What do you think of individual character stories for otome?

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Ferdokki
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What do you think of individual character stories for otome?

#1 Post by Ferdokki » Mon Dec 23, 2013 6:47 am

Hi Everyone!

I am helping my friend develop a game, however, we are still in the early stages of story-writing and plot developing (this is our first game). The game is an otome, with 3 obtainable males.

My friend has a basic skeleton of the game events, and has planned for the game to be about 15 chapters long. She's been working really hard, and has put in a ton of effort (she is doing her own artwork and programming as well). Because of this, she wants to release the game commercially.

My question for the community is this: Since the game is about 15 chapters long, do you think it would be a good idea to sell the game as individual character stories?
My friend thinks that packing the stories of all 3 characters into 15 chapters is going to make the game very massive, and she is afraid of having errors.
Her plan is to release a free prologue, which will allow the player to begin playing the game. They will be familiar with the direction of the story, as well as the characters. After that, they will have to buy individual character stories.

We know that Android and iOS VN players seem pretty comfortable buying character stories (ex: fans of Voltage Inc.), but how about the PC users? Are you guys alright with buying character paths?

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Re: What do you think of individual character stories for ot

#2 Post by zankizuna » Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:39 am

oh man, that's a hard question. if i'm asked, i would prefer not to spend for anything...
gamers though, if they really like the novel and look forward to it, might just buy.
i'm planning to do the same thing that ur friend's trying to do but i'm having a hard time.
as a friend, u should see to it that his project finishes, unlike on mine, no one helped me...
i discontinued.
It's ok to buy if the art n' story is worth buying.

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Re: What do you think of individual character stories for ot

#3 Post by Googaboga » Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:52 am

I don't think that would be a problem. Games like "Miranda's Choice" comes to mind which does exactly what your friend is thinking about and are also released for computers specifically. No one seemed to be terribly bothered by the way the game was released (as in a free prologue and then individual character routes you purchase). I will say that once the routes are all released having some kind of package deal would probably be appreciated by the buyers. Maybe she could even give a small discount for bulk orders to encourage people to buy all paths instead of just a few specific ones. Either way I personally do not think many or even any people will complain if your friend releases that way.
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Re: What do you think of individual character stories for ot

#4 Post by Hazel-Bun » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:13 am

I agree with Googaboga. It's pretty standard at least for mobile otome games to do this ^^ Offering a pre-order bundle (so paying a reduced rate for all games) is always good too. As long as they are all reasonably priced, I'm inclined to go this route anyway. NTT Solmare for instance groups like characters in a bundle which I love beacuse a). I tend to have favorites based off the prolouge and b). Then I don't have to pay for guys I might not want to prusue. If I end up liking those routes then I usually by the others anyway. A bundle option then would be nice for the cautious and picky such as myself haha!

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Re: What do you think of individual character stories for ot

#5 Post by Destiny » Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:23 pm

I don't think that there is a exact answer on it.
I mean, commercial VNs are often quite long with one playthrough, given that the player reads all the text. And the player DOES pay money for that one long game. Players also pay money for superlong games, like Final Fantasy, Elder Scrolls, etc, which also have lots of story and still take hours and hours.

On the other side, the chapter-wise selling is also quite popular, see American McGee's Grimm, The Walking Dead, Miranda's Choice.

Of course, not all games named are VNs, but a VN is a game in the end. I don't actually see why we should differ between them that much in the first place, except if it is really more a KN, wich would be closer to a movie or book and should have limits.
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Re: What do you think of individual character stories for ot

#6 Post by gekiganwing » Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:44 am

How easy would it be for customers to purchase individual routes? If it's difficult in any way, then it would make more sense to sell the whole package. Either way, you want to convey the notion that your story has inherent value. In other words, I don't think you'll benefit by charigng too little for content.

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Re: What do you think of individual character stories for ot

#7 Post by Ferdokki » Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:00 pm

@Googabooga: I've never actually played "Miranda's Choice" (mainly because I am one of the gamers like zankizuna who would rather not spend money on downloadable games). Was the game successful, do you know?

@Hazel-Bun: Thanks! That's a really great idea! I'll run that by my friend and see what she thinks of it.

@Destiny: Yes, VN's are games too, but I've noticed that gamers tend to treat VN's differently from regular games, so I am unsure of how well commercial VN's do once they are released. One of the things my friend and I were discussing is that well-known developers (Voltage Inc, sakevisual, etc.) do well commercially because people are familiar with their games. But what about for unknown developers? How well do they do on their commercial games?

@gekiganwing: I'd imagine it'd be easy to purchase the individual routes, but then again, I'm not the programmer for the game (I've been helping with ideas, writing, and editing), so I'm not sure. I'll pass this thought along to my friend, thanks for bringing it up. =)

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Re: What do you think of individual character stories for ot

#8 Post by Googaboga » Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:06 am

The game was originally in Japanese and was translated to English and German. So I'm not sure how well it did including the sales from all versions but as far as I can tell the English version was not super popular ^^;. But I'm not sure how much that had to do with how it was sold. The free prologue was quite short and not super attention catching and if I remember right the game didn't get the word out all that much so many people may not have even heard of it. I'm sure the way it was sold deterred at least some people from getting it but I wouldn't know how big of an impact it had. Sorry v.v.
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Re: What do you think of individual character stories for ot

#9 Post by Ferdokki » Wed Dec 25, 2013 2:32 am

No reason to apologize; you've helped a lot, thanks. =)
If you've ever purchased online games, what would be a good price range for VN games, in your opinion?

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Re: What do you think of individual character stories for ot

#10 Post by qirien » Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:05 pm

I personally *hate* the "buy a route" option - it makes it feel like I would only be getting the game to get a romance with the "stereotypical character" of that route. I much prefer buying a section of the game, as long as each section is its own story with some sort of beginning, middle, and end (the Heileen series, for example). I agree with Googaboga; if you do "buy a route" have a discount price to "buy all routes".

I will pay about a maximum of $20 for Win/Linux and $10 for Android VNs of average length.
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Re: What do you think of individual character stories for ot

#11 Post by Ferdokki » Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:45 am

@qirien: Thank you very much for your response!

If you don't mind, I'd like to ask you another question. For our story, we are planning on adding twists and interesting/creative background stories for our characters so that they don't come off as stereotypical pursuable otome men. Does that sound interesting enough to consider buying the character stories, or are there other features that you think should still be involved?

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Re: What do you think of individual character stories for ot

#12 Post by qirien » Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:27 am

Well, the problem is, it's usually difficult to tell if there are going to be twists and great development for the characters just from the intro chapter. And it's also hard to decide which character you are interested in, if they are all interesting! (I'm thinking of Voltage's games, which I still haven't bought because I can't get over that pay-for-character model, even though they seem cool).
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Re: What do you think of individual character stories for ot

#13 Post by Hazel-Bun » Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:58 am

I think it really just depends on the person to be honest. No matter how great the story, certain systems work better for some people. Some people, no matter how you spin it, won't pay per route. Others, like myself, refuse to drop $20+ dollars on everyone in the story. Some like the totally free to play systems of Gree, while others think it's just a cash grab as it can take you weeks just to get through a story seeing as you have to wait.

I'd say just try your absolute best to present an interesting tale and go from there! Maybe try spinning the common route a little differently where in you can get to know one guy more instead of sampling from the whole dish. Heck, you could even abandon the common route model altogether really ;D

Wasn't directed at me, but just wanted to give you guys some ideas ^^ Good luck!
Last edited by Hazel-Bun on Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What do you think of individual character stories for ot

#14 Post by Ferdokki » Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:24 pm

Thanks for all of your responses! =)
If you think of other suggestions, comments, or opinions to share, I'm more than willing to listen. ^__^

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Re: What do you think of individual character stories for ot

#15 Post by Googaboga » Sat Dec 28, 2013 6:12 am

For a full, pure VN I'm normally comfortable paying 20$-25$ (or less of course X3). But if a game is separated into different character paths I'm normally only comfortable playing 4$-6$ dollars per path. Although it really depends on the overall production value.

Other features are always a plus but as long as the prologue is captivating that would be enough for me to be interested in purchasing the routes.
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