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zxdvas

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  1. There are only three types of VN, great VN with engaging plot, boring VN that put you to sleep and VN that disturb you. You rode through a great journey, then you realise you have nothing in real life. The emptiness overwhelms you. You endured the VN for the sake of finishing it, feeling you have wasted your time and should have done something else. You are so disturbed you deleted the VN. Since you have already paid for it, it is still your own loss. In all cases, the reader suffer. I have observed that people frequently deliberately and consciously do something that is against their own interest. This can only be explained by a latent desire to be punished, a thing I know well. I have long realised I am incapable of bringing much joy to anyone, and as such does not deserve to be happy. This is the punishment that is due to me. A sin that cannot be absolved through religion, science and humanity. VN is one of the last thing I can enjoy in life. Through this masochistic experience I can repent my sin.
  2. the art history of VN?

    I have always maintained the view that to envisage and project a 3D scenario onto a 2D surface a valuable skill, a skill that has been criminally overlooked in the VN community. I have tried to trace the art history from the early 2000s, a few series is a good reference point of what art in that time looks like, such as Memories off, To Heart and DC Da Capo. One of the pinnacle is ef tales in 2006 (which is by artist of DC btw). The rise of modern moege such as lump of sugar shows that VN with less impressive plot need to have eye-catching heroine to sell well. This have shifted the art focus from realism to impressionism in designing heroines. I have viewed the design of Sion in Eden* and Mashiro Iro Symphony in 2009 as forerunner of a new art movement that continues to the present. Other earlier examples include Kimi e Okuru and Dracu-Riot! in 2012, Nyan Cafe Macchiato and Cocoro@Function! in 2013, Majo Koi Nikki, Koi ga Saku Koro Sakura Doki and Kami no Ue no Mahoutsukai in 2014. You could potentially include Primal x Hearts, Otome domain and nekopara into this movement. Recent notable examples include Blade x Bullet and Can Can Bunny Premiere 3. With the departure of Hinoue Itaru, the leading artist of KEY since Kanon, in 2016, KEY was forced to employ new artist for work Summer Pockets. Among them is Izumi Tsubasu, the artist of Mashiro Iro Symphony and Koi ga Saku Koro Sakura Doki. I don't think it is by chance they hired an artist from Palette, she must have made a name for herself. The fact that an artist specialising in moege is hired by KEY for one of their major product is quite an achievement in itself and a great triumph of its art style. As for the exact reason why it happened in early 2010s, I have located two reasons. One is the usage of digital painting programs such as SAI released in 2008 or adobe illustrator. I am not a professional artist but these programs have made digital gradient, opacity adjustment and diffuse lighting much easier. Another reason is a new type of artists that began their career on pixiv, such as Rubi-sama. They may have developed their own art style over the years by drawing Dojinshi before being commissioned by a VN company. I could go on to talk about the defining features of this kind of art style but I stop for now. I wish someone more acquainted with western art history or Japanese art, or is an artist himself would share his expertise as my search for an artistic origin proved unfruitful.
  3. We all know FD are for those who like the characters, but is there any FD that is better than the original? Sharin no Kuni's FD is better than most, but still nowhere close to its original. One candidate I can think of is Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi AA, but the original is not that great to begin with.
  4. Here are two of the most underrated VN that may never be translated, one is world war 3-like mecha sci fi and another is Ukiyo-e art style sword battle set in approximately Edo period. Schwarzesmarken Kajiri Kamui Kagura
  5. Really. This saddens me. I spent the time to do something either you deem it unworthy of your time or just don't care and now I am the villain. But if dismissing me would make you feel better by all right do it. Think of it this way. Suppose I made the stupidest post possible. But since other people are willing to share their expertise at least some of them(including me) walk away from this post knowing more than they click into it. Then my effort is not in vain. And for that I willing to do it again.
  6. I briefly analyse the VN market and invite some discussion on it. The breakthrough title of Yuzusoft, Dracu-Riot! came out in 2012, HDN in 2010, Nekopara in 2014. Meanwhile, minori, elf, KID, sprite and many others have closed down. It has been said the VN market is saturated, it is now a dogfight between existing VN company. Globalisation has complicated the issue since VN faced more competitor and also a larger potential market. Of all products I know, VN is one of the most difficult to advertise. On one side, it is closest to traditional literature as art that should be exempt from the concern of capitalism. On the other hand, it is as commercial as video game and movie, one major miscalculation could lead to bankruptcy (Atari burial is notorious). The duality is such a horrible nightmare only those who work in the field have right to say they know how it feels, which excludes me. If you look at HDN and NKP, you would notice they all have licensed english translation. This helps tremendously in broadening market. It is crucial to remember Japan is the only country that primarily speaks Japanese with a population of about 0.13 billion, about 2% of the population on Earth. Meanwhile, US and UK alone has about 0.38 billion population, and this is excluding the Europe and India. Even conservatively we can say at least 1 billion people on Earth know English. This is about 13% of world population. Even if we assume much smaller percentage of people buy their product, an English translation would still bring in considerable profit. Notice that the script is not a costly investment compared to soundtrack, CG, programming, making op, hiring VA. In the early 2000s, there is no facebook, youtube, twitter, steam and reddit. There are not many, if any, translation of VN. How much they can earn is solely determined by how well received is by the Japan market. This is no longer the case. The world today produces more entertainment than a person can consume so anything that can be substituted is at peril. VN is not as engaging as video game, not as thrilling as movie, not as sophisticated as literature, not as casual as anime. What truly differentiate VN from other medium is the the perspective. In all other medium the story unfold with the audience looking at it but in VN the audience assume the role of the protagonist and participate in it (I know exceptions exist in both sides). Most VN is told in first person and the protagonist is usually not voiced (incidentally, the exceptions are frequently the better VNs, a phenomenon I might investigate another time). First person narrative is most suitable for love story and this is quite the norm in VN. Writer usually compromise the plot a bit to bring the most out of the characters. This is why while there are better VN than Eustia I find its script to be one of the best I have seen, it is a VN that never for a moment I noticed the writer has compromised the plot to build a better character. I discern two approaches in strategy these companies adopted quite successfully. These two approaches are by no means exclusive. The YZS method. VN is not the main income source. it introduces the cutest, most adorable and sexually attractive heroines they can design. They earn money by selling derived products, such as keyboard, pillow, figurine, phone cases. This is spiritually identical to free-to-play game with paid content. You would be surprised how profitable this is in mobile phone games (e.g. granblue fantasy)and MMO. The HDN or NKP method. Broaden potential market by having as many translation as possible. I hate to admit it but even the worst translation (as long as it is not machine-translated)usually bring more benefit than harm. Ideally, have an anime adaptation. This is spiritually identical to Hollywood movie. AD, youtube trailer, it spares no money on advertising as if the whole world must know its existence. I particularly emphasise the importance of a OP. I have read VN with a great plot yet no one ever mentioned it because it lacks popularity due to absence of OP and poor advertising. TL;DR. Translation is almost always welcomed, know your unique advantage, discover alternative income source and be absolute shameless in advertising. It is almost always poor business strategy that leads to downfall in VN company. With all due respect, if a VN with the plot quality of Nekopara could sell so well, you know most buyer really don't care about it. So what can company do if they want to retain some dignity? Make VN that is so unique you can't find anything similar from other company, such as 5pb and Liar-soft. (I wanted to mention KEY but their mastery of VN as a medium is not something that can be learnt and copyed with ease)
  7. Aside from the cultural background of Japan, I add an observation. It is the biological cause. I don't know why but nature ordained female to carry the burden of pregnancy. In days when there is no DNA, no blood type (which is not even effective and decisive at all), the parenthood of a child is ambiguous to say the least. Not even to the potential father, if the mother has several partner, she would find it difficult to attribute her pregnancy. This would not be so severe but in an aristocracy, where knighthood, heritage or other privilege is inherited by birth, promiscuity is almost equivalent to betrayal to an entire family. And I think I need not name examples of brutal assassination. I should really read The Second Sex by Simone Beauvoir. Though I am not sure to what extent her analysis is applicable to non-western society.
  8. I do want to respond yet I am at a loss what to say. It is times like these that makes me wonder if setting up a VNDB page with VNs I read would lent me a little bit more credential. I appreciate some suggestion that would change my mind though.
  9. I have read some VN to form a more critical perspective, and I think this is valid to some extent even in other form of entertainment. I begin with this deliberate exaggeration. Male is sent to hell for thousands of reason: cowardice, cruelty, malicious, murderous. But the female is condemned for only one reason: promiscuity. In VN a female can do almost nothing wrong, because what is considered lewd in real life is cute in VN. What is snub is chaste. What is condescending is tsundere. Even massacre is somewhat alleviated in the name of love. The only exception is betrayal in love, which rarely happens in VN. By betrayal I mean not those forced by threat (i.e. NTR) but voluntarily relinquishing a relationship to start a new one. And lets be fair, the male have no more right to demand the female to be loyal than the female to male. The entire moral burden is shifted to the male, and most frequently the protagonist. This is one of the most universal criticism against VN. The protagonist is criticised as too passive, too weak, too childish more than any other complaint. This I view as an attempt to locate an/the original source of evil or sin, echoing the approach in religion. Largely successful and potent, yet is not the whole story. To conclude, VN has sublimed the female due to vast market audience of male. The remnants are shared by male or in some occasions an external race. I for one welcome a VN that defy this not because I am male, but because staying in impunity would diminish moral worth of female. Though I admit that subtlety would concern almost no one. The breakthrough could be coming from a top quality otome game. A genre of VN that I think lies the biggest unexploited potential.
  10. I am not the only person when I say that I feel uncomfortable near other human. But there are different reasons for that so I will elaborate. In the modern society which each person compete for a better job, a better spouse and in general a better life. One soon find the rest of humanity an obstacle to his happiness. Temporary bond is formed to pursue the same interest as in a company, but once the first opportunity comes there will be more than a dozen of people willingly to stab you in the back as long as they can get away with it. So you have to know who to trust and who not to. To avoid suspicion you have to pretend. Whoever act differently would soon find many enemies and no allies. I find this game of hypocrisy and proud, interest and glory unappealing. I abstain from it as much as possible. This brings me more disdain than I think is justly due. They can live their lives as they want it but just leave me alone. But they just have to insist their life is intrinsically more noble. Even if that is true it would be more prudent to spend time on what they care and not convincing others to follow. So I live day after day as if I am a criminal waiting to be prosecuted. Only the books, VN and a few other hobbies keep my sanity intact. I wonder how long this can last.
  11. Another name left the scene - RIP minori

    I wonder how much this can be traced to business strategy misfit and how much to the general situation of VN market. There are thousands of reasons to mistrust humanity but don't worry this is not the case this time. Minori as a company is like Don Quixote who pursue his idea that is irrational in the viewpoint of business (blocking oversea visit is a prime example and other one, making this op). Whether they are right or wrong is not important anymore because they don't need to make the decision ever again. Personally I think it is for the better they liquidate for two reasons. First, history would forever view them in good image without them desperately struggle to survive. Second, this would send a strong message to all other VN company. --- On a personal level, I just feel the hollowness of existence. We talk about right and wrong, justice and evil but in the end the only objective measure of worth is money.
  12. I somehow stumbled into a site when searching a game. https://freegame-mugen.jp/ To my surprise, I found many indie games whose maker later made a name for themselves. If you check this https://freegame-mugen.jp/total_score_ranking.html セブンスコート, which is also on VNDB https://vndb.org/v14878, is also the developer of Fata morgana no Yakata 洞窟物語, which is the game cave story (also on steam). The game was ported with Nicalis, the developer of The Binding of Isaac. There are also the VN true rememberance, ナルキッソス (Narcissu), シルフェイド見聞録, whose maker is also the maker of 片道勇者 (One Way Heroics, on steam). It seems like a great place to discover hidden gem and talents.
  13. Lack of academic recognition in VN

    Are you considering a career in VN or professorship? To focus on VN in PhD is quite a commitment that I don't think can be explained by hobby and interest alone. That is a choice you only make once in your life similar to marriage. --- I am quite disappointed in the education policy in where I live. I realised the freedom I sought is not to be found in university. I am trully among a despised species in society. Neither useful as an accountant or doctor, nor academic as a scientist.
  14. Academic recognition has been a driving force for talent. Almost all great poet/writer/playwright/film director are expert critic themselves. In where I live VN is about the only culture product you cannot write a thesis on. I have seen someone published an analysis on the storytelling of dark soul or a parallel comparison between anime and fiction. This would have to do with the niche nature of VN. I am rather interested if it is the same elsewhere. One day it would be moaned as a loss to humanity similar to the profession of blacksmith.
  15. New When They Cry game preview

    I noticed the flag in the opening and it is the flag of Hong Kong. The setting also seems to suggest there. Hong Kong is a special place for many years it was a bargain between UK and China. The characters also have traits of Asian countries. I would take the bold guess that the plot is about global politics, either as a continuation of cold war or the conflict between new superpowers (india, China).
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