Visual Novel

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Visual Novel

Post  Break Man on Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:04 pm

Okay, last idea from me, I promise. If you're not sure what exactly a visual novel is, it's really easy: think Phoenix Wright. Sure, that one turned into a point-and-click adventure thanks to the DS' tech, but when it was released as Gyakuten Saiban in Japan, it was originally a visual novel. Some of you might know of Tsukihime, Fate/stay night, To Heart, the Key trilogy (Kanon, Air, Clannad), and others.

The one I would like to do would be a horror VN, something along the lines of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni or its successor, Umineko no Naku Koro ni. If you haven't heard of them or played them, there's a good reason for that; neither of them made it stateside, and outside of the fan community, they're not really known in the gaming community. However, they're extremely well put together, and they leave a lot of fans guessing after every installment (both series currently consist of eight core titles, and many more offshoots). Also, these kinds of games are very popular with dōjin (amateur) groups, just because of the simplicity in the making of the games (literally, some artwork, some music, lots of dialogue, and trying to get it all to fit together, not that hard).

Thankfully, there are open-source scripting engines out there. Unfortunately, they're in Japanese. I have managed to track down an English engine, however, or at least the beta for such, ONScripter-En. KiriKiri, the same scripting engine used for the Fate series, has only started translation, and the group doing it hasn't done anything since early this year. So, unless you know Japanese...

Regardless, I want to make one that Westerners can understand without knowledge of Japanese or Japanese culture. Maybe something Romantic or Gothic in tone, I don't know right now.

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Re: Visual Novel

Post  Break Man on Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:09 pm

Also, this is a really good idea for those of you who aren't too terribly experienced with writing or storylines, but want to get yourselves acquainted with it. Musicians are also required, as the music at any one time can help to set the mood while you're reading. If you want an idea, I can set up Umineko sometime and let you guys try it, if you don't know what I'm talking about.

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Re: Visual Novel

Post  Zephindabius on Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:12 pm

Break Man wrote:, I can set up Umineko sometime and let you guys try it
Do eet.

Ive only played Phoenix Wright out of all of those, and im wondering what additional gameplay would be added in other virtual novels. I'm also wondering how extensive story branching is in these games. Do elaborate.
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Re: Visual Novel

Post  Threepwood42 on Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:41 pm

Phoenix Wright is amazing. I would be very interested to see a visual novel made in a Western style.
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Re: Visual Novel

Post  Break Man on Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:14 pm

Zephindabius wrote:
Break Man wrote:, I can set up Umineko sometime and let you guys try it
Do eet.

Ive only played Phoenix Wright out of all of those, and im wondering what additional gameplay would be added in other virtual novels. I'm also wondering how extensive story branching is in these games. Do elaborate.

That's the thing about a visual novel; it's a novel with pictures and sound. The one that I'm playing through right now, Umineko: Alliance of the Golden Witch, is a lot of text, and a lot of art. Umineko is a horror VN, which means that, up until the end, anyway, you're left with just one road to follow (think the ending of Ace Attorney: Justice for All). Others, like Fate/stay night and Kanon, are considered "eroge", or "erotic games", and play more like dating sims, wherein you get branching parts of the story, depending on the decisions you make in game. The third in the Key trilogy, Clannad, opted out of the eroge distinction, which makes it a little easier to stomach. But you can still make the branches as far as you want them to go, if you want to make each and every playing experience unique.

If you're interested, shoot me a PM or something, and we can get something together to where I can show just to what extent VNs can go.

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Re: Visual Novel

Post  Culver on Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:56 am

I haven't played many games like this but I was a fan of the "Choose your own adventure" book series as a kid and I think they are kind of the same (you read/listen to some dialouge then make a choice correct?) If so I would suggest something easy to program on that requires little knowledge of programming to figure out such as GameMaker or Stencyl. Both are easy to learn the basics of (which is all you will really need) and have pretty decent interface for incorporating sounds and graphics.

If there's an interest in it I can probably setup a bare bones structure and make some easy to follow instructions for incorporating your own story.

Edit: Got a basic working version of one right now in Stencyl(basic intro screen then branching paths depending on choice), if someone is interested in making an interactive story game I can help them out with getting it setup and working in Stencyl.


Last edited by Culver on Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:08 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Visual Novel

Post  Break Man on Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:15 am

That's the thing, there are already engines out there for visual novels. I mentioned two, NScripter and KiriKiri, but I'm sure there are more out there. Plus, there's always the work translators have had with putting out English patches for the games (the one that comes to mind right away is the Witch Hunt group, responsible for translating the Umineko games), which has to come with some knowledge of the scripting engine.

As for the designation of the "choose your own adventure" style, some are, some arent. Eroge almost always fall into the CYOA category, whereas the games in the When They Cry franchise (guess which ones those are) are very straightforward, linear stories. It all depends on the tone and subject matter of the story, really. If you want a dating sim-style game, you're going to have more branches as opposed to a murder-mystery, where there really is only one answer.

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Re: Visual Novel

Post  cathode26 on Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:40 am

I think this idea would work best on mobile devices. I have a apple mobile and android license for Unity 3d.

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Visual Novel engines...

Post  NonAvailable on Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:16 am

I actually now this fairly good english program for visual novels.
But the with just the basic coding, I've seen it mostly used for Dating Sims type. But I've seen people who code it differently, but I'm not sure how because I fail at it.
(what am I even saying xD ...I'm confusing myself now)

The programs called Ren'Py if you want to check it out. I've seen some pretty okay visual and kinectic novels from this program. But like I said, I've seen it mostly used for Dating Sims, but I've seen people who've customized it and added battle systems into the games and other stuff.

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Re: Visual Novel

Post  shionthedemon on Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:05 am

I've never actually played a visual novel but I have seen Higurashi and Umineko. I also love the Kara no Kyoukai movies and the light novels plus I know the basics of the Nasu-verse. So, I would love to help create a Western Visual Novel. My forte is writing and I think this would be a great chance to challenge my self. Count me in.

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Re: Visual Novel

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