Jump to content
babiker

OELVNs: Their Past, Present and Future

Do you read OELVNs?  

60 members have voted

This poll is closed to new votes
  1. 1. Do you read OELVNs?

    • Yes, I've read a lot and am looking forward to seeing more
    • A few, not much
    • Very little
    • Ewwww, no. OELVNs are cancer. Only the great nation of Nippon can create VNs worth reading
  2. 2. What do you think about the future of OELVNs?

    • OELVNs will one day reach and maybe even surpass their Japanese counterparts
    • OELVNs will probably get better, but I doubt they'll ever be as good as Japanese VNs
    • Maybe they'll be readable one day
    • Nothing will ever even get close to the divine status of Japanese-made hentai games (desu desu)
    • Dude, have you heard of Winged Clould?


Recommended Posts

So me and my buds at FuwaFM had a chat about OELVNs (Original English Language Visual Novels), and I'd like to bring some of that discussion over here. These are the main questions that were asked:

What's your favourite OELVN?

Will OELVNs ever be as good as Japanese VNs?

Why are OELVNs generally considered worse than Japanese VNs?

What are the attributes that make OELVNs stand out (in a positive way) from their Japanese counterparts?

Recommend a random (relatively unknown) OELVN

Is Undertale an OELVN? And of so has it already made VNs popular in the west?... And if so has Fuwanovel lost its purpose of existence?!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, babiker said:

What's your favourite OELVN?

Will OELVNs ever be as good as Japanese VNs?

Why are OELVNs generally considered worse than Japanese VNs?

What are the attributes that make OELVNs stand out (in a positive way) from their Japanese counterparts?

Recommend a random (relatively unknown) OELVN

1. My favorite VN is an OELVN, not Japanese, Everlasting summer

2. Depends on the devs

3. Because everything regarding otaku culture comes from Japan, so JVNs are considered the original source, and OELVNs just attempts to make a visual novel like the japanese (that s why OELVNs should have no connection to Japan)

4. Different writing style, less anime/otaku influence, non-japanese characters can be better (depends on the art)

5. Relatively unknown? i don t really know those. I guess i ll just put here anything that comes to mind https://vndb.org/v18698

I can t answer the last question

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, Let's see...

1 hour ago, babiker said:

What's your favourite OELVN?

It's a little choice, so I pick "Katawa Shoujo" and maybe "One Thousands Lie".

1 hour ago, babiker said:

Will OELVNs ever be as good as Japanese VNs?

If they''ll stop coping Japanese VNs.

1 hour ago, babiker said:

Why are OELVNs generally considered worse than Japanese VNs?

Because they're made with a low effort and always based on the anime traits.

1 hour ago, babiker said:

What are the attributes that make OELVNs stand out (in a positive way) from their Japanese counterparts?

Better writing and non-cliché characters. Not from SP.

1 hour ago, babiker said:

Recommend a random (relatively unknown) OELVN

Anything from Christine Love.

1 hour ago, babiker said:

Is Undertale an OELVN? And of so has it already made VNs popular in the west?... And if so has Fuwanovel lost its purpose of existence?!

No, it's not 'cause of gameplay. I'm sorry, when did that happened? For better or worse, Fuwanovel will never loose its purpose of existence. The site'll go down with the VN's scene in the late 2020's. And I'm an optimist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That pool is biased, just like every single pool made on these forums :makina:

Please, for the love of gods, don't use the term "OELVN". They are simply called western vn's.

It's hard to compare japanese and western vn's; it's like trying to compare tangerines and oranges; yes - they are fruits, they look similiar but they taste entirely different; in fact, they shouldn't be compared, out of obvious reasons.

Western vn's will propably continue to fall flat in general comparison to their japanese counterparts; it won't change anytime soon. That said, when you look at certain attempts and examples, quality western vn's often surprass japanese vn's by a great degree, both as a storytelling medium, art and genre of computer games; it's because they aren't handicapped by the very same cancer audience, which invented them in the first place. This means more freedom and less restrictions on what they can be and less pressure from the playerbase. That makes them a far more powerful tool for expression, whilst the japanese vn's are more often tailored exactly towards the tastes if it's main consumer base - otaku crowds.

The real problem with western vn's is that they tend to copy japanese vn's way too much and that is, ironically, what hurts them the most. When the time comes and devs finally understand there's no need for that, only then western vn's will have a chance to surprass their japanese counterparts.

I just love how you placed Winged Cloud at the very bottom in regards to potential future :Teeku:

3 hours ago, Palas said:

Undertale is not a VN, but VA-11 HALL-A is and you should play it.

Despite what some people say, VA11 HALL-A is actually a traditional visual novel, one reminiscent of good ol' PC-98 games; one, where drink mixing replaced traditional choice making in a clever manner.

Quote

Recommend a random (relatively unknown) OELVN

Have you even played Solstice? Cinders? Along the Edge? Ori, Ochi, Onoe? The Dandelion Girl? Everlasting Summer? Analogue? VA11 HALL-A? Her Tears Were My Light? No? Then you already have your hands full and that's just the tip of an iceberg.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel the biggest thing holding back OELVNs is their insistence on chasing Japanese VNs. Most of OELVN authors are Japanese VN fans and I feel they get waaay to caught up in what made them a fan of the genre instead of spearheading their own ideas and stories.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

VA-11 HALL-A, Katawa Shoujo, Lucid 9 are among some of the examples I could provide of good OELVNs that being said it is true that leaving some exceptions aside OELVNs tend to fall flat when compared to their Japanese counterparts and it's due to many factors.

 

What's your favourite OELVN?

  • VA-11 HALL-A
  • Katawa Shoujo
  • Lucid 9

Will OELVNs ever be as good as Japanese VNs?

  • While I do think that OELVNs as a whole will get better I doubt they will get to be as good as Japanese Vns but the potential is there if they can exploit it and do it right.

Why are OELVNs generally considered worse than Japanese VNs?

  • Like many others here have already mentioned the main issue with OELVNs is that they try and copy or follow in the footsteps of the Japanese ones and in doing so they end up falling flat when compared to them. In my opinion devs need to realize that they can make great stuff without having to follow other examples or copying the Japanese Vns but there's also other factors at play like the financial aspect and also the fact that is harder for OELVNs to make it because they are aiming at a market that's not that big to begin with and in that same market they have to coexist with Japanese Vns in general which leads to comparison and competition against their superior counterparts.

What are the attributes that make OELVNs stand out (in a positive way) from their Japanese counterparts?

  • I think that what makes OELVNs stand out (when they're not copying Vns that is) they bring new and fresh perspective to the table and different styles and design choices while some do follow the cliche'd path, some others don't and that's where you can see the potential they have and what they could be if done right.

Recommend a random (relatively unknown) OELVN

  • Someone beat me to the punch already but I'll recommend : VA-11 HALL-A and while it's not unknown, it's damn good.

Is Undertale an OELVN? And of so has it already made VNs popular in the west?... And if so has Fuwanovel lost its purpose of existence?!

  • Undertale is not an OELVN.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's your favourite OELVN?

One Thousand Lies

Will OELVNs ever be as good as Japanese VNs?

No...

Why are OELVNs generally considered worse than Japanese VNs?

Because they are, 90% of the time. Yes, there is good OELVNs out there, (like One Thousand Lies), but it's quite rare to find them.

Another issue is that most of them are made by indie developers with very small budgets, making it look rather "amateurish". I hate to say it, but the truth is, even the most amazingly written game can still look bad to most onlookers compared to the new, shiny, high budget VNs you can play instead. I think that's the biggest issue with OELVNs trying to make it in this market. And of course, the high amount of crap. (Sakura games and what not is a thing after all.)

To clearify, I'm not saying art is the most important thing in games, in fact it probably is the least important when you think about it, but first impressions is a real thing, and when you compare something with amazingly fresh and stunning art to something that looks like it was made in paint, people will naturally think the one with nicer art is better, even if it actually is bad in all the other aspects.

What are the attributes that make OELVNs stand out (in a positive way) from their Japanese counterparts?

They are usually written very differently, and this makes for a cool, new experience.

Recommend a random (relatively unknown) OELVN

I'm just going to recommned One Thousand Lies, because it's really good, and everyone should play it. (And it's free!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As an EVN developer, it's kind of frustrating to see this discussion a lot, with the same points being brought up, even when they're not true anymore (three or four years ago? Yeah, totally). I see the whole "EVN's are just wannabe JVN's and will never get anywhere until they stop copying tropes," as if that's the only thing getting made, but honestly that hasn't really been the case in a long time. Yes, there are still lotsa games like that getting made - I'm even working on one that's similar, myself - but the notion that nothing else exists is outdated. I'll give some examples:

Shameless self-mention first - Highway Blossoms, a game that I helped create. It's a GxG kinetic novel set in the American southwest.

Asphyxia - Genderbent British Romantic poets.

Menagerie (NSFW) - I haven't played this one, so I don't want to misrepresent it in a summary, but click the link and you should see what it's about.

Selenon Rising - Sci-fi/mystery/noir

Caramel Mokaccino - A dating sim with a female protagonist that lets you pursue men, women, and polyamorous relationships, with various gameplay elements

Yeah, most games tend to use anime art rather than "Western" art, I'll give you that. But I think that's to be expected - of course most EVN devs are JVN fans. What else would we be? EVN's haven't been even close to mainstream long enough for there to be a robust community that's never touched a Japanese VN. Even Lemmasoft, which is the largest EVN-specific community, has a long history rooted in JVN fandom. So give it time, and maybe that'll change. But considering that EVN's have only really been something that people took note of since Katawa Shoujo in 2012, I'd say we're doing pretty well for ourselves as it is.

And you know what? The reason that there continue to be tons of fanservicey, ecchi games dominating the EVN market is because that's still what sells. People - SO many people - say that they want to see EVN's with a more Western style, and then so few of them follow up on it with their wallet. Success doesn't just come from making good games, it comes from people giving those good games a shot too.

I'm not saying that consumers have an obligation to buy bad games to support the cause. I'm saying don't write off an entire subset of games because you haven't tried one in half a decade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Raithfyre said:

As an EVN developer, it's kind of frustrating to see this discussion a lot, with the same points being brought up, even when they're not true anymore (three or four years ago? Yeah, totally). I see the whole "EVN's are just wannabe JVN's and will never get anywhere until they stop copying tropes," as if that's the only thing getting made, but honestly that hasn't really been the case in a long time. Yes, there are still lotsa games like that getting made - I'm even working on one that's similar, myself - but the notion that nothing else exists is outdated. I'll give some examples:

Shameless self-promotion first - Highway Blossoms, a game that I helped create. It's a GxG kinetic novel set in the American southwest.

Asphyxia - Genderbent British Romantic poets.

Menagerie (NSFW) - I haven't played this one, so I don't want to misrepresent it in a summary, but click the link and you should see what it's about.

Selenon Rising - Sci-fi/mystery/noir

Caramel Mokaccino - A dating sim with a female protagonist that lets you pursue men, women, and polyamorous relationships, with various gameplay elements

Yeah, most games tend to use anime art rather than "Western" art, I'll give you that. But I think that's to be expected - of course most EVN devs are JVN fans. What else would we be? EVN's haven't been even close to mainstream long enough for there to be a robust community that's never touched a Japanese VN. Even Lemmasoft, which is the largest EVN-specific community, has a long history rooted in JVN fandom. So give it time, and maybe that'll change. But considering that EVN's have only really been something that people took note of since Katawa Shoujo in 2012, I'd say we're doing pretty well for ourselves as it is.

And you know what? The reason that there continue to be tons of fanservicey, ecchi games dominating the EVN market is because that's still what sells. People - SO many people - say that they want to see EVN's with a more Western style, and then so few of them follow up on it with their wallet. Success doesn't just come from making good games, it comes from people giving those good games a shot too.

I'm not saying that consumers have an obligation to buy bad games to support the cause. I'm saying don't write off an entire subset of games because you haven't tried one in half a decade.

very well said. i think oelvn's can and have been great. there have been lots of bad apples, sure but i still wouldnt condemn them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Raithfyre said:

I'll give some examples:

Seven Kingdoms: A Princess problem is a very underrated example people should really be keeping an eye on:

Quote

Every seven years the seven kingdoms send their best and brightest young people to be their delegates at the Vail Isle Summit. A tradition where seven weeks are spent together to form friendships, alliances and marriages. This year, however, things are different. Since the Great Peace, never have alliances been so close to collapse, the seven nations on the razor’s edge of war. What happens at this summit could very well determine the fate of the known world.

You are one of the delegates.

In this world of politics, intrigue and danger will you find love? Make friends? Alliances? Or will you fail and be forced to watch as the world once again crumbles into destruction and despair?

It is your story and it is not yet written.

Detailed Character Creation

Develop your character from infancy to being selected for the delegation. Your story choices influence your starting skills and personality.

Over 30 Skills!

Are you a courageous tomboy who’s terrible in etiquette but has a strong natural charisma and leadership skills? Are you a conniving politician whose cunning and manipulation can bend people to her will even as she’s graceless and clumsy? Are you a brilliant scholar with a great grasp on history with the charm and beauty of a toad? With over thirty skills, your character will have unique strengths and flaws that have an impact on how people react to you, perceive you and how you manage to face the challenges of the summit.

Intrigue, Secrets and Danger

With this many important people in one castle, you can bet there’s even more going on underneath the surface. Explore the castle and interact with your fellows to uncover conspiracies, secrets and clandestine relationships. Just hope you will be able to survive everything you find.

Build complex relationships

Make your fellows your friends, your rivals, have them hold in you in romantic affection, in high respect, or all four! Your interactions and stats will lead you to complicated, four dimensional relationships with your fellow delegates.

Be careful what you say

All of your choices matter, but especially what you say. Choose your dialogue with care, what you say can make a world of difference and might even end up getting you killed. Of course, not every character will have the same attributes and skills to say or do the same things. Experiment and see if you can find all the options.

untitled-1-3.jpg?w=1024&h=624 
https://sevenkingdomsgame.com/ 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Raithfyre said:

Yeah, most games tend to use anime art rather than "Western" art, I'll give you that.

Well, what's bad about that? If I wanted "western art" i'd read Graphic Novels, Comic Books or Franco-Belgian Comics. But I am not, only reason why I am even slightly interested in some OELVN is due to what catched my attention first, it's the great anime art, which not alot of them have that. Main reason why I was drawn unto backing The Human Reignition Project is because I got attracted to the great anime art by your super talented Pinoy artist Kätzchen:

http://rated-katzchen.deviantart.com/

https://twitter.com/RatedKatzchen

https://www.facebook.com/ratedkatzchen/

https://www.patreon.com/ratedkatzchen

Seriously the few OELVN who uses western art won't even get the time of day from me, same for the ones who got crappy art (which is quite alot of them actually).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's your favourite OELVN?

 

katawa shoujo. it was the very first vn i read that made me realize that vns could be something more emotional and engaging. to think, this vn came from a forum with a bad reputation. if people can come together from such a place and create such a wonderful vn, than i wouldnt count oelvn's out just yet.

 

Will OELVNs ever be as good as Japanese VNs?

 

i think by then theyll both have their separate identities. well, im sure "elitists" will still needlessly complain about them.

 

Why are OELVNs generally considered worse than Japanese VNs?

 

a few bad apples, i think. i know there are those who wouldnt read some just because of art style but thats incredibly narrow minded. its still a piece of work that people put their heart and soul in to and i dont think people should judge an entire vn solely on one aspect of it.

 

What are the attributes that make OELVNs stand out (in a positive way) from their Japanese counterparts?

 

its a new reading experience for the most part.

 

Recommend a random (relatively unknown) OELVN

 

highway blossoms.

 

Is Undertale an OELVN?

 

its a game that because of its limitations has to tell a story in text. theres no doubt in my mind that undertale is a video game with emphasis on story and characters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Raithfyre said:

I was just acknowledging that it is one strong influence from JVN's that's unlikely to change.

Oh right I agree, the most famous OELVN uses anime art, the most sucessfull OELVN kickstarter campaigns used anime art, including the most famous one Katawa Shoujo, which released quite a bit of Art Books throughout the years:

xrbZwsE.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Raithfyre said:

As an EVN developer, it's kind of frustrating to see this discussion a lot, with the same points being brought up, even when they're not true anymore (three or four years ago? Yeah, totally). I see the whole "EVN's are just wannabe JVN's and will never get anywhere until they stop copying tropes," as if that's the only thing getting made, but honestly that hasn't really been the case in a long time. Yes, there are still lotsa games like that getting made - I'm even working on one that's similar, myself - but the notion that nothing else exists is outdated. I'll give some examples:

Shameless self-promotion first - Highway Blossoms, a game that I helped create. It's a GxG kinetic novel set in the American southwest.

Asphyxia - Genderbent British Romantic poets.

Menagerie (NSFW) - I haven't played this one, so I don't want to misrepresent it in a summary, but click the link and you should see what it's about.

Selenon Rising - Sci-fi/mystery/noir

Caramel Mokaccino - A dating sim with a female protagonist that lets you pursue men, women, and polyamorous relationships, with various gameplay elements

Yeah, most games tend to use anime art rather than "Western" art, I'll give you that. But I think that's to be expected - of course most EVN devs are JVN fans. What else would we be? EVN's haven't been even close to mainstream long enough for there to be a robust community that's never touched a Japanese VN. Even Lemmasoft, which is the largest EVN-specific community, has a long history rooted in JVN fandom. So give it time, and maybe that'll change. But considering that EVN's have only really been something that people took note of since Katawa Shoujo in 2012, I'd say we're doing pretty well for ourselves as it is.

And you know what? The reason that there continue to be tons of fanservicey, ecchi games dominating the EVN market is because that's still what sells. People - SO many people - say that they want to see EVN's with a more Western style, and then so few of them follow up on it with their wallet. Success doesn't just come from making good games, it comes from people giving those good games a shot too.

I'm not saying that consumers have an obligation to buy bad games to support the cause. I'm saying don't write off an entire subset of games because you haven't tried one in half a decade.

You didn't really brought up anything, that breaks the mold. People don't have issues with anime-styled art or traits in general, especially when it's nicely done; it's a false assumption and a perfect excuse for devs, when this topic is brought up to attention. The real issue is within direction of those games, their subpar writing and lack of willingness to improve, or change for the better with time. You said there's a lot of games, which actually aren't trying to copy japanese vn's; that's kind of true now, but for every original game, there's a couple in production, which don't even try to hide the fact they're just copypasting the most popular trends on the japanese-western market. Most of them are just what they are - generic stories with little to no worldbuilding (at least in case of original, scfi-fi/fantasy settings, dear god), weak dialogue, half-assed and hastily built scenarios which often don't make much sense when the climax comes, empty husks of characters filled with cliche, overall siliness and weeb sheaningans which make every self-respecting anime fan puke. And best of all - people are actually trying to sell them! :Teeku:

Moving the setting from a generic japanese high school to a generic western high school isn't much of a change; same with moving setting from Japan in general to America or Europe. Military school with giant robots in US? Why not? Of course, our protag has to run late with a toast in her mouth and let's not forget about the obligatory bump into her dear sempai, whom she's secretly in love with! :makina:

What's the point of creating a western vn, when you actually don't talk about western-related things, issues or problems? Don't use the setting to the story's advantage? Do not build upon it? Is it supposed to be just a preety backdrop to make western players less hesitant and more willing to fork over their money?

It takes a lot more effort to actually craft a story, which is both interesting and genuinely fresh; one which doesn't simply swap assets, but truly embraces the essence of being set in an enviroment, which greatly differs from that of a generic japanese vn and makes full use of it to create a memorable experience. Sadly, from all the late games, only VA11 HALL-A managed to do that and it's still not a perfect example, mainly because the game focused way too much on bartending and interactions with the customers and way too little on the surrounding world, issues and urban legends which affected all the characters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, mitchhamilton said:

good ole ks. :miyako:

Yeah, but would Katawa Shoujo have even have reached such acclaim if it didn't have great anime art? Most likely than not, if the art sucked, was subpar or was western-styled people would have just ignored it, even if it was still free.

Share this post


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

Yeah, but would Katawa Shoujo have even have reached such acclaim if it didn't have great anime art? Most likely than not, if the art sucked or was subpar people would have just ignored it, even if it was still free.

You greatly underestimate the power of 4c :makina:

That said, it's preety obvious it would have been like that eitherway, because those certain parts of 4c are filled with weebs. It's the only place tho, where people literally make up a whole game from a random pic drawn by a random doujinshi artist. Whilst there are literally thousands of better concepts floating around the internet, all we got was a cliched vn with crippled girls everyone adores :illya:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

bit in a hurry (like always ), but yo, whilst there´re some lonesome few struggling for the recognition they deserve, the very vast amount of oelvns was, is & will probably stay trash, at least if there wont be some adequate change in the devs behaviour. seriously, i cant help but wonder why what feels like every single human individual that´s completely devoid of any sort of talent for writing believes the time has come for him/her to start delivering literary garbage. what´s even worse, that those, who fail knowing their own strengths and obvious shortcomings, are often getting encouraged/supported by various publishers, instead of being told to fuck off, btw. abandon all dreams of literary supremacy, something on which they childishly keep clinging. jesus it pisses me off, not only do they flood the market with failed attempts after failed attempts, no they even dare charging for such literary travesties, encouraged due to being supported by the aforementioned. those who cant do shit and lack any talent aside, the ones trying to make a quick buck only, if a product happens to not be of satisfactionary quality (and i mean it in the very sense of the word), then dont charge for it. period. nothing wrong with going free-doujin and cutting some corners if neccessary, because in the end a possible gain of experience is what matters, or should be important to them. of course in case a product ends up being completely for the fucks, dont release it at all and keep on improving until reading it wont rape ones eyeballs and brains. to me this pretty much is how things should work, or getting handled, but like already mentioned before, the stigma of oelvns being equivalent to rotten poop stems from a great many retards trying to become a writer, when there´s no fucking modicum of talent inhabitating the deluded corpses of theirs. just having watched enough anime/consumed the media wont make anyone automatically a mareni, same as reading hiiro no koku for a zillion times wont turn me into a pimp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×