Visual *novel*?

Posted in

#1 by froggy
2019-06-06 at 20:06
VNs really don't have much to do with novels. They usually seem to consist of 95% dialogue and 5% internal monologue. Most classic novels have nowhere near as much dialogue and instead a much greater focus on the presentation of thoughts and psychology. VNs seem to be written more like an extended play. Another problem: a picture of a tree doesn't really replace the description of a tree. Anyways, atm I'm trying to transition from reading novels to reading VN's, and it's kinda difficult. I just played six hours of Subahibi and it's clunky af. I liked the sex scene between Yuki and Tsukasa, but the writing can be really awful at times.
#2 by fuukanou
2019-06-06 at 20:30
Some Japanese person came up with the name, likely not really knowing what the words meant. It's not something we can do anything about.
#3 by dk382
2019-06-06 at 20:31
Okay.
#4 by kratoscar2008
2019-06-06 at 20:34
Guess thats why VNs market is shrinking while light novels and gacha gets more popular.
#5 by ramaladni
2019-06-06 at 20:49
what
#6 by froggy
2019-06-06 at 21:42
Some Japanese person came up with the name, likely not really knowing what the words meant. It's not something we can do anything about.
I doubt it, I think it was meant to be misleading. The term tries to hijack the respectability of an already established medium with hundreds of years of history. But it's sad, because it creates a wrong set of expections.
#7 by froggy
2019-06-06 at 21:43
what

Think about it, the term implies an equivalence between the visuals of a VN and the language of a novel. But that's completely wrong. It assumes that the desription (of a tree) in a novel is just a placeholder for an image (of a tree) in a VN. That's not how literary language works. And it's frankly offensive to anyone who takes the novel serious.
#8 by toru-ben
2019-06-06 at 21:50
Then you are obviously at the wrong place.

Taking offense in something like this... it's just how it's called.
Just play some more and proper titles and see whether or not this medium is up your alley, or move on to more enjoyable things.

Arguing about semantics is pointless.Last modified on 2019-06-07 at 10:48
#9 by dk382
2019-06-06 at 21:58
It's just a name. Don't think so hard about it.
#10 by fuukanou
2019-06-06 at 22:01
#6, I doubt that too. The Japanese are notorious for naming shit because it just sounds cool in English. I reckon they just stuck the words together and said "yep this sounds cool" and it stuck. Originally (and even often now) they were just called adventure games but when the adventure started going from them they had to come up with some other name for it. It's like how kinetic novels were originally a term used by VisualArts but now it's stuck for any VN with no choices. I doubt they intended to make a genre there when they named it something so irrelevant as 'kinetic' but it just happened to stick.
#11 by freshift
2019-06-06 at 22:32
Because it was never about 'an equivalence between the visuals of a VN and the language of a novel.' but the transition from 'sound novel' to 'visual novel'. Besides, the term was originally coined for a specific eroge brand, not a full genre.

This youtube video discusses about the origin of the 'visual novel' genre.
#12 by sakurakoi
2019-06-06 at 22:36
I suppose something "oxymoronic" like Dialogue Novels must be heresy to you then.

Seriously, you are trying to apply your definition when in fact the meaning isn't actually a focus on narratives. Not too mention that 95% dialogue is exaggerated and often actually close to 50/50.
#13 by sanahtlig
2019-06-06 at 22:54
I think his point was that the term created expectations that were not fulfilled. That's a complaint that falls under the umbrella of "marketing". Setting appropriate customer expectations and matching the right user with the right product are key to customer satisfaction.

In any case, different games strike different balances between dialogue and narrative. Games using the NVL format, not surprisingly, tend to be more novel-like than those that use an ADV message window.Last modified on 2019-06-06 at 22:55
#14 by sakurakoi
2019-06-06 at 23:37
Setting appropriate customer expectations and matching the right user with the right product are key to customer satisfaction.
And we all know that trying to satisfy every, even just possible, customer leads too doom. Heck, one might as well think that OP is not even the "right customer" for this medium. Regardless of their expectations being skewed anyway.

Games using the NVL format, not surprisingly, tend to be more novel-like
Yer, those very well even go beyond that 50/50, with more narrative than dialogue. Personally I am not fond of them since those cover the visuals, in more ways than one but that is just my preference, not some standard I expect others to follow.
#15 by revverie
2019-06-07 at 00:47
If you're that bothered by the definition just go read raiL-soft titles or something.
#16 by being
2019-06-07 at 01:46
a small minority of VNs are novelistic, but you definitely shouldnt be expecting it as the norm.
#17 by froggy
2019-06-07 at 09:38
Just play some more and proper title and see whether or not this medium is up your alle, or more on zog more enjoyable things.

Isn't Subahibi a proper title? It's rated 8.67. I'm also reading Himawari, which is even worse.

It's just a name. Don't think so hard about it.

I'm really not thinking hard about it. I'm using like 5% of my Hippocampus for this.

The Japanese are notorious for naming shit because it just sounds cool in English. I reckon they just stuck the words together and said "yep this sounds cool" and it stuck. Originally (and even often now) they were just called adventure games but when the adventure started going from them they had to come up with some other name for it. It's like how kinetic novels were originally a term used by VisualArts but now it's stuck for any VN with no choices. I doubt they intended to make a genre there when they named it something so irrelevant as 'kinetic' but it just happened to stick.

Interesting, that explains a lot.

Because it was never about 'an equivalence between the visuals of a VN and the language of a novel.' but the transition from 'sound novel' to 'visual novel'. Besides, the term was originally coined for a specific eroge brand, not a full genre.

The intention is irrelevant if a term creates a set of misleading expectations.

I suppose something "oxymoronic" like Dialogue Novels must be heresy to you then.

Afaik this is a minor subgroup of modernist literature and really not representative of what a novel typically is.

Seriously, you are trying to apply your definition when in fact the meaning isn't actually a focus on narratives. Not too mention that 95% dialogue is exaggerated and often actually close to 50/50.

Then plz name an example of a VN with a 50/50 distribution.

I think his point was that the term created expectations that were not fulfilled.

Correct.

Heck, one might as well think that OP is not even the "right customer" for this medium. Regardless of their expectations being skewed anyway.

How are my expectations skewed? I'm simply taking the term "visual novel" serious for second.

If you're that bothered by the definition just go read raiL-soft titles or something.

There is no definition. I'm critizing the term VN exactly for not establishing a plausible definition, thereby making your response meaningless.
#18 by sakurakoi
2019-06-07 at 09:58
I'm simply taking the term "visual novel" serious for second.
Nah, you are simply beyond being merely petty and pedantic.

The definition of novel is "a long printed story about imaginary characters and events" and nothing more and nothing less
link
Nobody places restrictions on how a story is told, well, nobody except those one can not call sane.

Isn't Subahibi a proper title?
Nope, it's a popular title, within a certain sub-group of people which one might as well call "pseudo-intellectuals" which take it too seriously. It is but a matter of fact that few vote it down because they can already tell that they won't like it while not being immature.

Anyone with just an ounce can, like it is similar to Dialogue Novels, infer from the "visual" that narration on visuals will be reduced.

Then plz name an example of a VN with a 50/50 distribution.
Pretty much any visual novel would suit that estimate for every other line is indeed narration and pretty much any stretch of dialogue has a stretch of narration as counter.

I'm actually surprised that SubaHibi and Himawari are not one of them but I rather guess that, again, your perception is skewed. By no means does SubaHibi only have 5% "internal monologue" (narration).
#19 by toru-ben
2019-06-07 at 10:57
It's not like the vote system here helps.
Obscure titles here lack coverage, meaning that the more popular titles get much more votes.
Especially, if a popular VN received an even more popular anime adaption.

Not to sound condescending, but hitting the random button on the front page might yield better results.
That is, if anyone description of the given title is provided in the first place...

Just try looking around a bit and don't listen to trends.
The general taste doesn't necessarily Cover your own, so it's best to simply start reading whatever peeks your interest.Last modified on 2019-06-07 at 17:02
#20 by froggy
2019-06-07 at 11:25
Nah, you are simply beyond being merely petty and pedantic.

Ah, a tsundere. Very nice.

The definition of novel is "a long printed story about imaginary characters and events" and nothing more and nothing less
link
Nobody places restrictions on how a story is told, well, nobody except those one can not call sane.

Really? This definition is nonsense. A "printed story"? So if I read Moby Dick on my notebook it's not a novel? E-books cannot be novels? Okay, let's leave that aspect out. Then we have: "a long story about imaginary characters and events". So a TV series is a novel? A long movie is a novel? I'd say a useful definition of the 'novel' without refering to any stylistic properties would be difficult (that's why a novel is more than a series of dialogues).

Nope, it's a popular title, within a certain sub-group of people which one might as well call "pseudo-intellectuals" which take it too seriously. It is but a matter of fact that few vote it down because they can already tell that they won't like it while not being immature.

I think you might just have made a lot of enemies, because many people here seem to rate this one quite high. Also, calling someone a "pseudo-intellectual" for liking something reminds me of why I don't use the words "pseudo-intellectual" or "synopsis".

Anyone with just an ounce can, like it is similar to Dialogue Novels, infer from the "visual" that narration on visuals will be reduced.

If there is any meaning in this sentence I fail to comprehend it.

Pretty much any visual novel would suit that estimate for every other line is indeed narration and pretty much any stretch of dialogue has a stretch of narration as counter.

Still need an example.

I'm actually surprised that SubaHibi and Himawari are not one of them but I rather guess that, again, your perception is skewed. By no means does SubaHibi only have 5% "internal monologue" (narration).

I'd say SubaHibi has at most 85/15, Himawari at most 90/10.
#21 by surferdude
2019-06-07 at 13:06
link
#22 by sanahtlig
2019-06-07 at 13:46
Still need an example.
Try VNs with the NVL format. I'm pretty sure Nasu's games (Tsukihime, Fate/Stay Night) are narrative-heavy.

If you're looking for a game with literary aspects, I'd recommend Saya no Uta. Unlike most VNs, it's very tightly written. It's also short, so you can reach a quick judgement.Last modified on 2019-06-07 at 13:53
#23 by 9ru4ien
2019-06-07 at 14:39
This discussion is meaningless.... Should Japanese change from ノベルゲーム(novel games) to 'reading games'.... I think publishers try to remind their potential customers that what they want to sell them isn't a 'push E button' shooting mindless games but a much more READ games....
#24 by mysterycorgi
2019-06-08 at 06:37
I would love for there to be a semantic update for VN terms. As a developer who has worked with people all over the world it would have been extremely helpful in avoiding confusion during communications. That being said, linguistics don't update all at once and humans are creatures of habit.
Ultimately, u163702, you are getting caught up in something that ultimately doesn't really matter. I think if you let the banal detail go you'll be able to enjoy stuff a bit more. Do you do this for books/novels as well, I have to wonder? What about graphic novels?
As for titles that have a large amount of narration alongside their dialogue, I agree with the others who are recommending any titles with the NVL. I recommend Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, v24and their related titles? Really, anything by Ryuukishi07 and/or 07th Expansion is going to be narrative heavy, the character/word count is intense. Maybe this list could help link
Hope this helps.
#25 by kiru
2019-06-08 at 07:09
95% dialogue happens in less than 1% VNs actually. It'd be too expensive as well. 50% narration is pretty normal, while this can obviously also get less (higher budget, a VN that is focusing on interaction) or more (low budget, or when voicing the MC, or simply as style).

Narration is actually a big problem of the medium, as it gets frequently abused for padding. The only free thing in a VN is narration. No character needs to react on it, so no voice-acting, no art, no production (i.e. sprite change, BG change or whatever) or anything needs to be spent on it. So you get VNs that repeat everything multiple times in narration, repeat whatever has been said in dialogue in narration right after it and so on.


That said, most VNs read more like light novels, which comes with the medium. But there are definitely exceptions. Not sure I'd count something like Umineko though. When you play that with voices, you'll start to realize how MUCH dialogue that actually has. Something like Dear My Abyss might be more fitting. It reads very "novel". A lot of Liar Soft and Rail Soft games can also work like that. Given how VNs however really like their character interactions with heroines, it's obvious that light novels are much closer in style to them.


edit: Also, one thing that people like to forget: It's a VISUAL novel. You have a lot of things narrating for you, that isn't text. Why describe how a character looks, if you see them? Why describe how the street looks, if you see it? There's Kira☆Kira that does this, and it certainly reads more "novel"-ish, but it's kinda dumb in this medium. One of the reason, why I always found the "narration is needed" thing a bad idea for what defines a VN. Art, soundeffects and voice-acting in itself take over the job of what narration does in a normal novel. What remains are inner thoughts of the protagonist and leading the story. Narration is usually a result of simply not having the budget to show things in a different way. Because "thoughts" can be shown without narration as well. Thus we are getting close to movies.

In other words: VNs are between novels and manga/comics. Yes, they are going to read differently. But that's how it needs to be. And the medium is in no ways inferior to novels. In fact, it can do many things novels can't, while it can do everything a novel can, at least in theory. In practice, a VN will simply read differently to a normal novel most of the time though. Otherwise, it could just be a novel, and didn't need the rest, so this is how it should be.Last modified on 2019-06-08 at 07:25

Reply

You must be logged in to reply to this thread.