An Artistic Request (Or rather, pet peeves)

A place to discuss things that aren't specific to any one creator or game.
Forum rules
Ren'Py specific questions should be posted in the Ren'Py Questions and Annoucements forum, not here.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
papillon
Arbiter of the Internets
Posts: 4038
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 4:37 am
Completed: lots; see website!
Projects: that magical diary sequel, that vampire-raising game
Organization: Hanako Games
Tumblr: hanakogames
Contact:

An Artistic Request (Or rather, pet peeves)

#1 Post by papillon » Sat Jan 07, 2006 7:04 pm

In this time before NaNoEtc, I would like to make a humble request.

STOP MAKING ME CLICK SO MUCH!

:)

I am an exceptionally fast reader. If you've broken your text down into tiny tiny sentence fragments that display one at a time instead of fitting as much text onto the screen as possible, I will have processed all of the text on screen almost instantaneously after clicking and will immediately have to click again.

But that's not the worst.

The WORST thing, to me, is if the displaying text is

...

And clicking just changes it to

......

.........

There are artistic reasons to do this in rare occasions. But please, please, go easy on it. If my hand gets tired from the frantic clicking before I've even begun to get into your story, I will go read fanfic instead. :)

Is it really necessary that I click three times before getting any more text?

Is it really necessary that I click three times just to read a single sentence because you've put a page break every five words?

Won't somebody please think of the children? :)


I'm sure others have artistic requests as well. :)

User avatar
Quin
Regular
Posts: 117
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 4:29 am
Location: Maine
Contact:

#2 Post by Quin » Sat Jan 07, 2006 11:10 pm

I would like to make a humble request to you, Papillon.... STOP MAKING ME SCROLL SO MUCH! Just because you can insert a line break after every thought doesn't mean you should! I couldn't even fit your entire post on one screen... I had to keep using my mouse wheel to scroll dow...

Oh. I get it. You were just doing that to express how you felt about having to click so much to get through a single thought in a typical game... the disjointed awkwardness that it causes. ^_^

Actually, I agree, and I haven't been writing that way myself. The "lengthening string of ellipses" is the most egregious example... you'd think people were just trying to pad their line counts. o_O

While we're on the subject of amount of text per screen, I might also note that anything more than three or four lines of text between clicks could be annoying as well. I have a non-interactive narration in my prologue that might be 50 lines long, but I worry that if I throw too much text onto one screen, it'll interrupt the flow of the game and feel awkward.

As someone who's almost exclusively played non-commercial games in this genre, I have to ask: Do our big professional counterparts break text into tiny fragments, or is that just an affectation of the non-commercial game creators?

User avatar
PyTom
Ren'Py Creator
Posts: 15436
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 10:58 am
Completed: Moonlight Walks
Projects: Ren'Py
IRC Nick: renpytom
Github: renpytom
itch: renpytom
Location: Kings Park, NY
Contact:

#3 Post by PyTom » Sat Jan 07, 2006 11:45 pm

Just for kicks, I implemented an average words per screen feature to Ren'Py.

The demo has 12.2 words per screen.
Moonlight Walks has 14.6.
Gakuen Redux has 13 or so. (It uses an older version of Ren'Py.)

I also averaged out a few lines from Ever17, and they came to 8 or so words per screen.

In general, I think it's best to try to express one thought or sentence per screen, at least for normal runs of text. Two or more related sentences are probably also okay, but two unrelated thoughts probably aren't.

Of course, the screens of a VN are like the panels in a comic, so it's okay to play with that for effect when appropriate. Having a few words per screen makes sense if a character is gasping for air or struggling to get a thought out.

Two interface-related pet peeves of mine:

- Long delays between screens of text. When I click, I want to see the new text ASAP, rather than to wait for some transition to occur before seeing the text, at least for text-only changes. (Transitions are okay, in my book, when the background or foreground changes, or fore effect. Just not between blocks of text.)

- Having to click on the text to continue. I mean, having to click directly on the text, rather than anywhere on the screen. Needing to click on the text means I have to keep the mouse near enough to the text that I risk obscuring it, which isn't ideal.
Supporting creators since 2004
(When was the last time you backed up your game?)
"Do good work." - Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom
"Silly and fun things are important." - Elon Musk
Software > Drama • https://www.patreon.com/renpytom

User avatar
monele
Lemma-Class Veteran
Posts: 4101
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 7:57 am
Location: France
Contact:

#4 Post by monele » Sun Jan 08, 2006 6:06 am

Hmm... I agree with what's been said so far.. I'll add this :

- Try to avoid changing character graphics for each sentence. If two people (other than the protagonist) are talking together, don't display one + his text, then dissolve to the other one + his text, then the previous one + his text, then... argh! Transitions being quite slow, it just breaks the pace. Either have two characters on screen, or keep the most important one for a while, then change to the other. 10 clicks between changes should be nice.

User avatar
rioka
Royal Manga Tutor
Posts: 1255
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 12:21 pm
Completed: Amgine Park, Garden Society: Kykuit, Metropolitan Blues (art)
Location: somewhere in NY
Contact:

#5 Post by rioka » Sun Jan 08, 2006 9:48 am

lol Well, my -Mo will be a bit more on the fun side so no moody "..." this time. ;D

User avatar
mikey
Lemma-Class Veteran
Posts: 3245
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 6:03 am
itch: atpprojects
Contact:

#6 Post by mikey » Sun Jan 08, 2006 4:15 pm

Ah, line breaks. Truly irritating.
And the every-line-a-character-pop-up damages eyes (yes, Black Pencil is bad!)
Delayed text? Simply enough to make you explode.

But the endless lines... I'm afraid I love them, really. I think of them as time passing, it really does make the story take a break, without stopping the timeflow.
Quinn>> Yes, the pro games have that, one-liners as well as the "lengthening string of ellipses".

And I also don't mind clicking on the text or into the text window. For me, clicking on the text window to forward text is more natural than clicking everywhere.

Anyway, it's probably once again a matter of personal preference. I would have some artictic requests of my own, but when I think about them, it just feels like I am laying down specifications for what I want others to make so that I like it. :(

User avatar
papillon
Arbiter of the Internets
Posts: 4038
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 4:37 am
Completed: lots; see website!
Projects: that magical diary sequel, that vampire-raising game
Organization: Hanako Games
Tumblr: hanakogames
Contact:

#7 Post by papillon » Sun Jan 08, 2006 6:04 pm

Well, I'm hardly going to descend on people when they release their game and yell "YOU DIDN'T FOLLOW THE BUTTERFLY CODE!" or anything. :)

I was just feeling sulky because I was playing some particular game and getting annoyed about the amount of clicking I was doing without accomplishing much, so I felt like commenting. :) I know I'm more sensitive to it than a lot of people are - this is why I keep making games that break up the narrative sections with other activities. When I play commercial games, I often have to play them in tiny chunks instead of all at once, just to give myself a break.

I remain uncertain about expanding the clickable area - I can see how clicking directly on the text obscures it, but bits of the screen need to be clickable for reasons OTHER than advancing the text... 'You can click anywhere except there which does something different' seems less clear than 'Click on the text box.'

User avatar
PyTom
Ren'Py Creator
Posts: 15436
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 10:58 am
Completed: Moonlight Walks
Projects: Ren'Py
IRC Nick: renpytom
Github: renpytom
itch: renpytom
Location: Kings Park, NY
Contact:

#8 Post by PyTom » Sun Jan 08, 2006 6:37 pm

If I have to click alot during a game, I like to change up what I used to do the clicking, or at least the text advancement. For example, during ever17 I used all of the following methods at least once:

- Clicking the left mouse button on my wireless mouse, with the mouse in a normal position on the mousepad.
- Clicking the LMB with the mouse in an odd position, like held over my head or something.
- Pressing enter on my usual keyboard.
- Pressing enter on my usb gaming keyboard with the 10' cord, from far across the room.
- Pusing a button on my infrared remote control, which is configured to act as a mouse.

Changing up every once in a while minimizes the RSI-factor of visual novels.
Supporting creators since 2004
(When was the last time you backed up your game?)
"Do good work." - Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom
"Silly and fun things are important." - Elon Musk
Software > Drama • https://www.patreon.com/renpytom

User avatar
Grey
Veteran
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2004 8:08 am
Contact:

#9 Post by Grey » Mon Jan 09, 2006 10:51 am

mikey wrote:But the endless lines... I'm afraid I love them, really. I think of them as time passing, it really does make the story take a break, without stopping the timeflow.
That's exactly how I see it (and use it).

It's another dimension you can manipulate to try and get something across, which you can't do in other mediums.

szarebure
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2005 3:39 pm
Contact:

#10 Post by szarebure » Mon Jan 09, 2006 12:26 pm

it's fun.. sometimes, but there are:

a) games where it is highly overused
b) games that are running so slow on my machine that every such line is a nightmare ;)

absinthe
Regular
Posts: 194
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2005 12:26 am
Contact:

#11 Post by absinthe » Mon Jan 09, 2006 2:33 pm

Hehehe, I think I'm guilty of every peeve in this post. :)

Except "And the every-line-a-character-pop-up damages eyes" thing. But now that I know it's out there, I'll try to use it. ;)

I actually like using/reading shorter lines... I read pretty quickly too, but that's the fun of it. When you get to the end of the line, and you have to click once more to find out what's happening next -- I like the delicious instant between knowing and not knowing.

I mean, it's one of the things I like about the VN format... I like being able to use text and visual tricks and effects to create a mood and entertain the reader. I think this is part of the format... sort of like a chapter break in a book.

That said, it's possible to over-do it, I'm sure. If your reader is engaging in mouse calisthenics to prevent click-fatigue, that probably counts. :D
My 2007 NaNo entry: Eidolon

User avatar
maru
Newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 5:58 pm
Location: NC
Contact:

#12 Post by maru » Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:04 pm

Is the "every-line-a-character-pop-up" regarding switching characters, or changing emotes? Because I think the emotes are important to demonstrating the tone of what is being said. Though Ren'py flashes the frame when that happens, so too many can get tiring.

Actually, I've become attached to the "lengthening string of elipsis" as well. It was one of the features that really struck me about mikey's games the first time I played. (Not that there weren't other 'striking features,' of course.) And the opposite, the shortening string, is used quite effectively in Rio's GSK.

User avatar
monele
Lemma-Class Veteran
Posts: 4101
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 7:57 am
Location: France
Contact:

#13 Post by monele » Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:26 am

maru wrote:Is the "every-line-a-character-pop-up" regarding switching characters, or changing emotes?
Mostly changing characters. It's like a camera switching to each character after one sentence. Moods are ok since it's not a big change on the screen (unless poses change too). I've also noticed it's quite acceptable as long as the dissolve transition is quick (1 second might be too much already).

About the window disappearing and reappearing : PyTom made a function to avoid this though I haven't tested it yet.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users