Opinion question

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mindtakerr
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Opinion question

Postby mindtakerr » Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:53 pm

Question for you guys. There is an adventure story I have had in my head for a long time. I don’t have the skills to do a major 3D game, but I could maybe do a visual novel.

What I am trying to decide is if I should tell my story as a visual novel or as a regular novel. Thoughts?

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Re: Opinion question

Postby zircher » Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:05 pm

Well, VNs are cool, but they take a LOT of art resources to pull off. I have seen others fail when they hit that wall. There are a number of VN communities out there that might be about to provide better estimates on the amount of effort that would take. I've played around with Tyrano Builder and Ren'Py and those would be solid places to start.

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Re: Opinion question

Postby zircher » Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:11 pm

I know nothing about this, but this might be one way to do it where you use 3d models for a VN.
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1153590/3D_Visual_Novel_Maker/
Oh, and it is on sale. :-)

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Re: Opinion question

Postby Ikoma » Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:40 pm

I used to have a superior attitude towards visual novels. Don't know why. Then I tried a few. And while they still are not my favorite game genre/type, I think they are a great way to tell a 'choose your own adventure' type of story. Better than a traditional 'choose your own adventure' novel.

So... I would ask the question back... is this story a true branching narrative? If yes, then do it as a visual novel. If not, don't.
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mindtakerr
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Re: Opinion question

Postby mindtakerr » Sat Jul 18, 2020 8:12 pm

Ikoma wrote:I used to have a superior attitude towards visual novels. Don't know why. Then I tried a few. And while they still are not my favorite game genre/type, I think they are a great way to tell a 'choose your own adventure' type of story. Better than a traditional 'choose your own adventure' novel.

So... I would ask the question back... is this story a true branching narrative? If yes, then do it as a visual novel. If not, don't.

That’s a great point. Thanks for putting that in perspective.

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Re: Opinion question

Postby tombombodil » Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:23 pm

Yeah many visual novels have the problem amateur web-comics do where the content is 90% text with some static character images. So at that point it's just a novel that's more of a pain to read

If you want an example of how to absolutely get the most of the visual novel format I would actually recommend Pyre, a game by the people who made Bastion. It's not JUST a visual novel, but the visual novel elements are expertly crafted and show how much character and environment art, and music enhance the experience.

Now not all visual novels need to be so GORGEOUS and stylish but i agree with zircher that generally they require a substantial amount of visual artistic talent to work, or have what I would call "narrative exploration" where playing straight through from front to end making all the most obvious choices will only get you maybe 30% of all the story; branching narrative is one way to achieve this but it's not the only way. otherwise it should probably we a regular book or maybe a comic.
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mindtakerr
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Re: Opinion question

Postby mindtakerr » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:38 am

tombombodil wrote: If you want an example of how to absolutely get the most of the visual novel format I would actually recommend Pyre, a game by the people who made Bastion. It's not JUST a visual novel, but the visual novel elements are expertly crafted and show how much character and environment art, and music enhance the experience.

I have played Pyre... well, I keep getting distracted and don't finish it, but I did see a lot of it. I agree with what you said, but I definitely don't have the team that Supergiant does.
tombombodil wrote:...where playing straight through from front to end making all the most obvious choices will only get you maybe 30% of all the story; branching narrative is one way to achieve this but it's not the only way

Yeah, I think I am struggling with this part. I'm honestly not sure how I want to approach this.

I really like the idea of writing a story with choices. The Choose Your Own Adventure books had "choices", but it was really just "pick the wrong choice and you're dead."

In my situation here, we are sort of talking about a treasure hunt kind of story. So, I guess the two approaches would be to have multiple ways to get to the treasure, or to actually have multiple treasures. Maybe?

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Re: Opinion question

Postby zircher » Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:55 am

One possibility is to have multiple branches and all merge back into the main path (no failures, just consequences) and then at the end have something like Fiasco where you have varying degrees of success or failure depending on your 'score' and choices made.

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Re: Opinion question

Postby mindtakerr » Sun Jul 19, 2020 3:35 pm

zircher wrote:One possibility is to have multiple branches and all merge back into the main path (no failures, just consequences) and then at the end have something like Fiasco where you have varying degrees of success or failure depending on your 'score' and choices made.

That sounds interesting as well. I’ve never played fiasco so I should read up on how that works.

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Re: Opinion question

Postby mindtakerr » Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:56 pm

I found a fantastic article on the topic:
https://thestoryelement.wordpress.com/2 ... narrative/


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