Some pointers.. From a players point of view.

A place to discuss things that aren't specific to any one creator or game.
Forum rules
Ren'Py specific questions should be posted in the Ren'Py Questions and Annoucements forum, not here.
Message
Author
User avatar
Binki
Regular
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 2:43 am
Contact:

Some pointers.. From a players point of view.

#1 Post by Binki » Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:49 am

I've played pretty much every freeware Ren'ai game you guys put out and I've been noticing some things I don't really like. Maybe this will help, or maybe it'll piss you off.

1. The art. Look... I know it is hard to find a good artist, and most of you do a very good job with what you have and yet there are some things about WHAT you're drawing that detract from the games you create.
( From the POV of a female manga artist )

a. Clothing. I have to admit some of the most bland clothing you will ever see on a woman you will find in american made Ren'ai games ( Not the professional ones... Those aren't too hot either ).

b. Hair. Same problem, its like the same thing over and over again.. It gets very tiring.

Ok so those are the basic blunders I see in the art in you guy'ses work.

2. Personalitys and plots. I am also a writer so I kinda know what I'm dealing with ^_^;;

Part 1 ( XD ) personalitys :

I keep on finding the same characters in each freakin' game!!! Let me list off some mary-sues of the Ren'ai world:

The shy bookish one.
The older expirienced one.
The ditzy one etc, etc.

Now don't get me wrong, I actually like the slate characters. They bring a sense of firmiliarity to a game, but try and mix em' up once in a while.

Part 2 Plots:

Why oh why do these games always have to be about people in and around collage age?! I want diversity!! Try different pairring types too! How bout' some shoujo-ai or shonen-ai? Better yet, mix it all together, now that'd be a great game... Get a guy or a gal!


So yeah. Keep it up, cause you guys rock! I hope I can join you once I figure out that new fangled ren'ai software!

Matte Ne!



c.
Last edited by Binki on Thu Mar 03, 2005 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
mikey
Lemma-Class Veteran
Posts: 3249
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 6:03 am
itch: atpprojects
Contact:

#2 Post by mikey » Tue Mar 01, 2005 5:39 am

Okay, so...

Art, clothing, hair - It depends on the person, really. I've noticed Kathryn likes to go with less extravagant clothing, and it's unlikely she'll do one of those ultra-sexy attires that one usually finds in rabukome. She doesn't draw them and I don't want them anyway. Sorry :(

But I accept that - I guess it's nicer to look at something out of the ordinary for a change - at least in games. What I can't really see is why you would mention the plot/characters being stock. And school-aged?

Shizuka is 32, Kaori is more than 30, Yuki as well, only Natane is of schoolgirl-age. Have you *really* played them all? Summer Schoolgirls is something like shoujo-ai, there's Amgine Park which is bishounen (though not shounen-ai), and how about Mary (M.Walks) for a character? So I think there IS diversity. And we also have ToL and Kasuka for the ones that like to play the classics, nothing wrong with that IMO.

All in all though, I respect your opinion, because I'm really too close to the game-making to be an objective player. I remember when I first played Tales of Lemma, I thought it was okay, but I gave it a C-rank. Now all the fan-made games in my encyclopedia (see below) are unranked. I just can't judge them anymore because I see all that has been put into them.

Grrr, I'd be okay with everything you said, but how can you call Akemi, Shizuka, Kaori, Yuki schoolgirls?! Aaaaargh! :evil:

User avatar
chronoluminaire
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1153
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 4:57 pm
Completed: Elven Relations, Cloud Fairy, When I Rule The World
Tumblr: alextfish
Skype: alextfish
Location: Cambridge, UK
Contact:

#3 Post by chronoluminaire » Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:49 am

First off, THANKYOU! for saying that. It takes a bit of courage to make an unpopular post, and a lot of people on the Net wouldn't bother with the constructive suggestions. And comments from players are going to be one key way that we get better :)

I heartily agree that stereotype characters are boring, although I wouldn't say that the currently available offerings exactly perpetuate the stereotypes. One of the reasons I wanted to create my own ren'ai game was to be able to defy or mix up the stereotypes... keeping some aspects that are part of the appeal, to be sure, but not reproducing carbon-copies-in-a-different-setting of Naru, Rei, Shiori and so on.

The ages is a convention among a huge majority of Japanese ren'ai games. I have to say I've been impressed how Mikey has defied that tradition. (My NaNoRenO game does focus around a schoolgirl, but she's emphatically not a typical stereotype character and unfortunately her being at school is a key part of the concept. In Elven Relations, which I admit must seem like vapourware to some people here although it's 2/3 done now, the party (3 guys and 2 girls) are all in gainful employment despite being aged 16-18.)

As for the art, well... I can't really speak because I've persuaded friends to do the art for my games, but I think there's a certain element of "you get what you pay for". While fan-made games are being distributed for free, we can't go hiring professional artists, and so you're stuck with what we or our friends can draw :P Plus that Western manga-style art will naturally have a different style to that produced in Japan, which in turn will be different to that from Korea, etc...

Of course, the best way to encourage us to break what you reckon are bad habits we've got into... is by example! Knock together a quick game for NaNoRenO showing a few of your principles. (In cut-down form, of course. A month isn't long.) And blow our minds! :)

User avatar
papillon
Arbiter of the Internets
Posts: 4053
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 4:37 am
Completed: lots; see website!
Projects: something mysterious involving yuri, usually
Organization: Hanako Games
Tumblr: hanakogames
Contact:

#4 Post by papillon » Tue Mar 01, 2005 9:26 am

(Want better art? Help me raise money! :) )

And here I thought college- age was being daring, since almost every Japanese game I've played, the characters were clearly under 18 and trying to hide it... :) (in fact, iirc, on a different game board, polls were taken, and 18-25 was seen as TOO OLD by most of the fans! * )

As for shoujo-ai, well, considering that's blatantly what I'm doing.... :)

Clothing is definitely a rough spot for me. I have no fashion sense myself, and folds of cloth are tricky. I pored over all kinds of fashion sites trying to find things to suit my girls, and some of them are still pretty boring, but I think they're at least all sufficiently different from each other. But it does make me tear my hair a bit when I catch a new anime and they have such cute school uniforms full of details that I can't figure out how to invent. Forget anime-girl-generators, I need anime-clothes-generators!

(The best thing about Hunago, when I got him to do the wallpapers for Charm School, was his ability to look at my character designs and immediately *add* the details. Great guy.)

* - I think the ranking went something like 15-18 tops, then 12-14, 18-25, 9-11, then the really ridiculous loli, and then at the very bottom of the barrel, "old grandmas" of over 25! But this *was* a hentai board. Pervs. :)

User avatar
rioka
Royal Manga Tutor
Posts: 1255
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 12:21 pm
Completed: Amgine Park, Garden Society: Kykuit, Metropolitan Blues (art)
Location: somewhere in NY
Contact:

Re: Some pointers.. From a players point of view.

#5 Post by rioka » Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:04 am

Binki wrote:a. Clothing. I have to admit some of the most bland clothing you will ever see on a woman you will find in american made Ren'ai games ( Not the professional ones... Those aren't too hot either ).
What's wrong with bland? In reality, not every female is a fashion plate and I would think the clothes should reflect the character's personality and the situation. IMO, some of the Japanese character designs get a bit too flashy and pretty much inappropriate (what's with magic girls and flimsy clothing that gets even more flimsy as the series progresses?)

Same thing with hair. Depends on the character's personality. Some Japanese anime/manga hair styles are a bit out there and I see artists recycling hairstyles (with slight changes) like Rumiko Takahashi, CLAMP, etc.

Anyways, my first game dealt with some issues I had with ren'ai games as well (such as a sterile world where there's only the player and the characters they can talk to - no crowd of people, no movement, no life, etc). I'll have to ask you to look over clothing and hairstyles again after I'm done with my NaNoRenO project... =)

Funny you should mention different pairings - there are people working on such games. There are threads in this board about them. A body can only do one thing at a time. For waves to happen, it takes time or more people to do it. And there are more people developing now than a year ago - and now it's just a matter of time...

And good luck with your project! I'm hoping to see some things that you mentioned here... :D

User avatar
PyTom
Ren'Py Creator
Posts: 15478
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 10:58 am
Completed: Moonlight Walks
Projects: Ren'Py
IRC Nick: renpytom
Github: renpytom
itch: renpytom
Location: Kings Park, NY
Contact:

Re: Some pointers.. From a players point of view.

#6 Post by PyTom » Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:07 am

I'm not going to apologize for my game, as I think it was the best that I could do at the time. I'm not an artist by trade, nor a writer... I'm a computer scientist. I do this in my spare time, for fun, and to keep my self sane (well, the jury's still out on that one). So you can't expect art that is the equal of what a Japanese company does.

Heck, even for the professional games in the US, I wouldn't expect the same quality, if only because right now the amounts of money involved are that much less.

Besides, it's the story that matters, not the art. Some of the best games have strange, unattractive art. (Kanon and Kana come to mind.)
Binki wrote: Why oh why do these games always have to be about people in and around collage age?! I want diversity!!
For me, college age seems about right. It's the first time in a person's life when they really have the freedom to do whatever they want, while at the same time they don't have the attachments and responsibility that older people do. So that's why I tend to go with that.

User avatar
papillon
Arbiter of the Internets
Posts: 4053
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 4:37 am
Completed: lots; see website!
Projects: something mysterious involving yuri, usually
Organization: Hanako Games
Tumblr: hanakogames
Contact:

#7 Post by papillon » Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:43 am

The thing about wacky clothes and hair is that even if they're unrealistic, they help people tell the characters apart. Some animes are more "realistic" and give every character hair in shades of dark brown and black - and often I would find that by the end of the episode I couldn't remember who anyone was.

If you only have one or two NPCs in your game, I don't think it matters that much. No one's going to get confused if there's no one to get confused between. But if you've got a big cast, over-emphasing things helps them stick in the mind. Giving a character wild green spiky hair, giant glasses, and dressing her in a lab coat will make people remember 'mad scientist' much better than if she just keeps making disturbing comments about boiling cats. :)

It always surprises me when I talk to people who're testing things for me and they CANNOT get the character names right even if the game is right in front of them... They do know which character they mean, but the name slips thei mind. Memories are funny things. :)

User avatar
Blue Lemma
Forum Founder
Posts: 2005
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2003 2:32 pm
Completed: ToL, Shoujo Attack!, Lemma Ten
Projects: [RETIRED FROM FORUM ADMINISTRATION - CONTACT PYTOM WITH ISSUES]
Contact:

#8 Post by Blue Lemma » Tue Mar 01, 2005 2:14 pm

Wow, I don't think I've seen a thread get so much activity so quickly :shock:
Binki wrote:1. The art. Look... I know it is hard to find a good artist, and most of you do a very good job with what you have and yet there are some things about WHAT you're drawing that detract from the games you create.
( From the POV of a female manga artist )
Yep, it's VERY hard to find a good artist - not so much in terms of art skill, but in terms of sticking with a project and actually finishing art. And if you want the art in any reasonable amount of time.... tough luck :lol: That's basically how it goes, unfortunately. And with no real budget, things sure don't get easier.

If you're an artist, why don't you give us a hand? :wink:
Binki wrote:Why oh why do these games always have to be about people in and around collage age?!
'Cause I'm in college :P Guess I can relate to it better ^^ Plus, college-age women are hot (a lot of times) 8) Not to say older women aren't. I just prefer college-age right now. As for younger characters, that'd just get you labeled a pedo in the US if there's any sexually-related content at all, even if it reflects current society.

Thanks for the comments :D

User avatar
mikey
Lemma-Class Veteran
Posts: 3249
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 6:03 am
itch: atpprojects
Contact:

#9 Post by mikey » Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:25 pm

chronoluminaire wrote:It takes a bit of courage to make an unpopular post, and a lot of people on the Net wouldn't bother with the constructive suggestions.
Well, I agree - hope my answer didn't feel like the "oh yeah what do YOU know about game-making" kind. It's the problem I mentioned, we're too close and at first glance those games may not feel special at all.

I agree with PyTom though, that I shouldn't have to justify what I (we) did - the fan-made games may be heavily inspired by their Japanese counterparts, but I think they are different, as many people put their own cultural background, and perception of the whole genre into it.

As for me, I was only surprised that (don't know if it's more people than just Binki) it didn't come across that the characters in BP, RT, K* were much older than your standard 16.

RedSlash
Veteran
Posts: 351
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2004 12:48 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

#10 Post by RedSlash » Tue Mar 01, 2005 4:04 pm

I've played pretty much every Ren'ai game you guys put out and I've been noticing the same mistakes over and over.
I tend to disagree with you when you say you've been noticing "mistakes". I don't consider there being a right or a wrong in creative game development. For me, bland clothing, boring hair, storyline cliches doesn't detract me from the game. It is the fact that the work is being developed by us, individuals who just want to express our ideas to the world, even though we are not professionals. I honestly find independant games more interesting because they tend to be different from the same-old plots of professional games.
I keep on finding the same characters in each freakin' game!!!
Actually, you'll find more of the same characters in professional games. The games made here are actually more diverse. See Mikey's games.
Why oh why do these games always have to be about people in and around collage age?! I want diversity!!
Again, play Mikeys games.
Try different pairring types too! How bout' some shoujo-ai or shonen-ai?
papillon has one in development. There's a recent thread about this.
Get a guy or a gal!
Somewhere on this board, somebody is developing a game called "Archer's Curse" which features both male and female lead. (http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewtopic.php?t=365

Final word, even if you want to make a game with all the usual cliches in it, just do it! As long as you try your best, I'll be one of the people playing it.

User avatar
Yang Sei Fu
Regular
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2003 12:50 am
Location: Toronto, Canada
Contact:

Re: Some pointers.. From a players point of view.

#11 Post by Yang Sei Fu » Tue Mar 01, 2005 5:05 pm

>>I've played pretty much every Ren'ai game you guys put out and I've been noticing the same mistakes over and over.

It takes creativity and inspiration to break the ordinary.

>> 1. The art. Look... I know it is hard to find a good artist, and most of you do a very good job with what you have and yet there are some things about WHAT you're drawing that detract from the games you create.
( From the POV of a female manga artist )

Go on...

>> a. Clothing. I have to admit some of the most bland clothing you will ever see on a woman you will find in american made Ren'ai games ( Not the professional ones... Those aren't too hot either ).

That's about to change...Project Journeys offers rather...interesting clothing on some characters.

>> b. Hair. Same problem, its like the same thing over and over again.. It gets very tiring.

hair is a personal statement. Most of the time it's simplicity. However, some people LIKE to make a statement, which is why PJ will include it...now make us work :D

>>Ok so those are the basic blunders I see in the art in you guy'ses work.
I feel it...
>>2. Personalitys(sic) and plots. I am also a writer so I kinda know what I'm dealing with ^_^;;

>>Part 1 ( XD ) personalitys :
It's personaliTIES.
>>I keep on finding the same characters in each freakin' game!!! Let me list off some mary-sues of the Ren'ai world:

Cliche is the start-off point of many series, even in Japan. Again, it's the part of the writers' craft and inspiration that breaks the ordinary into a classic. Since most people here develop SHORT games, character development is really not at its potential here...I agree.

>>Part 2 Plots:

>>Why oh why do these games always have to be about people in and around collage age?! I want diversity!! Try different pairring types too! How bout' some shoujo-ai or shonen-ai? Better yet, mix it all together, now that'd be a great game... Get a guy or a gal!

Project Journeys starts off with the main character in Gr. 4...hope you like THAT.

>>So yeah. Keep it up, cause you guys rock! I hope I can join you once I figure out that new fangled ren'ai software!

>>Matte Ne!
Matte (wait)? "Mata"-tte jyanai ka?


-------------------------
This is why I've kept CWDS out of NaNoRenO. I am not a supporter of superspeed works. I seek quality in my own works. If it means taking a reasonable amount of time, so be it.

If it doesn't go to par with industry standards, it isn't CWDS.
=/| ClearWind Design Studios |\=
Image

User avatar
PyTom
Ren'Py Creator
Posts: 15478
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 10:58 am
Completed: Moonlight Walks
Projects: Ren'Py
IRC Nick: renpytom
Github: renpytom
itch: renpytom
Location: Kings Park, NY
Contact:

Re: Some pointers.. From a players point of view.

#12 Post by PyTom » Tue Mar 01, 2005 5:32 pm

Yang Sei Fu wrote: Project Journeys starts off with the main character in Gr. 4...hope you like THAT.
Spoiler for the ending of Moonlight Walks: (This is not a YSF quote... just here to make the spoiler invisible.)

In MW, the main character is probably in his sixties when narrating ending 3, and 88 years old when narrating ending 4.
This is why I've kept CWDS out of NaNoRenO. I am not a supporter of superspeed works. I seek quality in my own works. If it means taking a reasonable amount of time, so be it.

If it doesn't go to par with industry standards, it isn't CWDS.
I think the goal of NaNoRenO is to promote the completion of games by encouraging people to make smaller games. The experience learned by completing a small game can be utilized when working on a larger game.

Right now, there are, as far as I can tell, six people/teams that have succesfully completed english-language games. (mikey, Eclipse, Grey, the guy who did PK girl, Lemma, and me) If NaNoRenO can add a few people to our numbers, grow the fan-base for English games, and improve the sense of camraderie among game creators, then that's a good thing.

I don't think it's fair to compare English industry standards with Japanese ones in the VN area... There is no English VN industry to speak of (I don't think translations should count), and there probably won't be until Summer Schoolgirls comes out.

User avatar
Binki
Regular
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 2:43 am
Contact:

Re: Some pointers.. From a players point of view.

#13 Post by Binki » Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:32 pm

PyTom wrote:I'm not going to apologize for my game, as I think it was the best that I could do at the time. I'm not an artist by trade, nor a writer... I'm a computer scientist. I do this in my spare time, for fun, and to keep my self sane (well, the jury's still out on that one). So you can't expect art that is the equal of what a Japanese company does.
.
I must clarify somethings. Pytom, I never ment to come off sounding like a hard ass. I was never intending for you to apologize for your game. I quite liked it infact. I do not expect professional level art! I said I did not have a problem with what you have now ( it was the technicals )!

Okay now about the clothes. It's not really that they are bland so much as they are not believable ^_^;; Even someone with no fashion sense wouldn't wear some of those things because they are uncomfortable ( I've had expirience.. ) !

User avatar
Binki
Regular
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 2:43 am
Contact:

#14 Post by Binki » Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:40 pm

Oh BTW I would like to do some artwork for a game. Admittedly i'm not the best but I try and I've been drawing for years ^_^

User avatar
papillon
Arbiter of the Internets
Posts: 4053
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 4:37 am
Completed: lots; see website!
Projects: something mysterious involving yuri, usually
Organization: Hanako Games
Tumblr: hanakogames
Contact:

#15 Post by papillon » Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:47 pm

Post a link to a portfolio and plenty of us will contemplate hiring you. :)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users