Game inclusion in the DB

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#201 by gabezhul
2016-02-12 at 13:26
Pick one. Either you build a database for the sake of its own criteria or you build an utilitarian database.
First off, the two are not mutually exclusive. Quite the opposite, really. VNDB is an utilitarian database because its criteria is designed to help people find visual novels. Not hybrids. Not games. *Visual novels.*
All the rest are just piggy-backing on the system because of fuzzy demarcation-lines, but in essence the goal of the DB is to collect, categorize and present a very narrow slice of the interactive digital media pie, and its inclusion criteria is a reflection on that.

If there being a certain title here is useful for people, makes navigation easier, stimulates looking up similar titles and doesn't overshadow VNs that benefit from the database, how can popularity and notions outside vndb's criteria not matter at all?
A title "useful for people"? "Makes navigation easier"? "Stimulates looking..." The hell are you even talking about?! These are the kinds of silly generic arguments I said you people shouldn't use!

These are all subjective things that cannot be quantified in a criteria. People could argue that adding obviously non-VN titles was "useful" for them, or that adding FPSs into the DB would "stimulate FPS players to come over and read VNs", but that would not actually make any such title a visual novel! Hell, that's not even an argument!

Also, them overshadowing VNs in the DB is exactly the problem. We presume that when a person comes to a VN database. they are looking for VNs and not hybrids and borderline games, thus presenting them with VNs and not the others is the efficient thing to do. Once again, utility and inclusion criteria work hand in hand to achieve that.

Seriously, I think you must either really confused yourself with your own argument or you are not even trying, because you make no sense whatsoever here!

Didn't you mention the main reason not to remove Phoenix Wright is backlash?
Because that is a fact. We tried removing the PW series several times, and we always got a backlash. Not from people defending it on the ground of the actual criteria, but from fanboys who just really wanted the games to be in the DB.

The PW series is actually the same case as LLtQ; as in we are damned if we do something about them and damned if we don't.

In the case of the PW series, keeping them had held the door open for any unconventional adventure games. You have no idea how many times I have seen people point their fingers at the series when their pet games got deleted from the DB and cry for high heavens.
However, if we were to remove them, it would open the gateway for fans, trolls or just misguided users who think they are helping start re-adding them to the DB, creating strain on the mods. Yes, this kind of thing happened before. The Princess Maker games had to be deleted like four times. Same with the Persona and Disgaea games.

Ultimately us keeping the PW series has came down to a pragmatic decision about including them in d15 (in fact they were one of the main reason the exception list was even made) and not bothering with removing them, as doing so would cause as much problems as keeping them, and in that case it was more efficient to stick to the status quo.
#202 by palas
2016-02-12 at 13:33
How can I be confused with my own argument if you just said it's the same case? You said it was a pragmatic decision - exactly based on its popularity and how much there were people affiliated with VNs who wanted the games here. So unless you're trying too hard to make sense for me, which you're making a good job of because you're basically saying the same things as I am, please stop derailing.

Derailing I say, because I did provide a case for LLtQ based on the guidelines and am discussing it with usagi. If you have nothing to say about it, please refrain from derailing the thread trying to attack the reasoning behind me wanting to have LLtQ listed, but not the actual ground I'm providing for it.Last modified on 2016-02-12 at 13:35
#203Post deleted.
#204 by ginseigou
2016-02-12 at 13:53
Strange to see my post deleted because I wrote that the rules for inclusion are a subjective vision.Last modified on 2016-02-12 at 13:55
#205 by gabezhul
2016-02-12 at 13:56
No, you are not getting it. The pragmatism wasn't that we kept the PW series because it is popular, but because removing them would have been more of a pain in the ass than keeping them around and house-ruling around them. It doesn't make them into VNs the same way a piece of brick doesn't become a painting just because a museum exhibited it so that the angry mob outside wouldn't burn the entire place to the ground (yeah, drastic analogy, but I am too tired to be subtle. bite me.)

The other problem at this point is entrenchment. Because we had the games in the DB, they became recognized as VNs in the west (though technically the developers may or may not have been referring to them as VNs, though the translation is pretty dodgy on that). Because of this other sites started referring to them as VNs, which meant that now there were lots of people unaffiliated with the DB who knew nothing about our critera who referred to them as VNs, which led to angry opposition when we wanted to remove them, so we kept them, which lead to even further entrenchment, and now we have the current situation. To bring back the previous analogy, it's as if a museum allowed a brick to be exhibited as a painting and none of the curators noticed it because they were too busy setting up the rest of the paintings. Then the visitors looked at the brick and told their friends about it, art-magazines wrote articles about it and people started associating the brick with all paintings, and when the curators finally noticed that something was wrong they couldn't remove it because the aforementioned mob outside, so they just shrugged their collective shoulders and went on doing something more productive.

However, I would actually remark that te real problem was not really the angry mob. I mean, no one likes to be hated by a bunch of strangers on the net, but they wouldn't really cause that much problem. The real issue comes from the other part of the entrenchment, where people who were just trying to be helpful would come over, look at the DB, notice that there was no PW entry and naively set out to "fix" the problem, which would be a waste of their time and energy, our time and energy for the removal and then some additional time and energy to explain why we did that in the inevitable "Why did X get deleted?!" thread.

But I digress. As for the derailing, you make a fair point. I think I should stop and let the discussion return to the actual titles at hand, we can discuss the PW series and its history in the DB another time.

As for you Ginsengou, I remember warning you before. One more strike, and I will have to put you in the corner for a week to cool your head.
P.S.: No, your post got removed because it was yet another random, nonconstructive jab against the horrible, horrible mods that we are. Don't play the victim.
#206 by [deleted]
2016-02-12 at 15:28
palas, I think you did make some good points about the integration of text and gameplay in LLTQ making it harder to judge story-gameplay ratio. Most hybrid VNs I can think of, if you take out the gameplay, you still have a visual novel. LLTQ has so much variation based on stats that the raising sim game is the backbone of the story; if you take out the gameplay, there's not much left. That makes it feel less like a visual novel to me.
#207 by beliar
2016-02-12 at 15:38
I see you have been having fun kids while Daddy was away :-D This thread has turned into a comedy gold courtesy of a certain bunny eared lawyer. The thread also showed that Gadget Trial has no love. No one got pissy that I removed that one, but you just remove a serial Darwin Award simulator and all hell breaks loose.
I almost feel like I should go back to my first post, delete its contents and just write:

Anyways, lets get serious. I have no ill will towards LLTQ. I don't really have strong feelings towards removing or including it in the DB. However, when I looked at it objectively, it seemed a particularly un-VN game. I admit, I haven't played beyond what the demo shows, but you cannot expect mods to play every questionable game in the DB to the completion. From what I played I saw that the game has narration, but as Usagi said in t7442.197, the reading is constantly interrupted by gameplay and there are no Vn scenes of significant length. I personally saw no VN scene longer than 2 minutes. However, maybe the game experiences a marked shift towards a more VN-like approach later on; I don't know. However, all the current participants in the discussion have their own strong opinions regarding the matter and they are going in circles like an overenergetic dog chasing its tail. DK382 said he will give the game a spin, so let's lay off discussing LLTQ so vigorously and wait until he gets back to the thread with his opinion.

So, to give some food for the discussion - this thread t7456 has just popped up. Anyone know anything about this game?
#208 by ginseigou
2016-02-12 at 15:55
Extrapolating the fact that hybrid games such as Mirror's Edge and Portal are considered FPS, the same approach is appropriate in the case of hybrid vns.
#209 by palas
2016-02-12 at 16:00
Soreyuke! Burunyanman Ecstasy!!! is apparently a horizontal shmup. A very confusing one at that. All sense of accomplishment or failure is clearly delivered by its mechanics and not textual information (p.s.: unlike LLtQ. I know I said all sense of progression is achieved within the game mechanics but, after all, it's the story that tells you whether you failed or not. Right. I know. No more LLtQ)
linkLast modified on 2016-02-12 at 16:10
#210 by beliar
2016-02-12 at 16:45
OK, from what my Google-fu got me it appears that Soreyuke! Burunyanman Ecstasy!!! is in fact an updated version of Soreyuke! Burunyanman Hardcore!. Also there is an all-ages PSP port. All this info is missing from the VN page, as whoever added the game didn't add the complete information.
There is a review of the portable version, but it's not really relevant to our determining if it's a VN or not.

I only found snippets of Ecstasy! on youtube, but there is a complete playthrough of Hardcore!

All the ADV scenes appear to be typical pre-battle dialogue and and post-battle humiliation. In other words, whoever added this game was delusional. We don't have Touhou games here, so this one has to go too, in my opinion. I don't think anyone is gonna argue in it's defence.
#211 by PabloC
2016-02-12 at 17:44
Oh yeah, I already mentioned it in t2108 - that Burunyanman is just as non-VN as the Hardcore version. It's a pure side-scrolling shooter.
Can't talk about Cute Knight as I haven't played it, but Black Closet is certainly better than LLtQ.
Can't talk about Black Closet as I haven't played it, but Cute Knight is certainly better than LLtQ. :P
It's a weaker, more "casual" variation of Princess Maker with worse graphics, but it's still quite entertaining.Last modified on 2016-02-12 at 17:49
#212 by warfoki
2016-02-12 at 17:57
Damn, this thread is entertaining in a trainwreck sorta way. We didn't have a flamewar like this since Moogy got banned. :P

On a side note, I've just realised that I actually own LLtQ on Steam, so I'll give it a go as well to see what's this fuss is about.
#213 by dk382
2016-02-13 at 00:43
I don't know how much ground the demo covered, but these opening 15 weeks of LLtQ are SO not a VN it's crazy. Like, not even remotely close to being a VN so far. I suppose this is where things are meant to change? So far all this playthrough has done is reaffirm my beliefs on the game so far. I'll get further than I did last time.

Also this game is great making you feel like an idiot at all times.Last modified on 2016-02-13 at 00:44
#214 by dk382
2016-02-13 at 02:42
Okay, I have finished one complete playthrough of Long Live the Queen, (with the help of a guide), was coronated, and have seen one of the many endings. And I'm really struggling to come up with a reason why it should be restored. Here are my thoughts. First of all, it only uses narration in a few select scenes that are more complicated than the rest. The vast majority of the scenes are super short dialogues. Outside of the lengthier scenes, most of your time will probably be spent deciding which direction to take Elodie. And those lengthier scenes aren't all that lengthy and are small in number in any given playthrough. This game REALLY doesn't feel like a VN to me.

Looking at the criteria, "The game consistently uses the novel narrative for telling its story," LLtQ does this in short bursts, only a few select scenes, so it doesn't "consistently" use narration. Most scenes lack it completely. "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," Most of the reading isn't "VN-style." There's the lesson descriptions which are either little bits of exposition about the world or are descriptions of the actual lesson, and are presented in a manner that doesn't flow with the rest of the game, they don't count as being "VN-like" in my book. Very few of the map selection segments attempt to tell any sort of story and most are descriptive texts describing the consequence of your choice, they are an extension of the raising-sim gameplay and cannot be considered "VN-style" reading. Then the rest of the text is in the dialogues, which are all very short sequences shoved in between the raising sim portions. The longest segments are maybe like three minutes long. What's more, most of these scenes don't really connect to each other. You aren't reading a narrative interrupted by gameplay, you're playing a game interrupted by dialogue.

I just went on about narration, but in my opinion what's most important is the second part of the hybrid VN criteria, and how it affects the "feel" of the game. In my opinion, LLtQ is a raising sim first and foremost. The story sequences feel less like they're trying to build a narrative for you to experience, but instead to immerse you in the raising sim gameplay. Because LLtQ ultimately isn't about its narrative, it's about how you raise Elodie. Everything else about the title is built to support that. We contain other raising sims that also do this, but along the way they give us enough dialogue and story that they feel "VN-like" enough to include as well. LLtQ fails to do this. **At no point did I ever feel like I was reading a VN. Instead, I felt like I was playing a game where the consequences to my actions were being explained to me.** This is the pivotal point to my argument. And thus, it is my opinion that we shouldn't include it in the database.Last modified on 2016-02-13 at 03:17
#215 by takata
2016-02-13 at 08:26
@t7442.214 dk342:
First of all, it only uses narration in a few select scenes that are more complicated than the rest. The vast majority of the scenes are super short dialogues.
No, I don't think you can fault it on narration. See:
link - scene with owl - a line describing the owl, 2 lines of internal thoughts
link - inappropriate poem scene - plenty of narration
link - Countess Sirin - plenty of narration
Note: This playthrough ends in Elodie's death (as does the player's second playthrough).

The narration is mostly in 2nd-person, but I don't think that's a minus at all. I'm also not counting the text that reports the results of Elodie's studies.

The main problem I see is that the scenes are too short. You rarely read for more than a few minutes without being dropped back at a screen for the raising simulation. I think that counts as an "interruption". Why did someone get rid of the criteria that a VN should allow you to read for a long period without being interrupted by gameplay?

Looking at the criteria, "The game consistently uses the novel narrative for telling its story,"
A quick Google search doesn't yield anything knowledgeable-looking that uses the term "novel narrative". Can you please stop using this seemingly nonexistant term? Replace it with "narration".

You aren't reading a narrative interrupted by gameplay, you're playing a game interrupted by dialogue.
At no point did I ever feel like I was reading a VN. Instead, I felt like I was playing a game where the consequences to my actions were being explained to me.
These are probably subjective, but I think I agree. The indicators showing what effects Elodie's stats have on numerous events probably contributes to this feeling. They draw attention to the numbers, and away from the story of those numbers. (That said, forcing the player to play without seeing all those numbers would probably be a worse design choice.)

So, pros and cons:
+ Uses enough narration.
+ Uses ADV (lower-third textbox) to tell the story.
+ The ratio of [reading the story] to [playing the game] is sufficiently high (maybe).

- Rarely lets you read for more than a few minutes without being interrupted by the raising simulation.Last modified on 2016-02-13 at 08:40
#216 by dk382
2016-02-13 at 08:43
I acknowledge that the game possesses narration, but it only occurs in short, unexpected bursts and most of the scenes are pure dialogue. That was the point I was trying to get across. It's not consistent enough, in my opinion. And I would say that the large majority of scenes last 30 seconds, tops. Note that if you're watching an LP where the player reads every line aloud, that will at least triple the time spent "reading."Last modified on 2016-02-13 at 08:45
#217 by takata
2016-02-13 at 09:22
^ Well... okay, maybe there are some scenes lacking in narration, but I don't see that as significant compared to the main problem. That is, the very short time you can read before getting pulled back into the raising simulation (or "stat raising game"). The previous guidelines seemed to exclude this more explicitly...

I mostly skip through the video with the sound muted rather than waiting for the LPer to read every ### line. The longest scenes would be a few minutes, but I estimate most scenes would take under a minute to read.

So we both seem to reach the same conclusion.

How about Monmusu Quest! Paradox RPG Zenshou?Last modified on 2016-02-13 at 09:32
#218 by PabloC
2016-02-13 at 11:22
Why did someone get rid of the criteria that a VN should allow you to read for a long period without being interrupted by gameplay?
It was removed because it was too vague and subjective (what is considered "long" exactly?) and was ignored in plenty cases (does Rance have long, uninterrupted story-segments? What about relatively frequent, but very brief interruptions?).
A quick Google search doesn't yield anything knowledgeable-looking that uses the term "novel narrative". Can you please stop using this seemingly nonexistant term? Replace it with "narration".
Narrative and narration aren't synonyms. Novel-style narrative covers usage of narration, but it also requires the text to present a sequence of events that form some sort of a story that's similar to those seen in novels.
The reports with results of Elodie's studies use narration, but they aren't really a part of a novel-style narrative. Those descriptions themselves usually aren't connected with the main story at all (stats influence the events, the reports are just a flavor text). Same with various gameplay reports in RPGs for example. "Steve the Rouge disarmed the trap." or "The Goblin attacks with a club and misses." - that's narration, and you could find exactly the same lines in a fantasy novel. But in this case, those are used as elements of a game narrative (just like study reports in LLtQ) not novel narrative.

I think we should stick to the term "narrative". Maybe we should modify this criterion a little ("The game consistently uses novel-style narrative for telling its story" with a Wikipedia link explaining what narrative is)?
We can just switch it to "narration", since in most cases everything boils down to the usage of narration indeed. But, from time to time we are bumping into titles that do use narration but don't "feel like VNs", or those that don't use a whole lot of narration, but somehow do "feel like VNs". That "feel" is determined by narrative style - the former use the narrative style more typical for games, while the latter - one more typical for novels.

As for Monmusu Quest! Paradox RPG Zenshou, I didn't play it, but when something has "RPG" in the title, its inclusion is automatically kinda questionable. :PLast modified on 2016-02-13 at 11:27
#219 by usagi
2016-02-13 at 13:50
Huh, it was pretty clear from the beginning that LLtQ is not a vn. It is a pity that so many people (myself included) falled for couple of trolls little show and spent so much time and efforts to dealing with "persuading" them. I hope such discussions will be much shorter in the future.Last modified on 2016-02-13 at 13:51
#220 by abyssaleros
2016-02-13 at 13:55
Who said it is over?
I still have not voted for LLtQ...

#221 by usagi
2016-02-13 at 13:59

..I mean, opinions of 3-4 mods/veteran users here, who played the game already are not enough for you? 0_0
#222 by ginseigou
2016-02-13 at 14:03
Of course mods would support each other, it's the common sense. There are still many questionable games mentioned but ignored in this thread apart from LLtQ.
I personally want to point out again at fighting games such as melty blood and blazblue. Calling them a visual novel is the same as including The Order:1886 or shooters alike with lots of scenes without gameplay to a movie database. Fighting games can't physically have one fight longer than one story segment. There are fightings with story told in animated videos, it doesn't make them anime because of that.Last modified on 2016-02-13 at 15:09
#223 by palas
2016-02-13 at 14:22
I wasn't going to reply to this thread again as I thought "right, it's settled, it's not coming back to vndb, so why bother", but this

Huh, it was pretty clear from the beginning that LLtQ is not a vn. It is a pity that so many people (myself included) falled for couple of trolls little show and spent so much time and efforts to dealing with "persuading" them. I hope such discussions will be much shorter in the future.

infuriated me.

I mean, you think you were the only one who spent "so much time and efforts with dealing and persuading" you? Why, in your case, it's all in good faith and in ours it's trolling?

So right, since dk shared his experience with LLtQ as a raising sim, I might as well share mine with it as a VN. I don't intend to persuade anyone here. I just really want to share, because apparently I have to prove good faith now to the moderation and not only provide actual arguments.

When I first played LLtQ, I thought it'd be neat to go for a mystic, priestess kind of princess. I invested in Lore, Meditation, Divination, this kind of trait. However, I died all too soon and not once had the traits I'd invested in been even checked. It was a little weird, but I tried to avoid each death, one at a time, while keeping my "type". It never worked, so in the end I gave up and started playing according to what was more convenient according to the story. I ended up investing a lot in Intrigue, Foreign and Internal Affairs as well as Economy, but most of all, I had to pay attention to the scenes I was in. While, in the first playthrough, I didn't pay Elodie's mage aunt any mind, when I triggered her special scenes an actual magical girl kind of arc showed up, which led me to finally finishing it (after some adjustments).

So even though the story segments were short, they were many and got bigger as I started seeing scenes after the map movement instead of token descriptions of what I had done, and the lesson segments were even shorter as I knew beforehand what I had to train by only doing what I thought the story (or rather one of its arcs) wanted.

But it was weird for a sim to have this feeling that Elodie wasn't, after all, in my control. It was as if you had to leave it to fate, which meant the story, to give you a reason to use the sim mechanics in the first place. When, even after that, I started seeing deaths not as failures but as stories on their own (given how sometimes I'd avoid death by investing in Military but die anyway in the same scene because I wasn't skilled in Climbing), an approach corroborated by how encouraged you are to die, its sim mechanics were kind of lost in perspective. The story gets thicker if you try to talk to her family and this, in turn, completely messes up your stats (it'll get you Angry or Willful even if you don't want to or never saw it coming), further taking away the feeling that I was in control of Elodie - and instead, if I let the story and only the story guide my decisions, I'd be successful.

It is true my personal approach with VNs is to play them, whereas most of you seem to read them by default. So it was a lot easier for me to feel it as a VN in spite of how integrated the sim mechanics were to the story. Be it as it may, this is how I see it and I didn't come to test anyone's patience. Don't ever call me a troll again, usagi.Last modified on 2016-02-13 at 14:37
#224 by abyssaleros
2016-02-13 at 14:24
That was just a joke, Usagi. ;)

But it seems I opened Pandora's Box again and steamers crawled out again...Last modified on 2016-02-13 at 14:25
#225 by gabezhul
2016-02-13 at 14:31
I actually have to say I kinda agree with Palas here (at least as far as Usagi's comment is concerned). While I would say Ginseigou is not out of the question (seriously, just how deep does your "mod conspiracy" rabbit hole go?), the rest of the people arguing for the inclusion were (mostly) using actual arguments. Labeling everyone who disagrees with you a troll does a disservice to the discussion and is the exact same attitude that keeps killing conversations on the internet lately; the labeling of anyone disagreeing with you a troll/misogynist/feminazi/etc. Note that, unless your opponent *really* goes off the deep end, dismissing them like that doesn't strengthen your position. It's quite the opposite, actually.

Now with that PSA over, we return to our regularly scheduled program of "People ignoring the PSA and calling each other trolls anyway"! News at 17:30. Stay tuned.