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


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Tbh, the entire "Your VN is an RPG, not a VN." is kind of a redundant argument. There's no clearly visible line between the two. There have been games that were on VNDB and then taken off because people thought they were "Not VN enough, too RPG-ish". I've played the demo of the original game, and while I know a lot is going to change and a lot of RPG elements are going to be added, I can safely say Black Sands knows what a VN is and is clearly planing on making one, he doesn't need someone to define the medium for him (the original game was in Ren'Py for crying out loud).

Also @Lumaria, there's a difference between giving helpful critique/suggestions, and pushing your own views and opinions of what a "glorious genre redefining VN" is down people's throats. So you have a great idea, nice. Suggesting it to people is fine, but almost ordering them to follow your vision, and belittling them if they decide otherwise? Not so nice. If you think your idea is so great please make this VN yourself. As the guys from Extra Credits once said, "Ideas are cheap. Everyone has a good idea or two".

Edited by babiker
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2 hours ago, Black Sands Entertainment said:

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!"

My strategy for making VN more western friendly is literally make VNs designed for peoples interest while still have the pride and joy of as VN.  After all VNs are more of a medium to story telling than a genre of video games. 

There's no insult other than maybe the ones who worked against the idea and not even know it. 

 

Your method however isnt to highlight what makes a VN. There's a HUGE difference there. 

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3 minutes ago, Lumaria said:

My strategy for making VN more western friendly is literally make VNs designed for peoples interest while still have the pride and joy of as VN.  After all VNs are more of a medium to story telling than a genre of video games. 

There's no insult other than maybe the ones who worked against the idea and not even know it. 

 

Your method however isnt to highlight what makes a VN. There's a HUGE difference there. 

You can stop talking when you haven't even played his demo or seen the final product.

3 minutes ago, Lumaria said:

make VNs designed for peoples interest while still have the pride and joy of as VN. 

Isn't that what he is exactly doing?

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I dont care what people say about VNs with RPG elements on it. One thing I know is we have a huge community of VN readers like myself who embrace VNs that have a dual purpose of storytelling and gameplay. Not all VN readers want to sit on their asses having their VN on auto mode while masturbating all day. Some prefer some more interaction with the game. I dont care if it's an RPG element or making the girl's boobs jiggle if you click on her sprite.

While Kamidori and Sengoku Rance arent exactly known for having the sharpest gameplay/RPG aspect, they are successful VN games because they incorporate RPG elements quite well and make the VN addicting because of it. If you can create a nice and smooth RPG gameplay that makes it rewarding rather than grindy, then you can make it successful.

Some examples to put this into action are: Like whenever the player gets a rare item or finish a quest, you slap an awesome "kaching" or epic trumpet sound and boom, people actually feel more accomplished about it despite all the hard work and long hours they spent to get it.

Another example is using a collection system where it records all the completed quests, achievements, trophies, items and possibly characters recruited. Many VN readers are hoarders and collectors by heart and if you can incorporate a way for them to keep track of their progress in the RPG side of it like with the CGs, then it would really make them more engaged with it.

Hope this gave you some ideas on the RPG aspect. Feel free to reach out to me personally via PM if you need some more ideas or questions about incorporating the RPG aspect into your game. @Black Sands Entertainment

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@Kiriririri  Following this idea through, you dont need to see the final product to know what kind of game. Whether it turns out good or bad, thats not the point and never has been. 

 

And no that's not what he's doing. He's making a game that everyone can enjoy that can barely be called a VN. Basically making VNs more game oriented than story.

 

Basically he's aiming for danganronpa.

 

@CeruleanGamer  the problem isn't that this will exist. Heck, a lot of VNs exist with the idea of not being a VN. But normally those games don't promote the idea that it's to redefine what it means to make a VN. and that is dangerous.

 

 

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20 minutes ago, Lumaria said:

@Kiriririri  Following this idea through, you dont need to see the final product to know what kind of game. Whether it turns out good or bad, thats not the point and never has been. 

 

And no that's not what he's doing. He's making a game that everyone can enjoy that can barely be called a VN. Basically making VNs more game oriented than story.

 

Basically he's aiming for danganronpa.

 

@CeruleanGamer  the problem isn't that this will exist. Heck, a lot of VNs exist with the idea of not being a VN. But normally those games don't promote the idea that it's to redefine what it means to make a VN. and that is dangerous.

 

 

I think this is where everyone says "you are right Lumeria" and never respond to it again. Everyone who is trying to not be overly critical and throwing ideas out there, I appreciate it and if you would like to DM me for a special skype channel where we test mechanics, betas, assets, feel free to do so. You would have to sign an NDA but I am always looking for people who wish to be critical but not destructive.

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Don't think I'm treating this harshly. I'm only trying to make you know what it makes a VN and what could hurt it NOT be a VN. you can make The best experience her and not be a VN. 

 

I'm positive this will be a fun enjoyable game. Heck as a graphic adventure, this is pretty standard. But that's what I think this is, a graphic adventure. 

At this time my computer broke. Ibhavent been able to work on my own projects for now. So I will not be able to help you in beta testing. But a good ganeplay video that can highlight story and gameplay will really help too.

 

 

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51 minutes ago, Lumaria said:

@CeruleanGamer  the problem isn't that this will exist. Heck, a lot of VNs exist with the idea of not being a VN. But normally those games don't promote the idea that it's to redefine what it means to make a VN. and that is dangerous.

And there are a lot of VNs that exist with the idea of being a VN but still failing at it. Reason is they basically copy paste all the overused plots, settings, and cliches but not putting their "own mark" on it. And even if it has a superior storytelling aspect, if everything else fails to captivate the reader interest, then it doesnt matter how "safe" you make it out to be. Sometimes risks can pay off especially on a market that is still quite uncharted like OELVNs. 

As an example: like that thread @Decay reviewed on No One But You - like the art is rather amazing and all and it feels like a VN at first glance but once you play and probe it for what it is, it fails to meet the standards of a proper VN - it tries to do all these typical VN scenarios but it forgot its real identity and it never had its own uniqueness or anything that would make it stand out. A VN without a purpose is basically just a CG album with words, a soulless medium to appease someone's eyes for a minute and then forgotten forever.

There is no rulebook or Bible on creating VNs or telling you what or what not to do in it. It's all about studying what the current generation of VN readers want, what could possibly appeal to them, and sometimes going out of your way to truly express a unique identity for a VN like what Katawa Shoujo did with disabled/crippled girls or what Princess Evangile did with "what would it be like being the only male in a girls-only school". 

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4 minutes ago, CeruleanGamer said:

And there are a lot of VNs that exist with the idea of being a VN but still failing at it. Reason is they basically copy paste all the overused plots, settings, and cliches but not putting their "own mark" on it. And even if it has a superior storytelling aspect, if everything else fails to captivate the reader interest, then it doesnt matter how "safe" you make it out to be. Sometimes risks can pay off especially on a market that is still quite uncharted like OELVNs. 

As an example: like that thread @Decay reviewed on No One But You - like the art is rather amazing and all and it feels like a VN at first glance but once you play and probe it for what it is, it fails to meet the standards of a proper VN - it tries to do all these typical VN scenarios but it forgot its real identity and it never had its own uniqueness or anything that would make it stand out.

There is no rulebook or Bible on creating VNs or telling you what or what not to do in it. It's all about studying what the current generation of VN readers want, what could possibly appeal to them, and sometimes going out of your way to truly express a unique identity for a VN like what Katawa Shoujo did with disabled girls or what Princess Evangile did with "what would it be like being the only male in a girls-only school". 

That doesn't mean adding more game play mechanics make it better VN . If anything it hides the same flaws. And that's the point.

 

Yes western VNs are copy/paste. I think they are far too targeted to the general gamer and otaku. I know for a fact other people play games almost as much as gamers. The difference is the type of games. I think if they aim for more people who aren't 100% interested in anime/manga or even dc/marvel comics, you would be surprised how well it does.

The only way we can have great VNs if we stop making them completely VNs? Think about what black sands promises are compared to what we know about VNs.

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I didnt say that VNs with gameplay are better or flawless. In fact, I can name a dozen things I didnt like with Rance series because its VN aspects could have been better instead countless forced sex scenes like "Here's my hyper weapon, suck on it real good". 

I'm not expecting a Telltale caliber work here; In fact I consider Telltale games overrated pieces of shit because the games they make give an illusion of making a choice but most of the choice results are scripted, repeated, and still are not influenced or reflected based on your past choices. Like when I want someone to die but they arent killed because "plot armor" or unavoidable deaths regardless of all the choices to save or get close with that person. Until Dawn and Life is Strange are way better games because most if not all choices in those games ACTUALLY MATTER! If Black Sands Entertainment can do that with this game, that's really all I want. The gameplay bonuses and stuff are just icing on cake.

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@CeruleanGamer    I didn't say that you said that. But look at the process of the debate. My main point is that black sands isn't defining VNs it's more of an existing genre, and using that may not promote VNs, it will promote else.

 

You made the point that oelvns aren't great because copy paste the same thing. Which I agree, but as my own point I didn't believe that adding more gamplay features makes a better VN or fixes the problem VNs have now. It just goes around it. 

 

 

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I consider Black Sands marketing similar to an infomercial on a swiss army knife. You expect it to be primarily something (in this case the knife function in comparison to an OELVN), while introducing its other functionalities and features (in this case comparing the screw, the bottle opener, the scissors, the pliers attachments on the swiss army knife with the graphic adventure, RPG elements, "insanity" meter, the relationship progression, etc)

The way you handle marketing/advertising a product like that is focus on its primary function, so really highlight why it's a really interesting VN to read, what makes it stand out over other VNs and then market everything else on the side but making sure they do not overshadow what the game is really about, which is a visual novel game with interesting and unique themes.

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7 minutes ago, CeruleanGamer said:

I consider Black Sands marketing similar to an infomercial on a swiss army knife. You expect it to be primarily something (in this case the knife function in comparison to an OELVN), while introducing its other functionalities and features (in this case comparing the screw, the bottle opener, the scissors, the pliers attachments with the graphic adventure, RPG elements, "insanity" meter, the relationship progression, etc)

The way you handle marketing/advertising a product like that is focus on its primary function, so really highlight why it's a really interesting VN to read, what makes it stand out over other VNs and then market everything else on the side but making sure they do not overshadow what the game is really about, which is a visual novel game with interesting and unique themes.

VNs by nature are strictly "novel" and "visual". Recently more and more graphic adventures using the VN brand. Games like danganronpa. 

 

Thus isn't. Multi purpose knife analogy. This is a streak that added two pieces of bread on top and bottom. Its no longer a steak, it's a sandwich

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6 hours ago, babiker said:

Tbh, the entire "Your VN is an RPG, not a VN." is kind of a redundant argument. There's no clearly visible line between the two.

There's a clearly visible line between the two - it's called "gameplay".

2 hours ago, CeruleanGamer said:

While Kamidori and Sengoku Rance arent exactly known for having the sharpest gameplay/RPG aspect, they are successful VN games because they incorporate RPG elements quite well and make the VN addicting because of it. If you can create a nice and smooth RPG gameplay that makes it rewarding rather than grindy, then you can make it successful.

Errr, no. They aren't exactly known for having the sharpest storylines (especailly Kamidori), their gameplay is their main selling point and it's the main reason why they are popular. Can hybrids like this make VNs more popular on the West anywhere? When VN-aspects are their weakest aspects and they are mainly enjoyable as SRPGs?

Now, I like hybrids or pure games. There's nothing wrong with those genres. But when I'm in the mood for a VN, I won't touch a hybrid. Because I want to read, not play.

When I see something advertised as a VN, I expect a VN. When the description promises a lot of gameplay and other non-VN features, either it isn't exactly a VN, or the description emphasizes insignificant mini-games too much and is misleading.

54 minutes ago, CeruleanGamer said:

I consider Black Sands marketing similar to an infomercial on a swiss army knife.

But you generally don't call Swiss Army knives just "knives". Because they aren't just knives, they are multi-purpose tools. Would you pick one of those if you wanted specifically a knife? No - a dedicated knife will do a better job. You can advertise Swiss Army knife as "primarily a knife", but then you get something that actually kinda sucks at its "primary function" (compared to dedicated knives), so that's not a very good idea.
Just like hybrid VNs aren't really that good at being "just VNs" (or are very bad, like Kamidori or Tears to Tiara for example). But they offer gameplay, and that's usually their main focus. While they don't really excel at anything, mixing aspects of multiple mediums can make them good as a whole (just like Swiss Army knives are great, even though their individual parts aren't that good).

Black Sands either did a bad job at advertising a VN, or a good job at advertising a game (or a game/VN hybrid maybe?). I'd actually prefer if it was the latter - Western VNs suck most of the time, but we do a damn good job at making various indie games. :P

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20 minutes ago, Pabloc said:

There's a clearly visible line between the two - it's called "gameplay".

Errr, no. They aren't exactly known for having the sharpest storylines (especailly Kamidori), their gameplay is their main selling point and it's the main reason why they are popular. Can hybrids like this make VNs more popular on the West anywhere? When VN-aspects are their weakest aspects and they are mainly enjoyable as SRPGs?

Now, I like hybrids or pure games. There's nothing wrong with those genres. But when I'm in the mood for a VN, I won't touch a hybrid. Because I want to read, not play.

When I see something advertised as a VN, I expect a VN. When the description promises a lot of gameplay and other non-VN features, either it isn't exactly a VN, or the description emphasizes insignificant mini-games too much and is misleading.

But you generally don't call Swiss Army knives just "knives". Because they aren't just knives, they are multi-purpose tools. Would you pick one of those if you wanted specifically a knife? No - a dedicated knife will do a better job. You can advertise Swiss Army knife as "primarily a knife", but then you get something that actually kinda sucks at its "primary function" (compared to dedicated knives), so that's not a very good idea.
Just like hybrid VNs aren't really that good at being "just VNs" (or are very bad, like Kamidori or Tears to Tiara for example). But they offer gameplay, and that's usually their main focus. While they don't really excel at anything, mixing aspects of multiple mediums can make them good as a whole (just like Swiss Army knives are great, even though their individual parts aren't that good).

Black Sands either did a bad job at advertising a VN, or a good job at advertising a game (or a game/VN hybrid maybe?). I'd actually prefer if it was the latter - Western VNs suck most of the time, but we do a damn good job at making various indie games. :P

well its definitely not being advertised as a pure vn, thats for sure. 

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There are 2 things in particular that keep me away from OELVN, lack of 18+ content and lack of voice acting. Until OELVN can get both of these I'm just not interested in them. Another problem I find with them is the visual style. Many of them have art styles that are to far off from a more traditional japanese anime art style. I'm not looking for a unique art style I'm looking for pretty girls.  The next issue I have with OELVN is there length. I like my VNs to be at least 20 hours long. These are just my personal opinions though. The 1st 2 issues I listed are my biggest problems though. 18+ content AND voice acting or bust.

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44 minutes ago, Codesterz said:

There are 2 things in particular that keep me away from OELVN, lack of 18+ content and lack of voice acting. Until OELVN can get both of these I'm just not interested in them. Another problem I find with them is the visual style. Many of them have art styles that are to far off from a more traditional japanese anime art style. I'm not looking for a unique art style I'm looking for pretty girls.  The next issue I have with OELVN is there length. I like my VNs to be at least 20 hours long. These are just my personal opinions though. The 1st 2 issues I listed are my biggest problems though. 18+ content AND voice acting or bust.

punch_zpsvugjjdya.jpg

 

WORK IN PROGRESS

That is out style. We'll have this CG finished in two days and then we'll start finishing up the alpha demo. We also have voice acting.

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1 hour ago, Codesterz said:

There are 2 things in particular that keep me away from OELVN, lack of 18+ content and lack of voice acting. Until OELVN can get both of these I'm just not interested in them. Another problem I find with them is the visual style. Many of them have art styles that are to far off from a more traditional japanese anime art style. I'm not looking for a unique art style I'm looking for pretty girls.  The next issue I have with OELVN is there length. I like my VNs to be at least 20 hours long. These are just my personal opinions though. The 1st 2 issues I listed are my biggest problems though. 18+ content AND voice acting or bust.

I also find voice acting a bit of an issue, at least when it comes to voicing reactions. 

 

Everything else is preference, and ultimately something you shouldn't worry about since all Japanese VNs should fill your needs.

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9 hours ago, Lumaria said:

I noticed you love to misinterpret the slightest phrase and go on a tangent. I'm not saying visual novels are known for story. But they are Novel  oriented and visual oriented. 

What the heck are you talking about? I wasn't referring to anything that you said. You didn't bother to read what I quoted, did you?
I actually agree with your points, that adding gameplay elements to VNs and turning them to hybrids or not-VNs-at-all isn't exactly a good way to make them popular anywhere.

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42 minutes ago, Pabloc said:

What the heck are you talking about? I wasn't referring to anything that you said. You didn't bother to read what I quoted, did you?
I actually agree with your points, that adding gameplay elements to VNs and turning them to hybrids or not-VNs-at-all isn't exactly a good way to make them popular anywhere.

I'm not really arguing but clarifying what I meant when I said vns focus on story and visuals. But it was a vague statement that didn't need too much attention. Thats all.

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