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The Revival of Fuwanovel 1: The Samsara of Heavenly Life


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TItle explanation

To our dear Fuwanovel-friends,

my name is Hata and I'm one of the guys at Fuwanovel who dares to call the shots in our team. While the team that tries to keep my 力 contained currently reins in my excesses and profits off my extensive net of contacts and knowledge to be finding the right person for the right task in no-time, I would like to call upon a mass roll-call to help us reviving Fuwanovel and bring it back to its 2014-2016 state at which it had pretty much had its peak of activity - at approximate 700 posts a week. Insane, right?

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As you see, the revival is already bearing fruit.

In order to do that, the first thing we have to consider is what content that has been produced in about a decade of history of this site still has relevance today and how we could possibly revive it. This process is called "Necro-ing" and it is usually frowned upon in forums to perform necromancy on old threads that have far passed their expiration date. However, the Fuwanovel case is special and in order to understand this we kind of have to consider the fact that the forums have basically been six entire years completely vegetating on its own. For a few exceptions it might as well have been dead. The reason is simple: the previous team could only used their limited time and motivation to be moderating a forum that was basically on a declining path in popularity since the end of 2017. 

Here we are now and we gaze upon a forum which houses 10 years of history on the scene, tools, materials, recommendations, walkthroughs, drama, excesses, decadence and much much more. In total, this place has totally been a public treasure trove for everything that you could desire from the visual novel community, but there simply was no one with enough dedication to harness its potential.

We could definitely change this and make Fuwanovel into a place where everyone, especially beginners and early intermediates can learn a lot about the medium and its beauty - generally the beauty of text storytelling - I want to emphasize. A dev community is also something we can and want to nurture.

There have already been community members that are work for companies here and even someone like the editor of Muramasa had told us, that he would enjoy it if there was a new centralized place where everyone had the possibility to gather. How to not stay motivated with such encouragements, right? 

Since we are striving for a mostly diverse community (not necessarily the "woke" definition of diversity) you should fret and not only perform your black magic abilities on the familiar JVN threads, but generally try to revive everything you deem worthy of revival and where the discussions have basically dried up before conclusions and compromises were found.

Make sure that what you are contributing leaves possibility to follow up in conversation however, ask your next poster a preemptive message or contribute something sensible. Spam and "bump-posts" are discouraged.

Lastly, don't forget the most important thing that you are supposed to have on the old as well as the new Fuwanovel. 

It's having fun indulging in the VN scene.

Edit: If there are major threads you wish to see revived or even pinned, maybe post them in the replies of this post. It is at our discretion if we wish to do so or not.

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6 hours ago, NoBirdcage said:

I'm gonna be honest: I don't think there's a lot to gain from a revival. Fuwa will be back to its old state after a month at most, especially if it mainly draws in people from a small-scale German news aggregator.

no matter the outcome. atleast we have tried. 

thats atleast better then 6+ years of neglect. unable to do anything at all. 

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how would this new revived fuwanovel compare to /r/vns or various discord communities? what sort of more specific role do you envision for fuwanovel long term within the vn community? i feel that with the advent of vn spam on steam, visual novels as a medium (at the very least in English) may have peaked and the sheer glut of them now act as a sort of cap with little room for growth. Meanwhile, hybrid VNs like 13 Sentinels succeeded to a certain degree by not advertising the VN portion, though perhaps that is a poor example because its Vanillaware. 

anywho, yeah, just curious what role fuwanovel plays when it feels like the vn community in general has moved past this need for educational work and what not thanks to the bajillion steam releases.  

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I am on phone, so bear with me:

I believe that fuwanovel in the modern age of discord does not compete with discord to replace it, but can rather work as a supplement. If you have followed any of the current drama there is hardly a better time then now to be reviving a new centralized community such as fuwanovel since the other existing communities are not in their optimal state right now. Lemmasoft is apparently on lockdown and invite-only, aarinfantasy is fairly inactive, the blogging scene is quite literally dead and people are writing into the void - if they are writIng in general - and do we even have to talk about r/visualnovels that has gone rockbottom for everything besides JVN discussion (and even there it fell off greatly and there is a lot of discord, not the messenger kind) even among its staff.

R/vns is actually in a good state to be growing which is why I have already reached out to them to be possibly conducting a partnership. They simply have a better platform to be holding AMA's for example.

But here is the kicker. Due to a lot of painful, cringeworthy actions communities such as r/visualnovels with their 550k total users have basically become a danger zone to visit for every loc company staff, EVN dev, evn content creator and the sort.

The renewed fuwanovel should make use of what it has actually laid the ground work for. Do you see that there is a single category for VN discussions? This allows for so much more than simply talk about JVNs. Everyone can post there and no one is barred from posting there, not by a community-driven popularity system such as up & downvotes as it is implemented into the design on reddit. 

Lets get to discord. What can fuwanovel possibly do that discord can not. Well, for instance discord and forum communication are different modes of communication to begin with. As I know of my scatterbrain, discord encourages shallow-thinking on-the-go instant replies to be keeping up with chat so it does not leave you behind. There is constantly an urge to be involved in every convo and this applies to everyone - meaning convos can so quickly be derailed and rendered meaningless. How often did you have an extensive discussion on discord and forgot it 5 minutes later as the topic has already moved on? Sure, you can potentially be using threads or even the new discord forum feature they are trying to roll out and that inconveniently makes people doubt external forums being a necessity again. I simply don't think it is so useful.

Forums on the other hand encourage slow and methodical production of responses. It takes a while to be crafting the best response at any given time and it can be modified and formatted much better - why can I not mark and hyperlink in discord for example without it giving me long, annoying embeds that scroll the chat? Discord also leads to much more disjointed convos, here every post stands for itself while discord can be a lot of disjointed messages due to people interrupting the chat, being morons or going for strawman argument

I would say that the most important thing about a public forum is that it can be visited and explored without being forced to make an account (which allows for much more efficient lurking). You cannot look into the contents of a discord without either using an alt or joining with an existing persona. Fuwanovel has always been a place that did not have restrictions on you to be accessing some of its content, you can learn about the scene simply by passively lurking and clicking the threads.

Lastly, I want to emphasize the complementary nature of discord again: Discords are usually made to be housing isolated communities for a particular fandom. Fuwanovel as a central hub (same as reddit) provides a place to be advertising your achievements, products and projects you made as a community for the people outside of this community. I for example cannot take the Majikoi voice patch, jump on the NitroPlus fan discord and shill it there, it would be offtopic. Fuwanovel, as a place that welcomes all allows every group in the community to be posting their stuff and find peers, new recruits or simply supporters this way. And if one is not interested in such, they can simply ignore the thread and engage with something else - without negatively impacting its visibility like you could on reddit.

Sorry for the long rant. I believe still in the supremacy of forums over glorified IRC clients such as discord, despite their simplicity and comfort it offers. 

Also most of us are old boomers (25 and above) so we feel comfortable using old media for expression.

 

 

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1 hour ago, HataVNI said:

why can I not mark and hyperlink in discord for example without it giving me long, annoying embeds that scroll the chat?

Well, actually you can do this by surrounding a link with <>.

I do still like forums though, don't get me wrong w

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On 9/7/2022 at 10:30 PM, HataVNI said:
Spoiler

 

I am on phone, so bear with me:

I believe that fuwanovel in the modern age of discord does not compete with discord to replace it, but can rather work as a supplement. If you have followed any of the current drama there is hardly a better time then now to be reviving a new centralized community such as fuwanovel since the other existing communities are not in their optimal state right now. Lemmasoft is apparently on lockdown and invite-only, aarinfantasy is fairly inactive, the blogging scene is quite literally dead and people are writing into the void - if they are writIng in general - and do we even have to talk about r/visualnovels that has gone rockbottom for everything besides JVN discussion (and even there it fell off greatly and there is a lot of discord, not the messenger kind) even among its staff.

R/vns is actually in a good state to be growing which is why I have already reached out to them to be possibly conducting a partnership. They simply have a better platform to be holding AMA's for example.

But here is the kicker. Due to a lot of painful, cringeworthy actions communities such as r/visualnovels with their 550k total users have basically become a danger zone to visit for every loc company staff, EVN dev, evn content creator and the sort.

The renewed fuwanovel should make use of what it has actually laid the ground work for. Do you see that there is a single category for VN discussions? This allows for so much more than simply talk about JVNs. Everyone can post there and no one is barred from posting there, not by a community-driven popularity system such as up & downvotes as it is implemented into the design on reddit. 

Lets get to discord. What can fuwanovel possibly do that discord can not. Well, for instance discord and forum communication are different modes of communication to begin with. As I know of my scatterbrain, discord encourages shallow-thinking on-the-go instant replies to be keeping up with chat so it does not leave you behind. There is constantly an urge to be involved in every convo and this applies to everyone - meaning convos can so quickly be derailed and rendered meaningless. How often did you have an extensive discussion on discord and forgot it 5 minutes later as the topic has already moved on? Sure, you can potentially be using threads or even the new discord forum feature they are trying to roll out and that inconveniently makes people doubt external forums being a necessity again. I simply don't think it is so useful.

Forums on the other hand encourage slow and methodical production of responses. It takes a while to be crafting the best response at any given time and it can be modified and formatted much better - why can I not mark and hyperlink in discord for example without it giving me long, annoying embeds that scroll the chat? Discord also leads to much more disjointed convos, here every post stands for itself while discord can be a lot of disjointed messages due to people interrupting the chat, being morons or going for strawman argument

I would say that the most important thing about a public forum is that it can be visited and explored without being forced to make an account (which allows for much more efficient lurking). You cannot look into the contents of a discord without either using an alt or joining with an existing persona. Fuwanovel has always been a place that did not have restrictions on you to be accessing some of its content, you can learn about the scene simply by passively lurking and clicking the threads.

Lastly, I want to emphasize the complementary nature of discord again: Discords are usually made to be housing isolated communities for a particular fandom. Fuwanovel as a central hub (same as reddit) provides a place to be advertising your achievements, products and projects you made as a community for the people outside of this community. I for example cannot take the Majikoi voice patch, jump on the NitroPlus fan discord and shill it there, it would be offtopic. Fuwanovel, as a place that welcomes all allows every group in the community to be posting their stuff and find peers, new recruits or simply supporters this way. And if one is not interested in such, they can simply ignore the thread and engage with something else - without negatively impacting its visibility like you could on reddit.

Sorry for the long rant. I believe still in the supremacy of forums over glorified IRC clients such as discord, despite their simplicity and comfort it offers. 

Also most of us are old boomers (25 and above) so we feel comfortable using old media for expression.

 

 

 

Sounds good enough for me. We used to have reps pop over from time to time (though perhaps more communication was done on the reviews side), but I get more so what you are aiming for here. 

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Good to see somebody fighting the good fight! I like the energy in your posts and your optimism. Although I'm largely in agreement with solidbatman that the Western VN scene in general seems to be in decline. But I do genuinely believe there is a place for VNs as a medium as they offer a unique experience unlike any other medium. A bit over a year ago I uploaded a video in which I talk about all the reasons I think VNs have potential as a medium in a digital era. I realize that you're specifically concerned with reviving interest in Fuwanovel, but reviving interest in VNs would be crucial for that goal. And so if you're also going on a crusade to revive interest in VNs, please use my video as a weapon as I did my best to make it as persuasive and informed as I could. 

 

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I'm absolutely going for a crusade like this, because it is what we've (Visual-Novel.Info) have already been trying for 5 years in Germany via multiple methods such as showing games hands-on at conventions, getting youtubers/Vtubers to play them and translating some of them ourselves. It is just hard to bridge the general anime populace to get interested into VNs. A couple pitches there include to be able to consume the full stories that these anime they love so much are telling, but lately there are not enough new VN adaptions to garner interest in that. 

We hope that by spreading knowledge about VNs and encouraging better productions made in the west so they can start actually competiting with japanese original VNs in both art, writing and presentation will be a good step to make people interested in the limitations and possibilities of the medium as a whole. I believe that VNs can reach the same popularity as Anime, Manga and Light Novels if people start getting their merits and demerits of storytelling and overcome the burden of having to invest more time in them than the average, easier-to-consume Anime.

I have actually played your own VN and creating such "history recappin VNs" might pose a great factor in reviving interest in the history and past of visual novels and how they came to the point where they now are. Think about it :)

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23 hours ago, HataVNI said:

We hope that by spreading knowledge about VNs and encouraging better productions made in the west so they can start actually competiting with japanese original VNs in both art, writing and presentation will be a good step to make people interested in the limitations and possibilities of the medium as a whole. I believe that VNs can reach the same popularity as Anime, Manga and Light Novels if people start getting their merits and demerits of storytelling and overcome the burden of having to invest more time in them than the average, easier-to-consume Anime.

I have actually played your own VN and creating such "history recappin VNs" might pose a great factor in reviving interest in the history and past of visual novels and how they came to the point where they now are. Think about it :)

Although recent trends seem to be saying otherwise, I quite agree with you! There's a magical quality to VNs, and reading a great VN is an experience like no other. The potential for them to get popular is all there in the medium, it just needs better marketing. In any case, I'm glad you're doing you're best to advocate for VNs!

Btw, I'm happy to hear you read my VN. I hope it was an overall enjoyable experience, I'm aware it's far from perfect. But if people now and again are still reading it and are getting something out of it, that makes me happy.

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On 9/18/2022 at 5:51 AM, Zalor said:

Although recent trends seem to be saying otherwise, I quite agree with you! There's a magical quality to VNs, and reading a great VN is an experience like no other. The potential for them to get popular is all there in the medium, it just needs better marketing. In any case, I'm glad you're doing you're best to advocate for VNs!

Btw, I'm happy to hear you read my VN. I hope it was an overall enjoyable experience, I'm aware it's far from perfect. But if people now and again are still reading it and are getting something out of it, that makes me happy.

for real 

very few experiences hit me like finishing Ever17 or Clannad. and very few experiences have made me as angry as Little Busters 

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On 9/17/2022 at 5:49 AM, HataVNI said:

encouraging better productions made in the west so they can start actually competiting with japanese original VNs in both art, writing and presentation

It's already happening.  Check out Being a DIK, for example.  You've got professional production values and a thoroughly engrossing story combined with considerable player choice and interactive elements.  The ero is pretty good too.  And you get all of the above without the tiresome tropes and tedious writing that are endemic to JVNs. 

Edited by sanahtlig
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