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what's the most important thing in a VN

Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:39 pm
by jack1974
I wanted to make a poll like this, also for RPGs but I think RPGs are a different thing. I mean, it wouldn't be fair since I allow them to be played in "VNmode" so the results might be screwed.

So let's take the VN/dating sims, with minimal gameplay element: because of course this can vary too much, if someone likes card game (ahem, Franka) for them games with that kind of gameplay would be the favorite :)

Consider only the plain story with art and music. What is more important?

Note that I didn't put music - because even if I think it's a very important part of every game, it's really NOT essential (you can play a good game even with music turned off). The choice is between story/writing and art. Of course the ideal would be to have good art AND writing, but this is not about a game's quality. Is about which aspect in a VN is more important for you to enjoy it.

For me the answer is obvious and I'll share my thoughts later maybe, but I'm curious to see what people think!

Re: what's the most important thing in a VN

Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:25 pm
by Franka
For me the answer is not obvious at all. Sometimes I refuse to play a visual novel based on screenshots - the art just doesn't appeal to me. Sometimes I start a visual novel and the story is bad or just nonsense (sometimes badly translated), and I quit.

I guess you could say there's less of a chance that I'll pick something up if the art is unappealing to me, so that might be the most important factor in getting it. But if the story ends up not doing anything for me, I probably won't ever get anything else from that developer, so the story is important for future sales.

Does that make sense?

Re: what's the most important thing in a VN

Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:24 pm
by jack1974
Yes, I think indeed that's what happens for 99% of people. The screenshots are the first thing you see, so naturally if you really don't like them, it's very difficult that you might download it.
I think also the game description. For example if you're a fan of sci-fi, and the story premise intrigues you enough you could maybe close an eye if the art is not "good" (which can also mean not of your tastes).

Personally for me story is very important and as long as the art is really BADLY done, I would probably play it (if I had time :lol:). For example I like western comic art and unless is really badly done I would play a game if the setting/story/intro is interesting for me.

It's also true what you say, with a great art you can convince someone to buy the game but then if the story is really bad, that person might refrain to buy future titles unless they get positive reviews or recommendation from friends.

Re: what's the most important thing in a VN

Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:01 pm
by fleetp
If the art doesn't appeal to me I usually won't buy the game.

Re: what's the most important thing in a VN

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:10 am
by Jaeger
Good art makes a game more noticeable at a glance, especially when there are other games competing for a consumer's attention.

The art can be used to supplement the writing as well. Children's books often have illustrations that communicate the story almost as much as the writing itself.

That being said, writing makes or break a visual novel, especially kinetic visual novels. I would think that anybody that is trying to make a visual novel wants to tell a story of sorts.

Re: what's the most important thing in a VN

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:10 am
by jack1974
Yes for kinetic novels the story is surely the most important thing!
This discussion is interesting, I might dig up some numbers with my games and do a blog post in future. However it's also hard for me to say, because except for PSCD where I clearly know the art was the issue (a 300% sale increase after the new art is not random lol) for other games is difficult. For example some love Rebecca's art (Heileen and recently Love Bites) while others were finding all sort of issues with it and so on.
Unless we're lucky to find someone exceptionally talented, sometimes even us devs really don't know if an art is "good". And there's mid-ground too (like art that is not 10/10 but not 1/10 either!). But for sure we can know if an art is bad or not good for the kind of game (PSCD again).