The Development of an Interactive Visual Novel – Overview

Overview of the Developmental Trajectory

Audience Analysis

The audience response to the development of this Digital Artefact over the past few months has been extremely positive, with pretty consistent high view counts and positive interactions via TikToks comment section. Viewers often commented on their excitement of our own Interactive Visual Novel ‘Olive in Love’, that was used as the continuous example, or interest in the behind-the-scenes development and how that influenced their own works.

Interest in our Interactive Visual Novel
Engagement with the educational aspect

Social Utility

“My project will be relevant to my intended audience because it provides a not often seen side of video game development that might encourage others to pursue any interest of their own.”

The above statement is the original Utility taken from this project’s Pitch. Throughout the development of this Digital Artefact, this statement has remained the core goal behind any and all created content. The majority of the TikToks created provided transparency and intrigue into the behind the scenes creation of our Interactive Visual Novel. This was done in the hopes that the audience would find this motivating for their own projects, or at the least educational.

Learning Moments

Throughout this development I not only learnt how to create an Interactive Visual Novel as part of a professional team, but also how to manage a promotional social media and engage with potential online audiences. I also learnt that maintaining a project for a long period of time required constant commitment in order to keep up with audience engagement.

Project Iteration

This project has grown a lot since its beginning. It has managed to garner a relatively strong audience, and has room for continued growth in the future. The core idea for the project didn’t change much throughout its creation, however over time we gained an idea of what accumulated a higher response from the audience and adjusted accordingly.

The Medium is the Message & Framing

The medium of creating TikToks shows that the Digital Artefact is primarily focused on audience engagement, particularly with its younger majority of users. TikTok is home to a lot of up-and-coming artists and projects, which makes it the prime platform to encourage engagement with like-minded people. Viewing this through an industrial frame however, shows that there is also a desire to promote a product alongside its educational intention. By using the focused ‘Olive in Love’ as the example in the TikToks on how to create an Interactive Visual Novel, it creates interest from the audience in our project as well as their own.


This TikTok account will continue to be updated in the future as it has proven to be a success in both our original intended goal, as well as a tool to help us in the creation of our own projects.

To keep updated, follow @chromacatstudios on TikTok


The Development of an Interactive Visual Novel

My project is to document the process of creating a choice-based, interactive visual novel with the aim of both encouraging an audience of young people with similar interests in visual novels and/or game development to both play our created visual novel or even be inspired to create their own. The project will be documented on TikTok where I will be monitoring its engagement and taking in feedback to hopefully create a piece of creative work that represents today’s young people. 

The project can be found on TikTok under the username @chromacatstudios

Can I Get a Comment. Can I Please Get a Comment.

Accompanying my Beta post I was also required to once again comment on three other Beta posts and self-reflect on the effectiveness of these comments.

Beta 1 – Why People Cosplay and What it Costs by paige smith

Summary – This Beta post discusses the culture of cosplay and the reasons behind the spending of so much time and money on them.

Firstly, I want to say I really love the topic for your DA. As someone interested in cosplay I’m keen to keep up with this!
I think you did a very good job in meeting the criteria for the video. You described the changes that you plan to make to the project and took in feedback from your pitch well. You also thoroughly demonstrated how you’ve already engaged with your potential audience on Instagram, and how that engagement relates back to your DA. I also appreciated how you mentioned a video tutorial you’ve already made however I think it would have benefited to have linked that video or shown clips. I also would have liked to have seen examples of the research you mentioned to further clarify the analysis you have already started. But overall the video was of a very high quality and very informative!

I was expecting to see further elaboration of your analysis in the blog post as it seemed to just reiterate what was already said in the video. I also would suggest maybe adding a timeline trajectory to just cement exactly what you plan on doing with this project and when. I did however find the use of screenshots of responses from your Instagram very effective in portraying audience engagement and research within the community.
I’ve linked the above resource as it discusses a study on the cost of cosplay as well as the psychological reasons of participating in cosplay which I think could be very useful to your research.
I also have linked this source which discusses more the identity aspect of cosplay culture which I believe could be an interesting path in your research.

For this comment I suggested that the author include further depiction and discussion of their prototype as that was a large part of this assessment. I also suggested that they clarified the research they had done as well as display a projected timeline for their future project as this would help the audience be able to clearly engage with the project.

I also linked two articles that discuss more post-structuralist studies on cosplay and its surrounding culture which I believe will be useful in the future analysis of this topic.

Beta 2 – Moral Panics & Violent Video Games by serenasbasicblog

Summary – This Beta post discusses the history and potential future of moral panics caused by the belief of video games causing violence.

I really appreciated the short summary reminder at the start of this video that outlined your DA’s approach. The layout of your video as a PowerPoint was very effective and made the whole video very easy to follow. You also were very thorough in creating and sharing prototypes of your DA through blog posts and you’re one of the first people I’ve seen to do so in such depth so well done! You also engaged quite a lot with your potential audience through Twitter, which was great to see, and I myself saw a lot of these posts throughout the past few weeks. Finally, I want to commend your incorporation of feedback from your pitch and how you plan on incorporating this into the DA before submission. It was very obvious that you took into account the criticism and advice that you have gotten and that you are keen to put it to use! I have very little to fault on this video as it was incredibly clear and to the point, and while you did go a bit over the recommended length, it didn’t seem to drag on or discuss anything I found to be irrelevant.

Your blog post was also very informative and discussed your previous blog posts in more depth, which I was hoping to see. The explanation of how you found more research for your topic was also great to see as it further showed your process in the creation of this DA. The links to the articles and your previous blog posts also made it very easy to navigate and is incredibly helpful in allowing the audience to find their way to other aspects of your DA that was previously mentioned in your video. One thing I would have liked to have seen however is more of a trajectory in when and where you will be posting future content, as while you did say you would be posting further on social media I think a stricter timeline would help further.
I’ve linked this article which discusses the desensitisation to violence through over-exposure in video games which affects peoples relationship to violence in real life which I believe could be a useful resource in your future research.

Once again for this Beta, I commented on how a projected timeline for their project would have been beneficial to further engage their audience. I also suggested they clarify they future use of social media to clear up any misconceptions.

The resource that I provided will also hopefully help in further analysing the effects of video games regarding violence, yet discusses the role of desensitisation within this topic which is an avenue the author hadn’t seemed to yet consider.

Beta 3 – Project Beta: Where We Are Now by antslife

Summary – This Beta post discusses the role of video games in education, specifically focusing on Minecraft.

The overall quality of your video was very well done. It was interesting to watch and the visuals kept me engaged throughout its entirety. You were also very thorough in describing how you took in previous feedback, especially how you are going to focus on Minecraft in particular as well include analysis from other subjects you are taking which I believe will be very beneficial to your DA. You also discussed how you attempted to engage an audience on Reddit, which while you didn’t gain any feedback from, is a good platform to use and shows your effort. I would have however further attempted to engage an audience on other platforms such as Twitter once you saw that there wasn’t a large amount of participation happening. I also would have liked to have seen potentially more discussion about your blog post prototype in this video as I found myself unsure if you had actually created a prototype until I read your accompanying post.

Your blog post mainly reiterated what was already covered in the video and so I would have liked to have seen further discussion on research and how you plan to take your analytical approach to the DA. I would have also liked to have seen more about your prototype blog post as mentioned before, however I do appreciate it being linked in this post as it is a very important part of this Beta assessment.
I have linked the above article which I believe will benefit your research as it discusses the educational value in video games alongside their entertainment value for children.

For this Beta I suggested that the author attempt to further engage with their potential audience as well as further discuss their prototype as as mentioned earlier, it is a large part of this assessment. I also asked for more clarity in their post, as well as further research discussed rather than repeating information in both the video and post.

I linked a source that discussed the educational value of video games while also discussing its entertainment value with children, as I believe these points go hand-in-hand and provide an interesting take for future analysis.


What did you do?
For this assessment I commented on three other Beta posts and gave positive feedback and advice on how to improve in the future production of their DA’s.

What did you learn?

I learnt how to further research topics outside of my own analysis, as well as how to analyse and respond to others work through encouragement and constructive feedback.

What did you get out of the experience?

I enjoyed learning about other people’s plans for their Digital Artefacts and it helped me in how I can look at my own DA and construct feedback for myself.

How did you improve over the previous round of comments?

For this round of comments I tried to include feedback that revolved around the criteria for this assessment specifically as this would provide more helpful in the production of my classmates DA’s in the future.

Narrative Checkpoint

We’re at the halfway point for this Digital Artefact so here are a few updates since my pitch.


The biggest pieces of feedback from my pitch would have to have been the lack of research elaborated on within the post, as well as a failure to incorporate enough relevant material from the BCM215 lectures themselves. I hope to rectify that with this post.

Technological Context

“the independent video game is a form of free expression – not limited by the constraints of a major game publisher, or by what market research dictates. Thus, according to this narrative, the developer invests in the product his or her own ‘original’ creative input. In this view, his or her unique vision of game design is brought into the video game, making it a direct expression of personal, individual feelings and thoughts.”

(Ruffino 2012, p. 115)

From the quote above as well as my pitch, you can probably guess that I want to take a humanistic approach in the research of this artefact. The connection that is made between a creator and their game and simultaneously the game and player, is something of high interest to me, especially in regards to indie narrative games as they provide a unique opportunity for developers to incorporate something ‘personal’ into the game that can potentially be explored in a larger way within this context.

Structuralism Vs Post-Structuralism

My DA is interesting in the way that it doesn’t neatly fit into either the Structuralist or Post-Structuralist way of analysing these games.

On the surface my pitch and beta portray a structuralist framework for analysis, as my focus it to analyse these three games based on elements of their structure: their characters, story, and music.
However, beneath this analysis lies another layer of post-structuralism in which I am examining the affect these elements have on the player as well as their reception and connection to the developer.

I want to further investigate the psychological aspects of why these narratives and features have such an important role within the structure of the games themselves.

Follow for Updates

Twitter: @lu_suey
Insta: @lu.suey
Tumblr: @lusuey



YouTube. (2019). Gone Home – Launch Trailer. [online] Available at:

YouTube. (2019). Journey Launch Trailer I Coming July 21 I PS4 Exclusive. [online] Available at:

YouTube. (2019). Life is Strange – Launch Trailer. [online] Available at:


YouTube. (2019). Sky Clouds Wind Heaven Weather Atmosphere High – Stock free footage. [online] Available at:


Consalvo, Mia 2003. Zelda 64 and Video Game Fans A Walkthrough of Games, Intertextuality, and Narrative. 
Television & New Media. 4(3) 321–334.

Rose, M. (2013). How indies made an impact on a generation of game consoles. [Blog] Indie Games Plus. Available at:

Ruffino, P. (2012). Narratives of independent production in video game culture. Indie, Eh?, 7(11), p.111


Flaticon. (2019). Twitter free vector icons designed by Freepik. [online] Available at:

WordPress Swag Store. (2019). WordPress 3″Round Sticker. [online] Available at:

So Long and Thanks For All the Tips

In relation to my own pitch I was required to comment on the posts of three other pitches and self-reflect on how effectively these comments contributed to each pitch.

Pitch 1 – Full Frontal Fury by Aimee

Summary – This pitch discusses both sides of the argument in which cartoonish graphics changes how one approaches violence in video games. Specifically focusing on the analysis of Crash Bandicoot and Ratchet & Clank.

You did a really good job at making your pitch video dynamic and energetic through the use of music, images and backgrounds, which made it very enjoyable to watch. It was also concise and straight to the point, which was emphasised through the titles, making your points clear and the centre of our attention. However I would improve this by expanding on each of these points either through speaking or dot-points (although I would encourage the former), as that would make it easier to explain what you were trying to say. This also goes for the clips of the games, as talking a bit about them would enhance your points. I would also recommend in the future to slow down the pacing a little as well as using a more accessible design as I found at times I missed the text as it was either gone too fast, too hard to read, or I got distracted by the music. A lot of this is just aesthetic however, and I really enjoyed the idea for your project itself; I love these games and it’s a really interesting topic.

This was a lot better at explaining what exactly you’re doing for your DA. You also outlined a lot of the criteria needed for this project very well, such as which paratexts you’ll be using and how, the structural aspects of the games and how they affect its violence, and how you’ll be collecting data both of the games themselves and from your audience. All of this was discussed in great detail, the only thing I would suggest is the use of headings so that the reader can navigate the post easier. I think the use of Tumblr is a great idea as it’s easy to use, cost effective, and a great way to acquire an audience.
The only thing I was really confused about in this post is the part about the characteristics of the protagonists as I found it a little irrelevant to what I thought the project was about. However, if you are going to incorporate how these characteristics of these protagonists AFFECT the violence in these games I think that would be a great approach.

I have found a scholarly thesis that discusses how stereotypical masculinity (including violence) is often portrayed in video games and thought it could help if you decide to incorporate that argument into your DA.

‘Masculine Norms’ (Pg. 10-11)
All in all I really love the idea for this DA and look forward to seeing where you take it!

For this comment I suggested how the author could expand on their points as well as tips on how to further effectively communicate their ideas. This was due to some of the difficulty I found in absorbing the information presented at times either due to inaccessibility of design, or compact paragraphs.

I also suggested a more narrow approach to their idea regarding the characteristics of the protagonists of the games they are focusing on, which I believe will further benefit their analysis.

Pitch 2 – How Does Negative Public Relations Impact the Gaming Industry by Elissa’s Blog

Summary – This pitch explores “how negative public relations impact the consumers reactions and responses in the gaming industry”
Specifically focusing on Borderlands 3 and Nintendo.

I really loved the use of headings to split up your points; it was very efficient and made it clear what you were talking about throughout. Your use of images was also very useful as it increased the clarity of your points further. I will say however that the amount of information in the pitch was sometimes a little overwhelming and I had trouble sometimes following both what you were saying and what was written on each slide. I understand that this was probably due to the time restraint on the video and you understandably wanted to include as much information as possible, however I think that some of the written information could have been just as effective if it were placed in the blog post rather than the video itself. I also noticed that the description of the video on YouTube is empty and would probably be beneficial to fill with at least a short summary of the project.

I loved your blog post I can’t think of much to improve it other than what I previously mentioned. The structure was very well done with the use of headings and dot-points. The background around the Borderlands copyright incident was very informative and helpful especially as I had no prior knowledge on this. It was very clear exactly what you will be questioning in this DA and I appreciated you setting out a clear timeline on how and when you will approach it. One thing I would like to point out is that I believe you repeated some information a few times and perhaps the pitch would benefit from cutting down some of the repeating points both in your blog and video.
Also since you mentioned that you will be engaging with an audience via twitter and reddit it might be helpful to link or tell your audience where they can find you on these.
This source might also be useful for you as it details the process of Media Relations of the Wii in Canada

But overall this pitch is very informative and detailed and you did a really good job!

Once again in this pitch I suggested ways to make the post less compact and overwhelming with information as this will hopefully encourage future audiences to want to engage more with the DA. The author of this pitch was very thorough with their information, yet at times that resulted in repetition and increase in length which I suggested they cut down on to improve readability. I also suggested they link where they will be communicating with their future audience to hopefully help others contribute.

Finally I included a link that described the process of Media Relations which I believe their project will benefit from learning about.

Pitch 3 – Press Start by isaacpercy

Summary – This pitch discusses nostalgia and the current scope of gaming culture.

When I first checked on here your pitch video wasn’t linked but I’m glad to see it’s up now! I really enjoyed how you described this project as a sort of personal journey to you, it makes it interesting to watch when you seem genuinely interested in the subject matter. There was a line in your pitch where you said you wanted to “explore your experience with games and look at where the games are at now”. I wish you would have expanded on that to further explain what exactly you will be analysing in this DA. The video was also a bit long and unedited and I suggest finding a video-editing program to really make the video essay’s you plan to make smoother. I would also talk more about how you’re going to approach this project, but I really appreciated how you said you will attempt to reach an audience that is interested in this topic as well as take on criticism as you go. Finally I would also suggest filling out your YouTube description a bit more to increase clarity around the meaning of this video.
However I really like how you’re focusing on the nostalgia of games and I too relate to that PS2 start-up feeling.
So you did explain a little more within this post how you will be approaching this project with your use of old consoles and the amount of video essays you will be producing. I think it would be worthwhile however to develop more of an analysis on the exact thing you will be approaching, as well as link useful information that you will be potentially using in your research later on. I also suggest you expand on what exactly the video essays will cover; will they be an analysis on nostalgia? Video game let’s plays? Vlogs? I would definitely love more information on that as you mentioned a few YouTubers and I’m wondering if you are taking inspiration from them. I would also suggest more clarification on whether you will be taking a structural or post-structural approach within your analysis as it seems you want to focus on both the current gaming culture, as well as the impact of nostalgia.
This source might be a good start to your research as it talks about the relationship between media and nostalgia.
I’m also linking this source as it discusses nostalgia directly relating to video games and how that could also be exploited for current commodification.
I did however enjoy this pitch and I think it is a great start and you’re tackling a very interesting and relatable topic!

For this pitch I suggested that clarification and expansion was key. I believe that by further explaining what exactly it is this DA will be analysing, it will majorly benefit. The video was also far too long and unedited so I advised to utilise a video editing program in the future to produce the upcoming video essays in as high quality as possible.

I also suggested that the pitch include more research and links to sources to give the audience more depth to the project. To help with this I linked two scholarly sources that would be a great start in researching nostalgia, which seems to be the prime focus of this DA.


What did you do?
For this assessment I gave advice and suggestions as well as positive feedback to encourage the continuation and progress of three other Digital Artefact pitches.

What did you learn?
I learnt while analysing others posts and projects how I could use this skill to reflect on my own project and thus improve it. I also learnt how to communicate feedback that is both positive and constructive.

What did you get out of the experience?
From this project I also gained a lot of feedback on my own project which was helpful as it came from others experiencing the same process but with a fresh pair of eyes.

How do you plan to improve?
I plan to continue to monitor and contribute to other DA’s as it will benefit not only my own project but also my future feedback to others as part of the second round of comments.

The Underappreciated Impact of Indie Narrative Games

Indie narrative games such as Life is Strange, What Remains of Edith Finch, That Dragon Cancer and so on, have become an increasingly controversial and underappreciated form of video game in the past few years. They have however remained one of my favourite genres of games and thus have become my focus for this DA.

I plan on unpacking the structural aspects of these games as well as theorising how the almost sole reliance on narrative within these games affects the player.

Estimated Timeline for DA

From weeks 5-7 I will be posting a summary of each of the video essays to gain feedback on as well as engage with their prospective audiences. This gives you a chance to get involved in this project so be sure to follow this blog as well as my social media which I will link below.

Each of the three video essays will consistent of a deconstruction of one of the aforementioned topics, as well as how it applies to their assigned games (Video 1: Life is Strange etc.) which I will also be including my own gameplay of.

It is important to keep in mind however that this project is still in it’s very early stages of development and is expected to change throughout the development process.

Links Useful for Future Research

Follow for Updates

Twitter: @lu_suey
Insta: @lu.suey
Tumblr: @lusuey


Game Footage

YouTube. (2019). Gone Home – Launch Trailer. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

YouTube. (2019). Journey Launch Trailer I Coming July 21 I PS4 Exclusive. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

YouTube. (2019). Life is Strange – Launch Trailer. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

YouTube. (2019). Night In The Woods Trailer – NEW DATE: FEBRUARY 21st. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

YouTube. (2019). OXENFREE: LAUNCH TRAILER. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

YouTube. (2019). The Walking Dead: Episode 1 Launch Trailer. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

YouTube. (2019). What Remains of Edith Finch Official Launch Trailer. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

Stock Footage

YouTube. (2019). Sky Clouds Wind Heaven Weather Atmosphere High – Stock free footage. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].


Buckler, M. (2018). A History of the Videogame Narrative. The Amherst Student. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

Consalvo, Mia 2003. Zelda 64 and Video Game Fans A Walkthrough of Games, Intertextuality, and Narrative. 
Television & New Media. 4(3) 321–334.

YouTube. (2019). Fan Questions Answered By DONTNOD. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].


Burning in Water. (2019). Burning in Water. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

Flaticon. (2019). Twitter free vector icons designed by Freepik. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

Full Bright Company. (2019). Gone Home. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

Giant Bomb. (2019). Journey Review. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019]. (2019). tumblr-logo. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

Instagram Brand. (2019). Instagram Brand Resources. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

WordPress Swag Store. (2019). WordPress 3″Round Sticker. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].