NaNoRenO 2014 – Interview with Vintehin

[Version frnaçaise disponible ici]

Vintehin is one of the few french people to take part in NaNoRenO. He’s participating for the first with the ambition to complete his first visual novel.

Can you introduce yourself?

My nickmane on the NaNoRenO forum is Vintehin. I studied photography and I’m the co-founder of a graphical narration company called Vivement l’hiver. (http://www.vivementlhiver.com )

For those of you who are wondering what « graphical narration » could mean, well it’s only the act of telling stories by using pictures. It can be done with either photography, video or even visual novels!

 

What has led you to create your very first visual novel?

There are thousands of ways to tell a story… Movies, video games, comic books, every media has its own rules, its own strenghts and its own limits. I started being interested in visual novel 2 or 3 years ago and really liked the freedom in term of storytelling it has. Visual novel is a mix of multiple genres, it’s so free that its definition is still uncertain and evolving… (That’s such a debate!).

While following the news about indie visual novels, I realized that it was possible to make interesting things even with a short project. At some point, I wanted to try it out myself, I was just waiting for the right time !

emma
The promo art for Emma

Why did you choose to make your first VN during NaNoRenO?

Mainly because it was motivating. I wanted to try for a long time but I never found the right time. I thought it was now or never.

I had lots of ideas that were waiting to be used, and the 1st of march, first day of NaNoRenO, I knew it was time to take action! I sat in front of my computer and I didn’t budge before having the idea for a scenario.

I didn’t think there would be so much contestants, about sixty project, that’s crazy. Seeing that much people working at the same time is really motivating. It’s good to see that some sites are following the event.

 

If I’m not mistaken, you’re working alone on your project. Is that a problem or are you ok with it?

Yes, I started alone. But by the time the project is completed, there will be more names on the credits roll.

I had two ambitions when I decided to take part in NaNo 2o14. The first one was to take care of the art myself. That’s what I like to do, working on my pictures, trying to do something nice. It takes time, but I really love that.

The second one was to write a story. I often created pictures for the stories of other peoples (which is nice too), but this time I wanted to tell a story of my own.

I achieved the scenario about four days ago, I don’t know what it’s worth but I’m happy I did it, it was a good experience. I shared it to a friend who’s editing it a bit, trying to ease the style, making it more enjoyable to read. I have another friend who’s in charge of the music. He’s not aware of it yet, but I’m sure he’ll agree! As for coding, I will be in charge of it, I’m kinda too lazy to look for help and working with someone you don’t know can be as slow as doing it yourself. I’ve taken a look at Ren’Py before NaNo to know what to expect, it’s not hard to use so I’ll be able to do it myself (even if I don’t have any ambitions with this)!

Also, thanks to Lemmasoft, I already had some translator asking me if they could translate my project (because it will only be available in French). So yeah, I started alone but more and more people are helping me with it.

VN2S
Some training art by Vintehin, so you can take a look at how Emma will look like.

NaNoRenO is an international event, but there’s very few French people taking part in it. Do you think that inviting french people to take part in it could encourage the French community to create more?

When I started my project, I had some really nice feedbacks from people happy to see more French VN! I think that a lot of people would be interested in such an event, the only thing is that you have to be able to read and talk in english. You’re allowed to make a game in french and translate it afterwards, but to enjoy NaNoRenO to its fullest, it’s important to share your story with the other contestants, read their projects, compare your progress, motivate yourself and also take time to present your own work. So, even if your project is in French, you’ll have to communicate in English (and as correctly as possible if you want to be taken seriously).

Tell us more about your project!

My project is called Emma and will be a short kinetic novel.

A rainy evening, a dark street. The only light comes from a bus stop. There are two character here : Alphonse, an old man waiting for its wife, and Elliott, a young scientist who’s dreaming about one thing, leaving the town to meet the beautiful Emma.

The story will tell what happen between those two men, a little slice of life between two buses.

The writing of the story was what troubed me the most. I don’t have much experience for that and I’m not really at ease with a pen or a keyboard! I immediatly went for a kinetic, I didn’t want to try a multiple path story for a first try. I like VN that have multiple endings, but that will be for another time!

As for the story’s lenght, I wanted it to be short, since I’ll be doing all of the art and the code alone, I didn’t wanted it to be too long. There’s many chances that I won’t be in time for NaNo, but I want to be able to finish the project during april!

Regarding the art, I more or less know how to draw, but I’m more skilled in photography. So I decided to take pictures of the backgrounds and characters and then paint over them. With this, it’s easier to have control over light and framing. I did some experiences the past months to get the knack of it and I’m kinda satisfy by how it went. I think it will be nice (at least I hope so)!

Thanks to Vintehin for letting us take a bit of his time. We wish him good luck and we hope he will be able to complete his project! You can follow Emma’s progress on Lemmasoft!

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