Thinking of making a visual novel / text based story game. Looking for feedback and ideas.

Greetings everyone!

I’m thinking of making a game, it’s been a goal of mine for a while. I have the technical stuff mostly figured out, what I’d like help with is with the game design and story.

Story-wise, I have plenty of ideas, it’s more about gauging interest and choosing the one people want the most.

Game Design-wise, I’m thinking of going with something modest for my first time, either a freeform game like Modern Gains and Tramp or a linear game with some branching paths like Weighting Game and Apostles.

I made a post with more info in my DeviantArt, this isn’t meant as a promotional or shill post but if you want to read the stuff I’ve written to have an idea of what my style is like you can do that as well.


Hello, welcome and good on you for wanting to take the plunge on starting a new project!

What I would advise is that the best story premise you can come up with for a game or VN is one that you will find the most interesting to work on. As the project lead, you’re going to have the most exposure to working with the story so it only makes sense to pick a story that you yourself are the most passionate about.

There are no truly bad story ideas; the worst are the ones that simply don’t get realised and are left to die on the vine.

Look among your story ideas and take a selfish moment of self-indulgence to assert yourself, saying, “This is the story that I want to see realised. That I think the world needs to see.” Since, when push comes to shove, you are going to be that story’s biggest fan.

People respect and admire drive and passion in creators. Even if they themselves don’t find themselves drawn to a project, someone else will be. The movie quote still rings true: “If you build it, they will come.”

So, waffle aside, if you are genuinely torn between ideas or want to weigh them against community, an idea would be to create some mini-VNs on something simple like Twine. This can not only help gauge interest on the ideas you want to pursue, but also ease you into the mindset of committing to the world of game development.


I’d definitely agree with this.

Whilst it’s very noble to create a game based on someone elses concept, not only is it more rewarding to create a game from your own idea, it’s also a lot easier to keep motivated if you’re making something that you really want to see.

Of course if you start and then get stuck, you can always ask for suggestions from the community to expand your original concept.


Somewhat rare concept implemented is where the PC enjoys fattening others, but then there is a turnabout where the NPCs turn on the PC and get revenge by fattening them up. “Fill Me Up” is one of those rare games that is most enjoyable.

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Greetings everyone!

I’m very pleased with the feedback and support I’ve received both here and on my DA page, I’ve decided to indeed go forward and give this thing a try. I’ll go with something simple as a first project yet versatile and with plenty of room to grow with various updates.

I’ll use Ren’py and will do a semi-linear story with some light branching paths. Here’s a mockup I did of what it might look like. (Right-click and open in a new tab to zoom in)

With that said, the next thing on the chopping block is what setting and premise should the story have, while I have a rough idea of what I want to do, I’m curious as to what the community is most interested in as well, here’s a quick poll of my main ideas. Keep in mind that it’s multiple choice, so choose each that sounds appealing! Any suggestions and ideas are also appreciated.

  • The Cult of Gluttony Remix (College story with supernatural elements. Main character gets a magical tome and makes a deal with a succubus of gluttony to fatten people up in exchange for power)
  • Utopia Station Remix (Sorta grounded Sci-Fi rogue AI story. Pick a character and see their story play out, with some effects carrying over to the other stories Resident Evil 2 style)
  • Reserve of Overweight Hybrids (Fantasy setting monster girl anthology story. Collector makes a reserve for fat monster girls, he travels to find suitable subjects and they tell him their story, lots of variety and fun ideas)
  • Only in My Room (Contemporary mystery / self-improvement story. NEET girl notices something very strange going on around her, and as she tries to uncover it she must work to make friends and lead a better life)
  • Weight Universe Compendium (Anthology stories with a wide variety of settings and premises. Self-contained and mostly on the shorter side with some branching paths here and there. Allows me to experiment with lots of smaller ideas and gameplay mechanics)

0 voters

I’d put off writing something long and complex about game structure (as sandbox games like Tramp that involve a day loop and navigatable “map” tend to be complex), and I’m really glad to see you diagramming something like this out. I find this a useful reference and analysis of IF. What you’re outlining seems to follow the “gauntlet” pattern with more open sections.

The Weighting Game is more of a “branch and bottleneck” pattern with each section delimited by the (largely irreversible) gain scene, but each section has the same open map*. I rather like the structure as it removes some complexity and allows a fair bit of re-use. I’m not sure if @tiggertoo thinks of it in this way though, but it’s got a lot to recommend it.

Whatever the poll outcome is, I would echo others and say write the game you want to write (and play - you’ll spend many hours playing it as there’s no easy way to test RenPy games) even if it isn’t the top choice.

* I’m still amused by the author saying “The branch-and-bottleneck structure is most often used to reflect the growth of the player-character.”

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That’s very good advice and a fascinating read. Thank you for sharing!