Character development

A forum dedicated to my comic-styled games series called "Vera Blanc"
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katoji
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Character development

Post by katoji » Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:15 am

Could I give some character development suggestions with Vera Blanc and Brandon? As well as surrounding ones. I don't want to impose, but if I think I can really see some improvements that can be made, as a writer myself.

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jack1974
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Re: Character development

Post by jack1974 » Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:59 am

Yes sure, all feedback is welcome :) I'm curious to hear about your suggestions.

fleetp
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Re: Character development

Post by fleetp » Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:21 pm

I also am curious as to the suggestions. Are the suggestions based on playing both of the commercially released Vera Blanc games?

Kataki
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Re: Character development

Post by Kataki » Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:00 am

Hey guys, it's katoji. I made a new account because for some strange reason, no matter how many times I tried to log in with the other account, it wouldn't let me. Even when I requested new passwords.

Anyway, well I played the Vera Blanc games quite awhile ago so forgive me if i have any information wrong. I found that Vera Blanc was a pretty intriguing character, however, I often think that she's too perfect. The only thing I found wrong with her was that in the first game, the police underestimated her ability. However in the second game (to be honest I've only played half of it...never came back to finishing it haha) everyone seemed to absolutely LOVE her and be entranced by her beauty.

I think maybe her position as I think, Brandon's assistant/partner(or is she an actual detective as well?) could undermine her. They could present real flaws to her character in the way that she could be only taken for her looks rather than her intelligence. This could blend well with her mind-reading ability and the fact that she can't tell anyone about it.

I also think Brandon's friend (Anna I think? From the FBI?) could take on a more major role in the games, and to heat things up between the two protagonists. Maybe Brandon could feel that Vera is unreachable and does something with Anna instead. I'd also like to know about his past. Why aren't Brandon/Anna working together anymore? Has he ever failed to save anyone? Is he a ladies' man? (or was?)

I think your position with a female protagonist is more attractive to the female gamer. in my opinion. I found, as a female gamer myself, that I was kind of put off by all the attention Vera was getting in the second novel. She came off as too perfect and too effeminate,a character the readers/players can't fully immerse themselves in. A woman would love to be beautiful, but not get that much attention - though I'm not sure how the 'sexy' stuff would come in, to attract male gamers?

I was thinking, because her 'mind works like a computer' - maybe she could lack emotions at times? That could hinder or help her work with cases.

Don't get me wrong though - I love the characters. I think they're awesome, and I'd love to be Vera. I think I'm also curious as to how her brain surgery worked?

On a side note: I read that Vera Blanc wasn't selling well. Have you tried gaining recognition through comic-book fans, or forums? I think a visual novel would be a perfect medium for them; a comic book with more interactivity.

Okay yup, I think that's all I have to say. There's more but I can't think of it. Anyway, I'm sorry if I've insulted!

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jack1974
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Re: Character development

Post by jack1974 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:52 am

Kataki wrote:Hey guys, it's katoji. I made a new account because for some strange reason, no matter how many times I tried to log in with the other account, it wouldn't let me. Even when I requested new passwords.
Oops! strange. Anyway welcome back 8)
Kataki wrote: Anyway, well I played the Vera Blanc games quite awhile ago so forgive me if i have any information wrong. I found that Vera Blanc was a pretty intriguing character, however, I often think that she's too perfect. The only thing I found wrong with her was that in the first game, the police underestimated her ability. However in the second game (to be honest I've only played half of it...never came back to finishing it haha) everyone seemed to absolutely LOVE her and be entranced by her beauty.

I think maybe her position as I think, Brandon's assistant/partner(or is she an actual detective as well?) could undermine her. They could present real flaws to her character in the way that she could be only taken for her looks rather than her intelligence. This could blend well with her mind-reading ability and the fact that she can't tell anyone about it.

I also think Brandon's friend (Anna I think? From the FBI?) could take on a more major role in the games, and to heat things up between the two protagonists. Maybe Brandon could feel that Vera is unreachable and does something with Anna instead. I'd also like to know about his past. Why aren't Brandon/Anna working together anymore? Has he ever failed to save anyone? Is he a ladies' man? (or was?)
Haha amazing, it's really what I want to do in the 3rd episode. It would be set in a mysterious town infested by zombies, and there would be Brandon, Vera and Anna alone there. It would lead to some really cool moments with lot of tension in particular between Vera and Anna.
Sadly for now I paused it, because I must use another gameplay system (most likely adventure game). Also had troubles to find good, reliable comic artists recently :?
Kataki wrote: I think your position with a female protagonist is more attractive to the female gamer. in my opinion. I found, as a female gamer myself, that I was kind of put off by all the attention Vera was getting in the second novel. She came off as too perfect and too effeminate,a character the readers/players can't fully immerse themselves in. A woman would love to be beautiful, but not get that much attention - though I'm not sure how the 'sexy' stuff would come in, to attract male gamers?
Yes, I once asked in another forum of visual novel fans why they didn't buy my game, and most people answered because they had the impression that Vera was the classic damsel in distress, beautiful but a weak character, just judging from the main menu image. That angered me a little I must confess, since she is ANYTHING BUT a weak character (rather the opposite).
Probably you're right about the excessive attention in the 2nd game: I wanted to make it in a fun way though, like the initial sequence with Guido the barman... I wanted to have a bit of fun moments. But probably I exaggerated a bit!! :oops:
Kataki wrote: I was thinking, because her 'mind works like a computer' - maybe she could lack emotions at times? That could hinder or help her work with cases.

Don't get me wrong though - I love the characters. I think they're awesome, and I'd love to be Vera. I think I'm also curious as to how her brain surgery worked?
Yes well she is a bit distant with everyone - she is beautiful but has no boyfriend and no real friends except his father. I'd say she is quite alone, and if wasn't for Brandon she would rarely talk with someone in intimacy. The brain surgery in my initial storyboard would let her learn "skills". I even had them coded, but then I realized that implementing them in the game would have been a nightmare :D For example I had "occultism" that in the first episode would have unlocked the werewolf blood knowledge (otherwise you couldn't have known about it).
But the problem is that while seems an easy game, behind it there's an insane amount of work! :lol: when you have so many different possible paths, keeping a coherent plot becomes very difficult.
Kataki wrote: On a side note: I read that Vera Blanc wasn't selling well. Have you tried gaining recognition through comic-book fans, or forums? I think a visual novel would be a perfect medium for them; a comic book with more interactivity.

Okay yup, I think that's all I have to say. There's more but I can't think of it. Anyway, I'm sorry if I've insulted!
You've not insulted anyone. I want to thank you instead for the awesome feedback. This is one of the reason why I am indie, to get direct contact with the people/end users, to get feedback and constructive suggestions :P
The reasons why the game sold badly are many, I think mostly it's because of the artwork. Most visual novel readers are used to manga art, and my comic style isn't as detailed as the manga one. I would need either to raise the graphic quality or change the style. I am not sure, really. Might also be the gameplay: most people loving detective stories like adventure/hidden object games, so the kind of gameplay present in Vera Blanc games might have put them off.

I am in love with Vera character and I want for sure to make more games with her, but I need to find a different gameplay system. I believe first person adventure, Legend Entertainment style, is the solution. I'll probably get back to her later this year or next year since right now I have a lot of games to finish first :oops:

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