Are Visual Novels Games?

So this is a question that comes up a lot in the online video gaming community. And having published Muv-Luv, Nurse Love Addiction, Scar of the Doll, and with more coming like Muv-Luv Alternative and Symphonic Rain, I felt it would be a good time to address it.

Is it a visual novel if you just select an option here or there? What if you add in a few other mechanics? What is the threshold of gameplay necessary to be considered a game?

What IS a video game? Does that definition include Visual Novels?

And I believe I have found the perfect answer:

Who cares?

I mean, in all seriousness, if it is a game, does that make it more fun? If it isn’t a game, does that make it less fun?

Do I enjoy reading a standard novel, by one of my favorite authors less if it isn’t a game? So why do we think of Visual Novels any differently.

Maybe it is a game, maybe it isn’t. Maybe just some of them are games, and some of them aren’t. As long as we are enjoying ourselves, why should we be so concerned with attacking or defending the genre?

As long as we are enjoying ourselves, why should we be so concerned?

Maybe the real answer is “It’s a bit more complicated than that”, but in the end, all that matters is that you are entertained, or moved, or fulfilled by what you are doing. And if VNs do that for you, go for it!

{ 0 comments }

A-Train PC Classic is Making Tracks to You!

Artdink and Degica Games are proud to announce the light at the end of the tunnel! It was a train. Wait, no, it was A-Train! A-Train PC Classic is coming to PC (hence the title, it would be weird if it wasn’t for PC), but the exciting news, is that it is also coming to PC in English!

Be ready June 8th!

A-Train PC Classic brings modern Sim gameplay with the simpler, cleaner look of the classic A-Train games.

As Chief Executive Officer for a leading transportation company, manage resources and develop a transport network using various modes of travel (trains, trucks, trams, you just really like words that start with tr), to overcome a number of scenarios! You will be faced with rival companies, new technologies, and more as you master moving freight.

Or make your own scenarios and upload them to Steam Workshop to challenge others!

Do you have what it takes to become the best Railroad CEO and leave the others in the dust? Find out June 8th!

{ 0 comments }

Meet The Team #1

Hello, fans, time for something completely different! Let’s meet the Degica Games team! This will be a series of articles over the next few months where each of our team members gets to talk a bit about what they do for Degica, and then talk about what their favorite Degica Game is!

Nick – Community Manager

Hi, I’m Nick Palmer, your normal blog post writer, who is going to kick things off for this series! I’m the community manager for Degica Games and RPGMakerWeb (the EN source for everything RPG Maker, if you haven’t checked it out, why not do it now?).

ABOUT BEING  A COMMUNITY MANAGER

Mostly, what that means is I write tweets, facebook posts, blog posts, sales emails, and am the person who generally responds directly to the fans! It’s a fun job because I get to talk about cool games, to cool people, the things I like to do anyway, but I get to do it for a living. But enough with talking about talking about games, let’s just talk about games instead.

MY FAVORITE DEGICA GAME

My favorite Degica Game is Pharaoh Rebirth+. This is for many reasons. First of all, Metroidvania is one of my favorite genres. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was on my “play once a year” list for a long time, only to be replaced by Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia a few years back.

PR2

So from the start, It was a game that I was going to be called to. What elevates Pharaoh Rebirth+ though is not just its exploration, with really cool movement powers based on the main character’s oddly transforming ears, but its humor. The game is a breath of fresh air compared to some of the more dark and broody atmosphere games out there, with silly characters, silly weapons like the tennis ball gun, and just odd situations (I was not expecting to be attacked by chefs).

PR1

So if you are looking for a quirky fun Metroidvania style game, be sure to check out Pharaoh Rebirth+ today.

Mark – Producer
Hi, my name is Mark and I’m a Producer at Degica Games. I mostly work with publishing small indie titles internationally but I also assist with promoting Japanese titles to an English audience.

ABOUT BEING A PRODUCER

Most people, even in the industry, don’t really know what a producer does. Depending on the team size, the producer can play many roles. I often work with small teams of 1-3 people, so I manage internal tasking, scheduling, and meetings, as well as serve as the direct connection with the team/product and the public. I manage getting the game onto stores, into conventions, sending out press releases, working with content creators, responding to the community and general PR and promotion. I’m basically the team coach, manager, and cheerleader all wrapped up into one!

MY FAVORITE DEGICA GAME

If I was giving a producer answer, I’d say all the games I’ve worked on are my favorite! I have a special connection though with OneShot which is a game I discovered and fell in love with before I became a producer. OneShot is a puzzle adventure game with unique meta elements. The original release was only a few hours long but I was enraptured the entire time. The game explored the relationship with the player, character, and world in meta-narrative and mechanical ways that I had never seen done in a game before; and still haven’t!

Sea

When I first approached the OneShot team about working on an expanded Steam version of the game, I couldn’t have imagined how big it would get! As a producer, you always hope that a title is successful, but no matter how much you trust the research or your intuition, you never really know until it happens. I’m still working with the team on localizing the game into other languages and expanding it to a much larger audience, as well as planning for future cons and promotional events!

screenshot-05

If you’re interested, you can find OneShot on Steam by clicking here!

{ 0 comments }

Coming Soon: Castle of Shikigami

Castle_of_Shikigami_logo_3_l
That’s right, the next shmup release from Degica Games will be Castle of Shikigami!

Congrats to @AlbertZero on Twitter and Michael Anderson on Facebook for figuring it out in our Mystery Clue contest! And after only one clue, too! They’ll each get a key for the game for their amazing prognostication.

So what is Castle of Shikigami?

A bizarre string of serial murders has occurred in Japan. Each victim was killed slowly, over an entire day. The 32nd victim has just been found. And you are going to stop it. Via mystical powers and shoot’em up gameplay. (There are very few problems in video games that can’t be solved this way.) Each of the playable characters has their own unique shooting mechanics while sharing the tension system, which rewards risky play with stronger shots.

Castle of Shikigami has never gotten a proper EN release, with only a PS2 release redubbed Mobile Light Force 2 with all the story pulled out making it outside of Japan, so this will be the first time ever that you can experience the full game in English! And with all six characters having a separate story, that is a lot that you were missing out on.

Be on the lookout for more info about Castle of Shikigami in the coming weeks!

{ 0 comments }

Koihime Enbu Tournament Results!

KoihimeFight

Thanks everyone for competing in our Koihime Enbu Tournament last Thursday! We had a great turnout of 22 competitors, including our guest co-host kson! Brett spent a bit of time teaching her the game, and she was let loose on our competitors.

Perhaps though, Brett’s teaching isn’t quite as good as was needed to teach someone to play a game competitively in such a short time, as kson went out in her first two matches.

But that wasn’t the end for all of you! It was a hard fought tournament, but long time Fight Night veteran Level5 came out on top, with a dramatic 3 set matchup with another Fight Night veteran nycbrandon to finish out the night.

Congratulations to our top 3, and to everyone who entered the competition! We hope to see you all again soon!

 

{ 0 comments }

Scar of the Doll – Impressions

 

header

One of the fun things about being the community manager for a game publisher is you get to play a lot of games you wouldn’t normally come across. Scar of the Doll is one of those games. I’m not usually someone who goes for visual novels so it would have never been on my radar. But I’m glad I didn’t get the chance to overlook it, and here are my impressions on why you shouldn’t overlook it either.

First, you’ll have to excuse me for being a bit tight-lipped on details, but the men upstairs don’t want any spoilers, and if I tell you how uuugk…

20170424040146_1

That would have been a spoiler.

What was I saying? One of the first things that struck me about Scar of the Doll is that it hits you with that just slightly off kilter feeling right from the beginning. Even before the first major “wait, what” moment, there are several minor moments that just feel slightly odd.

The main character will hear a sentence that is just absurdly out of place for the current conversation, or timelines of what you say compared to things other people are saying don’t line up. Or when I checked the answering machine and hrghk….

20170424040146_1

Spoiler…

Nothing strange there. Yeah. I’m fine. This is exactly how I left things.

This slightly odd feeling never let’s you feel completely comfortable.

The second thing I noticed is that this game is an excellently paced mystery. Every time you think you’ve got it figured out they’ll reveal “Oh, you’re right about X, but there is MORE…”

Just as you figure out one thing, the next mystery appears, and these mysteries aren’t coming out of nowhere either. Because the third thing is that this game loves details.

And those details, little bits you’ll forget like how when you get off the train that…. uhghkkk…

NO SPOILERS

NO SPOILERS!

Did something happen? Why is my desk so clean? And was it really this late? Oh well, need to finish this up.

The details always set up the reveals. Every time the mystery deepens, all these little details you’ll have completely forgotten about, or thought were just little ways of making the player feel uncomfortable, those were all pointing to something else behind the immediate mystery. The mysteries never feel like they came out of nowhere, they always had small hints, but you’ll overlook those hints. And then, a new mystery springs from those little hints, like a matryoshka doll of mysteries.

Wait? Where are you going? The article isn’t over yet. Did you hear a cell phone ringing?

{ 0 comments }

Scar of the Doll-Coming Soon

header

A mysterious disappearance, a devoted sister.

Travel to Tokyo as Asumi to uncover the secrets behind your vanished sister. From master storyteller Hidehisa Miyashita, the scenario writer for the critical and cult darling Folklore, play Scar of the Doll, April 20th on Steam!

This brand new remastered version of the Child Dream classic features upgraded visuals and new content! Find your way through the brilliant and chilling mystery. Can you find your sister? Can you uncover the mystery? Will you be able to face the frightening truth?

Find out on April 20th!

We used to Fight As Children…
We Fought Over the TV…
I wanted to watch cartoons and you wanted to watch science programs…
In the end I’d always burst into tears…
And you’d always let me watch what I wanted…
Father was always busy…
It was always just the two of us…
We used to go to the festival every summer…
Always…together…
You smiling beside me…wearing the same yukata…
But one year we stopped going…a boy picked you up… I knew you liked that boy
I used to stand by the door watching you…
The teddy bear you gave me that one day… I still have it. I’ve been taking good care of it.
The darkness of the night is scary…it makes me more aware of how lonely I am…

ss_b5907bedd9b5e95092111589f716a94f34ef2567.600x338

{ 0 comments }

Steam VR Sale!

VRSale

Happy Belated Birthday to the HTC VIVE! The Vive was released one year ago yesterday and it is time for a celebration.

The fun of VR is to put yourself INTO the game. To get an immersive experience that lets you be part of the action. And hey, immersing yourself into situations outside your every day life sounds like a good way to celebrate a birthday!

So let’s look at the three Degica Games on sale in VR this week!

header

It’s time to be awesome at the biggest sport in the world, with Head It!

Your teammate has set you up, and all you have to do is get your head in the game. Be loved and adored by the fans as you get goal after goal. The world of soccer is yours for 50% off, so don’t let that goalie stop your shot!

header (2)

Or maybe, it is time to show off your mastery of the Japanese art of the sword in Samurai Sword VR. Dash through beautiful scenery as you cut down your foes.

Less an honoable Samurai and more an underhanded ninja? Then instead master the 2 kunai/shuriken only levels. Either way, you can see the world of Japan surround you, for 50% off.

header (1)

And what is the best thing you can do to celebrate? Break stuff! And as it is in the virtual world and not reality, there is no mess, no cleanup, just pure unbridled joy at watching stuff get knocked down in Destroyer!

Ancient ruins float in the sky, why they are there? Who cares, let’s tear it all down! Embrace your inner child and throw things at it until it all comes down for 50% off!

No matter which game you get, let’s all celebrate the success of the Vive by immersing ourselves in a whole virtual world of fun!

{ 0 comments }

Degica Games + Steam Anime Sale = Sugoi Deals Sugoi Games.

Campaign Email

NANI?!

Steam is once again doing their Anime Sale, and that means it is time for more deals on Degica Games!

You want to know more about a few games in the sale, ne?

Dodonpachi

DoDonPachi Resurrection, the latest CAVE game to land on Steam for 30% off! Giant kawaii robot girls, sugoi ships, and so, so many modes modes! What more could you want from a bullet hell shooter?

Refrain

And speaking of danmaku, we’ve also got RefRain ~Prism Memories~ for 40% off! From doujin circle RebRank, RefRain is a dive into cyberpunk hacking as represented by deep shooter gameplay.

These two Degica Games, and many more are on sale now, so run over to the Anime Steam Sale to find the game for you.

ed362894-saizensen-landing-bg-e1490632908369

And of course, our Studio Saizensen Week is still ongoing, so head over there to learn about a giveaway, contest, and more!

Between the Anime Sale and Studio Saizensen Week, there is no way you don’t want one of these Degica Game deals. Don’t get the wrong idea, though. It’s not like we like you or anything. Baka. *blush*

{ 0 comments }

Saizensen Week: Umihara Kawase Day

Header

The Studio Saizensen Week continues, but today is all about Umihara Kawase!

The Umihara Kawase series are puzzle platformers unlike any other game you’ve ever played. Using a fishing line and hook, Umihara, joined by others in later games, swing, hang, climb, and even launch themselves using the lines elastic quality. With their interesting physics mechanics, the Umihara Kawase series is a game you can spend years mastering, or jump in today and have fun.

You can get the entire trilogy for 70% off right now on Steam!

image00

Want to know more about the series? Join us later today on Twitch as we stream with Mr. Kondou, the illustrator of the series. He’ll be answering questions from the chat, so don’t be shy about posting your best questions for him. We’ll be streaming at 6PM Pacific, so set your alarms and don’t miss out!

We also have the Sayonara Umihara Kawase Time Attack Contest still running until April 3rd!

f8d86ec39dfafbef458e75ed22579a1fd156c34e

See if you can be the master of Stage 6, or just see how you can do for fun. There are plenty of great prizes, but make sure to read ALL the rules! We look forward to all your entries!

Umihara Kawase is a game you could waste days, weeks, or even years in. Take this opportunity to get this legendary series today.

{ 0 comments }