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/fg/ - Fangames

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Captchas didn't work. Sticking to janitors while we try to think of something else.

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A debate from >>10304 sparked my interest, so I'm making a thread for it. How far do you think a fangame can stray from the original formula of Yume Nikki before it stops being a fangame?

There are traditional games like .flow and 2kki that are great in their own right, and then games like Fleshchild and Hell Diary that are also nice, but have lots of original content.

Hell Diary for one confused me quite a bit, since I didn't think it could be classified as a fangame. How far do you think a dev can take their game before it's no longer a fangame?


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As far away as you want, technically, you can make a Megaman or super smash bros clone with YN characters on it and it would still be a YN fangame.



In general terms I think a fangame must have a very strong focus on the "dream world" and the dream world should tell more of the story than the real world does, if it does at all. One should be able to construct a theory on the "dreams" the PC has alone, with YN's theory board being an obvious example. While the real world can influence or provide some clarity, the main goal of the game is to completely immerse in the dreamscape and derive most important characteristics from that medium.

Of course there are a lot of games that follow that kind of format in different ways, so more specifically: the worlds should vary moderately in how abstract they are, there should be symbolism more than concrete evidence of the plot (for example, monoe's smug smile implying she might be a bully in real life versus monoe actually bullying and treating madotsuki badly in her dreams), an ability to roam almost entirely freely, perspective/graphical warps (think famicom world), little to no sensible dialogue, and in return the waking world should provide very little, if any plot relevant information/events.

tl;dr dreamscape is most important, plot/characterization needs to be symbolized, player can really only theorize what's happening

For every degree the game strays from (ex. adding copious/sensible dialogue), it becomes less and less of a fangame.

But there's also >>10348 to consider. Though I agree anything with canon characters in it is a fangame no matter how it's executed, I guess I discussed 'original' ynfgs with the stuff above.


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When the only connection it has with yume nikki are only references and nothing from the gameplay (or even the idea) at all.
There are thousand of games, movies and books about dreams; the fact that in your game they have relevance doesn't make it an insta-fangame, neither it does that is loosely based on the idea of "go to sleep, get some kind of thing like an effect, ok thats it gratz broh". That's just a game with yume nikki's most classical and basic input from the player (effects, dreams) hard-glued onto your game, and to be honest, it feels extremely forced and out of place.

There are fangames that aren't an exact copy of YN since they add great ideas yet they don't deviate themselves too much from the general feeling. For example, The Looking Glass. Yeah, yeah, story, lots of dialog, relevant characters rather than dull non-speaking NPCs, but it still was a pure fangame at its core: simple exploration through an odd world with strange characters, and you could build thousand of theories about why such a thing was possible.
The thing we loved and adored about Yume Nikki wasn't just walking through deep-meaning art w/ scary NPCs and 2deep4u imagery, it was that we could spend hours just THEORIZING why everything was that way. It was discovering that things weren't placed there just to look pretty and make us guess why vomit-chan was so fucked up and then keep moving to the next scene.
In the last years, it feels like most of the newer fangames are just trying to copy the "uh, this is weird and makes me uneasy" feeling rather than trying to build a strongly-based meaning behind why they make their things. Instead of thinking throughfully what they're trying to convey, it feels more like they're trying to appeal the "dark" side of these games fans and they forget what's behind the main stage, which leads to the classical "MC is hikikomori, was abused, possibly raped, bullied, and then proceeds to end their life at the ending".

Now, there are excellent fangames that gave one step forward this idea of meaning-behind-the-scene and "deep teen hikiko" cliché and turned out quite nicely, being Miserere an example. Leaving candy-eye graphics aside, the game was great because you could see how deteriorated was Kenshin-chan's mind due to solitude and how it was slowly developing into a great mess. And even then, the main feeling during the whole game felt really yume nikki-esque.
There was this game >>8833 "You May" that too added news things and was really nice. It's a shame the dev hasn't update ever since then, the game had so much potential.

I think the major problem when it comes to defining whether a game is a fangame or not is that people try to add too much things to what should be a simple-mechanic game and the general feeling and idea is lost. As I said, it feels forced, out of place. At least that's what I think.

Anon has a point here too, I can literally cuntpaste mado's sprite into touhou 8 and call it 「東方永夜之夢幻」, and shit could be considered a fangame.


Lots of different ways a game can be a fangame (Yume Nikki 3D, Dream vs Dream, that one platformer, even a theoretical 100% Orange Juice-esque game with Yume Nikki characters, all fangames as they're all derived from the original Yume Nikki), but in the sense of just an RPG Maker exploration game…

Honestly, it's a pretty gray area. In my opinion, it simply has to be an open world game where you collect things. Surreal worlds, similar sprite style, those things tend to help but aren't entirely necessary. Heck, you could probably get away with making a cutesy pastel pixie explore a calendar, go into different holiday worlds like Christmas or Halloween, and find things like a Christmas tree or a carved pumpkin, all with a sickening sweet 60s family friendly feel and I would probably consider it a fangame. But then again, it also depends on the context in which it's posted. If the dev says it's a fangame, or if it's first posted on a site like Uboachan, I'd probably consider it a fangame. If the dev said it wasn't, it's be a game with similar gameplay but separate from the original. It's a really vague area.

Though, a dev saying their game is a fangame doesn't automatically make it a fangame in my opinion either. Say Fleshchild for example. I wouldn't call it a Yume Nikki fangame, it's something all it's own at this point. You collect stuff, but it's linear, and the linearity really takes away that Yume Nikki feel. Still a good game, but not what I would call a fangame (nor does the creator anymore, I think).

Oh man, people still remember You May here.



>Hell Diary's fangame status

Originally it was pretty much your standard fangame; it just had equippable magic in addition to the effects. After that I decided it'd probably be easier and more sensible to make it a completely different kind of game because it was clear I really just wanted to do something else with it. Which is why for the longest time newcomers were probably wondering "what's this doing here?"

I think that any surrealism-based adventure game could be called a Yume Nikki fangame within reason, if you cite it as an inspiration and you're honest about it. Hell Diary definitely isn't and I quickly realized that, but I'd consider Amihailu in Dreamland one even though the gameplay is very different in many ways. The main character is bizarre and difficult to understand and the world is surreal, even though the trappings are in a tile-based version of a 90s point-n-click and not explicitly set in a dream.


It's probably hard to draw any specific line and say "this here is a fangame, this is not". I think a large part of it lies in the intention of the gamemaker. If the aim is to make a fangame, chances are I would call it a fangame even if it deviates alot from the original unless it doesn't share any similarities at all. For example a game that looks and plays like Counter Strike with no characters or locations from Yume Nikki, I would be hard pressed to call a fangame of Yume Nikki. I doubt that would ever happen though.

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