Let’s talk about Visual Novel mechanics! Part 1: Choices

29 thoughts on “Let’s talk about Visual Novel mechanics! Part 1: Choices

  1. Good video, but still, I must add that I use skip of common route as a reminder of what happened in the beggining of the story. Because of the length of most VNs it's important part of reading for me.

  2. About this part in Ever17 with the code, you're not supposed to guess : Actually, if you tilt the screen of your computer until your line of sight is almost parallel to it, the black marks get crunched together and the characters "海月の 虚空に秋涼し 時鳥" appear clearly (It's an anamorphosis). Apparently they didn't translate this part… This is a pretty common trick in Japanese puzzle or mystery games.

  3. I've never played any of the VNs you bring up but I'd really like to know if the answer to the paper code comes from tilting the paper, as tilting would be my first guess because it seems like stretched text. if that's the case, the hints are there for you visually, and other options like flipping and crumbling the paper are there as obvious wrong choices, both helping lead you to the correct answer. thus, if the answer was tilting the paper, its a legitimate puzzle and your distain for it is misplaced.

    I have a lot of interest in VNs and am currently working on one, so I love the topic of the video but I had to make this comment cuz the whole rest of the video im just sitting here going "its tilt, right?"

  4. Event flowchart like in Zero Escape. The flowchart is always the way to go. You can chooe to go wherever you want, whenever you want, however you want, whatever route/nod/possibility/choice you want to, the way you want to, if you want to. It's the perfect system.

  5. I don't get walkthrus on a VN..
    I play it, I reach an end
    Maybe I reread it, maybe not – do I get hung up on which ending I found? or if it was the ultimate perfect ending?
    No… zero interest in a walkthru.. did I miss a bunch of content? sure… that's the point..

  6. I'm a new VN developer and I enjoyed watching these 3 videos. It was helpful to hear your opinions–I've been studying VN's a lot recently and it's great to hear from the VN community like this! I'm working hard to hopefully make my VN something this community will enjoy!

  7. Nice to see someone analyzing Visual Novel design seriously. I never liked the genre, but it feels like people dismissing them as "fake games" or "glorified story books" is a really unproductive way to deal with their flaws.

  8. 0:15 me exactly with this exact novel G-senjou no maou has pacing issues but at least later it kickes ass

  9. I'm going through tutorials for the Defold engine right now to start making Visual Novels because…well because I have to. Lol

    I'm thinking about the whole decision choice mechanic right now and I'm actually thinking about just dropping it. The question is how to still allow story branching without choices. I do have an idea but I won't know how well it will work until I have a prototype fleshed out and testable.

    I'm thinking that maybe having the player manipulate the MC's emotions directly in real time throughout the story might do the trick but just because I can do something doesn't necessarily make it fun to play. Visual Novels have this turn-based quality to them and I'm thinking that a mechanic like this might just push them into more of an active experience. I think QTE's try to do this but just repeatedly smashing your keyboard isn't really a fun thing to do at least I don't really like it much.

    I'm thinking that just clicking objects in the scene in real time with the mouse might work but without all the annoying bits. Maybe. I need to start prototyping and testing out some ideas to see just how fun they are in practice.

  10. Nice job Ash! Glad to see you're back,even if it's for a little! I actually agreed with a lot of the point you brought up! ^-^
    Also..you snuck ddlc in…lol ^-^

  11. Glad you're back :*
    I TOTALLY agree. I tried to play Yu-No for example, and oh god, it's so freakin good but even with a walkthrough I'm too dumb to get to each route. Which resulted in dropping my potentially second favorite VN.
    Flowers is btw a great example that perfectly shows how engaging and immersive the choice system can be.

  12. I agree with some things you said here while I must say there are some that I disagree with. Indeed, there are VNs out there that have choices just for the sake of having those choices and those choices are called "meaningless choices". You seem to completely misunderstand the concept – here’s the definition from the VNDB “They do not affect the endings and change at most one or two lines of dialog or choices are given that lead to the exact same results regardless of which are chosen..” A perfect example would be those choices at the end of Lucid 9 – these are meaningless since they fit the bill perfectly for the definition. You said that there's no logic involved in that puzzle in Ever17, – indeed there's not, what should be used here is your imaginary thinking, but regardless – what do you the Quick Save function exists for? And leaving this puzzle to be solved by another character completely ruins the purpose of the puzzle. One last thing – the whole point of choices in a VN is to make the story branch and have different endings, – that is what makes VNs what they are. – I also don’t use guides and it does not make frustrated to click skip and skip read text, but rather excited of seeing what will happen if I were to make different choices. I get frustrated for the opposite reason – when I pick a choice and it turns out that it didn’t even matter what I pick – eg would again be Lucid 9

  13. You can't just leave out the choices. You must have some method for the player to interact, else it is not a game. Arbitrary or meaningless choices suffer from the same problem, they prevent interaction.

  14. You know there's a lot of mechanics about visual novels that could use a bit of an analysis and some serious discussion on making them better. Nicely done.

  15. I was only planning on making one, single 8 ish minute long video…….. this project turned out just a little bit longer than I was expecting………

  16. I am so happy to know that you are back. Your channel is one of the few places where i feel i am in a vn community. By the way,do you know anything about the sequel to Lucid 9?

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