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VNsNow

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 6:24 pm
by paarfi
An article by JP of VNsNow on the MTVN Kickstarter.
http://vnsnow.com/the-folly-of-the-mega ... ual-novel/

Re: VNsNow

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:55 pm
by Rapierman
Paarfi, I don't know about you, but the article is a bit unfair to Fred, don'tcha think?

Re: VNsNow

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:36 pm
by paarfi
Rapierman wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:55 pm
Paarfi, I don't know about you, but the article is a bit unfair to Fred, don'tcha think?
It's not pleasant to read, and I do have a few quibbles, especially with some of what is said and implied in the final third. But I thought most of it was as reasonably fair-minded as could be expected for a project that has gone like this one has. This guy doesn't know Fred and only worked off of what had been posted publicly. But he obviously spent a lot of time reading what had been posted and putting that into the larger context of vn development, and that puts it light-years ahead of the typical "$300k and nothing to show for it WTF" kinds of critical posts.

I dunno. When projects don't go well, it's fair that they be criticized, hard as that can be to hear for the people involved and those who care about them. You hope that that criticism is at least informed, considered, and fair-minded. If this were Kotaku or similar sites with paid writers, I'd expect them to have contacted Fred directly and done other professional reporter kinds of things. But for a guy running a hobby site, I think this was, if not right in all respects, as informed, considered, and fair-minded as could be expected.

Re: VNsNow

Posted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:50 pm
by Murren
paarfi wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:36 pm
It's not pleasant to read, and I do have a few quibbles, especially with some of what is said and implied in the final third. But I thought most of it was as reasonably fair-minded as could be expected for a project that has gone like this one has. This guy doesn't know Fred and only worked off of what had been posted publicly. But he obviously spent a lot of time reading what had been posted and putting that into the larger context of vn development, and that puts it light-years ahead of the typical "$300k and nothing to show for it WTF" kinds of critical posts.

I dunno. When projects don't go well, it's fair that they be criticized, hard as that can be to hear for the people involved and those who care about them. You hope that that criticism is at least informed, considered, and fair-minded. If this were Kotaku or similar sites with paid writers, I'd expect them to have contacted Fred directly and done other professional reporter kinds of things. But for a guy running a hobby site, I think this was, if not right in all respects, as informed, considered, and fair-minded as could be expected.
I agree with all this. I thought a few of the things said in the last part were a little out of line (and I'm not talking about the part where he uses a certain "i" word, because I think that wasn't really directed toward Fred and was just more generally speaking) - he makes a few statements with a little too much confidence when it seems pretty clear that he's just guessing. Maybe his guesses are pretty well-reasoned, but I wouldn't be surprised if they're still incorrect despite that. I don't know, myself, but it just seemed pretty clear that he's guessing there.

But I found the rest of the article (the first 2/3 or so) to be very fair and informed.*

*Well, the only thing I disagree with in the first part is, where he makes the bold statement that the project will never get finished. In specific, I do not agree with the idea that there will never be a Megatokyo Visual Novel that is completed. However, in thinking about it more, I'm guessing that the writer of the article meant that the originally planned version of the visual novel, with all 7 promised character paths (or whatever it was), will not get completed with all of the originally planned content. I'm not really one to make bold predictions like that, so I still won't say I agree, but I will say that I think that prediction is pretty reasonable, (if he meant what I described above). But I will also say that I do believe that at some point, there will be a Megatokyo Visual Novel in some form completed. Even if it has far less content than originally planned.

Re: VNsNow

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:43 am
by Arent
paarfi wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 6:24 pm
An article by JP of VNsNow on the MTVN Kickstarter.
http://vnsnow.com/the-folly-of-the-mega ... ual-novel/
I honestly think someone back in the day should have taken Fred to the side and told him to start small. Some of his backers or friends should have invited him to a coffee & when he was relaxing & not suspecting anything, they should have told him: Hey, Fred, congratulations to 300000$, but you are way in over your head, just start small & use a modular/episodic approach like harebrained schemes did with their shadowrun:

(1) start with a small, first episode that covers only the very beginning of megatokyo, maybe how they arrive at the airport.
(2) only use one point of view, Piro
(3) don't use any fancy animation, mini games, whatever

If Fred had done just that, he would have lived a long and successful life, grown old and wise. The fans would have loved him for delivering a quick and dirty first 'episode'. You could simply have expanded on that, delivered another episode, a side story, a mini game. The megatokyo visual novel could have grown over time & allowed a steady influx of money.

But when I heard that there should be mini games, animation, multiple paths - and then saw the extremely complicated choice tree of the VN - I already suspected that he tries to do too much.

Really, I believe the whole thing can still be rescued. I think you guys just need to cut everything, write one point of view of Piro and only of the very beginning of megatokyo, maybe up till they take residence in the megagamers shop. Call it "episode 1". Everyone will be happy.

Re: VNsNow

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:44 pm
by Hashbrown Potatoes
I agree with that wholeheartedly. The agile approach is the best development approach for complex programs like this, especially if you are a small indie developer with a limited budget. It works on the old adage of you have to walk before you can run.

Re: VNsNow

Posted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:53 pm
by Ryoga
I guess the first question is, does Fred know how he wants to end Megatokyo? That would make pathing easier, even if it's just Piro's path.

Re: VNsNow

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:17 am
by Arent
Ryoga wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:53 pm
I guess the first question is, does Fred know how he wants to end Megatokyo? That would make pathing easier, even if it's just Piro's path.
You can do self contained episodes. You don't need the whole story.

For example, the first episode could cover the part up to Piro & Largo ending up in the Megagamers shop. That would be the "end" of this episode. Good ending would be to find shelter there, bad ending would be to be thrown out and being deported back to USA.

Such endings can easily be implemented by hidden relationship parameters with other characters. You can have choices throughout the game, that give you + or - points with a certain character. The ending then checks whether you have a good or bad standing with a certain someone (Erika, Kimiko etc.) & you either get the good ending or not.

In this way you don't need complicated paths at all & your choices still have a big impact on the game. Even better: You can't know beforehand what the impact will be, because the results will show much later.

You could even have Miho be able to tell you about these hidden stats, if she likes you :mrgreen: