Is it really visual novel?

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#26 by kiru
2015-08-05 at 07:27
I can only repeat myself how utterly silly it is to use narration as a necessary deciding factor if something is or isn't a VN anyway.

You see, VNs aren't Ns. There's a pretty important V part. Basically, VNs consist of text, audio and picture. Novels normally don't have the latter two. Narration exists precisely because of that.
A lot of VN however would actually crumble if you'd take the audio and pictures away, as they take over part of the narration. Or at least it can be. But quite a few take advantage and at least skip heavy descriptions.

Of course narration can always be used stylistically. (aka because "it's cool") This even happens in something like Manga or Anime. (the "Hayate - The Combat Butler" narrator should be fairly known. Or the "Bastion" narrator who essentially tells the whole story)
Narration can also be used because of laziness. If the art and audio is produced completely separately, the author of the story can't rely on them to carry. This actually leads to a lot of inconsistency, where picture/sound and text showcase different things. You should all know examples of that. Just recently I stumbled about this in Hoshimemo, where the text mentioned a girl's skirt being flipped, while she actually wears pants in her casual outfit.
And finally narration might still be necessary because of the lack of assets. Most VNs are quite limited in CG and so on.

So in the end we have a very WEIRD requirement, that as the previous poster writes isn't even consistently enforced. There's enough stuff that's pretty obviously a VN, but doesn't have narration. Tears to Tiara 2 is a pretty good example. And then there are some with very little.


So where does that lead us? I know it's important to somewhat separate VNs. And narration is a good tool to separate novels from plays. But to me it doesn't work that well with VNs, which is why we have these weird exceptions in the first place. In a way you could say: A good amount of Narration is a sufficient, but not a necessary condition. Depends on styles.
Of course that's why we have things like "if there's a lot of reading at once, perhaps interrupted by gameplay but NOT interrupting gameplay, it's a VN", in theory. But again you'd kick out several VNs if you'd take that condition to heart. So how about we call this another sufficient but not necessary condition.

I think if we take both of these sufficient conditions we are in good enough shape. Which is by the way a bit different from the current rules, which makes both of the conditions necessary rather then just sufficient, but adds tons of exceptions. This change would essentially mean that even games where the storytelling is secondary could be added by the rules if they have a story with a good amount of narration. (think of stuff like Kamidori where the gameplay is interrupted by the story rather than the other way around) Something like Tears to Tiara 2 would also be fine, as especially during the prologue you are just reading. The first 10 hours or so have maybe 15 minutes gameplay separated in like 5 chunks. You get the idea. The main task, to not add all the j-rpgs out there, would still be fulfilled. Those don't have narration, nor actually really long story parts. Perhaps stuff like Ar Tonelico counts, but already Persona 3+4 wouldn't be enough. Oh and maybe Legend of Heroes. But that (massively text intensive series) might fit here pretty well anyway.
The only issue that's still up is stuff like "comics". Where does it end. A comic is obviously a comic. Digital or not. Just like a simple novel is a novel. Those aren't VNs by that alone. But what about voiced comics? Stuff like "Quartett!"?


Well I don't know if changing the conditions to sufficient rather than them being necessary would actually be enough to make people stop bringing the issue up. It would, more or less, keep the DB as it is, so I figured I'd propose this change as a more tight ruleset where less exceptions are necessary. But it'd need refinement for sure.Last modified on 2015-08-05 at 07:28
#27 by PabloC
2015-08-05 at 12:53
You know what would be the best solution? Kicking out every title with any kind of gameplay other than choices (or a few mini-games). Including Raidy, Phoenix Wright, Romanesque, Rance, Kamidori etc. That would solve the problem with a ton of exceptions. After all, when I'm looking for VNs, I'm looking for something to read, not something to play.

There are quite a few databases dedicated to non-ero games, but there are none for adult titles. There really should be a place to catalogue eroge with gameplay. That could include not only a few chosen VN-hybrids, but also all Illusion sex-sims, pure ero-RPGs (including RPGmaker stuff, because why not?), dating-sims and such. With a dedicated ranking and more detailed tags for various gameplay elements.

So, perhaps instead of suggesting overhauls of VNDB, it would be better to find people who would create and run another database. I probably would have done that myself if I had any idea about designing websites and stuff. There's a huge niche here.
#28 by rusanon
2015-08-05 at 14:05
If policy is going to be changed, I'd prefer to go with expanding tolerance range rather than dropping all gameplay stuff. Its absolutely crazy to suggest that things like Kikaijikake no Eve -Dea Ex Machina- are not VNs just because they also happen to have gameplay part.
#29 by yorhel
2015-08-05 at 14:45
Honestly, the current guidelines have served us incredibly well. We don't have all that many borderline games that need to be discussed individually, and any changed guideline will have its own list of borderline games we need to handle (and this list is unlikely to shrink with a guideline change). I certainly don't agree with the suggestion to change the guidelines in any way to expand the list of games it allows, we already have more gameplay-heavy titles than I'd prefer. Adding more restrictions to kick out the gameplay-heavy games doesn't seem necessary, though. Pabloc's suggestion to have other databases for other niches makes a lot of sense, but is obviously out of scope for VNDB.

So... let's go back to discussing the inclusion of 1931: Scheherazade at the Library of Pergamum?Last modified on 2015-08-05 at 14:46
#30 by gabezhul
2015-08-05 at 14:48
Yeah, thanks Yorhel. You just saved me (and others) another of my lid-blowing rants about people demanding non-VNs to be included in a VN database, because reasons. Thanks again, now I can get back to more important things. Like sleeping.
#31 by beliar
2015-08-05 at 17:21
My two cents on topic (the said topic being the inclusion/exclusion of a certain game and not the discussion about changing the inclusion criteria). I have briefly played the demo and watched the LP for the game, and I'm quite sure that Scheherazade is indeed a visual novel.
I somehow imagined that it was primarily a simulation game, but the plot outweighs gameplay by a large margin.
#32 by dk382
2015-08-06 at 10:01
I don't know. There is narration, albeit not a lot. But if the story stuff cuts out early on and never comes back in a big way I can see why it would be not included. Unless someone can come to us with a really compelling reason to overturn the previous decision I don't see why we should. I wish ayapi would have answered pablo's question about the amount of story content later in the game, because he seems to be the only one of us to actually play a lot of it.Last modified on 2015-08-06 at 10:05
#33 by feastingbeast
2017-10-30 at 11:18
I've played Scheherazade extensively (in fact, I've put around 70 hours into it) and it's definitely a Visual Novel and I was surprised to see it not being featured. The story does not "cut out early on and never comes back in a big way". There's so much text in this game, my first playthrough took me around 20 hours.
#34 by caibanh
2019-04-06 at 02:10
I'm finished the game and really wonder why it didn't in VNDB list. It definitely a visual novel with freaking heavy and long text each adventure and even while you doing gameplay. Each love interest have long story, too. Not just "I raise the freaking stat to romance him and done". If you count Princess Battle as visual novel then there is no reason not count 1931 as visual novel !Last modified on 2019-04-06 at 02:10
#35 by cecilyh
2019-04-06 at 10:39
as far as I know this is a visual novel with some minigames.

it's quite different from something like Black Closet, which is mostly gameplay with some VN sequences.

the only people who complained about this game complained based on A SCREENSHOT or playing a FEW MINUTES of the demo.

every person in this thread who actually played the game says it's a VN. but apparently that doesn't matter!Last modified on 2019-04-06 at 10:39
#36 by kiru
2019-04-06 at 11:01
^Unfortunately it doesn't, because very few people really know what VN even means for this database.

That said, at this point it doesn't matter anymore anyway. Look at the year of the posts.
#37 by beliar
2019-04-06 at 11:28
Huh, seems I had responded to this thread almost 4 years ago and argued that it is a VN. I should probably take a look at this game one more time for fairness sake.
#38 by caibanh
2019-04-24 at 14:57
^Unfortunately it doesn't, because very few people really know what VN even means for this database.

That said, at this point it doesn't matter anymore anyway. Look at the year of the posts.
Then could you e-x-p-l-a-i-n what VN is? And did you played the game (I mean, finish it at least once, not just try for some minute) to see if it VN or not?

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