The Origins of Visual Novels Video

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Posted by Bowl-of-Lentils (1124 posts) -

Last year I made a blog post about the history of visual novels. Originally I had thought of making that post as a video but I quickly realized that it would be a lot of work, especially since I didn’t know how to record gameplay footage at the time nor use any editing software outside of Windows Movie Maker.

However, this year, I made a resolution to teach myself some basic editing skills and turn my blog post into an informative video. After two months of work you have the video before you.

Hopefully you find it interesting and hopefully I didn’t get too many of my facts wrong.

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#1 Edited by GenericBrotagonist (454 posts) -

I really enjoyed this! I've been into the mystery/suspense side of VNs and other Japanese adventure games for quite a while, even playing that phone version of Banshee's Last Cry you mentioned. I really like how they provide more atmosphere through visuals and sound, while still giving me the space to fill in the blanks with my imagination. This was a really cool insight into their origins. I really wish more would come out in English, but I guess that ship has more or less sailed at this point.

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#2 Edited by Bowl-of-Lentils (1124 posts) -

@genericbrotagonist: Thank you and yes I also really enjoy novel games that are more atmospheric and suspenseful, which is why I enjoyed titles like Higurashi and 999. I haven't been able to play Banshee's Last Cry myself since I don't own an iOS device to play it on but I really want to try it some day especially since I enjoyed 428: Shibuya Scramble so much, which is part of Chunsoft's Sound Novel series just like Last Cry. Personally I would really like to see Spike Chunsoft localize more of their sound novels such as Imabikisou or even the recently released remake of Banshee's Last Cry. With visual novels being more popular than ever in the West and many back-catalogue titles being translated in recent years, hopefully publishers won't pass on these older titles.

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#3 Posted by GenericBrotagonist (454 posts) -

@lentfilms: I recently finished Shibuya Scramble and really enjoyed it as well. Still working on all those bad endings for the true true ending though. Cool to know it has that connection to Banshee's Last Cry. I really hope you're right about more localizations. Hopefully the ones released so far have been doing well enough to warrant that. I'd like to see something be localized for Switch. It seems like the perfect vehicle for it, but so far there's been nothing but yet another release of Steins;Gate.

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#4 Posted by Bowl-of-Lentils (1124 posts) -

@genericbrotagonist: I agree, I would also like more VNs on the Switch but it does seem like there are a handful of titles coming to the Switch this year.

Besides the recent release of Steins;Gate Elite there are a few titles coming out that seem interesting such as World End Syndrome and of course Kotaro Uchikoshi's new game, AI: The Somnium Files (which will be more of a traditional adventure game). That remake of YU-NO is getting localized this year on the PS4 and PC but it is right about to come out on the Switch in Japan so I bet that version will get localized as well. Off the top of my head there is also a port of Clannad coming to the Switch soon and Our World Is Ended (which honestly doesn't look that great but who knows).

And I'm sure more VNs will come in the future since the Switch is basically becoming the Vita 2 in many ways.

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#5 Posted by Slag (8157 posts) -

@lentfilms: You did a wonderful job again!

I don't have anything new to add about what your wrote in your blog I already commented on, but you did a really great job getting game footage and making everything fit together nicely. your music choices really complemented the pacing and way you delivered you shared your thoughts.

That must have taken you a ton of time to do.

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#6 Edited by Bowl-of-Lentils (1124 posts) -

@slag: Thank you very much!

It took me about 2 months to make the video, mainly because I had to learn how to use a lot of programs that were new to me and because there were so many different kinds of games I had to get footage for.

I got all of the music, except for the final song, from the Free Music Archive and all of the songs were composed by Chris Zabriskie (who I only recently found out was the composer for the game Her Story). The final song is "Tilbury Fair” which was composed by an Amiga demo scene composer named Radix.

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#7 Posted by LARRYBIRDJRJR (3 posts) -

Thank you for putting time and effort to this video. It was very informative!

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#8 Posted by yagami (851 posts) -

Good job! I liked it muchly. ♥

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#9 Posted by ArbitraryWater (15727 posts) -

This video is great stuff. I'm super impressed by the number of games you managed to get footage for. If I have some slight criticism, it might be that the video is paced a tad slowly, but otherwise this serves as a fantastic companion piece to that blog you wrote a couple months ago.

I think it's probably around that time of year when I play a VN or two. I bought Chaos;Child and Higurashi: When They Cry Hou fairly recently, so I'm looking forward to seeing... something about something.

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#10 Posted by Bowl-of-Lentils (1124 posts) -

@arbitrarywater: Thank you!

I wanted to make a video that was comprehensive and a bit slower in pace but I also agree that it ended up a little long. I did cut a lot of stuff that I had originally planned for the video but it still ended up pretty lengthy. Live and learn. I'll try to make whatever I make next more tightly edited.

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#11 Posted by ValorianEndymion (55 posts) -

Amazing job! both the blog and video are fantastic!

VNs are among my favorite kind of games, I often found fascinating the pixel art style in the older VNs with the huge amounts of dithering (I fact often I try to make art in that style).