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milkteebaby

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  1. Like
    milkteebaby reacted to Plk_Lesiak for a blog entry, VN Developer Spotlight: ds-sans   
    In March I've brought you two interviews with notable yuri and otome OELVN developers, talking with Nami and Reine Works' founder, Jackie M. Today, however, we're venturing into the world of very, very traditional romance (with equally high levels of cuteness), as my guest is ds-sans, the author of a lovely freeware VN Sounds of Her Love (be sure to check my review of that game) and the upcoming commercial title Chemically Bonded. I encourage you to join us as we discuss the place of all-ages romance in the VN scene, the role of voice acting in OELVNs and more.

    Plk_Lesiak: Welcome and thank you for accepting my invitation! While many people in the VN community might recognize your nick, they probably don’t know much beyond that. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
    ds-sans: I wouldn't really say that I'm that interesting. I'm currently an undergraduate student at university in the UK studying geography, with an interest in anime and related media in my spare time. (Although, that's died down in recent years.) If I were to describe my current background, it'd be fairly cliché, just like the stories of my VNs. I started developing VNs in 2015, while I was 16, but really showed an interest in January 2014. I didn't make it that far though and only really came back to it to prove that I could do something if I tried.
    PL: Sooo... Where did the "ds-sans" label come from?
    ds: In all honesty, I don't think the name really means anything. From what I remember, I think I honestly scrambled a few letters together from a car's registration plate, but this was a good 4 years ago. To clarify though, it has nothing to do with Japanese honorifics at least. I'd only started getting into anime a few months prior and still had no clue as to their usage.
    The story itself isn't that special, but the name stuck and at this point, I feel that it's too late to change it.
    PL: You create rather tame, cute romances in a market that seem to reward ecchi and h-content over anything else. Why this formula?
    ds: Pure romance novels have always been very diverse in the EVN industry, in my opinion. From what I've personally seen, many of the tamer romance titles are either a lot more Western in style or are low-scale non-commercial in nature and target a different audience. As far as I'm aware, there are relatively few commercial B x G titles with no 18+ content which take significant influence from Japanese VNs.
    Reading Clannad was really influential in my decision to focus on cute romance stories as I wanted to emphasize emotional connections between people over physical. If I were to add scenes like that into the stories, they'd need to supplement that motive as opposed to attracting more sales or getting people off. Katawa Shoujo is a good example of a VN which does h-scenes in this way. It's the formula which my inspiration is driven from, but it's not as if I'm not open to expanding into different genres for different audiences in the future.
    Read the full article at evnchronicles.blogspot.com
  2. Like
    milkteebaby reacted to Plk_Lesiak for a blog entry, Sweet Volley High (failed VN)   
    Outside of new releases, I usually try to avoid reviewing bad OELVNs in-detail, unless they’re especially interesting or notable despite their failures – after all, in any semi-amateur game development scene, the poorly-made, misguided or horribly iterative titles will be far more numerous than those actually worthy of your attention. Writing that much about the former, especially when my goal is to promote OELVNs as a niche worth exploring, is arguably a waste of time and possibly even counter-productive. However, just like Carpe Diem: Reboot, today’s game is a great opportunity to look at some problems and tropes very characteristic of the Western VN scene, in a game that actually had the production values and traces of genuine effort that should at least make it an average, reasonably enjoyable product. And the sin that made it ultimately fail was not silly writing that plagued Carpe Diem, but something arguably even worse – boredom.
                Sweet Volley High, developed by New West Games and released on Steam in October 2016, was marketed as a “yuri/otome Visual Novel”, featuring a female protagonist and both female and male romance options. While some might already feel unease about such use of the terms "yuri" and "otome", both of which usually denotes a bit more than just romantic configurations available, it hints at a much deeper problems – game’s utter lack of personality and very poor use of the themes it tries to tackle. While trying to appeal to a broad audience, in reality, it wasn’t able to replicate the appeal of neither yuri nor otome games, just as it didn’t manage to create a satisfying alternative to those formulas. But, why exactly is that the case?
    Read the full article at evnchronicles.blogspot.com
  3. Like
    milkteebaby reacted to Plk_Lesiak for a blog entry, Lesbian Visibility Day rant   
    Hello there! It's not Friday, so it has to be an unusual post and it definitely is one...
    It will be a bit chaotic too - only now, late in the evening, after taking a day off and pursuing the only lesbian romance route in Tales of Aravorn: Seasons of the Wolf for most of it, I've realized that today is Lesbian Visibility Day. For me, both as a fan of yuri and as an appreciator of OELVNs it probably should be one important holiday - definitely worthy of a few moments/words of reflection.
    Visibility as something inherently positive is a curious idea. It's based on a very important and reasonable assumption, that to make something a public issue and fight for social change, you have to make people aware of that phenonenon's existence, scale and the consequences it might have for those most affected by it. To fight for the acceptance of gay people and systemic change that will give them equality before the law (and, hopefully, equality of opportunities), you cannot accept the conservative argument that sets sexual orientation as a purely "private" matter - the long-lived stance that wants people to visibly adhere to social "norm" and not "bother" others with the fact they're different. Most often, if you want your rights to be respected as a member of a minority group, you have to be loud, you have to be bold to the point of possibly being obnoxious and offensive to some people. You have to fight tooth-and-nail to make sure you won't be trampled by the majority's concepts of what's "normal" and "proper". In many Western countries, for lesbians that fight is to a large extent already "won" - the majority of people see them as a legitimate group worth respecting. Not everywhere though and it's not clear to what degree these gains are permanent. 

    Hopefully?
    But is all visibility a good thing? Paraphrasing painfully accurate thought by @Fiddle, we don't really praise Adolf Hitler for bringing attention to Jewish issues in Mein Kampf. Yuri, is, obviously, not nazism. It's not in any inherent way a negative phenomenon for the lesbian cause. But it's also not automatically an ally of any progressive agenda. Japanese media is full of depictions of lesbian romance, which reaches a society that ignores LGBT issues in a way more persistent than pretty much any other highly developed country. For me, it's not especially surprising - just like the saturation of Pornhub with lesbian porn probably doesn't lead to people watching it going to their local Pride parade, fetishized, male-oriented yuri themes in anime and VNs do not have to translate into any kind of educated attitude towards RL queer women. And Japanese yuri, at least until recently, didn't really have an ambition of grounding its narrative into any kind of reality of homosexual romance. SonoHana series is the perfect example of completely isolated, imaginary "yuritopia" (to borrow a handy term from Yurirei), where a huge number of young females live in a world where males exists only in passing references, pretty much everyone's gay by default and there's no prejudice or social stigma connected to that fact - which, of course, make possible a gigantic number of voyeuristic porn scenes. Is it a bad thing by itself? Not really. Does it make people more aware of the situation of sexual minorities as a social issue? Hell no.

    Admittedly, some Japanese depictions of yuri romance are probably too lovely and heartwarming to say anything bad about them...
    Obviously, there's a lot of issues with representation of women in anime and VNs and I don't want to write a book here. I want to make a slightly different point and this goes to yuri romance in English VNs. This is also not a black and white picture - many EOLVNs directly copy the Japanese formula or give slight twists to it, while still keeping the "lesbian porn for guys" premise. However, for every Negligee and Sakura Fantasy our VN scene produces maybe even a couple of projects that are genuine expressions and/or appreciations of lesbian identity and realities of lesbian relationships. Throughout the various editions of Yuri Game Jam, NaNoRenO and in many commercial titles, I've seen lovely, touching, thought-provoking depictions of f/f romance that gave me huge pleasure as a reader, but also made me empathise with people different than me. Christine Love's work I think holds a special place here, with powerful and persuasive depictions of discrimination and her courage in exploring themes that commercial games rarely dare to go anywhere close to, from Analogue to Ladykiller in a Bind. Lately, Brianna Mei's Butterfly Soup gained similar notoriety, also through a genuine message and creative passion involved. But even small, cute and silly games such as those by Nami can have a genuinely positive role to play, confronting people with diversity in an approachable and lovely way.

    One other thing that OELVNs regularly prove to me is that some small, indie games can have more soul in them than many giant, high-budget productions...
    I, in all of this, have a pretty questionable position of a straight guy that finds lesbian romance lovely and, to a certain extent, hot. The more genuine the romance depicted is, the more I'm probably a bit of a creepy voyeur getting a high out of something that for other people is part of their identity. But no matter how we see that problem, this genuineness depicted above is something I absolutely love many yuri OELVNs for and a thing to be shared and appreciated. And that's my message for this day.
    Thank you for reading!
  4. Like
    milkteebaby reacted to MaggieROBOT for a blog entry, [Review] Togainu no Chi   
    Nitroplus sure is popular and there's always hype surrounding their games. Their imprint Nitro+CHIRAL receives the same treatment by the BL fanbase. And that was one of the reasons that I was afraid to approach their games. Overhype frequently kills anime and manga for me, and I believe that the more a media is popular, the more parroting we see instead of legitimate opinions, I can't even count the times I read reviews that, if you erased all positive adjectives, you ended up with nothing. Even so, I tried to play this game because its plot was genuinely interesting. Too bad it got so easily abandoned halfway through the game.
     

    Game's cover is more badass than the game itself

    Togainu no Chi, Nitro+CHIRAL's debut title released in 2005, tells the story of Akira, a champion in some turf war style game, that got falsely accused of a crime. Japan is in a pretty post apocalyptic state and its society is falling apart so he had almost no hope in ever clearing up the misunderstanding. Except a woman named Emma appears before Akira with a deal to free him. And for that, he have to enter another game, this time a battle royale, named Igura. Accepting the terms, Akira travel to the ruins of Tokyo, where Igura take place. The world building is well done and full of good ideas, that unfortunately falls flat when you reach the character routes. The game takes its time to explain all rules of Igura and show all of the weird quirks the game master added just for fun, just to gives us like two fights and then shift the focus of the plot to something else. Of the five routes, only one actually elaborate a bit more about Igura and that ended up being my favorite route. Of course, they tried to tie the Igura plot with the game's true plot, but the excuse they used still doesn't make Igura actually important for anything.
    This feeling of disconnection between the beginning and the later parts of the game was so strong that it almost made me want to try the game's trial. Like, the prologue had special portraits for characters that had only one scene worth of appearance (the game have three or so base NPC faces, but these guys are different), three completely useless character had sprites, there's a fighting sequence with some homeless people that acted like wild animals that's never explained or even mentioned again. I do wonder if the game was supposed to be one thing and because some development problems it became something else...
     

    Even Akira is sad with how the game turned out...
     
    Now for the characters. First we have Akira, the main character, and mostly a silent badass type of guy. Or that's what we expect him to be based on the prologue. For a said champion, he's overpowered way too easily by pretty much any character that cross paths with him. Add the fact that after 90% of said defeats his opponent states how pretty Akira is and how much he wants to rape him (of course, stating too that he doesn't care if he's a guy), and we have one of the most "damsel in distress" MC I ever saw. The thing he said the most in the entire VN is "let go!", seriously (his "hanaseyo!" just played in my mind). Sure, he accomplish some things by himself, but nothing end game tier. He just goes where the plot carries him, over and over again. And to make things worse, his development is tied to the fact that he should warm more to others and not to his uselessness in combat.
    Among our five heroes we have: Keisuke, the clingy childhood friend; Rin, an energetic shota; Motomi, a laid back older guy; Shiki, the edgelord that goes around killing guys with a katana and vanishing the next second; and Nano, a mysterious guy that says a lot of things that doesn't make much sense. We also have bad endings with Arbitro, a super eccentric guy, and his two bodyguards Gunji and Kiriwar, but they're pretty short and not really plot relevant. With the exception of Shiki, all of the others have some character growth. 
    Personally, I loved Rin's and Motomi's routes, since it developed well not only each character, but also the couple. You can see them growing up and moving on together. Keisuke is your typical childhood friend route, but his route have a twist that's sadly repeated in every single route, making his route completely pointless if you don't care too much about his character. Nano's route had a good start, but guess he was a bit too detached for a medium length game, so his development was way too rushed in the end. Shiki's route is a complete disaster that I'll talk about in the H-scene part of the review, because his route barely had anything else.
     

    "No love for an older guy, huh", Motomi thought, remembering how N+C put him out of view in the blowjob part of the h-scene...
     
    The h-scenes... sigh. There's eleven scenes in total, and only three aren't rape. And they aren't even dubious consent scenes, it's no consent whatsoever. And most of them are totally gratuitous. There are more routes than consensual h-scenes, so... you know what to expect. I could actually forgive such a ratio if this was some dark and dramatic story. It's not. It's the actually the same annoying BL cliché that plagues a lot of older works: rape turned love. Guy A forces himself on guy B (usually the MC) because "he can't express himself very well". But no worries, because the rapist liked the other guy all along. And the one raped can see beyond the abuse, guy A have other worthy qualities. And then, happy couple ending~ Aaaaw, can I vomit already? I mean, what? How can they even call that romance??? I know the game deals with some dark themes, so the least they could do is treat it with seriousness and not like some "cute" shipping material. Although this description here fits mostly Shiki (except one of his bad endings, that actually depicts some sort of mindbreaking), there's one more character that had a rape scene that came completely out of nowhere, for no real reason and it so happened to be the only h-scene of the route... My headcanon is that one of the "drugs" (drugs are never named in those media, huh?) they use actually turns them into rapists, but who knows the right answer.
    And when that's not the problem, we have the unnatural dialogue. "But we're both guys!", oh I didn't even noticed, thanks for telling me! "I don't like guys, it's just you!", he's a guy regardless, give up. "I don't care if you're a guy, you have a pretty face!" (actually this particular quote wasn't in a h-scene, but in a rape attempt scene) I thought that was the norm for BL MCs, how is that not gay? The game really goes out of its way to basically say "NO HOMO!" sometimes... There's so many turn off moments that only positive thing I can say about the h-scenes is that Akira's voice actor do an AMAZING job, one of the best h-scenes voice acting I heard.
     

    Nano!!! Please don't sleep!!! I swear Shiki's route is almost over!!!
     
    The art is nothing really special. The background can get a bit repetitive with so many gray tones, the CGs are good, better than the sprites, the usual stuff. The soundtrack on the other end is pretty good, enhancing various okay moments to something cool. It sets the mood just right, the song that plays in the bonding/emotional scenes in particular had such a lonely vibe, I liked it a lot. And the good ending song is so beautiful I constantly hear it (and I feel obligated to share it).
    And, because it's an old game, I had to add one more section to this review: technical stuff. It's a known fact that this game have some compatibility problems with windows 8.1 and 10. Back when I played it in windows 8.1, I had to do several "tricks" (compatibility mode with windows XP, put it in high priority in task manager) to unfreeze the game after loading a save file. I had to change the tricks (clicking in specific points in the screen, don't ask why) to play it in windows 10, but after some updates it's now completely unplayable for me. Some people had more luck and said tricks still works, others never had any problem, but are you feeling lucky? Nitro+CHIRAL released a new windows 10 compatible version, but, as you can guess, you can't use the english patch in this version.
    Another way to play this game is grab the all-ages PS2 version that even added a new route. Even then, I couldn't really bother with reading this again. It's storytelling is so outdated and filled with bad BL stereotypes. But unfortunately there's so few BL translated that this became some sort of mandatory reading.
  5. Like
    milkteebaby reacted to Plk_Lesiak for a blog entry, VN Developer Spotlight: Nami   
    Two weeks ago I've brought you an interview with Reine Works' Jackie M., where we talked about realities of OELVN publishing and the specificity of women-oriented western VNs. Today, I have an immense pleasure of bringing the spotlight onto one of my favourite western VN creators. Nami is an indie game developer and author of highly appreciated yuri titles, such as Her Tears Were My Light and Syrup and the Ultimate Sweet. If you observe VN contests such as Yuri Game Jam or NaNoRenO, or you read my post about the best YGJ VNs, you should probably be at least somewhat familiar with her work – and if you’re not, I hope reading this short interview will convince you to change that ASAP. 😉 Enjoy!
    ------------------------------------------------------

    Plk_Lesiak: Hello and thank you for agreeing to this interview! Many people interested in the OELVN scene might know your Itch.io handle NomnomNami or at least recognize the style you use in your projects, but probably not much more. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
    Nami: When I’m not making my own games I’m usually screaming about Disgaea, but most of my time lately goes into working for Lab Zero on their big crowdfunded RPG, Indivisible. Right now my life is work, work, work, so I’m afraid I don't have much interesting stuff to say about it.
    PL: Usually, developers that try their strength in the visual novel format have a strong connection to otaku culture and borrow various ideas and elements of style from Japanese media. How is it in your case?
    N: I've been a huge fan of Japanese anime/manga/games since I was like 10, and I’ve loved a lot of games that use a visual novel style format so it seemed really natural to me. I think my subconscious goal is to write things that feel like a Disgaea cutscene - I just really love Disgaea!
    PL: Disgaea is, above all, a strategy game series. Are there any visual novels that you think influenced your work? Do you read any Japanese or Western VNs nowadays?
    N: While these aren't pure VNs, I really enjoyed the original Ace Attorney trilogy, Hotel Dusk, and 999. Nowadays I don't play games that often, but I browse Itch.io a lot and try to check out what other people make for NaNoRenO and Yuri Jam!
    Read the full article at evnchronicles.blogspot.com
  6. Like
    milkteebaby reacted to Palas for a blog entry, Another Working Definition of Visual Novels   
    Take this.

    'Cause boy, we're going deep.
    (Or Ctrl+F KATAWA SHOUJO IS THE BEST VISUAL NOVEL EVER for the tl;dr version)
    Now, I could have posted this as an answer to Darbury's blog post, but I'm far too haughty an attention-seeker not to make a blog post of my own to provide a theoretical definition of visual novels. Well, perhaps it might not be a very pragmatic definition since I'll try to examine what's at the very core of visual novels (spoiler: nothing) and I come from a completely different background than Darbury. I'll also diverge from what I commonly defend as being a visual novel - which is basically "anything that people accept as a visual novel".The reason for that is because I'll take culture out of the equation for now, focusing on the systemic level of analysis. But enough of that. Let's talk about visual novels...
    ...In a minute, Let's talk about Shariki.

    Did you know? Shariki has been scientifically and theologically proven to be the best game to show to an alien civilization should they ever come looking for the finest possible example of our video games. Why is that? Well, it's a Russian 1994 DOS game in which you're given a board full of colored balls and you can swap adjacent balls to create vertical or horizontal sets of three color-matching balls. When you do, they disappear and the balls above them fall and new balls come from above. When it's no longer possible to swap adjacent balls to create a vertical or horizontal set of three color-matchin balls, you lose and the game restarts. That's it.
    The reason why it's the finest example of a video game (for aliens) is that it's almost not a video game. The fact that you lose when you can no longer swap balls goes against every principle of game design out there - you can never win such a game and losing is more a matter of luck than any spacial recognition or strategy skill. As a result, the score is also not a direct byproduct of your input, but almost something that unfolds naturally, has an unavoidable yet unpredictable end and that you just so happen to have an input on. If you eliminated the notion of a score, it could simply reshuffle or restart once it happens and it wouldn't really make a difference - the only factor giving any sense of loss or progress is the game arbitrarily telling you that you lost when it could simply... not do it. In theory, you can play it forever relying solely on its most basic premises.
    Shariki is not so much a game you play as much as it is a thing you do. So that's why it's a genre in itself and why aliens would be able to do anything with it. From Shariki we got Bejeweled and its hundreds of clones, Candy Crush, Pokémon Shuffle, Paris Hilton's Diamond Quest and Huniepop. They're all great games (even - especially - Paris Hilton's Diamond Quest and Huniepop), but they're all particularly elaborate mods of Shariki, adding systems upon systems to make Shariki even more addicting. Yes, Shariki's a system much like shooting system defines shooter games, running forever defines endless runners and there being cards defines a card game.
    Fun fact: At their innermost core, point-and-click games and first-person shooters are siblings. Both genres' primary system relies on pointing at a certain portion of a screen and taking action. While one emphasizes an ability to distinguish one object from the other or the strategy in doing so, the other emphasizes the speed and accuracy. That thing you do in games is the most basic action someone makes so that one can do the thing you do again and is not, obviously, restricted to games - although it's the most basic factor for gameplay of any kind. For instance, you bite apples not so that you can bite apples again, but in order to satisfy your hunger. If, for whatever reason, you start biting apples just so that you can bite more apples, you're closer to making eating apples a game.
    So what is the thing you do in visual novels, that should give us our most basic definitions for it?
     
    SHOCKING REVELATION BELOW

    SHOCKING REVELATION BELOW
     
    You read. Now, close that can full of worms that speak and who I can hear yelling "but reading doesn't demand input! You need input to have a game!" because we'll go into questions like "what is input?", which are fruitless right now. Much like books and outdoors, you read. And reading, of course, is not restricted to gaming. Then again, so isn't pointing on the right place at the right time on a screen, pushing buttons in order to push more buttons or doing certain actions to make numbers in a counter grow. We'll not discuss whether VNs are games right now (spoiler: they are), but we will  acknowledge that the history of VNs has a direct relationship with the history of games - dating sims, choose-your-own-adventure books and adventure games in particular.
    It gives us meaning to why, what and when you are reading and what aspect of it is actually related to gaming. Historically, VNs have descended from adventure games in which you'd be presented with a scene full of elements with which you could interact - however, only a certain set of interactions in a specific order could bring about progression through its story. The key here is that there is a feedback system that at least makes you feel like you've moved out of something if not that you're moving towards something. The story - that is, progression - provides you with information and/or motivation to continue doing the things you do. That's why the distinction between story and gameplay is always inaccurate. Story is just a sign of progression, which is essential to gameplay as much as its systems.
    (Now, I'm very very sorry if I'm sounding patronizing here, but I have to investigate the most basic of the basics in order to pick out the elements that'll really tell us what a visual novel is all about).
    Born from an adventure game's format, the things you do (pointing and clicking, choosing whom to talk to, investigating objects - summing up, acquiring information) were slowly replaced by reading as time went by. The text, not the visuals or the act of clicking in specific parts of the screen, became the primary source of information as well as the sign of progression. That's where I was trying to get. Sorry, took me long enough. Written text as the primary engagement system and source of information is the basic distinction between visual novel and its parent genres.
    By "primary information system", I mean that a-) the meaning is conveyed by the text itself, b-) it overrules any other conflicting information in the deliverance of progress within the game and c-) is not just translating or providing flavour for other information system. Take a negative example from Long Live the Queen:

    Elodie learns about this stuff and, sure enough, there is written text as source of information. However, none of this matters - the game only ever recognizes and acts upon the numbers associated with them. If the game hid these numbers and acted based on the information given by the text (asking you about what Elodie learned, bringing it back in scenes etc), even if the internal systems are actually still the same, Long Live the Queen would feel so much more like a visual novel than a raising sim its entry in VNDB would have never been even questioned. However, since we know the primary system is made up of numbers and not of words, we can disregard the written text as just flavour - it's not what gives us the sense of progression. Reading, then, is not the thing we do.
    The actual format almost doesn't matter here. Almost, because I mentioned written text must be the primary form of engagement and source of information, where "primary" means "not the only one". The interface of a visual novel matters in its gameplay (i.e.: how it handles the information it gives and how it expects your behavior towards the next information pieces to change, even in the absence of choice) because it determines what other kind of secondary information you'll be getting exactly to reinforce, put in doubt or downright negate the information conveyed by the text, thus creating additional layers of storytelling. There is an intrinsic tension between text, visuals, interface and sound which defines visual novels' unique storytelling and language - without which text is no longer perceived as information - when "Information" merges with the concept of "progression", like in a book, it becomes harder to there be gameplay in the experience - even gameplay inherited from other genres.
     
    KATAWA SHOUJO IS THE BEST VISUAL NOVEL EVER
    (or tl;dr)
    Visual novels are just a system - digital softwares in which written text is the primary form of engagement and source of information, but necessarily not the only one. Any other systems presented in the piece must not contain any forms of self-contained progression. They must serve and aid the written text in delivering the sense of progression, most notably through a story.
     
    ("What do you mean, most notably?" Well, a Montaignesque essay in visual novel format is perfectly plausible. Strictly speaking, you can even have advertisement in a visual novel format. There's absolutely nothing stopping the next McDonald's ad to be a visual novel, and we're not even talking about a storified ad here)
  7. Like
    milkteebaby reacted to Plk_Lesiak for a blog entry, VN Developer Spotlight: Reine Works   
    For the last few months, I’ve published reviews and top lists, presenting worthwhile or interesting OELVNs that usually have little presence on Fuwa and don’t get discussed as much as they deserve. From the very beginning, however, my goal was to focus not only on the games themselves, but also the people behind them – the independent creators and small studios that make the core of the Western VN market. Today, I present you with the first “Developer Spotlight” post, where I’ll be talking to Jackie M., the founder of Reine Works, authors of multiple yuri and otome VNs and the studio behind the recently-published otome title Seven Districts of Sin: The Tail The Makes the Fox, about the game’s somewhat-turbulent release and the realities of today’s OELVN market. Be sure to check out my review of the game first, where I also touch on its unusual appearance on Steam.
    -------------------------------------------------

    Plk Lesiak: Hello and thank you for agreeing to this interview! Let’s start with your latest VN. It’s pretty rare for me to be the first person to rate a game on VNDB, especially four months after its release. What happened to The Tail Makes the Fox that it went so much below the radar of the VN community?
    Jackie M.: Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there are nearly as many users on VNDB who rate otome games, as compared to anything that could be construed as aimed at men. I took a quick look at some other developers' titles out of curiosity, and it seems that female-aimed titles in general tend to have very few votes. Funnily enough, I can confirm that we do get sales referrals from VNDB. We've had a few of them.
    PL: For a few months, your VN was only available on Itch.io, a platform usually associated with free games. Regardless of other plans, what was your experience of trying to sell your title there?
    JM: Itch.io isn't really a storefront where a developer can make a profit unless the game in question is very low budget, nor should they particularly expect to, what with the smaller userbase. From when pre-orders opened before release till today, itch.io sales have only amounted to roughly 1/4 of the game's development cost.
    That said, we do like it, because it isn't subject to a lot of the restrictions that similar shops are, and transferring earned funds out is also much quicker than anywhere else that I'm aware of. We just wouldn't recommend that anyone only ever sell their games there.

    Blossoms Bloom Brightest
    Read the full article at evnchronicles.blogspot.com
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