Rei looks older in black & white, doesn’t he? 😀
Jokes apart, the image above is a test/mockup I made a few weeks ago to illustrate the kind of “old book style” I wanted to try in a future game.
The images could probably be done in color too, even if personally I don’t mind the black & white style, is quite charming (I was a big fan of comics when I was a teenager).
The biggest doubt I had was about the writing, since in my games is mostly dialogue based, with a few description, “screenplay” style. In this case is more like reading a book, as you can see.
I’m well aware of the “Choice Of Games” company, and that they’re using exactly this style (minus the images, it’s only text). Looking at their games, it seems that like in my case there are more or less successful ones, and it’s mainly about the idea/story/characters, and of course, writing quality. But not writing style.
You might wonder why on Earth I am thinking to do such a game ? well, first of all, to experiment. Loren was an experiment and is one of my best titles after all! 😉
Also to try something new. There’s no need to say that even if I make a game like this, and is super-successful, I won’t stop doing my usual VN/dating sim style! Of course not. But I might ALSO do a few games like that.
Regarding some more technical/commercial point of view, using that layout/style would offer some advantages:
- the writing is like a book, which means the writer I hire wouldn’t need to know about Ren’Py at all. Only about the branching system (and depending on gameplay, variables and such) but no knowledge required. It might seem not much, but I think matters.
- the art, if is done in black & white, will be less expensive. Which means I could add more images, or make games with a lower price tag. Even if in black and white I would still want to keep the art quality at high levels, as it’s usual for my games
- much less scripting needed. When you play my games, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. Every background or image shown on screen is a command in the code. And even if Ren’Py is quite powerful, it’s still a lot of work. For example, scripting PSCD took over a month of time, and the scripter was particularly fast! With that style instead it would just be an image shown on the side.
So you can see why I was considering it, several advantages. Also, possibility to have a more “dynamic” narrative. I don’t know how to explain, with visual novels you often have to imagine things. I cannot draw every single action/pose/situation. In that case I could show a much bigger variety.
Anyway, for now I’m only thinking about it, since I have already enough projects to finish this year. But in future, who knows? Wait until I’ll have the crazy idea to make a 3D visual novel…
No, not really. 3D is insanely expensive to get it right, so there’s risk of spending more than 2d to get a worse result!