Just chiming in as another female player ^_^
Although these days I would find it difficult to rank genres based on my preferences, since story/characters, gameplay, and art (I find the latter more important when it comes to visual novels than other games) take precedence over setting for me, a few years ago I would easily have said that fantasy and sci-fi are my favourite.
Granted, I don't enjoy it when a sci-fi story gets too technical (I don't mind if it is lore that you can read separately). And not because I necessarily find it difficult or confusing, but when I read a novel, play a game or watch a show/movie, I want to enjoy it for the story
(technobabble - sensible or not, detracts from that). I think it has more to do with the mind-set I have when trying to experience a story vs. reading something technical (which causes me to be more critical and analytic).
I have very few female gamer friends and I'll admit that they prefer fantasy and adventure, but they are in no way against sci-fi. For them as well, story and characters are the most important aspects of a game (and romanceable characters are a bonus). Although my other female acquaintances may find something like Star Wars acceptable, they generally don't like sci-fi, but - and this is a big but - they are also not gamers.
Personally, when it comes to visual novels at least, I will far more easily buy one that has a strong focus on romance and a female player character (I would even go so far as to ignore a mediocre story if the writing and art style are to my liking - at least while there is still a shortage of otome VNs in the market). Lacking that, the story would have to immediately pull me in or it would have to have some other aspect that attracts me (could even be a gameplay mechanic). There are also some factors that would make me skip a VN regardless (or it would take a lot of convincing for me to try it) and none if it has to do with genre (in terms of sci-fi, fantasy, adventure, and so on).
For instance, Jisei/Kansei/Yousei from sakevisual immediately drew me because the characters had psychic powers (and it feels like there are far too few games that feature that) even though you play as a male protagonist (and in this instance it greatly helps that it doesn't have dating elements). Looking at another example, I am absolutely crazy
about mechas, but I can't bring myself to give Sunrider a chance because of the male protagonist and harem combination. And I haven't given Bionic Heart a try, since I pretty much filed it under the same category after first seeing it years ago (the male protagonist combined with the art style just caused a bunch of preconceived notions, although I really know I should give it a try considering your other games). As for PSCD, I couldn't get into it (I tried the demo) because of the art style (I just highly prefer a more anime style and to a lesser extend a comic style - so it's nothing against the artist).
So, the short version? Personally, it wouldn't be the genre or setting that makes me avoid a visual novel, but other factors (primarily art, writing style and romanceable characters if applicable).
Well, all that aside, I am looking forward to your future games! ^_^
lanawinst wrote:I'd even go as far as wishing to be rid of the typical VN gameplay features (stats and having a route by character) because it sometimes detracts me from the story and doesn't feel natural. I'm not sure if you know about Aloners, from Sonnet 009? The fact that the game adapts to your personality and that you define who the MC is with your choices all along the story is makes it feel so much more natural, and personal. I never remember caring as much about a VN character than I did with Trash because I was invested in the story, and it was no longer about making the right choices to win the guy but about experiencing the story at his side.
I really couldn't agree more with this! Absolutely loved Aloners!