Good Question!

Hey all! Kevin here once again!



Over the past few days, we've had received a great amount of people expressing interest in project Ven, which we're super psyched about - nothing better than finally being able to show off your work after 3 months of NDAs! ^^

A lot of commenters have also raised some great questions and concerns, which I'll be happy to answer, starting with this post.

The first issue I'd like to address is that of over-scoping - many have expressed concern that our project might be too ambitious, doomed to never see the light of day. This is an extremely valid point! Over-scoping is definitely the bane of start-up groups, and the first thing we had to decide was the scope of Ven. Our team has a strong track record of completing projects (it's the first thing you learn as a game dev) - and doing so in relatively quick times. Check out Rabbit Rush: http://www.rabbit-rush.com/, a game we made in 2013 that got an honourable mention for IGF 2014! While not the most polished game, it was definitely a fairly large scale project, and we managed to make that in 4 months with a group of 5. A few of us have also worked on commercial projects (iPhone apps, prototypes for larger companies, etc.), so we do have some experience with project completion and follow through. This is also the reason why we're purposely limiting the scope of the game to less than 1 hour of playtime - quality over quantity, and it helps us scope out follow-ups much easier.

Some have also commented on the over-simplistic nature of our "goals" - rest assured that our "goals" were oversimplified for public consumption - we have a detailed, 17 page design doc for internal use, which we are happy to share with anyone in the later stages of engaging with us as a writer. Nonetheless, I can see where how some of the terms we used might seem rather ambiguous, so let me clarify them in greater detail:

"Mainstream", and why we're going there
Mainstream is a rather vague word used out a lack of a better one (that we can think of), so let's put it this way instead: we want to create a game that reaches outwards (from the VN community), while still remaining an enjoyable work for those within the original community. While targeting a niche market is generally the sounder business choice (at least in the short run), our "goal" is not just to make money. Don't get me wrong, we're not altruists on a holy mission, and being commercially viable is definitely a key factor for our success, but if we just wanted to make money…we probably won't be making games . It's our passion and love for the medium that propels the project, and our greatest desire to see it rise up and take its place amongst the other "great" mediums - film, books, comics, anime…
The following will probably be our most controversial statement: we believe that in order for a medium to grow past a certain point, it requires mainstream recognition and relevance to popular culture. Studio Ghibli, as clich├ęd as it might be, is a great example of a studio that "reaches out", while remaining relevant and enjoyable for the original fans of the medium. We want to be like that.
We understand if not everybody agrees with us in that statement, but that's what we believe in. That being said, we're definitely not out there to make a "watered-down" experience, or to censor - it just means we have to approach the narrative from a more universal point of view.
So not too niche, but not too mainstream: like most things, balance, I think, is key.

The West
"The West" refers to the English-speaking world. We believe that language is the largest barrier preventing wide-spread access of the large majority of visual novel works, and by creating high-quality, easily accessible English-language works we lower the barrier of entry for a lot of people out there. This is not to say we are not interested in releases in other languages - it's just a bit outside our budget (scoping once again) - and we don't want to make any empty promises.

Tl;dr: We more visual novels beings made worldwide, and higher quality works produced. We believe by creating a high-quality, high-profile English visual novel that reaches out from the current VN community is the best way to do that.

A last point I want to clarify is that we are not just fans working on a pet project! We are game developers that have worked on professional, commercial works, forming a start-up company to work on our dream. We understand that there are risks involved, which is why we want to make sure people know what they are getting into. Is it going to be easy? No. Is it going to be risky? Heck yeah. But we truly believe we have something worth investing into, that people will enjoy! :D


Hope that it clears things up a bit, and once again, if you have any questions or comments, please let us know!

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