Genres: Visual Novel or Interactive Fiction

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wintermute

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If we are going to include things like Hatoful Boyfriend in the wiki, then we should have an appropriate genre for them. Currently, it's listed as a Text Adventure, but I don't think that really fits, I can't see this as being the same type of game as Zork, for example. Can we add a Visual Novel genre? Or if we don't want to add more genres to the list the more general term Interactive Fiction would cover both styles of games better.

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Corevi

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We should definitely have a Visual Novel genre. Interactive Fiction is way too broad and non descriptive. fiction is just anything not real so almost every video game is Interactive Fiction.

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Hailinel

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#3  Edited By Hailinel

Visual Novel is an actual, established genre. Interactive fiction is too vague and too broad to apply.

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afabs515

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There should definitely be a visual novel genre. I've played/read enough of them to know they're their own thing.

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#5  Edited By BeachThunder

@hailinel said:

Visual Novel is an actual, established genre. Interactive fiction is too vague and too broad to apply.

As I understand, the term 'interactive fiction' is another name for text adventures. Basically, it has been used by developers/communities to appeal people that are more into reading novels than playing video games. Both visual novels and text adventures/interactive fiction are similar, but it definitely seems wrong to say that Hatoful Boyfriend is a text adventure...

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Hailinel

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@hailinel said:

Visual Novel is an actual, established genre. Interactive fiction is too vague and too broad to apply.

As I understand, the term 'interactive fiction' is another name for text adventures. Basically, it has been used by developers/communities to appeal people that are more into reading novels than playing video games. Both visual novels and text adventures/interactive fiction are similar but it definitely seems wrong to say that Hatoful Boyfriend is a text adventure...

Visual Novels have their own well established and defined traits that distinguish them from other genres. Their structure and even the basic manner of their gameplay is quite different from the way text adventures work, and so they can't really be classified as the same.

Currently, there's a Visual Novel concept page, but like the MOBA page before it, perhaps it should be retired in favor of a proper genre listing in the wiki.

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BeachThunder

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@hailinel said:

@beachthunder said:

@hailinel said:

Visual Novel is an actual, established genre. Interactive fiction is too vague and too broad to apply.

As I understand, the term 'interactive fiction' is another name for text adventures. Basically, it has been used by developers/communities to appeal people that are more into reading novels than playing video games. Both visual novels and text adventures/interactive fiction are similar but it definitely seems wrong to say that Hatoful Boyfriend is a text adventure...

Visual Novels have their own well established and defined traits that distinguish them from other genres. Their structure and even the basic manner of their gameplay is quite different from the way text adventures work, and so they can't really be classified as the same.

Currently, there's a Visual Novel concept page, but like the MOBA page before it, perhaps it should be retired in favor of a proper genre listing in the wiki.

I think so too. I think the genre and theme listings need some revamping in general...

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bobafettjm

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I am seeing more and more of these games popping up and agree that it should be a genre.

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Corevi

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#9  Edited By Corevi
@bobafettjm said:

I am seeing more and more of these games popping up and agree that it should be a genre.

Over here sure, but in Japan it's been an established and highly successful genre for like 2 decades and are basically the only games people play on PC.

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wintermute

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So, how would we go about adding Visual Novel as a genre? I don't see a way for users to suggest it through the web site. Is it something only mods can do?

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Hailinel

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So, how would we go about adding Visual Novel as a genre? I don't see a way for users to suggest it through the web site. Is it something only mods can do?

It's something that has to be done at the staff level. Users and moderators don't have the ability to add genres to the site.

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bobafettjm

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@corruptedevil: Sorry, I was more referring to the fact that I keep seeing them pop up in the wiki a lot more.

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BlackLagoon

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#13  Edited By BlackLagoon

@corruptedevil said:

@bobafettjm said:

I am seeing more and more of these games popping up and agree that it should be a genre.

Over here sure, but in Japan it's been an established and highly successful genre for like 2 decades and are basically the only games people play on PC.

In Japan visual novels are actually genre classified under "adventure", which includes both pure visual novels and games with more traditional gameplay elements like Danganronpa and Zero Escape.

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#14  Edited By Jagged85

I'd have to agree with some of the other users above that Visual Novel should have its own genre listing. While there is significant overlap with adventure, text adventure, and interactive fiction, there are enough distinguishing features for Visual Novel to stand on its own as a distinct genre.

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Somehow I missed this thread before, but yeah I think Visual Novel is likely worthy of genre status.

It's a definite clear style of game.

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I think interactive fiction would work fine. Not sure how many IF games gain commercial release but there are plenty of hobbyists cranking out text based IF games with tools like Twine and Adrift etc.

Not sure if there's a real purpose to split visual novels off from those.

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Hailinel

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@amafi said:

I think interactive fiction would work fine. Not sure how many IF games gain commercial release but there are plenty of hobbyists cranking out text based IF games with tools like Twine and Adrift etc.

Not sure if there's a real purpose to split visual novels off from those.

Visual Novels have a distinct structure and concepts that separate them from interactive fiction like To the Moon. And "interactive fiction" is a very broad term. Where are the boundaries and how is it defined? Technically, all games with narratives are interactive fiction.

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#18  Edited By Wolfgame

I'm in favor of expanding the genre classification on site to include visual novels. This is something steam needs to do as well. They try to classify most visual novels as adventure games which doesn't help matters. I know on that site they have user tags which helps, but is still not the most efficient way of sorting through these type of games.

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#19  Edited By Belegorm

I also think visual novels should get their own genre.

That said, I don't know of many true, all-ages, non-otome visual novels available legally outside Japan. Particularly if we exclude nonsense like that llama game.

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@hailinel said:

@amafi said:

I think interactive fiction would work fine. Not sure how many IF games gain commercial release but there are plenty of hobbyists cranking out text based IF games with tools like Twine and Adrift etc.

Not sure if there's a real purpose to split visual novels off from those.

Visual Novels have a distinct structure and concepts that separate them from interactive fiction like To the Moon. And "interactive fiction" is a very broad term. Where are the boundaries and how is it defined? Technically, all games with narratives are interactive fiction.

Personally I think this is a silly justification, because most genres are barely descriptive unless you know the meaning. Uncharted is a RPG because you play the role of Nathan Drake, and Quake is a MOBA.

I don't disagree, though, Visual Novel is a very set thing, and classification is pretty obvious. IF is a little more wishy-washy, though it would help with games like To The Moon, Stanley Parable, Dear Esther, and others so that they don't have to be grouped as adventure, or whatever. There's advantages and disadvantages to adding one or the other, or even both. Personally, I'm in favor of at least adding something; There are enough high-profile games out there to justify it.

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@belegorm: There's Steins Gate which was officially released in English earlier this year, though it hasn't got a Steam release yet. Also, there are plenty of VN-adventure hybrids on handhelds, though pure visual novels (that aren't eroge or otome) are uncommon in the English-speaking world.

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Belegorm

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@jagged85: I've been kind of waiting on the Steam release of Steins:Gate, to be honest.

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@mr_shoeless: would a game such as Device 6 also count as a visual novel? It's currently listed in the wiki as an Adventure, Text Adventure.