People Interested in creating KNs?

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People Interested in creating KNs?

#1 Post by Ryn » Sat May 14, 2016 7:29 am

Hello,

I'm just wondering if there are other people lurking on these forums that are interested in creating linear visual novels? Or kinetic novels as they're called.

I really like the idea of a story being told with words, music and images. I also think that it would encourage people who don't want to sit down and read a traditional novel to read more? I know I have trouble picking up a novel and reading it... but when I read a VN or a KN I get sucked into it pretty easily, if it's well written...

It seems like the world is getting lazier and lazier and people are only looking for instant gratification. People enjoy stories but they want them to be presented in a format they like and that's engaging to them. I think that creating novel like visual novels without choices would be a cool way to present such stories to others who enjoy linear tales.

Anyway... I guess I just want to know if anyone has the same view on this as me. As I want to find some people to collaborate with. I can write and do basic coding in Ren'py. But I can't draw or compose music. Having some artists and fellow writers to work with would be fun. Feel free to PM me or respond here if you're interested. ( I can give writing examples upon request.)

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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#2 Post by Green Glasses Girl » Sat May 14, 2016 10:08 am

I don't think people are necessarily getting lazier...there are just as many people who seek out interaction in gameplay rather than a static format.
Ryn wrote:But I can't draw or compose music. Having some artists and fellow writers to work with would be fun. Feel free to PM me or respond here if you're interested. ( I can give writing examples upon request.)
There is the Recruitment section to check out. Try to give a little bit more on the details over there on your project or one that you're interested in to get some people involved as well.
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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#3 Post by Ryn » Sat May 14, 2016 10:18 am

Green Glasses Girl wrote:Recruitment section to check out. Try to give a little bit more on the details over there on your project or one that you're interested in to get some people involved as well.
Thanks, I did notice that section. But I don't really have any ideas for a story yet. I'd like to find people interested in collaborating with me first and then we'd come up with something together. So that's why I haven't posted there, as far as I can tell you have to have an idea in place first. There should be a section where people who are just starting out can reach out to and recruit others for a collaborative project.

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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#4 Post by Green Glasses Girl » Sat May 14, 2016 10:34 am

You said you can write and program, right? Try hitting up the Programming and Writing areas offering your services or the Free/Paid sections with a post that you have those skills and you're looking for a team. There are a few posts similar to your situation. Also listing your experience and timeframe helps.

Another question is if you want to be in charge of the project or if you want someone else to lead. If you want to be the head writer, I'd recommend honing on what you'd like to do (genre, setting, etc.) and try looking for artists and composers to ask if that's something they'd like to work with you on.
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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#5 Post by Ryn » Sat May 14, 2016 10:42 am

Thanks again, Green Glasses Girl! I may do as you suggested and see what happens.

Maybe it's just me... but I think making visual novels is a niche in itself. There aren't a lot of people doing it, well there are! But not all projects see the light of day and most of them are dating simulations; which I find grow stale and boring very quickly.

So, I think that makes kinetic novels an even smaller niche. I haven't see or read that many anyway... And I think there is an audience for it! People want these kinds of stories... I think it's a new way of telling stories, or at least a fresh and different one. I just really feel like there should be a lot more kinetic novels because linear stories are more powerful than branching ones (in most cases).

It just seems like KNs aren't getting as much love or recognition as all the dating sims being made.
(Not trying to be rude here, dating sims just aren't my thing! I love a good romance though.)

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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#6 Post by Green Glasses Girl » Sat May 14, 2016 11:05 am

I agree with you. I think the issue is that there have been few KNs that push the envelope through art, writing, and innovation. Many people compare KNs to digital graphic novels, but with less variation. The question is with such a niche group, what can KNs do to attract more people? Granted, there will be those who won't read KNs no matter what, but the ones I've enjoyed have excelled in either art or story. I'd be interested in one that had some kind of unique gimmick applied to it as well, although I don't have any ideas of what that gimmick would be.
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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#7 Post by trooper6 » Sat May 14, 2016 11:06 am

Ryn wrote:Thanks again, Green Glasses Girl! I may do as you suggested and see what happens.

Maybe it's just me... but I think making visual novels is a niche in itself. There aren't a lot of people doing it, well there are! But not all projects see the light of day and most of them are dating simulations; which I find grow stale and boring very quickly.

So, I think that makes kinetic novels an even smaller niche. I haven't see or read that many anyway... And I think there is an audience for it! People want these kinds of stories... I think it's a new way of telling stories, or at least a fresh and different one. I just really feel like there should be a lot more kinetic novels because linear stories are more powerful than branching ones (in most cases).

It just seems like KNs aren't getting as much love or recognition as all the dating sims being made.
(Not trying to be rude here, dating sims just aren't my thing! I love a good romance though.)
I'm not the best person to speak to when it comes to KNs, as I don't prefer them. However, I can mention the ones I like. If you like KNs, let me recommend the work of Donmai, she has three KNs: Lil Red, The One in Love, and Toire No Hanako. The One if Love is my favorite. Ex Astris by Cera Studios is also good. There are more KNs out there...but you'd probably need a KN fan to let you know which all they are.

Side note: Not all VNs are dating sims. I read lots and lots of VNs and almost none of them are dating sims. I'd recommend: Cave Cave Deus Videt, Analogue: A Hate Story, and The Elevator.

As far a people not reading novels anymore...that doesn't seem to be true. The average american reads 5 novels a year according to the Pew Research Center.
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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#8 Post by Taleweaver » Sat May 14, 2016 11:23 am

Ryn wrote:
Green Glasses Girl wrote:Recruitment section to check out. Try to give a little bit more on the details over there on your project or one that you're interested in to get some people involved as well.
Thanks, I did notice that section. But I don't really have any ideas for a story yet. I'd like to find people interested in collaborating with me first and then we'd come up with something together.
Do you know "Field of Dreams"? If you build it, they will come...

The best way of getting people together for a project is offering them a gripping story they can get behind. You said you can write. Do that. Work out something to build upon, and then present that in our Recruitment forums.

I am leaving this thread open as a general discussion about KNs and the specific perks associated with them, in comparison to "normal" VNs.
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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#9 Post by Kinjo » Sun May 15, 2016 11:19 am

Ryn wrote:Maybe it's just me... but I think making visual novels is a niche in itself. There aren't a lot of people doing it, well there are! But not all projects see the light of day and most of them are dating simulations; which I find grow stale and boring very quickly.
Green Glasses Girl wrote:I agree with you. I think the issue is that there have been few KNs that push the envelope through art, writing, and innovation. Many people compare KNs to digital graphic novels, but with less variation. The question is with such a niche group, what can KNs do to attract more people?
Exactly.

Generally speaking, there is always a trade-off between breadth and depth. So when a visual novel decides to favor multiple branching paths, you lose the potential depth of the story. Depth meaning, investing more time into a linear story (so for a branching story, you could have 2 hours of reading 5 branches instead of 10 hours of just one branch). This leads to shorter stories and, in my opinion, not enough time to develop the story and characters into anything of substance (unless the branching routes are themselves 10+ hours long each, like Ever17 or something, but to my knowledge there's not a single EVN here with that length of a time investment).

One thing I think KNs could do is add replayability within the linear story itself, and it's something I'm also working on doing for my own game. For instance, Higurashi and Umineko did this by encouraging readers to re-read important scenes for clues regarding the mystery. Rose Guns Days and Dangan Ronpa feature minigames that you can replay to earn a better score than your last attempt. I plan to accomplish this by adding investigation sections where the player literally has the freedom to make self-contained choices which do not branch the story, but still branch the player's experience. You get to choose which clues to find, and decide which ones are worth keeping, before advancing the story into the same exact linear direction. Or you could even make a story that changes itself every time you read it, or something to that effect depending on how you code it. Ultimately I think there are a lot of ways new game mechanics can be added into the traditional VN system to make KNs a more interesting alternative.

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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#10 Post by Green Glasses Girl » Sun May 15, 2016 12:54 pm

Kinjo wrote:Or you could even make a story that changes itself every time you read it, or something to that effect depending on how you code it. Ultimately I think there are a lot of ways new game mechanics can be added into the traditional VN system to make KNs a more interesting alternative.
Huh, now that's something interesting! It would be pretty cool if you read a KN the first time only for the second reading to have the inciting incident changed, hints/clues left behind from a previous reading, or even a simple "What if..." change from the beginning of the second reading that either alters the timeline or unveils a larger story. I'd love to see something in this fashion for a KN!
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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#11 Post by trooper6 » Sun May 15, 2016 12:58 pm

Green Glasses Girl wrote:
Kinjo wrote:Or you could even make a story that changes itself every time you read it, or something to that effect depending on how you code it. Ultimately I think there are a lot of ways new game mechanics can be added into the traditional VN system to make KNs a more interesting alternative.
Huh, now that's something interesting! It would be pretty cool if you read a KN the first time only for the second reading to have the inciting incident changed, hints/clues left behind from a previous reading, or even a simple "What if..." change from the beginning of the second reading that either alters the timeline or unveils a larger story. I'd love to see something in this fashion for a KN!
But wouldn't that make the game a VN because there is user interaction?
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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#12 Post by Kinjo » Sun May 15, 2016 3:41 pm

trooper6 wrote:
Green Glasses Girl wrote:
Kinjo wrote:Or you could even make a story that changes itself every time you read it, or something to that effect depending on how you code it. Ultimately I think there are a lot of ways new game mechanics can be added into the traditional VN system to make KNs a more interesting alternative.
Huh, now that's something interesting! It would be pretty cool if you read a KN the first time only for the second reading to have the inciting incident changed, hints/clues left behind from a previous reading, or even a simple "What if..." change from the beginning of the second reading that either alters the timeline or unveils a larger story. I'd love to see something in this fashion for a KN!
But wouldn't that make the game a VN because there is user interaction?
Not necessarily. Take for example a murder mystery game with a set number of characters (each with a very likely motive) and each time you begin the game, a new mystery is randomly (or procedurally) crafted with different sets of clues being found, leading to different culprits. There are no choices in the game, but you still experience different stories depending on what the game decides it should be. No interaction from the player, but the story changes -- hence, the player's choices do not affect the story, which makes it a KN.

I also think it would be really cool to have a game that knows you've already read it and deliberately changes itself up on the second or third times through. Again, you could accomplish this with some code trickery, depending on what exactly you want to do. But you can totally make a game where the player has no interaction with the story, and yet the story is changed in some way.

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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#13 Post by VimislikArt » Sun May 15, 2016 4:26 pm

Kinjo wrote: Not necessarily. Take for example a murder mystery game with a set number of characters (each with a very likely motive) and each time you begin the game, a new mystery is randomly (or procedurally) crafted with different sets of clues being found, leading to different culprits. There are no choices in the game, but you still experience different stories depending on what the game decides it should be. No interaction from the player, but the story changes -- hence, the player's choices do not affect the story, which makes it a KN.
Ha! I was just about to reply with something like this - namely the 1985 movie, "Clue", which did something similar to this. Different theaters were sent cuts of the film with different endings, so depending on what theater you'd go to, you'd get a different story. No player interaction, just randomization.
Kinjo wrote: I also think it would be really cool to have a game that knows you've already read it and deliberately changes itself up on the second or third times through. Again, you could accomplish this with some code trickery, depending on what exactly you want to do. But you can totally make a game where the player has no interaction with the story, and yet the story is changed in some way.
Kotaro Uchikoshi did a GDC talk on Narrative Design that focused on the point that player's memories of events can also be seen as "flagged information". It would be interesting if you had a story that was randomized every time you played it, but knowing which elements were randomized led to a greater understanding of the narrative itself.

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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#14 Post by Ryn » Sun May 15, 2016 7:03 pm

I don't understand. What's so unappealing about a KN that's just a straight forward linear story? I personally find the idea of reading something again and having it change to be different from my first read through to be annoying. What if I want to read my first playthrough again? And that only seems applicable if your story is a mystery, and I think that's a cool idea for a mystery KN. But not for something like a fantasy KN, which is what I plan on writing.

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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#15 Post by Kinjo » Sun May 15, 2016 8:11 pm

Ryn wrote:I don't understand. What's so unappealing about a KN that's just a straight forward linear story? I personally find the idea of reading something again and having it change to be different from my first read through to be annoying. What if I want to read my first playthrough again? And that only seems applicable if your story is a mystery, and I think that's a cool idea for a mystery KN. But not for something like a fantasy KN, which is what I plan on writing.
Oh, I didn't intend to suggest that reading a straightforward story is unappealing. That was just one way of reaching a wider audience, by adding replayability. Of course, any well-written story will make you want to read it twice!

I don't really think there's a good explanation for the lack of popularity of KNs. Really, it's much less complicated to write them (which is why a ton of projects die -- they underestimate the time, effort, and money it costs to make a branching story) and you can still craft a really great story (see: any good book ever). I think it's just a long-standing tradition thanks to dating sims that "VNs must have choices!" and "branching stories are cool and exciting!" You shouldn't have to one-up VNs with gameplay gimmicks or fancy graphics, but people do consider "choices" to be a feature of the game, so a KN could be viewed as "a VN with one less feature" which accounts for their lack of popularity. Using digital media and programming to tell a narrative is a really cool thing and I think it should be explored; it's just that video games often come with the ability for user interaction so both players and developers don't see a reason to not include it.

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