THE FUTURE IS NOW – VR VNs Discussuion

THE FUTURE IS NOW – VR VNs Discussuion

One of the coolest things I got to do at CRX this year was checking out a game called Tokyo Chronos, which is a mystery Visual Novel that has the fun mechanic of being in Virtual Reality. It was fully voiced and worked very well on the PlaystationVR with me looking around like an idiot 90% of the time and getting surprised by random characters approaching from strange angles. The demo itself was interesting and got me intrigued with a really cool trailer at the end and made me think I might get a PlaystationVR to supplement my Windows Mixed Reality rig, especially for VR VNs.

While the motion sickness might kick in for something as time intensive as a Visual Novel, the design of it had me thinking, I would pay for this and for other games to be retrofitted to work with VR, especially Visual Novels. Some of the big ones that come to mind are Doki Doki Literature Club and Steins;Gate. Doki Doki would be pretty boring for the first part but (Spoiler alert) the Sayori scene would probably break people and when the game starts getting glitchy, I can’t imagine it being more terrifying than in VR. Especialy the Yuri moment where you’re just there.

Just Monika

Conversely, from a purely storytelling moment I’d love Steins;Gate in VR. Pretty sure @cmdrcluckcluck would agree with me on this but just being able to explore Akihabara with all the Lab Members would be a fantastic moment. Even just the mundane moments would be a blast, and I imagine the phone being in your hand would be a great mechanic that maps very well to VR.

The other series/genre that I know would be popular because weebs are weebs, is the Sakura series/Ecchi games. I know for one people already go gaga for 2D bouncing but to encounter that in 3D will likely make people’s brains melt. People lost their minds for a VR lap pillow alone, all the busty VN women in VR would probably lead to heart attacks.

Kinda strange they have so much white space next to Emilia…

The opposite to these however would be the comedy dating sims like Panzermadels: Tank Dating Simulator or Max’s Big Bust – A Captain Nekorai Tale. These two Visual Novels make great work off of the hilarity of the limitations of Visual Novels. Most of the funniest moments are when they are able to somehow tell better than show, which is normally not a thing that is advised for storytelling. While Max’s Big Bust has a bit more work to play off since they do have some cut scenes, Panzermadels would never work as well in VR as they make their jokes off things you can’t see like the girls shooting their cannons or running through buildings and walls (which actually would be kinda funny but still detract from the original overall).

Anyways, off this well engineered experience I can definitely see VR is a great avenue for Visual Novels to expand but like many other video game genres, I see it supplementing and not replacing the originals. Much like First Person Shooters or MMOs would be entertaining and fun in Virtual Reality I can’t imagine them replacing 2D screens, even with cost and technology reductions/optimizations. Let me know what other games or genres you’d like to see or play in VR below and lets come up with a great game idea!

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