Game Recognition Handbook 4.0

Discuss visual novels and story-based games that didn't originate on this forum.
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mikey
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Game Recognition Handbook 4.0

#1 Post by mikey » Sat Feb 05, 2005 6:07 pm

EDIT: The newest version:
http://atp.manga.sk/activities/grh/grh.htm

-------------------

EDIT: The article is now online
___www.renaigames.com/dev_mikey2.html
Tage wrote:I'm posting here to get everyone's opinion on what to look for while editing a Ren'Ai game! When all of it is complete, it will be submitted to renaigames.com and possibly posted up in the Dev Center. Not one person alone is taking credit for this, and no names will be put down. It's just going to be a combined effort of this forum! =P
I got inspired, heh.

Now my possible article (eclipse doesn't know yet) will be about the categories of games - ren'ai, bishoujo, VN etc... I hope to make it as clear and simple as can be, so that people can use the right terms. Well, I like this subject, that's why I chose to do it.

Feel free to post any opinions, objections, suggestions and other complicated English words.
Last edited by mikey on Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:14 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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#2 Post by PyTom » Sat Feb 05, 2005 7:12 pm

I have one issue with the gameplay category: I'm not sure if I agree with how the gameplay category is organized. Specifically, I'm not sure if it makes sense to break "Choice based gameplay" into adventures and Visual Novels. I'd make everything in that category a VN, and reserve adventure for games in which there's a high-degree of "guess the verb" (some of the older games from JAST fall into this category... as might some text adventures).

There probably needs to be a "Mixed" category in game focus, for games that feature both male and female protagonists. (Not sure I like that term... I always think of the POV character as the protagonist.)

I'm also not sure that we'd have to limit the style of the game to the manga/anime style.

Random brain dumping...

I consider the basic difference between a Visual Novel and a Dating Simulation to be that in the former, all events in the game occur in a defined order that is (at least theoretically) known to the game designer. On the other hand, a DS is complicated enough that the designer can't think about all possibilites, meaning that he has to use something like a scheduler to organize the game.

More informally, DSes are games that annoy me by asking what I plan to do every day, and VNs try to tell me a story.

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#3 Post by rioka » Sat Feb 05, 2005 10:05 pm

lol Looks like I know now. ;)

Some things I noticed:
1.Why isn't yuri or yaoi defined under Game Focus?
2. Kinetic novel, personally, I would change to "Linear Novel". When I think kinetic, I think of motion. Considering the definition is a straight forward story without branches, "Linear Novel" would be a more apt description, imo.
3. I agree with PyTom about the use of "protagonist". I'm refering to its use under "ren'ai" and not under "visual novels under one ending".

Other than those, well done article.

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#4 Post by Yang Sei Fu » Sat Feb 05, 2005 11:07 pm

eclipse wrote: 2. Kinetic novel, personally, I would change to "Linear Novel". When I think kinetic, I think of motion. Considering the definition is a straight forward story without branches, "Linear Novel" would be a more apt description, imo.
It's an euphemism. Linear sounds bland. The Japanese are masters of the English Lexicon. XD


Now...maybe it's just me, but do all books have to e be ren'ai in bishoujo game?
All romance? no "Literature"? XD

...
I hope people aren't thinking about defining my game as "a run-of-the-mill sad ROMANCE game"...

Jeez, aim for something different. Literature has more value XD.
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#5 Post by PyTom » Sat Feb 05, 2005 11:08 pm

eclipse wrote:2. Kinetic novel, personally, I would change to "Linear Novel". When I think kinetic, I think of motion. Considering the definition is a straight forward story without branches, "Linear Novel" would be a more apt description, imo.
Kinetic novel is the name that's used in Japan for such programs, though. I think this is one of those cases where two English words are adopted as a Japanese word (with changed meaning), and then that Japanese word gets taken back into English.

You know, the sort of case that causes respectible linguists to go off and shoot themselves. :)

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#6 Post by rioka » Sat Feb 05, 2005 11:46 pm

lol Looks like my argument is a bit moot. I must admit linear does sound a bit stiff next to a dynamic word like kinetic. And one should never argue with a term that experienced linguists can't come to terms with. XD

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#7 Post by mikey » Sun Feb 06, 2005 2:03 pm

Kinetic Novel >> I started to use it because the folks at Insani I think described it with Planetarian as a visual novel without the choices. About the true meaning of kinetic - it's something like moving, or in constant motion, so yeah, it sounds very engrish, heh. I have changed it to Digital Novel now - the term kinetic is in brackets. Himeya has been using the term digital novel for the Fairy series, it's based on that.

Protagonist >> I will change the words to "protagonist" whenever you can see the game through his/her eyes (the main character), and use "cast" for all the people you can interact with, date, get endings with etc,... Would that be fine?

Adventure >> I'll think about that some more. Himeya uses ADV, adventure for most of its games now, also in older times they have been using "ANM" for the less interactive pieces, I figured it means something like animated novel or similar. Also, G-Collections uses the term adventure on various occasions, although they also use love-sim to describe some games, but that term is very hard to put into a category.

Love-sim >> Any ideas where "love-sim" might be comfortably positioned? Is it a gameplay-thing, or a content-thing? Most recently it's been the official description for the Sagara Family, but tSF is IMO the classical choice-based adventure, a visual novel at best. I'd say they mean "girl-getting games" in general, and perhaps the choice-based gameplay titles of those.

Visual Novel >> would this be fine then?
Choice-based gameplay (description - generally called visual novels with a varied degree of player interaction...)
* VN adventure - (multipath, multiend) - Season of the Sakura, horny bunnies...
* VN "true VN" (multipath, multiend, text-based) - Crescendo, Kana, Private Nurse...
* VN (multiview, one-end), the ones called "ANM" by Himeya
* VN (digital (kinetic) novels - one-path, one-end)

Manga/Anime style >> changed to "mostly" manga/anime style for now. When Sprung sets of a new wave of Western DS, we can remove it completely ^_^

Yuri& Yaoi >> thanks for the tip, I'll try to find a good place for it.

Mixed Games >> I was actually trying to avoid mixed or borderline games - I was not able to avoid it with the ren'ai element (semi-ren'ai or "light" game), but what I wanted to do was a simple guide for the basics, rather than a guide for all the "grey (or gray?)" areas - the person wondering about a game would then decide on his own whether the game is more ren'ai or just a hentai game.

The problem is I could imagine every category having a "mixed" subcategory, and we'd have word games to no end. I'll probably write a disclaimer of some sort for this. A "catch clause" (huh, if you don't know what that means, I translated it from the German word Auffangsklausel, Taleweaver, help!!!). I noticed on the Himeya page that they have The Maids' Story described as "maid training sim". And this incidentally fits perfectly into the "catch clause" which is Dominant Element Gameplay - it's there so people can't start arguing about the others' incompetence or whatever.

More suggestions are welcome.

PyTom wrote:You know, the sort of case that causes respectible linguists to go off and shoot themselves.
Heh, when I found in a conversation with a Russian friend what THEY use the word "biznis" (business) for, I felt the same way - though it was the very same kind of word perception one would expect ^_^ - it simply means ANYTHING that is suited to make money.
Yang Sei Fu wrote:I hope people aren't thinking about defining my game as "a run-of-the-mill sad ROMANCE game"...
Nah, it's Yet-another-novel-turned-game for us ^_^.
Seriously, I think that genre-breaking is perfectly fine, refreshing and shows you have the courage - just recently I visited the game studio I worked in and they had to make even more sacrifices towards more commercial play - simpler plot, more stereotypical characters... But that's just the way it goes, people (or "the customers", as the publisher calls them) like a clear definition of what they're buying (or so they say).

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#8 Post by PyTom » Sun Feb 06, 2005 4:06 pm

mikey wrote: Protagonist >> I will change the words to "protagonist" whenever you can see the game through his/her eyes (the main character), and use "cast" for all the people you can interact with, date, get endings with etc,... Would that be fine?
Well, the term "cast" would also include people like the main character's friend who gives him information on the various girls. Let me see what some other works call them... HTD Anime and Game: Mastering Bishoujo Characters calls them "heroines". I tend to call them "targets", but that's a terrible term that really shouldn't leave my mind. "Winnable characters", while long, is probably also descriptive.
Love-sim >> Any ideas where "love-sim" might be comfortably positioned? Is it a gameplay-thing, or a content-thing? Most recently it's been the official description for the Sagara Family, but tSF is IMO the classical choice-based adventure, a visual novel at best. I'd say they mean "girl-getting games" in general, and perhaps the choice-based gameplay titles of those.
IMO, love sim is conflating two axes of the classification system. I would assume "love" is supposed to indicate something on the Ren'Ai scale, while "sim" should indicate something about gameplay.

I would would probably classify SF (which I haven't played) as a light-visual novel, rather than a love sim.
Visual Novel >> would this be fine then?
Choice-based gameplay (description - generally called visual novels with a varied degree of player interaction...)
* VN adventure - (multipath, multiend) - Season of the Sakura, horny bunnies...
* VN "true VN" (multipath, multiend, text-based) - Crescendo, Kana, Private Nurse...
* VN (multiview, one-end), the ones called "ANM" by Himeya
* VN (digital (kinetic) novels - one-path, one-end)
I'm not sure what's the difference between a VN and a "true VN". Is it that all choices are text-based? The distinction seems minor to me.

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#9 Post by rioka » Sun Feb 06, 2005 4:47 pm

PyTom wrote:"Winnable characters", while long, is probably also descriptive.
I don't particularly like the win part of "Winnable characters". It sounds so impersonal. Why not describe them as possible love interests? Or if you want to, you can use the traditional term, court, and describe them as women you may court.

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#10 Post by PyTom » Sun Feb 06, 2005 5:01 pm

eclipse wrote:
PyTom wrote:"Winnable characters", while long, is probably also descriptive.
I don't particularly like the win part of "Winnable characters". It sounds so impersonal. Why not describe them as possible love interests? Or if you want to, you can use the traditional term, court, and describe them as women you may court.
I actually like the idea of calling them courtable characters. Although it's somewhat ambiguous about if you can get an ending with them or not, that's usually not an issue in these games.

(I was basically just throwing out terms I've heard. to see what stuck. I'm not a total jerk... honest!)

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#11 Post by mikey » Mon Feb 07, 2005 2:22 pm

Courtable characters sounds fine to me :D

Hmmm, if you don't mind putting Howny bunnies and Crescendo into the same category (in terms of gameplay now), then I guess, both of them are adventures... the division would then be...

Choice based gameplay (visual novels)
- multipath, multiend
- multiview, one-end
- one path, one end (digital novel)

I was just leaning on a description in the Megatokyo faq where the VN's characteristic is a substantial amount of text - take Immoral Study, that's a trial and error game with minimum text (nothing really compared to Kana, Desire, Phantom etc...) and that would fall into VN as well. So that's why I sort of wanted to break it into adventure for the less-text-intensive, and VN for something that really feels like you're reading a story.

Hmmm, the other things seem to be okay? I thought there would be more dispute ^_^, but hey, I'm glad the division into gameplay and content seems to be working (*praises himself* - yeah, I've reached an all-time low...)

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#12 Post by Tage » Mon Feb 07, 2005 5:58 pm

HOW DARE YOU CATEGORIZE CRESCENDO WITH HORNY BUNNIES!! :evil:

nah, I'm just kidding. Unfortunately, they are both the same type of game in my opinion. One just has a MUCH better story than the other. If you try to separate them just by how much story there is, it may be difficult to draw the line later down the road.

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#13 Post by mikey » Tue Feb 08, 2005 2:56 pm

Okie, based on the response, I've made a new version, tell me what you think... i've made several changes, removed not needed categories to keep it as simple as possible. The game chart at the end is optional.

___www.manga.sk/atp/mEBGE/grh/grh2.htm
Last edited by mikey on Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#14 Post by mikey » Sat Jun 24, 2006 6:36 pm

I've been wanting to update the article for a long time now, so here it is.

Anyway, the third installment is divided into two parts - lexicon and system. Take a look and if you feel like commenting, please. It's just a draft, not really final and the goal of the lexicon is that both the ones who prefer the original meaning of the words and the ones that use the westernized ones can live with it. I'd be happy to correct anything that is wrong.

As for the System, it's what's left of the old handbook and a few of my own suggestions (the lexicon should be the typical example, while the system should be kind of my own thoughts) - I experimented with new terms like cinematic novel (yes, I am burning in hell for this), as well as integrating the words adventure (with the point-and-click structure in mind) and CYOA into VN terminology. It's basically used to explain the games to new people anyway.

And so on, and so on. If nothing, just have some fun with it.
____atp.manga.sk/articles/grh3/grh3.htm

This may not be of interest or relevance, but I also noticed that the Czech scene has a global term for bishoujo/bishounen games, calling them "bishi hry", which roughly translates as "bishi games". It's all the games that have either a bishak or bishinka (bishieguy, bishiegirl) in them. The term is used very widely in almost all aspects of manga/anime. I've also seen a Hungarian site using the term "vizualis novella" in context with Ren'Py. Hmmm, I suppose in Slovak it could be called vizualny roman (due to the distinction between a novel and a novella), but I think that no one cares. Yes, this text is small for a reason ^_^.
Last edited by mikey on Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#15 Post by mikey » Mon Jul 03, 2006 4:44 pm

Continuing my private thread, I've uploaded an updated version, which is about as much as I am willing to do at this point. It was a nice distraction again :P, so... well, anyway, if you have something to point out, leave a message after the beep, if not, then I'm probably going to send it to eclipse to update.
____atp.manga.sk/articles/grh3/grh3.htm
Last edited by mikey on Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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