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Alternative Art Style: Western targeted but would it alienate VN vets? (Amesemi)


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punch%201080p_20160201_102952_zpsxzhqzlw

 

As you have seen from my other thread, I wished to push the boundaries of Visual Novels specifically to get new people that have never touched a VN their entire lives into the genre. The group I am targeting is Comic/Graphic Novel readers in america. Especially those of minority backgrounds.

The question though, is does this art style ALONE alienate veteran readers of Visual Novels?

 

 

 

 

 

Here are two videos. The purpose of this test was to judge the voice over work. Special effects, animations, and optimized UI is expected over the next 2 weeks.

IMG_20160213_121719_zpsfwscvbul_edit_145

Amesemi (Ami-semee)
Pantheon: Kushite
Age: 18
Height: 5’4”
Fighting Style: Elemental Magic
Alignment: True Good

FANTASY Amesemi is the only female raised by Nun. She had a rare affinity for what we would understand to be magic and because of this, Nun took her as her personal apprentice. Mastering the arts of energy manipulation, she quickly discovered her ability to manipulate the elements to both devastating and beneficial effects. On top of her amazing ability to understand “magic,” she also has a superior grasp on ancient texts and lore. Of all the others, she is the most knowledgeable about the ancient bloodlines.

HISTORY Amesemi is of the Kushite pantheon as a protector goddess and has close ties to Apedemak. Little is known about her role in tradition but she was worshipped for her ability to help Apedemak’s control his warrior spirit. Amesemi’s history was lost in time but there are many influences of her origin in many female Kemetic goddesses.

THEORY With plenty of room to create our own origin, we decided to make her the guardian of knowledge and wielder of the rarest of arts. Apedemak is infatuated with her and Ra looks at her with suspicion. Amesemi is a strong woman wiser than all the men in the series but her confidence is limited and she looks to the men for guidance in times of danger. Who will win the heart of Amesemi?

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1 minute ago, Funnerific said:

The knowledge that it's an OELVN is what alienates me the most, so unless I hear a LOT of good things about it I probably won't touch it. The art style itself isn't such a big deal, plus it doesn't look bad going by the pic.

Yeah. I am going to avoid the OELVN tag completely. It is stigmatized to all hell. Probably gonna say something like "Western VN."

i'll probably even make an entire section dedicated to what a Western VN is. 

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5 minutes ago, Black Sands Entertainment said:
Spoiler

punch%201080p_20160201_102952_zpsxzhqzlw

 

As you have seen from my other thread, I wished to push the boundaries of Visual Novels specifically to get new people that have never touched a VN their entire lives into the genre. The group I am targeting is Comic/Graphic Novel readers in america. Especially those of minority backgrounds.

The question though, is does this art style ALONE alienate veteran readers of Visual Novels?

 

I think its an excellent idea that you go after people that are more interested in the western comic market, especially because just the mention of english visual novels in the otaku community is tainted beyond belief because of false promises, lousy copy cats and mediocre to bad scripts.

I dont think it does, to see a style like this with good art for once actually makes me more interested in it.

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I must be honest with you guys. When I post update in Lemmasoft, I never ever get responses lol. I am kind of relying on you guys to break the ice for me when the time comes. The fuwa audience tends to be more open minded and definitely more attentive to the little guys.

Though I have gotten criticism in the past, everything has helped me redefine my game. Those who have followed my project from back in the day know how the game has completely been changed. They can attest to the structural changes I have made due to critiques and objective opinions.

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Everything I want to say has already been mentioned and most of my suggestions/comments are in that one thread of yours but just want to say:

Have fun doing this because some developers lose sight of just enjoying what they really love doing and they are so focused on just making a quick buck and releasing incomplete products ASAP that the whole quality of the game suffers because of it. 

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11 minutes ago, solidbatman said:

My biggest annoyance with OELVN creators is that too many try to imitate JVNs and come across hollow and pointless because of it. So, kudos to you for trying something different and aiming to bring in a new audience. 

This has long been my complaint about OELVN's in general they try too hard to be something that they are not. 

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1 hour ago, CeruleanGamer said:

Everything I want to say has already been mentioned and most of my suggestions/comments are in that one thread of yours but just want to say:

Have fun doing this because some developers lose sight of just enjoying what they really love doing and they are so focused on just making a quick buck and releasing incomplete products ASAP that the whole quality of the game suffers because of it. 

damn right lol. I look at some OELVN titles and wonder if they did it for fun considering the story,sprites, and etc are copy and paste.

The Black Sands Universe is SOOOOO BIG.

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1 hour ago, Black Sands Entertainment said:

I must be honest with you guys. When I post update in Lemmasoft, I never ever get responses lol. I am kind of relying on you guys to break the ice for me when the time comes. The fuwa audience tends to be more open minded and definitely more attentive to the little guys.

Though I have gotten criticism in the past, everything has helped me redefine my game. Those who have followed my project from back in the day know how the game has completely been changed. They can attest to the structural changes I have made due to critiques and objective opinions.

Weeaboos from LSF won't really help you in any way to get the game better; it's a toxic community full of circlejerking, wannabe vn devs. You're already doing a good job, the artwork looks amazing and honestly I wouldn't mind it at all in case of your game. I'd actually wish for more meaningful western vn's, which incorporate good anime-styled art with western themes and subjects we're familiar with; it's something western vn's constantly fail at, simply because - just as SolidBatman already mentioned - a lot of western devs are weeaboos themselves and they try way too hard to imitate (or actually just plain copy) japanese vn's; those usually work well for your average japanese audience, but do not gain much interest from average western reader.

Most common mistakes:

  • Settings solely based on japanese high school, too much focus on glorification of youth
  • Western vn's with action based in Japan (lol)
  • Japanese honorifics in western-themed settings
  • Lack of settings and themes we're familiar with, both real and fictional
  • Way too much reliance on japanese archetypes, stereotypes and character traits
  • Copy-paste games trying to outright imitate successful mainstream japanese franchises
  • Lack of good, established settings for the stories
  • Poor art/poor writing/horrible soundtrack
  • Forced western VA
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You've made a few similar threads recently, and the best, all-encompassing, advice I can give you is: just make what you want to make, dude. An indie visual novel isn't going to make you a millionaire, probably not even a living, so just make something that you can love and be proud of. That's the best pay-off you're going to get from doing this. Once you've done that, making money is a bonus.

Also you're not going to win any friends by saying: "Look how different and better I am than other OELVNs". It's really dismissive of other people's hard work and, contrary to ignorant popular belief, OELVNs are most assuredly not just a bunch of copy paste high school games. The shovelware shite on steam ≠ the sole representative of the OELVN scene. 

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1 hour ago, Narcosis said:

\Weeaboos from LSF won't really help you in any way to get the game better; it's a toxic community full of circlejerking, wannabe vn devs. You're already doing a good job, the artwork looks amazing and honestly I wouldn't mind it at all in case of your game. I'd actually wish for more meaningful western vn's, which incorporate good anime-styled art with western themes and subjects we're familiar with; it's something western vn's constantly fail at, simply because - just as SolidBatman already mentioned - a lot of western devs are weeaboos themselves and they try way too hard to imitate (or actually just plain copy) japanese vn's; those usually work well for your average japanese audience, but do not gain much interest from average western reader.

Most common mistakes:

  • Settings solely based on japanese high school, too much focus on glorification of youth
  • Western vn's with action based in Japan (lol)
  • Japanese honorifics in western-themed settings
  • Lack of settings and themes we're familiar with, both real and fictional
  • Way too much reliance on japanese archetypes, stereotypes and character traits
  • Copy-paste games trying to outright imitate successful mainstream japanese franchises
  • Lack of good, established settings for the stories
  • Poor art/poor writing/horrible soundtrack
  • Forced western VA

I assure you, you will not be familiar with the setting lol. But the game is about exploration and investigation so technically, you will learn one way or another.

 

1 hour ago, Omega_93 said:

You've made a few similar threads recently, and the best, all-encompassing, advice I can give you is: just make what you want to make, dude. An indie visual novel isn't going to make you a millionaire, probably not even a living, so just make something that you can love and be proud of. That's the best pay-off you're going to get from doing this. Once you've done that, making money is a bonus.

Also you're not going to win any friends by saying: "Look how different and better I am than other OELVNs". It's really dismissive of other people's hard work and, contrary to ignorant popular belief, OELVNs are most assuredly not just a bunch of copy paste high school games. The shovelware shite on steam ≠ the sole representative of the OELVN scene. 

That is definitely not my angle. I talk with a lot of devs. I am simply saying "my game is not a typical OELVN" then everyone else says "I hate OELVNs" and it kind of scares me lol.

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Generally speaking, anime characters have become less detailed over the past few decades. In the 80s the art it was pretty good, these days not so much. Aspiring to make art like the Japanese do therefore doesn't make sense to me. Your art is fine, and I really don't care if it alienates veteran fans of TL'd VNs or not.

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8 minutes ago, Rooke said:

Generally speaking, anime characters have become less detailed over the past few decades. In the 80s the art it was pretty good, these days not so much. Aspiring to make art like the Japanese do therefore doesn't make sense to me. Your art is fine, and I really don't care if it alienates veteran fans of TL'd VNs or not.

O_O

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3 hours ago, Black Sands Entertainment said:

The question though, is does this art style ALONE alienate veteran readers of Visual Novels?

Hardly! Japanese manga art is already quite diverse. There are already several popular art styles with a more western or realistic touch. For example Sei Shoujo (Empress), M&M (Astronauts) or Sugina Miki (Innocent Grey) have a very unique art style. And IMHO art can't get more 'alien' than in Stein's Gate anyway. Your art might not be classic Japanese style, but it's definitely very well drawn western comic style.

I think the more decisive point for VN veterans would be: Where are the pretty girls?!? There's a reason why VN's are also often called bishojo games.

Ah and btw, since you have a black western comic protagonist here. Any motivation to make a visual novel about another one - THIS one?!?

Blade_movie.jpg

Give me a decent Blade VN and I'm the first to buy it!!! Just a personal dream. I probably watched the movie at least a dozen times.

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Alienation by art style is a real potential problem, but people will get over it quickly as long as the art is good. In short, your art looks good, so don't worry about it.

Good example of alienating art style within a Japanese VN would be the Steampunk series in general, or particularly from my experience Sekien no Inganock. I found the style off-putting for a couple of hours, but after building some familiarity, I really enjoyed the art. And even that initial unfamiliarity didn't make me negatively judge any of the rest of VN the experience along the way, since I could tell it was good, but just unfamiliar. I probably would've taken a more negative attitude if the art had been both unfamiliar and bad, though.

Also, Rooke's point is pretty valid - people tend to like current VN art simply because it's in a familiar style, much more so than because of any objective quality, so, please, save us from ourselves: bring us better art.

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43 minutes ago, ChaosRaven said:

Ah and btw, since you have a black western comic protagonist here. Any motivation to make a visual novel about another one - THIS one?!?

Blade_movie.jpg

Give me a decent Blade VN and I'm the first to buy it!!! Just a personal dream. I probably watched the movie at least a dozen times.

Personally, I would love to see Django Unchained as a VN if I wanted to see a black protagonist. It's one of the Quentin Tarantino movies I thoroughly enjoyed not just because of the bloodfest but also the engaging storyline.

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44 minutes ago, CeruleanGamer said:

Personally, I would love to see Django Unchained as a VN if I wanted to see a black protagonist. It's one of the Quentin Tarantino movies I thoroughly enjoyed not just because of the bloodfest but also the engaging storyline.

Yes, Django Unchained was pretty great - probably my favorite Tarantio movie together with Inglourious Basterds. Though I think Frank Millers Sin City comic art style would better fit to it than Marvel Comic style.

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I suppose the artwork would cause me to have different initial expectations as a person who has read Japanese-styled VNs, but I believe that is what you want to some degree. For me, artwork doesn't really affect my judgement of a VN unless I really dislike it or it distracts from the story. In other words, if the art is good enough, cool; I'm moving on to the story.

5 hours ago, Black Sands Entertainment said:

The question though, is does this art style ALONE alienate veteran readers of Visual Novels?

Well, people do say not to judge a book by its cover (or artwork in this case), although people do it anyway. I personally like it, though I don't consider myself veteran enough<_<.

You can't please everybody, but don't let that drag you down. Keep it up!

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4 hours ago, Rooke said:

Generally speaking, anime characters have become less detailed over the past few decades. In the 80s the art it was pretty good, these days not so much. Aspiring to make art like the Japanese do therefore doesn't make sense to me. Your art is fine, and I really don't care if it alienates veteran fans of TL'd VNs or not.

4 hours ago, Black Sands Entertainment said:

O_O

 

FYI, Rooke is really old. 

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4 hours ago, ChaosRaven said:

Hardly! Japanese manga art is already quite diverse. There are already several popular art styles with a more western or realistic touch. For example Sei Shoujo (Empress), M&M (Astronauts) or Sugina Miki (Innocent Grey) have a very unique art style. And IMHO art can't get more 'alien' than in Stein's Gate anyway. Your art might not be classic Japanese style, but it's definitely very well drawn western comic style.

I think the more decisive point for VN veterans would be: Where are the pretty girls?!? There's a reason why VN's are also often called bishojo games.

Ah and btw, since you have a black western comic protagonist here. Any motivation to make a visual novel about another one - THIS one?!?

Blade_movie.jpg

Give me a decent Blade VN and I'm the first to buy it!!! Just a personal dream. I probably watched the movie at least a dozen times.

I might do a fan spin off just to see if I can pitch it to marvel lol

 

Amesemi%202_zpsqbgl2ujx.png

 

Here is your female. Goodluck getting this chick. You got competition AND she is quite deadly...

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4 hours ago, maefdomn said:

Visual Novels aren't defined by their graphics. Let the butthurt weebs be offended and do your own thing.

It's much more promising going for something aimed at a wider audience in the long run.

 

Maybe you won't get a part of the community to agree with you, but it has appeal to some others.

I got 2.1k followers on instagram and facebook

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