Hirameki gone

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Re: Hirameki gone

#31 Post by 000 » Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:32 pm

Counter Arts wrote:You know... I just don't think there are the same forces driving VNs here as they have in Japan. Like seriously, I don't think we have the same marketing power here.
And what is this miraclous forces, dare I ask? Really, that makes VNs selling in Japan and what outside world haven't?
<feels sowwy for his Engrish>

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Re: Hirameki gone

#32 Post by Adorya » Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:33 pm

Akihabara.

Fandom.

Sellers that know how to attract fandom (limited-extra-special-release-on-unique-fan-event)

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Re: Hirameki gone

#33 Post by Counter Arts » Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:47 pm

Voice actors people know, magazines available even in stores near remote ricefields, KOTOKO, other singers, several shops which ren'ai game floors have at least one TV playing one of many trailers of games, dense population...

The biggest thing is figuring out how to do the business side properly.
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Re: Hirameki gone

#34 Post by GLACIER » Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:49 pm

Outside the otaku subculture, visual novels have limited potential in Japan (the average Joe doesn't buy them, which is why they're mainly eroge/galge). Lack of mainstream success is by no means a western phenomenon.

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Re: Hirameki gone

#35 Post by bloodywyvern » Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:40 pm

Actually VN type games make up around 70% of the released PC games every year in Japan, while many of them are targeted to specific subcultures...the industry as a whole is very profitable in Japan. Trust me they wouldn't be doing it otherwise, it's a lot of work to make a game people will buy for years to come. Some companies spend years and years with a single game in production. But GLACIER is right in a sense, the averge joe doesn't buy anything except the classics who their Otaku friends pressure them in to in the first place :D So most games will shoot for the older audiance with their games.

I do believe VN's could be profitable in the west. What would need to be done is simply to establish exactly what they are...normal stores and markets won't carry VN's because they have no clue what they are.

VN producer: "Here we want you to sell this."
Store: "Is it...a book?"
VN producer: "No."
Store: "A...game?"
VN producer: "Nop, it's like a book but in a game with visuals and music...and sometimes little mini games, and.."
Store: "Oh just sell it online!"
VN producer: "Fine..."

Obviously that's an exageration, but without being able to define the catagory for VN's it will be impossible.

As for Hirameki...the main topic, I am sad to see it go. Their translations weren't perfect but they did a great job for an attempt at bringing them outside of Japan. I'd say the worst problem they hit was licensing. Since VN's in Japan are so popular and known, companies find it hard to understand why a small company like Hirameki won't cough up tons of money for the license to translate it. The fact is no company attempting to redistribute games to the western audiance has the kind of funds to license the high quality games.

Games like Kanon, Tsukihime, Fate/Stay Night, and so many more...if your a small unknown company, of course someone like TYPE-Moon and Key won't give you the rights. That's why Hirameki started with smaller titles, but with the limited profits for producing them it was mathematically impossible (unless your Mike Huckabee) to continue releasing high quality titles. Anything short of the financial backing of Microsoft itself will not bring mainstream VN's to us anytime soon.

I'll still miss Hirameki though, they gave it an amirable and valient attempt...

Hirameki presents...300 VN companies

Tonight, we dine in bankrupcy!
WE. ARE. BROKE!

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Re: Hirameki gone

#36 Post by Adorya » Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:12 pm

On another "dark" side of the PC games released in Japan, like anime industry, the classic eroge game system seems to crumble little by little.

Here is an excerpt of the last Canned Dogs entry about that :
Zukeran no tera yaritai houdai writes that a large number of brands in the eroge industry have been restructuring their staff, and usually the writer is the first to get outsourced, there was even a case where the writer was retrenched even when he was the main writer for a game that was novelised and published in bookstores.

On the other hand, brands have been trying their best to get their hands on good artists, the reason being so that they want to make sure they can at least sell the game just on the art alone.

Part of the reason that all of this is happening is the growing doujin industry bubble.

It has been in recent years where it has become increasingly possible for somebody to live off just from selling doujin products alone as it seems to have become normal for megahit brands to be born in comiket. And in doujin, you get to avoid most of the troublesome stuff that comes with being a commercial entity.

As eroge becomes a less attractive industry to be going into, the number of new people in the talent pool available will also diminish, while veterans in the industry will move to the more established brands that continue to thrive. As a result, the smaller eroge brands will start to have trouble getting ahold of staff.

Noumu -gNorm- supports what Zukeran wrote by commenting that he has heard from people in the PC game sales industry that eroge brands have been unable to get proper staff recently which has made it hard to maintain a level of quality in their games.

While Zukeran wrote mostly about artists running into doujin, Noumu writes about the lack of writers in the eroge industry, as a lot of the good writers that once had the writing skills to be able to lead the entire eroge industry forward have moved on from eroge and started writing novels instead.

As a result, eroge brands are forced to look for freelance writers to write their stories which results in games that are sometimes good and sometimes bad.

Now, while everybody understands that the true hit sellers in the eroge industry involve great storywriting, but with the difficulty in getting good writers, brands try to get good artists instead so they can at the very least be able to sell the game just based on the good art. And for that, they put storywriting as a second priority, and in some cases even retrenching the writer and get freelance writers instead.

And while all that is happening, good writers that have gotten famous in the eroge industry leave the industry to write independently.

——–

Personally from the user side of things, I think many have probably already felt the lack of energy in the eroge industry over the past two years or so.

I don’t know how the current situation can be solved, but maybe if there are new charismatic games once again in the industry that inspire more talents to come back…
It is not new that those days, some popular doujin authors/ex-Hgame worker can afford not to have a second job, or aim for more general public audience, leaving this industry more and more empty, this could be bad news for the VN scene there...

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Re: Hirameki gone

#37 Post by mikey » Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:43 pm

Canned Dogs wrote:...article...
To be honest, I think this is quite normal and perhaps a sign of progress for the "eroge industry". No mainstream Western game can afford to put writing in the foreground, instead graphics are the focal point. Despite one or two articles and discussions about "oh we need more good stories", it's simply a second priority, if a priority at all. Films do this as well. I'd say that very simple media (like books) have more space for originality. In music it's a bit more difficult to pitch original concepts, and films and games have so many elements in one (story, music, visuals), that they need sterotypes (genres) even more than music and books.

But more importantly - the visual element in films and games is something that can be reasonably objectively quantified (good graphics, good effects, realistic physics, detailed drawings), and therefore inevitably - more is better. This is IMO why film and games are so difficult to produce on a top level. Of course, there is the marketing factor in all these media, but my point was just that the ability to "measure" the quality of a product will inevitably shift the priorities, since the commercial segment is competition.

It's MUCH easier to see and present "better graphics" than the competition in an advert, than it is to convince people that the game has a "better story" than the competition.

As for doujin authors, I see them as equivalents of casual game producers - some may land a hit, but generally they cannot be considered "the industry" in the true sense, as the big production houses can be.
bloodywyvern wrote:Hirameki presents...300 VN companies

Tonight, we dine in bankrupcy!
WE. ARE. BROKE!
How about...

300 paying customers against an army of downloaders...
So take the last two games for the price of one - for tonight, we declare bankrupcy!
For Hiramekiii!

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Re: Hirameki gone

#38 Post by DaFool » Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:09 am

The trick would be to storm the English Lit department at Cambridge and force all the professors to write for visual novels.

I'm looking forward to an anime adaptation of a gaijin (or at least non-Japanese) - written visual novel.

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Re: Hirameki gone

#39 Post by Samu-kun » Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:48 am

I'm not sure if the end result of that endeaver will end up with very moe results...

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Re: Hirameki gone

#40 Post by rocket » Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:40 am

DaFool wrote:I'm looking forward to an anime adaptation of a gaijin (or at least non-Japanese) - written visual novel.
My goal in life.
Samu-kun wrote:I'm not sure if the end result of that endeaver will end up with very moe results...
Wrong university. Christ Church, Oxford mid to late 1800s should suffice. (^_^)

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Re: Hirameki gone

#41 Post by WinKi » Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:27 am

Hmm.... maybe the main problem of the crisis is because mostly EVERY commercial Visual Novels is originally Japanese?

The fact is... our (i mean Russian) developers at "DreamLore Studios" (and publishing company called "Akella") eventually started to work in THE scene, not as the translators. They're creating a BASIS, a public for the further VN releases (that's probably why the VNs in English-speaking scene has failed - no basis and really limited public). I know, their quality is average, but it's goddamn better than nothing!

The fans is helping too - several doujins and commercial titles has been translated (most of them is eroge titles though)...

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Re: Hirameki gone

#42 Post by bloodywyvern » Wed Mar 12, 2008 6:17 am

WinKi wrote:Hmm.... maybe the main problem of the crisis is because mostly EVERY commercial Visual Novels is originally Japanese?

The fact is... our (i mean Russian) developers at "DreamLore Studios" (and publishing company called "Akella") eventually started to work in THE scene, not as the translators. They're creating a BASIS, a public for the further VN releases (that's probably why the VNs in English-speaking scene has failed - no basis and really limited public). I know, their quality is average, but it's goddamn better than nothing!

The fans is helping too - several doujins and commercial titles has been translated (most of them is eroge titles though)...
I don't really see the point in that, there shouldn't be any difference in someone's decision to buy a visual novel if it's originally made by the company or translated. Anyone who does recognize the fact VN's may have problems in translation is someone who knows the genre already anyway. The problem is expanding that genre to increase potential sales, not optimizing the existing fan base...since it's too small to matter much.

A company can't create a basis, unless of course they have done better marketing than Hirameki (wouldn't be surprised). Also, it's entirely possible Russia had a higher VN fan base to start off with. I don't know for sure of course.

If you ask me the fans is the English languages best weapon right now. If you look at mirror moon, they have translated all of Tsukihime and have moved on to Fate/Stay Night...two of the greatest VN's. Plus NDT picked up Kanon, and finished that...even if they haven't opened it to beta testing. I can see where the differences could be, but I don't quite see exactly where they are.
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Re: Hirameki gone

#43 Post by WinKi » Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:52 am

Well, i meant there's a huge cultural barrier between USA and Japan and Russia and so forth. That's the point of mine, our developer is doing the game for Russian-minded public from the beginning, making it easier to understand the plot & other things by using the native jokes, native names and so on. :)

As i replied at the guestbook theme, i've played lots of quests by Sierra On-Line. BUT i didn't mentioned one thing - all those were ADAPTED Russian versions (see Wikipedia about the "Taralej & Jabocrack" localisation group). "Russian Ever17" project is the same here: no "hey, dude", no "wassup", no "JFK", no "comics" but "manga" (since mostly everyone here KNOWS what the "manga" means), no "OK", no "sandwiches".

Of course, that's simply IMHO. ^_^

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Re: Hirameki gone

#44 Post by bloodywyvern » Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:56 am

Well yeah you can do that, but I find adaptations to be completely against my mind set. Surely that would increase sales, but it's not the way translators should go down. Many cultural jokes within a story actually tend to act as a medium within the story, and tampering with them can sometimes change the meaning of the text around it. This doesn't apply every time, but it's one of the reason I'm against adaptations.

Many times the phrases you mentioned often are a part of the character, a part of his/her culture and beliefs. By changing those, you also change the character in the story. Your basically changing the character to the culture your distributing it in, which is horrible. Just the way I see it.
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Re: Hirameki gone

#45 Post by WinKi » Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:09 am

Many times the phrases you mentioned often are a part of the character, a part of his/her culture and beliefs. By changing those, you also change the character in the story. Your basically changing the character to the culture your distributing it in, which is horrible.
That's exactly what the Hirameki's translators did. :( Everything i mentioned above was in English Ever17 translation-adaptation. That's why i'm only using it as technical base (because of built-in ANSI support), but the translated text is from Japanese version. 8)
Last edited by WinKi on Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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