Would you play a visual novel without graphics?

Would you play a VN with no graphics?

  • Yes, regardless of whether there's a story-related reason or not

    Votes: 6 26.1%
  • Yes, but only if it's related to the story

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No, visual novels are supposed to have visuals

    Votes: 17 73.9%

  • Total voters
    23
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
Messages
96
Reaction score
135
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I like visual novels and thought about making one several times. The problem is I'm not good at finding the right graphic resources and I'm not a very good artist. So would you play a visual novel type game even if it didn't have graphics? What if the reason for no graphics was story-related like the MC was blind?

By the way, I mean just background and characters, where would still be a title screen and all that.
 

Slimsy Platypus

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
May 17, 2016
Messages
117
Reaction score
132
Primarily Uses
I think there's potential, but if it was solely text then the question beckons: why are you making a game/VN? If it is just text, shouldn't that be a book? [rhetorical question]

I do however think there is a ton of potential for a minimalist game with really basic 2D resources. As with all games it will all depend on how you implement it. I bet with a little work, you could do something very cool with the default assets that come with RPG maker!

The game Sorcery! come to mind. I provided a link to the game below so you can check out the visual style. In short, that is a great example of a super successful & fun to play game with pretty minimal 2D graphics (story\text driven). Check it out and keep us posted with the progress on your game!

http://www.inklestudios.com/sorcery/
 
Last edited:

The Mighty Palm

Resident Palm Tree
Restaff
Joined
Jan 29, 2015
Messages
566
Reaction score
4,151
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
Honestly, no, I wouldn't. One of the things I didn't like about Orange Season was the lack of character portraits.

Now, the blind thing...
It sounds like an idea, but you'd need some good sound design to make up for the lack of visuals.

and itd have to be a convincing and emotional story. If you're relying on a story to carry your game (which I never recommend) then you'll need to put %120 into it.

but thats just my two cent.
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
Messages
96
Reaction score
135
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
@Slimsy Platypus You're right for just text, but I also had in mind the choices and multiple endings you see with many VNs. And you're right that there is a lot of potential with the default resources in RPG maker, but it's geared towards RPGs rather than VNs.

@The Mighty Palm You make a good point. If I get rid of a vital area like graphics I really need to go above and beyond with the rest of the areas to make up for it.
 

HexMozart88

The Master of Random Garbage
Veteran
Joined
May 15, 2016
Messages
1,910
Reaction score
3,396
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Hmm. Sounds a bit like Zork to me. I wouldn't do it to be honest. I'm a graphical person and I probably wouldn't play your game if there's no eye candy.
 

Sharm

Pixel Tile Artist
Veteran
Joined
Nov 15, 2012
Messages
12,760
Reaction score
10,892
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
I wouldn't because the game would be misrepresenting itself. A multiple choice game like that is a text adventure, not a visual novel and it would be important for a writer to know about the genre they're writing in for the story to work at it's best. I've played a few of those, but it's much, much harder for them to be taken seriously. Most of the ones out there are short.

There's actually a lot of free resources out there for visual novels, you just need to go looking at visual novel sites instead of RPG sites. ^_~ Lemmasoft, for example, has a whole section for it.
 

Shaz

Global Moderators
Global Mod
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
41,298
Reaction score
14,275
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
If it doesn't have graphics, then it's not a visual novel - it's a text adventure.
 

Kyuukon

主人公
Veteran
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
2,252
Reaction score
1,108
First Language
Spanish
Primarily Uses
RMMV
If people read books, I don't see why not lol.
 

Tai_MT

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
5,524
Reaction score
4,936
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I actually played a Visual Novel like that. Yes, I know, lots of people saying that "it's not a visual novel without graphics". Except... It was. The protagonist (you) was written to be blind. So, there are two modes of play. One is the typical visual novel style... You see the girls you're meant to be talking to and getting along with and dating and such... But, the other mode was "blind man mode" in which the game played exactly the same... Except you couldn't see anything. You were instead told what you could sense instead of see. You'd be told if someone grabbed your hand, or smelled of perfume or whatever.

I honestly had more fun with the "blind man mode" because it left me choosing all my interactions based on limited information I had at hand. I found it a unique experience.

But, that's just me. I did also play it in regular mode though... So... Maybe the "text only" feature works best as a gimmick instead of the entirety of the gameplay?

Oh, the game I played? I think it was called "H2O", but I can't quite recall... it was like 5 or more years ago.
 

cabfe

Cool Cat
Veteran
Joined
Jun 13, 2013
Messages
2,354
Reaction score
2,552
First Language
French
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
As it's been said, a Visual Novel is different from a book since it has, well, visuals.
That's about the same thing as saying "I'm making a video game, except it's played on paper only because I don't have a computer."
Note that there is nothing wrong with text games. You can find some good ones sometimes, but many fail because the game design isn't matching the media used.
For example, if you have no choices, no sound, no graphics, no replayability... it's just a digitalized book.
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
Messages
96
Reaction score
135
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
@HexMozart88 I completely understand, especially since sight is the most relied on sense.
@Sharm & @Shaz I can't believe I forgot about the term text adventure. I played one at one time. but I remember I didn't it very much. Probably because of the lack of graphics.
Also @Sharm I never really looked too in depth there, I mostly just relied on google. I'm kind of hoping that once VNM comes out there will be resources here... I like this site because I know my way around it. I was never much of a forum person before this place, I like it here.
@Tai_MT That example sounds interesting, and gives me a bit of hope that it's not completely undoable.
@cabfe You have good points that bring me back to, if I get rid of graphics, everything else must be top-notch.

I've also been giving some thought to the idea of a blind MC and came up with a way of using graphics. That is, using black and white images that give you the "basic shape" of places, items, and people. Or if the MC wasn't born blind, include color when someone describes something or use a full detailed image of something/someone they saw before going blind.
Course, so much for working around my artistic ability, as this might rely custom graphics more.
 

Kino

EIS Game Dev
Veteran
Joined
Nov 27, 2015
Messages
560
Reaction score
801
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
It's totally viable to do so, but it'd be hard to make it a selling point for people. Often times, people prefer the graphics, because it helps change the way you have to write a VN. In most VNs, you don't have to worry describing the setting to the player since you have the graphics, but in your case, it would require deep description.

People do use the method without graphics though, but you then have to make good use of music, and maybe minimal backgrounds to keep things interesting, plus sound effects. It can definitely be done. There are two ways of writing a VN anyway, which are used in quite a few. The regular version with the graphics, and the other version with just plain text. Honestly, though, I'd try to get minimalistic graphics if you don't want to go heavy on the art. Or, make the game more niche.
 

umbralshadows

the silks angel
Veteran
Joined
May 26, 2017
Messages
202
Reaction score
351
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
So a text adventure ? Yeah! I love those!! But tha writing an sound production better be engaging dude.
 

Philosophus Vagus

The drunken bird dog of rpg maker
Veteran
Joined
May 22, 2017
Messages
300
Reaction score
4,591
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Probably not, no. I mean a visual novel without the visuals...wouldn't that just be a novel? Why would I want to read a novel on a video game platform when there are already so many more viable alternatives to enjoying them such as paper or ebooks? I guess it can still have gameplay elements to it, but then it is more of a text adventure and I just don't know if there is a viable market for text adventures in this day and age.

Though that perception could just be me being a book snob I guess? Not like I have objective statistics or anything; just basing that observation on the fact that actual book readers are becoming a rarity, I can't imagine that text adventures have a broader or even equal following.
 
Joined
May 22, 2017
Messages
44
Reaction score
61
First Language
Polish
Primarily Uses
RMMV
A visual novel without visuals sounds like an oxymoron ;)

Why won't you just ask someone to do the art for you? :) Also, bear in mind that not every Visual Novel have to be a cute eye-candy manga. The graphics could be very simple, could be pixel art or some minimalistic black&white line art even. I'm pretty sure there's quite a lot of folks around here or on deviant art who can draw or paint, and are likely to jump onboard with you. Just write the story or at least synopsis and start asking people until someone agrees :)

You could also do the graphics yourself. Make photos with your phone or find public domain photos/pictures (like some old art that's not copyrighted), then put it in some photoediting software, maybe you already have some photo editing app on your phone. Just look here what you can do with ordinary photos in Gimp (which is free). Trust me it's easier than you might think, just watch couple tutorials on youtube and you're good to go.

And if you still don't feel like having any graphics (because of your MC being blind or something else) then IMHO you should change the tool from VN Maker/RPG Maker to something more suitable for this particular task like Twine and write an "old-fashioned" (doesn't have to mean worse, right) interactive text adventure, like these here. One of the best games I've ever played was written in Twine, without any bells and whistles.
 

Milennin

"With a bang and a boom!"
Veteran
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
2,691
Reaction score
1,816
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
No, go draw something in MS Paint. It doesn't matter if it's stick-men, it's still better than no graphics at all. Visual novel is called a visual novel because it involves visuals. A visual novel without visuals isn't a visual novel.
 

HexMozart88

The Master of Random Garbage
Veteran
Joined
May 15, 2016
Messages
1,910
Reaction score
3,396
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Yeah, I mean, seriously. If you want to make a visual novel, even though my art style can be kind of weird sometimes, I can try to help you out. Not the absolute best at backgrounds, but I've been doing characters for a long time. (Plus, I've never actually done a visual novel before, so I think it'd be pretty fun. XD)
 

Shaz

Global Moderators
Global Mod
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
41,298
Reaction score
14,275
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
@Sharm & @Shaz I can't believe I forgot about the term text adventure. I played one at one time. but I remember I didn't it very much. Probably because of the lack of graphics.

You left out a word there, and I'm going to assume it's like. So if you didn't like it very much, probably because of the lack of graphics, why would you want to make one?
 

Latest Threads

Latest Posts

Latest Profile Posts

I haven't been on here in forever wow(missed my forum birthday T-T). Anyways, I'm dabbling in BGMs, here's something I'm actually willing to share.

Binge-watched 6 episodes of the Erased anime... And that means I've watched half of it?! Sigh...
I'm bad at base-building games (looking at other players created an aesthetically beautiful base compared to me), but IDK why I keep playing the game and seek more of it.
Pyra and Mythra in smash ultimate are way too OP. They're basically Smash 4 Bayonetta 2.0, and not in a good way. Very toxic and unfair. At least they're hot tho.
attack on titan keep reaching a new height with each episode, aaa I can't wait another week for a new episode at this point

Forum statistics

Threads
109,197
Messages
1,042,961
Members
141,698
Latest member
ZetabrandX
Top