Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Biweekly Poll - More Platforms

It's been a while since I did one of these posts. I've actually saved all the old results, but I wound up not doing a lot of discussion posts because I was away at a lot of cons this year. D: Well, no more! Discussions are back, and first off is something a lot of you guys have been pushing for: more platforms for visual novels. I've been experimenting with online visual novels. By now, you've probably played the port of Ripples by vNovel, and our site also features an intro to VNs novel done in JavaScript. I am definitely interested in doing more web ports, although those all require third parties and a lot of extra work from me, at the moment. We actually have a port of Jisei on, but it's been largely unpopular (probably because it's up against tons of casual games by big name folk and also VNs are still not super popular). Anyway, that's the state of things right now. I've had a peek at the VN market for mobile phones, and by that I mean I played London Detective Story 2. I wound up with Moriarty trying to take advantage of me, so that was weird. o_o It was a lot shorter than the kind of VNs we make now, though, and we already make VNs shorter than the ones that groups in Japan make. Makes me wonder if it would be better to just release a bunch of short chapters instead of trying to make a full game. That would take a long time to download, too, ne?

Anyway, let me know what you've got, what you plan on getting, and how you'd like to play your VNs. Do you want a bunch of short ones that you can get for cheap, or would you be willing to pay full price for a game the length that we normally make? Or, are you only interested in ports of our free games? How long do you expect a VN to be if you get it for a phone? What about a tablet? Xbox? Any other thoughts?

  122 (42%)

  57 (20%)

XBox Indie Live   
  29 (10%)

Internet Browsers   
  122 (42%)

Something Else (leave a comment)   
  16 (5%)

  52 (18%)


Kioco said...

I would like to see all your game on Ipod/Iphone/Ipad and any other new apple products that might come out in the future. (Android fans would love them, too.)
If you could put it on a gaming system I suggest the the DS by Nintendo.
I have a whole anime club (even those from other schools) who would buy into that. >.<
I just want to see it everywhere on everything.

sean said...

I recently got an HP Touchpad and think it would make a great platform for VNs. There's no way I would ever play on a small screen like a phone or Nintendo DS, that's just too hard on my eyes. I'd also prefer full games over short chapters but that's not a deal breaker for me.

Steph said...

I'm not really interested in short games or playing VNs on a phone. Having games on Xbox Live would be cool, but I'm happy to just keep playing them on my PC. I love the big, meaty stories that come out of Japan, but the length of the games you make now is fine!

TheeForsakenOne said...

The main thing about going Xbox Live is you need a publishing licence. It's not that expensive (Although I may still have access to a free one through my old University...) You would also need to have fun with XNA but that's not that difficult really.

Surprised you didn't include Flash as a medium and go for the casual market on Kongregate, Newgrounds, etc. It would probably be rather popular (Visual novels tend to be if the artwork is good). Visual Novels would also be pretty easy to do in Flash (At least simple ones). Dating Sims would be a little trickier.

Already have Ren'Py for Android so that's certainly the easiest platform to add. :P

The main problem with iPhone is you would either need a Mac to create it or create a Hackintosh which would get you into trouble if Apple ever found out that was how you created the app. A pain since Apple still doesn't support Flash... Although Flash CS5 will allow you to export as an iPhone app so maybe there's hope.

There's also DSi ware and PSN. The problem with Nintendo is they're very fussy over who they sell devkits to, same with the PSN. They might sadly be out of your reach for now (I know Nintendo used to require you have a registered company office... Might still be the case.).

Economically, unless you already own a mac, then Android is your most economical platform to expand onto (If you do own a mac then you just need to program in ObjectiveC and away you go). After that probably Flash if you use an actionscript programmer instead of actual flash.

As a personal note, I do not own a Mac so I can't help you on the front, sadly. XNA is fine since that's based on C# and I'm a certified java programmer (The languages are very similar). Ren'Py you already know I can help you on that. :P Flash I don't know but AS3 is pretty similar to C/C++ and Java so it wouldn't be hard to pick up.

Sorry for posting so much. I guess being a games programmer makes you a little overenthusiastic when talking about platforms and programming. ^^;

Anonymous said...

DS is a great platform with DSi Ware and all that, and PSN content. If you know any students who are in computer science (undergrad or grad) they can get the tools for XBox programming (XNA) for free but you have to buy a license of course.

Getting a "company office address" is as simple as putting an address. I mean, even when Bill Gates started working out of his garage, his "company address" was his... garage... address.

Mobile gaming is only going to get bigger. As for the HP TouchPad, it's going to have Android soon, so... Android, iOS and maybe DS or PSP if you are willing to look into those. And as for iOS, if it is Flash based you can just use Flash instead of buying a Mac and then go straight to IPA, but that may be inconvenient, and whichever is cheaper I don't know.

TheeForsakenOne said...

Actually the registering your garage trick didn't work on Nintendo in the past. They would check to see if the address was commercial property and if it wasn't they would refuse to sell to you.

I don't know if they do that now, however, but I would look into seeing if they've relaxed their rules, or else just give up for now.

Anonymous said...

I would LOVE a iphone/ipad port of your visual novel, or probably even better, stats game, as they can be played in spurts (since for me, stats games always get a little monotonous halfway through, and I find it hard to concentrate on my computer).

Are you aware of otome VNs that have come out recently? Heian Love, Ninja Love, & Konkatsu. If you want to check out your competition... I suggest you try them. They're a little pricy ($5 + $7 for ingame character purchases), but are pretty good. They're pretty much a "full-length" game to be honest. I think their ingame purchase is a good technique (although I prefer not be skinned for those. 3 characters for $6, but 5 for the initial $5?! WHAT?!)

And since your games are originally in English, you've got one-up on them there. xD

Honestly, XBOX and DS would be hard ports, not to mention the red tape surrounding releasing a game for these devices. Iphone/ipad has a huge potential market and is much more friendly to indie gamemakers.

Annie said...

I love the idea of a game out on the 3DS/DSi/DS, the way they do in Japan, but it might not be practical.

An iPad version of games might be neat, but I would mostly be interested in an internet browser one. That way I don't have to download the game and take up space on my computer, but I can play it at my convenience.

Also, in response to your comment on the length of your games: in my humble opinion, the longer, the better. It allows for a stronger story, more character development, and just a lot more fun in general (provided the game is good, of course.)

The Masked Developer said...

I'd consider Unity as a toolset for multi-platform deployment. Their web browser plug-in is smaller than Flash and installs lightning-fast.

Anonymous said...

No matter what platform, I expect a visual novel to be the same length as RE: Alistair or longer. I think I prefer a full game release rather than short chapters released seperately.

Kaeru Ranawa said...

I don't have anything right now, but next time I go to a con, I plan on buying all of what you've got. :D Since I can't usually get VNs, I do like short and cheap ones. I am willing to pay full price, but I can't get those very often.
For phones, having shorter games are nice, but I've also played 3/4 of the first 4 higurashi arcs on my iphone, so sitting through it is definitely possible. Apple stuff would be awesome...

titi said...

i got an ipod touch, so definitely want a mac platform :)

Anonymous said...

This probably sounds kind of bad, but if you port the VNs for phones it should be for both iphone and Android otherwise not at all :X I only say that because it doesn't seem fair to port to one system and not the other for something like phone OSs. I don't care too much about consoles :X Mostly cause if it's going to be console I'd want to to be big and that would require a lot of work. Internet browsers would be nice, but I like downloading them to PC just fine since I store them to my external for easy switching between computers and I don't need internet for it lol.

eyecreate said...

I've actually ported both Jisei and Kansei to my android tablet with nearly no issues. I did this personally so I could play on the go, but, with the nice renypy for android packaging too(renpy guys are awesome)l, has made it easier to do.

Ipod/Ipad, on the other hand, has been discussed before why it will either be difficult or maybe even impossible due to Apple's policies.

Only restriction I'd say is i'm not sure how it'd hold up on a phone since the screen is much smaller.(maybe it scales well, my android phone doesn't have the space to test the game out.)

Leeann said...

I own an iPod Touch and a DS so I myself would be most interested in those platforms.

I definitely have a preference for longer games over shorter ones, but I admit "cheap" does appeal to my wallet.