Otakon 2006 (August 4-6, Baltimore, MD)

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PyTom
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Otakon 2006 (August 4-6, Baltimore, MD)

#1 Post by PyTom » Sat Jul 15, 2006 1:15 am

Well, it looks like I will be returning to Otakon this year. Will anyone else from the forums be there?
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#2 Post by PyTom » Tue Aug 01, 2006 10:36 am

I just checked out the Otakon schedule, and it seems like a fairly interesting lineup. I count at least four events involving visual novels:

Friday @ 1-3pm is the "Creating Visual Novels" workshop, which is done by the blade engine crew.

Saturday @ 11am is the "Visual Novel" panel. I think this is also by the blade people, but I'm not sure.

Saturday @ 12noon is the "Anime Games" panel. Not 100% sure this is VN related.

Saturday @ 6pm is the "Dating Sim and ADV panel". This might be Hirameki's panel.

Saturday @ 7pm is the "Ren'Ai Gaming" panel, which is the Okashi/Shira-Oka panel, IIRC.

I'll be there, and I'll bring my laptop, so I can show off an upcoming Ren'Py game to those who are interested. (I'll also be bringing my "Ask me about Ren'Py" button, and on Saturday I'll be wearing my AB shirt.)
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#3 Post by rioka » Tue Aug 01, 2006 5:12 pm

PyTom wrote:Saturday @ 6pm is the "Dating Sim and ADV panel". This might be Hirameki's panel.
Yup, that sounds like Hirameki. They also had this panel at AnimeNEXT. (Of course, I couldn't go since I was stuck at the table... TT_TT Oh well...)

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#4 Post by DaFool » Thu Aug 03, 2006 10:31 am

Cool. I really envy westerners and that they get to have hardcore anime conventions which isn't just marketing crap by Bandai to sell more Beyblade and Gundam kits, or by the television stations. (guess the kiddy stigma for anime is more pravalent in Asia, though it is more widespread and still have more otaku)

I did a search on keywords relating to VNs and confirmed all those events PyTom mentioned:
http://www.otakon.com/pdf/schedule-2006.pdf

Do note in case few schedules have changed, I thought that at first but was just cross-eyed at the time.

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#5 Post by lordcloudx » Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:47 am

yo kabayan.

Hehe I'm envious of people who even get to attend anime conventions. We never have even small anime cons where I'm from.
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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#6 Post by mikey » Thu Aug 03, 2006 12:03 pm

lordcloudx wrote:Hehe I'm envious of people who even get to attend anime conventions. We never have even small anime cons where I'm from.

Is it really that much of a loss? You can't breathe in the screening rooms, they never show anything you've not seen, they sell overpriced things, you have to pay admission, and technically you're a geek. I remember last year at the ComicsSalon, I wanted to look into the gaming room to see some of the releases, but there were SO many sweaty boys crammed in it, when I approached the entrance I could actually feel the sort of humid heat flowing out of the room!! :x

The thing I like about cons though is when they have a good atmosphere. At the same con, a room or two were reserved for small-crowd presentations, I sat through a very nice one by a Polish comics distributor, there were about 10 people and the room was 1/3 full, you could breathe, we discussed things and it was great. Intelligent discussion and 100% Yugioh-free ^_^

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#7 Post by lordcloudx » Thu Aug 03, 2006 12:55 pm

hmm... then again you may be right.

I don't really like crowded places and it really ticks me off when all people can talk about is yugi-oh, pokemon, dbz or how ultra-cool character x is becoz of his ability to turn trash into trees (sorry Ueki fans).

but... it would be good to experience at least once.
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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#8 Post by DaFool » Thu Aug 03, 2006 1:51 pm

I was lucky to attend Otakon 2001. Back then there weren't so many crazy Narutards (sorry if I offend anyone) or crazy yaoi fangirls (also sorry don't really mean to offend). It was really great because digital fansubbing didn't really break out then (this was prior to bittorrent), so every new fansub I saw was really new (from VHS even!)

Anime Midatlantic 2002 was ok. It was a smaller and cosier event, but only featured licensed DVDs. Still ok, since I saw titles I wouldn't otherwise see. Some of my best memories was with a handful of people in one screening room at 4:00 am and we just sat around an had intelligent conversations.

Now I agree it might be pointless, especially if the community feeling is lost and with bittorrent you can see shows without having to go anywhere.

Oh yeah, the Megamall ones and Animax promos are not really conventions. Thus my original comments.

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#9 Post by PyTom » Sun Aug 06, 2006 11:43 pm

Okay, so I'm back from my Otakon trip, in which I managed to attend an Anime con and not actually watch any Anime. Here's a quick report on the con from my perspective.

Friday was primarily a day of showing up and getting my bearings.

I said Hi to Okashi studios, who had a small booth in the industry section of the con. Out of consideration for them, I won't discuss anything they told me privately, but will instead cover their panel.

I then did a quick run through the dealer's room, stopping by the Hirameki desk and picking up a copies of "Phantom of Inferno" and "Ishika and Honori", two of the games I didn't have. (The $5-off coupon stacked with the 2-for-1 offer, so this was $15.)

I also picked up some manga from Dr Master... which is good, since cons and mail-order are pretty much the only way to get their stuff.

I was fairly tired out from the drive, so I left the con reasonably early on saturday. (Figure I got there 5ish, and left around 8 or so.)


Saturday was the day when all the panels were. The first one I attended was the 11am visual novel panel. This consisted first of Aldo Donnaloia describing the games to everyone (and showing some clips of openings to the games). This was followed by Shinichi Shimura talking a bit about VNs in Japan, especially the Type/Moon games. It seems like he's a big fan of Type/Moon... as they were shown alot in the presentation, as maybe the architypical VNs.

Hirameki was fairly generous with the prizes. Everyone in the room got a copy of Phantom of Inferno (meaning I now have 2). They also gave a 50% off DVD games/$5 off CD games coupon out to everyone in the room. (So I guess I should have waited... but I'm not the one to complain about a free gift.)

Some notes from Hirameki's talk, and some conversations I had with them earlier.

- Piece of Wonder will be out in early 2007.

- This is after the second girls-game... they called a game in which the POV character is a girl "Otome" games. (We call them bishonen games.)

- They will only release censored games, even if they (somehow) get the license to a big-name game.

- There is a bundle of the Phantom of Inferno OVA + Phantom of Inferno game out. See http://www.animecornerstore.com/phantom.html . If it sells well, they'll try to do it with Hourglass of Summer. (Well, I didn't know about this deal.)

- Ai Yori Aoshi was inspired by talking with a buyer from Borders stores. Hirameki licensed and translated it... and their distributor didn't offer it to Borders. So no distribution... even if the store is refunded the money for any copy of a Hirameki game that doesn't sell.


After Hirameki was the "Anime Games" panel. This focused mostly on physical games (like card games and board games), rather than computer games. So it's a little off-topic for us, although it was a fairly interesting talk nonetheless.

During the Hiramkei talk, a guy in the audience (I won't use names of civilians.) asked about how to create VNs. I spoke to him after these panels, and showed him Ren'Py.

That brings us to a bit past Noon... I'll pick this back up tomorrow.
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#10 Post by DaFool » Tue Aug 08, 2006 5:00 pm

So if Blade weren't the folks doing the Workshop, who was?

http://bladeengine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=45

I also found this mission statement funny:

Hello everyone, thank you all for your feedbacks.

I am hoping this will be my last post for this thread as I do not believe “Pepsi” or “Coke” discussion would generate a positive outcome.
It is not the biggest interest of us to determine which tool is better or worse. All tool have their advantages and weakness, and they all attract different kind of developer in terms of features offered and tool’s usability.

When we released Blade Engine, we had couple core objectives.

1) Offer English VN construction tool that is easy to use for creators without strong programming knowledge
2) Inspire the Western Visual Novel community by introducing artistic and technical trend from Japanese VN community

Isn't that what insani is already doing?
3) Inspire Japanese Visual Novel community by introducing VN created by Western creators

Hmmm, so maybe if we use the Blade Engine and submit them on their website, they can somehow make the jp locale work somehow and make it a little more accessible to japanese VN community? If that's the case, I will definitely do dual-release, both Ren'Py and Blade. That is, IF English VNs are given exposure to Japan.

But the fact that you can't link to renai.us already means they are ignoring a community that is ~2 years old and already have a couple dozen of games released! I dare say a few are better than a few of the altogether 2005 ones, at least in the story department.

In Japan, there are many Visual Novels with great story, but on the other hand, it is also true that many Japanese creators have to depend on creating adult VN, because those actually do bring income to them (sex sells). Not necessary they like creating adult VN, but sometimes as being VN creator, they have no other choice. Yes, it is unfortunate.

On the other hand, I think Western / European creators tend to prioritize creating a good story / contents, rather that focusing on what might sell.
It will be our pleasure to introduce VN created in West, to Japanese audience, to open up their eyes to the world, and think about the creative / artistic aspect of Visual Novel once again.

That's definitely true insofar that all games in this community are romantic games and contain no sex. That speaks really well of the creators who after playing Do You Like Horny Bunnies would rather produce something more like Ever17.

Hmm, so Singaporean and Philippine VNs don't count? We're not western, but we speak English and follow western sensibilities, ya know.

We think Visual Novel is an awesome medium for expressing creativity.
There are a lot of potential for Visual Novel, as it can be used any ways that creator can come up with.
It can be interactive story book, image library application, music portfolio, advanced way to present comic / webcomic….and many many more ways.

It will be our pleasure to see many great NV being created in the West.

http://bladeengine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=41

I'm not harping on them or anything. Maybe poking fun a bit of playfully, but more importantly its a pretty decent mission statement and its a good idea the rest of the community knows that.

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#11 Post by Okashi Studios » Fri Aug 11, 2006 2:13 pm

Andrew here.

Thanks for the consideration, PyTom :) And it was wonderful to have finally met you in person :)

You don't have to hold anything back as far as anything I've discussed with you (though the memory of what we actually DID talk about is, I must confess, a little hazy...I'm so forgetful sometimes). Anything I say to anyone at the cons is public domain knowledge, as far as I'm concerned.

About the only thing I wouldn't mention is maybe any speculative release dates (or even any rough approximations). We don't want to have to disappoint anyone by slipping our schedule to get that extra testing done.

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