Monday, June 7, 2010

Biweekly Poll Talkback - I would like more...

Well folks, the numbers are in! Our latest poll asked you guys what you wanted to see more of in VNs, and I have to admit that some of the results really surprised me. The poll received 99 votes, which is the most I've gotten thus far (you guys rock!). Here's a quick summary with my thoughts. Feel free to leave your thoughts and reasons for your votes in the comments section!

Story 69 (69%). Story was the clear leader with 69% of voters desiring more. It's good to know that in the end, story still reigns king. In the end, we really do want plot, ne?

Decisions 54 (54%). What's the major difference between reading a book and a visual novel? The choices! More than half of you wish that the plot allowed for more decisions. I'm curious, do you want to be able to make even minor choices that don't really change the plot (e.g. chicken flavored ramen or beef flavored ramen for dinner tonight), or do you just want only decisions that have a direct and observable effect on the plot?

Minigames/Puzzles 29 (29%) - About a third of you guys want to see more minigames. Do you like lots of minigames, or just a few here and there? Should they be woven into the plot, or is it just something you'd like so you can take a break from reading?

Stat Raising 22 (22%) - I confess that I'm actually surprised by this. I've heard a lot of mixed reviews when it comes to stat raising games. Some people love them, while others see them as little more than pointless grinding. But I really thought that stat raising would be a lot more popular than it is.

Character Customization 44 (44%) - This is the other result that surprised me. I didn't realize that character customization would be so popular. What sort of stats would you like to be able to control? I assume picking things like name and birth date are natural, but what other ways do you want to customize your characters?


The new biweekly poll is something I probably should have asked sooner, but hey, better late than never. >.> As monitor resolutions grow larger, the size of game screens also grows. My soon-to-be-released game, Jisei, uses a 1024x768 screen size. However, as netbooks are growing more popular, it seems that having tiny screen sizes is once again in demand. In a perfect world, everything would be resizable. But assuming that it isn't, which do you prefer? Large screens, like a 1024x768 size? Or smaller screens like an 800x600 screen? Also, a lot of computers these day come in wide screen rather than the standard aspect ratio, yet most games still tend towards keeping the standard aspect ratio. Is that what you, the player, prefer? Or would you prefer that visual novels also go widescreen along with your monitors? Leave a vote (or more!) and let me know.


Illy said...

I personally voted for character customization primarily due to my experience with Re:Alistair ++. It was an absolutely fantastic game, but I found it a little odd when I'd go to the clothes store and buy a new outfit for Merui and listen to Travis or Derek comment on how cute it looks on her... And not be able to see that myself. She's wearing the exact same clothes on the stat screen and in her portrait.

I understand that putting that system in there would have taken a lot more art resources (Especially with the CGs. Yikes), but it seemed odd to me to see the game not really acknowledge the visual aspect of a rather visual experience.

Anonymous said...

I completely second illy's comment on character customization. That's basically what I would have said.

Stat raising: I was one of those people who didn't want stat raising >_>;

Decisions: It'd be nice to have a little bit more of both minor choices and plot-changing choices. However, if there are more "minor" choices, I would like to see the change actually happen. For instance, if I picked "beef flavored ramen", it'd be nice to see beef flavored ramen on the screen instead of generic ramen.

Minigames/Puzzles: I think more minigames should be woven into the plot, but at least have a couple that we can play for fun without changing the story xD Or maybe feature a couple minigames that we can "unlock"--we play them the first time, which affects the story, but later in the future, we can come back and play them as many times as we want w/o affecting the story.

Well, do what you can do ^_^; I don't want to sound too selfish because some of these extras (customization/decisions) can create extra work.

jack norton said...

I voted stats raising XD

About next poll of resolution, I believe 800x600 is the "safest one". If renpy was a 3d engine, widescreen would be cool, but if you go widescreen the game wouldn't work well on many computers (you have also to consider macs and linux computers).

HồngHoa said...

Story : of course I want it more ^^
Decisions : well , minor choices will be great
Character Customization : I don't really want to change char's name or some thing like that ^^ May be more clothes ?
Stat Raising : don't bother with it but don't really like too^^
Minigames/Puzzles : should have but just a few

Deji~ said...

I like story better, than decisions I have to agree with Anonymous about the small ones actually making some impact on the game, even if just a little.
Character customization is nice in the case Illy said, though,, as an artist, I know how complicated that can be when it comes to drawing >> (though you could bypass that by making the character arbitrarily choose an outfit when you want an event CG to happen)

Minigames are always a nice thing, imo C: They're a break from reading and are a good pass-time :P If their outcome affect the story differently, it makes you feel you're actually *doing something* and not just picking choices.

I don't like stat raisings, lol.

Anonymous said...

Well, in terms of story, that's an easy one.

Stat raising I have to say can be either extremely annoying or introduce some strategy into the game. It's how you use it. When marketing though, I'd call it a dating sim and not a visual novel, or at the very least make note of it, if the stat raising aspect is very involved (not like in Re:Alistair, which was a nice mix of the two), because you'd probably attract a more friendly audience. Anyway...

Character customization for me just means exactly what Illy said. Minigames and puzzles again depend on the gamer but that was attempted in Fatal Hearts and it was mainly just a nuisance. Maybe as an EXTRA unlockable or the like.

And decisions. If it doesn't matter, don't put it in. But if you're clever, seemingly minor decisions can have consequential impact on the plot. But I want more decisions mainly because I want dialogue change and ways to win a guy's heart from game to game.

Mirage said...

Well, I like Visual Novel, that doesn't mean I like Dating Sim lol!

Dating Sim raising elements usually disrupt the story and it became repetitive. The guys only interested in main character not due to story elements but it's because of some numbers on screen lol

Mini game is very dependant on what kind of mini-game. And I personally prefer mini-games that effect the outcome of the story rather than just "Stop! play this mini-game or you shall never advance".

Anonymous said...

So how about this? For stats raising, you could have the character reply to the guy in accordance with her stats. If she has high smarts, she'd make a wittier answer than without. Same with any other stat. So it MATTERS, because it CHANGES her interaction with the guys. It's like an indirect branching choice we make, only we don't have the luxury of sitting and thinking which would have the better reaction - which we always do. It's more... organic? And I don't think it'd be extremely difficult to do either programming-wise.

Minigames follow the same pattern. The better you perform, the better the result and the more it increases a guy's affection. Or it could be an unlockable. Say, if she defeated him in the game, and that raises his affection, or unlocks an uber-cute scene with a CG. And you'd get the minigame addition to the Extras feature, so added value. Kill 2 bird with 1 stone.

That's my thought.

mong said...

...I actually like stat raising. *shot* That and minigames. :O

I rally like little decisions as well, because they make me feel like it's really personal. of course, I like them having an impact, but like others said, choosing small things that eventually have an impact that you don't realise until the end is the draw for me. :D

As for screen aspects...As a Macbook user, I don't really like having to shrink my menu bar every time I play a game so I can click on the menu, which happens at times. I'd prefer 800x600 all the way. XD

J said...

I didn't get the chance to vote, but I did look to see what other people said. Yes, story will always reign, I believe. And I am so impressed so far with RE:Alistair! Some comments so far:

Stat raising: Not to important to me with some visual novels. But, something like a "Love" meter would always be cute--if you just so happen to make decisions that gets the characters to like you. Or, if you don't want it to be so entirely obvious as to what decisions to make, you can always have all of the live interests meters update at the same time (like the end of the "chapter" if you break up a VN like that).

Decisions: I think the game puts a good amount of decisions in them--minor ones would just be too much, really. I like to think about them in league with the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books. Speaking on that, it would be interesting if some VNs ended prematurely if your character makes a no-good decision. You should always have a way to back up though, to try again! ♥

Mingames/Puzzles: I usually don't care to see them unless the VN is mystery/horror related in nature. I like it when they pertain to the plot and not just thrown in there, like you see in some video games. I tend to put VNs and Video Games on a different level, I want a Visual novel to STAY a novel. There's no real need to clutter it up with minigame gimmicks.

Character customization: Having worked with Flash, I know customization takes a lot of work regardless of the program. Maybe some simple things, like changing the main characters name could be cute, but not necessary.

DreamChaser said...

Plot: Obviously. Why bother with a VN if you don't like stories?

Stat raising: I actually like stat raising to a certain degree, because it adds a bit of depth. (Only if you don't have HP that gets used up, though. That's just annoying.)

Decisions: Don't add silly little decisions in like what to eat for dinner. Having scenes where you make a decision that affects the outcome is on of the best parts of a visual novel, though.

Mini-games/puzzles: I like answering riddles, but I generally dislike mini-games. They usually just take up time without really doing anything to advance the plot. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate them. I just don't feel like they're necessary.

Character customization: It seems most people only want to be able to change the outfits, which I don't really care about one way or another, though it would be a nice touch. However, please don't make it so that we customize the main character's appearance/name. It makes the character feel so much less like a person and more like just a self-insert, which isn't nearly as fun.