Greatest adult VN/Game Weakness?

What is it, for you, that completely ruins a VN or Adult game?

To me it is exposition length, I shouldn’t be reading 14 paragraphs with a single image on screen between making choices, to me this sort of content should be more similarly paced to graphic novels, reusing imagery is fine but forcing me in front of a static image while I read an entire book is unbearable.

On that note, the best thing someone can do to keep me interested if they are going more of a kinetic novel route is have idle animations or transitions between character poses, yes reading is a huge part of Adult VNs and games but I am more engaged by text alone than static images with text. I play visual novels FOR the visual aspect, let me see your imagination not imagine it myself.


I agree, 4-5 lines max or around 50-60 words per page is the best for me to read VNs. I do prefer compact and concise dialogues though, for me it gets pretty boring if I read 10 pages of 4-5 dialogue lines for just a topic/scenario.

With some exceptions, if the VN has some really good illustrations and animations (idle or action), it keeps me engaged that I could keep on reading no matter how long the text is. Because otherwise, it reminded me of going to classes/meetings reading wall of texts on PowerPoint slides :joy:


Have to very much agree to this point.
There has to be a good balance between good AND CONCISE writing as well as engaging visuals.
Obviously I’m not expecting the highest end quality of either spectrum from a product that’s trying to mix both.
If I want the best art I’ll just go look for the best art I can find on the dozens of 18+ image hosting sites out there because obviously the artist is able to spend 100% of their time and ability on each piece of art, not thinking about how they have hundreds of more images or even animations to complete.
And same goes for the writing/dialogue, you can go to some 18+ fanfic site and find the most top rated ones there.
Or even take a side shift and go find some doujinshi/hentai manga.
The quality is going to lack somewhere though when you are spreading your time between art and writing obviously but if one is ever starting to feel like filler to make up for the lack of the other then it kind of ruins the point of this specific niche of 18+ medium.
It’s easy to say “just make more art” but yeah truly at a point you kind of just have to.
There’s nothing more annoying than reading the 4th or 5th screen of a static image telling me how hard the MC came. Or whatever the scenario is.
Yeah obviously the text is there to fill in the gaps in where traditional animation would normally show; inner thoughts, dialogue, highlighting descriptions; but if all I can see related to that is a static imagine, or even just the same imagine moved back and forth, while some text describes what happens or the characters saying over and over how much they like it instead of seeing anything better. Yes that ruins the entire game and the whole point of even playing them.
The text should set the groundwork for engagement in the stories, characters, setting, as well as allow dialogue to take place. But once the actual action happens I should see something HAPPEN.
Nothing less satisfying when you finally get to the sex scene(s) and you feel completely unsatisfied because the scene didn’t progress in any way (I’m sorry a Slower/Faster button doesn’t cut it) while giving me paragraphs of text of the literal same words just said 4-5 different ways, and then you click “Cum” and it’s over.
I’ve played quite a few games that had some great potential, where they totally fumble it in that aspect, where you SHOULD be putting the most effort. The whole reason these things exist, cuz people wana get off.
Static or yeah idle animations can be fine for 99% of the text and dialogue of the game, but dear god don’t skimp when it comes to the actual 18+ sections, come the fuck on.


Great post.

I am currently struggling with most of the points you’ve made, trying to find a balance.

I’ve made a decision to relegate side content to rendered stills with conversational player input as a means to slow the core story progression, but implemented a system that gives statistical gains and losses from the side content that directly effects what options are available to you in the core story.

I want progression between the MC and LIs to be visually engaging so I have idle animations for the LIs and intend to fully animate 18+ scenes with a hands off approach, little to no text at all, no requirement for user input, just watch the action play out unless there is a choice presented.

This is my first project, and I am still learning a lot of the software I am using to make it so it is going slower than I would hope, but even so I want to put something out that can be replayed without having an overwhelming amount of work to do so and honestly its not that difficult.

A lot of VNs and adult games are just far too low effort, or made by people who aren’t willing to ask for help or input. Ideas created in a vacuum are never as good as you think they are.

It’s quite odd, I’ve seen some first time creators make some really engaging stories, get some of the visuals right with little to no experience and mostly just have issues with grammar or realistic conversation, while experienced creators on their 3rd or 5th or more product are still putting out absolute trash and have had no improvement whatsoever.


Just wana say first off, pretty awesome you’re coming in as a fan and making your own project.

And yes this is exactly the kind of balance that can work perfectly and you go on to talk about more with…

That there doesn’t have to be like insane amounts of either time and/or money thrown into art in every single moment of the game in order for it to be engaging. As said before, and when thinking back to some of the best games I’ve played, most of the time 75-85% of the time the idle and moment to moment “gameplay”, whether it be main or side content, can be mostly still portraits or idle animation/gifs since it’s going to be the actual writing which is supposed to be the key engagement. Usually the really well done games can have a set of a couple different stills they can use, like actually what more main stream videogame companies do during their VN style sequences, where you can just swap between the stills or move them around or reverse image to simulate atleast some movement or even just swap heads of characters for facial animation changes.

Things you can do to keep it as basic as possible while still not having it essentially be a flat background with moving text over it, ya know. You obviously get it.

Then when those actually good moments happen, as you know and say, that’s when you put the extra effort in. Maybe even contract a little help from someone else. Whether it be just multiple frames of still art, repeatable animation, or even potentially voice acting for those moments.
Like the whole moment people spent investing time into the game and so often you get fucking blue balled with a single image or something lol.
Tbh it’s only been a few times where I’ve actually gone and broke out my wallet to help fund or even pay for the already completed game I got for free after the fact cuz so many of these games as you say seem so low effort and and also so many AAAAALL the same.
Like 90% of them using the same free creepy (uncanny valley) female 3d character model assets and just swapping around hair on the same faces. After you’ve played 2 or 3 you’ve seen every female. Becomes basically finding the most perfectly done story ever AND animation, etc etc because everything is lowest common denominator the same thing. Same clunky dialogue of guy having same with the same dozen odd women, just swap around names and setting like it’s role play every week, and all used the same boring style of still images on the weird plastic women bodies with creepy faces and when they have sex it always looks awkward.
You know exactly what I’m talking about.
Idk if it’s just so easy to do, not just low effort but literally just so easy that it’s not even that hard, that it’s worth doing to see if you can get anyone to throw a few dollars your way. Or if literally people just don’t care to try harder.
Because yeah the dialogue/stories usually don’t carry them either.
Like also I get it, if said person is not a native English speaker, though is odd they are writing an English adult sex game but anyways, that their grammar won’t be perfect.
But then why the fuck don’t they have it proof read… AT ALL???
Like they literally can’t find a single person? You couldn’t even use an online proof reading bot to do it?
It just REALLY comes off as low effort.
You open up the game and almost imediately are hit with typos and/or bad grammar. ESPECIALLY when the game is multiple updates in.
Like I’m sorry but you can’t smooth out your writing yet, and you’re multiple updates in? Just… Wow. First release, sure ok. Just leaving it be bad, no.

So… Anyways wow that became a rant.
But yeah I’m just kinda glad you’re actually willing to see all the great things about some games and really bad low effort trapping a bunch of games fall into.
I would caution you don’t have to blow all time and effort into making those 18+ scenes the most amazing perfect thing ever to the point they bottom out the project.
But just remember the balance.
I think you have a great mentality to it.
Players need to be rewarded by the things they are doing.
I really like the side content feeding into main content, it should be rewarding in itself but having it also adding into more to make it a truly good and a good GAME not just a run of the mill linear VN.

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Well I’ll give you a bit of a rundown of what I am doing. I definitely WAS going to do too much, and it would have made the project take forever but I’ve found the right places to scale back, and what I am doing isn’t exactly high effort at all.

The core gameplay loop is simple, you get a side content segment with 3 activities, each of those activities are different depending on the order in which you do them. This as I said is mostly just simply writing, and 1 or 2 stills per activity, those activities generate hidden statistics that effect the main content choices presented.

The main character and love interests all have a side avatar that is comprised of a 2 frame animation, mouth open/mouth closed for talking, with different expressions for other types of interactions.

The love interests all have 20 frame idle still image animations that take about 30-50 minutes to render out completely.

The MC is a modified Genesis 8.1 body with a Micheal 8 texture. There are currently two love interests I have finished making, they are customized Genesis 8.1 models, and I have customized the shader for both and completely customized the texture for one of them. People would be surprised what you can do with just genesis 8 essentials and 1 or two other products.

As for adult scenes, I haven’t approached them yet at all, I am still getting the hang of animating in Daz, it’s fairly simple to do but still tedious and I am mostly just using PowerPose, a little bit of manual movement with the joint tool editor, and moving the pose control sliders around for facial expressions.

I’ve spent some money ofc, or I wouldn’t have Micheal 8 but I’ve been very methodical about doing so, only spending money on things that I can see reusing in future projects, like Skin Builder 8, and the two gentialia products I purchased from renderotica.

To be perfectly honest I’ve spent the MOST time finding a rendering sweet spot, something that looks good but doesn’t take too long, and good lighting to use to do it. Lighting I’ve got figured out, and rendering stills is not very time intensive, the only thing that is really consuming my time is writing the story content.

Sorry was gona reply then totally slipped my mind and got lost lol.
But yeah with everything gota find that sweet spot.
Perfectionism can be a killer, especially if you’re a one-man/small team. Even published developers can’t just spend infinite time and money in a project.
You gota find that effeciency and what’s going to give the most reward for putting effort into.

But yeah all that actual technical stuff, that’s over my head heh.
But glad you’re well under your way.

And yeah, get that writing down pat.
The vn/game is gona be like a cake. Writing is gona be the bulk of it and need to be good consistency throughout. And the art is going to be like the frosting/icing or filling, that looks nice and gives you those kicks of sweetness.

As a non-English speaker, I prefer games where the dialog boxes show a lot of text or where the text in the history dialog log is small and compact, because it’s easier for me to translate. In fact, I dislike it when a game’s language fonts are unconventional glyphs and can’t be changed to regular fonts in the settings. Elsewhere, I also dislike the fact that you can’t set the settings to display text instantly, or that you can display each phrase instantly, but then have to wait half a second for the next phrase to be displayed, and I’d prefer to be able to just instantly display the full text of the dialog box.

This is great, and actually applies to me as an English speaker as well. Too many people want to have some fancy font but forget people also have to read it. I don’t think it would be a particularly bad thing, at least for Ren’py to try to standardize in AVNs the ability to place any ttf file in a fonts directory and type the name into a “custom font” dialogue box in preferences, also giving people the ability to scale font size.

The only real problem I have run into with this idea is that would likely also require dynamically scaling text, based on the fonts average pixel width into the size of the given dialogue box, but even that is doable.

Hows the project coming along?
Are you planning on making quite a few chapters before releasing it.

I have a similar preference to you, with the small boobs. No matter what game you play every Dev seems to put huge tits on most characters. Usually the older they are, the bigger tits they have. Smallest boobs is always a C cup lol.
I know its a game but it shows how out of touch some people are with real life. Out of all the women i know, i would say maybe around 20 would have bigger than a C cup. Thats usually because of some extra weight too. About 10 of those girls have boob jobs.

Im also looking at building my own Renpy game. I have fairly specific tastes which Ive only found in bits and pieces spread across multiple games. The largest boobs i think ill put in there will be a C cup haha.

No sex for a while in a game is fine for me, as long as the writing is good and there is lots of teasing and sexier scenes to keep you wanting more. You have to build up the characters and tease otherwise its meaningless.

In saying that my biggest turn off for a game is the writing, specifically how seductive or innocent a woman is shown. In those teasing scenes, the characters poses have to be just right as well as the dialogue to set the mood. The anticipation of sex is much better than the actual thing, as a lot of people know lol.

Hey I haven’t got on here in a while, so quickly I’ll give you an update.

I am not far along with my game atm, I haven’t been able to dedicate much time, have struggled with lighting issues in DAZ and after flipflopping between building my own sandbox system for Renpy (which I more than half completed, just got stuck at how I wanted my quest system to work) or using RPGMaker came to the conclusion that I would have to code so many custom Python systems to do the sort of project I want justice without it being a disorganized mess with over 1000 script files.

On the art side I’ve done a bit of work during August and September so far and have dramatically improved my output, having started migrated my Genesis 8.1 characters to Genesis 9 (a single gender model makes more sense if I am gonna be doing this for years and creating custom LIEs, skins etc.). The Genesis 8.1 characters had their details removed, then I used Figure Converter to convert to 9 and fixed up any issues improving their overall quality, the result kind of has me dumbstruck, the difference in render quality between when I started in November and now that I am almost ready to start pushing out renders.

Scratch this section if someones read it already, my custom framework in Godot is gonna take forever at this pace, I am just gonna simplify my first project down to semi-linear choice based in Ren’py instead of a full on game with rpg elements. Godot I’ll work on in my spare time.

Now to actually answer your question, I am planning on releasing one chapter first but I want it to be a sizeable chunk of gameplay, it will have two LIs with mentions of characters you will meet in later chapters. It is a timeline of 2 weeks in the game world, as you get to know the primary LI and help them deal with a rough situation.

I’ve spent so much time just trying to figure out what exactly I want to do, but it was a great learning experience at least but it has definitely delayed my project, with the side effect of a vast improvement in quality, time well spent I guess. I’d rather not have gone through this AFTER doing a short demo release in renpy (original plan)

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I think this highly varies from person to person but I’ll give my own top 3 personal gripes with VNs (since that appears to be the main focus of the thread).

  1. Overly degenerate/perverted main character
    Yeah, I get it. we’re playing a porn game. That doesn’t mean I go HURRHURR AWOOGA MAMA MIA HUBBA HUBBA (wolf whistles as my eyes shoot out of my head) every time I see a woman. This is especially important in games where the character is meant to be a blank slate; it completely defeats the purpose if you force a personality trait onto the MC. The whole point is to reflect myself onto that character, which I can’t do if they do things I wouldn’t do.
    Some stories, I like to be a bit of a goofball. Other stories, I want to imagine my character would be a little more serious or stoic.

  2. Poorly executed contrived coincidences
    Sometimes, it’s fine for the story if something just happens to work out in our favor. Especially if it’s written in well. But a lot of times, things are forced into the plot that make a significant impact and are given little to no justification for happening. Like things happening “for some strange reason”, or a character just so happening to have access to a very useful utility (like a spare house for the MC to reside at??) with no justification at all for them to just so happen to be able to provide that.
    It immediately says to me “the author could not figure out how to work this trope or narrative into the story but the game’s built around it so it has to happen somehow”

  3. Poorly implemented character rename/relation feature
    (disclaimer: I generally dislike incest)
    Patreon changed to no longer allow incest-related content on their platform. Unfortunately, half of the VN development community has an Oedipus complex so their stories had to be changed. In an attempt to circumvent this, the characters are typically changed to things like “Landlady” and “Roommate”. It’s actually a very lazy bandaid solution because they’re not equivalents at all. Especially since a lot of the appeal to incest stories is that it’s taboo. There’s absolutely no taboo to banging your landlady or your roommate. It’s so weird when the characters say stuff like “I can’t believe I fucked my landlady, this is so wrong” like it makes no sense due to the words just being swapped out.
    On the other hand, I am very thankful for games that allow you to rename the characters (at least when it’s programmed properly). One, because I like to play as myself, not as John or Dylan or (insert developer’s name here), two, there have been several times I’ve named myself Jake only for there to be a Jake in the story already, and three, if one of the love interests has the same name as one of my friends, or god forbid my mother’s name, I’m closing the game and never touching it.

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  1. Overly degenerate/perverted main character
    Yeah, I get it. we’re playing a porn game. That doesn’t mean I go HURRHURR AWOOGA MAMA MIA HUBBA HUBBA (wolf whistles as my eyes shoot out of my head) every time I see a woman. This is especially important in games where the character is meant to be a blank slate; it completely defeats the purpose if you force a personality trait onto the MC. The whole point is to reflect myself onto that character, which I can’t do if they do things I wouldn’t do.
    Some stories, I like to be a bit of a goofball. Other stories, I want to imagine my character would be a little more serious or stoic.

Don’t make a game about me then :wink: Maybe I’m not that bad, but I have a habit of noticing something attractive in most people, but especially females and taking close notice of it. Generally not just pretty big boobed girl or something, but unique qualities that stand out, that aren’t artificial.

I agree with your other two points too, especially rename feature. Its possible to code in every possible variable for relations and for entire speech segments to avoid this so easily, but nobody puts in the extra 5 seconds per line, and the incest games? just withhold the overwrite patch for all of those parts to put it on Patreon, then it’s not even there.

2 for me also falls along the line of a MacGuffin, and MacGuffins always ruin a story for me. Give me depth, even if you provide a shorter narrative I want real depth. My current project, MC starts out rich, single and completely carefree because he’s retired at an early age, but he has to give that up.

While I am here, I’m gonna add another few of my major grievances.

Bad Gamification - If you can’t put it on a spreadsheet, or verbose technical document, just don’t do it. Too many games with amazing Narratives forced me to force progression through code changes manually because their gamification system made pacing unbearable.

Pacing - Almost nobody gets this right, because mostly they just make the game, either alone or as a group, but don’t have the ability to look at it from a players perspective and draw out something that could have been great into something dismal.

Direction - Clicking on every location to find the next step does not work at all, drop clues within the narrative for what I should be doing, make it natural through conversation, don’t make me guess every step to move forward. Worse still is actually games with guides where the guide is like “find a way to do X” ok, wait, but how? You’ve given me no introduction to any Characters or locations that hint at that, and your directions point me nowhere, I guess I check EVERYTHING possible.

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Hey glad you took your time in pre-planning with all this instead of just jumping right in.
Better to halt production and have a direction to go in than just jump in and start working without knowing what you even want to make. You’ll just spend and waste more time and even money on things that ultimately you may end up being scrapped entirely because once you finally make up your mind on what you want, you already were making something. Then you got to go back and redraft and remove things you already worked on, more than you should have.
Hell it’s why there are so many shit shows and films now adays.
They start production before pre-production is even finished.
Filming movies before they even have a script.
End up doing months of reshoots, sometimes of over half the film and literally doubling the budget.
How much wasted time, wasted effort, wasted money for things just thrown out and they still end up with at best generic mediocre turn your brain off products and often absolute trash.

Never feel bad about planning your project properly.
Preproduction =/= Putting it off

The greatest weakness of adult visual novels and games is their tendency to rely heavily on tropes and stereotypes. These visual novels and games often feature characters that do not come across as fully developed and believable, due to the reliance on clichés and stereotypes. Additionally, the stories themselves often lack depth and complexity, as the storylines tend to be linear and predictable.

Another major weakness of adult visual novels and games is their tendency to feature excessive amounts of fan service. Fan service is a term used to describe content that is created primarily to appeal to the desires of the fan base, rather than to further the story. This often takes the form of titillating scenes or dialogue that are not necessary to the plot. While fan service can be enjoyable to some, it can quickly become tedious and detract from the overall experience of the game.

Finally, adult visual novels and games often lack replayability. While the stories may be interesting and engaging the first time through, they are often not designed to be replayed multiple times with different endings or outcomes. This can make it difficult for players to get the same level of satisfaction from a game that they would from a more traditional title.