Pretty shamelessly borrowed all the formatting, thank you very much to the clubs that came before me and figured things out
Welcome to ルーパーズ
I just wandered in, what is this?
See the visual novel book club home thread if you need an explanation of visual novels themselves, but loopers is a time loop story developed by Key (known especially for Clannad and Little Busters). You can learn more about the VN here on VNDB.
Please spoiler tag / collapse all spoilers, and keep refrain from discussing happenings beyond the current week’s thread. Don’t be shy to ask any questions at all about the language, freely give your thoughts on the content of the writing so far, etc. Just remember usual forum and etiquette and it’s all good. And please do chime in, the more the merrier and all that
And if you drop off the schedule, that’s no problem either. Often someone is still watching these threads, so (as is true with all clubs here) feel free to ask or comment even after the end date!
So, on the topic of club reading pace/length. Luckily jpdb has stats for this VN, and it totals ~132k characters. If I were to use @AzusaChan 's suggestion of a pace of 1.5k characters per day, that puts us at running this VN for basically 3 months. Is that too fast? Too slow? Just right? Even when I was starting at VNs in Japanese, once I was at the level to make them intelligible, I could force out ~3000 characters in a day before I got too exhausted (if you want a piece of encouraging news, that one is an extremely long VN, but nearing the end now I’ve more than doubled that) so I imagine this is alright while giving slower readers enough leeway that they aren’t forced to commit all their reading time every single day. I imagine we have a mix of reading speeds here, but I already know many of you have a bunch of projects simultaneously, too. so I don’t want to ask too much. Let me know how you feel about it!
…this also emphasizes to me that if we do open to somewhat larger VNs (and considering how many options that opens I feel like we really do want to in the future), we’re probably going to have to push the speed a little more. But we’ll deal with that when we get there.
I am fine with us reading the VN for 3 months. I did a little research and compared the character count to a beginner book club book ( 夜カフェ ) and saw that the first volume of that is 48,349 characters long for comparison. I think they are reading that book for 4 months? So at our pace we’d be almost triple the speed of the beginner book club, so maybe we would need a bit more time than 3 months? Guess it depends on everyone’s current ability + how much time they want to spend on this specific club. But I thought I’d mention that so people can have more of an idea of what the pacing would be like since I’m not sure how many people currently count characters as they read.
I gotta be honest. I have no idea how many characters that I typically read per day. Like how many characters are on a typical page of a book? I know this varies from book size and font size, but at least for English fiction books it is generally thought to be about 300 words per page (if I remember correctly). Is there any such number for Japanese? (Aka so I can have a guess at how much I might read comfortably.)
I think someone mentioned that going for a weekly amount would be more like a regular club, and maybe 1.5k characters per day is fine, but reducing it slightly so people can easily miss a day and such. 1.5k is 10.5k per week, so maybe go for 9k or so. Or even slightly lower considering @AzusaChan comparison.
We can always add to the speed later when we’re more comfortable.
Triple the speed of beginner book club sounds like a lot to me. But at the same time, I don’t know what I can do right now.
Personally, I hope we have some kind of weekly schedule where those who can count characters can post a screenshot of the last screen (I don’t know how often you can save?) for the week (or the closest place you can save) when they get there. (Aka whoever reads it first that can get character counts takes a screenshot and posts it.)
But maybe that is too much work? Especially considering I couldn’t help with the screenshooting unless the Switch version (/every version) shows the amount of characters read (I doubt it?).
Edit: Might also be nice to add a poll to see what version people are reading. Not that I expect a difference, but could be nice still.
Oh awesome, thank you for looking into that! That does make this feel on the faster side, huh. For what it’s worth I feel like I read visual novels so much faster than I do books (perhaps partially that’s yomichan, but I think more than anything it’s the help of the voice acting and just the writing style, with the presence of a lot of dialog and, in what I’ve been reading anyway, lots of more simple lines). But like everyone else I haven’t actually counted characters in books, heh.
I can probably figure out something like that to take roughly at whatever interval works? I’m likely to be juggling a couple projects now, but on a good day I hit around 7000-10,000 characters when I sit down and read Summer Pockets, so I can probably stay ahead of things and point out rough progress guidelines.
You should be able to pause and save the game at any time. I will be playing on PC so if we want someone to post screenshots of when we hit a certain character count I can do that (or someone else if they are reading ahead). Only downside to that is you might be hit with a spoiler picture
I do agree with this too. For me, it is a lot easier to read dialogues compared to narratives in books. Since it seems like this will be a lot of people’s first time reading a VN, it wouldn’t hurt to be on the safer side and have it be a little longer though.
Sorry, but why not vote on potentially upping the pace after a month or so? Going from the poll responses for this vn in the other thread it looks like it’ll be too easy for most of you. This would also give people new to the format time to adjust.
I haven’t tried this before, but couldn’t we just paste textractor output into word to get a rough character count when the scene changes? It would be skewed a bit by names I think.
Personally speaking, I’m going to buy and follow, but probably won’t participate. I’m probably going to be on the struggle… uh, vehicle… That said, I haven’t actually bought from any of those sites before. Are they all pretty friendly to foreigners, or are there any catches I should be aware of?
Edit: Come to think about it, I think the standard textractor flow is to auto paste into a web page. It might not be too hard to hack up a character count into one of those.
I’m not good at judging things in terms of character counts (all these numbers are wild to me, definitely has me re-conceptualizing some things ) but based on my own experiences, so take it with a grain of salt for sure, I would estimate first-time visual novel reading to take around 5-6 times longer than vndb estimates? Obviously there are a lot of factors involved in that, but going off of that I’d guess around 40 hours for this one (though I’m definitely not trying to say it shouldn’t take longer than that or anything, just trying to conceptualize the length in a way that makes more intuitive sense to me ).
I also definitely agree that reading visual novels (especially with voice acting) goes way faster than reading books. That all said, I’m not sure how specific of a schedule we’re going for, but either way if people find that they’re getting through it faster than expected we can always reevaluate later, so I don’t think starting out on the safer side is a bad thing! And if some people with more VN experience get further faster to get a better idea of the structure and such that could be nice too.
It also definitely depends what difficulty we’re targeting; I think for this one we’re targeting more generally yeah? So staying at a more relaxed pace would be good to allow more people to be able to participate, but if we want to do lengthier VNs in the future adjusting the pace could be something to consider, kinda like how the different book club levels run.
I think even post it by mid-week of the current week would be fine. (At least for me personally.) This would be more for a general guide how far one should have gotten by the end of the week, especially since no weekly threads are planned.
I was thinking about this, because it would help keep us on pace. And help guide discussion. For example if someone reads far ahead, they can keep peeking at the weekly screenshot to have an idea when they can expect the rest of the club to catch up.
True. But there are a couple of ways to combat that. Each screenshot would be blurred/hidden, and one would only be slightly spoiled for the week ahead. And if someone is very concerned about spoilers, they could always read first for a while before checking, or ask for a non-spoilery hint for when they are at the end/towards the end of the weekly read.
Nothing is perfect, but these things are true in any book club when they can’t neatly use chapter breaks for the weekly breaks.
I hadn’t thought of that. So in that way, it is a bit more like reading manga. And I do find that a lot easier.
I still don’t know the character count for what I could typically read in a day with manga either.
This sound good to me. And also as noted by several, easy enough to increase the pace if/when we want.
Let me help y’all out with some statistics if I may?
That’d be about 12-13 weeks or something? That sounds like a good length to me. For comparison, the Beginner Book Club aims for not more than 14-16 weeks. But…
Bunkobon books (the small paperback ones) usually contain 400 characters per page (if there is no white space left) so this would be like 4-6 pages per day, roundabout. (I increased the number slightly because with dialogue you will always have some white space on a page.)
This would mean 28 - 42 pages per week. For comparison, the Beginner Book Club aims at about 10 pages per week, I guess? For the Intermediate, it’s about 15, maybe 20 pages per week, and the Advanced club goes with 40-50 pages per week for contemporary books.
In other words, with such a speed you would be at the upper end of the Intermediate or at the lower end of the Advanced book club.
Having said all that, it’s totally possible that those numbers don’t carry over in exactly the same way as for “pure” books. Maybe the level of difficulty for the text is much lower, or maybe the voices support so much that you can be reading much faster? I don’t know.
So I don’t want to scare y’all away - just trying to put this into proportion somewhat.
I don’t mind the pace too much. If it feels slow I can just read other stuff and if I fall behind it’ll be easier to catch up. If it’s too noticeable we can always change the pace later, too. I do think eventually this is going to have to turn into a more upper-intermediate thing if we are ever to read longer stuff though, but for now it’s probably best to be more accessible (I say even though I’m not even sure I’m at that level myself yet).
What I would appreciate is some insight into how you guys count characters because I have a low key fear that I’m going to be completely lost trying to figure out how much I’m supposed to read each week to keep the pace.
I use a text extractor (guide can be found here: Learning Japanese with VNs - TheMoeWay ). As you progress through each line, the game’s text will be sent over to a blank page and count each character/line for you.
Each line is sent over to the webpage like that and in the top right, it shows how many characters and lines you read each day. You can keep the history if you want or clear it each day. I usually just clear the history after I finish the VN so I can have a running character count of what I am reading.
With all that said, that only works if you are playing on PC. If you play on console, I am not sure of any way to count your characters.
Yeah that’s the trick with this huh Like AzusaChan said character counts are a textractor thing, but I’m probably planning to play it on the switch so I don’t know if there are any story divisions/chapters/whatever that might help for scheduling purposes? That might be clearer once we actually start haha
Oh yeah definitely, I hadn’t explicitly brought it up yet but I know a lot of clubs poll about pace after a few weeks and that’s probably a good idea. This fell on a bit of a busy morning for me so I wanted to get the ball rolling, but I’m still sort of slowly editing posts in the club thread and scraping things together, heh.
The textractor output page already counts characters for us, luckily! I just know some people will be using the Switch and the like so they might need a little guidance on progress.
I must admit I haven’t either, but I just brought over the ones @Sylph shared, so I’d much appreciate input on them. I know I’ve heard DLsite regularly recommended though, so I imagine it’s a relatively painless one?
Yeah I think that’s the general vibe, I know we had at least a few people interested who at least give off the impression they might be on the slower, closer to beginner side. Doing my best to aim for some accessibility, though I do think as has been mentioned, in the future, this might have to be a more near-advanced club. But hey, a round or two like this will help said people get there too
Nothing specific to say in response to all that at the moment, just kinda letting the discussion run to get a feel for where people are, but just want to say thanks
Hard agree with this whole sentiment, yep.
Yeah some of this is going to have to be felt out as we go. Either I/someone can work out a rough weekly character count and give indications of where that is, not as a real schedule but just a progress checker for those who want it. Or yeah, maybe we’ll discover it has fairly elegant breaks of some sort. Hard to say right now. Must admit my Loopers specific research going into this has been essentially nothing! Haha.
On the main menu there is a chapter button so I think the game may be split into different chapters? I think the button is locked until you beat it though so I can’t check how it is split. I saw somebody mention a few weeks ago that they were reading this in the “read every day challenge” thread but unfortunately I can’t remember who it was otherwise I’d ask them for more info I think the idea of someone who is counting characters and posting a screenshot when it hits a certain threshold so people can get a rough idea would work though?
I bought the game on DLSite awhile ago and had no issues with it. I know a lot of my friends who buy jp VNs also use that site. I don’t have much to say on it but it was easy for me when I purchased the VN.
Oh yeah, I just checked and it was @Pyororon, sorry to ping you are there like clear divisions in the game that might work for book club purposes? I don’t mean to drag you into all our scheduling adventures really, but if you have any insight that’d super helpful!
Wow, this is totally off topic from the scheduling discussion, but I had no idea Ryukishi07 (Higurashi, Umineko, etc) wrote this?? Didn’t even occur to me as a possibility since it’s developed by Key. That’s awesome.