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Zakamutt

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  1. Like
    Zakamutt got a reaction from Kino in The Fuwanovel List of Cool EVNs   
    Back in the day, we had a list of English-language-first visual novels. Unfortunately its OP, nohman, has left us. Fortunately, a lot of good EVNs have been released since then! As Fuwanovel's resident Japanese-knowing, JVN-enjoying EVN reader, I figure I'm in a unique position to moderate this thread.
    The previous list focused on "notable" EVNs, but to be honest, these days there are arguably so many notable EVNs that the list would get unwieldy. Besides, the reason to read anything is if it's good — or at least interesting — right? I want to see what you like.
    Anyone can contribute with suggestions. If you think it's good or interesting, tell me why, link the game, and I'll add it to the list. To get us started, I'll seed the list with some of my own favorites . Don't be discouraged if what you like is nothing like what I do, though — that's a sign that we need your help!
    The Fuwanovel List of Cool EVNs
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    Actual Sunlight by Will o'Neill

    Notable tags: Depression, Utsuge, Suicide
    Zakamutt: This is a dark VN, and it came to me at a dark time in my life. It's one of the most uncompromising depictions of depression I have seen, and the writing is as funny as it is cutting. Not for everyone, but for me: one of my two 10/10 VNs.
    Where to get: Steam, Itch.io
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    An Octave Higher by Kidalang

    Notable tags: Fantasy, Magic/ESP Combat, Fictional World
    Zakamutt: This is an honest-to-god fantasy VN made by the Indonesian studio Kidalang. It reminds me a lot of Terry Pratchett: you have a big medieval-ish city, magic and technology combined, and some interesting social commentary. The creators' Indonesian roots show through here, as Indonesia lived through an attempted communist coup, then an anti-communist purge, in 1965 — the story centers around people of different classes dealing with the rise of industry and capitalism, with such fun things as magic used in factory production, and even factory-provided mana potions... This is not an uncritical communist paean by any means — read it and you'll see.
    Where to get: Steam
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    Blankspace by NoBreadStudio

    Notable tags: Escape Game, Mystery, Romance
    Zakamutt: Where 999 flavors its mystery with science-fiction technobabble, Blankspace flavors it with messy human drama. You wake up tied to a pipe, and the only one that can help you is Beryl, a teal-haired beauty who was trapped along with you. As you unravel the mystery to escape, you can also pick how you interact with her, perhaps even fall in love — there's a text-only (no CGs) sex scene patch, and I highly advise you get it, as it's written more like erotica than a normal VN h-scene. Quite interesting. The character writing is some of the best I've seen in a VN, with interactions being both natural and entertaining, but also moving the plot forward. The point-and-click elements aren't bad either, and serve the plot as much as less interactive segments.
    Where to get: Steam, Itch.io
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    Cinders by MoaCube

    Notable tags: Lots of Choices, Proactive Protagonist, Fairy Tale
    Templarseeker: It is a reimagining of Cinderella with unique art style.

    Bonus: Fuwanovel review.
    Where to get: Steam, Itch.io
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    Corpse Factory by RIVER CROW STUDIO

    Notable tags: Thriller, Horror, Modern Day Tokyo
    Templarseeker: By the title alone you might think its a rip off of Corpse Party, nevertheless give the VN/Game a try and you'll witness a interesting, gloomy, dark, and semi realistic depiction of modern society. A psychological horror VN at its very core.
    In addition this VN/Game has decent English voice acting in it on some of the important dialogues!
    Where to get: Steam, GOG
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    Digital: A Love Story by Christine Love

    Notable tags: Operating System Simulation, Interactive Adventure Game
    Zalor: "It's not what you say, it's how you say it that matters", is the first thing that comes to mind with this VN. The story itself is quite simple, but the presentation is so excellent that it makes up for where the story might slack. Especially as somebody who is quite fascinated with old computers, I loved how the whole story is told through BBS messages. BBS standing for Bulletin Board System, and was essentially the internet before the internet. Its presentation mimics said environment very convincingly as well.
    Where to get: Creator's Website (FREE!)
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    Digital Seclusion by Zalor

    Notable tags: Otaku Protagonist
    Zakamutt: Digital Seclusion is a story of a person who might be a bit like you — though I hope none of you are as extreme. He's a shut-in collector of old Japanese visual novels, which he posts about on his blog. It's also an (opinionated) history of the medium, introducing many old, and for some, nostalgic, visual novels. One day, a girl that looks just like a heroine from one of his games steps out of the screen. But is she real, and if so, should he trust her — or is she nothing but bad news?
    Digital Seclusion was written by one of our forum members, Zalor, and we also have a Fuwanovel review of this VN if you're interested.
    Where to get: Itch.io (FREE!)
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    Doki Doki Literature Club! by Dan Salvato

    Notable tags: Poetry, Student Club
    Alpacaman: I know this one is kind of controversial in the community. It's still one of the titles that introduced many people in the west to visual novels. Yes, it's gimmicky, but what it sets out to do it does very well and doesn't overstay its welcome. Many people in the community saw the game as an attack on VNs as a whole, but I think it's more about player agency and the relationship between games and the ones playing them.
    Where to get: Steam, Itch.io (FREE!)
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    Heart of the Woods by Studio Élan

    Notable tags: Fictional Modern Day European Town, Girl x Girl Romance Only, Contemporary Fantasy
    Silvz: Heart of the Woods is amazing! I loved the characters, the art style and the story in general. Iirc there was a voice patch released after I read it, so it may be even better now. It's also good to have some LGBTQIA+ representation in the list!
    (Also recommended by: Templarseeker, Plk_Lesiak)
    Where to get: Steam, Itch.io
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    Juniper's Knot by Dischan

    Notable tags: Multiple Protagonists
    Zalor: A short, well written story that nearly a decade later still leaves quite a good impression. Focused on the interactions between a lost boy and a demon confined within a magic circle, it has some folklore-ish vibes to it. However, the bouncing between the two perspectives of the boy and the demon girl adds a modern flair to a story that otherwise does feel like it could be within a Grimm Fairy Tales book. This is all not to mention the beautiful art. For more info here's a review.
    Where to get: Steam, Dischan (FREE!)
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    Katawa Shoujo by Four Leaf Studios

    Notable tags: Nakige, Romance, Disabled Heroine
    Zakamutt: Back in the day, there'd be no point in putting this on the list. Literally everyone knew about it, and it was many people's first VN. Today, I think this story is worth recommending anew. The central conceit is the protagonist, Hisao, transferring to an academy for the disabled after suffering a heart attack. But the depth in this VN lies in not the disabled girls he meets there, but in what lies beneath. Pretty much every character has hidden depths to them, and the story arc usually ends up much like a Key tearjerker (without the supernatural hijinx). It's not just nostalgia, mom, I swear. Katawa Shoujo is genuinely a good VN.
    Where to get: OG, Moddable Fan HD rerelease with accessibility options (both FREE!)
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    Lessons in Love by Selebus

    Notable tags: Dating Simulation, Student-Teacher Romance, Lots of Choices
    Alpacaman: A work in progress that at this point is even longer than Umineko and according to its creator is the longest VN in existence, period (each update is about 30-60k words long and there's been about 50). Which shouldn't keep you from reading it. At least to me this one is more about vibes than plot and works very well despite its length.
    Where to get: Subscribestar, Itch.io (FREE but one of those things where the patreon is further ahead)
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    Lynne by ebi-hime

    Notable tags: Modern Day British Isles, Utsuge, Psychological Horror
    Zakamutt: Ebi-hime is a well-regarded VN writer among those in the know, and for a reason: she consistently delivers well-written interesting stories. Lynne is one of her free offerings, and takes place in a lower-class British milieu, with all the stress and envy that often implies. Both the soundtrack and graphics match the griminess of the setting, with ebi-hime opting to work with the electronic music producer sleepy agents for the sound. Lynn, the protagonist, is haunted by nightmares as the national exams she simply cannot afford to fuck up approach. Almost everything around her seems practically designed to stress her out more. In school there is a girl that she feels has everything that she does not, Lynne. Will Lynn pass her exams, or will she break from the stress she is under? And what will happen to Lynne? Find out in this VN.
    Where to get: Steam, Itch.io (both FREE!)
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    Meeting in the Flesh by inkEthic

    Notable tags: Monster Hero, Body Horror
    Alpacaman: An inversion of Saya no Uta's themes, showing you can find beauty anywhere.
    Where to get: Itch.io (FREE!)
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    Pale Cachexia by Argent Games

    Notable tags: Dark Fantasy, (Gothic) Horror, Illness
    Zakamutt: Our protagonist, Esther, is afflicted with the Pale, a disease that causes its victims to waste away at terrifying speed if they do not take medicine every day. Even with the medicine, sufferers are often doomed to a life of slow degeneration and disability, with everything from their mood to too much exercise affecting the condition. Esther has made a desperate bid for a cure, the last step of a journey in search of a cure the cottage of a dead scholar of the Pale in the forest — and the young girl who lives there. They build up a fragile relationship as Esther researches his notes, trying to find something — anything — to help her condition. But those same notes might hold horrors she never knew...
    I liked this one so much it made me write like a pretentious twat on vndb. So I'm just going to reproduce that here. I'm not sorry.
    A languid walk, rarely a run, into the terror and beauty of the darkness. The will to be independent yet the need to depend. The intense portrayal of guilt and avoidance in this is sublime — or maybe just too deeply #relatable for me to give it, with its beautiful immersive atmosphere and, for once, solid writing anything else but an "excellent" rating.
    Where to get: Steam, Itch.io
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    Sensei Overnight by Pers0nas

    Notable tags: All-girls School, Teacher Protagonist, Memory Alteration
    Danmaku: it is a "psychological horror mystery grooming dating sim" obviously inspired by Lessons in Love but focuses more on its underlying mysteries and how all of its characters relate to it and without as much of the grind and wiki-searching. Like its contemporary, it has a strong visual flair and strong comedic and story/character writing with a heavy focus on psychoanalysing its characters. It has rather low sexual content, when it does have h-scenes, it will be rather weird and/or focuses on realism. It really creates its own highly unique identity later on, the earlier parts can be a slow burn. Very importantly, the choices you make will matter.
    Where to get: Itch.io (FREE... but you can subscribe on patreon/subscribestar for early access updates)
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    SHINRAI - Broken Beyond Despair by Gosatsu Visual Novels

    Notable tags: Detective Work, Murder Mystery, Interactive Adventure Game
    Danmaku: a murder mystery visual novel with refreshing story pacing due to its straightforward honkaku structure. The character writing is amazing and the tricks used in the murder(s) are unique enough to give it its own identity.
    Where to get: Steam, Itch.io
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     Solstice by MoaCube

    Notable tags: Multiple Protagonists, Mystery, Lots of Choices
    Templarseeker: Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi thriller of a VN
    Where to get: Steam, GOG
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    Soundless by milk+ visual

    Notable tags: Bullying, Denpa, Cult, Mystery
    Zakamutt: Mercy sees things. It’s too bad that what she sees are warped distortions, filthy beetles, tentacles, horrifying flesh-beasts and all that, but at least it isn’t permanently on so she’s not quite Fuminori yet. Too bad it’s getting worse, though.
    Mercy lives in a small, secluded village; the village is strongly religious, ruled by the local church, and all the kids around see her as a convenient punching bag. But hey, it’s probably her fault anyway, she was cursed by sinning at the tender age of ten. She was seeing nice things before that.
    Mercy is the protagonist of Soundless, a game taking inspiration from the classic in the "denpa" subgenre of visual novels, which tends to concern itself with madness, unreliable narrators, and horror.
    Every person I've gotten to play Soundless has liked it, without exception. Any denpa fan that hasn't tried it is making a mistake. And I played it back when the well-received rerelease with an extra chapter wasn't even out yet. If you try nothing else, try this one: it's free!
    Where to get: Itch.io (FREE!)
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    Sweetest Monster by ebi-hime

    Notable tags: Relationship Problems, Modern Day British Isles, Dark Fantasy
    Silvz: a very short VN with great art and a plot twist that rivals the best mystery novels out there, at least in my humble opinion :3
    Where to get: Steam, Itch.io
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    The Dandelion Girl by /jp/ project / Outis Media

    Notable tags: Literary Adaptation, Time Travel, Romance
    Zalor: Another entry in that short and sweet department. Although often overshadowed by it's more successful sibling (the other 4chan visual novel, Katawa Shoujo), I think its charm shines through. And that's really the appeal I find with this VN. It's nothing amazing, but has a soulful charm to it.
    Where to get: Steam, Itch.io (FREE! — this is a remake by one of the original's creators. Links to the OG are dead.)
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    The Language Of Love by ebi-hime

    Notable tags: Heroine with Children, Adult Heroine, Only a Single Heroine
    adamstan: I think The Language of Love by ebi-hime should be added to the list. Short, but very heartwarming and wholesome love story - I loved it. It's also one of the few EVNs that manage to pull off the japanese setting without being all cringey
    Bonus: Fuwanovel Review
    Where to get: Steam, Itch.io, Denpa, MangaGamer
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    The Sekimeiya: Spun Glass by Trinitite Team

    Notable tags: Confinement, Mystery, Hard Science Fiction
    Danmaku: a highly elaborate ontological mystery visual novel. The music can be jarring and ear-grating at times and the characters can be pretty bland. One thing I can highly compliment this visual novel is the underlying mystery itself. It is highly engaging and may seem perplexing and complicated but the puzzle pieces connect together pretty nicely. You will answer about 50 questions at the end to solve it, you will be ranked with other players to see how you did. The individual mysteries are segmented enough that if you didn't get some of it you still will be able to solve the rest.
    Where to get: Steam, Itch.io
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    VA11 Hall-A by Sukeban Games

    Notable tags: Bartender Protagonist, Cyberpunk, Dialogue Based
    Alpacaman: It's cyberpunk bartender action, what more could you possibly want? It nails the aesthetic with great visuals and BGM, has great characters, some actual depth to its themes without ever getting anywhere close to being pretentious. Also it has some of the best comedy in any VN I've read so far.
    Where to get: Steam, Itch.io
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    YOU LEFT ME by Angela He

    Notable tags: Interactive Adventure Game, Surreal, Depression
    Kawasumi: just because of how absolutely stunning visually it is.
    Zakamutt: I would definitely recommend trying other Angela He VNs like Missed Messages out as well. She has a pretty unique style.
    Where to get: Itch.io (FREE!)
  2. Like
    Zakamutt got a reaction from Ray-Out in Merry Christmas, Fuwa!   
    Meow. Merry christmas everynyan
  3. Like
    Zakamutt reacted to fujoneko in BRXKEN INSIDE review discussion   
    Nah, I feel you on this one. I like it when the writing has a point to it, but it doesn't seem to be the case for this one. Sure, she's an edgy teen who thinks others are trash—like almost any teen—but the pretentious writing makes me feel not care for her. She just sounds very emo (lol)
  4. Like
    Zakamutt got a reaction from fujoneko in BRXKEN INSIDE review discussion   
    The description of issues with the prose reminds me of another VN that I thought has issues: Double Exposure. At the time, I wrote a vndb note with (among other things): A kind of cool concept with some nice moments both cute and tense. But god, the prose for the viewpoint character Serena and her narration is really bad. When you try to write something flowery — with big words and all that jazz — you really need to be on the ball, and the frequent awkward phrasings and plain misuses of words on show here fall very short of the mark. This also spills over into Lizzie's dialogue, which at times feels unnatural. I think I'm a bit unusually sensitive to this, as I realized when I discussed how turned off I had been with lesiak (I think I picked up the VN after he discussed it briefly in a post, so naturally I had to complain at him for a bit).
    Overall, I think the point I made in my old remark that writing more plainly is the safer option for most writers is very relevant. Most writers in VNs just are not good enough — often have not read enough in that style to know what is good — to make it work. I will be much more forgiving of writing that is a bit plain than writing with the ornamentation put on all wrong. But maybe it's just me.
  5. Like
    Zakamutt got a reaction from WilberStamm in Looking for short SFW VNs   
    Steam (this really restricts what can be recced unfortunately):
    https://vndb.org/v32333 (very heavy content tho)
    https://vndb.org/v29885
    https://vndb.org/v22061
    https://vndb.org/v9680   (has a section where you need to type a bit, might not be ideal)
    https://vndb.org/v31212
    https://vndb.org/v19014
    https://vndb.org/v7184 (if split into episodes)
    Not steam (if you can make it work; probably possible, see guide on forums or the website that guide links to as an updated version)
    https://vndb.org/v103
    https://vndb.org/v21745
    https://vndb.org/v1296
    https://vndb.org/v38510
    https://vndb.org/v1371
    https://vndb.org/v23745 (probably including both chapters makes it longer than 10h for some readers, but you can read one after the other sop not a huge problem)
     
  6. Like
  7. Like
    Zakamutt got a reaction from Dreamysyu in Looking for short SFW VNs   
    Steam (this really restricts what can be recced unfortunately):
    https://vndb.org/v32333 (very heavy content tho)
    https://vndb.org/v29885
    https://vndb.org/v22061
    https://vndb.org/v9680   (has a section where you need to type a bit, might not be ideal)
    https://vndb.org/v31212
    https://vndb.org/v19014
    https://vndb.org/v7184 (if split into episodes)
    Not steam (if you can make it work; probably possible, see guide on forums or the website that guide links to as an updated version)
    https://vndb.org/v103
    https://vndb.org/v21745
    https://vndb.org/v1296
    https://vndb.org/v38510
    https://vndb.org/v1371
    https://vndb.org/v23745 (probably including both chapters makes it longer than 10h for some readers, but you can read one after the other sop not a huge problem)
     
  8. Like
    Zakamutt reacted to akaritan in How to start translating a game   
    Sorry for the late reply. Thank you so much! This is incredibly helpful, and I'll take all of it into account.
  9. Love
    Zakamutt got a reaction from akaritan in How to start translating a game   
    Hi @akaritan! I think the correct board for this post is Fan Translation Discussion, which I will (try to, I don't think I've ever used this mod tool before... oh well) move it to after finishing this reply.
    I do think Fuwanovel is an appropriate place to recruit members, though I would also consider concurrently searching in other places such as aarinfantasy as it's more specialized in BL VNs (full disclosure, I haven't checked aarin out for years). There might also be communities on tumblr that could help, though my knowledge of that realm is basically zero. On Fuwanovel, the board to use would be Translation Projects, specifically a general thread in the top-level forum and a recruiting thread in the Recruitment subforum. To be honest this looks kind of complicated to me, but it's in the guidelines to split into a progress/presentation and a recruitment thread and We The Current Fuwanovel Management haven't really looked at making any changes to that.
    Boring administrative stuff over, you do seem to have an idea of the usual process. First, you need to get the text out of the game. Then, you translate in a way that makes it easy to put the text into the game again, optionally getting editing, tl check, etc. Finally, someone needs to put the translation back into the game. Usually, putting things back in again is harder than getting it out; this is good for you, since it's relatively low effort to help you get the project started, and if things don't work out, it's not a big deal. That said, this depends a lot on the engine, but you might be lucky here: vndb indicates that Bara no Ki uses the System-NNN engine, which is covered by an existing tool. That doesn't mean it's guaranteed to work, but if nothing else the tool author might be able to help you with adapting the tool.
    You have one big advantage in this: you're the translator. As long as you have some way to get scripts, you can make translation progress. You're also a natural candidate for team leader, and in many ways you don't really need anyone else if you can get past any technical hurdles.
    You do also have a disadvantage in the title picked. A thirty-hour title is a massive undertaking, especially for a graduate student. It will likely take several years to complete (though adding more translators to the team can alleviate this somewhat, it also adds communication burdens and compromises quality — finding anyone actually good at both Japanese and English writing that also translates enough to matter can be very difficult). Ultimately, you like what you like, but passion has a tendency to die in the grinding years of work needed to complete a translation. Starting with a shorter title first — maybe five hours or less would be my pick, though I'm influenced by my own total lack of discipline here — is a wise option, as it gives you personal experience of the process, your limits, and your abilities, not to mention translation experience which will help you produce a better product in your next project. Maybe Jisatsu Shigansha Doumei? I never ended up finishing reading it, because I am an absolute executive function wreck, but it's by the same writer as my current long-neglected translation project, and it has that same sensibility Shinimasu does. Or maybe you think it's trash, that's fine too, the point is short = good ong fr.
  10. Love
    Zakamutt reacted to thebackup in thebackup is here   
    Thought I'd say hi to this place!
    I'm thebackup, aka PixælSoft / Project Memoria, and I'm a VN dev. I've developed VNs such as Café Memoria and the Dating Sim! series of games, including Dating Sim! Luna's Lovely Summer (DSLLS) which is late in development (unfortunately my artist resigned due to personal issues, and currently looking for a replacement artist to pick up where she left off). I have to say one of the first VNs that inspired me to create my own are Kanon and Hourglass of Summer (that was like... 15+ years ago). I'm mostly active on my Twitter / X, but you can also find me occasionally at Lemmasoft too.
    Pleasure to be here 🙂
  11. Like
    Zakamutt reacted to Tulip in How do you feel about usage of AI in VN development?   
    In the short-term: good only for things which the AI is actually good at.
    The current state of the art in AI-generated visual art is already pretty good. It can pretty easily be used to generate high-quality backgrounds; it can potentially, depending on the broader artistic considerations at play, be used for CGs as well; and I suspect that there exist ways to get it to do even sprites to a reasonably-okay degree of quality, although I myself haven't yet learned the techniques.
    But AI-generated writing, currently, is pretty consistently unimpressive. While authors have found various clever ways of incorporating AI into their workflows in small ways—as a source of sentence-continuations to get unstuck (followed by totally overwriting the likely-not-very-good sentences the AI wrote), or as a source of character-names, or suchlike—we're still a long ways off from having any text-AI tools that can generate actual high-quality storytelling. Perhaps we'll be there some day, but for now, I don't expect any VN that makes extensive use of AI-written text to end up particularly well-written.
    Voice acting is somewhere in between the two, going by the AI voices I've encountered thus far. Noticeably worse than human voice actors, for now, with less grasp of timing and of emotional nuance; but still potentially better-than-nothing, for some readers. (And, of course, in any modern VN engine, readers for whom AI-generated voices are grating can always just turn off the voice audio-track, so there's not as much harm done by voices which only some readers like as by text or art which only some readers like.)
    I'm sufficiently uninformed on the current state of AI-generated music that I lack opinions here. I'd be interested in learning more, if anyone in this thread happens to know things about the current state-of-the-art tools available to the public AI-music-wise!
    (And probably eventually we'll get some real options emerging even for AI animation, but that seems a ways off still. Although 'a ways off' is, perhaps, less significant than it sounds, with how quickly AI-development has been happening lately.)
    Overall, then, I think the state of my opinions on use-of-AI-in-visual-novels, relative to the current state of the tech, is that it can be used for some parts of a VN much better than for other parts. The only area where I currently expect AI to actually compete quality-wise with non-AI creative tooling, right now, is visual art; for everything else, I expect AI to be—for now—purely the budget option, usable by creators who would otherwise be unable to pull together anything at all (e.g. for voice acting, which is otherwise expensive-and-logistically-challenging to set up) but not likely to produce VNs anywhere near as good as those created by more traditional techniques. For art in specific, I do expect VN-artists to be able to make pretty good use of AI in place of older tools in many cases, and expect the art-quality of low-budget VNs to be raised thereby.
    (Certain social spheres are big on claiming that there are ethical issues of some sort around use of AI art. The more-sensible ones on the basis of its causing technological unemployment for artists, increasing the abundance of quality art for the common person and thus reducing the market for specialized art-creators; the less-sensible ones on the basis of very implausible copyright-related claims, which if taken seriously would imply that a human drawing art inspired by the work of another artist is inherently in violation of that artist's copyright even if the art is different in all the particulars. I grant that the technological unemployment is going to happen, and that it will be a downside of the spread of AI-art; but I have a very hard time seeing "this product becomes more abundant, to the detriment of those who were profiting off of its scarcity" as being a bad thing overall, even if it's bad for a subset of people. The world is richer for the existence of cheap mass-produced clothing, despite the Luddites' objections and efforts to slow the adoption of the machinery that enabled that mass-production and despite the losses that many of the aforementioned Luddites genuinely suffered as a result of that mass-production; I would be very surprised if it ended up going any differently with art, or with whatever other media cheaply-accessible AI next moves into being seriously-competitive-with-human-creators-in.)
    In the long-term: AI tooling is likely to become competitive with traditional tooling, while more accessible to the general public, in increasingly-many media. Even if visual art is, for now, the only medium where it can really keep up, I expect that to change eventually, letting increasingly many of the multimedia elements of VN-creation be done via AI.
    As this process progresses, it will become increasingly practical for small teams or even individual hobbyists to create VNs of a scale and quality that was previously only reachable by large well-paid teams. This increased ease-of-production will, in turn, increase the accessibility of such VNs to readers: there will be more good stuff for us to read, much as the self-publishing revolution has led to greater abundance of high-quality traditional prose novels. (Along with lots of lower-quality ones; but it's not hard to skip past and not-read those, benefiting from the upside without substantial downside. I expect similar things to happen in the VN-sphere: the importance of reviews, and other such curation tools, will go substantially upward, since they'll become a core means by which people can find the good stuff amid the flood of less-good stuff.)
    On the whole, I expect this to be a pretty straightforwardly good thing. The more VNs are made, the more good VNs will be made, and even if it takes some effort to sift the good ones out from the bad, it will lead ultimately to a richer and more-fulfilling range of options for VN-readers.
    (Meanwhile, from the creators' side, I expect it to be an era of unprecedented flourishing for the small non-financially-motivated creators who, through their AI-use, can create VNs of vastly-larger scale and quality than would otherwise have been accessible to them. But, meanwhile, it will likely be an era of substantially harsher competition for the more-financially-motivated creators. Much as in the visual-art case, I expect this to be pretty straightforwardly to the benefit of the world overall, but with costs to those who are particularly benefiting from the current shape of the market.)
  12. Like
    Zakamutt reacted to kiraio in [Tool] Light.vnTools - Game Resources Unpacker & Repacker for Light.vn based game   
    Thanks for explaining. I did some google translating, but get confused with it's poetic like language.
     
    Welp, I found it by coincidence 😂. I tried to extract it and the password input just popped up, so I just slap it with the current key and.... work! LOL
  13. Yes
    Zakamutt got a reaction from kiraio in [Tool] Light.vnTools - Game Resources Unpacker & Repacker for Light.vn based game   
    It's a "narrative game creation engine" that "inherits light.vn's functions" but as far as I can tell,  the github page says that "there is no download because the beta version is still under construction" and the beta is expected to be out "in 2017". Well, it's 2023 and the text isn't updated, damn son. So basically you have the order wrong, light.vn came first and the soul engine... may not actually exist. The terms used to describe it by the creator get kind of near spiritual which is, uhh, I follow the guy on twitter and he seems into buddhist-y stuff so maybe that makes sense lol.

    Anyway, I don't think this himawari (and also kodoku no yurikago, which is by the same developer and seemed to use the same zip password actually) used soul engine, they just call "light.vn" their engine. It's likely just a different version using a different encryption scheme. That said, it's possible the light.vn dev and the himawari dev were in contact and the himawari dev used an indev version of the engine with different features.
  14. Thanks
    Zakamutt reacted to kiraio in [Tool] Light.vnTools - Game Resources Unpacker & Repacker for Light.vn based game   
    Hi, it uses the same encryption key as Light.vnTools. In this case, it isn't the contents of the `vndat` file that are encrypted with xor cipher, but the `vndat` file itself that are password protected.
    Try to rename `vndat` file as `zip` and extract it. It will prompt you the password. Use this key: d6c5fKI3GgBWpZF3Tz6ia3kF0
    Anyway, thanks for reporting. I'll update the tool soon
  15. Love
    Zakamutt reacted to kiraio in [Tool] Light.vnTools - Game Resources Unpacker & Repacker for Light.vn based game   
    I didn't think it's the right board to post this. So, guide me Senpai!
     
    Hi, guys! I want to share you a tool to unpack and repack VN game resources made with Light.vn game engine called Light.vnTools.
    This tool is a C# port of https://github.com/morkt/GARbro/issues/440#issuecomment-1091453877. The tool usages is on the project README.
     
    As far as I see, there's not much VN game made with this engine. But, this game engine is a good choice to develop a modern VN game aside from it's performance.
  16. Like
    Zakamutt got a reaction from Silvz in Is /vns down?   
    works on my machine
  17. Like
    Zakamutt reacted to Dreamysyu in The Fuwanovel List of Cool EVNs   
    I'd say, Cinderella Phenomenon deserves to be added.

    It's a cool otome EVN with a story based on Western fairy-tales. The story itself is rather well-developed. Quality-wise, it's not particularly worse than its Japanese counterparts.
  18. Like
    Zakamutt reacted to Tulip in The Fuwanovel List of Cool EVNs   
    I'll second Highway Blossoms, as already recommended by someone earlier; it has very high-quality character-writing-and-development.
    Also, off in the space of recommendations not already made elsewhere in this thread: We Know the Devil. Made by the same team that subsequently did Heaven Will Be Mine, and still my favorite of their VNs, despite HWBM's relatively-larger scope and broader popularity. WKTD is a short VN which manages to be very efficient about conveying a high-impact story in a small space. Three teenagers in a Christian summer camp spend a night staying up late in a cabin together, having compellingly-messy relationships with each other and with the world around them and very much not neatly fitting into the social boxes everyone around them is trying to push them towards. (And also the devil is involved.)
  19. Like
    Zakamutt reacted to Totopo in The Fuwanovel List of Cool EVNs   
    I'll toss in a few more I'm not seeing mentioned here over time. For now here's 1.
    Love Esquire is a really good dating sim VN. Note it's not a pure visual novel, it is an actual dating sim hybrid VN with time management, map movement, stats, resources and a few mini games on top of having a lot of reading and choices. You play as a voiced Squire, and with an upcoming war you have a few things you want to accomplish before you march off to battle: You want to get some training in with your Knight partner, and you want to experience "Man's Greatest Pleasure". Your choices for girls are your farmgirl stepsis, two flavors of royalty, a brawler loli, and a shy pink haired nurse.
    The general style and writing for the game is silly with lots of comedy, though drama and serious plot does kick in especially later in the routes for each girl. This is the sort of game where the MC's  inner thoughts are often dirty and crude, like the MC will drop his pants and smack his butt to taunt enemies as a combat minigame move. There's a light general theme about growing up and getting serious within the game, but even near the end of routes the MC is still a bit of a goofball outside of scenes where he's risking his life or dealing with a girl's heavy drama.
    The production quality is way above expectations for EVN. The art is really nice, it goes for some tropes like hiding the MC's eyes that might turn some people off but the girls all look great and the game has a nice variety in CGs (some of which are animated) and good UI art. The game sounds great with pleasant music and lots of English voicework too, the casting was well done and I think most people will recognize names like Kira Buckland and Amanda Lee in the main cast.
    They handled H-scenes elegantly enough for Steam: the base game just fades to black, but you have 2 easily accessible options to add H-scenes. There's an official free DLC (Love Esquire - Greatest Pleasure) that adds H-scene CGs, and then a much improved mod available for free on the Steam Workshop (Hip To Be Squire) that adds extra story and animation to the H-scenes. The devs themselves recommend playing using Hip To Be Squire if you want H-scenes, so I'll have a 2nd link right to the Steam Workshop page for it.
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/849740/Love_Esquire__RPGDating_SimVisual_Novel/
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1884758461
  20. Like
    Zakamutt reacted to lup in The Fuwanovel List of Cool EVNs   
    i think Heaven Will Be Mine is worth mentioning as a highlight of the EVN sphere. it has an identity of its own rather than simply borrowing from the JVN format without consideration. it's a story about women trying to find their place in the world in the middle of a interstellar conflict in which they're being used as pawns. it wears the fact it was inspired by gundam on its sleeve, and asks similar questions about being a human forced to participate in war they have no stakes in. the art is also quite good,

  21. Haha
    Zakamutt got a reaction from Kajahara in Love Lab announces Chinkamo Twins!   
    Your dreams are much too humble, young padawan.
  22. Like
  23. Like
    Zakamutt got a reaction from Shiawase_Rina in A switch port for Hana Awase with Japanese, Chinese and English subtitles was announced!   
    Given the words highlighted in the latest MG survey report post, the English text and/or publishing will likely be partly handled by MangaGamer. (oh, I see there's already staff designated on the vndb page. They've definitely worked with MG before...)

    there might be hope for a PC release, who knows
     
     
  24. Like
    Zakamutt got a reaction from ztrepzilius in H-scene clichés   
    For all my fapping to h, I am a bit tired of just how formulaic they are. I figured I'd make one of them bingo thingies for h scenes. Feel free to suggest replacement standard phrases for defloration / simultaneous orgasm.

  25. Yes
    Zakamutt got a reaction from ohiowar in The Temple of Nya~   
    にゃぁぁぁぁぁぁぁぁぁー


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