What Do YOU Prefer When Playing a VN?

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ArcialIntegra
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Re: What Do YOU Prefer When Playing a VN?

#31 Post by ArcialIntegra » Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:53 am

puffinlady wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:59 am
1. Do you prefer if the setting is in Japan or the West (America, Italy, UK, etc.)

So long as the setting works, I'm fine with anything. Even better if it helps push the theme or tone in some way. I'm totally desensitized to the tired old Japanese high school setting, so I don't really mind that either. Though it gets bonus points if there's a cool uniform design like Rewrite's Kazamatsuri High uniforms or Subarashiki Hibi's Kita High uniforms.

2. Do you prefer a Western art style, traditional anime art style, or a combination in between?

I tend to gravitate towards traditional anime art styles, especially ultra-moe art like Karory, Koge-Donbo*, or Noizi Ito, and I also enjoy combination art so long as it leans a little bit more on the anime side. More Western art tends to be a turn-off for me.

But there are certainly times where it fits with the tone of the work. For instance, I can't imagine Fata Morgana without the painterly Western style, nor can I imagine A Near Dawn without its clearly Western, cartoony style. Fata Morgana makes it feel as if you are really walking through history in the form of old paintings, while A Near Dawn feels like a nostalgic an homage to old Western point-and-click games (especially the colors!).

3. Do you prefer if the characters have normal names or do you not care (as long as they aren't TOO out there)?

I like it when characters have meaningful names or names that just seem to roll off the tongue. A combination of both is excellent. If a name is too bland, I'm likely not going to remember the character unless their personality or design is memorable enough to make up for it.

4. Do you prefer if the main character is a set character with their own traits or do you prefer if they're a customizable (male/female, select race, select hair/eye color, etc.) blank-slate character?

I much prefer when a VN protagonist has their own personality and history. That way, I can cheer them on just as much as the other major characters. It's weird, but I feel like I'm standing beside them and helping them out on their journey. It leaves me a lot more satisfied when I finish a VN.

The only times I like ultra-customizable blank slate MCs is when it's clearly just meant to be a nice, indulgent, light-hearted game, like Dream Daddy. Otherwise, those types of MCs work much better in other types of adventure games, like MMOs and open world adventures.
1-4. Sorry, if I don't seem like it due to how short my answers are... I'm just really tired lately... but I really like these answers and how much thought you gave them. I think I'll check out those VNs also, when I get a chance.
sasquatchii wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:47 am
ArcialIntegra wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:48 am
0. I've had a lot of fun discussing this with people so far as well. It's been so interesting seeing where everybody stands... Huh... Now that I think of it, I haven't given answers on this... Have I? Seeing the point of this was more meant to be a way for people to put their thoughts out there... Should I answer too?
You should totally respond to your own thread and give answers to these questions if you want to! It's been very interesting reading everyone's responses and seeing how other people think and feel about these questions :)
1. I actually prefer games that have a bit of a contrast to them. If the main character is Japanese, I'd rather if the setting was anywhere but Japan. If the setting is Japan, I'd prefer if the main character wasn't Japanese. If the setting is the Vatican, I'd prefer the main character to be a protestant or an atheist. I find contrasts to be much more interesting, but even then, if the story is interesting enough, I probably won't be a stickler. As for the whole "Japanese high school" point that has been repeatedly mentioned: while I agree that it's overdone and I'd rather play in a different setting, (if there is a good story) I often won't mind the setting as that's not always an important part of what's going on.
2. I prefer a mixed art style. I don't mind the traditional anime style, nor do I mind traditionally cartoony styles... But when you have art styles like in Rick and Morty where it's clearly one art style (in this case cartoons) but with noticeable influence from another (anime), it seems much more interesting, especially because it allows you more room to experiment and differentiate yourself from the other works like yours. Imagine if Rick and Morty looked like South Park or Family Guy... it'd feel weird like it was trying to take itself too seriously, but if it made itself look more like Psycho-Pass, it'd feel like it wasn't taking itself seriously enough with the humor used. It being the blend that it is allows it to stand out fairly well while also still fitting in. Now, I'm not saying I prefer specifically R&M's art style over all else, but I prefer the art of anything that tries to blend the two styles together over anything that tries too hard to be just one or the other. After all, art is all about knowing when it is appropriate to break the commonly accepted rules. If all VNs looked like they were made by A-1 Pictures, I'd get bored... fast.
3. I like names that stand out but still fit in. Sort of like what was said earlier: if a setting is high fantasy, but a character's name is "Frank", I'm going to be thrown off, at least at first. But a name like Lacar or even something as pedestrian as Nico could still feel contextually "acceptable". If the setting is Japan, it's kind of accepted at this point that Western names should follow a simple list, often 2-syllable names with limited use of l/r and v/b when possible or names that translate fairly well into Japanese like Ray vs. Rei and Chris vs. Kurisu. Unless there is a good reason, I see no reason for those naming conventions to be broken. As for a Western setting, if the setting is America, the best names would fit the region of the country (and time period) in combination with the character's race/ethnicity. If the setting is England, it should be something with two syllables when possible (Henry, Liam, Winston, etc.) or something that just sounds gentlemanly or like it has an inherent swagger to it (Zain, Charles, Gray). While creative names are great, they still should feel setting-appropriate.
4. I think I made it more than obvious that I have a bias against blank-slate MCs. It's not that I hate the idea, but that I hate how they are so commonly executed. If you're not going to give your MC enough of a chance to develop a character based on the player's choices, you're better off giving the MC a character of their own in the first place. Characters that have a set personality are far more interesting than characters that never really delve into who they are or why they are the way they are. Look at Hajime Hinata (Danganronpa 2). This is maybe one of my favorite games, but... I DESPISE Hajime. (Light spoilers)
I know he is to Danganronpa fans what SAO is to anime fans, the punching bag that has become cool to hate on... but I mean it. Hajime isn't really anything more than a guy who just is meant to be... whatever. Whereas Makoto was at least lucky and had a background with one character and developed meaningful relationships... Hajime had nothing from the beginning and never really clicked with anyone after the first Class Trial. He never acted like a character even with the player making choices or with the story progressing. He just went along with the others, especially Nagito. He peaked at the first trial which was a real disappointment with how much work they put in to giving him a relateable background and for setting up the choice in the last trial... he was just too bland... like Communion Wafers...
While there can be EXCELLENT blank slate characters, I do find the concept to be a handicap best left to those who are experienced in character development.
LateWhiteRabbit wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:08 am
ArcialIntegra wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:48 am
Do you recommend ReLIFE?
How serendipitous! Are you enjoying Erased?
Yeah, I would recommend ReLIFE. It sort of starts with the same basic premise of Erased, actually. The protagonist is about to turn 30 and is regretting his choices and actions that led him to what feels like an empty and dead-end existence. He is then offered a chance to take a pill that will make him physically 17 years old again and be enrolled in high school. The difference between ReLIFE and Erased is that the protagonist is not going back in time, just getting a restart in the present. Lots of fun observations of an adult dealing with non-so-important teen drama, and he makes it a point not to get involved romantically with any of the high school girls, because he and the show both recognize how messed up that would be when he has the advantages of experience and being twice their age mentally. It isn't a comedy, but it definitely has a lighter tone than what I've seen of Erased so far.

I've only seen the first three episodes of Erased so far, but it's great. I'm a sucker for time travel stories, and since I was about the same age as the kids in the show in 1988, it is bringing up a lot of memories of that time in my own life.
ArcialIntegra wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:48 am
I actually don't remember my high school experience... at all. I remember names and teachers. A couple brief moments from classes... but that's about it.
I remember a lot about my high school experience, but then, I went to a small school. My graduating class only had 42 people in it, and 39 of us had attended school together since kindergarten. Everyone knew everyone. (It was like the Cheers theme song - Where everybody knows your name!)The town we grew up in had no stoplights and only two stop signs!
Yeah... Erased is pretty dark, but it's so good. If you want to know the tone for the ending of the show (happy/sad/bittersweet/open), check this spoiler:
The ending is pretty bittersweet. While there is a lot of happiness that can be analyzed from it, there are so many negative things that can be found too. It's my kind of ending: Realistic.
My class sounds huge in comparison, but in actuality was pretty small compared to every other school: ~140 students. I only knew one of my classmates, and that was because we happened to be cousins. I knew absolutely nobody else. In fact, you could say I still don't know anybody else from my class because I only "knew" them when we went to school together, which wasn't very long ago... and that never extended beyond much further than their names.
Your town sounds like my hometown in New England.
puppetbomb wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:10 am
ArcialIntegra wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:48 am
1. "I think it would be incredibly difficult for someone who has only lived in one culture their entire life to be able to erase their cultural upbringing in their writing." I'm sure the hard part is adopting another culture more than erasing the one you have. (Take it from me: I'm as uncultured as you can get. :P )
As for that webcomic, mind sharing the name? I'm sure more than just I would be interested in checking it out.
Mulan: Which parts were the issue?
[...]
4. I'll check them out, but I don't have high expectations. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if Phoenix Wright succeeded. It's Phoenix Wright after all...
1) The Mulan issue was the scene where she hugged the emperor (WTF. SO MUCH WTF). It was in the behind-the-scenes and staff audio commentaries where I found out the "BUT SHE'S DIFFERENT AND THAT MAKES IT OK" was a thing that actually happened =_=

What I mean by "being difficult to erase your culture" is though is... well, here's an example:
The comic I'm reading (sorry, I don't have an English link) a guy avoids his girlfriend by sleeping over at his Tae Kwon Do master's house. When he sleeps over, they sleep in the same bed even though there's a couch in the living room. Both are heterosexual men. The situation is a "let's make a misunderstanding so the main character thinks they're gay" trope.

If this series was written by someone who was raised in the US, it would be bad writing. It's a thing that would either not happen or is socially unacceptable/shameful for hetero men. HOWEVER IN KOREA, men are share beds and sheets without thinking twice. It's a detail that's hard to spot for the author, but glaringly obvious for those know.

4) Professor Layton was the game that was crossed over with Phoenix Wright llD Also a big budget game, difficult for an indie/bootstrap company to follow.
Mulan: Oh... God... That WAS a scene... wasn't it...? In those days, she would have been executed on the spot... If that depiction of the emperor wasn't so relaxed, she would have been screwed. Thanks for reminding me of that... (I know I asked, but I regret it... very much so...)
Shared Beds: I don't think I understood. How is it a "make a misunderstanding to convince gay" trope? Maybe I should get clarification... Is it the guy or girl who's the MC? Also, what country is this set in? I assume this is the one set in San Francisco, but the way you worded your comment makes me unsure. Finally, why do you say it's not okay for someone in the states to make this "mistake" (not that I see the issue in the first place)? Sorry, I'm kind of just lost as I read this "bullet point"...
I will check out the comic though. It looks interesting.
Phoenix Wright: AH! Pokemon S&M style-3D... So, when it's in a still-frame, it looks 2-D, but can be easily animated as needed. Okay, that definitely looks like it would work. See, I stand proudly corrected on my stance on 3D VNs. :)
sasquatchii wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:15 am
puppetbomb wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:10 am
1) The Mulan issue was the scene where she hugged the emperor (WTF. SO MUCH WTF). It was in the behind-the-scenes and staff audio commentaries where I found out the "BUT SHE'S DIFFERENT AND THAT MAKES IT OK" was a thing that actually happened =_=
That is really interesting, and I never thought about Mulan in that way. But to play devil's advocate, a lot of things in Mulan never could have actually happened. Such as your family's ancestors waking up and sending a tiny dragon to help you. Or being able to keep your identity hidden for so long as a woman in the imperial army (OK, not completely impossible, but it seems really difficult). Most movies and stories have a lot of things that could never happen, or are extremely unlikely to ever happen in them. That's why they're works of fiction.

I think your point is more that what Disney did was a bastardization of Chinese Culture. And given that it's Disney, I'm not surprised at all. Mulan was released in 1998, though - so I'm hopeful that as time goes on Disney will do this less and less when making movies about other countries and cultures. I feel like America as a whole (and I'm speaking very broadly here) has definitely come a long way since then in terms of being able to respect and appreciate other cultures, though we still have quite a ways to go.
puppetbomb wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:10 am
When he sleeps over, they sleep in the same bed even though there's a couch in the living room. Both are heterosexual men. The situation is a "let's make a misunderstanding so the main character thinks they're gay" trope.

If this series was written by someone who was raised in the US, it would be bad writing. It's a thing that would either not happen or is socially unacceptable/shameful for hetero men. HOWEVER IN KOREA, men are share beds and sheets without thinking twice. It's a detail that's hard to spot for the author, but glaringly obvious for those know.
This is something that has always blown my mind about American culture, and I was born and raised in America. I have gone to conventions with a bunch of friends, and often stayed in a single hotel room with many people to save money. There's always guys that would rather sleep on the floor rather than share a bed with another dude (leaving a huge king sized bed to one person).

When pressed, guys will just shrug and say they'd rather not sleep together, and feel more comfortable sleeping on the floor than in bed with another man. Which is just SO WEIRD. Like, I will sleep in the same bed with another girl (as a woman) and think nothing of it. If I were single I would also do the same with (platonic) male friends and not feel weird about it, but I wouldn't now because I have a boyfriend.
Well, on the point of her pretending to be a guy for so long... that's supposedly what happened for the real-world Mulan, not that we'll ever know how much of the stories are fact and how much are exaggeration. As for your point about America respecting other cultures... I'd agree with you if we didn't have campaigns that tried (and I think succeeded) in shutting down a part of a museum exhibit because it allowed white people to wear kimono and have their photos taken in front of a historical painting of someone in a kimono... despite the fact actual Japanese people love (or, at worst, are apathetic to) the idea of people from other cultures wearing kimono and yukata... (I still don't understand what was supposedly controversial about this, but I digress.) If America didn't have universities with segregated dorms, I might agree. If America didn't have a lot of issues in regards to other cultures... I'd agree... but I'd argue that in the past 15 years, America's understanding, respect, and appreciation of other cultures has actually declined compared to the 80s and 90s... but that's just me. This, however, doesn't seem like the time nor place for a political debate, so I'll listen to your response and leave the discussion with what you have to say.

As for your point about people rather sleeping on floors, I always slept on a chair, but that was because I'd let the other guys take the bed (sometimes as many as 3-4 of them) while I took the chair which (in theory) would be more comfortable at that point. I've done this ever since I was a kid. While I would share a bed if it was one other guy, if it was 2 or more other guys, I took the chair. The groups this would be with would vary: devout Christians, athletes, thespians, cosplayers, etc. (The vast majority being definitely heterosexual and from a Red state.) This comment thread is the first I'm hearing of it being somehow taboo... which I don't really understand how or why. I HAVE seen individuals who preferred sleeping on the floor or who would ask to take the chair, but they've always been outliers.
puppetbomb wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:01 pm
sasquatchii wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:15 am
That is really interesting, and I never thought about Mulan in that way. But to play devil's advocate, a lot of things in Mulan never could have actually happened. [...] Most movies and stories have a lot of things that could never happen, or are extremely unlikely to ever happen in them. That's why they're works of fiction.
I have no problem with fantastical elements, but breaking character/the world is not an element of fantasy, but a technique or bad writing.

Mulan is self-aware, understands the concepts of honor, punishment, death penalties and whatnot and hugs the emperor? After trying so hard to earn honor for her family she risks get herself killed and dishonoring her family? A woman hugging a man in public? An older man? The Emperor? It's so out of character in the context of country and culture that it's a case of Supreme Bad Writing.
sasquatchii wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:15 am
I think your point is more that what Disney did was a bastardization of Chinese Culture. And given that it's Disney, I'm not surprised at all. Mulan was released in 1998, though - so I'm hopeful that as time goes on Disney will do this less and less when making movies about other countries and cultures. I feel like America as a whole (and I'm speaking very broadly here) has definitely come a long way since then in terms of being able to respect and appreciate other cultures, though we still have quite a ways to go.
Yeah that was mainly my point :3
sasquatchii wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:15 am
When pressed, guys will just shrug and say they'd rather not sleep together, and feel more comfortable sleeping on the floor than in bed with another man. Which is just SO WEIRD.
If desperate for space, there's also an "over under" rule: If someone sleeps under the blanket, the person next to them will sleep on top. Alternate with remaining people until all spaces are full.
I agree, that is bad writing.
Again... first I'm hearing of this rule... Even I'm starting to question if I'm actually from America at this point...
M.Knight wrote:
Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:53 am
1. Do you prefer if the setting is in Japan or the West (America, Italy, UK, etc.)
Anything but a Japanese high school or a setting that feels artifical compared to the characters and writing (i.e. a VN set in Japan but with characters that are obviously more Western in their behaviour and culture).

2. Do you prefer a Western art style, traditional anime art style, or a combination in between?
Something in between is preferable as both an extreme Western or a heavily anime style can be a turn-off. However, I have far more tolerance for anime styles than western ones.

3. Do you prefer if the characters have normal names or do you not care (as long as they aren't TOO out there)?
Easy to remember names that don't sound out of place given the setting is good enough for me.

4. Do you prefer if the main character is a set character with their own traits or do you prefer if they're a customizable (male/female, select race, select hair/eye color, etc.) blank-slate character?
A main character with a strong personnality of his own will always be preferable to a customizable one that may or may not fit the story you want to tell. Sometimes, the main character can even be the strongest driving force of your VN and the game cannot be as impactful if the MC was a blank state that can be whatever you want. This is especially apparent if the story involves the MC a lot and makes him face challenges that are related to who he is. Chaos;Head, one of my favorite VNs, is the example that comes to mind and if Takumi wasn't the mess he is, the game wouldn't have been so memorable.
1. Fair enough.
2. Saaame. I don't mind western styles, but if the characters become no more than amorphous blobs... that's an instant "NOPE!" I don't mind occasional characters like Steven and Amythest (Steven Universe), but I can't stand when I have an "Is that Kirby or Jigglypuff?" (as my father once asked) situation with every other character.
3. See my answer to your #1
4. I haven't gotten to CH yet... :/ I've only seen the anime which I hear doesn't do the VN justice.

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Ana
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Re: What Do YOU Prefer When Playing a VN?

#32 Post by Ana » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:57 pm

1. Do you prefer if the setting is in Japan or the West (America, Italy, UK, etc.)
West all the way. I think it's okay if there's like one or two characters that are Japanese, though. Just a random thought, but I think it would be cool to see a Japanese character who really likes Western culture (to contrast the usual Western anime-lovers).

2. Do you prefer a Western art style, traditional anime art style, or a combination in between?
I like anime art styles, but more like the otome type (not the moe style, it's too blobby). Though, I feel with otome art styles, it already has some intrinsic Western characteristics such as the smaller eyes, larger nose, more proportional bodies (if you ignore some noodle-tastic characters). When it comes to body type of the characters, I like them to be reasonably built and not thin like pasta.

3. Do you prefer if the characters have normal names or do you not care (as long as they aren't TOO out there)?
I think it should make sense to the setting. For instance, in a Western setting, I really don't want to see more than two main characters with a Japanese name, because it's not really realistic (where I live, I've only met maybe two Japanese people in real life). At the same time, I think it would be really cool to see some non-Western names, non-Japanese (i.e. middle-eastern names) for some characters if the story takes place in the West, especially in multicultural places. For a fantasy place, I think anything goes, especially if its tied to some type of already-existent mythology.

4. Do you prefer if the main character is a set character with their own traits or do you prefer if they're a customizable (male/female, select race, select hair/eye color, etc.) blank-slate character?
I don't think I really have a preference for this, but I really like a protagonist who can have a lot of 'spunk', I guess. So I probably prefer set characters.

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Re: What Do YOU Prefer When Playing a VN?

#33 Post by Xerofit51 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:35 pm

I dislike the cutesy, moe2 dere2 anime VNs, I prefer games with a clean art style, as long as it's neat, you can tell what is what and consistent, I don't care the art style much, American or western is okay, I'm bored with the moe style though so I often stray away from those. I like a Vn that can make me laugh and has an actual story instead of just stalking a certain boy/girl

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Re: What Do YOU Prefer When Playing a VN?

#34 Post by Katy133 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:05 pm

1. Do you prefer if the setting is in Japan or the West (America, Italy, UK, etc.)
A: The West. I'm Canadian, so I'm extra-interested in VNs set in Canada because I have a personal connection to the place.

2. Do you prefer a Western art style, traditional anime art style, or a combination in between?
A: It depends on the game. I like Western art styles, but I've also seen VNs that use a heavy anime style that have caught my attention, so as long as the art style helps tell the story of what the VN is about, and I find the artwork beautiful or appealing to look at, then it works in my opinion.

3. Do you prefer if the characters have normal names or do you not care (as long as they aren't TOO out there)?
A: I'm fine with any type of names, including games that use both common/old names and unique/new/long names, so long as I can remember them.

4. Do you prefer if the main character is a set character with their own traits or do you prefer if they're a customizable (male/female, select race, select hair/eye color, etc.) blank-slate character?
A: Again, it depends on the game. Some VNs are meant to be like role-playing games, where the player is creating/sculpting the character. Other games have choices that have the main character's pre-made personality kept in mind (for example, the VN might give you several choices, but never gives the player outright evil choices because "that character would never react that way in that situation").
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Re: What Do YOU Prefer When Playing a VN?

#35 Post by jisenjeon » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:30 am

1. Do you prefer if the setting is in Japan or the West (America, Italy, UK, etc.)
I'll be okay with anything as long as it isn't in a Japanese high school, or, if the setting is indeed a Japanese high school, if the setting somehow subverts many of the common tropes in that type of story.

2. Do you prefer a Western art style, traditional anime art style, or a combination in between?
A combination in between. I find that for some reason a Western art style is kind of off-putting (probably because Japanese/anime-style art is the majority in the medium), but at the same time a moe-anime art style is too.

3. Do you prefer if the characters have normal names or do you not care (as long as they aren't TOO out there)?
Again, it depends on the type of story, but if there's a character named "River Christania Yoshida-d'Lucien" in a Japanese high school (who isn't an exchange student) or a guy named "Steve" in a fantasy world then my suspension of disbelief would be basically nonexistent.

4. Do you prefer if the main character is a set character with their own traits or do you prefer if they're a customizable (male/female, select race, select hair/eye color, etc.) blank-slate character?
I feel like stories with set characters are more fulfilling to complete than stories with blank-slate characters. As puffinlady wrote, I don't feel like I'm the player character, but I'm helping the main character in their story. Unless it's a dating sim (i.e Mystic Messenger or Dream Daddy), I'd much rather have characters whose personality we can examine instead of a self-insert.

But, in all honesty, as long as a VN is done well, I won't care.

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