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solidbatman

Why Visual Novels?

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19 minutes ago, Dergonu said:

Books can't really do this properly with "serious" writing, as choose your own adventure books are often looked at as childish.

There's a good reason for that BTW. Technical limitations for traditional choose your own adventures books were massive. You can observe that in detail with Hanako Games' Sword Daughter, which is a direct adaptation of a classic gamebook. Every path ends up being really short and shallow, as you could only include that much text on a physical book without making it an awful experience. The comparison to "proper" VNs, that weren't affected by such limitations, proved pretty devastating...

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

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7 hours ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

 

If the weaknesses are "self-inflicted", are we talking about VNs as a formula or the VN market? If you say they are a "poor storytelling medium" you're implying a lot more than just that the VN template is poorly utilized by developers. I'd like to hear your specific rationale behind that and what media are you actually comparing them to in that assessment, otherwise it's pretty hard to talk about it.

I fully agree with the accessibility part though. I guess it was mostly implied in other answers, including mine, how such narratives are hard to convey through gameplay-focused video games and some other forms of media, at least without massive resources.

In terms of self-inflicted, I'm talking both formula and market. The formula will change based on the market, resulting in very few localized VNs being experimental or genre defying reads. Typically, the experimental VNs either don't get localized and thus I'm not aware of them (most of my baseless conjecture ignores unlocalized VNs) and are put together by EVN developers who still in many cases are held back by the medium itself. Let's take Heart of the Woods for example, a VN I think is very good. It suffered from being a VN, however, because everything felt so static in its magical world, along with a struggle to properly convey the passage of time. A case could be made that this is a weakness of writing and not of the medium itself, but I think no matter how good the writing in that VN, the weakness of it feeling static at the very least, would remain. Without full fledged animation, properly conveying to the reader the wonders of that world is extremely difficult. If it becomes a fully animated VN, it might as well just be an animated film as the story still works even as an animated film. There was no reason, other than resources for HotW to be a Visual Novel (and don't get me started on how pointless the 18+ scenes were). Hence why VNs are a great medium for aspiring story tellers but poor for actually telling the full story. They typically, and keep in mind I am heavily generalizing here, are very static. 

Just about every single VN I have read, I feel like the story would exist better in a different form of media. Clannad already does exist in a better version as an anime series. There are very few exceptions to this in my opinion. Hell, even my VN is only being made because I lack the resources, skill, and motivation to try to tell the story in a different form of media, though a novel might be easier but I also just like seeing artwork. I'm not saying that visual novels should not exist, just that by default, I feel that by and large, they are a weak media of story telling as it is very hard to get lost in the worlds of the stories. This might just be because I haven't read the truly great ones, but when I look over the lists of the must reads, I see a lot of the same type of story, over and over and over and having read a few of them, I am left with a generally unimpressed attitude. That isn't to say I don't like VNs. I like good stories, and personally I feel most VNs do not tell a good story because they stick to what the tiny market demands, very trope filled narratives that follow similar story beats. All forms of media suffer from this, though, but the VN market is so small, that this problem is amplified by a lack of titles being localized. I am confident that in Japan, many experimental or unique VNs fly under the radar and never see the light of day in the West because they sell like crap. 

I have no clue if anything I just typed makes sense but it does in my benedryl smothered brain. 

 

6 hours ago, Dergonu said:

 

Lastly, this might be something limited to the Japanese side of things but: I think in Japan, it's common for people to have less than modern computers that might not be able to run high-end games. VNs, even modern ones, rarely require much power from your computer, so it's an accessible medium for most people in terms of being able to run them. Meanwhile, a new AAA game will most likely break any computer that's more than two years old, which means there's a lot of people who might not be able to play it even if they want to.
 

This is something I actually didn't even consider. Very solid point. 

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Because people like the games themselves, not the medium in itself?? It offers some things very close to anime, but with eroge, you get more explicit scenes than in regular anime.

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Well, of course most stories can also he told in another medium. That's why get constantly get anime adaptations from manga and LN, or movie adaptations from literature. There are some stories that would only work in a certain medium, but those are a minority. That doesn't mean though that each medium doesn't have its strong points. 

For me VN are more immersive. The visuals and the soundtrack go a long way to make it a much more powerful and emotional experience than your regular novel or LN. Not to mention when you get to see the "what if" of a story, for VNs that have a route system. 

The fact that VNs doesn't NEED to exist in order to have story telling doesn't mean that they don't feature very appealing points for people who like them. 

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Books are great in general, I view VN's as interactive visual and audio books...ever since I was a kid I loved reading and really enjoyed the feeling of immersion when you tune into a good story. So before discovering VN's I always wished that I could be a part of some sort of different world or a story like in the books, so reading VN's gives me one of the best feelings in the world which is imagination and dreaming. I don't self-insert but still enjoy the ride, I think most of the people who reads/plays VN's love this game genre because it's a getaway or an escape from reality. 

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On 8/7/2019 at 1:55 PM, solidbatman said:

While these are some good answers as to why you read visual novels, the core of my question was more along the lines of asking why do visual novels exist? Why do creators choose visual novels over other forms of media to express their stories?

Originally, it was because telling a mystery in a video game was impossible. Back in the Nes or so era, telling a story with cutscenes was rare, but having the player being able to influence the story was impossible. Eventually someone created the first mystery "VN", Portopia Serial Murder Case. An interactive murder mystery that let players actually be a part of the world's story. Technically Portopia isn't a VN, but a Japanese adventurer game like Phoenix Wright, but that's not important to this question.

Anyway, as other companies copied Portopia we eventually get every feature of a modern VN. How characters stand, how the textbox works, how routes function. and so on. Each new feature would then be grabbed by another company and added until the modern VN look became a thing. As it was forming there was demand. So companies met demand. For Japan at least, I think most VN writers are just people who couldn't make it in another writing career and latched onto the simplicity of writing a generic VN. They are just meeting demand, not choosing VNs because of any advantages. There are some who do it out of love, I'm sure, but it's also a paycheck. One that requires simply writing out trope after trope.

For the west though, its the simplicity. Anyone can make an RPG or a Vn if you learn the basic engines. Which lets people share stories with more then just written word, but also their art and music selections. Of course a lot of these are inspired from Japanese VNs, as those created the inspiration to make the indie scene as it is in the west. A lot of it though is people writing what they want in a format that allows for more creative expression that is not held back by technical issues.

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On 8/7/2019 at 6:20 PM, solidbatman said:

I was wondering today, during my daily complain about how I hate VNs time, why do people read VNs? What do VNs offer that other entertainment mediums do not? For example, some visual novels are able to play with perspective in a unique way that other mediums cannot match to mess with how one interprets the story. Personally, I think many visual novels, if not nearly every single VN, fails to actually do anything with the medium itself and instead relies on tradition (for example, "VNs have always had X or Y so this VN has X in it too!") to push copies. Sometimes I see stories being pushed as a huge selling point for a VN, but that has me wondering often, why does it have to be a VN for the story to exist? Could the story work just as well as a novel/LN/manga? 

So my main question isn't so much what is a VN but why is a VN a VN? Yes I know, stupid question but it is something I'm curious about. 

Because they dont treat me like a LOW IQ idiot , they are not Politically Correct and the writers really do a good job fleshing out the characters

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7 hours ago, tracekira said:

Because they dont treat me like a LOW IQ idiot , they are not Politically Correct and the writers really do a good job fleshing out the characters

I see that you are a gamer™ of culture. If you are of such high intellect, then surely you could have read the question I was asking properly. 

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31 minutes ago, solidbatman said:

I see that you are a gamer™ of culture. If you are of such high intellect, then surely you could have read the question I was asking properly. 

I already answered your question . What VN offer other media dont ... Reading comprehension much ? Probably VN are not for you sir ... just an advice ;)

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Just now, tracekira said:

I already answered your question . What VN offer other media dont ... Reading comprehension much ? Probably VN are not for you sir ... just an advice ;)

I'm asking why do people write VNs. Why are VNs created over other forms of media? 

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Just now, solidbatman said:

I'm asking why do people write VNs. Why are VNs created over other forms of media? 

Is this your text question quoted ? " I was wondering today, during my daily complain about how I hate VNs time, why do people read VNs? What do VNs offer that other entertainment mediums do not? "

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1 minute ago, tracekira said:

Is this your text question quoted ? " I was wondering today, during my daily complain about how I hate VNs time, why do people read VNs? What do VNs offer that other entertainment mediums do not? "

"So my main question isn't so much what is a VN but why is a VN a VN? Yes I know, stupid question but it is something I'm curious about."

End of the post. I can see how it might be confusing if you only read the first couple of sentences while ignoring the context of those first few sentences. I asked that rhetorical question and answered it in my own post to highlight the main question. 

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6 minutes ago, solidbatman said:

"So my main question isn't so much what is a VN but why is a VN a VN? Yes I know, stupid question but it is something I'm curious about."

End of the post. I can see how it might be confusing if you only read the first couple of sentences while ignoring the context of those first few sentences. I asked that rhetorical question and answered it in my own post to highlight the main question. 

I literally answered your first question.  I wont respond to you since I am not sure if you are a troll or low IQ . Either way I will keep saying VN are not for you sir since you are  lacking basic comprehension skills :(.

Edited by tracekira

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1 minute ago, tracekira said:

I literally answered your first question.  I wont respond to you since I am not sure if you are a troll or low IQ . Either way I will keep saying VN are not for you sir since you are  lacking basic comprehension skills :(.

So a VN is a VN because it doesn't assume you're low IQ and are not politically correct, unlike the thousands of other books, tv shows, magazines, manga, anime, etc etc that are just like that? My first question, that you are so hung up on, was rhetorical. If you are a non-native English speaker, I apologize as I realize the nuance of that might be lost on you or perhaps your response is getting tangled up in a language barrier between us in which case I am sorry for the misunderstanding. I'll pose the question again in slightly different terms to hopefully help clear this up. The main question, once again, was why are VNs VNs? Why do creators, not readers make VNs over other forms? Why do VNs exist? If your answer is that the creators are given more freedom in content when compared to other forms of media, then your previous responses make slightly more sense even if I feel their is plenty of evidence to the contrary that shows authors in other forms of media are no less hindered by content, especially in an age of self-publishing. 

 

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If you're talking to VN consumers, the discussion with Lesiak is as good as it gets, because the question really should be aimed at VN creators. If i were to develop a VN it would be mostly because i liked choose-your-own-adventure books as a kid and would find it neat to put that in videogame form. Then again, i think i care about the choice-making aspect of the genre more than most VN fans do.

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