I saw Danko's post on the LemmaSoft forums and although I do have an account there, it's under a different username from here and I thought it'd be more convenient if I commented here instead. ^^
I wanted to comment on the post there, since I actually thought that a lot of his/her points are valid. To give a bit of background info on myself so this doesn't sound like it's coming from someone who's new to the VN/RPG scene (lol), I've been fan of the genre since Hanako Games had some of its first games out, specifically Cute Knight. So it's been quite some years, now that I think about it.
Anyway, I've also helped to beta test games although nowadays, I edit and proofread VNs in my free time and I'm paid to do this. (I do have a main job as well so editing and proofreading are work on the side.)
Ok, so on to the actual content. I do agree that it might have been the art that put some people off from buying the game although for me personally, if the writing is really good, the art won't matter. Same goes for other VN elements like music and all that. For me, writing is so important. However, I know that this isn't the case for others. I suppose I prefer to judge a book by its contents rather than on the cover.
This has been covered so I won't say anything more about it.
On to what Danko said about editors and writers. Now I don't think you need to hire a professional writer. It is quite costly to do so and I can understand that you might not be able to budget having one. However, I do agree with what was said about hiring an editor. Ok, now it might sound like I'm being biased on the matter since I do edit and perhaps I am but I do think this point is valid, regardless. When I've edited VNs, I do notice things like awkward phrasing of sentences and I do my best to reword them so they sound more natural. Also, when I read through scripts, there are times I notice that something seems weird about a scene or how the characters behave and it's something that I point out. Of course, this could be done intentionally and if that's the case, then it's fine to ignore any criticism I give but otherwise, my input is usually taken into account and certain parts may be rewritten to make more sense. XD If it comes down to not having the budget to hire an editor, it's not necessary to hire a professional one and I do understand that it might be pricey to hire one. However, it might depend on the people who offer to help out with editing. For me, money isn't a huge factor when it comes to editing jobs. I'm more than willing to take on jobs even if the pay is low as long as I like the VN I'm helping to work on and I feel that my input would be valued. ^^ One other thing-I suppose one could argue that beta testers can point out the flaws in English grammar and all that and they do but there are things that can be easily missed so having an editor take care of most, if not all, of the errors.
I don't want to make this post longer than it already is but those are my two cents and all that.