NovelStream: Revolutionary visual novel platform

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Re: NovelStream: Revolutionary visual novel platform

#46 Post by Deji » Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:17 pm

DaFool wrote: (...)
I'm not sure majority of writers/artists would agree with that. It's one thing to have an originally-drawn fanart, but someone else just taking your story and characters and making a sequel/side-story? At least the courtesy of an email asking for permission would be appreciated. I understand this is a non-issue for most people coming from the fan-translation side. But step in the shoes of an IP owner and it's different.)
As and artist that makes a living pretty much drawing assert for indie games and such, I'm personally kind of wary about letting other people use the assets I've made for singular stories... Though as an artist working on commission, that would be ultimately decided by my commissioner, I guess).


On a side note, I personally have a huge pet peeve with fanfiction, and that is the huge amount of established characters being just... well, very out of character. I can choose to ignore whatever fanwork has been or is being done based off any particular series/game/book/etc I like, But it's not so easy when it's about your own characters/story/world.
When my own characters are treated by unknown people in any random way they want and start building a whole new story/world with their distorted version of my creations... It makes me feel very uncomfortable, to say the least.


So... what would be the policy regarding using original assets on fanwork? Is *any* fanwork allowed or would there be any kind of guidelines of what is accepted?
Say, if the assets of a happy lighthearted fantasy otome were available, could anybody go and rework the story into a melodramatic BL rape story using those assets and it would be accepted?
I'm not sure I'd be happy to leave my assets there ready for use by anybody if you answer yes to that D:
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Re: NovelStream: Revolutionary visual novel platform

#47 Post by Jake » Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:06 pm

Charuru wrote: Also we're coming out with a specialized native reader which will eliminate all browser issues for many platforms. It'll be great.
This is certainly a fix for some of the issues I have with web delivery, and I'll look forward to seeing it, but it still doesn't help with the part where I'm not always connected to the Internet. :/
Charuru wrote: I'm interested to know how you use rollback. I don't have a good sense of how it can be used. Unless the game is Prince of Persia.
Well, in a lot of senses I'd use rollback in exactly the same way as I'd use readback; to go back and catch stuff that I missed either because I was clicking too carelessly, or I clicked accidentally, or something like that... only with rollback there's the added advantage that it gives you all the old graphics and visual effects and sound that you might have missed as well.

Another, similar use case is if I go to select a menu item, but accidentally click on the next one down, and end up making a choice I didn't actually mean to make; with rollback, I can roll back to before the menu and choose the item I actually wanted to go for.


Lastly - and this is the part which is contentious for a lot of developers, but it seems that the more people play with it the more they accept it - with rollback it's possible to say "you know what, I don't like this answer after all, I'm going to go back and change my mind". A lot of beginners in Ren'Py try and find ways to block people from doing this, because they feel like it's 'cheating', but realistically you can do exactly the same thing with save/load anyway, so there's little point trying to block it.

To cite a real-world example of this use case, when the user 'ArianeB' signed up to this forum, they mentioned a game they'd written before and put on their website: you can find it here. I had a go, and one thing I was rather annoyed by was that some choices (and there are many) lead down very limited cul-de-sacs which the player quite possibly didn't intend to go down. It seems that if you do more than one physical-affection thing when you first meet the girl, for example, you get stuck in a situation where you can only do more, which is going to piss her off. It's not a realistic restriction - should a person find themselves in that situation there's nothing stopping them from stopping and talking about poetry or something, but the game wouldn't let you... so a not-unreasonable response would be to roll back to a point where the game would let you do what you actually intended to do in the first place.

Charuru wrote: On transitions being limited to just scenes/lack of character sprites. This is NOT TRUE.
[...]
Code samples. First of all, let me mention that the code samples you're posting is the machine verbose output, you're not expected to actually write all that, and that the renpy examples you showed is not the equivalent of the NovelStream script.
[...]
You're leaving out where you declare the char name variables, which is an unfair comparison.
I did look around for documentation, but all I could find under docs was the first tutorial video, so I had to guess, play with the editor and see what it produced, and look at existing VNs to work it out for myself. I couldn't find any way to declare char name variables, nor any use of such in existing VNs, so I presumed that the pattern I did see was the way it was supposed to be done.

Is there any particular reason to not have the editor support variables for things like character names? Or is it there, but I can't find it?
Charuru wrote: Read this for animated sprites (beautiful children):
http://visualnoveldai.com/visualnovels/ ... wild-night
As it goes, I had tried that one last night. I didn't see any animated sprites, though?
Charuru wrote: So as a writer, first you have your text. I consider the text the most important, basic, part of the story. I write my text in OneNote or Word, and then I paste this into the Ignition script view.

I then add the basic tree, the ;s ;p and ;b, that create the scenes, pages, and breaks respectively.
Firstly, I would suggest that this isn't the way everyone is going to write. VNs are very much text-driven, it's true, but they're also visual - hence the name - and I think you'll find a lot of people write the scene direction stuff - when characters appear, the background, etc - in alongside the prose from their first draft onwards. I know I do at least to a degree.
Charuru wrote: And right now, writing on Ignition is a perfect experience for me.
Beware the curse of familiarity; I'm sure you're familiar with it already (if you'll excuse the pun) since I get the impression from the way everything hangs together that this isn't your first software project... but in case you aren't: it's very easy to become so familiar with what you have gradually built up that you never stop to think how it must be for someone coming to it for the first time.

This is a common problem for bedroom programmers difficulty-balancing when making games, because by the time they have something working they're so intimately familiar with the mechanics and the interface that their first attempt will likely be balanced for them, an already-expert player from all the incremental testing, and everyone else will find it obscenely hard. The same thing goes for UIs, though - it's often the case that when you first put them together you just shove stuff where it fits, but you never revisit it and after a while you're totally productive with it because you know it, but when someone else comes along they try it for five minutes and find it impossible to use.

I had the impression that this was probably the case with your editor when I first used it. But on the other hand, I'm used to typing everything out by hand anyway, so I'm maybe not the target audience.
Charuru wrote: Also, when clearing the page Ren'py uses the nvl clear command.
In Ignition you just change the page with ;p, or use ;h for an auto hiding break.

There's also a more verbose ;c clear page as well as a ;c clear page images, but hey.
From my point of view, the insistence of beginning every command with a semicolon is one of the things that puts me off scripting in your language, but I can understand why you're doing it if you're so desperate to avoid quotes around everyone's dialogue. (I can think of characters I'd prefer to the semicolon, but that's beside the point.)
However, I don't understand why you're sticking to single-character commands, it's counter-intuitive, hard to remember and hard to read. It seems to me it's things like that - or the impression of things like that, since no modern language I know of has such obtuse commands - which put most people off even trying to learn to program.
Charuru wrote: And can Ren'py play an anonymous audio or show an anonymous image? It's the little things like this that makes deving on Ignition faster, because you don't need to declare stuff you won't need later on.
Personally, I seriously doubt that it makes a huge difference, especially since the majority of VNs I've seen developed on this forum re-use the same images over and over again, so it wouldn't make sense to use them anonymously anyway... with the exception of so small a percentage (event CGs) that it's hardly worth considering.

Charuru wrote: Personally I use the source control built into NovelStream because it suits my needs. I presume this is better for the 95% of writers out there than learning Git with all its complexities and unneeded features.
Complexity equals flexibility, though, and none of the writers I've ever talked to have had any trouble with something like SVN. You make it sound like learning Git is equivalent to learning C++ (or CVS! :3), but really, there's not that much you need to know. Especially since most VCSes these days have at least one decent UI you can use to access them.

And again, relying on the VCS built into the site carries with it all the problems inherent to relying on the site for anything else - I'm dependent on you and your datacentres, account funds and goodwill, not to mention my internet connection... and if any of those go missing, suddenly I can't get at my work. It's one thing to rely on NovelStream existing for VN distribution, because if it dies one day I can always port my VN to another platform... but if it dies and I'm also relying on it for keeping all my files, then I'm screwed - I've lost everything.

(IIRC Git (since you cite it as an example) is decentralised anyway, so even if I lose Internet access to the server it's on I can still keep using it locally and the changesets will get merged later, and the same goes for my artists working in a different location.)
Charuru wrote: We do have a (basic) VCS. It's only available if you're logged in, so I can see how you might miss it. That's why I said we offer something more. If you're an experienced developer you can use your own high power VCS, but for everyone else they'll be automatically introduced to a revision system that's great for most teams.
As it goes - why not use a recognised "high-power" VCS for your online offering, behind the scenes, and then offer more-experienced teams direct access to the server so they can log in form their own desktop tools? If you use something decentralised like Git, then you have all the benefits of a built-in online system without the drawbacks...
Charuru wrote:
Since all the media assets are downloadable from your website via URLs in the source of the page for each VN, do you have any plans for making it difficult for people to rip other people's graphics off? If I had to guess, I'd say amateur game developers are probably more worried about this than straight-up piracy, and it's an area that Ren'Py does have a slight advantage in.
We're very big on people making their assets available for fanfiction. This can only help promote your work. If someone is using your assets for their own unrelated work, you can sue them. I don't think a technological response is the correct solution here.
Whatever your personal views on the matter, I expect this will be a major concern for a lot of people, all the same - if you don't do anything about it, expect lots of support issues that basically read "someone is stealing the sprites from my VN please make them stop". I would advise offering people at least the option to mark their assets as private to just their VN.

What if people don't want to see fanfiction around their work? Maybe I'm making a touching auto-bio VN about the last days with my now-passed-away grandmother; the last thing I want to see is some Internet arsehole re-animating my grandma in a poorly-punctuated swearing-filled parody.

(As an aside, how do your partners feel about this? I'm kind of surprised if they have the rights from the Japanese property-holders (for, e.g. Crescendo) to allow the sprites from their VNs to be used in random user VNs for free, let alone profit... I believe the Ohtori Princess VN uses screencapped images from the Utena anime, is that licensed at all, let alone for everyone on the Internet to use those graphics for their fan VNs?)
Charuru wrote: Each ajax load preloads all the content on the NEXT couple of segments so that you're never stuck on a loading screen.
Sounds good!
Charuru wrote: On Social I can write many articles about it, and tonight is really too late. But for example, if your friend gives you a few tomatoes, you feel compelled to give some back to her, regardless of whether or not you enjoy the process of growing tomatoes. With social, the interactions within a game becomes not just about the game itself, but there's extra addictiveness added, an added viral aspect, because you find the game more rewarding when it rewards your social life, not just your fake game life.
Sure, I understand how things like FarmVille thrive. But those things are not VNs, which revolve around reading text, not giving people things or making (even pretending to make) things or whatever. If you were touting Dating sims I could almost see the utility of stuff like this, but you don't seem to be aiming at dating sims; I'm not convinced that your scripting is flexible enough (unless there's yet another hidden layer you've not mentioned anywhere). Not to mention that you explicitly mention Ren'Py's DSE on your comparison page, which gives the impression (when coupled with the very long list of basically the same thing you cite that NovelStream can do) that it's not something you care about.

So how does the so-called Social Web fit into our enjoyment of reading a VN?

Charuru wrote:
You mention 'Achievements' and 'GamerScore' on your features list; are you referring to the XBox Live things with those names (in which case: have you dealt with everything already or would people have to negotiate with MS themselves?) or are they analogues that exist only within your service (in which case: isn't that a bit disingenuous?)?
And they're not xbox live achievements, they're NovelStream achievements. And it's not disingenuous, have you never heard of Starcraft achievements or Steam achievements? Many services offer achievements (xbox is the forefounder), it's just that we do too.
Many platforms offer 'Achievements', but I've never seen anyone offer 'GamerScore' apart from XBox Live; I wouldn't be at all surprised to find it was a Microsoft registered trademark. I definitely feel that to place both items next to each other in a features list and not make it clear that you're not talking about XBox Live Achievements and GamerScore is disingenuous; it's obvious that a significant number of people would read them as being affiliated with MS.

I you honestly don't mean to deceive, I would strongly recommend re-naming one or both of these features.
Charuru wrote: Also you will be able to have your VNs be Facebook Apps and employ the many Facebook App promotion strategies.
This, on the other hand, is kind of interesting. Although I wonder to what degree people are willing to sit down and put several hours into reading a VN on a Facebook app... and whether they'd be able to, with all the other FB distractions.
Charuru wrote:
Jake wrote:I think that you can pretty much guarantee that if anyone uses your service at all, it'll be a bigger problem than you originally thought. ;-)
Excuse me, but we already have publishers on board, and at least 3 30+ hour visual novels that will be launched at release. We are also working on many more.
Publishers != users. I meant "if you have any significant number of end-users on your service, then I expect you'll find it's a bigger problem than you originally thought".

If a service is popular, then people will first start trying to game it, and then start trying to rip it off and/or rip people off with it. So if you're predicting high volume, make sure you're ready to deal with hundreds of users complaining that through absolutely no fault of their own they managed to have bought some really expensive VN - the proceeds from which have already been siphoned off into the scammer's bank account - and now they can't get into their account.

(It's also worth putting systems in place to try and mitigate the user's ability to do stuff like that, but expect it anyway, whatever you do.)
Charuru wrote: If somebody shows me their source, I will develop Ren'py conversion tools. I don’t have anything to work off of ATM.
As it goes, there's a couple of example projects - the Ren'Py demo and "The Question" distributed with Ren'Py itself. IIRC Mugenjohncel also made the script to "The Fucking Question" open-source, and IIRC something called "Heavy Metal Madonna" which I've not personally looked at.
Last edited by Jake on Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: NovelStream: Revolutionary visual novel platform

#48 Post by Charuru » Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:27 pm

@PyTom, @Wintermoon:
Regarding vendor lock-in. PyTom you yourself said that developing a converter from NovelStream to another engine would be a weekend's worth of work.

If someone wanted to not use Ren'py and use, say Novelty, how easy would it be for her to do so?
If someone wanted to not use Ignition and use Ren'py?
I think the difficulty would be about the same. It's just a matter of using a converter.

If you're talking about how it's possible hack Ren'py and make underlying changes, well that's an issue of the engine and not really anything to do with lock-in. If your VN is so game-like that that's necessary, then NovelStream is not your best choice at this time.

Also, if you're bringing up the issue of, "for Ren'py you need to choose to leave, whereas for NovelStream a catastrophe can take down the service…"

This is true but an unfair comparison since Ren'py does not offer a service. I don't find it a valid argument that the Ren'py service has no danger of going down because it does not exist in the first place.

@papillion @Wintermoon
OFFLINE / Cloud Concepts
I think everyone understands the concept and the arguments for. Some people do not have a reliable internet connection, and is hence opposed to this whole streaming.

In this case NovelStream is not suitable for them. It might be helpful to think of a reliable internet as a systems requirement, something like, requires 1GB RAM, only, *requires reliable internet.

I've also added this as an item on the comparison table.

More @Wintermoon
Even if none of my data is revealed to other users, it's still in the cloud and you can still access it.
Well the whole point of the internet is to share information. Just by posting here you're sharing all sorts of things about yourself. If the data about which visual novels you've read or other misc data is extremely valuable in your eyes, then it would make sense for you to guard them religiously.

The Script Interface does perform all sorts of JS to generate the script from the editor tree. We'll try to reproduce the problem, thanks.

I also see that you disabled the ability of websites to dictate right click. Well, you can't have it both ways, demand a fully featured VN but then disable crucial features.

About the bottom edge, thanks for the information. Can you tell me about your operating system, and basic CPU/RAM information? It could be that the javascript is just laggy. This can also cause a 'hang' when clicking the script interface button while the javascript is doing its thing.

I would be interested to know if there are other people who have this problem.

It would also be cool if you can run this javascript benchmark:
http://www2.webkit.org/perf/sunspider-0 ... pider.html

Thanks.

Also, your last point as I said has nothing to do with vendor lock in. Vendor lock is about the switching costs to a different vendor (as in, it's said to be a 'lock in' if the costs are too high). In this case the switching costs are both low and similar, for both Ren'py and NovelStream.

PS: Hey guys and girls. I'm writing A LOT of stuff here. I suspect that much for this information is not just useful for us here but also for other people who might want to check out NovelStream later. From now on I would really appreciate it if you would use my forums to post specific questions:
http://visualnoveldai.com/projects/novelstream

Click add feedback, and make specific threads.

Anyway I'll continue responding to everyone here.

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Re: NovelStream: Revolutionary visual novel platform

#49 Post by Jake » Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:08 pm

Charuru wrote: Also, if you're bringing up the issue of, "for Ren'py you need to choose to leave, whereas for NovelStream a catastrophe can take down the service…"

This is true but an unfair comparison since Ren'py does not offer a service. I don't find it a valid argument that the Ren'py service has no danger of going down because it does not exist in the first place.
You could equally well say "it's true that NovelStream can run on the iPhone but it's an unfair comparison because Ren'Py is a PC application. I don't find it a valid argument that the Ren'Py mobile app doesn't run on iPhone because it doesn't exist in the first place"... and it would be equally disingenuous.

Forcing the user to rely on your website and database existing for their game to run (or even exist) is a risk [for the user] with your system, whether you like it or not. It is entirely plausible that one day in the foreseeable future, your website could cease to exist, at which point any investment of time and effort and/or money that creators have put into games on your service is instantly lost with no recourse... especially if the creators in question have been following your advice and relying on your online editor and VCS. Maybe everyone at your end has lost interest in the project and gone their separate ways, maybe you run out of money and can no longer afford your hosting fees, maybe you got sued into oblivion for something which may or may not have been your fault... it doesn't matter: whatever you promise today, it's very possible.

The comparable likelihood of the same thing - complete loss of platform with no recourse - happening with Ren'Py is so insignificant that it's not worth considering. Not only would PyTom have to lose interest in the project and stop hosting Ren'Py's website, but Ren'Py would have to disappear from the various third-party hosting services which currently hold copies, and it would have to be suddenly (and realistically, simultaneously) eradicated from the hard drives of every Ren'Py user around the world, because every one of them has the entire source code of the whole application and could plausibly re-found the Ren'Py project on their own.

Charuru wrote: I also see that you disabled the ability of websites to dictate right click. Well, you can't have it both ways, demand a fully featured VN but then disable crucial features.
I doubt he's demanding a fully-featured VN so much as he's pointing out some of the problems with web delivery. You can't guarantee a fully-featured VN because lots of people do turn off features like this for perfectly valid reasons - maybe there are other sites they know of which do obnoxious things with the right-click menu. Some people turn off JavaScript for this reason or for security reasons. Some people would want to access your service at lunchtime at work from a PC which has a set of policy-imposed settings that the user can't change even if they want to.

Since you're running in a browser, you have to be able to cope with all of these things and more... or just put up with losing a lot of potential customers because your site doesn't work well enough with their browser configuration.
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Re: NovelStream: Revolutionary visual novel platform

#50 Post by Wintermoon » Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:25 pm

Charuru wrote:I also see that you disabled the ability of websites to dictate right click. Well, you can't have it both ways, demand a fully featured VN but then disable crucial features.
Hey, I'm not the one who decided to turn my web browser into a delivery mechanism for visual novels!

If a web page doesn't display on old, outdated, badly broken browsers, it's the web developer's fault. If it doesn't work with all security features enabled, it's the web developer's fault. If it doesn't work with random plug-ins that completely change the behavior of the browser, it's still the web developer's fault. It's completely unfair, but that's the price you pay for delivering your apps through the web.

I'm looking forward to the stand-alone reader, which will hopefully fix these problems.
Charuru wrote:About the bottom edge, thanks for the information. Can you tell me about your operating system, and basic CPU/RAM information? It could be that the javascript is just laggy. This can also cause a 'hang' when clicking the script interface button while the javascript is doing its thing.
Windows XP Professional, SP3
AMD Athlon 64 3000+, 1.81 GHz
1GB RAM
Charuru wrote:It would also be cool if you can run this javascript benchmark:
http://www2.webkit.org/perf/sunspider-0 ... pider.html

Code: Select all

============================================
RESULTS (means and 95% confidence intervals)
--------------------------------------------
Total:                 1632.4ms +/- 5.3%
--------------------------------------------

  3d:                   240.2ms +/- 15.5%
    cube:                64.8ms +/- 6.0%
    morph:               65.6ms +/- 56.2%
    raytrace:           109.8ms +/- 2.9%

  access:               277.4ms +/- 6.3%
    binary-trees:        78.4ms +/- 4.6%
    fannkuch:           132.8ms +/- 7.9%
    nbody:               45.4ms +/- 17.8%
    nsieve:              20.8ms +/- 5.0%

  bitops:                55.0ms +/- 7.8%
    3bit-bits-in-byte:    2.0ms +/- 0.0%
    bits-in-byte:        14.0ms +/- 10.9%
    bitwise-and:          3.0ms +/- 0.0%
    nsieve-bits:         36.0ms +/- 8.8%

  controlflow:           94.8ms +/- 2.3%
    recursive:           94.8ms +/- 2.3%

  crypto:                92.2ms +/- 42.8%
    aes:                 62.4ms +/- 63.1%
    md5:                 18.8ms +/- 3.0%
    sha1:                11.0ms +/- 0.0%

  date:                 238.2ms +/- 3.4%
    format-tofte:       124.0ms +/- 6.2%
    format-xparb:       114.2ms +/- 1.6%

  math:                  82.4ms +/- 11.6%
    cordic:              48.8ms +/- 4.2%
    partial-sums:        23.6ms +/- 33.9%
    spectral-norm:       10.0ms +/- 0.0%

  regexp:                96.2ms +/- 2.9%
    dna:                 96.2ms +/- 2.9%

  string:               456.0ms +/- 3.9%
    base64:              16.8ms +/- 3.3%
    fasta:              102.8ms +/- 2.9%
    tagcloud:           147.4ms +/- 4.4%
    unpack-code:        133.0ms +/- 2.4%
    validate-input:      56.0ms +/- 20.9%

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Re: NovelStream: Revolutionary visual novel platform

#51 Post by Lessis » Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:43 pm

Jake wrote: You could equally well say "it's true that NovelStream can run on the iPhone but it's an unfair comparison because Ren'Py is a PC application. I don't find it a valid argument that the Ren'Py mobile app doesn't run on iPhone because it doesn't exist in the first place"... and it would be equally disingenuous..
This is a really bad analogy, it's not at all the same thing as what Charuru said. In addition, it doesn't make any sense.
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Re: NovelStream: Revolutionary visual novel platform

#52 Post by Blue Lemma » Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:21 pm

Charuru wrote:"This is true but an unfair comparison since Ren'py does not offer a service. I don't find it a valid argument that the Ren'py service has no danger of going down because it does not exist in the first place."
I think what Jake takes issue with in that quote (as do I) is that since Ren'Py doesn't have to rely on an external service to function, it seems unfair to knock it for that.

In a sense, the Ren'Py v. NovelStream is kind of apples and oranges. If you want an app store distribution method to profit from your games, you'll go with NovelStream. If you want a download package deal, you'll go with Ren'Py (or maybe Novelty but I'm not so familiar with that.)

As a developer and player, here are my thoughts:

How are you going to collect money exactly? I read the webpage but was a bit confused about the charge after a certain point with a 20 minute refund window. This implies you have consumers' payment info somehow to begin with. (I'm genuinely curious, as I'm not a social networking guru)

Being able to play VNs on the internet is intriguing and something that's been flirted with for a while, so it'll be interesting to see how it works :)

If I buy the game, what happens if the company goes under? That's what worries me about cloud apps. If it's a large corp like Google, that's one thing... a startup like this is another. It's always a nice security blanket to have something on your hard drive.
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Re: NovelStream: Revolutionary visual novel platform

#53 Post by Jake » Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:17 am

Lessis wrote: This is a really bad analogy, it's not at all the same thing as what Charuru said. In addition, it doesn't make any sense.
Your service has a risk associated with it that Ren'Py doesn't have; I take issue with the fact that you're basically saying "it's unfair to point out that we have this risk but Ren'Py doesn't, because Ren'Py didn't choose to deliver itself in such a way that adds this risk". That doesn't make any sense, which is why I gave you as an analogy something else which also doesn't make any sense.

Your service has a risk that Ren'Py doesn't; it's perfectly fair to point it out, the fact that Ren'Py doesn't run as a service on a website is the reason why that risk doesn't exist for Ren'Py.

By all means point out the good points of running as a service on a website - but don't try and tell people they're being unfair when they point out the bad parts of it as well.
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Re: NovelStream: Revolutionary visual novel platform

#54 Post by Lessis » Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:43 am

Snippy snip.
Last edited by Lessis on Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jake
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Re: NovelStream: Revolutionary visual novel platform

#55 Post by Jake » Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:01 am

Lessis wrote: It's fair to point out but, as I stated above, risky isn't necessarily a flaw. It is to some, but an exciting opportunity for others. (like myself and Charuru)
I certainly wouldn't characterise it as a flaw; it's a risk inherent in the internet delivery of applications. But I certainly would suggest it's something that the user needs to understand in order to make an informed decision as to whether or not your service is for them.

(And I say this from the point of view of someone who works for a company whose sole source of income is a web-delivered application.)
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Re: NovelStream: Revolutionary visual novel platform

#56 Post by Charuru » Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:57 am

Samu-kun wrote:Is that the full version of Crescendo, sans voices on the website? Will Peach Princess be distributing it free to play online from now then?
Not at all, sorry. This is just an open beta, after we do some more work on it we'll get more testers to test it. It'll be for sale soon.

About the lack of voice. It's because the game is so old that the source with voice files was lost. This obviously sucks, and won't be a problem in future VNs.

@DaFool, thanks for all your compliments. I don't know where the person who did that entry got it from.
sayuri wrote:if someone screwed with my router and I were developing a game on your engine, I'd be out of work.
Hey, your data is auto saved every 30 seconds. There's no danger of losing anything.
sayuri wrote:2) As a player, the easy in game purchase angle is a red flag. I might be alone here but there have been a few times I accidentally ordered something from a site where my credit card info was stored. Why not take a page out of pretty much every casual game site and use 'free play then pay to unlock'.
You can do that too. We'll specify the rules more when the payment options are unveiled. We're very focused on making sure no inadvertent purchases are made.
sayuri wrote:Again, I have no experience coding, which probably means I am your target audience :wink: . I'd be ecstatic but not being able to work (or play) offline is a huge turnoff.
Yes but in exchange you get to be able to play on your iPad, share on Facebook, and other cute things.

I understand that this is a tradeoff.

@Enigma
Yes if you put a link on facebook you would have to download it, rather than playing right on facebook as you can with NovelStream.

@jack_norton
Thanks for the support.
The data being streamed is not super impressive. If you can describe the hipcups you're seeing, there could be things we can do to make it smoother even on lower end connections.
On IE. A plugin's not great, but it's a good solution. Many people have many plugins. The problem with IE is not even necessarily their JS support, though that's also poor, but because they lack the text-shadow css property. That reduces readability quite a lot.

Re promotion:
Do you have any ideas? We can certainly do CR or staff picks or any other configuration. There is limited space on the front page so we'll need some way to pick something. It'll probably involve the amount of recommendations over time time.

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Re: NovelStream: Revolutionary visual novel platform

#57 Post by jack_norton » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:16 am

Charuru wrote: @jack_norton
Thanks for the support.
The data being streamed is not super impressive. If you can describe the hipcups you're seeing, there could be things we can do to make it smoother even on lower end connections.
On IE. A plugin's not great, but it's a good solution. Many people have many plugins. The problem with IE is not even necessarily their JS support, though that's also poor, but because they lack the text-shadow css property. That reduces readability quite a lot.
Well it seems to be slow loading stuff in general. Images, sounds. When I click to advance and there's a new screen, sometimes it pauses, etc. Not really your fault, since I think my connection is really low-end for broadband. And I know about IE, there's no other real solution, many other JS engines use IE Chrome to work at a decent level.
Charuru wrote: Re promotion:
Do you have any ideas? We can certainly do CR or staff picks or any other configuration. There is limited space on the front page so we'll need some way to pick something. It'll probably involve the amount of recommendations over time time.
Well no, unfortunately it's how all those aggregator/portals works. Obviously the best converting titles needs to stay on the frontpage. It's very similar approach to Appstore & co. If you want to please everyone you could also randomly pick some games and put them in homepage changing it day by day.
As businessman like I am, I would rather build my own system so I can promote the games myself, on my site. But for hobbysts or people without knowledge surely is a nice opportunity.
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Re: NovelStream: Revolutionary visual novel platform

#58 Post by Charuru » Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:01 am

@fortaat
Thanks for all your reports. Live Preview is indeed bugged, :( I'll fix it ASAP.
For the Media Browser stuff I wouldn't say that's exactly how they're supposed to be used. We'll be releasing documentation over the next week.

You've given us a lot of stuff to work on, so thanks.

By the way, a quickie on fonts and colors. Their buttons are not implemented yet but you can change the font size and color by using bbcode.

Code: Select all

[size= 0] [/size]
[color=#433433] [/color]
[url=] [/url]
@Deji + others on Fanworks
We're probably not going to have any specific any rules (laws apply of course) on what is acceptable fanfiction or not. We're going to argue very strongly for publishers to be as permissive as possible. But we'll implement a feature that allows publishers to ban anything they dislike, for now though you can just use the report button.
Wintermoon wrote:If a web page doesn't display on old, outdated, badly broken browsers, it's the web developer's fault. If it doesn't work with all security features enabled, it's the web developer's fault. If it doesn't work with random plug-ins that completely change the behavior of the browser, it's still the web developer's fault.

The Wintermoon sure is a harsh mistress.

Based on your scores you should be able to get a 2-300% speed improvement with our desktop reader.

@jack_norton
Can you also run the benchmark that Wintermoon ran?
http://www2.webkit.org/perf/sunspider-0 ... pider.html

Over time we'll optimize and smooth out speed issues.

@Blue Lemma
Yes the customer needs to have an initial purchase first in order for that to work.

@jake + Blue Lemma on 'risks'.
What you're saying doesn't make sense. Because Ren'py doesn't handle the delivery at all. You're basically saying something like: using a telephone is risky because the telephone provider might go down, that's why it's safer to do nothing. You see how that doesn't make sense? Because there's no equivalence in the level of service being provided.

There's no inherent risk in NovelStream over Ren'py. If you want to compare the 'risks' involved you should compare to the risks of running your own website and payments and servers. That would make a lot more sense than in saying, there's no risk in delivery because there's no delivery in the first place.

For those people who are afraid of losing their data, back up your data locally. Problem solved.

Also: NovelStream FAQ
Last edited by Charuru on Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:35 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: NovelStream: Revolutionary visual novel platform

#59 Post by jack_norton » Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:29 am

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Re: NovelStream: Revolutionary visual novel platform

#60 Post by Strum » Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:02 pm

Hmm, I had a look at Crescendo and noticed there are no transitions in the game at all past the opening. Is it just me or what? The text also appears instantly, I'm pretty sure the original would have text appearing one letter at a time. Without transitions and instant text, it looks like a rushed port job.

As for the matter of not having any voices because the game is so old and the voice file was lost, I'm sure if you ask Jast they will give you another copy of the game with the voices still intact.
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