narcissu

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PyTom
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#16 Post by PyTom » Sun Aug 21, 2005 10:12 pm

I'm not sure what spirit to take that last comment in. I will point out that the staff of that one game roughly equals the size of the entire OEL game development community, and that there is a bit of a selection effect going on, as only the best games get translated, whereas we publish all games to renai.us.

That being said, I think it is instructive to see what a doujin game looks like. And I do hope this opens up a discussion of production values... but at the same time that's hard, as right now I think we're have a large proportion of writers, and not as many artists, especially background artists.

Random unrelated questions:

What's the deal with the multiple blood-types on the bracelet? Was there something about the translation process that made it hard to agree, or something?

Do you have any idea why MP3 playing goes through SMPEG, and not through SDL_mixer, which can play mp3s? The latter supports fading out, which would mean there's no need for a screen-full of "command [mp3fadeout] is not supported yet!!"

Are there plans to translate any other doujin-games? I found playing a complete story in a doujin-game more enjoyable then the incomplete story found in the previous demo translations... so if this is a change in direction, it's a good one, IMO.

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#17 Post by gp32 » Sun Aug 21, 2005 10:29 pm

PyTom wrote:I'm not sure what spirit to take that last comment in.
Take it in a constructive spirit. I wouldn't have wasted the time typing it out if I didn't have at least some marginal faith.
PyTom wrote:as only the best games get translated, whereas we publish all games to renai.us.
Patently untrue. planetarian is dear to me, as is Narcissu, but I frankly find most of the other games whose Trial Editions I've translated to be rather mediocre. Yes, this includes Fate.
PyTom wrote:What's the deal with the multiple blood-types on the bracelet? Was there something about the translation process that made it hard to agree, or something?
Blame this one on Tomo Kataoka. The original graphic makes it impossible to determine whose bracelet it actually is. The original has that text as "B" -- and while best conjecture is that it's a blood type, it may not be.
PyTom wrote:Do you have any idea why MP3 playing goes through SMPEG, and not through SDL_mixer, which can play mp3s? The latter supports fading out, which would mean there's no need for a screen-full of "command [mp3fadeout] is not supported yet!!"
That's just the way ogapee programmed it. I haven't found it mission-critical enough to change. Yet.
PyTom wrote:Are there plans to translate any other doujin-games? I found playing a complete story in a doujin-game more enjoyable then the incomplete story found in the previous demo translations... so if this is a change in direction, it's a good one, IMO.
No, there are not. I have said this before in other places, and I will say this again: I don't care about the fanbase. I don't care what people find enjoyable and what they do not. My only concern is in doing the best possible job I can do in a production process because I feel like doing it, and for no other reason. There has already been a change in direction, all right. I have seen what happened to planetarian and have taken my full game translation projects underground. They will be completed and distributed, but only to those who I trust not to distribute it any further. And those I can count on the fingers of my two hands. Why? Because if, as one person on a certain board told me, the piracy of the game "had to happen", then, well, no one will get any more entertainment out of me.

Fair trade, don't you think?

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#18 Post by PyTom » Sun Aug 21, 2005 10:57 pm

gp32 wrote:Take it in a constructive spirit. I wouldn't have wasted the time typing it out if I didn't have at least some marginal faith.
Fair enough. I think you do raise some good points, which I think we will as a community need to deal with.
I have said this before in other places, and I will say this again: I don't care about the fanbase. I don't care what people find enjoyable and what they do not. My only concern is in doing the best possible job I can do in a production process because I feel like doing it, and for no other reason.
A fair enough view, although unfortunate from my own (admittedly selfish, I want to play games) perspective. But of course, you're the only one with a vote on what you do with your free time.
There has already been a change in direction, all right. I have seen what happened to planetarian and have taken my full game translation projects underground. They will be completed and distributed, but only to those who I trust not to distribute it any further. And those I can count on the fingers of my two hands. Why? Because if, as one person on a certain board told me, the piracy of the game "had to happen", then, well, no one will get any more entertainment out of me
A shame. I'm one of the people who did plunk down the money to buy Planetarian. It's a problem with no good solution... The best I can think of is steganography, but that's only good for publically shaming the person who leaked the patch, not stopping the piracy.

I had thought that translating doujin-games where you had permission from the author for further distribution was one way of solving this problem... guess not.

gp32

#19 Post by gp32 » Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:10 pm

PyTom wrote:Fair enough. I think you do raise some good points, which I think we will as a community need to deal with.
Oh, please don't get me wrong. As a matter of fact, the only reason I said this is because I do have a great amount of faith that even now, this community is capable of creating a work that equals what Narcissu did. That faith is not given lightly.
PyTom wrote:A shame. I'm one of the people who did plunk down the money to buy Planetarian. It's a problem with no good solution... The best I can think of is steganography, but that's only good for publically shaming the person who leaked the patch, not stopping the piracy.
It is a shame. I had really been hoping for a different kind of response; if I'd gotten it, then I would not have been forced to this measure. It was never any place I wished to end up.

And I thank you -- from the bottom of my heart -- from being one who did buy Planetarian. I hope we made it worth your while.
PyTom wrote:I had thought that translating doujin-games where you had permission from the author for further distribution was one way of solving this problem... guess not.
The problem is that most doujin games are still sold for some nominal fee -- I should clarify my standpoint here and say that if another doujin piece like Narcissu comes along and is freely available from the web in full, I would have no problems (and in fact would enjoy) translating such a piece.

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#20 Post by mikey » Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:00 am

gp32 wrote:Despite all of this, it succeeds in its mission with a devastating punch masked only by its understated elegance. If you cried when you read this piece, you are doing it a total injustice. If you read through only one translation, you are doing it a total injustice. If you sneered at the medical inconsistencies, you are doing it a total injustice. Because none of that is the point.
Hmmm, that almost implies that if someone doesn't like it, he doesn't understand it fully. ;) As for me I went for the "treat it like a poem" option and it saved me a lot of frustration of looking for points that weren't really points. I just read and read and it didn't make any particular sense, but it didn't matter. The thing was it harmonized well, just letting the flow take control, it ends when it ends. With this attitude it was actually quite enjoyable and I never found myself asking the game questions and the game never found itself forcing me to accept things I didn't like.
gp32 wrote: So in the best, most optimistic sense, I say to you: you have been put on notice. Equal or surpass the caliber of this work. Or perish trying.
Can I be against you on this one? It's just that it's simply wrong to start working on a project trying to equal/surpass anything. It's not the INSPIRATION that dictates the rules of how your game will be designed and determines if it will be finished, but the RESOURCES that are the factor. Especially OELBG, since traditionally there are far less mangaka around in non-Japan than in Japan.

I don't think it will have a dramatic effect when you translate a doujin game and sort of put in on display saying "match this". It's not truly a contribution and as you said the fanbase doesn't matter to you - the truth is that this is also true for most game-makers. They are not primarily trying to surpass someone's work, but doing their own.

So that's why I find that "challenge" you wanted to achieve a little ambivalent. In my opinion the community can only be helped by active contribution. Narcissu is not an OELBG.

This of course has nothing to do with the fact that it's a nice addition to the idea pool the makers can now work with, that it shows how Japan does it and so on. You said you have faith, and I have too. But there's simply this critical shortage of narcissu-grade artists. I think the stories, music and tech base are on par.
gp32 wrote: I have seen what happened to planetarian and have taken my full game translation projects underground.
I'd also like to give my opinion on this - I think it was wrong. It's the same as with "guns don't kill, people do". Your patch has nothing to do with piracy and I'd say piracy is not your war to fight. If you find pleasure in translating, do it and offer it to the people who care. It may be that something like planetarian will happen again, but the translator is never to blame.

It's your choice and if you want to do "private" translations, that's fine. Referring to the above paragraps though I can't really buy into the "I don't care" thing. I think you do care. Maybe not about the fans, but about the fate of the works you like. So you know... good luck with your future projects and thanks for Narcissu. :P

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#21 Post by BCS » Mon Sep 19, 2005 2:21 am

Revolutionary in concept ...

One of the most moving pieces that I have played in a long time ... It never needed the voices, or any kind of character graphics ... the backgrounds, music, and description alone touched more deeply than most novels and other games that I have played lately.

Although the author states that he does not care whether people found it interesting or boring, or whether people "got a message or not" ... I would have to say that to overlook this game would be a unwise decision.

Although I doubt I'm known here much, I'm an animator/artist that goes by the name of ButtercupSaiyan ... so I usually place emphasis on graphics as well ... but this game didn't need it at all ...

I don't know, I don't cry very much at games but the ending had me reaching for a tissue ...

I think this game may have inspired me to try one of my own. I have to say that Narcissu even trumps Metropolitan Blues in its thought-provoking search for a purpose and insight into feelings of loneliness.

I once tried programming a Sonic hentai game in Flash, but only got about 2 weeks into it before abandoning it ... and it had nowhere near the depth that Narcissu does ...

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#22 Post by rioka » Mon Sep 19, 2005 9:59 am

mikey wrote:... the RESOURCES that are the factor. Especially OELBG, since traditionally there are far less mangaka around in non-Japan than in Japan.
I concur. Even for the available resources that are out there - they're more focused on making manga and trying to get published within their own country than going into gaming, particularly an obscure niche like ren'ai.

All in all, it is interesting to see how a Japanese doujin game is like and it will inspire folks here, no doubt about it. I know I'll look at it closely... =)

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#23 Post by GLACIER » Tue Sep 20, 2005 2:59 am

*****Spoilers (some thoughts on the game)*****


It this even supposed to be sad? On certain boards, players are saying that Narcissu is about two people coping with death and loneliness (and is thus a tear-jerker), but that wasn't the impression I got.

It has been several weeks since I played the game, so I've forgotten many of the details. However, I thought the piece was more or less a criticism of how we tend to marginalize life, valuing people primarily for the visible contributions they offer to society.

In Narcissu, society has all but given up on Setsumi and the protagonist (hence the lack of purpose to their existence). Being terminally ill and incapable of contributing, they've been left to wait out the rest of their lives until they die. Not one person takes any interest in who they are. Even their parents have seemingly given up on them, only showing interest in the life insurance that they expect to collect.

These children aren't coping with the prospect of death. They've clearly accepted it, having already given up on life, hopes, and friendship. They run away in defiance of the sentence - which dictates when, where, and how they should die - that has been handed to them by society.

Throughout the course of the game, we're told that Setsumi and the protagonist are more than just statistics, despite the lack of any information in the death record (kind of an empty life summary). They've had hopes and talents that have gone unrecognized or have otherwise been thrown away once they were deemed to be as good as dead. Within just a few days, the two of them manage to defy fate (Setsumi's death by suicide instead of just rotting away as everyone expects, death away from home or the hospital), utilize their seemingly useless talents (road navigation, driving training), and even live out some of their dreams ("bikini" modeling).

This is what I personally got from the production. To be honest, I'm usually poor with story interpretations, so this may all be wrong or incompletely thought out. However, I never felt as if the story events were intended to be sad. The depicted tragedy isn't Setsumi's illness and death (an inevitability that has been accepted), but rather our general failure to truly recognize and value the person that lies within each of us. To me, it seems that this is one of the main things that the author wanted us to think about as we read.

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#24 Post by PyTom » Tue Sep 20, 2005 7:28 am

I see the arc of the game as a fairly simple one. The authors first give you the statistics about suicide, and our first reaction is "oh, that's terrible." They then bring us into the story of two people, one of which commits suicide... and by the end, we're almost rooting for her to do so.

It's almost like dying with one's boots on, and it's a good sight better than dying in the hospice with no control over what's going on at all. (Bikini-modelling boots?)

And they manage to set a relationship atop this arc, which draws the player in even closer to the characters.

Is this sad? I think that's a fairly complex question, as it really asks "Who should you be sad for?", and then answer to that is more of a question of degree then a simple set. I mean, I think it's at least a little sad, but less sad then someone who didn't get to finally take back control of their life.

Or something. What do I know?

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#25 Post by mikey » Tue Sep 20, 2005 11:35 am

Hmmm, Narcissu didn't really strike the intended chord with me. As you mentioned, the idea is fairly simple and it's not exactly a "sad" one, so to express it, you don't really need that intellectual fan-service with including just about every moody elemet there is.

I admit I do sometimes have to cheer up my girlfriend, who is a doctor often working with terminally sick children when the atmosphere gets to one, but Narcissu's take on the subject is a rather idealistic (one-sided) view about dying and valuing lives. Also in the sense that the only one truly "depressed" and sad is the caretaker/spectator, who feels somehow naturally compassionate.

So for me Narcissu paints a picture FOR someone, not OF someone. That's why I still think that it's more of a written poem than a novel.

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#26 Post by Ayato Vu » Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:22 pm

I don;t know aout you guys, but I liked it ^.^ (The V.A. for Setsumi was cute ^.^)

About Narcissu... I found an anime that kinda reminded me of this game... the main girl looked a whole lot like Setsumi, cept for the blue hair....

Was narcissu based off this?

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclo ... hp?id=6300

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#27 Post by TMBpower » Tue Apr 25, 2006 1:10 am

I would doubt it very much, since Narcissu was completed around 2004 (perhaps earlier) and the anime you mentioned only finished airing in February.

I want the soundtrack most badly.:?
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#28 Post by lordcloudx » Tue Apr 25, 2006 1:34 pm

soundtrack? why not just let the music play within the game and capture it with a sound recording program... that's what I did.

whoa! I can't believe I missed that anime you mentioned. I'm a sucker for drama.
Thanx for reviving this thread Ayato Vu and TMBpower

and Narcissu... is just Narcissu. Some people like it for their own reasons (like me) but you can like it differently too.
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#29 Post by TMBpower » Tue Apr 25, 2006 2:12 pm

lordcloudx wrote:soundtrack? why not just let the music play within the game and capture it with a sound recording program... that's what I did..
Ooo, yeah. Dang I never think of these things.*slaps forehead* I'll see if I can figure it out, sankyuu.:mrgreen:
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#30 Post by PyTom » Tue Apr 25, 2006 4:07 pm

Actually, it's probably better to grab the nsaout program, and get the data directly from the game.
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