Visual Novel Book Club // Now reading: ISLAND

I think I did come across that at some point but sometimes this game uses English words and I’m not sure if that would get rid of all romaji so decided not to use it just for that. At this point it doesn’t return weird characters much anymore but when it does it’s fixed in like two seconds so it doesn’t bother me much, but it’s indeed good to know for other future games :slight_smile: .

6 Likes

The hook I’ve been using has been pretty one to one except the names are garbage. It also works on the script sections of the puzzle rooms, just not the unvoiced clickable sections.

I’ve saved them all into txt files for each block of flow chart so I can pretty easily get an idea of count. I’ll look over the weekend.

The only difference is i made a different choice at the elevator with June Murasaki because I hate the other one, but I doubt it’s much difference overall in character count

7 Likes

About this again, we might actually want to leave out week 6 too :joy: . With two puzzles the count for week 6 is super short, 5.5k. Week 7 might actually end up being longer. And we also kind of started the VN slower so that we could go faster later on with 5 scenes; it might not be the best idea to measure things right now, probably not even until we’re done or close to done… the average might be much more accurate at that point.

Regardless though, as of right now, it’s 82.4k characters for 6 weeks, so an average of 13.7k per week. This is again excluding puzzle text, it only includes VN-like text outside of the puzzle bits. Voi’s counts might end up being much different with them included.

4 Likes

Alrighty. I’m reasonably confident I caught the scene changes between blocks at the right points but its possible I might be a few off somewhere.

Some notes
  • Uses MS Words “Asian character count” which strips out the gibberish but also things like the limited english, quotation marks, ellipses, and special characters. After looking at the general “characters, no spaces” I thought it was probably more accurate, but they’re generally very close to each other except during certain sections where there are a lot of “–!!!” type conversations. I can provide the other if we think its more useful. Or the raw scripts if someone can process them more accurately.
  • Puzzle room dialog isn’t captured, unless its voiced. Any dialog got via clicking on things isn’t picked up by the hook and I didn’t capture using OCR manually. Despite this, they can still have a LOT of dialog. My total character count is nearly 40% higher than rikai’s
  • Rooms where paths converge tend to have the most text by a wide margin. I plotted the word counts on a picture of the flow chart, but it was a random one I grabbed so it didn’t follow the route we picked exactly even tho it goes to the same end, so I’m hesitant to post it yet.

I noted which block was Novel vs Escape, and what doors we took, but there are otherwise no spoilers below the cut

999 VN Club First Ending Character Counts

Doors 486:

Block 01 (NVL) = 2600
Block 02 (ESC) = 1829
Block 03 (NVL) = 6942
Block 04 (NVL) = 17453
Block 05 (NVL) = 2351
Block 06 (NVL) = 4342
Block 07 (ESC) = 8921
Block 08 (NVL) = 1266
Block 09 (ESC) = 8492
Block 10 (NVL) = 7015
Block 11 (NVL) = 12670
Block 12 (NVL) = 2243
Block 13 (NVL) = 2838
Block 14 (ESC) = 2390
Block 15 (NVL) = 1387
Block 16 (NVL) = 15216
Block 17 (NVL) = 2473
Block 18 (NVL) = 2233
Block 19 (ESC) = 685
Block 20 (NVL) = 2553
Block 21 (ESC) = 1566
Block 22 (NVL) = 4376
Block 23 (NVL) = 1071
Block 24 (NVL) = 3057

END

Overall: 115,969 characters

8 Likes

Wow the range on even just the novel sections is wild, no wonder pacing is such a nightmare :joy: So yeah based on that we’re clocking in a bit under 17,000 characters a week, plus a couple thousand or so for puzzle things. By the end of the club that should average out a bit closer to the 22.5k-25k a week goal with increasing pacing and going back through previous sections for different choices, but for now it’s on the lower end for sure.

I think that really depends who you ask; this club covers such a huge range of reading levels that it’s hard to come up with one answer for things like that. My opinion tends to be that those kind of decisions will naturally be made during the voting process whether there are length restrictions or not, so I don’t feel strongly about keeping them. If not enough people want to play something on the longer side, it just won’t win :man_shrugging:

If we do have enough interest at any point we could split things by speed or difficulty a bit; I know it’s been talked about before with the main issue being the smaller size of the club even keeping it as one thing compared to the other book clubs, but at this point there is precedent with 9-nine and BU$TAFELLOWS, so something to consider! That’d probably be something to decide at voting time if we end up with another split like that though.

8 Likes

Yeah, both this and talks about pros and cons of splitting have come up somewhat within the 9-Nine club (with the intention of opening that discussion to anyone else involved around the wider VN club). Honestly I’m starting to reach the point where I think I agree? I liked having specific limitations for length/pacing for the first few picks because we needed a soft launch to prove the concept of the club and a lot of people might not have a strong intuition for how well they can read a VN, what is or isn’t long, etc. At this point I feel like I can trust the people involved in deciding what we read to take those things in consideration and one way or another the club will get by? We can be adaptable.

Those of us in 9-Nine opted for sticking with about 25k for volume 3 anyway – we’ve got a couple people catching up/reading late and I think those of us keeping up ranged from “comfortable with more” to “probably able to do a little more but starting to push their limits” for available time per week. We’ll keep seeing improvement in speed anyway I’m sure, though. Personally I could manage more but I have more free time than most. Moving the speed to match the improvement of those of us already doing this will definitely make the club harder for anyone to join, but it also seems kind of important given the nature of the medium. I really like the idea of there being 2 levels of VN club, but I’m not sure if the demand from newer members is there at this moment. If there is I’d be happy to do whatever I can to facilitate it, though. It’s a niche medium I’d like to be able to share that I also think is really valuable for learning. Introducing people to that is something I don’t want to totally lose sight of.

It does still have to be considered, however, that whether they’re pushed out by pace or just kept out by any other factor (already read, temporarily busy with life, no interest in this pick, etc), keeping the pick refreshing within a reasonable time frame is good to keep in mind so people can jump back in. But in addition to splitting the club if it happens the way it did with the last picks, it’s inevitable anything will leave SOME people out for some reason, so I had brought up in that thread that I also think people should feel encouraged to just go do their own thing if there’s anyone who wants to join them? The same way there are lots of one-off book clubs that aren’t part of a larger club, we don’t really hold a monopoly on the medium. Whatever helps people enjoy themselves and keep learning :slightly_smiling_face:

7 Likes

Well, sounds to me like people are interested in nominating longer things. How about this then?

If you nominate something longer, the length of it will still be calculated with the 22.5k-25k weekly limit, but there will be a note that that nomination will be read at higher weekly amounts to finish it within the time limit. And the expected weekly amount to finish in time will also be noted.

I don’t think we should deviate away from the time limit, because we don’t want anyone to get left out for too long if they don’t want to read the current pick or happens to be temporarily busy or for whatever reason.

So it will be clear if you vote for a long VN, you are also signing up for a higher speed than the club’s suggested one.

How does that sound?

8 Likes

Works for me. There’s the possibility we get into something and just realize we’re over our heads, but I trust it can get handled within the club and yeah, we can still prioritize making sure the next pick happens on time. It’s a tough proposition at this moment for significantly longer VNs to have us speed up sufficiently, but I think I agree with you that that’s best, and it’s kind of planning for the future when we can handle that better.

Along those lines, I’ve been debating if it’s a good idea, but I think I will put Fata Morgana out there once I can prepare a followup post as an option for people looking to be particularly ambitious – might work better a pick or two down the line, we’ll see if anyone’s even interested, but I really do want to reread it / get other people to experience it. :slightly_smiling_face:

6 Likes

For me personally, I’m trying to decide if I should withdraw Nightshade as a nomination. I would love to read it with the club, but I would not have time to read with it, if it was picked this time. That also means someone else would have to run it.

I’d plan to reinstate the nomination perhaps for the vote after this one (or another one after that), but not that many were interested last time, so perhaps it isn’t necessary to withdraw it. Plus if enough people are interested in reading it now, there is hopefully someone able to run it too.

What do you guys think?

5 Likes

I like the idea of both culling and being able to reinstate nominations. The latter in particular is a good time to improve the nominations themselves. I remember some of them being a bit more bare bones than others. It’s not like it’s necessary to win a vote, but getting a chance to reframe after a failure might be what gains interest. Regardless I’ll be looking forward to seeing what happens in the next round of voting. It’s been an interesting process so far.

7 Likes

I think its fine to pull the nomination and re-nominate it at a later time if you want to read it but don’t have time at the moment. I guess it’d only be an issue if a lot of people wanted to read it now and want the nomination to stay? But I personally have no issues with re-nominating it at a later time if you want to.

5 Likes

ファタモルガーナの館 (Fata Morgana no Yakata)

Developer: NOVECT
VNDB Play Time:33h58m
VNDB Link: Fata Morgana no Yakata | vndb
Character count: 672,177
Number of weeks to finish: 22 weeks – :bangbang:will need to be read at an elevated ~30k per week pace. :bangbang:

Summary

A gothic suspense tale set in a cursed mansion. “The House in Fata Morgana” is a full-length visual novel spanning nearly a millennium that deals in tragedy, human nature, and insanity.

Availability

A note on versions: On PC the main story is sold separately from A Requiem for Innocence / “Another Episodes,” a shorter afterstory followup. On consoles these are bundled in a version that also features higher resolution, somewhat different art, etc.

PC:
Steam
DLSite
MangaGamer

PS4/Vita:
PS Store

Nintendo Switch:
Nintendo Store

Personal Opinion

Well, I’ve read Fata Morgana and I love it. It’s 8th place on VNDB, dominated by 10 and 9 ratings. It’s a really strong character driven story that I’m pretty confident will get people invested, and by nature of starting as sort of an anthology of stories (which do all tie together in the end) should give us a nice bit of variety. It’s also one of my go-to recommendations to show VNs don’t have to be so… anime? If anyone wants to get away from high school characters, from the usual art style, from the usual locations, from the usual types of music… this thing is really one of a kind. There are so many beautiful vocal tracks; I’d share one but I’m afraid of your Youtube recommendations getting filled with implied Fata Morgana spoilers, haha. But no matter how wonderful I think this story is and how excellently presented, this pick is a bit of a gamble, so read the pros and cons carefully. :heart:

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • 8th place on VNDB
  • Unique presentation and story context
  • Significant story changes could provide a nice shakeup when reading at non-native pace
  • Verified texthookable on PC, accessible on multiple platforms and easily through Steam
  • Easy to organize, some choices can lead to bad ends but it doesn’t significantly branch and has one “true route”

Cons

  • (Potential negative) Story full of tragedy – highly affecting if you ask me, and to a meaningful ultimate purpose, but there is a lot of trauma on the way
  • Ambitious pick – at this length, we’ll have to read ~30k per week to finish in 22 weeks. It’s ALSO rated 7/10 difficulty on jpdb.io, though I have looked through the first few hours and didn’t find it looked terribly bad. Average sentence length isn’t much higher than what we’ve been reading. It’s possible for sure that the difficulty isn’t the same all the way through, but if you want to investigate further, here is a video of the first couple hours.
  • No voice acting
  • The PC version is 800x660 resolution :skull:

Pictures

Screenshots

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this VN?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Moderate effort
  • Significant effort
  • So much effort my head might explode
  • I don’t know

0 voters

10 Likes

I’m never confident about difficulty polls but I picked significant more on the basis of the increased amount of reading per week than the difficulty of the reading. I’m still willing to believe it could pull hard stuff out on me, but I poked a little further in the VN to grab screenshots and it hasn’t ever looked too bad (with texthooking anyway) to me.

I agree with everyone else that I think being able to pull it is fine, yeah. Wouldn’t want you to miss it.

6 Likes

I also think that’s fine! In general if the person who wanted it in the first place isn’t available I think holding off seems fair. Also, if someone nominated something but then later isn’t interested in it for whatever reason I think it’d be good to let them drop it and perhaps someone else can re-propose it if they’re interested. We haven’t run into nomination limits yet so it’s not a big deal, but if we do ever get to that point that could potentially help!


Hmmmmm I’m thinking about nominating バディミッションBOND… that could be one where if there is interest it might be better run as a separate thing since it could have some challenges here (length, switch only), but it’s so good :laughing: I do think a good number of people here would really enjoy it, the vibes of BU$TAFELLOWS remind me of it a lot but without the dating sim aspect of B$. It’s probably my favorite thing I’ve read in Japanese so… we shall see!

8 Likes

Thanks for the replies, guys. :slight_smile:

I will then officially withdraw Nightshade from active nominations. I’ll go ahead and edit the main post to reflect this. Just need to look at a couple of other clubs that have this and see what is a good solution.

I also definitely need to get faster before I try to read with the VN club again. It is growing up too fast. :cry: xD


Edit: I also ended up changing the format on previous polls to a table. Just like I put removed nominations in a table.

6 Likes

Life has been a lot lately and I haven’t been able to follow along with 999 on top of BU$TAFELLOWS which makes me sad since I’d already bought it and everything. I may still try to catch up but it’s looking more and more difficult…

In any case with this talk of unrestricted VNs I’ll probably need to draft a nomination soon

9 Likes

アカイイト

Developer: Success
VNDB Play Time: 33hr 45m
VNDB Link: Akai Ito | vndb
Character count: 528000 - 627000 based off of vndb play time
Number of weeks to finish: 22 weeks based off of the estimate - may have to increase pace near the end if it ends up being closer to 627k than 528k.

Summary

The English translation for this game doesn’t look good so I’m including multiple summaries + the jp one, hopefully these will be enough to get the gist :sweat_smile:

Japanese steam summary

この夏に唯一の肉親だった母親を亡くし、遺産の整理をしていた桂は、父親が経観塚(へみづか)という聞き慣れぬ土地に、歴史のある日本屋敷を持っていたことを知る。
桂は処分するかどうかを決めるために、現物を見に経観塚を訪れることに。その道中の列車の中で、天を貫くほどの巨大な木と、蝶の群れを従えた少女・ユメイが現れる不思議な夢を見る……
経観塚に伝わる山神と人柱の伝承とは?
失われた桂の記憶の真実は?
桂の生まれ故郷でもある経観塚。舞台に役者が揃うとき、運命の輪が静かに廻り出す……

VNDB summary

To arrange the inheritance because of the loss of her mother, Hatou Kei heads for her fathers house in Hemizuka. In the train on the way there, Kei has a mysterious dream of a huge tree and a woman who seems to be lost in sadness. In the land of Hemizuka, Kei learns the secret concealed in her own blood through various meeting with an Oni Slayer, a friend of her late mother, a young girl accompanied by a white fox, and even the mysterious girl from her dreams.

English steam summary

After the death of her only living relative – her mother, this past summer Kei was sorting through her inheritance and learned that her father, who had already passed away, owned an old Japanese mansion in a little-known place called “Hemizuka″.
Kei decides to investigate in order to determine the prospects of this forgotten homestead.
On the way there, Kei has a strange dream in which a huge tree pierces the sky and a girl named Yumei appears with a flock of butterflies.
What is the legend of the mountain god and human sacrifice in Hemizumika?
What is the truth of Kei‘s lost memory?
Hemizuka is Kei’s birthplace. When the characters come across each other, the wheels of destiny quietly begin to turn…

Availability

Steam
Nintendo

Personal Opinion

This is a VN that I have been looking forward to reading for well over a decade now. It was previously a ps2 exclusive and many fan translators picked it up but disappeared throughout the years but it is finally on PC (and switch) for us to all enjoy.
It is highly acclaimed as one of the all-time classic yuri titles and currently has an 8.44 average rating on VNDB. While it is a yuri title, romance is not the focus. Success describes it as a “Traditional Japanese Horror Adventure” but horror may not be correct either since the game isn’t scary to my knowledge. From what I know, it focuses heavily on Japanese folklore & mythology and would probably fall in closer to the mystery category of things rather than horror.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club

Pros

  • Given the genre, there should be a lot to talk about
  • Legendary composer MANYO did the soundtrack for the game
  • Can texthook on PC
  • Flowchart in the game could make it easy to plan out choices.
  • Glossary in game to give additional explanations on terms - similar to what is found in the sci;adv series
  • Fully voice acted, including the MC

Cons

  • The game features kanji puns and lots of wordplay around 赤い糸 & with the folklore themes, it could make it a difficult read
  • The game has 32 endings with 15 of them being bad endings, 12 normal and 5 “true” endings. The flowchart should make this less of a pain in theory but lots of bad endings can be annoying
  • The glossary items might be a lot more difficult than the actual story text. I wasn’t able to texthook it either.

Pictures

Screenshots











Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this VN?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Moderate effort
  • Significant effort
  • So much effort my head might explode
  • I don’t know

0 voters

11 Likes

:melting_face: banned from the club.

Nah I want to read this haha; it’s probably getting one of my votes. I think the glossary looks easier than the Paranormasight one in those screenshots, too.

7 Likes

Ugh, I really wanted to nominate Collar x Malice since it’s a murder/mystery kind of game and the otome game with the highest rating in vndb but after some calculations we’d have to read close to 40k a week to manage it in 5 months so… I guess I’ll wait till we are the super advanced VN club or something

14 Likes

Vote will start Friday this week (June 2nd), so please get your nominations in pronto! We’re only at 12/20 so have plenty of room for more nominations!

9 Likes