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Is it possible to create a visual novel that is NOT eroge?:

(Note: This idea is Just for Fun. I lack the commitment, the time and the expertise to carry it out, as well as the optimism that I could see it through even if I start.)

I was always thinking if it is at all possible to create a visual novel that is not eroge. No, scratch that, a visual novel that simulates relationship between factions and nations rather than boys and girls.

Then I came across Hearts of Iron and Europa Universalis and their wonderful Scripted Events system. And then I thought "What if we were to take the same approach?" Essentially, Ho I and EU without the grand strategy part, which was the meat of the games, but with pictures and narration.

What do you think?
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 2 Kayeka, Fri, 29th Oct '10 1:05:58 AM from Amsterdam Relationship Status: Brony
World's biggest wannabe
The problem here is market size. Yes, you could create a VN like that. However, it is very unlikely that many would be interested. Not to mention that merchandise also makes up for a huge chunk of the profits.

So why are most VN eroge, or at the very least galge? Because most people interested in VN are nerds with no girlfriend looking for an escapist fantasy. And because it is easier to make selling PVC figures out of the heroines then out of.....whatever your idea is supposed to look like.

In other words, making money out of anything else then an eroge in the VN market is an uphill battle.
 3 neobowman, Fri, 29th Oct '10 1:08:38 AM from Unidentified Proxy Relationship Status: Tsundere'ing
つ ◕_◕ ༽つ HELIX
It is possible though. The When They Cry series, the Infinity series as well as a lot of Key's V Ns are completely clean and very good.

That one was so true it is sad.

But then again, the Choose Your Own Adventure gamebooks did fare pretty well in the West, did it not?
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 5 Tzetze, Fri, 29th Oct '10 1:10:58 AM from a converted church in Venice, Italy
DUMB
No, not really. They're very niche and very kiddy. Interactive Fiction was sort of a thing back in the 80s/90s, but no more.
Then isn't Eroge itself a niche? Outside Japan, at the very least?
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 7 Edmania, Fri, 29th Oct '10 1:17:36 AM from under a pile of erasers
o hai
The generic Eroge is even a niche in Japan.

You won't get much popularity unless the setting is actually attractive, so.
If people learned from their mistakes, there wouldn't be this thing called bad habits.
 8 Kayeka, Fri, 29th Oct '10 1:21:00 AM from Amsterdam Relationship Status: Brony
World's biggest wannabe
Visual novels at all are very niche outside of Japan. Make no mistake, there ARE plenty perfectly clean non-erotic visual novels (I've played 4 and own 1 of those, and I don't consider myself Keima Katsuragi quite yet). But those too get very little attention outside of the pocky-eating crowd.

A problem of marketing and stigma, I suppose. Not to mention piracy. The most popular series probably have been fan-translated and spread through the internet years before anyone could have the idea to actually release the game outside of Japan.
Oh well. Looks like my idea of a Post-Marian Legionary Cohort!Visual Novel goes bust.
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 10 Edmania, Fri, 29th Oct '10 1:46:17 AM from under a pile of erasers
o hai
If you want to sell it, anyway.
If people learned from their mistakes, there wouldn't be this thing called bad habits.
 11 neobowman, Fri, 29th Oct '10 1:48:04 AM from Unidentified Proxy Relationship Status: Tsundere'ing
つ ◕_◕ ༽つ HELIX
The closest thing to a VN in the western society is Pheonix Wright. That has been really successful but I'm not too sure an actual VN would do well.

 12 Kayeka, Fri, 29th Oct '10 2:03:23 AM from Amsterdam Relationship Status: Brony
World's biggest wannabe
The problem with Visual Novels is that any nut with a laptop could technically make one. So we have a lot of competition in a small market, and you need to sell your soul (and that of your story) multiple times in order to your product attractive.

On the other hand, this competition could theoretically work to your advantage. As Hattori from Bakuman。 puts it: "To get number one in the questionnaire, you only need two votes out of ten. So instead of trying to please everyone, and hope that two people liked yours the best, you can make something that only two will certainly like."

Your idea will probably find little support among the main crowd, but if you can get a cult hit that the proverbial two out of ten will find interesting enough to buy, then you're golden.
The infinity series isn't really an eroge. That would be Ever17 and Remember11 for what's in English. Several Key Visual Arts things are clean. There are things like Sengoku Rance that have absolute tons of porn, but aren't dating sims in the slightest so much as turn based strategy. There are plenty of clean works and non dating sims. This might help you find more of what you are looking for.

edited 29th Oct '10 6:59:38 AM by Arha

 14 Funnyguts, Sun, 31st Oct '10 6:26:26 AM from French Bread!
Things make people happy
I'm actually hoping to make a kind of RPG meets Visual Novel with Ren'Py. You can have fun romancing your party members (and have sex with them if you go for the explicit version of the game, or go save the world and battle monsters and explore ancient ruins etc.

So your desire to make a VN with nations instead of people doesn't seem nearly as farfetched as mine.
,%,..@@@,.%,.@G,.@@,.% / Playing with animals.
 15 zeroplusalpha, Sun, 31st Oct '10 8:21:49 AM from behind the 7th Door
The World Is Mine
No, scratch that, a visual novel that simulates relationship between factions and nations rather than boys and girls.

I'm not sure United Nations: The Visual Novel is going to be that much less of a niche interest than your standard eroge.
Play Again? Y/N
It's all a conspiracy.
@Funnyguts: That idea doesn't seem all that farfetched, it basically sounds like Riviera: The Promised Land, although Riviera isn't full-on eroge, just ecchi.
Current project: Cleaning up the Chrono Crusade examples one at a time. God help me.
manoman, what I would do for V Ns that aren't eroge. orz|| As far as I know, there's a freeware English non-eroge VN out there...forget the name, though. D;
 
I'm not sure United Nations: The Visual Novel is going to be that much less of a niche interest than your standard eroge.

Actually my idea was Europa Barbarorum: The Visual Novel but that is close enough tongue
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Good VNs that are not eroge (many of which were mentioned earlier):

Ever17, Remember11, Higurashi no naku koro ni, Umineko no naku koro ni, Chaos;Head, Phoenix Wright series, Clannad, Planetarian, Symphonic Rain, Narcissu, True Remembrance,

the list goes on...

And many eroges have gotten stripped of their H content to make them more appealing to a larger audience (ex. Cross Channel, Utawarerumono, Kanon, Phantom of Inferno English release).

And there are many eroges which have so tiny amount of H, that I wonder why they put it there in the first place f.ex. Sharin no Kuni, if doing Natsumi's path (or "harem" path, which is no harem at all); roughly 15min of sex in 20h game?!? There are many eroges that people play for story, even thou they have H content. If you fapped during Swan Song or Saya no Uta, something's wrong with your priorities... Mostly I just skip H-scenes altogether.

Then there's eroge-like eroges (romance, sex, drama) that are actually good. I liked Yume Miru Kusuri a lot, you will shit brix on Aeka's final rooftop scenario. And "nukige" sub-class, which is propably the most known type of VN (to the public), where sex is the point of the whole game and story is almost nonexistant (Minna de Nyan, Do You Like Horny Bunnies, Immoral Study).

So yeah, you can make a living of writing non-H VNs but as mentioned, it is a really niche audience. Almost none of my irl "otaku" friends know what I'm talking about when I mention VNs or they just assume that "VN = eroge".

edited 7th Nov '10 11:46:44 AM by darkmind35

 
@Funnyguts

Sounds kinda like Harvest Moon or Rune Factory. I like those two.
 
 21 dorkatlarge, Tue, 6th Dec '11 8:16:32 PM from Parts Unknown Relationship Status: Maxing my social links
Brosuke wannabe
This thread was silent for most of 2011. A bunch of stuff happened in the last year in regards to worksafe visual novels, including the following:

  • JAST finally released a general audience game, Aselia the Eternal.
  • Mangagamer released Go Go Nippon, a worksafe visual novel which is neither wholly eastern nor western.
  • Not much recent console content aside from Corpse Party, and the upcoming English version of Hakuōki.
  • A number of non-explicit visual novels were translated and released on iTunes in English. This includes several reverse harem stories — NTT Solmare's Shall We Date series, Renai Shugi Road to Emerald, and Pirates in Love. There's also harem stories like Moe Cure Net, and horror stories such as A Scar of the Doll. Speaking of general content, Team DTR's "Tears 9, 10" is a flawed but fascinating gem from Korea — it includes challenging themes, and aims to make the reader cry a lot.
  • English speaking independent game creators have continued to release general audience games for sale. Recent ones include Infinite Game Works, Cafe 0 ~ The Drowned Mermaid, Lucky Rabbit Reflex, Magical Diary, and RPG Shooter: Starwish. (It's possible to sell adult indie games on DLSite, but I have heard that selling more than a handful of copies is not easy.)
  • People on Lemma Soft continue to release freeware western visual novels. Only a few games in the freeware scene contain explicit content (the recent story Sugar's Delight is one of the few recent examples). Likewise, if you look at recent sim date games on Deviant Art, you won't find many offensive recent examples.
  • Thanks to the fan translation scene, we have a complete Love Plus patch (still being edited for bugs), the third Galaxy Angel game for Windows, and the second Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side game.

...So yeah, things are changing. As recently as 2004, it seemed like there was nothing but adult games in English. Over the last six years or so, more and more alternatives have been made and translated.

edited 6th Dec '11 8:20:49 PM by dorkatlarge

 22 Pink Heart Chainsaw, Tue, 6th Dec '11 8:56:51 PM from Land of Rape and Honey
PinkChainsaw
I'm not entirely sure but Steins;Gate doesn't seem to be an eroge.
"If there is a hole then it's a man's job to thrust into it" - Ryoma from New Getter Robo
With the official release of Eien no Aselia out perhaps now I can hope for Seinarukana to come out one day.

I AM. THE MILK MAN.
Uh Go Go Nippon does have some eroge moments (Ala ze classic catch girl in bathroom naked with an actual picture.) Although I haven't seen too far into it.

 25 stephanreiken, Tue, 25th Feb '14 5:43:34 AM from Evermore Relationship Status: In another castle
Team Reiken
Long Live the Queen

Its right there on Steam, and not bad.

Although if you want to take it further and not have romance in it.. good luck.

edited 25th Feb '14 5:46:34 AM by stephanreiken

"What makes a man turn neutral? Lust for gold? Power? Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?"
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