Visual Novels (and some shameless self-promotion)

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Visual Novels (and some shameless self-promotion)

Post by Entropy on Sun 8 May 2011 - 17:11

I for one am a semi-avid purveyor of visual novels. Do you know what they are? It doesn't matter, because I'm going to tell you. They are games of sorts that most commonly follow some kind of romance storyline, with multiple routes you can follow, but put a very heavy emphasis on dialogue and story. These are very popular in Japan, but because translating them isn't easy (basically have to hack the game), they have relatively little exposure in the west and English-speaking areas. Some are intended strictly for adult audiences (known as eroge) and some for more general audiences without steamy scenes (known as galge). Quite a few anime, especially in the last few years, have been based around VNs, most notably Clannad and School Days. They are not limited to school-based dating sims, though, mind you.

A very good fan-made project known as Katawa Shoujo has gotten some attention over the last few years, but it is unfinished, hopefully going to be finished some time in the near future. I should note that the demo for KS is all-ages and they will release a clean version of the final product, but the final game will also have an eroge version.

I have no connection to this particular project, but recently I joined another project that wishes to make a more western-style galge (for more general audiences), but most principally need more artists and coders. If you are interested in doing some artwork for the project you can PM me and I can tell you more details, OR if you have experience coding in the Python programming language and/or have experience with Ren'Py (a very handy VN engine).

Other than that, for those like me that play VNs and want to talk about them, this thread is for that as well.

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Re: Visual Novels (and some shameless self-promotion)

Post by Five_X on Sun 8 May 2011 - 22:43

I FUCKING LOVE YOU.

Visual novels are awesome. Well, the awesome ones at least. They're overall an incredibly under-appreciated art form, and they need. More. Love.

I swear, every time I find a new visual novel fan I gain back some respect for humanity.

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Re: Visual Novels (and some shameless self-promotion)

Post by TTIO on Mon 9 May 2011 - 3:32

Agreed Very Happy

Utawarerumono still has to be my favourite though, even if it's not got multiple paths and doesn't focus on the choices you make - the storyline is just way too powerful. Almost as hard to sit through the ending as Voices of a Distant Star Cry

Anyway, I have some experience in python and C++? I suck at C++ though, python ftw! Very Happy
Any mailing lists or forums for that project I should join?

Oh, and is RenPy in 2.6/2.7/3.2? I have, I think, 2.7 and 3.2, but when I learned I started with 3.2, so I'm more comfortable with that syntax...

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Re: Visual Novels (and some shameless self-promotion)

Post by Alfisti on Mon 9 May 2011 - 3:47

As I think I said in chatbox: as much as I'd like to join in... real life says "no" sweat

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Re: Visual Novels (and some shameless self-promotion)

Post by Guest on Mon 9 May 2011 - 5:46

I remember playing a VN some time ago, but I didn't really like it. I have no idea what it was called, or what it was about. However, I am somewhat interested in giving the genre another try. If someone could give me some recommendations, I'll see about checking them out.

I actually started learning C++ the other day. I haven't gotten very far at all with it, but I'm trying to get there. From my understanding, Python is easier to learn? If the learning curve isn't too difficult, I'd be glad to learn it and help out with your project. Game development is a field that I'm very much interested in, so working on a project would be a useful experience for me.

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Re: Visual Novels (and some shameless self-promotion)

Post by Nachtsider on Mon 9 May 2011 - 7:00

I'll only consider delving into visual novels once more if someone comes up with a nice detective or horror themed one. Dog tired of romance, slices of life and porn.

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Re: Visual Novels (and some shameless self-promotion)

Post by TTIO on Mon 9 May 2011 - 7:29

JayBirdSupreme wrote:I actually started learning C++ the other day. I haven't gotten very far at all with it, but I'm trying to get there. From my understanding, Python is easier to learn? If the learning curve isn't too difficult, I'd be glad to learn it and help out with your project. Game development is a field that I'm very much interested in, so working on a project would be a useful experience for me.

Much easier. It's a far higher-level language. Put it this way: one of the data classes is dictionary.

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The Eagle

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring'd with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

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Re: Visual Novels (and some shameless self-promotion)

Post by Five_X on Mon 9 May 2011 - 19:04

@Nacht: Detective/horror? Higurashi no naku koro ni and Umineko no naku koro ni all the way! Oh, and G-Senjou no Maou is fantastic for mystery stuff, but unlike the other two, it has porn. Luckily there's a non-ero patch for it, which is nice.

Wait wait wait. I totally forgot the best mystery VN of all time! Ever17 is absolute genius, but everything about it is a spoiler so you just have to download it and play it without checking out anything about it.


@JayBird: Give me a genre, any genre. Usually I tell people to try out Tsukihime first, but you might be into something else. I've certainly played enough visual novels to tell you what's good and what's not.

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"The world will listen to me!" - Makoto Itou, butchered translation of School Days

"Bullshit! I want healthy Arf back!" - Piero, on Nanoha season three
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Re: Visual Novels (and some shameless self-promotion)

Post by Robert Frazer on Mon 9 May 2011 - 19:33

Nachtsider - you might want to look up the Nintendo DS games Hotel Dusk and its sequel Last Window, both interactive fiction featuring the solving of mysteries, with a noir accent and distinctive pencil-sketch character art. They struggle with the clumsy interface and perfunctory puzzles sometimes, but they have fairly engaging writing.



Moving back to the original topic: I'm looking forward to Katawa Shoujo with some eager anticipation - I used to be active on their forum as well, but I had to reduce myself to a lurker because, well, there're only so many hours in the day. However, while I'm keen on writing, Entropy, I can't draw even so much as stick men in the right proportion so I'm afraid that I can offer little more than moral support in the art field. Best of luck, though!

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Re: Visual Novels (and some shameless self-promotion)

Post by Guest on Mon 9 May 2011 - 19:43

@Five_X wrote:@JayBird: Give me a genre, any genre. Usually I tell people to try out Tsukihime first, but you might be into something else. I've certainly played enough visual novels to tell you what's good and what's not.

Gimme some examples of good science fiction VNs.

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Re: Visual Novels (and some shameless self-promotion)

Post by Entropy on Mon 9 May 2011 - 19:58

@Robert Frazer wrote:However, while I'm keen on writing, Entropy

Well I'm one of the main writers for the project, so if anyone bails (which could be likely) then we'll need to find a replacement, likely. Though you'll have to deal with someone else's character and design.

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Re: Visual Novels (and some shameless self-promotion)

Post by Five_X on Mon 9 May 2011 - 20:55

Ever17 is a good fantastic science fiction visual novel. It deals with physics and philosophy a lot, and really does its research. Remember11, in the same 'verse, is quite similar. There's Planetarian, too, which is short, and very depressing and dystopic.

If you have an absurd amount of free time then check out the Muv-Luv series, which is generally alright, but apparently gets really, really good in the last installment, Muv-Luv Alternative which I haven't played yet since it was just released and it's ridiculously long.

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"The world will listen to me!" - Makoto Itou, butchered translation of School Days

"Bullshit! I want healthy Arf back!" - Piero, on Nanoha season three
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Re: Visual Novels (and some shameless self-promotion)

Post by Guest on Mon 9 May 2011 - 21:36

Ever17 is a good fantastic science fiction visual novel. It deals with physics and philosophy a lot, and really does its research. Remember11, in the same 'verse, is quite similar.
Nice, that's actually just the kind of thing I was looking for. I'm a huge fan of stuff like that, so I'll look into it as soon as I can.

There's Planetarian, too, which is short, and very depressing and dystopic.
Sounds fun. I'll see about this one, too.

If you have an absurd amount of free time then check out the Muv-Luv series, which is generally alright, but apparently gets really, really good in the last installment, Muv-Luv Alternative which I haven't played yet since it was just released and it's ridiculously long.
Hm, I do have free time often, not really in "absurd" amounts, though. I've been doing other things in that time, as well, so it might be a while before I get to this one. I'll definitely keep it in mind, though.

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Re: Visual Novels (and some shameless self-promotion)

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 9 May 2011 - 21:46

Planetarian was translated into English by a fan group. It's the only VN I've played, but I liked it.

Excellent soundtrack CD, as well.

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Re: Visual Novels (and some shameless self-promotion)

Post by Guest on Wed 11 May 2011 - 0:34

Visual novel is good for me. Did you heard the game is called, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (When They Cry: Higurashi)? I also saw another visual novel doujin which is made by Type-Moon is called, Fate/Stay Night and Tsukihime.

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Re: Visual Novels (and some shameless self-promotion)

Post by NeverSleep on Fri 13 May 2011 - 0:19

@Natchsider: Kusari, I don't know if it is translated yet, but I think it will be satisfying enough.

Well... I've played a lot of novels, varying from the ones with dense plots, lots of twists, psychological stuff to the ones where you rape your loli daughters and make them pregnant. I really love playing them for passing time. Recommendations are: ef ~a fairy tale of the two~, Fate/Stay Night, Kusari, Narcissu, everything by Key Visual Arts (Clannad, Air, etc..), at least one To Heart, Katahane, Kana ~imouto~, Suppachu ~renewal~ (loli fanservice), Harukoi Otome, Kichikuou Rance (manliness)... Eden*... If I remember more stuff I come here and post it.

Recently I've been playing OreImo Portable on a PSP a friend lent me, I going on Kirino's route first, since I'll leave my favorites for later, hehe. And no, I will not do Kuroneko's route, I hate her character.

Also, looking forward to Rewrite, by Key, that will be realeased in June 24th.

PS: Oh gawd, they translated a lot of stuff I've played in Japanese, most of the stuff on the list above is already translated.
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Re: Visual Novels (and some shameless self-promotion)

Post by TTIO on Wed 18 May 2011 - 11:51

So, I started playing Muv-Luv at the weekend, and Symphonic Rain today.
Muv-Luv is just hilarious (got to the cook-off - taking Sumika's route to start with) Very Happy

And Symphonic Rain... It's damn hard. They put a guitar hero-esque minigame into it, and the better you do the more the girls like you... But there are 8 keys. And you play similarly to a piano...

I will get a decent score on the first one! Very Happy

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He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring'd with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

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Re: Visual Novels (and some shameless self-promotion)

Post by Five_X on Wed 18 May 2011 - 21:58

Muv-Luv? Whew, that's a long one. But it is so worth it, just for Alternative. I'm playing that now, and it is simply fantastic.

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"The world will listen to me!" - Makoto Itou, butchered translation of School Days

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Re: Visual Novels (and some shameless self-promotion)

Post by TTIO on Thu 19 May 2011 - 4:28

So I hear Wink
I like long ones though. Utawarerumono was 40 hours, and the fact that it was so long just made the ending that much more heartbreaking...
After all the minor scenes that developed the characters and made them feel more real... It has to be the hardest ending I've ever sat through...

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The Eagle

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring'd with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

Alfred Tennyson - 1851
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Re: Visual Novels (and some shameless self-promotion)

Post by TTIO on Fri 10 Jun 2011 - 11:06

Completed Symphonic Rain (all paths), and I have to say, it was amazing Very Happy
Anyone looking for one to try, it's a great one, if you're willing to go through the first 3 good endings. After that is when the storyline really starts to unravel. +10 points if you manage to guess what Phorni is before the end (I got it halfway through her path Wink )

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The Eagle

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring'd with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

Alfred Tennyson - 1851
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Re: Visual Novels (and some shameless self-promotion)

Post by SPARTAN 119 on Tue 16 Aug 2011 - 21:06

@Five_X wrote:
I swear, every time I find a new visual novel fan I gain back some respect for humanity.

Time to revive this thread and revive a little more of FiveX's respect for humanity. Over my recent vacation, I had my new Ipad with me, and I downloaded the Higurashi visual novels. Admittedly, Mangagamer's translations do have the occasional typo, but overall, I was impressed with visual novel (I read the Onikakushi and Watanagashi chapters, and part of the Tatarigoroshi chapter).

Also, while I was staying somewhere with wifi, I discovered somebody had uploaded all of Saya no Uta to Youtube (except the H-scenes). This is another horror-themed visual novel I highly recommend. If Nacht is not to put off by the loli content (though the people planning to release it in the U.S. did determine Saya no Uta to be "not illegal", possibly due to the fact that said loli is actually
Spoiler:
an extradimensional alien that can best be described as Cthulhu's little sister, the Flood (from Halo)'s cousin, who took human-stalking lessons from a Xenomorph. It's complicated.
). If you are put off by the H-scenes, you can watch the H-scene-free version courtesy of Youtube.
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