The Impact of Visuals on Storytelling in Visual Novels
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Narrative plays an important role in video games by acting as a means through which the player can develop an emotional connection to a game. Visual novels are a unique genre of video games that are characterized by limited player interactivity and an explicit focus on conveying narrative through various forms of visual storytelling. In this paper, I present five prominent visual mediums through which the narrative of a visual novel manifests, and I analyze each of their contributions to the storytelling of the narrative. Based on my findings, I outline several design principles to be considered during the design phase of a visual novel that are best suited for ensuring that the narrative is emotionally resonant, immersive, and appealing to the player. This work provides valuable insight into the design of visual novels that can be utilized to design better visual novels in the future.