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Posts posted by Clephas

  1. The protagonist is supposedly a genius at something, but the moment the heroine routes begin, his abilities seem to disappear (Most of the Ensemble games for the last seven years, Tsuki ni Yorisou, Otome no Sahou 2).  This convention is a plague on charage in general, since there is a tendency to want to weaken the protagonist's individuality in the heroine routes to fit the heroines' needs.  This is an effort to reduce potential for conflict, but it also makes the game less interesting and/or disappointing.

  2. On 6/23/2020 at 2:33 AM, Seraphim88 said:

    Here are a few, off the top of my head:

    "Person X used to be passionate about activity Y but stopped doing it because of reason Z"
    Just by adding that piece of information, you can be more or less certain that the route is at some point going to kick off some sort of redemption quest revolving around reigniting that former passion. It's usually the protagonist doing it for the heroines, but it can be the other way around too. That said, it's well done and not really an issue in many cases, but there are also times when it feels really forced and the person in question isn't allowed to move on with their life even if they're completely fine with the current situation. I mean, it's not strange to give up on something in real life in favor for something else, but that rarely happens in these stories from what I've seen.



    I absolutely loathe the variation where the protagonist ends up spending the entire game as a coach without ever really getting back on his feet.  What's the point of a recovery that isn't a recovery?  It's one of the three reasons I hate Aokana (along with the protagonist's reason for quitting being pathetic and all but one of the heroines being boring).  It's one thing to find another way in life, but in that case, I want them to make a complete severing from the activity entirely.  I don't want to see an entire route where he keeps looking back on the good 'ol days and wondering about what-ifs.  

    About the only VNs that use this trope well are Walkure Romanze and Fake Azure Arcology (where the protagonist actually has a huge heap of traumas that make it feel real).

    Edit: Oh, the protag of Kizuna Kirameku Koi Iroha is really solidly behind his own decision to give up competing.  It was a decision he made for the right reasons and is mostly at peace with.  However, it isn't quite the same thing, lol.

  3. Might want to take the 'e' out of plotge.  *smiles dryly*

    A small correction on moege vs charage... moege is a generalized term for all games that carry the 'stylized cuteness' that is 'moe'.  As such, similar to charage, it is closer to an umbrella term than an actual genre.  If one were to show a family tree, it would show that charage and nakige both come from moege but sometimes edge themselves out of the larger umbrella.  Charage are a product of the mid-2000's, whereas moege and nakige first began to appear just before the turn of the century as they dragged themselves out from the nukige muck.  Charage are essentially an evolution of moege born of the fans wanting deeper characterization and character interactions (as opposed to the purely surface-level interactions that were common early on).  

    Tsukihime created the chuunige genre, though most people consider Dies Irae the flagship game of the genre as a whole (as in, the one that went the farthest off the deep end, lol).

    One stipulation about utsuge and nakige... the greatest difference between a nakige and and utsuge lies in the endings.  Nakige almost always have happy endings (there might be a bad ending or a normal ending, but these are exceptions).  Their purpose lies in catharsis born of release from stress and joy in renewal.  Utsuge, however, are essentially games with similar (but darker) themes that don't end well for the characters in general. 

    There are supposedly two different 'levels' of utsuge, 'soft' and 'hard'.  Soft utsuge tend to focus more on sorrow and loss, and they don't necessarily drive the characters off the edge, though the endings are sorrowful and/or bittersweet at best. A few examples of a soft utsuge are Konakana and Tapestry, both of which are focused on a protagonist with a terminal illness as he tries to come to terms with his inevitable death and what it will do to the people around him.  'Hard' utsuge are focused more on despair and extreme suffering.  Swan Song is an obvious example of this 'level' of the genre in English, whereas Houkago no Futekikakusha is an ideal Japanese-only example.  Even a 'hard' utsuge might have one ending with a certain level of salvation, but it usually comes at a massive emotional cost for both the reader and the characters involved.


  4. 3 hours ago, TexasDice said:

    Just wondering. Feel free to pick some broad terminology, like "bullying" or "mysterious identity" (or call them tropes if you feel like that term fits what I'm describing better). I'm going to take a guess here and say that a lot of respondents would pick the infamous "love triangle", which I personally don't mind as much.

    The top of my own list of infamy would definitely be "incurable disease", but I am also very tired of "arranged marriage"- and "heroine has to move away"-stories.


    Keep in mind that you can dislike a premise at it's core, even if you read such stories and thought it was good or great. On the contrary, I would love to hear examples of stories which you liked despite them involving your least favorite type of narrative trope. Oh, and please mind spoilers. 

    The 'fake girlfriend' trope.  I want this one to die forever.  It is the most idiotic trope in existence.  It never has non-embarrassing-to-watch results.

    The 'reform the protagonist' trope.  This one pops up in a lot of games where the protagonist has a dark past or a hidden job that requires some dirty work, and it usually has the heroine trying to 'reform' him in various ways.  It annoys me about every time it pops up.  I usually like the protagonist just as he is in cases like this, lol.

    I don't have any problems with the arranged marriage trope myself.  It doesn't happen often enough anymore to be a major issue outside of ojousama-ge, where it is standard fare.  Heroine has to move away happens even less often...  maybe one in forty new VNs have this one pop up nowadays.  Incurable disease is relatively common, with nakige in particular having a tendency to rely on this trope (without the heroine dying, of course).  However, it is also a matter of execution (lol)...

    The incurable disease trope is something that has to be used intelligently and believably to work.  Dekinai Watashi ga, Kurikaesu;  Inochi no SpareTapestryKin'iro Loveriche; and Konakana all use this trope effectively to tell their stories.  However, there are just as many who plop it down just for the hell of it, so I see where you are coming from.  

  5. Mmm... I'm going to be clear that the idea behind this has me a bit skeptical.  I'm going to state my reasons below.

    1.  The Nazis didn't make exceptions for 'useful' Jewish people.  During the war, while individuals might shelter or help a Jewish individual escape from the pogrom, you didn't see them being spared from the camps or execution in the open.

    2.  People who get involved in the kind of dogma you see here don't change their minds easily.  A three hour VN wouldn't provide a 'feels real' experience for a Nazi party member from that era changing their colors, no matter how you worked it.  Even more so with people in positions of authority, since the party of the era selected loyalists for positions of any sort of influence, and people who showed any sign of wavering didn't make it up through the ranks.  This is even more so with women, since women in positions of influence (rare to the extreme) were usually 'mothers of the Aryan Race'.  

    3.  This is a reinforcement of 2, in that it needs to be stated that logical arguments do not change the minds of dogmatists. 

    4.  Timing.  This is really, really bad timing.  With what is going on right now, Nazi-related fiction is radioactive.  It doesn't matter how you handle it, it will backfire against you.


    To clarify, I'm not trying to be a jerk about this.  I'm merely warning you that this is likely to be the reaction from people who really think about your game's concept.  My advice is to eliminate the romantic elements completely or cut out one of the heroines.  

  6. If I might suggest... rather than VNs, you might try watching some jidaigeki (Period dramas) from Japan.  There are a bunch that are similarly-themed, so it is worth considering.  As far as I know, there is nothing that is straight-out identical or similar to Ouka Sabaki based in the same era in visual  novels.

  7. Well, I got Majin Okita and now I'm happy.  The event was the most annoying gudaguda so far though... I don't really like those 'kill so and so' type events...  Well, I still have a hundred SQ after that, so I should be able to rebuild before Skadi (and even if it isn't enough, I'll probably break out my wallet anyway...).  

  8. On 6/12/2020 at 3:18 AM, Aliquis said:

    Hmm, thanks. So, both points of view here so far, with some very valid arguments on both sides. For me it comes down to deciding between simplicity/ease to see all endings and engaging the player more.

    It's not a dating game, so the player doesn't need to choose which character they'll end up with. Most VN's I'm familiar with seem to have that, so it's a bit hard to use them as examples. And I don't really want to have outright bad endings either. It's more like a choice between "lawful" and "chaotic" endings, if that makes sense.

    I have an example of a game that used that kind of system successfully.  It was Semiramis no Tenbin.  In Semiramis, there were two main heroines with a number of sub-heroines.  The two main heroines were chaos and law aligned respectively (Ami, Fumika, and Sunao were Chaos, Eru and Tatsuko were Law) and you essentially had to choose at key points how you would react to Ami's manipulations of the people around her.  This was not a good or evil situation, since bad things happened to people regardless of which side you chose... just to different people, lol.

    However, it needs to be noted that while there were a relatively large number of choices, Semiramis's main/common route was around 20 to 40 hours long, depending on the reader.  The problem with a short game with a lot of choices is that it breaks the fourth wall too often.  It is fine in a game where a lot of choices are spread out over a large-scale game, but in a shorter game, it breaks engrossment in what is going on.  

    Even in larger games, if the choices even seem meaningless, they become an irritation.  Semiramis used a dial that moved back and forth between red and blue areas depending on which choices you had taken, with blue representing a lawful leaning alignment and red chaos.

  9. 1 hour ago, Aliquis said:

    Hello everyone,

    First post here! So after thinking about it for a while, I have finally decided to give it a go and try making a small visual novel. I've been working on the script for a while, and am currently at a "partially completed first draft" stage. However, it's also the stage where I have to start writing endings, and I need to make some big decisions about the structure of my VN. So I was wondering if I could get some advice from more experienced developers here.

    So, I want my VN to have choices in it. I could have made it completely linear of course (and maybe I actually will, who knows), but I feel like more interactivity will help draw the player in and help get them more invested in the plot (and, hopefully, distract them from my less-that-stellar writing). And there are two things that I'm considering:

    1) Having a linear "common route" that takes roughly 80% of the game length, and then a choice that determines which of the two ending routes the player is going to see.

    2) A "points"-based system (there is probably a proper name for this, so help me out here). Basically, during the common route. the player is presented with several relatively small choices. They change the following scene a bit, but otherwise the player stays on the common route, no matter what option they choose. But behind the scenes, each choice affects a certain score, and when the player approaches the ending, that score (a "what kind of person is the main character" stat, basically) determines which ending they are going to get, based on their past choices.

    1 is simpler to implement and gives the player more control, but 2 provides more interactivity in the common route. So my idea is to combine those two: player makes score-choices during the common route, then gets to choose between ending route 1 and ending route 2. and once there, based on their score, they can get ending 1a, 1b, 2a or 2b.

    My main worry is that the score system is a bit opaque and would be troublesome for players who want to see all the endings. Do you think it's a good idea?

    From a player's point of view, 1 is the less unpleasant.  To be blunt, a ton of choices is only good in a game that runs to 50 or 60 hours, where there is a deep plot and setting.  Short games with lots of choices are typically forgettable at best, boring at worst.  Choices for bad endings with story isn't bad, but adding meaningless choices for points is just... irritating from the point of view of the player.

  10. I study history and politics, read books, admire weapons of various types (I no longer purchase after by 'blades and booms' phase, which resulted in me selling off a bunch of weapons I'd hoarded just because I wanted them), and swim (when I can find a place that is open 24 hours, lol).  

    I'm also a semi-casual gamer, though I do have a tendency to drift toward single-player rpgs.

    Edit: Oh, and I write stories and settings...

  11. All Siglus engine games need to be cracked (yes, cracked) regardless of validity of purchase.  This is because of the built-in region-checking.  Fortunately, the basic alpha cracker works just fine (universal alpha cracker) to get around this.

    As for the Kirikiri games... do you have Bitdefender?  At present, Bitdefender's advanced threat defense blocks apps that try to alter files outside of their own folder (this is just VNs) and won't tell you it is doing it.  The reason why this is relevant is that most Kirikiri games default to putting the save files in your documents folder, and whenever you save or change the settings, the files there are altered in a way Bitdefender detects heuristically as being a threat, meaning it stops the activity and causes errors.  I'm pretty sure a few other antiviruses do the same thing, so you need to make your game exe an exception in your antivirus to prevent this.


  12. On another note, the main reason that forums are failing is, of course, because of the major social media giants.  The other reason is that forums are from the age when people actually were willing to be civil with people who disagreed with them.  In the age of dogmatic shout-outs, there is a lot less demand for a deliberative setting, which is pathetically sad.  It's almost like we went back to the age before the car or even the age before the printing press, when people acted like the entirety of the world is their small village or neighborhood (in a psychological sense).  

    As for fantranslation, there will always be a small number of people who like to translate things on their own, but most will be willing to sell the translation to an existing localization company at the drop of a hat.  After all, translating VNs is a ton of work that eats away at time no matter how much you pace yourself, and it is extremely lonely, because very few groups stay together long enough to get things done (there is always someone who ends up doing much more than their part and burning out and a bunch of others that feel ashamed they aren't doing enough and fade away).

    Is Fuwa irrelevant?  At present, the answer is a qualified no.  No forum with members is ever irrelevant to the community, however small, it serves.  However, because Tay didn't hand over the keys to the front page or most of the other parts of the site, there is no way for anybody to run this place anymore.  If he had at least let someone else have the authority to do everything involving the front site, Fuwa probably would have stayed much more relevant to the larger community.  Unfortunately, without that ability, there is literally nothing Emi was able to do to keep things running.  

    Discord and Twitter are useless for forming communities, for different reasons than Facebook or Reddit.  Essentially, whoever shouts out the most or the latest is the one who 'wins' there, so there is no 'discussion'.  There is only a bunch of shout-outs that it is too much trouble for most to sort through.  This is also the reason why individual Discords become irrelevant so fast... once people realize there is no way to catch people's attention without being an ass, they feel empty and decide to go elsewhere, where they repeat the same cycle over and over.  

  13. Tay has disappeared.  It is more or less official.  

    Emi has to deal with rl, so she doesn't really have time to be here.

    Nayleen is apparently still around.

    Any otaku forum's primary purpose is to serve as a home for its community.  Everything else is secondary.  To be blunt, Reddit, Facebook, and the other major sites can't produce the kind of 'at-home' feeling a forum can (not to mention that they are evil monstrosities that exist solely to drain people of their information so it can be sold to third parties), and Fuwa is my home on the net.

  14. 11 hours ago, Narko said:

    What do you mean if this still works? It is outdated?

    It's more like I've never tested it.  Also, I know for a fact that it won't always work for the mono/unity-based engines.  

    Anyway, this is the only method I know of.  I'm sure there are others, but I don't know where to look them up.

  15. I remember Mangagamer claiming it was close to Tsukihime but most people who bought it complaining that it lacked content beyond the ero, which is the opposite of Tsukihime (where all the value is in the non-ero content).

  16. 11 hours ago, MDruidd said:


    well true, but if there no eng patch plus cant understanding japanese, this is the best solution to read RAW VN,

    anyway, what is oxymoron?

    An inherently contradictory statement/a statement or word that contradicts itself.

    Edit: To be a bit less snide, Japanese doesn't translate well enough to dignify the word.  It can be interpreted, it can be channeled, etc, but translated isn't the word I'd use for our attempts to get across what is being said/written.  The more you learn about the language, the more you realize how incompatible the way of thinking and cultural background is with English.  It's like the way the native Hawaiians have so many words for the various forms of molten rock... nuance is the first sacrifice of any attempt to translate a language that different from our own.