Dating sims without stat raising

Games with gameplay beside the story: raising your skills, map systems, life simulations, etc
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jack1974
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Dating sims without stat raising

Post by jack1974 » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:35 pm

I often hear comments from people like: "I don't like stat raising". And "I'd prefer if the game played as pure VN". And so on.
Not just users, but also reviewers.
So, I'm trying to understand if it's just a "vocal minority", or something else?
How would a dating sim without stat raising work? You have scenes that trigger in fixed sequence? or you decide who to visit to advance the plot?
And then the outcome / relationship would be decided only by the choices, without a real possibility to fail but just different endings? A bit like what Miakoda did in PSCD, where every choice has a little consequence in later scenes?

Just trying to understand because to be honest, the dating sims I made are MUCH more popular than my VNs. On the other hand, I have to say that I just did some sci-fi/male targeted VN (Bionic Heart) and the Heileen series which was written by me and not really a dating sim. Perhaps I should try to do one of those "dating sim without stat raising" one day then!

Well, a good candidate could be Never Forget Me, since it already works that way, and I was just trying to find a gameplay for it (but since it's about a married/couple life, you just choose at beginning which path to play, and you can't date different guys). Maybe the solution is to not have a gameplay? :mrgreen:

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Franka
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Re: Dating sims without stat raising

Post by Franka » Tue Jun 07, 2016 5:55 am

You said it yourself. It would be a game like Bionic Heart (1), with the main focus being on romancing that special someone (of course there should still be a story, and it might take up a lot of the game). Or taking any of your existing dating sims and ripping out all the stats, leaving just choices.

I don't know if I personally want that from Winter Wolves, but it's good for the completionist, because it's much easier to skip through the parts you're not really interested in. When having to fill out a scheduler, and fill it out right, it becomes very time consuming to do multiple routes, and that can mean you don't bother with some of them, which is kind of sad, since you miss out on some of the writing.

On the other hand, I've played through a lot of pure choice VNs, and they work fine without all the stat raising. You just have to be careful to have a decent length=word count, but that's never been much of a problem in your later games.

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DarkWolf
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Re: Dating sims without stat raising

Post by DarkWolf » Tue Jun 07, 2016 6:54 am

Well firstly you can't really have a dating sim without stat raising as stat raising is the main thing that separates Dating Sims from VNs so if you removed it then it wouldn't be a dating sim any more but a VN.

It would work pretty much like you said, eater the classical VN way by choices or you could make a map movement and then just choose where to go/who to visit, and you wouldn't have to give up on failing romances as bad ending and failing to get romance are pretty common in VNs, it usually works as you get invisible +/- points with a romance interest for every choice you make witch determines if and who you will end up with, true there are many different formats on witch choices in VNs works I think this one would work best with your games since you don't really have separate routes in your games.

I would say that your Dating Sims are more popular simply because those of your games that are dating sims are more popular not because they are dating sims as in general VNs are far more popular then dating sims and dating sims are a very small genre even in Japan ware it originates from.

I too prefer VNs over Dating sims, but I think your games work well as dating sims so I am not sure if I would like too see winter wolf giving up on dating sims and turning to VNs. Also there is far more VNs then dating sims, and even more when it comes to titles available on English so I think a difference can be a positive point.

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jack1974
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Re: Dating sims without stat raising

Post by jack1974 » Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:24 am

Yes I guess that's it. Maybe I can just keep doing the usual dating sim with a "VN Mode" like the ones I'm adding in the recent games (RPG/etc) so that in practice there won't be any stat requirements.
However I think if I do such a game, probably would be better to design it from scratch to not require the stat/raising minigame at all. Food for thoughts :)

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DarkWolf
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Re: Dating sims without stat raising

Post by DarkWolf » Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:34 pm

Yes I do think that if you are making a VN it is better to design it from scratch so that choices alone decide who you will end up with and that way would give you far more freedom. That said I don't think it is a mistake to add "VN Mode" to dating sims as you aren't risking anything by doing it and there will be some people witch will like it, I personally would still play them as dating sims as they are (would be) mainly designed to be played as such.

Maybe do one of your smaller experiments games and see how it works out.

Just I would suggest that if you do decide to make a VN that you don't make a choices format like in Heilen 1-2 as that many often choices can get very confusing especially if you are replaying in order to see other romances/endings you will most likely lose track of what is going on. Maybe go more for something like Katawa Shoujo choices format (And if you didn't play Katawa Shoujo you should, cause it's most popular OELVN, cause it is really good, and cause it's free).

Now where is my food :)

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jack1974
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Re: Dating sims without stat raising

Post by jack1974 » Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:58 pm

Yes I know about Katawa Shoujo :) I think will try this with Never Forget Me since it's the perfect candidate for a test.

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Franka
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Re: Dating sims without stat raising

Post by Franka » Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:04 pm

DarkWolf wrote:(And if you didn't play Katawa Shoujo you should, cause it's most popular OELVN, cause it is really good, and cause it's free).
Since you mentioned it, I just want to chime in and say that except for the blind girl route, I don't think Katawa Shoujo is worth playing. The writing is not very good on the other routes, in my opinion.

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