Commercial Otome Game and Gameplay Change : including 2D mini games ?

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Lynn Dentell
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Commercial Otome Game and Gameplay Change : including 2D mini games ?

#1 Post by Lynn Dentell » Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:41 pm

Hi everyone,

I am currently working on a VN named "A Dream in Paris" (otome game with a female protagonist), and I want to provide more than just a Visual Novel game : I want to convey feelings, morals...give a great experience :o

When I play a commercial otome game, I use to think that action moments are not well represented, you know : for exemple, when someone protects the protagonist by fighting, and I see a CG, I find the CG wonderful, okay but, I don't feel any suspense, or I don't feel "involved". It's the same thing when the protagonist defends herself, or runs aways. It's very rare to feel a glimpse of the heroine's feelings : it generally depends of the music, and the writing quality,etc... but still, I feel something's missing. :?

Do you feel the same ? I thought about it a lot, and I came to an idea that was exploited by many successful creators, but that never was integrated in an otome game (or at least from the otome games I know) : including 2D platform game when the protagonist is running away, and 2D versus fighter when a character is fighting an enemy.

Do you know otome games, or good Visual Novels in general, which I can take for exemple ?? And also (the MOST important :wink: ), as VN lovers, would you find it interesting to include those gameplays in an Adveture/Romance VN game ?

Thanks a bunch for reading me :D

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Re: Commercial Otome Game and Gameplay Change : including 2D mini games ?

#2 Post by fleet » Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:27 pm

Jack Norton's original Vera Blanc visual novels contain mini-games. There is a free demo version.
More information about Jack Norton's original Vera Blanc visual novels and links to the free downloads are at his web site https://www.winterwolves.com/verablanc.htm
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Some are at http://www.visualnovelty.com.
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Re: Commercial Otome Game and Gameplay Change : including 2D mini games ?

#3 Post by milkteebaby » Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:48 pm

Honestly, as a dedicated otome gamer, I wouldn't care to play anything that takes me away from the story. I play otome games for the storyline, so playing any side games is a bit of a turnoff for me.

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Re: Commercial Otome Game and Gameplay Change : including 2D mini games ?

#4 Post by Imperf3kt » Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:24 pm

I've seen games where you can turn minigames on/off.
So if you don't like the minigames and just want the story, you turn them of in preferences. Conversely, if someone likes minigames, they can leave them on.

My honest opinion is that I like minigames, but your inclusion of them heavily depends on the type of game you are creating as well as what kind of gameplay the minigame involves. Some simple games may work, while complex games may not work, or the opposite may be observed where a simple game is just annoying but a more complex minigame is well suited.

I know it's not an otome game, but I'll use Danganronpa as an example. In that game, you've got a minigame called the non-stop debate. Basically its a minigame where you press a button in time to the beat of a song which gradually changes as the debate progresses and slows when you mess up. You pass if you press the button enough before the debate ends.
This is fun and all, but it takes so much concentration that I cannot read/listen to the conversation at all and this really infuriates me personally.
So in my opinion, the execution of this minigame was a massive failure. The game works great, but it takes away from the story - the main reason I'm playing the VN in the first place.

Then there's the minigame where you select images and fit them into what looks like a comic strip in order to 'piece together the events in the order they happened'.
This takes place with a limited amount of time and tries, but its directly related to the story and is more engaging for the reader/player than simply reading a chapter of text.

So my opinion of whether minigames should be included depends on:
- How your minigame plays
- Where you put it
- How well you can make it fit/blend with the story / other gameplay
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Re: Commercial Otome Game and Gameplay Change : including 2D mini games ?

#5 Post by Googaboga » Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:25 pm

I'd suggest taking a look at Fatal Hearts. It's full of mini-games that require actually playing out what the MC is doing in the story.
https://hanakogames.itch.io/fatal-hearts

As for my opinion on the matter, it's possible I could enjoy something like that. It would depend on how it's fit into the game and just how well the mini-games actually are. I'd probably want to skip them, though. I used to love VNs with added gameplay, but I've come to appreciate pure VNs with interesting choice mechanics more nowadays.
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Re: Commercial Otome Game and Gameplay Change : including 2D mini games ?

#6 Post by Mammon » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:44 am

I personally dislike minigames in VNs if they're anything short of well-executed or in the backround. Especially if the game is meant to be replayed meaning you'd have to go through them again for the other endings. If it's a good minigame or if it's a significant part of the game rather than an addition, like with Sunrider, I can like it. But it's a thin line that I often considered wasted effort and mere feature creep failure when it didn't remain balancing on that line.

When you're talking about the problems you discuss in the OP, about action scenes being stale because it's just sprites or a CG, I'd recommend that instead of minigames that you work around it well. Just like how you have to write around using too many assets like holding an object or adding too many character sprites for characters you'd barely use, you can write the story to not need too many CGs and assets for your action scenes as opposed to keeping it a bit stale. If you write it well, the audience doesn't even have to notice that you circumvent and avoid action and make a lot of it happen off-screen or in a simple manner. Like how that afterform technique in anime shonen is actually a rather lazy animation technique to show quick movement with still images, but looking real impressive when you don't look at it like that.

Example; With a VN you could make the sprites move offscreen real quick and add the standard vpunch and some stagger movements to suggest an attempted escape and chase, but with your writing you make it look like a good occurrence rather than a lazy ploy to make a new character appear with dissolve and cut them off rather than having a minigame chase scene happen. Those are all things you could do with basic sprites and already existing renpy effects (ask your local coder) instead of having to make new assets. You are making a VN, making the scenes and events according to what your format can provide is not lazy rather than resource-efficient.
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Re: Commercial Otome Game and Gameplay Change : including 2D mini games ?

#7 Post by Kinjo » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:34 pm

Rose Guns Days makes its fighting scenes more exciting by including minigames where you click on different parts of the screen to indicate firing and dodging bullet shots. With the intense music in the background, I think it's pretty effective.

One thing you might want to consider is that if you include a minigame, you should probably tailor the game around it. Like in the Rose Guns Days example, the story itself is about gun fights, so plenty of these minigames are played throughout the story, and they happen often. They go up in difficulty over time, and although they can be completed without doing a very good job, you'll earn a worse score (so everyone can continue to read the story). So in your example, there should be a number of "running away" scenes as well as a number of "fighting" scenes, during which the 2D platformer and fighting elements can be experienced many times.

There is a trade-off, as shown by some of the comments here. You might lose out on some people who don't want a game and only want a story. On the other hand, you can more easily appeal to the average gamer, which might actually widen your potential audience.

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Re: Commercial Otome Game and Gameplay Change : including 2D mini games ?

#8 Post by milkteebaby » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:28 pm

I'm not sure about the rules re: other thread posts, so if I messed up, I apologize.

Anyways, there was a thread like this posted over at Fuwa, which, imo, is more player-centric as opposed to dev-centric.

Link: https://forums.fuwanovel.net/topic/2019 ... -gameplay/

(and if you're the person who posted this on fuwa, I'mma lol pretty hard)

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Re: Commercial Otome Game and Gameplay Change : including 2D mini games ?

#9 Post by NemiGal » Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:10 am

Oh god! no! i hate stats rasing/minigames in otome games.

Nusantara by sweetchiel did a good work in the fighting scenes if you ask me.

i rarelly see the stats rasing minigames system being implement well.
I play visual novels, because thats what they are! if i wanted more action i could just go and play some rpg or moba.

I also dont have problem seeying heroine protected with just cg, i think it works well.

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Re: Commercial Otome Game and Gameplay Change : including 2D mini games ?

#10 Post by Lynn Dentell » Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:23 pm

Hi everyone !

I checked the games you've avdised me to look at, my concept is a little different ^^' (3rd person 2D Versus, or 2D adventure game)
But reading your messages, I've understood, that a new gameplay may be tolerated, appreciated or hated by people, but certainly not wanted by all :)

I guess I will do without it : my Visual Novel is an Otome game, but to put the amount of action I wanted my game to have, I had to look one more time at some pretty captivating VisualNovels without gameplay drastic change : Fate and Umineko.

Thank you very much for giving me your advices and opinions, it was very precious to me ! ^^

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