulling the plot twist out of their *** to make the story more emotionally impactful.
5. what is more important to you sound, writing, art, or the story? (Writing and story are two different things, your writing can be god awful but if you tell a somewhat decent story then even I will stick it out to the end.)
In my opinion:

Writing > Story > Art > Sound

Although they all have to be at a certain baseline level to make a decent game. But a game with amazing writing and average art would be far better than a game with amazing art and average writing.
6. Would you ever read a slice of life visual novel that takes place in an American college where you play as an early twenty something year old, where the focus of the story is you and one of your friends are trying to start an independent record label and then bring it to be a corporate company? Or pass on the opportunity of a life time to climb your way up the retail world living an average life with friends and family.
I have to admit that the idea doesn't particularly grab me. You'd think it would considering that I am an early (well, soon to be mid) twenty-something who wants to be successful with indie games. But as they would say in the screenwriting business, you have to "up the stakes". Without stakes the guy is just like every other person who tries to start a band in college. It would be more appealing IMO if it was something like "so and so has to start the most successful band in X days otherwise he'll be forced into a boring office job".

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Re: Visual Novel Survey.

#9 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:54 am

SundownKid wrote: In my opinion:

Writing > Story > Art > Sound

Although they all have to be at a certain baseline level to make a decent game. But a game with amazing writing and average art would be far better than a game with amazing art and average writing.
Agree. Though it is important to point out that unless the art is of a certain quality, you aren't likely to grab an audience in the first place for them to discover the amazing writing. It is the same problem books have at the store: With hundreds of options before you, you aren't going to read the back blurbs unless the cover has grabbed you first.

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Re: Visual Novel Survey.

#10 Post by Vegos » Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:11 am

trooper6 wrote: Why is it with writing we insist the craft isn't important enough to hire someone who knows how to do it?
If I were to hazard a guess, I'd suppose that because writing is a direct form of expression through language. I hope I'm wording this right, but when it comes to drawing or music, the ideas expressed through them, if you hired someone who knows the craft to do it, are indirectly expressed - you first had to convey them through spoken or written language, otherwise, how did the violinist or the artist know what they were in the first place? Unless you had the violinist just listen to your own scratchy playing and then let them do something after hearing nothing but that...which I somehow doubt happens often.

And since written language is one of the most fundamental aspects of our entire society, much more fundamental than music and visual art (I'm not dissing the two, but we don't keep historical records in form of interpretative dance, for example), it may be that we consider it so central to our identity, that we don't even consider the option to have someone else do our writing for us.

Plus, with drawing or music, even the basics need to be learned, so I'd guess people consider those more "technical", while writing is more "natural" because pretty much everyone in the western world at least knows how to write, and was required to learn it at an early age. Of course just knowing how to write isn't enough to make you a good writer, that only comes with practice, but you already have the basics, and you don't really need anything more than pen and paper to practice and upgrade your skill.

Well, that's enough guessing and speculation for now. Let me answer the questions.

1) No, and too often I feel the love story arc is forced, or too central and eclipsing the rest of the story.

2) No, it's fine either way.

3) Usually an idealized version of reality.

4) Some foreshadowing is good if it's a running theme. I mean, a suicidal person won't randomly off themselves, there will be signs. A freak car accident, tho? Can't foreshadow that.

5) They're all important, but personally, I consider art style (not necessarily quality, but style definitely) and atmospheric sounds to be the most important, because those do the most to set the mood for me.

6) I have no idea.
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Re: Visual Novel Survey.

#11 Post by gekiganwing » Thu Aug 13, 2015 6:37 am

My #1 advice for Clayton: Write the story that *you* want to create.
clayton wrote: 1. Do you need a love story in a game in order to enjoy it?
2. If you are playing a slice of life game do you need sex scenes?
There are many successful stories from around the world that involve sex or romance. However, if you think it would be a tacked-on element in your story, then don't include it.
clayton wrote: 5. what is more important to you sound, writing, art, or the story? (Writing and story are two different things, your writing can be god awful but if you tell a somewhat decent story then even I will stick it out to the end.)
If I'm reading something, and I don't care about its characters and world after a few minutes, then I'll stop reading. Also, I think that a VN can be interesting even if it has no music and stick figure art.
clayton wrote: 6. Would you ever read a slice of life visual novel that takes place in an American college where you play as an early twenty something year old, where the focus of the story is you and one of your friends are trying to start an independent record label and then bring it to be a corporate company? Or pass on the opportunity of a life time to climb your way up the retail world living an average life with friends and family.
Both could be interesting stories. If that's what you want to write, then start thinking about things such as sources of conflicts, elements that can make the story different or compelling, how long the story should be, how many decisions it will have, and so on.

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Re: Visual Novel Survey.

#12 Post by Ozitiho » Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:16 am

1. Do you need a love story in a game in order to enjoy it?
If the game is focused around the interaction between a cute guy and girl, I desperately need romance. But no, not every VN is a romance story. And that's cool, but make sure you don't set me up for it or I'll cry.

2. If you are playing a slice of life game do you need sex scenes?
I like having them, when they're good. But the only VN I've played where the H-scenes weren't horribly forced in the story for the sake of fan service was Katawa Shoujo. But for every other game I've ever played, in my experience: Every time there's an H-scene, it's unfitting and unnecessary. If you're using them, do so because you think it goes well with your story. But dear god please don't just do it because you think you ought to.

3. When you hear the term slice of life what comes to mind? This can be games or a general setting.
A group of 3 or more girls enjoying their high school lives in their second year at [blank] academy. When suddenly, nothing fucking happened for the whole story the end. And I love every second of it.

4. When a character is about to die from just a life event such as suicide, car accident, falling off the roof of a building because they were drunk, or over dosing would you want a warning that the character is going to die? Or just make it feel random so it is more realistic and if connected to the character feel a bit more real?
Hmm... I think foreshadowing is important. You build these things up, right? So the player is really tense and begging for it not to happen when it finally does. But then there was this one game that had this come out of nowhere after 80+ hours of gameplay and it scarred me for life. I loved it so damn much, though.

5. what is more important to you sound, writing, art, or the story? (Writing and story are two different things, your writing can be god awful but if you tell a somewhat decent story then even I will stick it out to the end.)
Art > Writing > Sound > Story
This only applies to slice of life, of course. Though as a supposed writer I'm ashamed to put story at the bottom.

But when it comes to slice of life, more important than anything else is the characters. If I can fall in love with the characters I'll probably end up liking the game a lot more for it. This goes double for slice of life.

6. Would you ever read a slice of life visual novel that takes place in an American college where you play as an early twenty something year old, where the focus of the story is you and one of your friends are trying to start an independent record label and then bring it to be a corporate company? Or pass on the opportunity of a life time to climb your way up the retail world living an average life with friends and family.
This sounds like you as the player will have to send the protagonist down one of the two paths and they're completely different. This might sound weird, but I strongly dislike that kind of game. Though I feel that might be an unpopular opinion in this crowd... I don't feel much for controlling the fate of a protagonist. I just want to see him do something awesome.

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Re: Visual Novel Survey.

#13 Post by Quelcezot » Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:49 pm

Kailoto wrote:I hear what you say. Originality is hard to come by, although I have high hopes for visual novels made for non-Japanese demographics. I think we're still in a transition phase, and lots of creators are still only targeting other otaku, but we're also adapting our own culture into our works, and more and more VNs are escaping the standard Japanese setting. Given time I am confident that things will change, but I agree that I'd like to hurry it up and see that day sooner.

As for writing talent, I understand that - I actually can't write that well by pen or pencil either. (The inability to easily restructure my sentences as I write them is surprisingly taxing on my mind.) And I want to be absolutely clear that I don't think writing in general is better than a story; just that particularly egregious writing kills my immersion and renders me unable to enjoy the story, no matter how good it might be. I'll agree that my standards are higher than average (being a writer myself), but I don't think they're as high as you're imagining.

Here's the problem for me, though: great stories are merely ideas, and as has been stated in another thread, ideas are pretty cheap on their own. Very rarely have I found a story so unique that it carries the entire experience. Furthermore, and maybe this is just because I'm a storyteller myself, I don't really want good ideas - I want polished products, entire experiences that deliver from the onset. If I hear of a good story idea, at best it'll make me want to write it - and while that's a good sign for the story, it's bad for me. I want to be in the audience, not backstage, and the inherent consequence of that is that someone else needs to be telling the story.

Again, I think I recognize how much of this is just personal bias. I'm coming at storytelling from a different direction than most people, so I'm bound to think of things differently.
I do sympathize. I actually would go even further than what you say, and suggest that in some cases writing style is more important than story. Even more important than themes or ideas. But at the same time I do very much agree with the reverse.

Bad grammar or spelling, or other conventional flaws in writing, are very irritating when the premise is clearly mediocre or uninspired. Then it's a waste of time reading, I agree that the poor writing would just further damage the experience.

On the other hand though, not all conventionally flawed styles of writing are bad at what they're trying to do. It can add a rawness to the piece, even if unintended, and if close to home of the writer this can amplify its sense of honesty.

Even when that's not the case, and Trooper kind of touches on this as well, some people just aren't that good at writing. And yes, criticism is fine.

This is where I begin to diverge a little though. Even if the pacing is bad, and the quality of conventional standards are low - I think a good idea that is developed well and where information is delivered in a satisfying or meaningful way can still be a more positive than negative whole.

Ideas cannot be owned, and there are many of them. However capitalism does not apply here, I disagree that ideas are cheap by themselves. To discover or choose an idea, and to follow it up with other interlinked and effective ideas is also something I admire parallel to skill in writing.

I don't want polished products, they're nice and all, but honesty and originality are paramount to me. Sadly, I always feel like I'm backstage. Be it for films, books, or vns. Even if I'm enjoying the experience I end up looking at all the little things and thinking about how certain effects were achieved or what I would do differently. I remember when I could immerse myself without thinking about construction, and I remember it fondly.

I do sadly share with you that I've rarely experienced good enough stories and ideas that they can carry terrible writing. I can draw no conclusions here really, other than to say again that while I do highly value writing that I don't think conventionally bad writing needs to compromise genuinely good ideas.
trooper6 wrote:
Quelcezot wrote: No one says this about other art forms. Let's say I have really valuable ideas and feelings and thoughts regarding what I want to say on the violin...but I'm a terrible violin player. No one is going to listing to my terrible violin playing and no one would judge those who reject me for being a terrible violin player and not wanting to hear my scratchy playing. What they would say is, write down those ideas and hire someone who is a good violin player to play them.
Same thing with singing. And for many people it is the same with art. If you have many art concept ideas but you draw poorly, people will usually say--go hire someone who can draw to realize those ideas.

Why is it with writing we insist the craft isn't important enough to hire someone who knows how to do it?
I think the value of different art forms are hard to compare. I wouldn't apply many of the same opinions equally on all art forms.

For example I actually consider music the most powerful art form for evoking pure emotion. By that I don't mean that I think visual art and writing can't effectively make me feel a certain way, but it feels like a more methodical process that relies on other devices to elicit emotion. For example, a painting would need to be a painting of a scene or collection of shapes that provokes an emotion as opposed to the individual strokes themselves making me feel a certain way. Similarly words on a page would need to describe a feeling or a scene or an idea to make me feel a certain way. The words, the sentences, by themselves by virtue of their construction alone, I would not necessarily feel a strong emotion as a direct result.

For music though, the notes themselves carry power that affects how I feel.

To me, music is the most pure and undiluted way to make me feel a certain emotion.

Visual art is more descriptive for me, it gives me details. It creates a picture, it explores. I'd actually argue that among the three forms I am comparing, that visual is the most purely cerebral for me. Strong emotions can only be drawn from me with context or archetypal imagery.

Writing to me, is in the middle. It can be very descriptive, and while it can create emotion - in both instances this is highly dependent on context. The words on the page by themselves... do absolutely nothing. Sometimes by the particular words chosen I can be made to feel a certain way, but it's not like hearing a piece of music. It's not like looking at a picture either. Writing seems to me like a good way to convey highly specific ideas and to provide context for other art forms.

You've no doubt noticed that I've been constantly referring to these being my own thoughts on the matter. That's because I recognize they're not going to be everyone else's. All of the above is fairly abstract for me too, I'm just trying my best now to convey my thoughts on the subject.

I highly value what writing can do, I think more emphasis should be placed on it in visual novel development.

I guess my whole argument is that I don't think the creation and effective use of ideas should be downplayed either. When you outsource your ideas to someone else, what they come up with will not match what you had in mind. I'd still sympathize and appreciate the work of someone who chose to apply their own futile efforts if they valued their idea enough to try their hardest to make it a reality themselves.

Frankly, I also think writing with words is more forgiving than writing for music. A single misplaced note can create an entirely new and profound effect in music quite unintentionally but in writing with words it's a simpler task to distinguish the intentions of the writer from the writer's little errors.

For the sake of immersion, immaculate writing is nice, but I think fixating on it as an impassible obstacle towards appreciation is unnecessary.

To avoid giving the wrong impression, I'm definitely of the mind that it'd be a very good thing if more emphasis could be placed on writing in vns, games, and films. There are well written examples of all those things, but it's often viewed as secondary or even tertiary to the overall experience. I'd also love to see more vns and novels with well done and experimental writing styles.

EDIT: I respect that these are the ravings of a mad person, thank you for bearing with me.
LOVE & PEACE

If two people talk long enough they can explain how they feel, maybe.

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Re: Visual Novel Survey.

#14 Post by Lesleigh63 » Sat Aug 15, 2015 12:27 am

1. Do you need a love story in a game in order to enjoy it?
- no.


2. If you are playing a slice of life game do you need sex scenes?
- no.

3. When you hear the term slice of life what comes to mind? This can be games or a general setting.
- A snapshot of a period in the protags life. I usually think of it being modern day.

4. When a character is about to die from just a life event such as suicide, car accident, falling off the roof of a building because they were drunk, or over dosing would you want a warning that the character is going to die? Or just make it feel random so it is more realistic and if connected to the character feel a bit more real?
- Death can come without warning. It really depends what the plot calls for.

5. what is more important to you sound, writing, art, or the story? (Writing and story are two different things, your writing can be god awful but if you tell a somewhat decent story then even I will stick it out to the end.)
- Art attracts me first and if I like the synopsis - I'll download. If the story/writing is good I'll keep reading. If the writing is really poor, then it doesn't matter how good the plot is (since I won't know because I just won't stay with it). Sound is the least important for me.

6. Would you ever read a slice of life visual novel that takes place in an American college where you play as an early twenty something year old, where the focus of the story is you and one of your friends are trying to start an independent record label and then bring it to be a corporate company? Or pass on the opportunity of a life time to climb your way up the retail world living an average life with friends and family.
- The art and synopsis would need to get me to download it.
Image

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Re: Visual Novel Survey.

#15 Post by renoa-heartilly » Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:46 am

hello ^^


1. Do you need a love story in a game in order to enjoy it?
no.

2. If you are playing a slice of life game do you need sex scenes?
no, i would actually like it if there weren't any at all, or it can be turned off.

3. When you hear the term slice of life what comes to mind? This can be games or a general setting.
people behaving realistically, not solving everything with the power of friendship, sometimes you make wrong choices and that doesn't immediately give you a bad end and load screen

4. When a character is about to die from just a life event such as suicide, car accident, falling off the roof of a building because they were drunk, or over dosing would you want a warning that the character is going to die? Or just make it feel random so it is more realistic and if connected to the character feel a bit more real?
i don't need a warning.

5. what is more important to you sound, writing, art, or the story? (Writing and story are two different things, your writing can be god awful but if you tell a somewhat decent story then even I will stick it out to the end.)
mostly art and story and writing, in that order. if the art is attractive and the story is compelling i might stick with it. unfortunately, being an artist myself, it's hard for me to enjoy characters which are drawn with noticeable anatomy imbalances, i can't help it ><
however if the art is very attractive or actually responsive (like 2/2 lover app) i will give it a chance even if the story is not worth two grains of salt :lol:
i'm not that big on the sound or music, but if it's good it will set the mood, if not i can ignore it or lower the volume and play something from my own library lol
i know you didn't ask about this, but the voices don't matter much to me unless it's a japanese voice actor i recognize and like, that might get me to download the game to see how they handled it. otherwise the voice option in English-speaking games doesn't affect my decision to play a vn that much.


6. Would you ever read a slice of life visual novel that takes place in an American college where you play as an early twenty something year old, where the focus of the story is you and one of your friends are trying to start an independent record label and then bring it to be a corporate company? Or pass on the opportunity of a life time to climb your way up the retail world living an average life with friends and family.

sure!

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