People Interested in creating KNs?

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Shinoki
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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#16 Post by Shinoki » Sun May 15, 2016 8:50 pm

I find that KN are slightly harder to do the whole self-insert thing that many visual novels like to do. The whole blank slate character that the player can fit into and mold. After all, there aren't any choices there.

I like KN though. They're rather great. They kind of take the stress of making choices off. Haha.

At the same time, KN have stricter requirements (in my book) than VN because... with VN, there are choices to make and generally more routes and more replay-ability. The routes can also cater to more tastes--like, for them yuri lovers with otome games and stuff.

To be honest, I haven't played that many KN, but... yea, the only ones I've played (unless you count Sonohana which has choices that don't do anything) are Lonely Yuri (short, but gay af, thus good) and Shikkoku no Sharnoth and that Seiken no Ignanock.

With Lonely Yuri, I read it because... well, it's yuri and I happen to be that type of trash. I like chasing after cute girls. Lol, that sounds creepy.

With the latter two, the art was really pretty... and well, the game was professional and voiced and stuff.

These KN are at the top of my VN list though.

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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#17 Post by Ryn » Mon May 16, 2016 12:28 am

Kinjo wrote: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.
Yeah, I see what you mean when you put it like that. And it's really sad but also very true. I can easily see that the people here on LSF prefer VNs over KNs for this reason and that they expect choices and interactivity when they decide to play a game. Though I think that's what the cool thing about KNs is! There aren't a lot of people making them so it leaves a lot of possibility for those who do want to make them. I think people who are only interested in VNs can be compelled to read a KN if it contains a well written story and beautiful art! Because that's what draws people to things like movies, comics and graphic novels. A KN is exactly as you said, a mix of digital media, programming and narrative and it should be explored for this reason.
I guess us linear story lovers should just take this as an opportunity to craft our own KNs that may one day attract the attention of the people who doubt them for whatever reason.
(I don't know what I'm talking about anymore haha...)

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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#18 Post by Ryn » Mon May 16, 2016 12:46 am

Hey, maybe there should be a KN jam? Hah, I'd like to see that.

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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#19 Post by warmsundae » Mon May 16, 2016 6:16 am

I can easily see that the people here on LSF prefer VNs over KNs for this reason and that they expect choices and interactivity when they decide to play a game.
It's not true, but I still tend to subconsciously think VNs with choices and different endings have more work put into them than kinetic novels.

Ooh, on a slightly different topic, I started reading the webcomic Homestuck lately. The format is different from usual 'comics' and I've found it's really similar to visual - linear, though, since there aren't any real choices - novels. It's weird since I never thought of it that way before I read this topic.

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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#20 Post by psy_wombats » Mon May 16, 2016 3:45 pm

Shinoki wrote:I find that KN are slightly harder to do the whole self-insert thing that many visual novels like to do. The whole blank slate character that the player can fit into and mold. After all, there aren't any choices there.
This could be considered a plus for people who are looking for a story more than a dating sim. Personally this is why I play more KN type stuff than VNs, or at least VNs where the expectation is more that the player will eventually see everything rather than the story segmented by character.
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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#21 Post by korova » Mon May 16, 2016 6:08 pm

Ryn wrote:Hey, maybe there should be a KN jam? Hah, I'd like to see that.
Why not ? It could be fun...

Is someone up to organize it ?

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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#22 Post by Klawzie » Tue May 17, 2016 2:01 am

What I'm about to say may come across as "accusatory" or as if I'm talking directly about the people in this thread. I'm unlikely to be talking specifically about anyone who's actually active in the forums anymore, so please don't take what I'm saying personally. I've spent a good amount of time lurking in many VN creator forums, often reading threads that were several years old. I'm talking about an accumulation of posts over years and about people who may have carelessly said something they didn't think through enough to actually mean when they said it, not specifically about anything said recently.

Honestly, I feel like my rant below is going to ruffle a few feathers and I sort of regret that, but I kind of think feathers need to be ruffled every so often to make room for new growth.

---

My only gripe with KNs, really, is that they don't use the medium to its fullest potential. (None that I've seen have, anyway.) I find that I see the most experimentation within VNs than KNs. (Obviously, since I don't play very many KNs, that would be why I don't see much in it, but... I don't really hear about KNs that do neat things with the medium either, but I do hear about people pointing out things that VNs have done.)

For example - Hatoful Boyfriend's Holiday Star (which is primarily a KN, imho) did a lot of interesting things with animation, switching up format, introducing weird pauses and unlocking new pieces of the story as you went on. It was fascinating and I remembered being startled and being moved to cry because of what was happening. I really want to see more things like that rather than picture books with music tracks and occasional SFX or VA.

I think many KN authors just see it as an "easier" way to tell their story since they have to draw less than an animation or graphic novel but can ramble on to their heart's content like they could if they were writing a novel. Plus: music and sfx! I hear a lot of people talk about how they can express the "purity" of their story through KNs, but not many people talking about how they use X effect to convey Y emotion or stole a technique from [other medium] to try to create an atmosphere of [whatever]. They don't think like directors of an experience - just writers with access to pictures and sounds and I think that's holding the KN format back.

Everyone starts from somewhere, but I want to experience something I can't experience any other way - not sit through a poor-man's anime or a lazy-man's graphic novel. And as long as I keep seeing KN creators talking about their work from the cutting-corners perspective rather than from the perspective of a leader or at least experimenter in a new creative format, I'd much rather play a VN where the creator is at least going through the mental effort of giving me something I can't get in any other format - the ability to alter the story. I hear a lot more VN creators talking about what they can do to create experiences than KN creators.

I wish more KN creators would read the Scott McCloud books so that they'd think about different ways to play with the format. I hope one day there's a book out there like that for KN and VN creators. Hell, I wish there were more conversations on the KN/VN creator forums like this, just to start!

Once again, I invite anyone who knows of KNs that really do interesting things with the format to tell me where to find them. I'd really, really like to see them. I thought the KN creators were going to be the sort of "punk rockers" of the VN world and I just don't see that yet. :/
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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#23 Post by trooper6 » Tue May 17, 2016 3:18 am

I think the thing I find frustrating is the way so many KN partisans insist that it is only through KNs that one can get good stories, or that a VN, because they have interactivity, automatically can't be as deep.

Look, I have read some really poorly written KNs. They weren't deep...they were bad. In contrast, I think Analogue: A Hate Story is exceptionally moving and well written and deep...and it is a VN.

Of course, there are also well written KNs (The One in Love) and poorly written VNs.

There is nothing intrinsic to either KNs or VNs that make one objectively better than the other. Now some people prefer one and some prefer the other and some like both. Worry less about audiences and worry more about making a really good game, regardless of whether it's a KN or a VN

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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#24 Post by psy_wombats » Tue May 17, 2016 3:52 am

Klawzie wrote:My only gripe with KNs, really, is that they don't use the medium to its fullest potential. (None that I've seen have, anyway.) I find that I see the most experimentation within VNs than KNs. (Obviously, since I don't play very many KNs, that would be why I don't see much in it, but... I don't really hear about KNs that do neat things with the medium either, but I do hear about people pointing out things that VNs have done.)

I think many KN authors just see it as an "easier" way to tell their story since they have to draw less than an animation or graphic novel but can ramble on to their heart's content like they could if they were writing a novel. Plus: music and sfx! I hear a lot of people talk about how they can express the "purity" of their story through KNs, but not many people talking about how they use X effect to convey Y emotion or stole a technique from [other medium] to try to create an atmosphere of [whatever]. They don't think like directors of an experience - just writers with access to pictures and sounds and I think that's holding the KN format back.

Everyone starts from somewhere, but I want to experience something I can't experience any other way - not sit through a poor-man's anime or a lazy-man's graphic novel. And as long as I keep seeing KN creators talking about their work from the cutting-corners perspective rather than from the perspective of a leader or at least experimenter in a new creative format, I'd much rather play a VN where the creator is at least going through the mental effort of giving me something I can't get in any other format - the ability to alter the story. I hear a lot more VN creators talking about what they can do to create experiences than KN creators.

I wish more KN creators would read the Scott McCloud books so that they'd think about different ways to play with the format. I hope one day there's a book out there like that for KN and VN creators. Hell, I wish there were more conversations on the KN/VN creator forums like this, just to start!
I think you hit the key reason a KN could work better than a VN for certain stories -- telling it in a VN format wouldn't be taking full advantage of the VN medium. If you're looking to tell a linear story, it wouldn't make much sense to add in choices just for the sake of choices because you really be using the liberties of an interactive narrative.

It's also interesting that the whole advance-via-textbox, character graphics, etc, go along with the VN package. In theory, wouldn't it be possible to tell nonlinear stories via more traditional interactive fiction? I'm thinking those old Choose Your Own Adventure books, or else 70's/80's games like Zork. For most of the VNs I enjoy, I think the story would translate well enough even without music and visuals. So maybe the way to make a great KN is to design a story that /does/ take full advantage of its kinetic elements in a way that they can't be extricated from the narrative. Wonder if ideally VNs should be doing the same thing.

Also agreed re: Scott McCloud -- there's one chapter in particular in Understanding Comics about different ways text can interact with visuals that's super useful for anyone working with non-traditional fiction.
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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#25 Post by Donmai » Tue May 17, 2016 8:04 am

Hmm. Not a single feather ruffled, it seems. If you say
they don't use the medium to its fullest potential. (None that I've seen have, anyway.)
and then
since I don't play very many KNs, that would be why I don't see much in it
then what's the point?

I have seen a ton of threads on kinetic novels, often started by new members that aren't aware of the many previous threads on the same theme, and all those threads have gone down the same path. Someone declares he/she dislikes this and that, and because he/she dislikes this and that, people should stop doing things this and that way, because he/she doesn't like it, and because that kind of work will be waisted on he/she. And even if he/she admits he/she doesn't know that much about this and that, because he/she dislikes this and that, he/she believes he/she can teach people how to do this and that in a way he/she believes will be the right way. That's okay, we are living in a free world, and everybody is free to state an opinion.

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How do you make your games? I see. Thank you for the prompt replies, but it is my considered opinion that you're doing it wrong inefficiently because I am a perfushenal professional. Do it my way this way and we can all ascend VN Nirvana together while allowing me to stroke my ego you will improve much faster. Also, please don't forget to thank me for this constructive critique or I will cry and bore you to death respond appropriately with a tl;dr rant discourse of epic adequately lengthy proportions. – Sarcasm Veiled in Euphemism: Secrets of Forum Civility by lordcloudx (Coming soon to an online ebook near you.)
If I've ruffled some feathers, please forgive me. That was not my intention. :wink:
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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#26 Post by warmsundae » Tue May 17, 2016 8:37 am

Everyone starts from somewhere, but I want to experience something I can't experience any other way - not sit through a poor-man's anime or a lazy-man's graphic novel.
I feel like this is really important. Trying to improve the KN medium with its own special set, not try to make it a cheaper replacement of another medium. And to do that, we'd probably need a more (?) active community of people always creating and developing the style.

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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#27 Post by Green Glasses Girl » Tue May 17, 2016 2:32 pm

The nice thing about EVNs is that the market for them is slowly growing, and the only direction to go is up. And since there are far less KNs than VNs, can we really make a sound judgment on the small amount of KNs available in the first place? It's funny how we scrutinize KNs and VNs within our own community when VNs as a whole are frowned upon the gaming community (aka Steam). Heck, one could even make the same argument with EVNs vs. JVNs. So in the end, it doesn't matter if you want to make a KN or VN...there will be people who will read either at any time. For me, I visit for the visuals and stay for the story. I'd imagine that's how it is with most people. They just have to be good. To summarize:
trooper6 wrote:There is nothing intrinsic to either KNs or VNs that make one objectively better than the other. Now some people prefer one and some prefer the other and some like both. Worry less about audiences and worry more about making a really good game, regardless of whether it's a KN or a VN
Yes!

Since we're on the topic of KNs, I recommend reading Juniper’s Knot, Basiliska, Charlatans, and Starlit Flowers. They're all fairly short and I enjoyed them. As for JKNs (which I have not yet read but have received good reviews): Planetarian, fault Milestone One (and Two), and of course Umineko no Naku Koro ni.
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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#28 Post by Klawzie » Wed May 18, 2016 12:20 am

Donmai wrote:Hmm. Not a single feather ruffled, it seems. If you say
they don't use the medium to its fullest potential. (None that I've seen have, anyway.)
and then
since I don't play very many KNs, that would be why I don't see much in it
then what's the point?
My point was essentially, "I stopped reading KNs because I wasn't enjoying them as a whole. When I've tried recommended KNs after having formed a strong preference for VNs, few of the recommendations did anything for me." I'm not writing off the KN format at all. I think it's a great medium for telling stories and I think that there are definitely lots of stories best told that way. I just haven't read many that I enjoyed and few seem to really do much with their options and I'm disappointed by that.
I have seen a ton of threads on kinetic novels, often started by new members that aren't aware of the many previous threads on the same theme, and all those threads have gone down the same path. Someone declares he/she dislikes this and that, and because he/she dislikes this and that, people should stop doing things this and that way, because he/she doesn't like it, and because that kind of work will be waisted on he/she. And even if he/she admits he/she doesn't know that much about this and that, because he/she dislikes this and that, he/she believes he/she can teach people how to do this and that in a way he/she believes will be the right way. That's okay, we are living in a free world, and everybody is free to state an opinion.
I never said or meant to imply that KNs should not be made. I find that sentiment distasteful. If you took that from what I said, I apologize because I thought I'd expressed quite clearly that I wanted to see KNs that moved me and, ideally, surprised me with their use of the medium. Hardly a controversial desire. I say that I haven't read many to make it clear that there could very well be many experiences that are exactly what I'm looking for that I just haven't seen - but whenever I ask about those types of games, I never get recommendations, leading me to believe they don't exist. I'm sure they're out there and I wish people would talk about them more.

It doesn't really make me happy to feel like I'm snubbing an entire segment of the community. I don't feel "superior" in any way for expressing my thoughts on KNs - it makes me feel narrow minded and in many ways like a small person. I'm honestly embarrassed for speaking about it because I know how most people will take it. I suppose it's not any different from saying, "I wish there were more stories about X." It's just possibly insultingly broad rather than niche-narrow.

So, no. I'm not saying, "Don't make this." I'm expressing my hunger for types that appeal to me. I'm less interested in genre at this point than just something exciting and clever. Make me not care there's no choices or the choices don't really do anything. I'm daring you. Begging you. Whatever it is that'll get the KN creators who read this an incentive to feed me. I'm expressing a truly selfish desire, and that's kind of ugly in its own way. Very well - I'll share it because I want to experience those things (as a reader) and steal learn from them (as a creator).
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I'm not surprised if you continue to take my thoughts this way. I suppose I can't even argue that I'm not saying, "Cater to me." That's exactly what I am saying, obviously. "Give me something like this." And I don't blame any KN creator who listens to what I'm saying and goes, "I'll just keep creating what I want, thanks much." That's a strength as a creator - the ability to say, "I know what I want to say, so I'll say it the way I want." I'm really talking to those who listen to what I'm trying to say and go, "Oh, that gives me an idea of something I want to try."

---

@Green Glasses Girl - Thank you for the recommendations! I'll definitely look into the first few. (I've already read Juniper's Knot and liked it.) Also - in particular, thanks for the links since that was an extra kindness on your part. (We have a really limited smilie selection here, don't we? Nothing seems to express warm appreciation without looking sarcastic. So, <3? )
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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#29 Post by realplej@gmail.com » Wed May 18, 2016 10:21 am

Hi, I just completed a KNs wich I did as a project to at the same time learn Renpy. I made a kind of a space opera noir saga but the theme of immigrants turned out to be more actual than I first imagined after all that has happened here in europe now. Anyway, it's a tremendous work to do everything yourself, and I underestimated it from the beginning for sure... :) I compose electronic music and enjoy creating stories and that could be enough, but the illustration part was the most demanding for me, and I don't really have the skills for it...

Check out the story if you like here https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/316 ... .0-all.zip (dropbox link)

And I do agree that KNs has a lot of potential, in the artform itself but also for instance, as an alternative to casual gaming...

Best,

//Fred
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Re: People Interested in creating KNs?

#30 Post by hoihoisoi » Mon May 30, 2016 1:18 am

Hi everyone, new member here posting for the first time so if I get any of the terminology wrong, I'm really sorry. X)

That said, for my first project, I believe I'm creating more of a KN rather than a VN seeing as my story only has one route to it despite having a few different endings in the very last chapter. (Although there is arguably a True End with the others being 'what ifs'.)

But I think specific genres like 'vanilla romance' and 'mystery' benefit being more in the KN format rather than the VN format seeing as the plot should stay coherent throughout the game. That being said, I'm under the assumption that Danganronpa and the Ace Attorney series are more KN-ish than VN. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.)

So I personally believe that there is definitely an interest in people creating KNs, but there is a fear that without the complexity of multiple branching paths, that the game will fall flat to players. However, depending on the plot and the writing, I still believe people can have a good read despite only having a singular path to follow.

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