1. html-dragons

    html-dragons New Member

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    Visual novels and dating sim game

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by html-dragons, Sep 23, 2017.

    Hey guys, new poster here. I'm writing the story for a visual novel/dating sim that I'm making. I wanted to ask people who have played this type of game, what are some things that make you like or dislike a game? What would you like to see more/less of?

    Also, I wanted to ask what people's opinions are about how neutral the player character should be. In most dating games I've played, the player character is basically a bland blank slate because I guess they're personality is supposed to be determined by the player's choices. Or they're supposed to be like a self insert of the player. The thing is that when I read books, I really hate overly neutral protagonists who are supposed to be relatable or easy to project on, because they end up seeming like they have no defined traits.

    In my game I'm trying to make the player character into a more defined character with a personality, interests and a past. I'm finding that the fact that I need her to be romantically compatible with four very different characters is challenging. I probably did my planning in the wrong order, I planned four love interests with strong personalities and defined storylines, then tried to think of a player character who can fit into all of them. But I'm getting there.

    My last question, each romance path is basically it's own self contained story but they all occur in the same urban fantasy setting with many of the same side characters. Do you think it matters if there are minor plot elements that are not explored or completely resolved in one path but are in another? for example, in one path they could encounter a magical creature and be helped by them, but the creature will be left relatively mysterious unless you play the path where the story focuses more on the creature. Does that give the sense of the game being world you can explore to discover more? or is it bad storytelling to not tie up all the loose ends in the one path? because some players will only play one path.
     
  2. SnapFandango

    SnapFandango Banned

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    I like comments like, "ooh, there's a party in my trousers, and you're invited," and responses like, "Is there room?"

    Or on my own separate romance path, when I meet the romance Fandango (or which ever animal), something like this, "Ooh, you are making me hot, I'm all sweaty and covered in cotton balls off my poorly chosen T-shirt and underwear. Let me remove them."
     
  3. Surcruxum

    Surcruxum Member

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    I have played quite a few of these games.

    Let's see, in terms of visual novels, i don't like the ones where no matter what choices i make, the outcome will always be the same.

    For the player character, i prefer a character that is more or less a blank slate, where the personality isn't leaning to a specific direction. The character's personality should be defined by the choices we make. If the character's personality has been established at the beginning, then some of the choices will sound like it's forced, unnatural.

    I think minor Plots that are introduced in a path and resolved in another leads to a conclusion that there is an order in path choosing. Like you must play A first then B to understand the story of the animal. Personally i don't like it, but it's up to you though.

    Finally, I think for dating sims people are more interested in the love interests than the game world itself.
     
  4. html-dragons

    html-dragons New Member

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    Mines not gonna be that sort of dating sim lol. I'm leaving it pretty PG.
     
  5. SnapFandango

    SnapFandango Banned

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    So more like "there is a part in my trousers and you are invited, next Thursday." ?
     
  6. html-dragons

    html-dragons New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I've kinda gone back and fourth about how much of a blank slate the player character should be. Because I'll play a good dating sim where the player character is neutral and feel like that's the way to go. Then I'll play a good dating sim where they make the player character less neutral and I'll feel like that's how I should do it.

    I feel like making the player character a more defined character can make the love stories more compelling and makes me care more about what happens to them, but I get how it kind of kills a lot of the sense of interactivity, which can make it a bit more like clicking through a book.

    You make a good point about the unresolved plots thing.
     
  7. html-dragons

    html-dragons New Member

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    Yeah Basically
     
  8. SnapFandango

    SnapFandango Banned

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    I must admit that I am slightly intrigued. Is it an ideological objection to sex before (whatever threshold), or a just a wish to wait a bit until you like each other?
     
  9. html-dragons

    html-dragons New Member

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    Honestly I just haven't thought much about including sex in the plot. If I'm writing the relationships and it seems like it should happen, then I'm not opposed to implying it in a fade to black sort of a way.
     
  10. S A Lee

    S A Lee Contributor Contributor

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    VN's where romance takes a back seat tend to have stronger characters for protagonists. Rintaro Okabe in Steins;Gate or the Player characters of Psycho Pass: Mandatory Happiness come to mind here.

    With dating sim elements it's harder because they usually contain different personalities within the potential dates. Using Hakuoki as an example, you've got the loud ones like Todou but more stoic ones like Saito. Shaping a protagonist by their actions can make it believable that the protagonist is capable of being a romantic interest to any of them.
     
  11. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    The only dating sim I've played is Dream Daddy. It was entertaining at first and I loved the premise, but it wound up moving a bit to slow for me and I never made it past my first two daddies.
     
  12. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    This is also the only dating sim I've ever played! It was pretty slow. The whole time I was wondering why there were so many gay guys with kids. Not saying it doesn't happen, but the numbers seemed kind of disproportionate. That and Skammunist Manifesto threw me some nostalgia for my days as a rude boy, but yeah... kinda forgot where I was going with this...
     
  13. html-dragons

    html-dragons New Member

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    That makes sense. I'm leaning towards giving the player character some characterisation, just enough that the player could feel attached to her, like giving her some interests, a goal, somewhat of a past, a distinctive appearance, but then leaving her personality basically up to the player.
     
  14. SnapFandango

    SnapFandango Banned

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    I have a question. I currently do not own a monitor or any speakers, so how do I know if it is happening?
     
  15. html-dragons

    html-dragons New Member

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    That's basically how I felt about it. I did one route then I never really got the urge to go back to the game.
     
  16. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll "It's a messy business." :P Supporter Contributor

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    Perhaps you should try a Romance RPG with multiple options
    for the player to peruse, having each with its own individual
    outcome for each love interest and where the choices of the player
    effect each individual outcome.

    Dating sims are a dime a dozen. I watched Markiplier play a few,
    Dating a Pug, Wrestlers, HunnyPop, Dream Daddy, etc.
    Make it more interesting with some replay value.
     
  17. html-dragons

    html-dragons New Member

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    Originally I was planning to make a more RPG style romance game, but then the more I planned the storylines, the less they seemed compatible with the game play elements I had planned. I ended up feeling like the game mechanics were just kind of tedious and a dating sim/visual novel was the way to tell the stories I want to tell.

    I'm wanting to add in some more game-like elements to make mine stand out, like unique mini games or a mini RPG style quest or something, but I'm probably going to figure them out after I've written the stories.
     
  18. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll "It's a messy business." :P Supporter Contributor

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    Have you considered Choose Your Own Adventure style? I saw a horror game
    that you had to read with scene backdrops once. That would give you a more
    novelesque feel to it. Not sure where you are going to get background music
    or backdrops for scenes, but this is an option.
     

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