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I'd like to make a Visual Novel with an African-American Protagonist. Any tips or advice ?


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Currently, I feel very interested to play a VN with a specific African-American Protagonist ( not just an MC that looks like a Black person from a fictional race in a fantasy world but one which is stated to be precisely such an MC from the USA ), regardless of whether he'd feature in an Isekai story or a common love story with multiple heroines set in the real present world in America.

However, such a VN has not been made yet, so that has forced me with no other option but to try making it myself for my own entertainment. Because, recently nothing can entertain me in the world of videogames, anime or manga dealing in themes of modern-day romcom or harem genre, fantasy or sci-fi unless if it has a Black Protagonist. This is due to my feeling bored and burned out after enjoying too many works with non-Black protagonists for the past 2 decades so I want to see something new and novel and revolutionary to combat feelings of STAGNATION and UNCHANGING WORLD like in a Matrix or some sort of engineered reality where unchangeable or hard-to-change rules are put in place.  The lack of Black protagonists in popular AAA titles is a testament that this theory might hold some ground like as if this world is disadvantageous to people who have darker skin color or some sort..... Therefore I want to change this to create a Revolution for more Positive and Heroic Black representation in the world of fantasy and fiction.

 Think about it. Name one fantasy RPG that has a Black Male Protagonist starring in a world clearly presented as Hi-Fantasy, with swords, magic, dragons, guilds, nobles, and kings. Can you guys think of one ?

It's also due to my reading about the history of African-Americans, and after reading about them, I felt pretty sad and depressed.

Therefore, I want to see them in the present day world feel happy to enjoy stories that cater to their needs to beloved and accepted by many people via virtually experiencing it in an entertainment product, and I think it can be achieved by making VNs that has a MC that looks like them. It could be a Black person from a fictional race of a Hi-Fantasy world, but it can also be explicitly be an African-American as stated in the context of the story specifically for maximum self-insert ability. Either way, even a fictional one would also satisfy their
needs for being loved by fictional anime girls which is important for some Black people(as well as non-Black people longing to play VNs with such MCs because some has a certain fetish or just want to see characters of that kind get the love they deserve in anime-style works) who can't find love in real life due to many reasons, so VNs with Black MCs is a powerful substitute.

However, I'm neither a person of African descent nor an African-American since I'm an Asian living in an Asian country, so how could I make a VN with a Black American protagonist when I have not lived in the USA for all my life ? I too don't have any American friends IRL that I can personally seek assistance with in this matter. Can you give me some tips and advice ? Thanks very much in advance, everyone ! : D  
May y'all be blessed !   XD

P/S : I've heard stories of African-Americans just happen to be living in predominantly White neighbourhoods in the USA and they have mostly White friends and some even went to have White GFs and wives, so I think their stories can be represented in such a VN too, but with the addition of a Black heroine too in the story for inclusion of all Americans. Heck, why not add an Asian-American as one of the romance-able heroines too ? For example, such a VN can have 2 White heroines, 1 Black heroine, and 1 Japanese-American girl heroine who has jet black hair and a Samurai-like valor in anything she does as well as being a good and capable analytical person.

Since such an English-language VN would have a JP-American heroine, if we add a Japanese version of the product where we localize the language to Japanese and hire JP voice actors it can be sold well in Japan too. It can be sold via Steam and with a physical version of the product via DVD or Blu-Ray disks. 

There are so many possibilities for storytelling with either an AA protagonist or just a Black-looking protagonist from any other country or fictional races of fantasy warudos (world in Japanese Katakana spelling lol "ZA WARUDO" )

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On 7/6/2021 at 5:45 PM, Nenor5VB said:

However, I'm neither a person of African descent nor an African-American since I'm an Asian living in an Asian country, so how could I make a VN with a Black American protagonist when I have not lived in the USA for all my life ? I too don't have any American friends IRL that I can personally seek assistance with in this matter. Can you give me some tips and advice ? Thanks very much in advance, everyone ! : D  
May y'all be blessed !   XD

Wait, what? That's the plot twist I didn't anticipate in the slightest. Can I ask where do you live, or maybe the geographical region if you don't want to be specific?

And to the question itself, which I think is probably the best framing you showed up with so far... It really depends. While "a black person in the US" has some strong connotations, there's still a massive variation in circumstances and walks of life of African-Americans. One very good example of a narrative game with a black protagonist is the first Walking Dead game by Telltale. The MC has relatively high social status, but ended up being a convict and there are times when prejudice against him is fairly subtly hinted at/plays a role in the story, without being overstated. Like when you decide whether to talk openly about the outbreak starting while you were on your way to prison. It's up to you to decide whether that's a good approach for your project, but it's best to be very subtle with tackling such issues in a VN. Especially if you don't want to immediately scare off the anti-SJW crowd, which is a good portion of the otaku community.

Also, if you're not even American, you should probably find someone who lived through that experience to at least give detailed feedback on your script. The beauty of the indie EVN scene is that it's full of people writing about their own experiences and/or genuinely striving to represent the minorities that have little presence in fiction. But the further you go away from your own circumstances, the more research and intuition it gets to get that stuff right. It's the main reason why good, insightful writing is not something just anyone can come up with and it's good to be painfully aware of that when approaching this kind of project.

Edited by Plk_Lesiak
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