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My upcoming project, The Last Birdling, alternates between Bimonia and Tayo’s perspectives. Today, I would like to explore some of the details behind this system. Your feedback is most welcome, and if you know of other visual novels that handle multiple viewpoints in a fresh way, please let me know!
The Last Birdling is written from a first person perspective, so the viewpoint character’s personality will come through in everything she observes. Her inner thoughts, reactions, they are all distinctly her own. On paper, or on screen in our case, this means different word choices as well as sentence structures.
That said, I dislike making characters act a certain way just to showcase their uniqueness. If you study writing books, you will often be advised to make every character sound different, to a point where you can tell who is speaking even without dialogue tags. Now, imagine a group of your friends. If you closed your eyes, and they all had the same voice, would you be able to tell them apart? I for one would have a hard time. For me, being truthful takes priority above all rules.
Since we are in a visual medium, we may as well take advantage of that when it comes to perspective shifts. Notice how the UI changes to green in the screenshot below:
This means we have switched to Tayo’s perspective in chapter two. The same concept applies to decision points:
In the world of traditional novels, shifting perspectives mid-scene is ill advised. To avoid disorienting readers, we want to jump into different heads during a scene or chapter break. The Last Birdling does not feature chapter titles, but there are end of scene cards to signal a perspective change:
This introduces several concerns in terms of programming. For instance, if players return to the previous scene, will the UI switch back as expected?
What about loading another saved game mid-session? I hope all the common scenarios have been addressed. We will see if players spot any edge cases after the game’s release.
So why would we alternate between perspectives? Once readers recognize the pattern, it is no longer something they need to worry about, which makes for an ideal reading experience. If the view changes went as follows:
Bimonia, Bimonia, Tayo, Tayo, Tayo, Tayo, Bimonia, Tayo, Bimonia, Bimonia
And so on, gamers would stumble every time we reached a new scene. We want to set up roadblocks for our characters, not our players.
To round things off, The Last Birdling follows the journeys of Bimonia and Tayo from childhood to adolescence. By the time these two reach their teens, they have suffered through an awful lot. To reflect both their physical and mental shifts, the UI will also update accordingly:
Find out more about The Last Birdling via:
The website contains a demo version, which illustrates how the perspective changes work. Please feel free to have a look.
To finish things off, I am happy to say The Last Birdling has been approved for publication on Steam several hours ago. Thank you so much for your support!
Hope to see you again soon .
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Now, I'm well aware that most people don't play VNs twice. Visual novels are a static media, similar to one of the old 'choose your own adventure' novels in interactive terms, so this is only natural. To be blunt, the main reason I go back and play old VNs is because nothing is satisfying one of my itches amongst the more recent releases. That said, there are some pieces of advice I can give for those who habitually re-read their favorite books and rewatch their favorite anime.
1- Wait long enough for your memories to fade: The human brain has a tendency to 'compress' old memories, and it is rare person who, through training or at birth, possesses an eidetic memory. As a result, details do fade over a period of time that tends to vary greatly with the individual. In my case, the base runs from a year to a year and a half for VNs that made a good impression and four months for ones that didn't.
2- Pick your paths: When it comes down to it, most of us are going back for a particular heroine or path. We aren't that interested in rehashing the heroine paths that we didn't find that interesting, and this is only natural. Sagaoz and other sites with complete saves can let you go to the true ending without bothering with the heroine endings, if that is what you want.
3- With gameplay hybrids, make full use of your save data: Most VN hybrids have NG+ built in, and as a result, you can breeze through the game portions of most of them rather easily by simply using your own save data. This is immensely helpful in games with a particularly tedious bent (like srpgs), where re-leveling would take forever.
4- Limit replays to your favorites: While I occasionally get a junk-food-like craving for something crappy that nonetheless remained in memory, in most cases I only really enjoy replaying my favorite VNs (in my case, a list of about fifty).
5- Nakige and utsuge work, but pure charage don't: I'm not kidding. Pure charage are agonizing to replay, no matter how long after you go back. I can still cry for the sad scenes in a Key game, but if you asked me to replay anything by Feng or most games by Navel, I'd rather cut off my balls and hang them out to dry on my windowsill.
6- If you fall asleep, just stop- In my experience, nothing is worse than getting bored of your favorites and then forcing yourself to continue. If you can't pay attention or if you suddenly lose interest, it is time to stop. If you force yourself to continue, there is a distinct possibility you will ruin your own impressions of the game in question for future playthroughs.
7- Stay away from pure mindfucks- I shouldn't have to explain this, but I will... the value of a mindfuck is in its surprise. Games centered on a mindfuck, with the sole purpose of trying to fool you into thinking one thing while something else is going on, are terrible for VN replays. This is because they are probably the most spoiler-vulnerable genre out there.
8- Highly emotional or intellectually stimulating works will often gain more depth: This isn't a fanciful statement. In my experience, a VN that is trying to get across something else besides pure story or something that is trying to make you cry will inevitably make for a better replay than something that is just shoving sex, romance, and comedy in your face. I could probably replay Houkago no Futekikakusha, for instance, three or four times in a year without the emotional aspects fading significantly, and I find new things out about Dies Irae, Vermilion, and Devils Devel Concept with each playthrough.
9- Infodumpers take longer to recover from: Bradyon Veda, I/O, Muramasa, etc... VNs that infodump seriously as part of the storytelling tend to leave a lot of info inside your brain. As a result, it takes significantly longer for your memories of them to fully 'compress'. Don't expect to be able to enjoy anything with frequent infodumps at less than one and a half times that of any of your other favorites.
10- A good night's sleep is your friend: Why am I emphasizing this? Because to get the best out of a truly great VN, a well-rested body and brain is necessary. Nothing kills enjoyment of a good story like being unable to grasp it due to brain-numbness from sleep deprivation.
Hope yall enjoyed my little lecture, lol.
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Often when people talk about OELVNS, they fail to mention the otome games. I don't know if this is because the majority of VN readers are males who don't follow the OELVN otome scene, but either way, it's quite a shame. Many talk about how OELVNS follow Japanese tropes and try to be too Japanese. With otome games, I can sometimes see this due to the anime-inspired art, but there are really a lot of notable differences.
For example, OELVN otome MCs tend to be more distinct. They certainly have distinct personalities and a lot of character- something I prefer since I don't self-insert. The MC of the recently released free otoge Cinderella Phenomenon for example, Lucette, is a cold-hearted, mean-spirited person. She is someone who is certainly very flawed but is also interesting as a person and a character. Throughout the story, it is evident that it is her story and a lot about her background is revealed. The characters do adhere to certain tropes but I didn't find that to be detrimental to the overall experience. Cinderella Phenomenon has a decent length and story, making it ideal for anyone who wants to try an indie otome game in English. It is also relatively high-quality compared to most indies.
Another free indie otome is Lads in Distress. It has a finished NaNoRenO version with 170000+ words and three routes. It will have a more full-fleshed out version with longer routes and an additional 3 routes. The premise is centered on genderbent fairytale princesses with problems which the MC, Princess Charming, must work on. It has pretty decent art and story but it's really the characters who shine in this game. I loved how Princess Charming interacts with her love interests and her antics are amusing and fun to read. It is pretty lighthearted, although I suspect it won't be so when the full game comes out.
Mystic Destinies: Serendipity of Aeons is a commercial otome game available on Steam. It follows the pay-per-route format one sees in mobile otome games. Normally, I wouldn't touch it until it's complete and everything is available at once, but I caved in the end. My decision did not disappoint me as the writing, art, CGs, and music are of a higher quality than those mobile otoges I used to purchase. It's even more astounding when those mobages are produced by well-established companies while MD:SOA is produced by an indie team. I would recommend this to those who play mobages and are just getting into PC otome. Mystic destinies has a decent-length for its price, a well-written story, a good cast of characters, and excellent art. The music is also great. The money also goes towards developing the game as the routes are released after it's developed. The writing itself is quite good in contrast to many indies.
A cursory glance at the Lemmasoft forums will reveal a lot of otome games in development which is why I believe that it's a shame that it's so often overlooked. Two otome games in development I want to highlight are Changeling and The Pirate Mermaid. Changeling, developed by Steamberry studios is an otome game focused on the supernatural. It has a cast of characters based on folklore and mythology. From what I can see from the demo, the lore is also well-thought of. It has recently been funded through kickstarter and the dev regularly updates through tumblr. The artstyle is also very western and might turn off some people. I don't mind the art, however, as I am more drawn to the story. It follows Nora who due to some strange events in her childhood ends up being estranged with her twin brother. She moves back to a small town and meets the love interests who are all connected to the supernatural world in one way or another. The writing in this game, as with MD:SOA is rather well-done.
What I'm really excited about however, is The Pirate Mermaid. I played the demo a long time ago and then forgot about it. However, I started checking out their blog again recently and they have a Steam Greenlight campaign going on. The MC is a pirate captain whose crew abandons her and turns into a mermaid in search of mermaid treasure. I love her character design personally, it's rare to see an otome MC who looks like me. I don't self-insert but to me (and I believe, some otoge fans out there), the representation means a lot. That aside, I'm impressed with the production values so far. It seems that it will feature a Ren'Py 3d camera and something incredibly rare: English and Japanese VAs. I will probably play the game with Japanese voice acting as I like it more based on what I've heard so far. The art is also done well and it has a story I'm interested in.
In conclusion, a big part of the OELVN scene are otome games and I think they deserve to be more represented when it comes to EVN discussions. The indie otome scene has been continuously growing these past few years and I'm excited to see the direction they're going. It seems that as time goes on, the writing does get better as the developers gain experience. The art may be subjective but I enjoy seeing both western-style art and anime-style art. I don't think EVN devs should be criticized for drawing what they can and want to draw. In the end, as the community grows, more EVN developers will get serious and release quality VNs. I'm excited as I've been watching it for two years now and I can see more groups starting to be serious and working on commercial titles that shows serious effort.
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Since we had Nishikino Maki as one of the image header there, I decided to just make it like somehow Maki had reverse harem of ayakashi from Ayakashi Gohan lol (I knew that the ayakashi had one girl that they like though). Well sorry if it's quite cheesy there, and let me say welcome to this week VNTS Review. As for this week, compared to last week we had more updates from Mangagamer and some releases from both of Sekai and fan translation. Although if I may comment here, it's still not big enough to me though if we talk about the releases. For more detail here, let's see what kind of updates that we had at this week shall we.
If some people here waiting for Dies Irae release (I bet there's a lot here), be happy because Light was announced when they release the digital version for it. It's at May 31st, although keep in mind that it was because of the delay though which mean that Light was planned to release it by the middle of May. There's also the matter of physical edition in which it'll be delivered at June 30th. Keep in mind that it may change in the future, although for now I was content though now that we had a release date. There's also Lump of Sugar which planned to release another of their VN overseas (Magical Charming), and it was already Greenlighted at Steam which of course it'll be released at Steam. No idea of how much the cut at H content for now here seeing that Steam was forbid game with explicit sexual content for now, although the first impression that I got for now that it's quite average VN looking at VNDB score. Let's see it later in regard of Magical Charming. Oh, and by the way Fruitbat was announced that Kickstarter for Chuusotsu was begin at 25th (Good luck), and I'll report the progress of the Kickstarter here.
By the way, if there's people who look forward to Nekonin be glad because they finally release it. As for the VN itself, well it's quite interesting if one interested with catgirl and ninja I guess. From what I knew, looks like it was quite mediocre looking at both of of EGS and VNDB average score (Both was at around 68). But then again maybe some people here will find the good side of Nekonin though, so feel free to try it out. Oh, and other than Nekonin release this week Sekai was only had one update in which goes like Bokukotsu was at 57.27% which is quite a big jump from last week. Other than those two news, there's still no word from Sekai in regard of Rakuen yet so I guess it's probably would be going to delayed again.
As usual ie biweekly, this week go got another updates from Mangagamer which of course was good. As for the updates it goes like Sorcery Joker was at 87% translated, Hapymager was at 74% translated (69% edited), Trinoline was 11.5% translated (2% edited), Boukaku was fully edited, Naked Butler was at 63% retranslated, Hashihime was at 39% translated (3% edited), Fata Morgana fandisc was at 44% edited, and Dal Segno was in testing. There's also some secret projects update which goes like 1st was at 88% translated, 3rd was at 43.5% translated (43% edited), 4th was at 97% translated (64% edited), and 7th was at 54% translated. There's also some matter of Imouto Paradise 2 in which right now our Doddler was handling the porting for it, and he was also planned to working on Bokuten next. For one last remark here, I wonder if they about to prepare the release if Dal Segno in near future although looking at Mangagamer release pattern it's probably in this year (Hopefully).
For fan translation section, there's two nukige release. One of those releases was Maki Fes (Another was Black Lilith VN), in which it was tell the story of about how very bland MC was try to made some friendship with Maki in hope to be more intimate with her (Of course Maki will like the MC lol). To tell the truth, the story was just lemon (18+ fanfic) for Maki so for the VN itself it's nothing special. Although the staff whose worked on Maki Fes was quite interesting though (There's Zakamutt and Asonn), and by the way congratulations for Maki Fes release.
As for the updates, first of all we finally got Majokoi continuing the translation progress because Maki Fes was finished (The new translator was also work in Maki Fes), and for the update here we got Majokoi at 73.5% translated and 19% TLC-ed (Good luck with the translation there). For the rest of the updates we got Loverable finally reached 60% mark translated (Also with 33.45% TLC-ed and 18.5% edited); Koiken Otome fandisc was had Shiho route at 15% translated; Eustia was at 7.5% translated (For more detail the prologue was at 81.44% translated and halfway (50.26%) edited), and by the way they were planned to release a partial patch that cover up to Eris arc. As for HatsuKoi, maybe they'll release Maya's patch later or tomorrow but one thing for sure I'll waiting for the update here (Also report it here of course, along with their next project).
That's all for this week, and see you next week.
PS - Right now Tsurezure was released Maya's patch which of course translated Maya's route and all other heroines route except Yukino. As for the progress, Yukino's was at 35% translated and overall was already pass 90% mark translated (91.47% translated). As for their next project, it was Tsujidou-san no Jun'ai Road which was called as some sort of Majikoi successor iirc. It's also had the translation project here, but looks like it's already dead for years. Look forward if you fan of Tsujidou, and I'll definitely report the progress for Tsujidou here.
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This will actually be far too brief to make a blog post around, but alas...
What is "overrated"? Many things, apparently, but so far as I can tell the word itself is used to describe something that too many people like, or that is well liked for little reason.
This is an inherently subjective word. Infuriatingly so. At its most basic, it means "too many people have a different opinion than mine", which if phrased that way means nothing. Yet so many people employ the word. There is no such thing as "other people like X too much". It is precisely because people have different opinions that some thing's are successes and others are not, and if something is a success, then it is, for that very reason, not overrated -- if people like something, that something must've done something to deserve it, whether you understand what that is or not, because thousands of people don't like something "just because". And I suppose that's just where the issue lies. Once again, people have different opinions. It's that simple.
Such a shame it doesn't stop me from hating the word. It has no purpose. It's obvious and always implied whenever anyone has an opinion, and it only serves to bring a bad connotation and disagree with other peoples' opinions. "Underrated" at least has a purpose (in this context. Other contexts, more similar to "underestimate" are a different, unrelated, story); not to say people don't "like something enough" or people "dislike something too much", which is also another way to spell "too many people have a different opinion from mine", but to say that not enough people know of a particular thing. "Not enough people know about X", or "Not enough people gave X a chance".
You can use "overrated" properly. "The importance of X is overrated" can be used to describe situations where misinformation is popularly spread. But therein lies the key. Using it in "subjective" matters, in matters of opinion, means little. It's a way of complaining that other people have different opinions. And I dislike that, so I complain about it on forums online.
This post was sponsored by that thread asking if CLANNAD deserves its popularity or if it's overrated. I'd say when something makes you ask if it is "overrated", that's because it is popular to a point where it must have done some things the proletariat likes, and therefore can't be overrated.
Of course, that doesn't remove the merit of discussing what is "well done" or "badly done" according to other people.
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19 titles selected and 22 smaller ones in the year 1989. Same as in 1988, more or less. A good half of those games were likable, but I felt that the quality level was especially high with three games - Hare Nochi Oosawagi!, Tawhid, Soft de Hard na Monogatari 2. Still Hare Nochi was too light-minded, Soft de Hard too difficult and earthly (I'd rather read it as manga tbh) while Tawhid was perfect and it gets the VN of the year 1989 title.
First of all, let's try to distinguish what features year 1989 brought:
- number games with multiple endings greatly increased
- while still being interactive adventures, VNs started to have simplified command selection mechanics
- simplified game mechanics led to higher game volumes and thus higher satisfaction with the story
- most of year 1989 games are story-driven and it's the golden age for adventure theme in VNs
- proportion of rpg games and elements got higher
- school setting games got more numerous
- science fiction clearly lost to mystery
Great year, overall. I like it that there are few formal detective investigations and more informal ones. Great animations and voices start to show up. Graphics finally got enjoyable with 90% of games and it's still far till Windows era. Ok, time to elaborate.
1. Angel Hearts (VNDB)
The secret organization of the school is feeding on the students. Main character gets a request from a newspaper department manager to destroy that organization and rescue newspaper members that never returned from this task.
First "elf" game (technically, it's third already, but I condemned first two as eroge) and it's sitting in oblivion. Time to fix that!
It's an rpg+stealth. All the enemies are girls and hero uses attacks like whispers, kisses and chest massage. Since what you need the most is full HP, you're going to run back to school infirmary after each fight.
That's definitely an erotic game. So what does it even do here? Just to show that it's 3rd elf game already and it's erotic centered, monotonous, dull and has bad visuals. CG usually is quite small, like a quarter of the screen, so it's not really much erotic. First 7 games of elf were erotic crap, but later ones of them had a tilt into RPG which probably led to Dragon Knight.
2. Burning Point (VNDB)
There's a bit of English info here and since it's detective story I'm not anxious to double check. But since it's Enix, it has to be good story rather than tons of footwork.
3. Cobra: Kokuryuuou no Densetsu (VNDB)
If you like space anime then you already know what to expect. Mad action and pure awesomeness. The game version had to introduce gameplay mechanics to torture players, but it's still a good animated story. Couple reviews found are located here
4. Destruction Joukan (VNDB)
Soft Studio Wing here. Epic story based on studio's very first black and white series. So epic that it could not fit into one game, so it's the first part of the dilogy.
TV broadcast was interrupted by unusual voice saying "Look at the sky at midnight". At midnight a sky object resembling an angered human face appeared on horizon and people seeing it dropped down with their mouths full of blood, but got up with superpowers. Darkness is coming and espers should become the warriors of light to stop it.
You play as a reporter tasked to investigate the appearance of the sky object that turned out to be absent on cameras and photos made at midnight.
Such atmosphere can only be attained by Studio Wing. Part one is introductory one. Tension rises and little by little seeds of darkness embrace the city. Let's wait for culmination in part 2.
5. Dororo ~Jigoku Emaki no Shou~ (VNDB)
Hyakkimaru is a young man who lacks 48 body parts because they were taken from him by demons before birth, as payment by his father, Kagemitsu Daigo, to obtain his wish to take over the country. When the baby boy was born he was missing 48 parts of his body, and thus was abandoned—thrown into a river. Hyakkimaru has grown up and now has obtained fake body parts so he can eliminate the 48 demons that were made from his body, and to retrieve his missing parts. Along for the adventure is the boy thief, Dororo, with whom he becomes friends.
Well, game basically retells the anime story with a different ending. And that anime a black and white one, year 1969, hardcore stuff. The only major difference is the ending. Unlike anime game's is colorful and it saved the unique graphics of original. Good action shounen story but I can't stand shounens sadly.
6. Dragon Knight (VNDB)
Game was quite a beautiful RPG with a charismatic hero which was still new for the time. We've got a pretty thorough english review on it here
7. Famicom Tantei Kurabu Part II: Ushiro ni Tatsu Shoujo (VNDB)
For those still interested in detective VNs link to reviews
8. Gaudi ~Barcelona no Kaze~ (VNDB)
While the whole world enjoying Olympics of 1992 in Barcelona a catalonian political unrest grows in the very heart of the city. You are consultant sent to settle matters with local separatists.
Setting was really far from most of gamers. Olympics in Barcelona terrorism and tackling with separatist movement lacked interest. Main hero as "information consultant" also rose lots of questions. You're neither detective nor fighter but rather a negotiator of some kind who must rely mostly on information manipulation. Depending on made choices, there were multiple endings. Graphics weren't good enough to be able to depict good scenery of the city. Very unusual game that could not find its audience.
9. Hare Nochi Oosawagi! (VNDB)
A formal request was passed from school principal to you as the student council president to investigate ghost matter in school. As you question victim highschool girls, a connection with a mysterious incident that happened 300 years ago comes to light...
Although the system was command select formula, there were very few flags to get so the pace was very good. You question cute witness girls, get close to the mystery, get an ero scene late into the game and then game literally says "to be continued".
Girls were totally different so this work can be described as an early charage. Although the investigation struggled to be conducted in a serious the atmosphere was rather a light comedy.
Anyway, this game made Cocktail Soft a serious player on eroge market and encouraged to work on similar games.
10. J.B. Harold no Jikenbo 3 - D.C. Connection (VNDB)
Third part in series. Will get some review excepts here
11. Kami no Machi (VNDB)
Kannai town in Yokohama became a ground for a major incident and turned into a limited zone. The lawless city of "Agarta" rose on its place. Two years aftere the incident a young man Yuuki sets for Agartha in search of his lover missed after the incident.
You gather ammo for your weapons and break through monsters to get into the mazed complex with couple comrades. It's a solid animated story with loss of comrades, joy of reunion and mystery of the major incident. It's said that game was in development for 3 years. It's quite sad that it was not especially popular.
12. Lipstick. ADV 2 (VNDB)
Gorou gets a request to deliver a suitcase to Osaka. However, a bomb is found inside and Gorou charged with being a terrorist.
So scenario writer changed. But surprisingly enough the charm of characters and the plot remained on high level. Whether Hiruda made a carcass for it or remaining staff was intact, but game is same funny. Same heroine accompanies Gorou with the sole change that she is now a college student. It suits her less so in part 3 she's going to be high school girl again. Still, since it's part 2 with relatively the same cast, the degree of freshness is poor and this time it's no revolutionary matter, but a very good one still.
13. Marusa no Onna (VNDB)
Wow, when I first saw gameplay videos, I thought it's a simulator of a usual working woman. It turned out to be game remake of a film Taxing woman - woman who excels at finding tax avoidance schemes. There are some minor differences with the film in details but you can't talk about the game without seeing the movie which I'm not really inclined to do.
14. Muteki Keiji Daidageki ~Shijou Saidai no Hanzai~ (VNDB)
So two detectives dig up that plutonium is being smuggled in the country and end up having all the mafia on the tail.
It's actually a sequel of kidnapping detective story of 1987. Game starts seriously but constantly drops into stupid situations and kidding then returns back to seriousness. It's both tackling contemporary politics and some monster may also appear all of a sudden. Game has fighting scenes, mainly punches and kicks. So genre is action parody or something like that. Game has almost all the lines voiced (!), so with listening all the dialogues length would supersede 7 hours.
15. Oishinbo Kyuukyoku no Menyuu Sanbonshoubu (VNDB)
Err... what? A game based on manga about cooking? Aim is to prepare the best banquet? Really? And it has English translation? That's a great news! So instead of digging it up i'd rather post review link
16. Seirei Gari (VNDB)
There's an english review and even english youtube walkthrough, so not interfering. Takes slightly over 2h to finish this horror adventure.
17. Soft de Hard na Monogatari 2 (VNDB)
In part 1 Hiroshi had to substitute ill father as a president of a small soft company and tear it from the claws of bankruptcy. This time Hiroshi returns to Mocha Systems after a while as scenario writer and new receptionist girl Ishida joins the company and claims to be Hiroshi's fan.
Soft de Hard na Monogatari 2 is novelware with some choices that determine branching. First versions were very difficult to capture and only in FM Towns version it's normal visual novel choices.
Game is great. Pictures are superb since they are scanned. Humor is top notch. The atmosphere of old soft developing company is unique and great. Lots of contemporary parodies make it even better. Plot matters little since it's mostly situation comedy
Well, I dumped part 1 erroneously. Now I get that nico video featuring 1h gameplay was not doing it to the game end. Now I think this game could really rival Lipstick ADV in 1988...
18. Tawhid (VNDB)
Year 2031. Main character is 28 year old ex-operative photographer who travels around the world while taking pictures of ruins destroyed by war. A 12-year old girl who joined you in Egypt is being chased by secret organization and even the farthest corners of ruins around the world won't stop them.
Champion Soft last game while on transition period to become Alice Soft. It was already brave to get Middle East into the setting. Each country had its own unique atmosphere. Egypt, Israel, Mongolia and Nepal are stages for each chapter and finally hero gets back to Japan. There's a vast attention to details and game can be enjoyed just by looking at the exotic views alone.
There is enough of both adventuring with exploration of ruins and escaping from the pursuit. Interactive command selection is simplified so pace is good. There are adult scenes since girl gets naked on the battlefield, but it's by no means an eroge. The most important feature about the game is the unique atmosphere that was not ever repeated by any other game. That makes game memorable years after play-through.
19. Yami no Iyo Densetsu ~Joouzuka Satsujin Jiken~ (VNDB)
You're a spiritual detective Shura and being requested to help Metropolian Police Department to investigate murder of a man who was sucked all the blood off and death of a girl in a different prefecture.
It's a horror adventure, but atmosphere is not as dense as in Wing Studio works. At battle scene game almost turns into RPG since you have HP, MP that increase as you win battles. Commands to choose from are few and no need for a guide to complete it and the pace is good. All the characters are unique and likable. Quite a few ero scenes are present.
Overall a good story-driven VN with good length, interesting narration and high level of satisfaction.
Examined VNs that did not fulfill selection criteria:Spoiler
1. 38 Man Kilo no Kokuu VNDB
Block reason:<2 hours (30m)
2. ALFAIM VNDB
Block reason:Antique (could not find any useful text material on the game)
3. Arcshu ~Kagerou no Jidai o Koete~ VNDB
Block reason:Fandisc (it's an ADV mini games that feature characters from ARCS jrpg and previous Wolf Team works)
4. Arthur: The Quest for Excalibur VNDB
Block reason:<2 hours (30m)
5. Idol Hakkenden VNDB
Block reason:<2 hours (45m)
6. James Clavell's Shōgun VNDB
Block reason:<2 hours (25m)
7. Kibun wa Pastel Touch VNDB
Short synopsis for VNDB:Main character is count Dracula and he proposes to a Japanese girl Umi. Response is put on hold till Dracula picks her up in the daytime. Three months later he visits her school as a male student to charm girls with magic and get Umi whereabouts from them.
8. Koube Ren'ai Monogatari VNDB
Block reason:<2 hours (1h)
Short synopsis for VNDB:A love story unfolds while sightseeing in Kobe.
9. Lonely Heart VNDB
Block reason:Antique (No text info found).
10. Lupin III ~Babylon no Ougon Densetsu~ VNDB
Block reason:<2 hours (45m)
11. Meitantei Holmes - M Kara no Chousenjou VNDB
Block reason:<2 hours (45m)
12. Mephist VNDB
Block reason:Antique(no plot info found)
13. Misty Vol.1 VNDB
Block reason:<2 hours (I'm always looking at length of one story if multiple present)
14. Misty Vol.2 VNDB
Block reason:<2 hours (I'm always looking at length of one story if multiple present)
15. Paragon Sexa Doll VNDB
Block reason:<2 hours (1h 35m)
Short synopsis for VNDB:Two stars had military agreements to avoid conflict, but a war broke out from conflict on unmanned planet Alpha. Many sex doll robots were upgraded to execute military functions. Sex Doll Tina volunteered to avenge for her friend Barbara who got caught with spying charges.
16. Psychic Detective Series Vol. 1: Invitation - Kage kara no Shoutaijou VNDB
Block reason:<2 hours (25m)
17. Psychic Detective Series Vol. 2: Memories VNDB
Block reason:<2 hours (25m)
18. Review -Jashin Fukkatsu- VNDB
Block reason:<2 hours (1h)
19. Tanteidan X VNDB
Block reason:Antique (Failed to find text info)
20. Teito Taisen VNDB
Block reason:Antique (Failed to find info on game and since it's just movie adaptation better watch the movie)
21. Zerø - The 4th Unit Act.4 VNDB
Block reason:<2 hours (around 2h?) I'm not so sure now about its length, but considered that it's an old series and previous parts weren't too long, dumping that as well.
22. ZorkQuest: The Crystal of Doom VNDB
Block reason:<2 hours (30m)
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I have a lot of trouble getting started on things. One area in particular that has been consistently difficult for me is going places – work, school, the store to buy muh colas before they close for the night, that sort of thing. I have recently discovered and begun formalizing a technique which seems to help with it. However, it is creepy, because it involves partially dissociating your mind from what your body is doing. Today I fashioned for it a shitty chuuni chant: there is strength in emptiness: Automaton!
To be honest, I’m half hoping the chant doesn’t work as a switch-flipper, considering how terrible it is. My apologies, O chuuni gods.
It begun one day when I was lying around, trapped in a familiar sensation where I seemed unable to will myself to any action, enmeshed in repetitive and irrelevant thought and generally getting nowhere important. I felt out of touch with the world, like there were no thread connecting me to this plane – indeed, was the world even real?
A seductive call beckoned. Perhaps I should try something I had done piecewise before, but never so deliberately, so completely – could I give my estranged body over to an imagined automaton, let the automaton collect the knick-knacks and tie the shoelaces and lock the doors and ride the elevators, and take back control once I needed to once again be human?
The attempt was a resounding, if alarming, success. My body proceeded to smoothly go to work, while I, dissociated, observed that I probably tie my shoelaces faster and more efficiently when I’m doing it on autopilot. In the end I spontaneously reintegrated over time without having to force it, which was a relief – one time I was at the store and borely (and likely boneheadedly) started practicing the mindfulness concept of framing your thoughts as things you are having rather than facts that are; while it didn’t really elucidate much, I did find myself unable to easily exit the frame, which was honestly a bit unchill.
I have used the automaton takeover concept like, two times after that, and it really does seem to work. It’s not just mindlessly doing things on autopilot either – the disconnect ensures that you have actual thinking time while carrying out business, and is the prime difference between this and pure distracted flow.
To use this technique you should probably be somewhat comfortable with feelings of derealization. The good news is that these correlate with depression, and I swear half of you fuckers want to kill yourselves, so it’s vaguely plausible that someone else might have had a similar experience. I do wonder if I have accidentally stumbled upon and formalized a Normie Technique(tm) that nobody told me about, but the fact that I’m worried that someone with psych issues will try it and end up being unable to return to united reality or fucked up in general does bolster me somewhat. Uhh, be careful trying this at home, I guess.
My personal motivation was that I was pretty derealized already, so making things more formal wasn’t really going to be that much of a problem. If you find yourself able to convincingly make that argument, this method may be worth trying.
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I recently came to the sobering realization that I've been editing translations of visual novels for about a year now. I've edited some 40,000 translated lines across large chunks of four works, and in the process I've learned a whole lot. Mostly what I've learned is about the mechanics of how to write well, and correspondingly that's mostly what I've written about on this blog, but today I'm tackling a slightly different subject: how to arrange the time you spend editing.
This advice is principally targeted to people working on longer projects. If you're working on something shorter than say 4,000 lines, things change a little bit because it's much more feasible to easily keep the whole thing in your head with just a couple of readings, whereas with longer works, you're going to have to plan for it to be a marathon. Even so, most of this advice still applies to shorter works, but the key difference is that it's much more feasible to knock out an entire short work in a month or so, then let the script rest for a month or so, and then go back and give it all another fairly quick once-over in a week or two, and then call it done. With a longer work, you'll end up working on sections at a time and need to go back and work on random sections periodically over a period of many months.
So, that explanation done, here are the various techniques which work for me. It's worth mentioning that most of these are applicable not just to editing, but also to translation:
Read It First
If at all possible, you should read the whole piece once before you start working on it. If you can't read the original language and you're following closely behind the translator, then you don't have much of an option here of course, but if it's possible for you to read it, do it. Reading first will both save you time and result in a higher-quality product. The benefit of reading first is more easily recognizing broad themes and motifs as soon as you first work on them, and similarly, recognizing smaller-scale things like running gags which need to be set up correctly early on. The earlier you can start handling these things correctly, the less work will be required to go back and fix them up afterwards, and the less likely you are to simply miss something while going back to fix them up.
Push Your Changes Frequently
Every day's chunk of work should be pushed to a central server for your team (Google Sheets, Git, SVN, whatever). Your team members need to be able to see what you're doing, and hopefully will be reading what you check in and offering critique; no one person has all the answers. Don't sit on local changes and fuss at them until they're perfect. Do a day's work and push it.
Always Check Your Whole Set Of Changes Over Before Pushing
This is the most important piece of advice I have here, so pay attention.
Every time when I sit down to edit new lines, I generally work through about 100-200 lines of translated text, almost always with the game playing so that I can get all the added context (including voice over, but also scripting: scene changes aren't always obvious from your script editor, and sometimes they completely change the interpretation of a line). Once I'm done with that first editing pass with the game, I save my changes locally, and then I go read through all of my edited lines again in order (no game this time, and usually not even looking at the translation). During this second pass, I'm mostly looking for copy editing issues, like typos and grammar errors. I find a lot of them. Like, a whole lot. I'm a very good copy editor, but I've come to grips with the fact that when I'm line editing, I make a ton of mistakes. I rarely do any line editing again during this second pass (hopefully there's not much need to... although I usually do often find one or two lines I want to tweak), but I usually fix a solid 3-4 typos during this second pass, among the 100-200 lines I edited. Given that this second pass is pretty quick to do when the scene is still fresh in your mind, I consider this time very well-spent. My edited scripts still need QC (editing your own work is hard), but a great deal less than they would otherwise.
After I've gone through that two-pass edit step, I usually won't look at a scene again for at least a month, often longer. However, I'll frequently hit natural stopping points when working through fresh sections of a script (e.g., maybe I finish a whole route, or I simply catch up with the translator on the route I'm working on). When that happens, I will go back and re-edit something I've already done. When I re-edit, usually I find things are fine, but I always find at least a few lines per scene I want to change. This second line edit takes much less time than the initial line edit, but still usually ends up with a fair number of changes. The rule for checking over these changes before pushing applies here, too: whenever you line edit, after you're done, save it all locally and read through the whole diff of changes for the day, mostly looking for copy editing mistakes: you'll find some, nearly every time.
The reason to do this is mostly that your perspective on the game will be evolving as you build more of a rapport with it: characters will become better established in your mind, and you'll want to make them consistent. Maybe your preferences around phrasing certain things will change. Because larger VN translation projects typically span a year (or multiple...), there's a lot of time for you to change your mind about things. You don't want the work to end up inconsistent, so the best remedy for this is to be constantly rereading chunks of it and tweaking them, massaging them until they're more internally consistent. These re-edits are always much faster than the initial edit, and doing them bears a lot of fruit in terms of quality.
10 Line edit
20 Copy edit
30 SLEEP 1 MONTH
40 GOTO 10
Work Slowly But Steadily: Avoid Burnout
VNs are long, and the time you can commit on any given day is always going to be a tiny fraction of what it will take to finish the work. If you tell yourself, "This weekend I'm going to sit down and work on this for six hours," you're only going to grow to dislike it before too long (it will feel like too much of a burden) and you're going to start slipping on those promises to yourself very quickly. The only way large projects get done on anything approaching a reasonable timeline is through a constant accumulation of bite-sized pieces of work. Plan to work on the project for 45 minutes a day, six or seven days a week, and you will be much less likely to get burned out and walk away from the project. Maybe every now and then you'll get motivated and work longer, getting more than the usual done on a given day, and that is all well and good, but such exceptional days will turn out to be a drop in the bucket compared to the constant steady progress from doing a regular, fixed amount of work every day.
Working on a VN translation is a lot of difficult work, so treat it with respect. The above is what's worked for me to keep me going at this steadily for a year, constantly getting work done and constantly improving. What works for you? Got any tips to share?
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A lot of people kept asking me where have I’ve been and why haven’t I updated my blog in the past 4 months. The reason is that I hit a rock bottom, I was in a huge slump from games and vns and any stories in general. It is all because of one single game that I played at the time, Hoshi o Miru Hito also known as Stargazer for the ancient but beloved Nintendo Famicom system. It wasn’t simply a game it was an experience. The knowledge that nothing like this has ever been made before and since the game’s release brought a sense of emptiness and depression on me. These past months I couldn’t get into anything, no book was good enough, no vn was able to grab me, no anime was entertaining, no game was fun anymore. I just couldn’t do anything anymore. This happens very rarely to me and I can count on one hand the stories that made me feel this way but even then it didn’t take me so long to recover. I don’t even know if I can make this game justice by writing about it, everything I write and everything I read looks like shit these days anyway but I also feel like this is something I have to tell people about. It makes me even sadder to know that almost no one knows that this game exists and as time flies the game has less and less chance of being discovered by a new generation of gamers and maybe eventually fade into the ether of empty dark void of obscurity. I don’t know if I’ll ever come back to playing other games or even be able to enjoy any other kind of story in any medium not only video games or jrpgs, visual novels or even books and movies. That is what Hoshi o Miru Hito left me feeling and I don’t see what else could fill this emptiness in me so I might as well just give up on everything right now. Where should I go now and how am I going to move on with my life when there is nothing that comes even close to a game like Hoshi o Miru Hito. I used to think I know what a good story is and there are some that I kept really close to my heart. Stories that moved me, got me thinking, taught me so much, and inspired me to write and use my creativity to create, build, and grow. What am I do? I guess you want to know what brought me to this state so let me tell you all about it. I hope you’ll listen to my story and some day try to play Hoshi o Miru Hito on your own and maybe I’ll have someone else to discuss a game nobody seems to know about. So here we go, let’s begin with my review. Not exactly review, I guess just an opinion piece but whatever. Let’s begin!
Play the game without a walkthrough. This is the first thing I want to tell people who decide to play this masterpiece. It is an old jrpg from the first Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy era and it has some of those gameplay conventions however it mostly avoids it with original take on similar old ideas. I say old ideas but at the time those ideas were still fresh in games so if you think about it even for its time Hoshi o Miru Hito broke new grounds by refusing to do things the traditional way. Having said that you do need to grind but not as much as its contemporaries and usually you’ll know when you need to grind. The game does a great job giving gamers an idea when is a good time to grind and for how long. But don’t get discouraged since there is so much more to the game than grinding. So take your time with the game you won’t be able to rush through anyway because there is a lot of story here get through and you should take your time enjoy the characters and what they are going through. Have fun reading the mental witty dialogue between them and the very profound narration and descriptive sentences. It all flows so naturally you won’t even notice how everything jells into each other from plot to backstory to info dumping and back to plot. The game never puts the player in an unfair unforgiving game braking frustrating situations like most jrpgs of that era and at every point it also maintains an amazing pace between story and gameplay sections so you never get tired of one or the other. It’s as if the game was play tested and polished for over 10 years and if that’s true then the game is even more ahead of its time. No two words about it, the developers should be celebrated every year for making this wonderful game. There should be a Hoshi o Miru Hito holiday or something. Well, maybe not. But it damn sure would have been cool to celebrate every year.
Roughly speaking the story is the biggest attraction of Hoshi o Miru Hito and it is about 90% make up of the entire game. Even right from the very first minute the story hooks you and throws you and the characters on an unbelievable journey of discovery, love, tragedy, loss, comedy, irony, growth, coming of age, despair, mystery, mind screws, life, philosophy and whatnot. It is difficult to categorize the story into a single genre because there is so much happening it is genre transcending in a scope beyond what can be encompassed in a single genre. At its core this is a science fiction story and it’s as hard as they come, I mean there will be long and awesome info dumps about pretty much every relevant topic you can think of, everything from genetics, neural energy, psychological effects of going through therapeutic ecological deformation, different kinds of bacteria, nano technological medicine, self replicating soils capable of separating themselves from earth and form their own planets, historical and futuristic philosophies, the Schrödinger equation (they give the best explanation I have every read), viruses transferred through light, microbiology, ecology and its effects on environmental evolutionary perpetual life igniting systems, financial markets, complex mathematics, quantum entanglement, super symmetry, super position, anti-gravity physics, particle physics, liquid and rigid body physics, astrophysics, skin discoloring light projectors, movie books and newspapers, molecular mutations, and it goes on and on. I could feel an entire encyclopedia with every new technical term the game throws at you and that’s just terms if I was to write down every info dump then we would be here forever until maggots will feed on your raw stinky rotting carcass when your bones turn to ash and we won’t stop until the year 3000 rolls along and maybe not even then. But the game doesn’t have a TIPS system unfortunately so if you want to review some terms you won’t be able to so you better either write things down or remember or you can just do nothing and simply enjoy the story. It is unfathomable how they even fit so much text into so little space because nothing short of some math genius could come up with such a sophisticated fast and powerful algorithm that even Google couldn’t come up with. At a time when games struggled with telling stories developers couldn’t fit much text in a game so much of the story was delegated to the game’s manual but here we have a game with so much text and it’s all in there, in the game and nothing story related is in the manual. The game also never had any extra printed materials like art or fan books. Not even an anime or novel adaptation. It’s probably for the better because an adaptation would butcher the wonderful writing and prose.
If you thought this was all then there is even more. The characters will be having lengthy and profound discussions about deep philosophical and transcendental issues relevant even today. Many questions will be raised (some will be answered) such as what is life, what is a true death, has the universe just came to be or is there a grand design, do we have the right to evolve our biology and technology, should we simply live not concerning ourselves other than procreating, are souls real, does life even has a meaning (the game will give you an answer and it’s not what you expect), evil really exists or just a different perspective. Throughout the game you’ll face many of these topics and trust me when I say this is less than 10% of what is covered in this story. The most surprising thing is how the game handles each theme and topic. By not just giving you long (but fascinating and never boring) info dumps it actually shows you how things play out throughout the story. Why and how ecology can shape life’s existence. How a change in one branch of quantum physics led to a new prophesized philosophy which in turn change some scientific beliefs and led to huge evolutionary jumps so much so that eventually people started developing ESP powers. It goes really deep into how ESP works and the inner workings of the ESP developed brains. I won’t be surprised if one of the writers has 3 PHDs in Neuroscience. Thankfully you don’t need to be a PHD yourself as the game goes to extreme lengths to make things clear and easy to swallow as possible. One wonders if the developers knew they are making a game for adults because it’s all a bit too heavy for children to read and understand. You can turn off the long expositions and info dumping in the options screen but you’ll be missing so much good stuff I don’t recommend you do it. Besides, when you turn it off you loose on the story’s great pacing since the information is very very carefully spoon fed to you almost entirely pre-calculated when, how, and how much stuff is revealed to you at every single moment. It’s not an easy style of writing to master but somehow the game manages to avoid the usual clichés and pacing destroying slowdown dragging in the mud unbearable game breaking issues with unsatisfying game play to story ratio.
Largely the story is scientifically sound with most of it real existing or theoretical science having been proven and came into existence. But the writers didn’t shy from diving into pseudo science and sometimes even adding fantasy elements as well. Things like ESP are obviously in the realm of pseudo science and not something we can confirm by any scientific theory or do an exact experiment. However the writers put a lot of special attention to give you a plausible explanation how this might possibly work and they do that with a straight and serious face and you as a reader are compelled to believe that yeah this is real science right here. There is no hand waving and suspension of disbelief every tiny idea is backed up by scientific reasoning that supplement real life theories and practices. One of the sub plots (the game is linear so all the topics are tightly waved into a single coherent story) is one of the main characters is captured and the rest of the team has to save her. The story leads into a laboratory where some crazy experiments were being conducted on humans which we later discover that through some incision into the a very tiny part of a brain (the incision is made with a thin, less than .0002 micrometer knife) a tiny machine is inserted into the brain called the GME, or Genetic Memory Extractor, as its name goes the tiny microscopic material extracted from the brain possibly contains the soul of a human and with it the entire genetic memory all the way back to the first ancestor. Yes, you just read it right. When the characters finally find their friend her condition could only be describes as a deep transelucidery state. Eventually to save her life two of the characters extract their own soul and fuse it with her to fill up what she has lost. This causes them to lose some of their own souls too. But no matter what she already lost her soul and will never get it back. This a bare minimum of that plot there is so much more going on and this is one of the least interesting least emotionally charged and least powerful events in the game. I tried to avoid spoilers as much as possible so I plucked one of the lesser parts of the game to give you an idea how much the characters have to go through before the epic finally comes to its conclusion.
Furthermore there is so much more going on I can’t possible describe it in a single blog post. Actually I don’t think even a short summary can be less than 100 pages. And that’s if I avoid all the spoilers. The game’s long scrip unfortunately has led to some graphical and auditory compromises. The graphical tiles are somewhat repetitive at times even more than what you’re used to see in similar games like Dragon Quest. But even here the developers were clever enough make up graphics that are used in service of the story rather than just being there. There is so much detail you won’t even notice it on your first playthrough. But later you’ll notice how things are arranged in a very special way. How at first something looks like a tiled background making up the overworld but suddenly the imagery is a visual representation of the main character’s state of shattered mind. The soul searching journey incubating throughout the story will come into full view once you decide to take your time and really think about what is it the game is trying to show you. The audio took the biggest hit. Obviously they had to compromise here and it is the place where the most compromising was made. There are just too few music tracks for such a long game. Yeah the music is awesome, at least most of it but some tracks are just there. These tracks serve no purpose and it would have been better to use the resources somewhere else. Just a waste of effort in my opinion. The sound effects are a miss as well. They aren’t any better than what you get in any archaic jrpg of the era. The effects do their job so there’s no complain but with a little bit more effort they could have turned it into so much more. None of these problems ruined the experience for me in any way and I was able to get used to these sounds very quickly and with no trouble at all. The developers squeeze every single juice out of the Famicom’s cartridge and every space and memory the system has available. It was an issue of balance of how much memory they dedicate to the presentation and how much to the story and cutscenes. Anymore attention to presentation would force the developers to cut the story and any putting more effort into the story (beyond what’s already there) will probably turn the game into an interactive fiction without any images or graphics and sound. Game development pushes people to their limit but sometimes you got to sacrifice something in order to achieve a better and a more equally balanced end result.
On the subject of actual story, it’s not possible to talk about it without showing why it is so good and what makes it so special among other jrpgs. So beware that I will discuss the story but also beware that the story is so huge and so long that I’ll barely scratch the surface. Our story begins with four young men and women waking up in the middle of what at first seems like a forest but very quickly appears to be an illusion. The only thing they know is that they don’t know who they are and they don’t remember anything. Once they enter their first town they discover a rumor about child kidnapping in the nearby forest. The children come back but they aren’t the same almost as if they are empty and soulless. The group decides to rest at an in. Before they go to sleep they decide to share everything they know or can remember about themselves. One of the female characters starts twitching unnaturally, her eyes roll back and she starts screaming some kind of number sequence. The entire group panics and tries to help her but their efforts were fruitless. Eventually she stopped and came back to her sense. She didn’t remember anything that happened just minutes before. Later than night while one of the characters taking a shower he noticed a very tiny unnatural bump in the back of his knee, he cuts it and reveals something that looks like a stone. He talks about it with the other crew and all of them seem to have the same object in the back of their knee. Next day they are asked by a woman if they saw her child, feeling pity for the woman they decide to try and find her child. This sub plot leads them discovering a strange experimental genocidal weapon. I won’t spoil this part of the game but lets just say that if you stay sane after this you’re simply not human. After the tragic event the group comes back to town only to have it destroyed by a mysterious circumstance. The story continues from there following our characters as they go on their journey of discovery and understanding of life, world, and the universe.
Over the course of your journey with the main cast you’ll meet many other characters and everyone is fleshed out enough to feel real, even the so called bad guys aren’t bad at all and every villain has incredible depth no matter how cruel their tactics may seem to you. It almost feel unnatural how all these people feel like they are living breathing personas as if you knew them your whole life. This is a mastery of writing shining through and through in this game. Some characters you meet only exist during a single sub plot and side quest but they are all unforgettable. One subplot involves a female mechanic who lives a lonely life but later we discover she was the one who developed the Rociter Feractic Ensimenal Propulsion system used by almost every flying craft in the world. She lost her first son when an experiment went wrong and he got caught inside the machine. Her 2nd son turned into liquid when using one of the machines she built started to melt because of the wrong dosage of Hyplicyclisic Estomonigmon (in game term, basically a power liquid used instead of electricity). Her husband left her soon after the death of the second son and only a month after that he died too, when one of her machines explodes and kills him along with other 200 people. In another part of the plot the characters enter the 4th dimension in search of God, it’s quite an amazing journey and it’s the best depiction of the fourth dimension I have ever seen, they way they visualize the world through and it was simply brilliant. The story is not all tragic and horrifying of course. There are plenty of bright and happy moments that will make you feel all fluffy inside. There are also a lot of really hilarious moments as well, like that time when they all go drinking and suddenly discover than one of them is underage. Another hilarious sub plot is one of the main characters is scared of dogs (later we discover why and it will make you cry) and this leads to lots of insanely funny scenes whenever some dog shows up, one time while he is in a shower, lol. Speaking of showers, the game doesn’t shy of naughty moments either and you can peek in a women’s shower though you don’t see anything and one of the characters even gets soup in one of his eyes for a few in game hours.
Lastly I must talk about the ending. Don’t worry there aren’t any spoilers here but I really feel like I have to say a few things about it if only to prepare you for what’s to come. The ending is… well it is a happy ending but it won’t leave you happy. After all that the characters went through, after all the happy times and mostly dark twisted tragic heartbreaking soul wrenching events you go through, after all the deaths and carnage the happy ending is an irony of circumstances. Could you really feel happy surviving and staying alive when you paid for it with so much bloodshed and loss. Can you call yourself happy when there’s no one to share it with. The writers knew they were taking too much risks so the final scenes of the epilogue (the epilogue is only story and no gameplay and it’s 50 minutes long) try to uplift your spirits. They try to give you hope and to look into the future, to live a better life, to become a better human being. But the question still remains is it all worth it in the end. The many twists and turns the story took, the unexpected deaths, the bloodshed, the slaughter, the warm happy, and the hilarious moments, the pains most of the characters go through and the tragic end to it all will be hard on some of you. Even if the ending tries very hard to be happy the memories leading up to will prevent you from smiling, only tears will be welcomed, only tears.
So I hope this gave you a small idea why I couldn’t recover for months after playing Hoshi o Miru Hito. I’m still not fully recovered. Hoshi o Miru Hito is the most grand and epic story with a huge all encompassing scope and the best story ever told in any jrpg. No in any video game. No, best story every told in any medium ever invented by a man. As a side note, there is a hack for the game to change up the graphics and balance the gameplay but it completely misses the point of the original meaning. There is also a modern 16-bit style remake made by fans of the game but without spoiling it I just want to say that there is a reason why the game works best in its original form and a remake cannot live up to the original in any way. Why would anyone even want to remake and redo a perfect masterpiece anyway it’s not like people who played it wished for it and the rest don’t even know it exists. It’s like taking a Mona Lisa painting and remaking it to have a better smile and blue eyes and maybe a blond hair and a flower garden in the backgroun and a blimp in the sky. You don’t tinker with classics and not when they are already so much as perfect as Hoshi o Miru Hito.
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Hear me, my dear sons, for now you stand within the kingdom's chalice. You look at the aristocrats with awe. You extend your hands, desiring their wealth, their lavish houses, their vibrant, elegant garments. You lust for their daughters. You envy their blood, their honors, their status. You wish to follow in their footsteps. As you grow, you discover the chasm that separates us; the bitter fate that awaits the common man. You learn to despise them – for all their glory, for all their light. Yet know this: all of that is but a flicker.
Be wary of the hidden depths masked behind those vicious smiles, the wickedness that smolders within their minds, the otherworldly intellect they possess, and the darkness that befalls the wide alleyways when the night comes. Petty kings rule petty kingdoms: blossoming gardens spiraling up into the sky, laden with lilacs and hydrangeas, leading up and far away from the downtown stench, where they can live oblivious to the pains of lesser men.
There is nothing in this world an aristocrat's money can't buy. Yet riches won't ever bring them true happiness: the richer they get, the poorer their fates.
Despite that, they keep on clinging to their usual lives, their putrid pasts. Unable to change, indifferent to the world around them. Their hearts remain cold, their gazes fixed somewhere beyond the murky horizon. What visions do they see? Maybe they don't want to change? Maybe they’ve already given up? Ultimately, what would they gain? Carnal pleasures became their only escape: the bitterness of the evening wine, the sweet, rose-fragrant lips, the blazing sensation of fever-moistened, intermingling bodies. The will and passion to live. The passion to live their short lives to the fullest extent, ignoring the dangers lurking behind every corner; chasing wildly after their dreams, until they run out of breath. Isn't it the same for us all? Do we really differ that much?
-The Sons and Daughters of Antioch, by anonymous writer
What is the true measure of a man?
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Well, I guess it’s time to show something.
Don’t worry, dearest follower of this site, I’m not dead, I’ve just been incredibly busy. I’ve had exams left and right, and thus, I’ve felt a little demotivated. But, I’ve never given up on this project, there’s no way I can. I mean, it’s been over a year since I started this “passion project”, and I still intend to finish it with all of my power.
I won’t give up, there’s no way I’ll allow myself that. This project is important to me, way more than you think. And yes, for a while, I’ve been incredibly dead, I’ve still answered every question coming my way on Twitter, and I’m still active as ever on my Discord server. There’s no need to worry, Biman -1- will see the light of day.
As for a “beta” patch some people have been asking, I will be looking for two beta-testers after proofreading is done, and after the testing, I will ship the translation out to the masses, and then focus on Biman -2.5- that I’ve neglected, and then onto bigger things.
I’ve been pretty horrible with my way of keeping all of you above water, but all I can do at this point is to ask for all of you to wait patiently and to have faith in me.
Well then, this’ll be another sporadic update that won’t become the norm for a while, but the next planned update is the recruitment of those before mentioned beta-testers.
Until then, everyone!
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Well, he was right. This is not a route, but a mini-route. That can be finished in 15 minutes tops.
The content is itself not bad, just standard charage stuff. Don't expect anything great.
On hindsight, I might not have needed to split the whole VN into so many posts. But I thought of writing them as soon as I finished them, so it ended up being that format.
Anyway, I'll just list down my complaints first:
1. The central plot device could have been explained better. Especially why the routes are ordered like they are. I understand they have tried to put forward a world lines theory of sorts, but that doesn't hold candle in terms of clarity and usage when compared to a certain other famous VN with world lines as its genre.
2. Was there really a need for a Michiru route, at all? She plays a brilliant support character in the other routes, so was it needed?
All that being said, I enjoyed almost all the routes, each in their own ways. Misaki's route had me grinning like anything, Makoto's route was really exciting, and Cro's route was an awesome ride and the best of the lot.
And I really liked the different route format, i.e. the climax is almost always about the confession, enabling ichaicha to be kept to a bare minimum (*glares at Senren Banka*).
So yeah, apart from Cro's route, this is your average charage I guess, with a more classic galge-type route structure. That's it.
Maybe I'll resume Rena's route in Senren Banka next. Aka long flurry of posts should calm down for a while, lol.
Nutaku has been caught censoring dialogues implying non-consensual sex in free-to-play ero-RPG Kamihime Project R, reneging on earlier promises.
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Boring introduction to understand why I'm making this tutorial. (You can skip this if you want)
So this tutorial is to create that so called "mechanical immersion" when you play a VN, kinda (?)
Personally I read old VNs with the help of chiitrans for parsing the text, to being able to immerse myself into the story I need to read it in full-screen mode (I just can't read it otherwise) and this is not a problem when I read new novels that allow me to kinda cheat and use chiitrans even in full-screen mode but what about old VNs? With VNs that have resolutions of 640x480 or 800x600 you can't go full-screen and use chiitrans at the same time, the parser will either look really bad or it simply won't show.
Now, to fix this issue I used to use a virtual machine called Oracle VM VirtualBox, that program allowed me to scale the screen at any size I wanted so I could play the VNs in "full-screen" mode and it kinda worked... but the problem is... using a virtual machine was a pain in the ass in general so I searched for an easier solution and here it is:
(End of the boring introduction)
What you will need:
(OnTopReplica, ResizeEnableRunner and maybe Windows on top)
All the softwares are free and ad-free too but you can scan them if you want.
1) Download, unpack and install everything (some of them don't require any installation).
2) See if you can take a shortcut by using ResizeEnableRunner, this wont work most of the time and it will make some VNs look bad, but you can try if you want.
Just resize the screen of the VN by clicking on the borders of the VN itself and while holding the left click drag it and expand it, just like you do with any other program.Spoiler
3) If that method doesn't work (80% of the time) or you just don't like how it looks, then use OnTopReplica.
a) Open the program and you will see this:Spoiler
Left click on it...trust me on this one.
b) Select your VN and click in "-whole-"Spoiler
c) Once your VN is selected you will know because the program will duplicate the screen, now you can resize it but that's not what we want to do, we want to go full-screen mode.
So go to: Resize > Full-screen. (you can also double click on the duplicated screen and it will do the same thing)Spoiler
d) Now this is the important part, you will need to advance the text of the VN with your keyboard but you can also use your mouse.
Position the VN behind the duplicated window, then right click on the duplicated screen and click on "enable click-through", the duplicated screen will now be "transparent" so you can click through it.Spoiler
Here is how it looks and a comparison using the stretching mode (with ResizeEnableRunner) and using the duplicated screen.
NOTE: The "resize enable runner" program uses the same method that Visual Novel Reader to stretch the visual novels.Spoiler
Problems you may encounter while using the software:
*Some VNs will love to stay on top of the screen or they won't let you use, in my case chiitrans or the parser you normally use, for those cases use WindowsOnTop.
Open it > assign a hotkey to it > and when have that issue just force the program to stay on top, this is how I solved it with some VNs, for example setsunai, or just old VNs.
*Why I'm seeing black borders? It's annoying!
Easy peasy Japanesey, now you can read your VNs full of runes and 象形文字 in full-screen mode for a perfect immersion.
Btw, if you are wondering about the delay between the duplicated screen and the original, well there isn't any. (I'm sure there is probably some but it's imperceptible)
I finished this game the other day, and decided to write up a short blog post on it.
Ryuukishi Bloody † Saga is the "sequel" to Akabei Soft3's Ryakudatsusha no Inen, (though the only relevant connection is the main character, and it pretty much works as a standalone game tbh.) The game completely breaks away from the dark nukige-like feel the first game had, and shifts the genre completely into something rather light hearted. (Though it has some rather gore filled fight scenes here and there.) The art even changes completely, making it feel like a totally different game.
I made a post about the prequel a bit back, and the things I felt that game did wrong was handled very well in the sequel, making it blow my expectations away. For those interested in this game who don't like overly dark themed stories and therefore want to stay clear of the prequel, you should be fine playing the sequel only as long as you read a general summary of the first game. (There is a couple of smaller refrences to the first game in the sequel, though nothing major.)
For those interested, I wrote up a summary of the first game here. It doesn't cover absolutely everything, but it gives you the info you need to read the second game.Spoiler
The game begins with the introduction of a young boy named Roy, and his family. They live a peaceful life, without a care in the world. That is, until a brutal gang of bandits knocks down their door and turns their lives into a living hell.
Sparing you of some of the gruesome details, Roy's father and mother is killed, and Roy and his sister is captured by the gang. His sister is passed around among the bandits, while Roy is given to a sadistic woman named Hamiro, who loves breaking the minds of young boys.
After being "toyed with" by Hamiro and her already mindbroken young slaves, Roy is brought outside to witness the murder of his own sister. She is tortured to death before his eyes at the command of the gang's leader.
One would think all of this should destroy Roy's mind, but instead he refuses to give in and plots to join the gang and slowly gain their trust, so that he can one day get his revenge and slay them all.
Time passes, and Roy grows up. Though he is still Hamiro's "slave", he never lets his mind falter, and he still plans on taking the lives of the bandits once he grows strong enough.
During the story, Roy falls in love with Hamiro's daughter, Meshia(?) (damn katakana names.) The two of them bond over their hellish lives, and Meshia tries to get Roy to run away with her. Sadly, before they can do anything about this plan, Hamiro decides Roy needs to realize his place, and has Meshia drugged and raped as Roy listens from the other side of a barricaded door. When he finally makes it into the room and murders everyone inside, (including Hamiro who simply laughs at the spectacle like the true monster she is,) Meshia is beyond saving. Roy reluctantly kills her, and the last thing she does is mouth the words "thank you."
Enraged, Roy seeks out the leader of the bandits and fights him. Although he almost loses his own life in the struggle, Roy manages to kill him and the game ends with Roy simply standing still covered in blood, asking himself... "what do I do now?"
The sequel begins a while after this, and Roy has seemingly found a new purpose: pursuing his father's occupation. (A herbalist(?) Is that the right word? He collects all sorts of plants, makes medicine and stuff like that.)
Bloody Saga starts off with Roy walking through the forest without a care in the world, headed for a city called Veludylun. However, on his way there he notices dark smoke rising from within the city walls, and he is stopped by a group of knights protecting the entrance. The city is in a state of emergency, as a massive dragon is attacking. This is apperantly not the first time this has happened, and as mortal weapons cannot harm the dragon because of its tough scales, the best the knights within the city can do is distract the dragon long enough until it leaves.
Seeing the people of the city in dire need of help, Roy volunteers to help out with taking care of the wounded, as well as rebuilding the parts of the city destroyed by the ruthless dragon's attack. Keeping his dark past locked away deep within his mind, Roy starts a new life in Veludylun. He befriends four female knights, (who were originally selected by the king as "guards" to keep an eye on the outsider,) and together with them he spends his days helping out rebuild the city, uncertain when the dragon will attack next.
The story of the game is nice, although it takes a bit of time for it to pick up. The slice of life moments are more than welcome though, as they don't feel boring at all. (At least not to me.) The heroines are great, and Roy is a fantastic main character. The villains are also well made, and the fight scenes are for sure one of the best aspects of the game.
I haven't read too many serious harem stories so I don't have many games to compare it to, but this one pulls it off very well. All the heroines gets enough screen time, they all have their own reasons for liking the MC and the harem doesn't feel forced. (My only complaint is the high amount of H-scenes... they really didn't need that many. 2-3 for each heroine would be fine, but instead there is like, 6 per heroine which is just a bit too much.)
Bloody Saga is an entertaining fantasy VN with good writing, epic action scenes and a decent amount of slice of life moments with the heroines. There is a good amount of focus on the romance between the MC and the knights, but enough weight is still put on the core story so that it doesn't become your standard charage love story. The setting and time period in which the story takes place is also a nice break from your standard VNs, and the voiced protagonist + the stunning art just makes the experience more enjoyable. Although the game has its darker moments, they fit into the story very well, and aren't sexualized pointlessly like in the first game. Overall this VN is a very enjoyable read, and I strongly recommend checking it out.
So, as the poll doesn't seem to give me an answer any time soon, I decided to start with this one.
For those who don't know, ableist means prejudice against those with disabilities. As most people in society are able-bodied, disabled people, as a minority, have to cope with toxic words and expressions that hurt them. By saying this words in a negative way, you are basically saying that disabled people are inferior. It's the same as using 'gay' as an insult. As those expressions are by no means necessary, we all can police ourselves in order to avoid them.
Also, when I say 'ableist expressions', I'm not saying those who use them are ableist. Most people aren't even aware of the ableist connotations, so they aren't the ones to fault, society is.
Here are some of the expressions and why they are ableist:
1. Blinded by ignorance, fear, etc. (offends blind people)
2. Crazy (offends people with mental diseases)
3. Cripple (a very offensive word for people with physical disabilities)
4. Dumb (refers to deaf people, or individuals with communication disorders)
5. Idiot (intellectual disabilities)
6. Imbecile (same as 5)
7. Lame (offends people who have mobility disabilities)
8. Stupid (same as 5)
9. Moron (same as 5)
10. Nuts (same as 5)
11. Psycho (same as 5)
12. Retarded (same as 5)
13. Special needs (an euphemism that is actually offensive. It's better to use the word "disabled")
There are, of course, many other offensive expressions, unfortunately. But this list is just to give you an idea in hope to convince you be more careful with your words from now on.
I wanted to wait until the year is over before I write my list for this year, but of course I haven't had the time to actually look at the December releases and now the year is over. Luckily, there isn't much interesting for me anyway.
Before we start, just let me mention some noteworthy December titles:
- Venus Blood Ragnarok could be a nice game, but I don't really like the Venus Blood series, and as some kind of sequel it probably won't win me over anyway.
- I have played the trial of Meguru Sekai de Towanaru Chikai wo and it really didn't impress me. Looked like an even cheaper version of Izumo 4. And Izumo 4 was already a letdown last year. The RPG mechanics of Izumo 4 are very simple and Meguru Sekai de seems even simpler. But that is not all, contrary to Izumo 4, this time the game also looks pretty ugly! It that the reason why Yamamoto Kazue changed her name to Yamamoto ☆ Kazue for this? Well, I probably will play it nonetheless because I don't like to judge something I haven't really played, but eh, not in the near future.
That's it for December. The rest doesn't interest me or I already know it will be bad (You can't fool me Moonstone!). Did I just say I don't judge something I haven't played? Eh, whatever...
But now some honorable mentions of games that actually looked interesting but I haven't had the time to read them, so they won't be in my 2016 list:
- Dungeons & Daimeiwaku: I've read the trial, but haven't found the time to read the actual game. I'm sure it's good but it's kind of demotivating for me to read an RPG without any gameplay, heh.
- Iwaihime: Ryukishi07 and horror should be exactly what I'm looking for but for some reason I have this untouched on my hdd for a year now. Maybe I miss the Ryukishi07-art, since it doesn't look as good with generic moeblobs.
- Trianthology: Now I have the art, but not a full Ryukishi07 game, haha. Still, I have to read this sometime soon.
- Kanojo ＊ Step: This could probably be the "Best Charage" of 2016 as far as I have seen it. The humor is great, something that's really missing in pretty much every other modern charage. It's a shame that the genre charage has such a low priority for me, so I haven't really read much of this VN so far.
Now I mention some games people might expect in my list of 2016's best eroge, but I actually found them to be only mediocre:
- Shi ni Iku Kimi, Yakata ni Mebuku Zouo: Yeah, I wasn't as excited about this as everyone else. I do not fetishize gore. I like death as an element of a thrilling story, but death in Nikuniku has no impact. There is no meaning in killing someone when they can't die.
Baka Dakedo Chinchin Shaburu no Dake wa Jouzu na Chii-chan: This game has a Genre-Shift tag of 3.0 on vndb and some people claim it would be different than what you expect it to be.
Spoiler: It's exactly what it looks like! WTF are the people talking about? lol
- Maitetsu: Borefest and not even usable as a lolige. Really only interesting for train otakus.
Now let's start with the list of maybe not necessarily the best but the most impressive eroge of 2016, for me at least:
Eroge of the Year: Natsu no Kusari
Best game without a doubt, there is no other contender here. If I would make a Top 5 of 2017, the second place would already be many, many levels under this one. It's so good (or all the other recent games are just so bad, lol).
I have already written walls of text in other threads about this game so I won't repeat myself here. I will just say that this game is exactly what I'm looking for when I read an eroge, the reason why I even started with this medium.
Great characterization and the perfect use of narration, music, visuals and voices makes this one of the most compelling short stories I have read in years.
Best NTR Eroge: Dearest Blue
The lack of elf is really showing and I certainly can't say that any LiLiM game is really good, but at least with Dearest Blue LiLiM improved on their formula and made it its best game so far.
We still have some obvious "Do you want to get NTR'd"-choices, but they are not as in-your-face as in previous titles. Some choices make you wonder what will actually happen if you go this route and that at least is an improvement. In some instances there is some believable drama and especially one route is good where you can cheer for both, the protagonist and the rival because both characters are likable. The main heroine is also well-characterized, being an independent and strong woman without going too bitchy or slutty.
Still, not everything is good. Pretty much every male character except the aforementioned one is a one-dimensional evil villain. The biggest problem however is that the story is build around some kind of NTR/death-game where all the players need to outwit each other ... but in the end there are no mind games or twists happening! Heck, even I could probably win this game because every other character is so bad at this, not having a plan or making retarded moves. What a disappointment! Read this for the relationship drama, not for the death game.
Best Modern Oldschool Eroge: Ryuudouji Shimon no Inbou
This might be an unpopular opinion, but I really think that the writing in many of the latest Mink-games is topnotch. Really, if Mink-games weren't conceptually so limited (being only nukige), they could be really great.
Why is that? Is it because Mink is such an old company that they still carry on old writing traditions which were established in the Golden Age of eroge? That at least would explain why Ryuudouji Shimon no Inbou is so good when it conceptually shouldn't be!
Don't misunderstand me, Ryuudouji Shimon no Inbou is not a good slave-training eroge. There is no real SLG gameplay here, instead the only choice the player has is to visit 1 of 20 locations every day hoping that some kind of event happens there. There is no indication which area you have to visit, neither in script nor in the interface, it's completely by chance. Save-scumming and blindly gathering events at its finest, huh.
But if you can look behind this (preferably with a walkthrough), you will find a game that feels like the late 90s. Mainly because this is a blatant clone of 99's Yakin Byoutou. It's pretty much "Night Shift School Girls". Aside from the setting that is now a school, we have the same kind of characters, the same storyline and the same development Yakin Byoutou had. And it's great, because that formula still works 17 years later! The ugly main character, who has just enough understanding of the human psyche to get what he wants, the pure maidens who fall into his traps, not because they are sluts but because they are believable corrupted, and the evil female mastermind who is probably even worse than the main character. It's beautiful. The nostalgia is strong with this one.
Best Dark and Edgy Eroge: Tokage no Shippo Kiri
I'm cheating here a bit because the game was released in November 2015. But since the fandisc was released in January last year which means the full experience was only available to us in 2016, I see it as 2016 game.
There is not much to say here, what Derg not already said. Games like this prove that even low-budget publisher can make good games, if they just try. CYCLET is not Black Cyc, but it tries nonetheless to be something special and succeeds in setting itself apart from all the other low budget publisher. Maybe that is the reason we only had one CYCLET game in 2016; they emphasize on quality, not quantity.
Best RPG: Dungeon of Regalias
Let's not talk about the story and the characters. They are terrible, like in every Astronauts Sirius game. But damn is the gameplay addicting and actually good. Like in, really, really good.
This is probably one of the best ero-dungeon crawler existing. They did everything right with this one. Hard difficulty available from start. Skills as "items" which can be equipped so you can change your build without any resetting of skill points like in other games. Monsters who all act differently thus forcing you to change your strategy and character builds and party constantly. Great game.
Best SRPG: Sankai Ou no Yubiwa
I'm probably the only one, but ... I actually liked 2016's Eushully game. Yeah, really. Ok, it wasn't really a good SRPG; it actually had many flaws, like being far too easy and exploitable and the routes being too similar to each other... but... I liked the concept. Having six main characters who all represent a different kind of approach to the Ero-RPG genre is really something I wish more games would do. I hate the good guy, the antihero and the maou archetype, and sadly most Eushully games have one of these three as their main character. But Sankai Ou has also three other, more interesting protagonists to choose from. For example, I always wanted the angels to win in an Eushully game, and finally I have the opportunity to do this because the obligatory fallen-angel storyline is already covered in the other routes. Nice.
Biggest disappointment: Extravaganza ~Mushigurui Hen~
I was so hyped for this one. The first true Black Cyc game after 5 years of absence. Written by Banya Izumi who we could trust with the task of continuing a beloved series, right? Right?
No, it's awful. This game turned out to be an abomination which is quite remarkable because Black Cyc already milked the Extravaganza series with bad sidestories back when Black Cyc was still good for the most part. And Mushigurui Hen is even worse than these cheap nukige spinoffs. At least with cheap nukige fandisc, we know we get something bad. Mushigurui Hen on the other hand could have been good. It could have been awesome. But it wasn't.
So what went wrong? You have these great characters with their epic background stories, but what do they do with them? Putting them in school, because school life is, as we all now, the most important thing ever. And if a character is too old for school, just make them into rich snobs whose only problem in life is being too old (meaning being 23 years old) and lamenting about not having the time to go to the cinema with friends because work (meaning being CEO and chilling all the day in the office).
And if that wasn't bad enough, they also retcon a character death because this character was very popular back then and we need him for funny slice of life scenes now, yay.
The most offending thing however is how this "sequel" actually takes place after the second arc of the original Extravaganza, which means before the last third of the original game. And all the important character events in the third arc which really were the heart of the Extravaganza story apparently don't take place in this timeline. Instead, we get inferior and meaningless drama with derailed characters in Mushigurui Hen which is apparently now the canon timeline. Hurray.
Biggest insult: Everything released by Akabei Soft 3
I'm not going into this now, but literally every AKB3 game this year greatly offended me, just as Silky's Plus' games did last year. Let's just say that AKB3 makes games which represent everything that's wrong with modern eroge and have nothing left of what made eroge once great. (I might write a post explaining this statement in the near future.)
It saddens me how popular these games are. A dark prospect for 2017.
Hello again Fuwanovel, it's Dfbreezy (now named Kotario). This new entry is going to talk about the problems when motivating team members to work and to commune.
There are alot of problems with development. The ones that are most known, are funding, recruitment and meeting deadlines. Yes, those exist and are very well known because Devs highlight that very frequently. But one other element that is largely overlooked is team motivation or involvement. How is this a problem? Read further to find out.
Picture you have a nice concept. In fact you've completed the first draft of the said concept. You then go into recruitment based on the summary of the concept... not the concept itself. Of course the recruitee does a passover of the summary, checks whether the genres fit with him, and inquire about their all important pay.
This process is done and repeated over and over again in the EVN sector. It's basic practice to some extent. But that is where the problem begins friends. After the payment is settled, almost every team member (minus writers) never actually takes the time to assess the content of the project until it's over and done with. All the ask is for what you need and References.
That is the problem. You, in reading the content, should know what is needed based on the description of the scenes in the concept material. But most of that is waived based on "I'm working on multiple projects".
I myself have had this problem with my team, with only 50% of the team actually reading the content. Luckily my character artist falls in that category. Because of that, i feel we have a distinctive disadvantage against other studios whose members actively take part in shaping the story itself, not just the VN aspect.
It may just be my assumption and speculation at this point, but what if team immersion could affect the final product positively and make it far better than it normally is? Some good food for thought, i'd say.
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So this year I've taken to writing some independent OELVN pieces, two freebies that have both gone on some sort of hiatus and one paid one that I'm nearing completion of. One of the freebies the project lead kind of had her own vision for what I was writing (and I was too verbose). The other the lead liked what I wrote and even had a demo made of it. You can view it on YouTube. I did the writing, and yes, it's based on the anime "Free!" No money changed hands, in case you were wondering, and my work was, also, free. But I haven't heard back from her or about the project since late spring. Not sure if it's just on hiatus or she got other writers to do the character routes.
That brings me to the paid project I'm close to finishing - "Stay! Stay! People's Democratic Republic of Korea" is, as you would suspect, in part a parody of Overdrive's "Go! Go! Nippon!" The project leader has been really supportive, and has mostly liked what I've given him. (There was one part where he toned down some of the tropes a bit. Maybe one day after release I'll be allowed to show the original script.) The intro, all "date" routes and interludes have been written and most edited. I'm down to the group outing and finale. I know where I want to go - it's a matter of actually getting it down. Sometimes it's hard working a full-time job, helping to raise two kids with a wife who also works full-time, and then writing on the side as well. So I'm not getting it done as fast as I'd like. I blame Fate/Grand Order, Drift Girls and Granblue Fantasy as well. CURSE YOU FUN PHONE/TABLET APP GAMES!!!
Darr over at DEVGRU_P has been keeping busy lately, adding in some other projects for production, such as Maid Mansion. He's a pretty nice guy and easy to work with. We're already talking future works beyond "Stay! Stay!" as well, so I'm pretty happy. I guess my main hope is that I'm as good a writer as I feel I am and the game/story goes over well.
Also, Eunji best Tsundere 2017!!!
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