Questions regarding your first VN ever

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MomoiroGirl
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Questions regarding your first VN ever

#1 Post by MomoiroGirl » Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:27 pm

This is mostly out of curiosity, but also related to my own current project that I'm attempting to start up. I was wondering:

1. How much time it took for some of you to create your first VN?
2. Was it a solo project, and did you do everything yourself?
3. How long was it in terms of playtime? (EDIT: And what was the word count?)

I'm asking because I want to take on a somewhat small project for my first VN, and I may have an idea for a simple Christmas story. Since it's a Christmas story, I'd ideally like to finish it sometime in December, which means I'd have like 3-4 months to do it. Also, I have no experience with programming. I've planned to use Renpy, since it seems the easiest to use, but even so I've still never really done programming like this before. I'm aiming for maybe 30 minutes of playtime, maybe with just 2-3 endings, just so I'll be able to practice that as well. Since I've never done this before, I feel compelled to ask if this is, even in just some cases, realistic? I have no idea myself, since I've never been involved in making a VN before.

I'm planning to do most of it myself, maybe with the exception of music (and perhaps backgrounds, if I'm completely hopeless) where I'd try to find something that was free to use non-commercially. Obviously, it'd take a lot of work in any case. I suppose it's relevant to say that I don't have a job taking up my time at the moment, so I don't really have that many responsibilities I need to uphold during the week. Even so, I just want to know if this is even somewhat realistic? Please and thank you~
Last edited by MomoiroGirl on Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Questions regarding your first VN ever

#2 Post by Googaboga » Sun Aug 16, 2015 7:02 pm

I personally think that's a reasonable goal :]. Ren'Py is pretty quick to pick up, especially if your game will just have the very basic elements of a VN so I don't think it'll be too much of a problem for you. And you can always get explanations and advice from people on this forum.


As for me:
1. How much time it took for some of you to create your first VN?

Over a year.

2. Was it a solo project, and did you do everything yourself?

Not at all. I did the majority of the writing and all the programming but had help with everything else.

3. How long was it in terms of playtime?

Not really sure, it depended a lot on the person. It was over 100,000 words long though so a few hours long at least if you did everything.
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Re: Questions regarding your first VN ever

#3 Post by MomoiroGirl » Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:16 pm

Googaboga wrote:I personally think that's a reasonable goal :]. Ren'Py is pretty quick to pick up, especially if your game will just have the very basic elements of a VN so I don't think it'll be too much of a problem for you. And you can always get explanations and advice from people on this forum.


As for me:
1. How much time it took for some of you to create your first VN?

Over a year.

2. Was it a solo project, and did you do everything yourself?

Not at all. I did the majority of the writing and all the programming but had help with everything else.

3. How long was it in terms of playtime?

Not really sure, it depended a lot on the person. It was over 100,000 words long though so a few hours long at least if you did everything.
Very true! (Thank God for this forum XD) Since it is a Christmas story and all I'd like to implement a "snowing screen"- among other things of course- which is something I haven't the slightest clue how to do. But I suppose I'll figure it out somehow if I get this up and running.

Ah, I suppose I should've also asked what the word length was! I'll go add that in the OP. That's quite an impressive word count for a first VN, though, isn't it? Hopefully some day I'll be that hardcore too! Hahaha :D Thanks for your answer!

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Re: Questions regarding your first VN ever

#4 Post by somestrangecircus » Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:23 pm

1. How much time it took for some of you to create your first VN?

Am still creating it, have been since...May or June, I think. I've had certain personal life issues getting in the way of development, plus I wanted to wait until the script was a decent way complete before starting to commission artwork in case they needed to work with the script some.

2. Was it a solo project, and did you do everything yourself?

I intend to do all writing and coding myself, but since I am a shit artist/composer those will have to be commissioned.

3. How long was it in terms of playtime? (EDIT: And what was the word count?)

I am currently projecting it at roughly 30 minutes or so playtime.

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Re: Questions regarding your first VN ever

#5 Post by Lesleigh63 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:47 am

1. How much time it took for some of you to create your first VN?
A year. A month for writing and 11months for art (sprite, bg, CG and GUI)

2. Was it a solo project, and did you do everything yourself?
Pretty much a solo project doing everything myself except for music where I used creative commons.

3. How long was it in terms of playtime? (EDIT: And what was the word count?)
40mins for playtime and around 8-9000 words. However it was kinetic, so no branching.
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Re: Questions regarding your first VN ever

#6 Post by sbester » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:39 pm

1. Mafiosi 1 took about a year or so to write.

2. Solo, although my friend did the title poster for it, which is pretty kick-ass. All resources and music were taken from elsewhere, something I hope to change in the near future.

3. 64k words. The sequel was a tad over 90k and was completed in the same amount of time. While the third will be 120k, I'm still hoping to get it done in around a year's time (total). Basically, I'm learning to manage my time better.

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Re: Questions regarding your first VN ever

#7 Post by Ozitiho » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:51 pm

That seems like a relatively reasonable goal time. If you really try your darndest. But don't be upset when it turns out taking twice as long, because that's really just how it goes with your first project. Your goal should be to work on it and in the end have something. Anything. Even if it's just a guy on a screen saying two words. Then you can apply all the things you've learned into your next project, which will be even better.

However, if you're a complete idiot. You can do what I did. Though I'd strongly recommend against it.

1. How much time it took for some of you to create your first VN?

I have been working on it for over 3 years. Though it should take about 6 more, if it keeps going steady as it is.

2. Was it a solo project, and did you do everything yourself?

I have a very skilled group of friends. I got about 7 guys and gals to help me to various extends with everything. I do the writing, scripting and directing.

3. How long was it in terms of playtime? And what was the word count?

I'm gunning for about... 10 hours. More than that... I would count the words but the script isn't in a runnable state. I can tell you there are over 30.000 lines of script. That might equate to about 200.000+ words, I guess? I think the final product will triple that.

I decided to do this because this is the only way I can have fun while doing something I feel strongly for. But if you want to become better at making VN's, don't be me.

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Re: Questions regarding your first VN ever

#8 Post by Kinjo » Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:32 pm

MomoiroGirl wrote:This is mostly out of curiosity, but also related to my own current project that I'm attempting to start up. I was wondering:

1. How much time it took for some of you to create your first VN?
2. Was it a solo project, and did you do everything yourself?
3. How long was it in terms of playtime? (EDIT: And what was the word count?)
1. One or two years. The first year wasn't all that productive, and everything had to be rewritten/redrawn, so sometimes I don't count it.

2. No, I hired about four different artists and had two friends working on the music (although I did just a bit of everything).

3. 3-5 hours on average. Just short of 40,000 words.

Your goal sounds pretty realistic to me.

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Re: Questions regarding your first VN ever

#9 Post by Alera » Mon Aug 17, 2015 2:15 pm

I feel like my answer is going to be very different from everyone else's ^^''

1. How much time it took for some of you to create your first VN?
- About 5 days
2. Was it a solo project, and did you do everything yourself?
- Solo project! I did everything except the music.
3. How long was it in terms of playtime? (EDIT: And what was the word count?)
- Very short, less than 5 minutes? But it was essentially a mini game that could be replayed over and over again to obtain a high score. Maybe I shouldn't even call it a VN but it was made in Ren'Py and it does have dialogue at the beginning.
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Re: Questions regarding your first VN ever

#10 Post by Harliqueen » Tue Aug 18, 2015 5:09 am

1. How much time it took for some of you to create your first VN?

A month- I did it for NaNo.

2. Was it a solo project, and did you do everything yourself?

Yes, it was solo, except the music :D

3. How long was it in terms of playtime? (EDIT: And what was the word count?)


About 30-45 minutes. I'm not sure about word count!

-

I think your project sounds very possible. If it's just for fun, then it's a good way of learning renpy.

(A tip- I always keep a tester game in renpy, (that I have with stick figure sprites :D) I find it's a great way of testing out code and seeing what works before messing up my actual game.)
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Re: Questions regarding your first VN ever

#11 Post by AsHLeX » Tue Aug 18, 2015 10:22 am

To be honest, I'm not sure if you mean first vn made or first vn to be released so I'll just talk about the first vn that I made (and didn't release).
1. How much time it took for some of you to create your first VN?
1 year
2. Was it a solo project, and did you do everything yourself?
Solo except for creative commons assets.
3. How long was it in terms of playtime? (EDIT: And what was the word count?)
50k words.

For the first released:
1. Few months
2. My friend helped me with the coding
3. About 10k?

It's pretty realistic, your goal especially if you're going to rely on CC resources. If it's a story with not too much branching then it's really doable. And it's a great way to learn how to use ren'py. (What better way to learn that to do it yourself? XD)

All the best!!
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Re: Questions regarding your first VN ever

#12 Post by Kuroonehalf » Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:02 pm

MomoiroGirl wrote: 1. How much time it took for some of you to create your first VN?
2. Was it a solo project, and did you do everything yourself?
3. How long was it in terms of playtime? (EDIT: And what was the word count?)
1) Two and a half months from when I started doing raw work on it. Prior to that I spent like 2 weeks deciding on the seeds for the story.

2) Technically not solo, since I had a friend help me at the last minute to make the logo, but you could say it was. I did illustration, backgrounds, UI, writing, coding, sound effects. The only free-to-use assets used were ambience sound effects and background music.

3) An hour long, 7.5k words, no branching.

ps: I made some articles looking back on the making of my first novel, Cuttlebone, and you can find them linked on the itch.io page (click the image in my signature to get there). Perhaps those could provide some useful input. :>

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Re: Questions regarding your first VN ever

#13 Post by MomoiroGirl » Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:00 pm

@somestrangecircus: Sounds pretty sensible as far as I can tell. I'm also nervous about my personal life getting in the way of development or something like that... But I guess it's better to try. Thanks for your answer and good luck with your game! Fighting! 8D

@Lesleigh63: It seems as though a kinetic VN is generally a wise choice for someone's first VN though. I'm still on the fence about it, since I don't want to over-complicate it, considering it's the first time I'm attempting to make a VN. But maybe it would still be good, just to practice it a bit. Thank you for your answer! :D

@sbester: Yeah, I think the time management part is going to be one of my problems, since I have a horrible sense of how long it takes to perform specific tasks... I suppose that's why it's good to have free resources for things you may not be able to do yourself, or if you run out of time :lol: Thanks for responding~

@Ozitiho: Haha yeah, I'm attempting to accept the fact that I might not finish it in time... BUT! If it were to take much longer than until December, I almost considered just holding the release until next year's Christmas :lol: That sounds like a huge game! Well, as long as the development keeps going, I guess that's better than nothing happening at all! If you're happy going about it like this, then that's great though! After all, it should be an enjoyable process to create a VN. So good luck on it! And thank you for your response :D

@Kinjo: I hope it is realistic (but I guess in the end only time will show)! Sounds like you had a nice team to work with~ I suppose that's just what happens sometimes when creating a VN. I guess it's up to your own judgement whether or not the first year counted. I'd probably think the same way if it was me, though, hahaha! :P Thank you for responding~

@Alera: Hahaha, one of these things is not like the other! ... Sorry... Anyway, that sounds really impressive regardless of whether or not it's a VN! I don't quite think I'd be able to create something in 5 days XD Thanks for your answer at any rate! Also, I really liked your game Zayay, even though I couldn't get him to like me... I'll have to go back and try again soon!

@Harliqueen: Ooh, your game looks pretty fun~ I might give it a try soon (I love mermen XD) Yeah, I want to try something light for my first VN, so I won't stress myself out too much learning Ren'Py. (That's a nice tip, I'll have to remember that! Thanks a lot! :D)

@AsHLeX: Initially I meant released VNs, but it's actually nice hearing from people who are in the midst of developing their first one as well~ Sounds like it went a lot easier the second time around hahaha! Yeah, I'm trying to keep a short leash on myself regarding the branching, since I know I can go overboard with ideas sometimes, if I don't focus on keeping it small XD Thank you so much for your answer~! :D

@Kuroonehalf: Ooh this looks very helpful! Thank you so much! :D See, that's another thing I have no idea how to do, a logo XD Sounds like a very reasonable time disribution. Hopefully I can manage as well :lol: Thanks again for your answer! :D

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Re: Questions regarding your first VN ever

#14 Post by Godline » Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:38 pm

1. How much time it took for some of you to create your first VN?
Three weeks for the first version. I fixed things later on thanks to qirien for her help and advice. I haven't touched it in a while though, even though there's still things that make me cringe. But people are still playing it!
2. Was it a solo project, and did you do everything yourself?
Did everything but the character art/CGs. Which was by a wonderful artist. :)
3. How long was it in terms of playtime? (EDIT: And what was the word count?)
Over 5,000 words only. Lots of branching mostly. Was just working stuff out as I went along.

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Re: Questions regarding your first VN ever

#15 Post by thebackup » Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:52 pm

MomoiroGirl wrote:1. How much time it took for some of you to create your first VN?
2. Was it a solo project, and did you do everything yourself?
3. How long was it in terms of playtime? (EDIT: And what was the word count?)
1. My first VN was a college project, and therefore it was created with time constraints. I needed to keep it relatively short, which means create it within 2-3 months.

2. While I did most things myself, I did ask for help with the voices, and used some ready-made artwork - like, sprites and BGs from other VNs. Looking back though, I probably shouldn't have used assets from other VNs (as they came from commercial Japanese VNs), but then again I was just a newbie at VN creation and didn't have much time looking for sprites and such.

I have to admit even for a short project doing most of the stuff yourself can be pretty stressful. I never even heard of Ren'Py back then and used Flash; using the latter was pretty tedious.

3. Probably less than 15-20 mins, and less than 3000 words, with some branching.

That project is so old, like ~7 years old. I think I might cringe if I ever go back to that project and play it again, thinking "why did I put that there?!" or "why did I create something so corny?" I guess I'll take a look at the past sometime.

Good luck with your projects!
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