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Happiness+

It’s my Fuwaversary! Q&A 😃

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(Technically my fuwaversary was yesterday,)

Damn, it’s been a whole year since I joined Fuwanovel because of a bad experience I had r/VNs. Which is funny, because I joined fuwa right around my spring break and it’s my spring break again. 

 

Anyway, quite a few things happened to me since I joined Fuwa, I mainly wanted to contribute more the fuwa community because this one of the few bastions of intellectual discussion regarding EVNs. Most people on reddit think EVNs are shit, because all they read over there are JVNs. I wanted to help more here at Fuwanovel. I even throw some money at this website. (Hence I am a backer) After I learned that Fuwanovel is basically at a stand still because @Tay is really busy. I decided to help around in the EVN scene.

 

Some of the things I am working on right now. I am an EVN dev for the most part. I am working on getting a visual novel out in the summer. It’s my first one actually. I put it on hiatus because life, and thanks to VN conference, I got super motivated to further my career in this very very niche market within the otaku realm. So, look forward to that. I will post an update on that soon enough because I have my voice actors and a background artist. That audition was fun. 

 

Right now, I am at Watercress Studios as a new programmer. I joined the team back on February 18th.  So far, this is my first time making an EVN as part of a jam. If you are familiar with Watercress Studios, we are making a “very watercress” EVN. This photo should give you a hint. vq1xs6.jpg

This is a EVN for NaNoReNo, so obviously it’s coming out after march. I would love for all of you guys to try it out and write some reviews on it.

#ThisWasForYou

https://twitter.com/TeamWatercress

Make sure you follow us on twitter because we’ve just been spilling all kinds of stuff on this visual novel. :nico:

A watercress member founded a new studio called Colorless and I am an assistant writer for an EVN called Gilded Gamers. There is no expected release date, so it’s going to be a while. 

 

So basically, I am working on three visual novels at the current moment. If you’re still reading this long post, Thank you.  Let me tell I you why I like developing EVNs. I’ve said this before on Fuwanovel. But I believe that visual novels are art. Maybe because I am young and I am not jaded as the older otakus in this fandom. But I truly believe that the EVN medium is on the cusp of a revolution. I can see it. I can imagine it. I know it’s going to happen. 

 

 

I sincerely don’t want this to be the case anymore. Visual novels need to be a starter medium, and the best way to accomplish that is to create EVNs. EVNs that normies  will wanna read. EVNs that will break what I call the Otaku Barrier where @Clephas talks about how VNs snatch otaku form other mediums. 

 

I wanna thank everyone here from @Plk_Lesiak, @tymmur, @Clephas, and everyone else for all the knowledge you have given me. Regarding the visual novel medium. I want to thank @Tay for helping maintain fuwa after all the drama during the great pirate era. I want to thank @solidbatman for being cool. I want to thank @Kiriririri for all the :wahaha:

You don’t know how happy I am to be part of such a great community. Thank you.

 

Now, you guys can ask me any question. Nothing is off-limits. 

 

Oh yeah here’s my twitter: https://twitter.com/Happine27386045

 

 

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Well, Happy Fuwaniversary from me, too :)

I find it really cool how you think about the genre. I agree that VNs have so many possibilities in them that are hardly ever used. It seems to me sometimes that the genre gut stuck in a way that authors always think too much about satisfying the same needs of otakus that they have satisfied for the last 20 years. And I am always happy to hear of younger writers who want to break through that invisible barrier!

And I am glad to see that lately there have been really interesting EVNs coming out. It's pretty hard for these to get their attention since many people still think that JVNs are the only REAL VNs. Not long ago I was one of them but thanks to people here on the forums like @Plk_Lesiak and others (whose VNDB profiles I looked through) I found that I was restricting myself and I have now finished my first EVNs and more are on my list ^_^ I think what turned me away from EVNs until then was the style of the artists that was very often far away from the typical manga characters. Actually I have often been wondering if and why only Japanese were capable of drawing characters in that way.

Anyway, I wish you all the best with your projects and am looking forward to news about any of them! Good luck!

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On 3/10/2019 at 10:45 PM, solidbatman said:

why am i cool? This is new. I must know the truth

So, I actually look up to you a little bit because I remember reading one of the epics from @sanahtlig where you got into several intense arguments that literally shaped the history of this site. You even became a mod during some the interesting times. I can go on and on, but I remember you saying something really fucking epic. I quoted it before when I first talked with you. You said something along the lines, then why we do have that motto. I probably could find the quote but I am on the road right now for spring break and I want to make this simple and sweet. But you’re really cool. You made a difference on Fuwa during the most important moments in this site’s history.

On 3/11/2019 at 7:08 AM, Plk_Lesiak said:

Happy Fuwaniversary! :sachi:

To start things off nicely, I'll throw you softball: you're a bit of an outsider (that is, not a complete weeb), so how did you learn about visual novels being a thing and how did you end up on Fuwanovel of all places? :meguface:

You see me as an outsider? What gave you that impression? :meguface: 

I’ve known about visual novels since when I was very young when visual novels and dating sims were practically the same genre. That was about two decades ago on the internet. I got into visual novels from newgrounds.com. Before that, I was largely playing dating sims like galaxy sim angel and Pico Sim date. Funnny enough, your avatar from a very interesting anime where the MC seduces girls from what he learned from playing dating sims, and someone who dated a handful of girls; I can say those skills actually worked. Visual novels as I see them as an evolution of dating sims with less gameplay mechanics but with character route story structure.

 

Now Fuwanovel. I came here from time to time originally because you guys had torrents and it was awesome back in 2014. I never was on the forums until last year because of a important debate. That debate being visual novels being high art.

On 3/11/2019 at 10:54 AM, AustriaVNFan said:

Well, Happy Fuwaniversary from me, too :)

I find it really cool how you think about the genre. I agree that VNs have so many possibilities in them that are hardly ever used. It seems to me sometimes that the genre gut stuck in a way that authors always think too much about satisfying the same needs of otakus that they have

satisfied for the last 20 years. And I am always happy to hear of younger writers who want to break through that invisible barrier!

And I am glad to see that lately there have been really interesting EVNs coming out. It's pretty hard for these to get their attention since many people still think that JVNs are the only REAL VNs. Not long ago I was one of them but thanks to people here on the forums like @Plk_Lesiak and others (whose VNDB profiles I looked through) I found that I was restricting myself and I have now finished my first EVNs and more are on my list ^_^ I think what turned me away from EVNs until then was the style of the artists that was very often far away from the typical manga characters. Actually I have often been wondering if and why only Japanese were capable of drawing characters in that way.

Anyway, I wish you all the best with your projects and am looking forward to news about any of them! Good luck!

Oh thank you so much, I feel like I am very online in my philosophy regarding visual novels. I think EVN devs are stuck in their own way too. They are stuck on so called “conventions” of the medium. So if you notice any weird commonalities between the EVNs you’re reading. It’s because of that. The funny thing is that there’s no convention.

“EVNs have to be like this.”

“EVNs have to be like that.”

“No past tense.”

“No people of color.”

“No long narratives.”

“Add more slice of life moments.”

These are the handful of things I heard on a few dev channels on Discord. So when you said:  

It seems to me sometimes that the genre gut stuck in a way that authors always think too much about satisfying the same needs of otakus that they have satisfied for the last 20 years. 

I agree with you a 1000% percent. I literally had an argument with a studio director over this last week. Because he want to make an EVN that targets shounen fans, but they wanna make a moege. Like, what shounen fan is going to read a slice of life moege EVN? We debated for two and half hours over this until they settled on making it more like Fate/Stay Night becayse I can imagine shounen anime fans reading something like fate and they get into the VN medium.

EVN fans don’t read enough JVNs; JVN fans don’t read enough EVNs. 

JVN fans be like: “EVNs are just meme games lolz like DDLC or KS.”

EVN fans be like: “JVNs are too long like Muv-luv and F/SN”

I am really glad you like my thoughts. It makes me feel that someone is actually listening to me.

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3 hours ago, Happiness+ said:

You see me as an outsider? What gave you that impression? :meguface:

(...)

Wow, so you're this kind of a veteran? My Impression came from the fact that you don't seem to share the usual weaboo groupthink. Start discussions most old-timers would be too jaded to bother with. Quite refreshing to see that's not only possible with the "DDLC generation" of VN fans. ;)

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

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2 hours ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

My Impression came from the fact that you don't seem to share the usual weaboo groupthink. Start discussions most old-timers would be too jaded to bother with. Quite refreshing to see that's not only possible with the "DDLC generation" of VN fans.

Yeah, that’s why I like talking to people like you. Because your VNDB is literally filled with EVNs like how @Clephas is just a treasure trove of JVNs. As one of the old timers, you know way more than any of those VN guys do on Reddit.  

 

The VN groupthink is why I left that crowd. They are always searching for kamige, but when asked,

“Will there be EVN kamige?” They just shutter at the very thought of it.

I just don’t share their cyncism and arroagance towards EVN devs; I also don’t share their ungrateful attitudes towards fan translations; Another thing, I also don’t hop on the hype train for new JVNs; personally, I just prefer to wait a while and see how the commmunity reacts to it before I take a look at it myself. 

 

The newest JVN I’ve read was KnS 2 and that’s mainly because the translation took a while to get here.

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4 hours ago, Happiness+ said:

So, I actually look up to you a little bit because I remember reading one of the epics from @sanahtlig where you got into several intense arguments that literally shaped the history of this site. You even became a mod during some the interesting times. I can go on and on, but I remember you saying something really fucking epic. I quoted it before when I first talked with you. You said something along the lines, then why we do have that motto. I probably could find the quote but I am on the road right now for spring break and I want to make this simple and sweet. But you’re really cool. You made a difference on Fuwa during the most important moments in this site’s history.

 

take that opinion of me and put it in the trash where it belongs. You're a brave soul digging into the past. At least I have no old racist tweets that will lose me the clout that I don't have. 

keep reading EVNs. JVNs suck unless its Fata Morgana. 

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1 minute ago, solidbatman said:

take that opinion of me and put it in the trash where it belongs. You're a brave soul digging into the past. At least I have no old racist tweets that will lose me the clout that I don't have. 

keep reading EVNs. JVNs suck unless its Fata Morgana. 

Don’t be like that JVNs are awesome. From Subahibi, Higurashi, etc. I love this medium. EVNs, JVNs, and any other kind of VNs that come from across the world. :wahaha:

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As an aspiring developer, what types of VNs do you think best appeal to Western fans?  Are there specific elements or focuses that might increase appeal?

What role do you think marketing has in the success of a title?  Should new developers like yourself invest resources in marketing, publicity, and community engagement, or should they leave that to publishers and sales platforms and focus on making games?

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On 13.3.2019 at 12:24 PM, Happiness+ said:

Oh thank you so much, I feel like I am very online in my philosophy regarding visual novels. I think EVN devs are stuck in their own way too. They are stuck on so called “conventions” of the medium. So if you notice any weird commonalities between the EVNs you’re reading. It’s because of that. The funny thing is that there’s no convention.

“EVNs have to be like this.”

“EVNs have to be like that.”

“No past tense.”

“No people of color.”

“No long narratives.”

“Add more slice of life moments.”

These are the handful of things I heard on a few dev channels on Discord. So when you said:  

It seems to me sometimes that the genre gut stuck in a way that authors always think too much about satisfying the same needs of otakus that they have satisfied for the last 20 years. 

I agree with you a 1000% percent. I literally had an argument with a studio director over this last week. Because he want to make an EVN that targets shounen fans, but they wanna make a moege. Like, what shounen fan is going to read a slice of life moege EVN? We debated for two and half hours over this until they settled on making it more like Fate/Stay Night becayse I can imagine shounen anime fans reading something like fate and they get into the VN medium.

EVN fans don’t read enough JVNs; JVN fans don’t read enough EVNs. 

JVN fans be like: “EVNs are just meme games lolz like DDLC or KS.”

EVN fans be like: “JVNs are too long like Muv-luv and F/SN”

I am really glad you like my thoughts. It makes me feel that someone is actually listening to me.

I hear you, I hear you!

And like me you seem to be openminded about many types of VNs. It's neither good to condemn JVNs nor EVNs because there are good and bad ones on either side. I am also not saying I hate school life VNs but I am really amazed how many of those are out there and why everyone seems to think a VN MUST start out in school and the MC needs to be in 2nd class and all those cliches. So when I encounter VNs like Root Double that start off in a nuclear reactor with an adult MC that's like OOOHH!! :o for me and my attention goes right up!

And let's be honest: some of the best VNs are NOT your typical standard VNs and they are famous for being special in one way or another. Dies Irae for example simply has the best set of villains I have seen so far, Muv-Luv Alternative has the best bonding to the character cast for me (and also incredibly scary opponents although in a total uniquely different way) and the list could go on. As can also be seen here in this thread authors too often ask themselves 'what can I do to satisfy everyone's needs?', but I think that's wrong. The only thought should be 'I want to tell a really cool (or touching or funny or whatever) story and I don't care about any conventions'. But many are just too afraid of that... OR... (as in your case mentioned above) meet too much resistance and (not you, but others) give up in the end. It's understandable in a way because you never know if that idea just seems awesome in your head or it really is and everyone loves it in the end, so many go the safe way by saying 'Ahh, for that genre there will at least be some fans out there so it won't go really bad and there will be more fans if we put a bit of fanservice in it, so let's just do that'. But the really great VNs don't belong to this category, they are VNs that an author put his heart blood in.

So put down that resistance and surprise us with something epic ;)

Edited by AustriaVNFan

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On 3/13/2019 at 1:12 PM, sanahtlig said:

As an aspiring developer, what types of VNs do you think best appeal to Western fans?  Are there specific elements or focuses that might increase appeal?

What role do you think marketing has in the success of a title?  Should new developers like yourself invest resources in marketing, publicity, and community engagement, or should they leave that to publishers and sales platforms and focus on making games?

Holy moly. Those are the kind of questions I wanted to ask you lolz. Honestly, I think a VN that can garner some universality like a novel can. It depends on the target audience. I know shounen anime fans would enjoy something like F/SN because of all the action. Mystery and Sci-fans would love Steins;gate. It's hard to say without an example to work with, like for Colorless, we're making an EVN right now. But the debate right now is who gonna read an EVN moege essentially.

The specific elements that I know will guarantee appeal is.....furry LGBTIQ hentai. It may sound like I am joking but it's true... furries for some reason make so much money and they pay so well. Hentai sells. We can get political points if we add LGBTIQ characters to appeal to such an underappreciated market. Other that, going that far. I have one other crazy idea to make a VN popular enough to appeal outside of those niche markets. Add some relevant social commentary. Put on mobile. 

 

The problem is that many VNs still talor to anime-minded people with the aesthetics and all. But personally, we need to be more experimental. Write a VN in past tense. Write a VN in third person limited.

 

Marketing is very important as a hype machine. Many studios rely on social media since otaku don't see the day of light. However, I think outside of using SEO and word of mouth via social media, we could just create a public image of ourselves by going to various otaku conventions. Setting up a booth and creating a press kit is a wonderful idea, even though, it's really expensive and not many people have the irl social skills to pull it off.

Should new developers like yourself invest resources in marketing, publicity, and community engagement, or should they leave that to publishers and sales platforms and focus on making games? It depends on the studio and the resources they have. The weird thing about outside marketing firms is that, you have to explain what the hell a visual novel is. And as I learned from my thesis on this last summer, defining that is hard, like how do you explain to someone who has no idea what anime is or a vague idea of what anime is, what a visual novel supposed to be? Most people will think, graphic novel like Watchmen, and no........ it's not lolz. However, despite that, I think it's worthwhile to go through that struggle because that's how we break this damn barrier. We have to do that. We are creating a new damn genre of entertainment. Of course it's going to be hard, I wonder how hard it was for people to explain what a movie was about a hundred years ago. Or a book thousands of years ago. While otaku can market their own VN, I would recommend they should budget enough to have a normie marketing team handle that for them so they can reach other normie people. Because otaku only market to other otaku.

I feel like the questions are going to get even harder from here on out.

BRING IT ON!!!!

 

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On 3/14/2019 at 1:30 PM, AustriaVNFan said:

I hear you, I hear you!

And like me you seem to be openminded about many types of VNs. It's neither good to condemn JVNs nor EVNs because there are good and bad ones on either side. I am also not saying I hate school life VNs but I am really amazed how many of those are out there and why everyone seems to think a VN MUST start out in school and the MC needs to be in 2nd class and all those cliches. So when I encounter VNs like Root Double that start off in a nuclear reactor with an adult MC that's like OOOHH!! :o for me and my attention goes right up!

And let's be honest: some of the best VNs are NOT your typical standard VNs and they are famous for being special in one way or another. Dies Irae for example simply has the best set of villains I have seen so far, Muv-Luv Alternative has the best bonding to the character cast for me (and also incredibly scary opponents although in a total uniquely different way) and the list could go on. As can also be seen here in this thread authors too often ask themselves 'what can I do to satisfy everyone's needs?', but I think that's wrong. The only thought should be 'I want to tell a really cool (or touching or funny or whatever) story and I don't care about any conventions'. But many are just too afraid of that... OR... (as in your case mentioned above) meet too much resistance and (not you, but others) give up in the end. It's understandable in a way because you never know if that idea just seems awesome in your head or it really is and everyone loves it in the end, so many go the safe way by saying 'Ahh, for that genre there will at least be some fans out there so it won't go really bad and there will be more fans if we put a bit of fanservice in it, so let's just do that'. But the really great VNs don't belong to this category, they are VNs that an author put his heart blood in.

So put down that resistance and surprise us with something epic ;)

Shit. Man. Why do you have to make me cry?

I will give you something special.

Just wait after March, you're going to get something real special when I am done with my first NaNoReNo VN.

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On 17.3.2019 at 2:58 AM, Happiness+ said:

Shit. Man. Why do you have to make me cry?

I will give you something special.

Just wait after March, you're going to get something real special when I am done with my first NaNoReNo VN.

:o:o:o

You made me really curious now!

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