Upon NaNoRenO 2014, Projet Saya decided to exceptionally cover this event. During the upcoming month we’re going to provide multiple project presentations, interviews and reports on contestants’ progress. Before the official starting signal, Helia wrote an article to introduce the event, its stakes and its appeal.
Did you mark March 1st on your calendar? No? Well, too bad for you because it’s the day NaNoRenO 2014 is starting, the only large scope event that gathers all the amateur VN developers. Behind a name that has no sense at all, inspired by the « National Novel Writing Month » (NaNoWriMo), a writing contest, a creation instigator is hiding.
NaNoRenO officialy began in 2005 as a dating-sim (« Ren’ai ») creation contest with ten contestant or so. Since then, the event grew bigger and bigger, stil gathering more and more motivated people. The last instances had about 50 projects and more than half of them were completed. Among them, we find some humble productions, created by only one person with minimalist graphics, but there’s also more and more games of higher quality, hoping to be full-fledged projects! Lots of popular creators have participated to NaNoRenO so far : Christine Love has been taking part in it for years, Sakevisual is also a regular contestant, groups like Cyanide Tea or Dischan and many others have proven their worth there…
NaNoRenO doesn’t really have any rules. The goal is to create an entire visual novel in just a month, from the first to the last day of March. Unlike the first instances, centered around romance, the theme is now free and the creators can create groups just for the contest. No need to be an official team, anyone can take part whenever they want! Also, many rules are frequently broken : you’re allowed to release your game after the deadline, so you often see latecomers perfecting their game during April. You can also continue a project you already started. What you obtain is the pride and satisfaction to have achieved something, which is already a lot.
As you may have noticed, it’s not a real contest with winners and losers but a mere reason to get into creation. If you’ve ever wanted to create your own visual novel but never managed to do so, NaNoRenO is the perfect chance for you. The main appeal lies in the mood. During a whole month, many groups will work hard at the same time as you to achieve their goal and will cheer you up at the same time. You will also find interest as a reader since all of Lemmasoft is thrilled as the projects are progressing. You can follow your favorite in real time and hope that they will be released in time. Spotting the interesting projects and following them day by day becomes an enjoyable game.
NaNoRenO manages to gather amateurs and professionals as well. Everyone can find an interest : readers get new games to read, beginners can take advantage to start out or finish that project that crawls since forever, more experienced groups can take part to make something different from what they usually do, and it’s the right time if you want some light on you as NaNoRenO projects have a huge visibility that allows anyone to get his moment of glory!
That’s why I incited my own team (Träumendes Mädchen) to take part last year. Our last project didn’t receive that much attention, lost among the other games, and we really wanted to receive more critiques from other creators. The release of Ambre gave us much more light.
We are going to take part again this year because it was a great experience, also, we’re encouraging you to do the same or at least think about it. You have five days to think of something, you can do it! Even if you don’t make a game, join us in the hype train because this year will be awesome!