Jump to content
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Black Sands Entertainment

I am trying to change what it means to be an OELVN: Thoughts?

Recommended Posts

42 minutes ago, Black Sands Entertainment said:

that is a bigger beast in an of itself. The original visual novel was copywritten right? It was originally called sound novels.

indeed, but i don't quite see your point there.

anyway, i just thought it sounded nice and was linguistically more accurate than visual or sound novel

audiovisual novel?

reading game?

textfilm?

i'll get my coat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why can't it just be called a Visual Novel?

"English Visual Novel" doesn't imply anything special other than the fact it's in English, but do you really need the English part?

Like, would you prefer to call FPS games "English FPS games"?

Sure Japanese visual novels have a pretty established style and Western VNs tend to break out of that style, but I don't think that by itself is enough to excuse adding any extra words to the category of the game.

You could rebrand your approach to something like "I'm trying to change what it means to be a Visual Novel in the West", doesn't that sound a lot nicer? :P  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Nosebleed said:

Why can't it just be called a Visual Novel?

"English Visual Novel" doesn't imply anything special other than the fact it's in English, but do you really need the English part?

Like, would you prefer too call FPS games "English FPS games"?

Sure Japanese visual novels have a pretty established style and Western VNs tend to break out of that style, but I don't think that by itself is enough to excuse adding any extra words to the category of the game.

of course it can, but then chances are western gamers won't give it a second glance. i think that's the point, it's about association

let's not repeat that painful discussion about vns in the west from last week though

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think that's fair to say. If you say the term visual novel and OELVN to someone who's not knowledgable about the market, they'll likely be more familiar with the former.

Several youtubers I'm subscribed to that play VNs on occasion always stick with the term "visual novel" regardless of the VNs origin.

I don't think adding the location/language of the VN particularly helps separating it from other visual novels, especially not in the mass market.

The term OELVN is very specific to VN communities and I think it makes it harder for outsiders to understand what it is even.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Black Sands Entertainment said:

Let me put a public disclaimer before I go in on this post. I do not respond in a hostile way to almost all critiques but this was not a critique, it was a character assassination on the level of Trumpism.

 

It seems you read my entire script and all my references through your Byakugan eyes.

I will shred your critique apart since it was a hostile attempt to sound educated while belittling me.

"Akkadian is a language for ancient Mesopotamia people, not a culture."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akkadian_Empire

The Akkadian Empire was the empire that predated the Sumerians.

Next.

"Kushite Religion is very limit, there is basically no research done on it."

The reason its called Kemetic-Kushite culture is because they were one and the same. They worshipped the same gods, exchanged gods, and had the same cultural norms.

"you will run into Canaan vs Bible reference battles, its best to understand why the two are not the same."

I am using the book of enoch as my reference since historically it is based on both the biblical and canaanite religious bases. All historians agree on this.

Additionally, who said this game was about the bible? Not I. 

"Hindu mythology is way different, it never has been connected with the bible while everything else has in some way shape or just plan added."

"We incorporate ancient Kemetic-Kushite, Canaanite, Akkadian, Minoan, Greek, and Hindu mythology into the Black Sands universe while tying them all together with the ancient alien theory as the base. This will bring new fans to the genre as the ancient alien gaming world is an untapped market and the cultures of the middle east and black community would love to have heroes that look like them. "


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_astronaut_hypothesis

So unless you somehow missed the multiple references to the ancient alien theory or just have no clue what it is, you should not be saying how my research is off.I would not say Elves from the lord of the rings is not the same as "elves from the norse mythologies therefore tolkien is an idiot.:"

He wasnt writing about ancient Norse mythology. He based his writings on it. I am done.

 

yes thats the thing i'm talking about, the story might fit but history is mess up. unless someone where a full time historian, the audience will not understand certain reference to your vn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, CeruleanGamer said:

The fact that you are not even using a high school setting is already 70 points on a 100 point scale for me. Most of us here are tired of that cliched, over troped and overused nonsense

INdeed i quite agree that the school setting is so overused and has grown to be tiresome...i quite liked this post and has some good ideas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to agree that calling it just a "visual novel" is better than both OELVN and English visual novel. I don't see the reason why people have to add "English" to the term.

Good luck with this an as others have said, the setting is already a huge plus over the hundreds of other school setting visual novels than many of us don't even bother to look at.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i love the idea of challenging VNs to uncharted territories and really redefining what people think Vn means. But with that said, i read your idea. Here are my thoughts:

 

the overall theme is reminiacent of an RPG. The idea of minigames, questing. J wouldnt call it something bad, but already shows you're not working on the strengths of a VN. I blame danganronpa a bit. Its explicitly labeled as a VN yet has barely any VN features. 

 

Music i think should be good and fit the theme. If you want asian themes, i believe it should fit the theme. Even indie devs fall for the trap of pulling their pumches by putting something unnecessary. So i recommend doing your best to avoid it. 

 

I doubt the common complaint is having a weak protagonist. In most cases i find the overly cool and overly silent protagonist. Your character is designed like an RPG. 

 

As for the romance level. I personally think having options is good. But having one romance and one rival seems far too shallow.

 

I don't think my thoughts will sink in. But I definitely believe this misinterpreted what a good VN looks like. Trying to revolutionize VNs by adding more isn't what I consider a better VN. 

 

I find it trying to go around the weaknesses of VNs. Not working on it's strengths.I also see it offers more of a learning curve. Yes you offer an encyclopedia. But I just don't think that It builds a great experience.

 

 

Too any ideas in one. It just doesn't look like a VN anymore. It looks like a graphic adventure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Lumaria said:

i love the idea of challenging VNs to uncharted territories and really redefining what people think Vn means. But with that said, i read your idea. Here are my thoughts:

 

the overall theme is reminiacent of an RPG. The idea of minigames, questing. J wouldnt call it something bad, but already shows you're not working on the strengths of a VN. I blame danganronpa a bit. Its explicitly labeled as a VN yet has barely any VN features. 

 

Music i think should be good and fit the theme. If you want asian themes, i believe it should fit the theme. Even indie devs fall for the trap of pulling their pumches by putting something unnecessary. So i recommend doing your best to avoid it. 

 

I doubt the common complaint is having a weak protagonist. In most cases i find the overly cool and overly silent protagonist. Your character is designed like an RPG. 

 

As for the romance level. I personally think having options is good. But having one romance and one rival seems far too shallow.

 

I don't think my thoughts will sink in. But I definitely believe this misinterpreted what a good VN looks like. Trying to revolutionize VNs by adding more isn't what I consider a better VN. 

 

I find it trying to go around the weaknesses of VNs. Not working on it's strengths.I also see it offers more of a learning curve. Yes you offer an encyclopedia. But I just don't think that It builds a great experience.

 

 

Too any ideas in one. It just doesn't look like a VN anymore. It looks like a graphic adventure.

Good input. I pulled most of these contrast from a megathread in the visualnovel subreddit. They were going hard on overused and underused things and when they spoke of underused, I basically hit most of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Black Sands Entertainment said:

Good input. I pulled most of these contrast from a megathread in the visualnovel subreddit. They were going hard on overused and underused things and when they spoke of underused, I basically hit most of them.

Its not a good idea to mash up all the underused things. 

 

A VN after all is designed to be more of an interactive story than a full fledged game. That doesn't mean a full fledged VN doesn't have great story and great interactive game play. Just needs to have the right mixture in order to call itself a VN. 

 

Tell me, what do you play VNs for? Story, character, lore, great game play? 

 

Your ideas aren't too big, it's just all over the place. I think if people focused on making a great story, making sure VN is the best approach to tell the story and also not rely on past examples, you'd be surprised how great something can be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is one thing I think we sorely need. The most genre I love in Western Novels is Historical Fiction. Books like Percy Jackson, the Kane Chronicles, etc are what I enjoy the most, and what I would love to see in Visual Novel format. The black community also needs to be educated on its own history, so by doing this you're really hitting two birds (at least) with one stone. I've never supported a VN through kickstarter before, but I think I'll be changing that in regards to this very VN. You have all my support, really looking forward to the completion of your project :)

I recommend you check out the Kane Chronicles in particular as it's based around Egyptian mythology.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Percy Jackson and lane chronicles aren't exactly historical fiction. This one seems to take a more sci fi approach. I would call them more mythology based, which I do believe both western and Japanese VNs have an opportunity to show.

Now with the risk of sounding racist, I've had African American and African English (uk) fans of all mediums tend to push a particular culture. There's something about how it's handled. I've seen manga and other western comics take an already established mythology / religion and really build on it. But when it comes to African culture, I've never seen it taken with the right care. People tend to shonen it up or mangafy it. From what I see I don't see all these elements come together. I see them all clash together.

I've been burned badly in kickstarter (unsung story). I personally don't support something on kick starter solely based on my personal enjoyment but based on the idea of it bringing something new that people can build on. 

 

I think this needs a lot of revisions. As it stands, it has a lot of flaws and a lot of gray areas. It doesn't look like a single focus. There was a reason why my vision of showing exemplary western VNs meant having more than one. And that's because if I tried to make a single VN that everyone can love, I'll end up with one that no one loves.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, babiker said:

This is one thing I think we sorely need. The most genre I love in Western Novels is Historical Fiction. Books like Percy Jackson, the Kane Chronicles, etc are what I enjoy the most, and what I would love to see in Visual Novel format. The black community also needs to be educated on its own history, so by doing this you're really hitting two birds (at least) with one stone. I've never supported a VN through kickstarter before, but I think I'll be changing that in regards to this very VN. You have all my support, really looking forward to the completion of your project :)

I recommend you check out the Kane Chronicles in particular as it's based around Egyptian mythology.

I appreciate that. Something like percy jackson is what this is. I am completely changing the ancient world with the assumption that the ancient alien theory is real. It makes my "spread out idea that's all over the place" a concise story where the rules are set in stone for all pantheons.

 

I believe Lumaria is being overly critical but everyone is entitled to their opinions. The african culture thing was a little weird though. (Its not racist, but it definitely is ignorant.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, babiker said:

This is one thing I think we sorely need. The most genre I love in Western Novels is Historical Fiction. Books like Percy Jackson, the Kane Chronicles, etc are what I enjoy the most, and what I would love to see in Visual Novel format. The black community also needs to be educated on its own history, so by doing this you're really hitting two birds (at least) with one stone. I've never supported a VN through kickstarter before, but I think I'll be changing that in regards to this very VN. You have all my support, really looking forward to the completion of your project :)

I recommend you check out the Kane Chronicles in particular as it's based around Egyptian mythology.

As much as I want diversity in VNs, it should not be the selling point of a VN. Look at what happened to Resident Evil 5 when they started the setting in Africa... Last thing you want your VN/game to be called is racist... Yeah, it is unfair but people are so feeble minded and the internet can easily make something that is normal into something combustible. Unfortunately race/gender card gets thrown into the mix all the time like a nasty mother fucker, but if you can prevent it, the better. 

If this VN's setting is in Egypt or some foreign/alien land, it should follow suit. That means, no adding blondies, French nobility, some Mexican guy, or Asian people into it for the sake of appeasing to the social justice warriors. Because last thing you want is these mother fuckers getting involved. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, CeruleanGamer said:

As much as I want diversity in VNs, it should not be the selling point of a VN. Look at what happened to Resident Evil 5 when they started the setting in Africa... Last thing you want your VN/game to be called is racist... Yeah, it is unfair but people are so feeble minded and the internet can easily make something that is normal into something combustible. Unfortunately race/gender card gets thrown into the mix all the time like a nasty mother fucker, but if you can prevent it, the better. 

If this VN's setting is in Egypt or some foreign/alien land, it should follow suit. That means, no adding blondies, French nobility, some Mexican guy, or Asian people into it for the sake of appeasing to the social justice warriors. Because last thing you want is these mother fuckers getting involved. 

damn right. Mostly blacks and arabs. Once we get out the Rift, we will start seeing more diversity. The next chapters take place in Kemet, Kush, and Ur

or in other words, Modern day Egypt, Sudan, and Iran

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Black Sands Entertainment said:

damn right. Mostly blacks and arabs.

Uhm... no? There weren't any "blacks" in Ancient Egypt. And the only Arabic group in Egypt were... well, Egyptians.
What are you doing here? Are you one of those guys believing in this "Black Egyptian hypothesis" or something?

It's pretty ironic that you claim to develop the ultimate "Western" visual novel using historical revisionism... but then, seeing how Americans these days love to engage in political, historical and sociological balderdash, this may very well be exactly what the target audience wants. :makina:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Tyrosyn said:

Uhm... no? There weren't any "blacks" in Ancient Egypt. And the only Arabic group in Egypt were... well, Egyptians.
What are you doing here? Are you one of those guys believing in this "Black Egyptian hypothesis" or something?

It's pretty ironic that you claim to develop the ultimate "Western" visual novel using historical revisionism... but then, seeing how Americans these days love to engage in political, historical and sociological balderdash, this may very well be exactly what the target audience wants. :makina:

Lets assume THIS doesn't exist on plenty of walls in Egypt defining the 4 races of the world.

Egyptian_races.jpg

 

Nevermind. Let's analyze it. The Hyksos is the furthest left, followed by the Ethiopian, Greek, then Egyptian.

Which one is the most similar in appearance?

But besides that, let's ask actual ancient greek and roman historians their opinions.

 

Xenpohanes (Hesoid, works and says, 527-8)

… the men of Egypt are mostly brown and black with a skinny desiccated look.

Herodotus, a Greek writer in the 5th century B.C. claims that "the people of Colchis must be Egyptians because like them they are black-skinned and wooly-haired." (History, Book II.)

Diodorus Siculus states: "The Ethiopians say that the egyptians are colonist sent out by ethiopians, as Osiris being the leader of the colony."

Diodorus Siculus(49 bc) states: "The Gods favored the ethiopians whom he believed to be the originators of the egyptian civilization."

Diodorus: "The Aethiopians(Ethiopians) are high favored with the gods, they were the first of all men created by the gods and were the founders of the Egyptian Civilization." 
 

Lycinus, Lucian(125 B.C.) states: "Describing an egyptian boy, this boy is not merely black, he has THICK lips and his legs are too thin." 

 

THEN IF THIS IS NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE, CHECK THIS DOCUMENTARY WHERE THIS BLACK EGYPTIAN IS FORCED TO BE CLASSIFIED AS WHITE TO MAKE SURE ALL LEGAL DOCUMENTS WHITE WASH HISTORY. THIS IS HOW CRAZY THE MODERN SUPREMACIST WORLD IS WHEN A CLEARLY BLACK MAN MUST BE LEGALLY CAUCASIAN SIMPLY TO NOT SAY THERE ARE ANY BLACKS IN EGYPT.
 



 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are describing a lot of gameplay mechanics - explorations, quests, skill checks and so on. Like Lumaria already said, those elements are NOT part of the VN genre. What you wrote here sounds like a very typical RPG that has little to do with VNs. Kinda like some stuff made by Winterwolves...

Make sure that you know what you are actually creating and label it properly. "Short chapters spanning no longer then 10 minutes each" is a perfectly acceptable description in case of a strategy game or even RPG, but it's a HUGE red flag in case of a VN. By mislabeling you work you can shoot yourself in the foot - you will create expectations for a "novel", and a "game" simply won't meet most of them, even if it's a damn good game. Also, you can't "revolutionize Western VN market" by not making a VN.

That aside, I really like what you wrote in the "Relationships" part. While it's not THAT uncommon among Japanese VNs, I certainly wouldn't mind more titles that offer normal romance with serious rivalry and potential NTR. I'm not expecting much from the Western works in this genre though - it has much weaker impact without explicit sexual content. :P

20 hours ago, Nosebleed said:

Why can't it just be called a Visual Novel?

Even if you call it a "Visual Novel", people will still label it as an "OELVN". Japanese developers weren't explicitly calling their games "jRPG" - users made up this term. It happened because people simply found such distinction practical - it isn't really all about the country of origin, but more about different mechanics and storytelling style.
The term "OELVN" was also created out of necessity. It's not used just to mark the original language - it's used because people find it useful a as warning about potential crap (since non-Japanese VNs are notoriously bad). It serves a very specific purpose, and non-Japanese VN will be labeled like that whether you like it or not. Also, while it's certainly a huge stigma (a well deserved one...), it's not a 100% bad thing - OELVN label significantly lowers expectations, so even something perfectly mediocre (like Katawa Shoujo) can gain a lot of recognition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Pabloc said:

You are describing a lot of gameplay mechanics - explorations, quests, skill checks and so on. Like Lumaria already said, those elements are NOT part of the VN genre. What you wrote here sounds like a very typical RPG that has little to do with VNs. Kinda like some stuff made by Winterwolves...

Make sure that you know what you are actually creating and label it properly. "Short chapters spanning no longer then 10 minutes each" is a perfectly acceptable description in case of a strategy game or even RPG, but it's a HUGE red flag in case of a VN. By mislabeling you work you can shoot yourself in the foot - you will create expectations for a "novel", and a "game" simply won't meet most of them, even if it's a damn good game. Also, you can't "revolutionize Western VN market" by not making a VN.

That aside, I really like what you wrote in the "Relationships" part. While it's not THAT uncommon among Japanese VNs, I certainly wouldn't mind more titles that offer normal romance with serious rivalry and potential NTR. I'm not expecting much from the Western works in this genre though - it has much weaker impact without explicit sexual content. :P

Even if you call it a "Visual Novel", people will still label it as an "OELVN". Japanese developers weren't explicitly calling their games "jRPG" - users made up this term. It happened because people simply found such distinction practical - it isn't really all about the country of origin, but more about different mechanics and storytelling style.
The term "OELVN" was also created out of necessity. It's not used just to mark the original language - it's used because people find it useful a as warning about potential crap (since non-Japanese VNs are notoriously bad). It serves a very specific purpose, and non-Japanese VN will be labeled like that whether you like it or not. Also, while it's certainly a huge stigma (a well deserved one...), it's not a 100% bad thing - OELVN label significantly lowers expectations, so even something perfectly mediocre (like Katawa Shoujo) can gain a lot of recognition.

Just trust me on this. It is a visual novel. The game mechanics are to enhance the story. If it was fully scripted, you wouldn't feel the wonder and craziness of the rift.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Black Sands Entertainment said:

Just trust me on this. It is a visual novel. The game mechanics are to enhance the story. If it was fully scripted, you wouldn't feel the wonder and craziness of the rift.

Thats because you're designing it as an RPG.  All game play mechanics work to enhance story. 

 

But there is already a genre that isn't VN that does all of what you say. Its a VN. The core concept is an RPG more than a VN. 

 

you're working on the strengths of an RPG and you are going around the VN. This at most will be a graphic adventure like telltale games. 

 

VNs normally focus on a story but a story that compliments the medium. You haven't really given us anything than concept.

 

Most times when people say "trust me" their the end of their rope on how to appeal to people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RPGs are quite similar to sims, which in turn are related (historically) to VNs.

Now, the main difference between an CRPG and a sim is the inclusion of a combat system. Technically in the offline world you can have RPGs without a combat system. I doubt anyone wants me to go into detail about why this isn't the case in CRPGs, but in short CRPGs historically only sought to imitate the combat systems of offline RPGs, while this was happening sims grew and incorporated many attributes of offline RPGs, and these days an RPG without a combat system tends to be called a sim. Examples include 'Long Live the Queen' and 'Academagia'.

Questing and mini-games don't make an RPG. They're sometimes found in RPGs, but you could argue that this is because RPGs came from a background of 'user defined stories.' In fact, some people define an RPG to be a form of interactive narrative. VNs can also be a form of 'user defined story' because at its heart it's a form of interactive fiction - the choices in a story offer opportunities for this sort of interactivity, but this is an aspect that the Japanese industry doesn't really take full (or any) advantage of (to my disappointment, and probably to the medium's detriment.)

Because RPGs and VNs can both offer 'user defined stories' then naturally some aspects of one can be applied to the other. I don't see evidence of a combat system in the game, and therefore I don't see evidence that it is an RPG. It COULD be a graphic adventure, but graphic adventures are games with a) a narrative, b) puzzles, and c) exploration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RPG in a nutshell are more single PC to party oriented. There are a lot of features that differentiate rpgs from him. Heck, kairosoft games have battles in some of their games and they are still considered Sim games and not an RPG. 

 

Regardless I think you get what the problem is though. The highlights of this VN are more rooted to an RPG then a VN. Its trying to go around the weaknesses and short comings of a VN. Heck I think that's what most Indie devs have been doing. 

VNs by nature are minimalistic. And for a reason. I'm not saying a VN can't have an encyclopedia or mini games at times. But once they rely on those to carry the story, it stops becoming a VN and just a graphic adventure. Just like telltale games.

Black sands came in with the ambition of redefining what it means to make a western VN. Which honestly I thought was great. But when I see it as a sales pitch to his own interpretation of a VN. You can see where things change.

I'm sure black sands entertainment is doing the "ignore negative, respond to positive" approach. But honestly he's better off either a) showing, not telling or b) not doing either until it's complete with only trusted few beta testing. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Lumaria said:

RPG in a nutshell are more single PC to party oriented. There are a lot of features that differentiate rpgs from him. Heck, kairosoft games have battles in some of their games and they are still considered Sim games and not an RPG. 

 

Regardless I think you get what the problem is though. The highlights of this VN are more rooted to an RPG then a VN. Its trying to go around the weaknesses and short comings of a VN. Heck I think that's what most Indie devs have been doing. 

VNs by nature are minimalistic. And for a reason. I'm not saying a VN can't have an encyclopedia or mini games at times. But once they rely on those to carry the story, it stops becoming a VN and just a graphic adventure. Just like telltale games.

Black sands came in with the ambition of redefining what it means to make a western VN. Which honestly I thought was great. But when I see it as a sales pitch to his own interpretation of a VN. You can see where things change.

I'm sure black sands entertainment is doing the "ignore negative, respond to positive" approach. But honestly he's better off either a) showing, not telling or b) not doing either until it's complete with only trusted few beta testing. 

 

If I ignored the negative, i would have still been trying to push out the product I had created back in october. The game was overhauled for a reason.

Your obsession for "purity" in visual novels is kind of scary considering you started a thread about making VNs more popular in the west. The way you do it is by appeasing their interest while not alienating the base.

Your strategy for making visual novels more west friendly is like the republican strategy to get more minority voters. "If we insult them enough, they surely will vote for us!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...