Interactive Dramas (a.k.a. Heavy Rain), the new VNs?

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Re: Interactive Dramas (a.k.a. Heavy Rain), the new VNs?

#16 Post by Elenakiara » Sun May 29, 2011 7:57 am

Visual novels have to be novel-related in my opinion. Sure, less people might like the fact that they have to read more than in an RPG, but at least it is the real name for it. Otherwise, if we really wanted an interactive story, especially for slice-of-life or dramas, we'd just play The Sims. xD
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Re: Interactive Dramas (a.k.a. Heavy Rain), the new VNs?

#17 Post by jack_norton » Sun May 29, 2011 8:10 am

LateWhiteRabbit wrote: Now, this could be because gamers have gotten more sophisticated in their tastes lately, or it could be all about the presentation and packaging. I don't think it is the former, so it is probably the latter. Meaning the old adventure games probably couldn't make a comeback till now because outside of Telltale and now Rockstar, everyone kept trying to wrap them in the same old packaging.
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Re: Interactive Dramas (a.k.a. Heavy Rain), the new VNs?

#18 Post by DaFool » Sun May 29, 2011 1:22 pm

I suddenly realized the phrase "pushing the VN medium forward" became an oxymoron.

It should be "pushing the storytelling medium forward". Do so, and you leave visual novels (as they are currently defined) behind.

Visual novels, like western lowres point-and-click adventure games and pixellated retro platformers, are a product of low budget, low manpower / time, and nostalgia.

The big houses are already pushing the entire medium of gaming and interactive storytelling forward with their open-world, fully-voice-acted, motion-captured interactive action-adventure with RPG elements.

Just as there are few western animation studios still creating 2D animation using individually-drawn frames (They're all either 3D or Flash), we don't expect many western game studios to adapt the visual novel style of presentation if they can afford 3D mocap and voice acting.

Japan, just like its tea ceremonies and RPGs, is just weird in sticking to its genre conventions.

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Re: Interactive Dramas (a.k.a. Heavy Rain), the new VNs?

#19 Post by lordcloudx » Mon May 30, 2011 1:09 am

Interesting. I do think that storytelling media that make use of non-animated stills and little to no animation still have their places though. (comics, visual novels etc.)

I think there is still some merit in leaving a little something to the imagination instead of having everything handed to your senses on a silver platter.

Also, the concept of Heavy Rain doesn't seem all that new to me. Apart from the fancy graphics, is it really all that different from something like the Broken Sword series? Or maybe that Japanese-only N64 Evangelion game?

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Re: Interactive Dramas (a.k.a. Heavy Rain), the new VNs?

#20 Post by Riviera » Mon May 30, 2011 1:03 pm

I think the "newness" of Heavy Rain is not that it used quicktime events, but the nature of the story and the way that they used them.

It was truly an interactive drama, a movie you could play out. There was no HP, no special attacks, no real RPG markings or, one could say, "game markings" at all. It was just you guiding these characters through situations and if you made a bad choice they suffered or they died.

There were a few games way back in the day (I want to say PS1 era) that you could tell the characters to do this or go to this location via voice commands (I forget their names), and those are similar, but even they had an element of fantasy and unrealism compared to HR.

LA Noire seems like it's going to be a similar game in a lot of respects.

As someone who puts story and characters above almost all else, I'd really like to see more games like this.
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Re: Interactive Dramas (a.k.a. Heavy Rain), the new VNs?

#21 Post by lordcloudx » Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:04 am

I've seen gameplay clips of Heavy Rain and while it does do a few things to set it apart from other games within the same limited genre, it's still similar to Broken Sword in the aspect of "It was just you guiding these characters through situations and if you made a bad choice they suffered or they died."

So yes, I don't really think it's a completely new concept, but rather, a 21st century innovation of an older game formula.

I think Dragon's Lair was also similar, for an even older example.

Broken Sword
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Re: Interactive Dramas (a.k.a. Heavy Rain), the new VNs?

#22 Post by Taleweaver » Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:11 am

lordcloudx wrote:I think Dragon's Lair was also similar, for an even older example.
"Dragon's Lair" was essentially one movie full of quick-time events without any indication which move to make at what time. And if you made one mistake, you lost a life. You had three lives.

Thank goodness "Heavy Rain" is a lot more forgiving, and there are many more interactive features than in "Dragon's Lair" or "Space Ace", the second of these titles. Plus, multiple solutions for tasks and multiple endings, a huge plus!
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Re: Interactive Dramas (a.k.a. Heavy Rain), the new VNs?

#23 Post by LVUER » Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:19 am

I think Dragon Lair is much more similar to those FMV game (one of my favorite of such game is Gundam 0079: One Year War).

Heavy Rain use entirely of its game engine, so in short, it's fully interactive. it's similar to Fahrenheit, I think... not strange, considering it comes from same humans. Speaking about that though, since I haven't played Heavy Rain... I really hope Heavy Rain wouldn't turn out like Fahrenheit.

BTW, since no one mentioning this, anyone still remember those anime PSX games? Where the game is basically a full anime movie, but at some key moments you'll be presented with a choice that depending on your choice, you'll get different path/ending. Just like VN, but instead of sprite/CG, you get a full animation clip. Yeah, very similar to School Days (so School Days isn't something new, what makes it unique is just those bad endings).
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Re: Interactive Dramas (a.k.a. Heavy Rain), the new VNs?

#24 Post by lordcloudx » Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:23 am

Well yah that's why used brokn sword as my primary example and not dragon's lair which is understandably much less interactive
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Re: Interactive Dramas (a.k.a. Heavy Rain), the new VNs?

#25 Post by Watercolorheart » Fri Jun 03, 2011 2:52 pm

I thought Indigo Prophecy was better in almost every way to Heavy Rain...

Then again, I owned a GameCube for a long period of time so I may be biased. I think Mass Effect is the future of visual novels, if you ask me!
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Re: Interactive Dramas (a.k.a. Heavy Rain), the new VNs?

#26 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:38 pm

BCS wrote:I thought Indigo Prophecy was better in almost every way to Heavy Rain...
Until the third act, when it went totally and completely off the rails into insane territory and kept speeding up until it crashed headlong into crazy.

The developers said they were afraid to do a pure and serious story, and thus felt forced to include "video-gamey" elements. A huge mistake obviously, since many people loved the first half of Indigo Prophecy and delighted at it's new genre of total interactive drama, only for it to become the same as every other video game by the end.

The developers have admitted adding video game elements to the story at the end was a mistake. I haven't played Hard Rain (don't own a PS3) but hopefully they learned their lesson and didn't repeat the mistakes of Indigo.

True interactive drama differs from the quicktime events of games like Dragon's Lair or the old FMV games because the story branches according to your actions. You aren't guessing at the "right answer" to continue in a linear story, you are choosing "your answer" and riding out the consequences as they shape a new twist or turn in the story.

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Re: Interactive Dramas (a.k.a. Heavy Rain), the new VNs?

#27 Post by lordcloudx » Sat Jun 04, 2011 12:24 am

And still, maybe not Broken Sword which only had a single ending, but a few earlier games from the same genre did have branching stories and some degree of quick-time events, although not as detailed as the ones in Heavy Rain (the Evangelion 64 ones are in some levels, but Evangelion 64 is not in the same genre as the Heavy Rain type of games.)

Here's an example for the PS1. There was also an earlier game from this on the Super Famicom only available in English through translated rom.

-The main character changes depending on the number of times you talk to a certain NPC at the start of the game
-There are multiple endings and even an endings list
-Certain things you do trigger event flags but you never know which one will trigger which flag. (until you unlock some of the hints by viewing the more abrupt endings)
-Some characters will live or die depending on your choices.
-The actions you take during the "quick-time events" will vary depending on the situation that your character is in, including the objects that they may be able to interact with.

I still believe that Heavy Rain is, at best, just a slight variation of the same game formula. I'm not saying anything against it, but I just believe that it's not as original an idea as it may seem.



Btw, I like the character designs for Indigo Prophecy. Starting on the game now.
How do you make your games? I see. Thank you for the prompt replies, but it is my considered opinion that you're doing it wrong inefficiently because I am a perfushenal professional. Do it my way this way and we can all ascend VN Nirvana together while allowing me to stroke my ego you will improve much faster. Also, please don't forget to thank me for this constructive critique or I will cry and bore you to death respond appropriately with a tl;dr rant discourse of epic adequately lengthy proportions. - Sarcasm Veiled in Euphemism: Secrets of Forum Civility by lordcloudx (Coming soon to an online ebook near you.)

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