Ren'Py specific questions should be posted in the Ren'Py Questions and Annoucements forum, not here.
As a casual observer of the english language visual novel community for a good two or three years now, it's clear to see that a vast majority of original visual novels are in some way influenced by Japanese games series or culture, as evidenced by the widespread popularity of anime-esque art or use of inherently Japanese settings/concepts. The West (being American and European developers) has a history of similar game genres, such as text based adventure games or interactive fiction yet is not so prevalent. I'm not here to say that this is necessarily a 'bad' thing, but it does make me want to bring up my observations to a wider audience for discussion and reflection.
Is this simply because Japanese animation / gaming has such a big influence on internet and hobbyist game creation communities as a whole? Is there a downside or gaps in the visual novel community that you see as a result of this influence? These are just some basic questions I pose right now, but I hope you can see where I'm going with this.
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since i'm familiar with that part of town, its common knowledge for me to write my experience in that town than make up stuff that doesn't exist. many western developers think they can just stuff and call it a day, no that never works, expectedly with school (i seen so many mistakes). there has to be something related to the experience the developer, not give facts.
this is why so many western developers dont get the japanese style right, they relayed on anime for answers then give a real meaningful story of the town or characters. if the western developers can do something similar in the usa/eu then maybe there would be interest in the western development.
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In all seriousness, I think it's all the language that's used. Renpy markets it's self as a "Visual Novel" program. That terminology is used to refer to Japanese text based games. So it's going to attract fans of that genre. Programs, like TWINE market it's self as "Text Based" or "Choose Your Own Adventure" so it's going to attract a more Western audience since that's what we call those games.
I'm pretty active is both circles and there are some very large gaps between two even though what we do is pretty similar. VNs seem very romance based while CYOA are very Mystery/Horror based.
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I especially saw this when it came to Voltage Inc, both their Japanese and American branches. The American branch made some Westernized stories of already existing games from the Japanese branch with some changes to the plots to fit the American culture, for example, how the characters talked. They even changed the art style to western artwork. Many fans didn't like this as it changed their characters a lot, the use of a lot of profanity that wasn't really needed, and they didn't like the art style.
Recently the American branch came up with the AmeMix series and seems to be doing well. The stories are Westernized, but the art is more anime influenced. People are more willing to try it than their older games. It took them two years to find out what their audience really wanted: westernized stories, western-influenced characters, but with anime art style.
I think a number of visual novel fans came into the genre from otome or Japanese (influenced) visual novels, which is why I think there is a bigger want of anime/Japanese influenced writings and art in this genre.
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If you're making standard visual novels, you are influenced by Japanese works, because the whole genre concept is deeply rooted there. Even if you've never played a Japanese-origin visual novel, you are still influenced by them, and influenced by people who were influenced by them.
Of course, the original Japanese visual novels were strongly influenced by Western games.
It's rare for people to create things that are strongly divorced from artistic traditions (see: outsider art)
A game using non-anime art, not set in Japan, not about either romance or mystery, etc, may be further removed from its Japanese influences but the influences are still present.
* Choose any genre or format.
* Let the story's events occur at any time and place on Earth. Or an entirely fictional setting.
* Include lots of gameplay, or none at all.
* The story can be as short or as long as you want.
* Include as many (or as few) choices and endings as you want.
* Use any kind of art style.
Don't compel yourself to create a clone or an imitation of Tokimeki Memorial or To Heart. Instead, create a story or video game that represents who you are. Reference fiction and art that you enjoy. Include references to local places and customs if they're relevant. No matter what you make, strive to help readers care about your fictional world and its characters.
You can make any type of story when creating a comic -- it doesn't need to cling to the outdated stereotype of "episodic story of all-good hero fighting all-evil villains." Likewise, you can make any type of story when creating interactive fiction -- it also should not hold to an outdated stereotype of "vaguely defined protagonist has a G-rated adventure with mostly abrupt endings." In other words, don't let your story be defined by genre assumptions or others' expectations.
The Portopia Serial Murder Case was written in 1983, and was one of the oldest OJLVNs. It's a hybrid adventure game with a serious mystery story.papillon wrote: Of course, the original Japanese visual novels were strongly influenced by Western games.
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