Steam Community :: SC2VN - The eSports Visual Novel
To hide spoilers use format: [text to hide](/spoiler) (details) . For anyone new to SC2VN, it's a Kickstarter project that still needs funding to make it happen, so check out What about the love/hate relationship with demuslim?. It's never easy to end a relationship and, as a result, people often get into emotional trouble when they try. The game is a prequel set during the Brood War era, which focuses on Bolt from SC2VN and his relationship with Jett in her previous StarCraft career.
I've been playing visual novel games for several years. On that note, there exists a well-known engine called RPGmaker that has slowly built itself a notorious reputation in the world of game development. What I mean to say is: Most does not mean all. Likewise, I've been around the block with the world of VNs which is largely a dark and esoteric extension of the anime fandom ; there exists a similar engine created called Ren'Py that largely opened up the accessibility of VN creation; particularly on the international front.
On that note, there are a great many Ren'Py novels that are Let me be clear that creating a VN of any proportion is an incredible feat. It requires a great many resources just to make something complete, many of which may not be accessible to most typical indie developers.
That being said; VNs are not exactly a thriving business in the west due to low demand and serious quality control. To create something memorable is an extreme challenge and worthy of praise. Sorry for all the exposition, here's what you actually came for: SC2VN is unique for its subject matter, but does not immediately differentiate itself outside of its setting. The strongest part of this novel is easily its readability and pacing.
It is just the right length for a kinetic novel, the kind that doesn't offer meaningful choices and generally reaches a singular ending. The story quickly identifies key characters and differentiates them enough to stand out in the player's mind.
While it does not necessarily offer the most original or in-depth story, what really draws you in is how seamlessly the novel ties realistic reprsentations of the Korean eSports scene with meaningful plot progression.
It is made to be very easily followed along, even for the casual reader. Whether you are an enthusiast of Starcraft or completely oblivious to the franchise, the writing easily carries the player along and allows you to enjoy even the more exclusive concepts of its theming. To make things even easier, it even comes with an in-game glossary to offer definition for jargon and some Korean vocabulary used throughout the novel.
This is a really nice feature. A powerful thing to make your VN really stand out is good presentation.
Small attention to detail, especially in GUI, can make a huge difference in my experience. SC2VN applies this concept quite well; one of the nicer touches is how character names and their appearances to an extent are color coded to increase distinction from one another.
On top of this, an especially nice touch is how there is a small icon next to the names that identify the race that each character plays. Even tiny things like this can go a really long way! The standard features of a typical VN engine apply, thanks to Ren'Py's great versatility.
You have your history log, easily accessible by scrolling up with the mouse wheel.
SC2VN (Visual Novel) - TV Tropes
Main menu is right click by default, mostly just the intuitive stuff you'd come to expect from reading PC novels. You think I wouldn't have to mention this stuff, but then you'd be wrong. A lot of Ren'Py novels keep the default options like having to scroll through previous text one block at a time. People have definitely made great documentaries, articles, and podcasts about eSports. We watched a few streamers who played the game in between sessions of StarCraft, or just all in one sitting.
The game-format definitely helped us in getting the word out. How large of a team put this together? I wrote, scripted, and directed the game.
Four artists that split backgrounds, character lines, character color, GUI, and CG between them, and two musicians created original tracks for the game.
Have you ever made something like this before? Tim and I both learned an insane amount throughout the development process. How long has it taken to go from the concept of the game to release? More than two years if you count the time we spent making our hideous Kickstarter alpha, although we spent at least one of those years floundering.
The StarCraft sequences were really painful to create — the pipeline involved the StarCraft 2 map editor, the StarCraft 2 client, Photoshop, and then animating the correct each screenshot for this process. Seeing a small error like a misplaced gateway meant the process had to be redone. It felt like stop motion animation.
We only started this process when we thought it would be a cool idea to get the game on Steam. I was lucky enough to get a contact at Blizzard to email and we got a reply back a few weeks later. We did a phone call and numerous Skype convos to get them up to speed of our games content and where we were at in development, and we did our best to be transparent on what we were trying to accomplish.
I heard the folks on the StarCraft team really took a liking to the project and made magic happen, and at PAX I got the amazing phone call that we were granted approval. What I can say that everyone I talked to at Blizzard really took the time to understand what we were doing, and that they really love their community.
The trust that Blizzard put into us shows that they really care about their communities. What are you working on next? I have no idea. Making games is hard. Seriously though, neither Tim or I are done making games. Like TJ said, the next game is honestly unknown but I hope people will support us in our next steps. As of yesterday, SC2VN has been officially Greenlit on Steam — congratulations guys, and thank you for taking the time to chat with us!
Send them our way— submissions and suggestions should be sent to liz at blizzardwatch dot com.