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What Yaoi Visual Novels Need to Change According to the /gaymers SubReddit

In the realm of Yaoi Visual Novels (VNs), the narrative medium has offered a versatile range of experiences that span from light-hearted dating simulations to intricate storylines that all fold into what matters most: character development. Yet, the community's comments unveil substantial areas where the genre could benefit from thoughtful reconsideration and improvement.


This information was provided by the gaymers SubReddit. The reason for this article is to continue to provide public discussions and to help creators of the "Yaoi" genre to improve on their development.


Yaoi Visual Novels, Character Diversity and Depth


Several users express discontent with the lack of unromanceable characters. It's an interesting critique that calls for a more balanced narrative ecosystem. When all characters exist merely for the protagonist's romantic pursuit, it lends an air of artificiality to the in-game world. This makes characters seem more like objects to be acquired rather than individuals with their own complexities. It's a critique often leveraged against many genres of VNs, but its presence in Yaoi VNs is glaring due to the often niche target audience. Adding non-romanceable characters can add depth to the universe within which the story unfolds.


HomoGreekorius: More characters who are not romanceable, to make the world feel more alive and your character more human and less like a pornstar. YAGS did it the best but even something more porn-y like Coming Out on Top had Penny who was great.

Beyond Stereotypes: Inclusive Representations


Body diversity appears as another area ripe for evolution. It is a much-discussed point in many corners of gay media, where the focus tends to be on traditionally attractive body types. A more diverse representation of bodies would not only reflect the community more accurately but would add layers of depth and relatability to characters. Additionally, the pitfalls of assigning personality traits based on top/bottom roles should be avoided.


Story Quality and Length


The story matters. Yaoi VNs are often charged with lacking substantive plotlines. And while one could argue that the primary pull of these games is their romantic or sexual content, the long-lasting impact of a well-crafted story cannot be ignored. Quality narrative depth ensures emotional investment, which in turn elevates the overall experience. Story quality also extends to the gameplay mechanics, such as decision trees and branching paths that allow for different outcomes, thereby enhancing replay value.


Genre Diversity and Art Style


The sheer number of furries in the Yaoi VN ecosystem shows that there is room for sub-genres and stylistic explorations. Whether or not furries are your thing, the demand for diversity in visual style and content is evident. Some users also pointed out that art quality is crucial, as poor artwork can be an immediate turn-off regardless of how compelling the narrative might be.


Is It a Game or a Comic?


Last but not least, the integration of engaging gameplay elements is a divisive topic. While the essence of a VN is its focus on narrative, completely ignoring interactive elements may not be the way forward. A game should offer more than just clickable dialogue boxes; it should provide choices that have actual consequences, enriching the interactive experience.


erock279: I honestly need a plot to exist in order to enjoy games like this- if the entire point is “fuck fictional dudes!’ I could just watch porn. As other people said, body diversity and people existing that drive the plot forward in non-romance/fuckable ways. Don’t make only evil non-fuckable characters and only good fuckable characters, include a mix of both.

  • Character Diversity (40%): Many users feel that Yaoi visual novels could benefit from a broader range of characters. This includes having non-romanceable characters to make the world feel more genuine, and better body diversity, avoiding clichés like everyone being a twink or a perfectly sculpted muscle man.

  • Plot Depth (25%): A substantial portion of the comments lament the lack of intricate, compelling stories in yaoi visual novels. Users believe that better storytelling could make the experiences more immersive and emotionally impactful, calling for less reliance on sexual scenes to carry the narrative.

  • Authenticity (15%): Comments suggest that games too often reduce characters to their sexual role (top/bottom) or feel like they are made for straight women rather than a gay audience. This impacts how authentic the narratives feel.

  • Art and Aesthetics (10%): Quality of art is important to some users. Without appealing artwork, some would not even consider engaging with the visual novel.

  • Non-Furry Options (5%): A few users feel there are too many furry options in the yaoi VN space, calling for more non-furry options to diversify the genre.

  • Game Mechanics (5%): There is a desire for better gameplay elements, especially around choices and consequences, to make the 'game' part of 'visual novel game' feel more meaningful.

Overall, it seems that there's a strong desire for more authentic and complex characters, set within deeper, more compelling narratives, while also offering some gameplay elements and aesthetically pleasing art.


Hrekires: When top/bottom defines a character's entire personality, I assume the author or game designer is a straight woman.

Improving Yaoi Visual Novels is less about drastic reinvention and more about refining and expanding upon what already exists. A focus on crafting more rounded characters, offering diverse body types, and delivering compelling stories could go a long way. With the right alterations, they could reach new heights, ensuring not just inclusivity but also more meaningful engagement for the audience.




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