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Adding/Editing a Visual Novel

1. What can be added to the database

For a game to qualify for inclusion in the database, it must meet one of the following two requirements:

  • Visual Novels that have the following characteristics:

    • Choices are the only allowed (but optional) form of interactivity. There are no other gameplay elements (including stats-based gameplay in dating/raising sims). Mini-games and simple mechanics, such as map-movenent, are only allowed when they play a very minimal role - at least 99% of the title should be made of pure reading.

    • The story is told employing one of the known Visual Novel presentation methods such as ADV, NVL and their variations.

  • Visual Novel / Game hybrids that have the following characteristics:

    • The game consistently uses the novel narrative for telling its story. Examples include describing visuals, events, character actions or thoughts.
      This point is ESSENTIAL - dialogues, no matter how extensive, are a characteristic of such game genres as RPGs, adventure games, dating simulations, etc., NOT of visual novels.

    • The story is told employing one of the known Visual Novel presentation methods such as ADV, NVL and their variations, consistently and for a significant length - at least 50% of the game should be made of pure, VN-style reading.

    • The storytelling segments should continue uninterrupted for a significant amount of time. The game should refrain from interrupting the reading and prompting the player to interact with the environment too frequently, lest the interactive elements overshadow the novel-like narrative. Depending on the presentation and the narrative techniques, some visual novels can be more prone to interrupt the narrative than others. Ultimately, if a game belongs in the database will be determined by examining the game as a whole, rather than just the sum of its parts.

    • Grandfather Clause: Old school adventure games that serve as precursors to visual novels as a genre are in the database due to their historical value, and thus are exempt from some of the defining characteristics of a modern visual novel. There are already plenty of such exceptions in the database, so further additions are unlikely, and would fall solely on the decisions of moderators.

Note: In some special cases, a game may be added even if it does not strictly adhere to the above points. However, this is the decision of the moderators. Do not add a game yourself expecting it to be an exception to the above rules.

See also the list of special games.

2. General info

Title (romaji)
The title should be based upon the title of the original release.
If the title is not already in the Latin alphabet, romanise according to our guidelines.
It occasionally happens that official titles are either entirely in uppercase or lowercase characters. If there is no real reason for this choice of capitalization (e.g. it's not an acronym), these titles should be properly converted to normal English capitalization (as described on Wikipedia) before being entered in the database.
Original title
If the name is officially under a different title (usually because of different character sets), put the original title here.
Visual novels can be known under several names, use this field to add any aliases and acronyms used around the net. Official titles of releases should not be added here, as these are already listed in the releases.
Short description of the main story.
Very rough estimate of the time required to finish all endings of the visual novel. To determine the length of a game, it's often better to ignore this time indication and instead compare it with other games you've played. It's all relative, after all.
External links
Links to external resources about this visual novel. To get the URLs, go to the sites (Wikipedia,,, search for a page about the game, and determine the ID or name of that page to fill out in the text boxes. Do not specify the full URL, we only need a small part of it!
Related anime
Some visual novels (e.g. Clannad and Utawarerumono) have anime adaptions, and some visual novels were adapted from an anime series. Use this field to specify these related anime for the visual novel.
Anime should be specified using AniDB IDs. To add an anime, just search for it on AniDB and add the numeric ID of the entry (found in the aid=xxx part of the URL) to the edit field. Multiple IDs should be seperated with a whitespace.
If the visual novel already has a relation with an other visual novel, and both games have an anime adaption, the same anime does not have to be added to both games. For example, Da Capo has two anime adaptions (837, 2832), and Da Capo II as well. (5419, 5652) But the relations for Da Capo II do not have to be added to Da Capo and vice versa - the internal visual novel relations will take care of that.
After submitting a new AniDB ID, VNDB will automatically fetch information about the anime and will present that on the site. This action can take a few minutes to - in the worst case - hours. In that time you will see the ID of the anime, but not the title and links to AnimeNFO and Anime News Network. It is not possible to manually add this information, this will be fetched automatically!

3. Staff & Cast

It's possible to link VN entries to staff entries in the staff and cast tabs.

In both tabs, staff aliases can be selected by searching for their romanized or original names. If the name is not in the database yet, you need to add it first.

3.1. Staff

The staff tab lists the people or groups involved in the creation of the visual novel. The following roles can be used:

  • Scenario
  • Character design
  • Composer
  • Director
  • Artist
  • Vocals: Vocals used in the music. Not to be used for voice actors of characters, these should be listed under cast instead.
  • Staff: Used for any additional minor roles, use the "notes" field to indicate the staff's involvement.

A few guidelines:

  • Add major staff only.
  • If someone performed several jobs, add multiple entries with different major roles.

3.2. Cast

The cast tab lists the voice actors for each character. This tab is only available when characters have been linked to the visual novel.

4. Image

Every visual novel should have an image, preferably one of the official cover art of one of the releases. In some cases, especially with doujin games, if there is no official cover art available, a general image from the game's homepage or a screenshot of the game itself could be used instead.

Images can be uploaded in JPEG or PNG format, and should not be larger than 10 MiB. All images larger than 256x400px will automatically be resized to fit on the page.

Images should flagged accordingly.

5. Relations

Visual novel relations can be used to indicate what games are related to each other.

When adding a relation, the reverse relation will automatically be added to the other visual novel. E.g. if you add game x as a sequel to game y, then game y will automatically be added as a prequel to game x. You do not have to edit both games.

Only specify direct relations. If one game 1 is listed to have a relation with game 2, and game 2 has a relation with game 3, then game 3 does not have to be added as a relation to game 1. This may sound a bit confusing at first, but you will understand when you look at the relation graphs. When editing relations, always try to think about the relations between all related games - as shown in the graph - instead of only looking at the specific visual novel you're editing.

The "official" checkbox can be used to indicate whether relation is an official one or not. A relation is official if both games were published by the same brand, or at least the publisher of the earlier game has given persmission to create the later game. In general: fandiscs and games of the same series are official, while fan fiction is not.

There is a static list of relations to choose from (as described below). As with many things, the relations between games can in reality be more complex than these options could describe. Simply choose the option you think is closest to describing the actual relation when you're not sure which one to choose.

Continuation of the story. <=>Prequel.
The story happens before the original story.<=>Sequel.
Same setting
Same universe, world, reality and timeline, but completely different characters. The definition of "setting" is not always easy to define, but usually it means that if places or items not existing in the real world described in one game also exist in the other game, you could use this relation.
Alternative version
Same setting, same characters, but the story is told differently.
Shares characters
Different story, but shares some characters.
Side story
The story takes place sometime during the parent storyline. <=>Parent story
Parent story
Opposite of Side story.
Same series
The games are part of the same series.
Original game
The opposite of fandisc.

6. Screenshots

Each visual novel entry can have at most 10 screenshots. Screenshots can be uploaded in JPEG and PNG format. The uploaded screenshots are strictly moderated to follow the guidelines listed below. It is highly recommended to follow our instructions on creating good screenshots if you don't want your efforts to go to waste.

  • All images must be in the highest native resolution of the VN. The native resolution is the resolution for which the bitmap images are made, this is 640x480 or 800x600 for most entries. Any upscaling or downscaling, whether done by the game engine itself or by manually using an image editor, is not allowed! An exception to this rule is made for games that have no native resolution (e.g. using realtime 3D graphics instead) or when the native resolution is higher than what most displays support.
  • All images have to be screenshots of the game itself, this means that any window borders will have to be removed before uploading. We are neither interested in your heavily modified window borders nor in your awesome AGTH setup.
  • At least half of the images should be actual screenshots of the game. That is, they should include character sprites or some form of dialog or user interface. Plain event CG images without any text or interfaces are allowed to demonstrate the drawing style, but should not dominate over the other screenshots.
  • Uploading screenshots with erotic content is allowed, as long as the ratio of erotic/non-erotic screenshots is somewhat in line with the actual erotic/non-erotic ratio of the VN itself. For example, if a 10 hour VN has only 2 H-scenes of 10 minutes, it wouldn't be appropriate to upload more than 2 or 3 erotic images. On the other hand, if a VN is mostly about sex, it wouldn't make sense to upload only one erotic screenshot. It is advised - even for the sex-only games - to have at least one non-erotic screenshot.
  • Keep the spoilers to a minimum. It's impossible to upload screenshots that are completely devoid of spoilers, but it is possible to keep this to a minimum. I.e. screenshots early in the beginning of the VN are prefered, and shots later in the game are fine as long as they don't reveal any major information about the plot.
  • Images should flagged accordingly.
  • Screenshots have to be unmarked: they shouldn't contain any copyright information, website URL, or other text that's not present in the original screenshot. Some consoles or engines may automatically add a copyright marker to screenshots, only in these cases is it acceptable to upload screenshots with a copyright marker.
  • Screenshots should preferably be of the English or original (Japanese) releases. Other languages are allowed, but the number of images should be kept to a minimum.
  • Do not post different language versions of the same screenshot, this is not a comparison gallery.