Should there be a Wiki or Database for English Visual Novels Only?

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Should there be a Wiki or Database for English Visual Novels Only?

#1 Post by JBShields » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:16 pm

So this question has been tossed around and I was wondering y'all's take on it?

What would you think of a Wiki or new Database for EVNs only? Why or why not? Or is VNDb enough?

Would a wiki be better? What are some of the challenges/successes your project has had with VNDb?

This is not a "shot across the bow" to VNDb. I think the amount of work they put in creating a database for everyone has been generous and wonderful. However, this question is more about how we can improve outreach to for a new audience for EVNs.

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Re: Should there be a Wiki or Database for English Visual Novels Only?

#2 Post by Imperf3kt » Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:12 am

Personally I'd prefer one database, with tags, much like VNDB currently works.
Having multiple databases just makes it harder to find information about things.
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Re: Should there be a Wiki or Database for English Visual Novels Only?

#3 Post by parttimestorier » Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:01 pm

Yeah, VNDB definitely has its problems and I'd be happy if an alternative database existed, but I personally wouldn't want to switch to one that purposely excludes a large amount of VNs. That would just make it a huge hassle to keep track of what I've read when I like VNs no matter what language they were in originally. Also, even though English and Japanese seem to be the two main languages people write VNs in, there are VNs in plenty of other languages too, so I think you'd run into problems with determining where to draw the line of what belongs in your database and what doesn't. Would you allow Spanish or French VNs, for instance, since they also fall under the umbrella of "Western" VNs and probably have more in common with English ones than Japanese ones? And what would you do with VNs that are released in both English and Japanese simultaneously, like the excellent one night, hot springs? Things like that could get pretty complicated and you'd probably end up disappointing some people no matter what you choose.
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Re: Should there be a Wiki or Database for English Visual Novels Only?

#4 Post by papillon » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:43 pm

A database for a subset of games already covered in another database is mostly just duplicating effort to no real benefit.

The only point of a different site IMO would be if it covered a *different* set of games. However, making a whole site just for games that got kicked off VNDB also sounds like a small project that wouldn't be of much interest to most people :)

Rather than going smaller, why not go bigger? Make a site that lists and links different database collections of narrative games. There's IFDB for text adventures, there's sites for gamebooks, there's sites for point-and-click adventures... all kinds of different games whose readers might occasionally cross over. Collecting together a bunch of "you might also try THIS" could potentially be of interest?

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Re: Should there be a Wiki or Database for English Visual Novels Only?

#5 Post by ComputerArt.Club » Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:47 am

papillon wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:43 pm
Rather than going smaller, why not go bigger? Make a site that lists and links different database collections of narrative games. There's IFDB for text adventures, there's sites for gamebooks, there's sites for point-and-click adventures... all kinds of different games whose readers might occasionally cross over. Collecting together a bunch of "you might also try THIS" could potentially be of interest?
That would be a rather ambitious but very interesting project for someone to undertake. There is definitely some overlap between interactive fiction and visual novels and it could see some IF readers giving VNs a try and vice versa. I personally went through a IF phase and made a few and taught Quest to my Computer Art Club students before giving Renpy a try. The "you might try this" stuff would probably be very difficult though, as far as I know, most of that stuff requires some level of artificial intelligence, and certainly, for such a large database, it would be difficult to create all the suggestions by yourself.

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Re: Should there be a Wiki or Database for English Visual Novels Only?

#6 Post by Equil » Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:07 pm

I would personally prefer to keep it all in one database or a shared one that is colloborated with light novels, manga, anime and jrpgs. However i like vndb and wouldn't really change to an english only one. I do however think that it would be good if they updated vndb a little bit and made it easier to filter it for english vns.

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Re: Should there be a Wiki or Database for English Visual Novels Only?

#7 Post by JBShields » Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:51 pm

parttimestorier wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:01 pm
Yeah, VNDB definitely has its problems and I'd be happy if an alternative database existed, but I personally wouldn't want to switch to one that purposely excludes a large amount of VNs. That would just make it a huge hassle to keep track of what I've read when I like VNs no matter what language they were in originally. Also, even though English and Japanese seem to be the two main languages people write VNs in, there are VNs in plenty of other languages too, so I think you'd run into problems with determining where to draw the line of what belongs in your database and what doesn't. Would you allow Spanish or French VNs, for instance, since they also fall under the umbrella of "Western" VNs and probably have more in common with English ones than Japanese ones? And what would you do with VNs that are released in both English and Japanese simultaneously, like the excellent one night, hot springs? Things like that could get pretty complicated and you'd probably end up disappointing some people no matter what you choose.
I think it should include anything that had begun with an English release. So yes-- most of the Western VNs too

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Re: Should there be a Wiki or Database for English Visual Novels Only?

#8 Post by JBShields » Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:58 pm

Everyone, I'm rather surprised.

The feedback on this idea is very different than the other social media platform polls and feedback from other VN creator sites. Most of them WANT a separate database: 2 to 1.

Filtering to find EVNs on VNDb is difficult. That's why I originally am bouncing around this idea. Don't get me wrong: VNDb is great!

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Re: Should there be a Wiki or Database for English Visual Novels Only?

#9 Post by papillon » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:11 am

Filtering to find EVNs on VNDb is difficult
Difficult in that many people don't know how to use the filter system to select original language: english, or some other problem?

VNDB already lists literally thousands of EVNs.

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Re: Should there be a Wiki or Database for English Visual Novels Only?

#10 Post by Imperf3kt » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:26 pm

papillon wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:11 am
Filtering to find EVNs on VNDb is difficult
Difficult in that many people don't know how to use the filter system to select original language: english, or some other problem?

VNDB already lists literally thousands of EVNs.
There is also all visual novels available in English, whether translated, original, or otherwise.
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Re: Should there be a Wiki or Database for English Visual Novels Only?

#11 Post by JBShields » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:52 pm

Difficult on the previous part "people don't know how to use a filter system". Difficult also because people new to VNDb and visual novels in general may not know what they're looking for. And a tag system isn't the best way to get to know a genre if you're brand new on the scene. If I didn't know I needed to look for "Original Language English" I would end up in my search at a bunch of Japanese VNs listed in alphabetical order if I put in my interests alone (such as "sports").


It takes a few steps to get to that link shared of VNDb with all the EVNs. It's "okay". VNDb--it's a great resource! I don't think we should get "rid" of it or anything. This is more of a question/suggestion for an alternative place to help people newly interested in the genre. Think of it like: yes, there's facebook, but there's Twitter as well! Same idea.

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Re: Should there be a Wiki or Database for English Visual Novels Only?

#12 Post by Equil » Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:08 am

I think its more difficult for new people and can get confusing however I like the site and use it heaps but I think they could update it to make filtering/sorting slightly more user friendly that imo, however a great feature I like which I use is search random vn, and i would love if they added a search random english vn to that

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Re: Should there be a Wiki or Database for English Visual Novels Only?

#13 Post by Imperf3kt » Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:16 am

JBShields wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:52 pm
Difficult on the previous part "people don't know how to use a filter system". Difficult also because people new to VNDb and visual novels in general may not know what they're looking for. And a tag system isn't the best way to get to know a genre if you're brand new on the scene. If I didn't know I needed to look for "Original Language English" I would end up in my search at a bunch of Japanese VNs listed in alphabetical order if I put in my interests alone (such as "sports").


It takes a few steps to get to that link shared of VNDb with all the EVNs. It's "okay". VNDb--it's a great resource! I don't think we should get "rid" of it or anything. This is more of a question/suggestion for an alternative place to help people newly interested in the genre. Think of it like: yes, there's facebook, but there's Twitter as well! Same idea.
Have you used a search engine lately? "newbies" get by just fine with those and they display millions of results.
I think, personally, people should not expect to be spoon-fed information, but instead learn that if they want something, they may have to learn a small amount about using a service, which honestly is not hard.
Today was my first time ever using the search feature of VNDb, and I figured it out in a few seconds, despite using the site less than once or twice a year.
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Re: Should there be a Wiki or Database for English Visual Novels Only?

#14 Post by papillon » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:05 am

I agree that sending people to VNDB is not the best way to get them interested in VNs as a brand-new player. It's overwhelming, a lot of the games aren't in English or even available for sale AT ALL (good luck buying those pc-98 titles) and a lot of them are weird porn.

However, I don't think an EVN database would be the greatest starting point for a brand-new user either. An actual database that contains all EVNs is going to contain a ton of.... amateur stuff that doesn't always make the best first impression. And without the benefit of the big VNDB userbase, it will be harder to get it tagged and rated in order to find the "better" games.

If your goal is to create a resource that is helpful to brand-new people, you might want to consider a different angle. Rather than trying to create a new database, why not create a site where people post their own recommendation lists? Something where people can make as many lists as they like, and each list has a theme ('Best game for a beginner', 'My favorite otomes', 'Best FREE games', 'Awesome creepy horror', etc). Then on the front page, rather than "random VNs" and "search for VN", it could show random LISTS and let you search for LISTS. The lists themselves could link to VNDB entries, it's the easiest way to get more info on a game, but the site would be geared more towards recommendations by users. (Obviously each list needs to be marked by who wrote it)

Then you'd have a site that is presenting something DIFFERENT to vndb, and more friendly to newbies. People often ask for lists of recommendations, this would become a convenient place to put them.

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Re: Should there be a Wiki or Database for English Visual Novels Only?

#15 Post by trooper6 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:32 pm

I don't use VNDB...so some other version of it for Western VNs wouldn't really be all that useful or interesting to me.
If the point is to be able to find new Western VNs, I use the Ren'Py Database, and the Completed Works threads here on Lemmasoft.
What I really want is more WVN review sites that might introduce me to new VNs I hadn't heard of otherwise.
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