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As per this discussion is likely to be removed in the near future, since it's mostly a meta-tag. In the discussions contained therein, I suggested that we create a tag for questions about how visual novels are produced, analogous to and . This comment got 2 upvotes and no responses, but I've now realized that it might be somewhat controversial based on earlier decisions.

After looking at the tag wiki for , it says:

Please consider asking the question on Arqade.SE if the question is about gaming only, or Game Development.SE if the question is about making a visual novel.

(emphasis mine)

This could be interpreted as stating that visual novel production questions do not belong on Anime.SE at all, and should be asked on GameDev.SE instead Note, however, that tag wikis represent the viewpoint of at most 3 people, and are often wrong or out-of-date, so this should not be considered official policy. (This tag wiki is also somewhat out-of-date, as we are now allowing anime-style VNs which have not been adapted as anime/manga, contrary to the description, but there is little benefit in fixing it as the tag will be gone soon anyway.)

The final paragraph of my answer here also implies that questions related to the production of anime-style cartoons, games, etc. is off-topic, but doesn't say anything about visual novels specifically; visual novels were already within our scope before that post.

In any case, it seems this issue has not yet been settled decisively on meta. So, the question is, do we allow questions about production of visual novels? And, if so, what guidelines do they need to follow?

Note: We currently have one question which could be affected by this decision: https://anime.stackexchange.com/q/420/24, which at the moment is closed as Off-topic with +2/-2 votes. The discussions contained therein are also relevant to this discussion, though we should keep in mind that this occurred during private beta and our scope has changed substantially since then.

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Full disclosure: My own opinion is admittedly biased. As some of you know, I consider myself a visual novel fan first and an anime/manga fan only after that. Hence, I'm interested in these sorts of questions probably more than the average user here.


Japanese visual novels tend to be rather closely related to anime and manga. Adaptations going both ways are fairly common. A lot of notable people in visual novel production are also involved in anime/manga, and vice-versa. It's also true that there are a lot of questions which could be asked about visual novel production

This situation is the same with light novels and manga, but different from other media we allow, like (most) anime-style games, manhua, manhwa, and anime-style cartoons. These categories are related to anime and manga in that their fanbases are nearly identical, but on the producer side they aren't typically closely related, so it doesn't make much sense to include production questions about these media except when there is a clear connection to anime production. For visual novel production, on the other hand, it does make sense to allow such questions on an "Anime & Manga" site.


With that in mind, I think we should allow questions regarding the production of visual novels, with some restrictions analogous to those for anime production.

  • Questions should be about how authentic Japanese visual novels are actually produced, not about how best to produce your own visual novel. The latter category is off-topic, though it might be welcome at GameDev.SE.
  • Questions should not be overly technical. This is also a requirement for which is admittedly vague. I hope we can sort it out in the near future, but for now, a good way to look at it is, if a question would only be of interest to those who want to make their own visual novels, and not to average fans of the medium, then it's probably too technical. Programming and software questions in particular tend to fall into this category. (Note that this is unrelated to Are questions about technical aspects of visual novels on-topic?, which is a separate issue entirely and which I'm not discussing here.)

In particular, questions about the production about a specific visual novel are allowed, as are questions about the visual novel industry in general, but questions asking about specific technical issues which might arise in producing a visual novel belong elsewhere.


Regarding the question mentioned above, I think it's borderline. It is asking about how authentic Japanese visual novels are produced. I'm not sure if it's too technical or not, but certainly anything much more technical than this should not be allowed. I'd lean slightly towards reopening it, but I don't have strong feelings either way.

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    That's exactly my opinion. If the question is about the cultural, language, or conceptual aspect, it should be on topic here. Technical questions should not. – Madara's Ghost May 26 '13 at 5:32

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