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Adding/Editing a Release
- Editing Guidelines
- Visual Novels
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- Capturing Screenshots
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1. When to add a release
A 'release' is a product - either physical or digital - containing (parts of) the visual novel. This excludes soundtracks, drama CDs, fandisks, and other products that do not contain the visual novel itself.
All releases should be added separately. For example, a limited, regular and download edition shouldn't be combined into one release, even if they share the release date and contents. For games sold in physical format, separate releases can be distinguished by their JAN/UPC/EAN number.
Major updates should be added as a new release instead of editing the existing one. What can be considered a "major update" is a bit subjective, but some changes that require a new entry are mostly new platforms and new languages. Other updates can be added in the notes field, but the release date should remain unchanged.
2. General info
- What language is this release? Use the language that the majority of the game is in.
- Once a language has been selected, the title field will appear. Multiple titles can be added, one for each language the release has been published in. If the title is not in the Latin alphabet, add its romanization in the second field that appears.
- For any title present in the main VN entry, the field in releases entries will be automatically filled with that information whenever a new language is added. If the field is left empty, it defaults to the same name as the main title.
- If the release includes the language that the VN's script has been originally authored in, that language should be flagged as the "main title". Otherwise, if multiple languages are available, the publisher's primary language should be preferred.
- Use this checkbox to indicate if the release is official (made or sanctioned by the original developer) or unofficial. Note that this official flag is in relation to the visual novel that the release is linked to, so even if the VN is an unofficial fanfic in some franchise, the release itself can still be official.
- Use this checkbox to indicate that the release is a (translation) patch, used to patch an other release.
- Check if this box if the game is downloadable (or otherwise distributed) at no cost.
- Contains erotic scenes
Not all 18+ titles have erotic content and not all sub-18+ titles are free of it, hence the presence of a checkmark which signals that the game contains erotic content. See below for what constitutes erotic content.
- Age rating
- The minimum official age rating for the release. On most releases, this is specified on the packaging or on product web pages. For indie or doujin projects, this is usually a recommended age stated by a developer or publisher.
- Release date
- For commercial games, the sale date. For all others, the date on which the release was first available. If it was posted on a website, the date on which the post was public.
- Anything miscellaneous and useful. Generally, extras, progress information and other useful links go here. If dates are being added in this field, use the standard ISO format (YYYY-MM-DD : Year-Month-Day).
2.1. Erotic content
Considered to be erotic scenes
- Actual explicit sex scenes (whether they are optically censored or not).
NSFW examples: Censored, Uncensored.
- Implicit sex scenes (scenes where the genitals are strategically covered, but it's clear to us the characters are having sex)
Genitals covered by a character position
Genitals covered by objects
- Detailed text-only sex scenes
- Presence of detailed genitals or genitals covered by clearly visible optical censorship without the presence of sex scenes
Not considered to be erotic scenes
Nudity without sex, where the character genitals are censored by covering them with light beams, the characters are posing strategically to hide the genitals, or they are covered with objects
Bare breasts in the absence of actual sex scenes
Full nudity, where the genitals are poorly detailed or completely absent ("Barbie Doll anatomy"), in the absence of actual sex scenes. Examples:
Poorly defined genitals
Barbie Doll anatomy
- The platforms that the product was released for. Does not include emulated platforms (e.g. Playstation 2 games on Playstation 3) or WINE. "DVD Player" and "Blue-Ray Player" refers to games playable as a normal DVD Video (DVDPG) or Blue-ray Video (BD PG or Blu-ray Game) and should not be confused with the DVD or Blue-Ray as a medium.
- The game engine used for this release. A predefined list of common engines is available but if the used engine is not listed, it is possible to select Other and fill out a different engine name. Please only provide the name of the engine, not its version. When providing an engine that is not in the list, please first check the database for other releases with the same engine, so that all releases use a consistent name for that engine.
- Primary/native screen resolution of the game.
- Indicates whether this release includes voice acting in the VN/ADV parts of the game. Fully voiced indicates that all characters (usually excluding the protagonist and some minor characters) are voiced in all scenes. Only ero scenes voiced speaks for itself, and Partially voiced should be used when there is some voice acting, but only for the main characters or only in some scenes.
- Whether erotic graphics are censored with mosaic or other optical censoring. If the release contains erotic content but doesn't have erotic graphics, leave this as unknown.
- CD-ROM, typically 700MB.
- DVD5, typically 4.5GB, or DVD9, typically 9GB. DVDPG games are DVD.
- Dreamcast games are normally GD disks.
- Blu-ray Disk, typically 30-60GB+. Requires a Blu-ray Drive. Playstation 3, Playstation 4 and Playstation 5 are normally Blu-ray.
- 5 1/4" or 3 3/4", no greater than 1.44MB.
- Cassette tape
- Any magnetic tapes cartridge (also called "cartridge tape") and magnetic tape cassettes. Commonly used by early models of personal computers (IBM, Commodore, Apple II, ZX spectrum, among many others).
- Compare with Memory Cards (below). Read-only. Famicom (NES), Super Nintendo (SNES), Game Boy Advanced (GBA), Nintendo DS and 3DS, Playstation Vita and Nintendo Switch use cartridges.
- Memory Card
- Any SD (Secure Digital) Card variant or MMC variant, Compact Flash or "USB Sticks". The Main difference between this and Cartridge (above) is that Memory Cards are re-writable (RW).
- Universal Media Disk, typically 2.2GB. Playstation Portable uses this format.
- Nintendo Optical Disk
- Non-CD or DVD optical disks used by various Nintendo consoles.
- Internet Download
- Anything without a physical box, i.e. obtained by downloading it over a network. Includes all browser games played through a website and DL cards (also called "Download cards" or "Serial code cards").
- Any format not considered to be any of these mentioned should take this media. However, it should not be used liberally, and it's inclusion may need to be justified, usually in the notes field.
Effects such as zooming, shaking and sprite translations are not to be considered animation. Same with lip sync and eyes blinking as it is handled in the last section. Animation must appear in the reading sections of the game, gameplay sections (if they exist), main title, options menu, UI, and Character Profiles are not to be considered.
Animation can be indicated in five separate sections, based on the types of content (story scenes or erotic scenes, the latter is only available if the release has been marked as containing erotic scenes) and the medium in which the animation appears. There are three media:
- Character sprites
- A character sprite is a cutout character presented on the foreground of either a background CG (BCG) (in which it is not embedded), or more rarely, nothing. It can come with a "sub background" e.g. furniture, but the whole is independent from the background CG. When in doubt, extracting the game assets can help in determining if a certain image is a CG or a background with a sprite.
- For the purpose of flagging animations, the character Side Portraits some VNs display at the side of the textbox should be treated the same as character sprites, even if no traditional character sprites appear in the game.
- It can happen that a character sprite, while being on the foreground, is embedded in the background by having their feet on the floor while matching the perspective, but either the same sprite is used in a different BCG or the BCG replaces it with different ones.
- If the character sprite animation consists solely of lip and/or eye movements while the rest of the body/face remains static, then this section should be marked as "No animation" and the "Character lip movement and/or eye blink" checkbox (below) should be checked instead.
- Character sprites in erotic scenes must match the guidelines on erotic content to exist.
- CG are illustrations which cannot be decomposed into character sprites (as defined above) and BCG.
- They can take up the whole screen (Cross†Channel), some part of it (Grisaia no Kajitsu), or overlap another CG (Kemomimi Harem Vacation).
- Example from Katie's Corruption: observe the difference between character sprites on a BG versus a CG with characters embedded into it.
- In the case where animation is involved, each frame must be separately considered CG.
- A cutscene is a non interactive animated sequence that breaks the continuity of the game.
- Breaking the continuity means interrupting the flow of the scenes in a significant way. This means that if a game is entirely animated, even if you consistently lose control of the animation, it will not be considered a cutscene. Think of cutscenes as isolated non interactive animated sequences that pop up suddenly.
- Keep in mind that opening/ending videos should not be considered cutscenes, nor are Interactive Movies or releases with "locked automode" if they have any kind of text presentation (like DVD Player and Blue-ray Player releases, among others) unless they have well delimited scenes that interrupt the regular text-based storytelling.
- Example of games featuring cutscenes are
- Katawa Shoujo (cinematics)
- Robotics;Notes (Kill Balad victory/defeat)
- 428 ~Fuusa Sareta Shibuya de~ (movies)
- Marco to Ginga Ryuu (minutes long anime)
For each section, you can indicate whether the content and medium exists and whether they are animated. If a section is animated, you can select the type(s) of animation being employed and its frequency. Available animation types are:
- Hand drawn
- Also known as frame-by-frame, 2D animation, traditional animation or cel animation. Every frame of animation is drawn independently of each other (typically, of course, only the part of the frame that is animated is redrawn). You can see this type of animation being used by most 2D anime.
- Visual novels that use pixel art sprites and are animated by hand are also included in this category.
- Big hint: if the animation doesn't use Flat Tints Only, it has a good chance of not being hand drawn but vectorial animation. Hand drawn animation is relatively rare in visual novels.
- Hand drawn cutscene (from Katawa Shoujo)
- Hand drawn CG (from Viper-V8, the Viper series in general has lots of hand drawn animation)
- Hand drawn pixel art sprite sample (from Air Pressure)
- Hand drawn pixel art CG sample (from is it that deep, bro?)
- Hand drawn CG (NSFW) (from G-senjou no Maou)
- Sisters ~Natsu no Saigo no Hi~
- Most 2D anime
- Vectorial animation is made animating a pre-existing illustration using various post-processing techniques, often with the help of software such as E-mote, Live2D or Adobe After Effects. The illustration is manipulated in various ways to simulate movement, such as deforming and/or stretching parts, cutting and moving around other parts, etc.
- One thing that gives away vectorial animation is that the movement is not natural and the illustration stretched. It may give a 3D feels even though the original illustration is in 2D.
- If software is used to generate a complete 3D model out of a 2D illustration, flag the animation as 3D instead.
- You can see plenty of examples of vectorial character sprites on the official website of E-mote. At the bottom of the page, you can see how such movements are created with the use of a software and never without drawing new illustrations, only through manipulation. See also the Highly Animated Sprites tag.
- Vectorial sprite (from Death. Love, Me)
- Vectorial CG (violent) (from The Letter)
- Vectorial sprite (NSFW) (from Namaiki Imouto o Choukyou Shitatta)
- Vectorial CG (NSFW) (from LOVE³ -Love Cube-)
- Vectorial CG (NSFW) (from Watashi ga Suki nara "Suki" tte Itte!)
- Animation using computer-rendered 3D models. Some 3D animations apply post-processing to make it appear in the same style as hand drawn animation (e.g. by using cell shading), but these should still be flagged as 3D.
- 3D sprites (from Mahou Shoujo Project)
- 3D CG (from Corrupted Kingdoms)
- 3D CG (suggestive) (from Custom Aidroid Ai)
- 3D cutscene (NSFW) (from Ookami Shoujo to Issho)
- Live action
- This type of animation uses video recordings featuring real actors or real-life scenery.
- Live action cutscene (from the Ren'py tutorial)
- Live action cutscene (from 428 ~Fuusa Sareta Shibuya de~)
- Live action CG (NSFW) (from Under Control 2)
- Live action cutscene (NSFW) (from Coercion)
Character lip movement and/or eye blink: This checkbox should be set if character sprites have lip and/or eye movement. Any kind of lip movement should be counted, with no bearing if the animation is in sync with all, some or none of the given text lines or voices. If characters have more animation than just lip and/or eye movement, then both this checkbox should be set and the character animation section should be filled out.
Background effects: A background is a picture representing the surroundings, the scenery, the context. It doesn't take part in the story's action. It can be made of several parts animated separately to give an illusion of relief, depth. Most of the time, character sprites are put in front of them. Backgrounds are independent from CG and character sprites and can have their own animation, the background effects option is here to cover such cases. Examples:
- Falling snow (from G-senjou no Maou)
- Rain and fog (from The Letter)
- Waves (from Chrono Clock)
- Train movement (from Yesterday, the World Ended)
- Particles and fire effect (from Hearts Astride)
- Particles and movement (from Magical Meow-Meow Warrior?!)
- More background effects (from (In)finite Girl)
If the visual novel is composed entirely of CGs (as is common for 3DCG games), Character lip movement and/or eye blink and Background effects should be set to "Unknown or N/A". In case the CG characters have facial animation, treat those as CG animations instead.
4. External identifiers & links
- The GTIN code of the product. Often called "JAN" for Japanese releases, "UPC" for USA and Canada and "EAN" for Europe. The system will automatically detect the type from the code and use the appropriate term on the release page.
- This field is also used to automatically add a link to Play-Asia if the release is available there. This process may take a few hours.
- Catalog number
- Catalog number as assigned by the producer. Often used to identify releases on webshops, and can usually be found somewhere on the packaging of the product.
- Official website
- URL of the official homepage for this product. Note that, even though VNDB does not support piracy, it is allowed to link to a homepage or forum that does in the case it is the only official source of information for this release. If this website existed but it's not available anymore, an archived link can be used instead.
- External links
- URL of webshops and other sites that can be added besides the official website. A list of recognized sites is available in the edit form.
5. Database relations
5.1. Visual novels
The visual novels that this release (either partially or fully) covers.
How much is covered can be indicated in the type dropdown:
- 'Complete' means that the release includes the full visual novel (potentially excluding bonus content or expansions that have been added in later releases).
- 'Partial' releases have most of the game, but there are things still waiting to be released.
- 'Trial' versions are heavily cut down and free releases so that you can experience a game before you buy it. Sometimes, trial versions are cut down for web transmission and do not completely represent the finished product.
In the case of a translation patch, the type should indicate whether it translates the full game (Complete), or just parts of it (Partial).
- A release refers to the global status of the visual novel, so as a 'partial' release only has a part of the content, a full translation of a partial release would also be marked as a 'partial' for the same reason.
- The type of an existing release should represent the existing status, and not a predicted future one. Hence an existing partial build would be marked as 'partial' even if there is an announced future complete release. The status should be changed once the release actually happens. This is typical for fan-translations and incremental cumulative game releases on crowdfunding platforms.
The companies/groups/individuals involved in the development or publishing of this release. Does not include distributors. The following roles can be selected:
- The producer involved in the creation of the game itself, not necessarily of this specific release. Keep in mind that producers that have made modifications to a game but have not made the game itself should NOT be listed as developers.
- The producer responsible for publishing this specific release. The publisher may have made modifications to the game (e.g. translating all text or porting to a different platform), but was not involved in the creation process.
- When the release is developed and published by the same producer. This is often true for doujin games and the first releases of commercial games.