Fuwanovel News

Overview of site changes

Written by Tay

Hey everybody,

Today’s post is meant to explain and summarize the many changes — large and small — coming to Fuwanovel (in case you haven’t yet heard). I announced these several days ago on the forums, and early yesterday morning I posted an open-letter on Reddit confirming these changes and offering some additional context. You’re welcome to read both of those sources for more information, but I’ll put the key info here in this post. If you’re short on time, skip to the bottom of the post where I’ve attached a cheat sheet of the site changes.

We’ve switched domains and moved to a new server

We’re almost done moving from Fuwanovel.org to Fuwanovel.net.  All that’s left is the front site, which is being migrated and will be done sometime between now and March 1st. All of this is thanks to Nayleen, our webmaster who has done an amazing job and made the move look easy. We’re very fortunate to have him helping us out, and everybody should send him a “thank you”.

There were a lot of reasons for this move, but the catalyst for doing it now was protecting those who work on the staff or community projects from personal risk and providing stability. We’ve got a lot of projects rolling out this weekend and over the next few weeks/months, and we needed to have long-term stability ensured to justify the financial and temporal (time) investments required.

FuwaReviews

Short version: We’ve launched a new website: FuwaReviews (reviews.fuwanovel.net) to be a hub of VN reviews from bloggers across the interwebs — all in one convenient location.

Slightly longer version: We’re building a VN Reviews hub which hosts both official FuwaReviews team reviews as well as community submissions,  but which also contains truncated rss feeds of as many VN reviewers as will sign up. It’s still a work in progress, but the entire goal of the site will be to drive traffic to the blog authors. We won’t use or claim any of their content, and we do have additional features planned to highlight some of the very talented reviewers out there. Here: take a look:

FuwaReviewsScreenshot

^ That’s only a portion of the hub and doesn’t show the awesome off-site blogs feeds, so be sure to head over there and take a look: reviews.fuwanovel.net .

 

Forums “blog” app & how it’ll be used

The forums have been updated with blogging software. It’s got a lot of cool features:

  • Once I check in with Tiago for a list of names, all the Ongoing Projects devs will have free posting permissions in two blogs: Dev Board Updates, and Project Recruitment. These are going to be integrated into the Fuwazette feed and should also show up on one of the sidebars at FuwaReviews. The way I’m managing the RSS feeds isn’t ideal atm, so look forward to increased optimization soon.
  • The Fuwa Recognition team (project leader will be chosen in next 2 days) will also have a blog which will integrate with the “Cool features/people/projects” feed on the Fuwazette as well as show up in the forums index sidebar. This’ll get us a step closer to better recognizing all of the amazing work and effort done by so many here on the site
  • You can start your own blog hosted by us, simply post a link to your blog (which will still show up in the blog list), or have your blog import an RSS feed from your blog elsewhere on the interwebs
  • If you want to start a group blog, you’ve got two options: start a “personal” blog and add other authors/editors to it, or you can contact an admin with a proposal, and we’ll make it for you (group blogs must be done via the ACP if you want them to work correctly, but we’ll need to talk about one small issue with the group avatar which may come up as a result).
  • IP Board (Invision) keeps hyping a “Private Clubs” feature which I’m a little skeptical about. Not because I’m against it, but because it’s kind of a weird way to use the new app. We can give it a try, in any case, and see how that goes. I’ll be doing one or two test cases before opening up this option to the broader community.

 

Games & Torrents

The biggest change for some of our users is that we will not be providing torrents on the new site. We’re going to have a lot of resources to help you find games (including a mobile VN database for both iOS and android) as well as patching guides to help you patch a game you obtained elsewhere. This will let us expand our database a lot, and on the PC front the initial goal is to get >250 of the most popular VNs into the database within 6 months.

 

Front Site

Besides the new mobile games database, the other big new feature is “Fuwanovel Academy” – the evolution of the “ultimate VN starter kit” idea – will be a section on the front site which will explain the genre, help players get started with a visual novel ASAP, and provide a lot of advanced information about the VN landscape, “movers and shakers” in the western VN world, and (hopefully!) some exclusive (read: slightly longer than normal) demos from our dev allies.

The front site is being completely redesigned and trust me — it looks incredible. Emi and Beato are both very talented and smart, and everyone on the Redesign Team is floored by the mock-ups.

 

Summary

Announcement-Graphicasdf

 

About the author

Tay

I'm the Fuwanovel community admin and a big fan of Visual Novels. The easiest way to get a hold of me is via a PM on the Fuwanovel Forums, by twitter (@ArchmageTay), or by email.

39 Comments

  • I don´t understand why people always complain about they can´t download games from Fuwanovel while they can download them from others sites (sr for my bad english im not from english speaking country)

    • the important thing here is we don’t know any “other sites” to download the pre-patched game like Fuwanovel
      (it’s possible to download from translator’s blog but there is not only one blog)

      and i think it’s possible to upload games to other torrent sites (like piratebay, kickass or nyaa.se). Just give us the link and we’re gonna be alright

      P/s: WTH is mentorship program ? i think the forum and blog themself are enough for “helping newer players find, play, and enjoy games”

      P/s 2: i think the point of everything is copyright

  • At the endof the day having a site that gives you stuff for free, or saves you time which you would normally waste trying sometimes unsucessfully to run the game is luck not something which is a given.

    That being said let’s be honest for 90 procent of people visiting, fuvanovel was torrent site and nothing else. You provided people with games which were safe, awlays worked , and allowed them to skip in some cases quite complicated and hard to follow process of tinkering with the game so that it would actually work. Additionally, they could be sure that when something new would show up it would be on your site soon and it would 100% work. There might be some poeple who are involved in diffrent ways , registred user’s on the forum’s etc. Unfortunatelly I beleive that as far as most of visitors are concernned this is the end of your usefullness .

    • to be fair, they want to go legit, and i can understand that, but let’s be real here, lol:

      nobody needs a larger database if there are no pirate/legally-grey downloads available. if people just needed a database for searching things with eng tl’s, the much more streamlined, extensive and established vndb would be more than plenty

  • Guess the only thing left to say is better get your torrents while they still exist, once they are gone i’ll have very little reason to visit this site which i have used for years now thanks to great torrents and helpful and positive reviews. if i need torrents i may have to attempt to try less than savory or safe means to find torrents which might actually have more than 1 seeder

    • That being said anyone have any recommendations for me before they drop torrents to as to what i should download before they could be gone forever?

  • I and all other people who go to fuwanovel I know only used it because of great pre-patched torrents… vndb does everything else. so, not ever coming here again probably… a sad change.

  • These comments are kind of disgusting. More or less all I see is a bunch of children whining because they can’t easily pirate their games here anymore. This is not how the scene used to be. That kind of attitude will not help bring more titles to the west.

  • The only comment I can make upon seeing these 12 year-olds. Pathetic. Fuwanovel finds articles about releases of VNs in the west. They also keep up-to-date on translation progresses. You kids, seriously need to grow up and see the big picture. Then again, I guess you are so privileged that you expect people to pre-patch things for you for a convenient download. Fine, don’t come back. I am sure that the community would be better without whiners.

    Now that I wrote all that, I really regret it, because I am sure more than half these comments are written by flamers and trolls. Sigh~

    • Um…this is the safest and easiest access site for vns that most people have. Without that, there’s very little except a small community of hardcore vn gamers.

      To some, it’s essentially akin to burning down their library. It’s switching the core of this site from fostering new converts to appealing to converts it already has.

  • So, you becoming like VNDB and become “search engine” for downloadable Visual Novel?
    for me truly it’s let down.Not because you can’t give us free game, but most visual novel is japanesse and some of us can’t understand.
    I don’t mind if Fuwanovel become like this, but please considering to translate a VN that don’t have english version lIke Muvluv and sengokurance.
    i waiting Muvluv Alter fable and this is dissapointng

  • Yep, It was good to download every Novel I want and there was a document in pdf called “You must not be ashamed of Piracy”.

    • Aaeru hasn’t been around for quite some time (15+ months) and the site was in perpetual limbo since then and just pulled itself out with these changes.

  • But seriously, what the community of western visual novel readers really needs is money to make translation companies that work with the creators and release things in the language of the western audience and in a price affordable by these people. The problem is the price, since the genre is a total niche even in Japan. People need to understand you don’t earn billions making this kind of products and this won’t change anytime soon. It’s like trying to sell a book to people watching TV all day.

    • Ya, that’s just it. There’s one otome game I really want to buy, but it’s something like $80, which I can’t afford on my income. When they get lowered enough on Steam, I buy them, but… Otherwise, I just can’t do it. Would definitely be nice to see more of the games brought out here, though.

      • Too bad?

        I’d rather you be inconvenienced by not being able to play a game than to have the Japanese VN industry look at the western VN community as a den of piracy not worth localizing games for.

        • IMO, the western vn scene isn’t that notable and never will be. Most good games are somewhat niche and wont ever come overseas. Fuwanovel gave up the only “niche” role it had it the community and is becoming a generic/inferior site. No need for a database when we have vndb…

          guys what are you thinking! the site is dead. RUINED.

        • You’re a fool, obviously.

          All of these torrents are originally patched and seeded by the Japanese. THEY are the pirates. Not that it’s shameful or anything. We westerners just make fan-translations based on them.

          • Well, jp companies do still cite it just being pirated or w/e as a reason for not wanting to expand to za west. SiIly, but there you have it…

  • I knew this regime change wasn’t good. As a community, we are at fault for not noticing the warning signs. The regime change, the complete removal of the page explaining why providing access to VNs is right. The community trusted one entity too much, and now dozens of cultural treasures are just gone. I would grieve for those who may never be able to experience some of the great visual novels, but I know that we can rebuild, and that this loss is only temporary. The games are still there, lying on our hard drives and DVDs, but we’ve lost a gathering place.

    RIP Fuwanovel, long live torrents!

    • Yeah, this kind of stuff happens when certain people have too much power. Shame you guys couldn’t stop this, the site probably lost 70%+ of it’s traffic, including me.

      It’s a sad thing really.

  • While I’m not going to whine like the others, it is kind of a bummer that these changes are taking place. It’s not my sole go-to for downloads but it was heck convenient to just download and play immediately. And you really have to admit, it’s the major reason people keep coming back. Regarding news, there are other places I can get those. Siliconera, gbatemp, tumblr, etc. Yea, it’s convenient reading about it in one place, but how frequent is VN news going to come? Atleast in those other news site, I’m already following them for other things and them covering VN is just a plus.

    But hey, this might actually work so I hope you guys goodluck.

  • The only reason I even visited fuwanovel was to get prepatched games, because I just couldn’t be arsed to do that myself. Now that the feature is gone, I see no reason to do that anymore. RIP fowanovel, you will be missed, and your name tarnished by current staff.

  • Okay, i don’t mind about the change, but the links of the translator/developer site often missing, and lots of them require me to pay (some pretty expensive too), some of them not in English site, and many of them not referring where to acquire/download a games, as i checked back to VNDB, some of the site is not working (closed). so please fuwanovel, fix this immediately, for in my country (indonesia) perhaps more than 2000 people (in my office community alone) use fuwanovel for reference, i swear it, that maybe higher! So, please fuwanovel, please check the links and provide us with the real link how to obtain it, not just some blog that we hardly to understand. otherwise we actually lost to search where to obtain it.

  • While the loss of torrents is unfortunate and will certainly reduce my traffic to the site, it not a killer in terms of usage and the site will still serve a purpose. However, reading through all this and looking through the site kind of makes me think that it will fail in some of it objectives and aims particularly promoting visual novels to new audiences. I think newcomers will be the loser out of this.

    The last thing you really want to do when you starting out is to engage with some large pre-existing community. It daunting, it embarrassing and it time exhausting and normally such community have a way of becoming divisive after prolong periods. At least previously you come click, download and be playing it 10 minutes (if your net connections wasn’t slow as) Now your either going to have to come, wade through bunch of other material, read a guide (which undoubtly will be overly long winded and contain too much information), go to multiple download links (which aren’t always easy to navigate) and at the end of it hope it somehow works. As for mentorship I can’t speak for everyone and some may use it but I would imagine a lot wouldn’t. Particularly if the community is large (which it seems what your aiming for) it the last thing you want to get involved with. Chuck in if people go looking for the games themselves a lot of them are probably going to have some bad experience through dodgy links which is also further going to put them off. At least here the links were safe.

    I see the site perhaps being successful with some of it centralised reviews, promotion and what not. But as it all tied into one place for newcomers it would be like introducing some to computer gaming by shoving a gaming magazine in their face.

    I will wait to see how it evolves but at the current time I wouldn’t in my good conscience be able to recommend the site anymore as a good starting place. If anything I would be more worried it would put them off. Communities can be powerful but they can also be off-putting.

    I think you would be far better to put an additional stepping stone before all your academy, communities and guides.

    Also, fuwanovel.net needs a lot of reworking. it a bit misleading with terms like repository, distribution site and still having sections about why piracy is good

  • I am a relatively recent arrival to Fuwa. I am part of the target market – United States citizen who recently discovered VNs. I have never once downloaded a game from here – it’s not what attracted me to the site. I am here for the feedback, support when there are issues, reviews, and dialogue about the VNs I have read. In short, those who are saying there is no market for the new format are possibly mistaken.

    I also wish to point out is there is a difference between whining and constructive criticism. Whiners tear things down, are overall negative in their outlook, and are generally destructive and about trying to make people feel bad. They provide little that is helpful or useful.

    Constructive criticism on the other hand while pointing out issues also attempts to suggest alternatives and address the underlying concerns. Often they are also willing to assist in making those solutions happen.

    Even from the little time I have spent on the site, it is obvious that Tay cares very deeply about the site and is working insanely hard to build something. The key part of this is he has vision and is **working to build rather than tear down**.

    I am open to viewpoints that believe there is a better way than his. It is hard for me though to respect opposing views that boil down to ‘you suck dude’ and where the people making the comments do not appear to be willing to do more than complain. The complaints I read seem to center around not having easy access to the torrents. Tay’s concern is legal liability. I didn’t see one suggestion from anyone to address that concern. Are any of you willing to shoulder that liability? Do YOU want to host the servers that hold the content? What ACTIONS are you willing to take? What ideas do you have?

    How much weight should be given to the words of people who appear to do little but try and denigrate and tear things down while building nothing. I have more respect for people that have vision and actually do actions to make it reality. Like Tay to take a not random example.

    • I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said. It’ll be interesting to see how the community adapts to the changes.

  • I loved your website I’m so sadden and disappointed you won’t be letting anymore downloading on your website. Your website was the best the only amazing efficient way to download English Visual Novels. I’m really hoping your website will come back! Thanks for all you have done for us VN lovers. Your website will be truly missed.

  • nuff said….well it’s time to takedown my seeds
    it’s explain a lot why there is no traffic at all on my visual novel torrent
    make me sad though :v

  • Such a shame to lose a great place to find decent and reliable VN’s that have been painstakingly translated in to English no gone, i have been here not as a member but as a watcher and VN lover it was this place that got me in to it. and for the past few years i have loved seeing more and more VN’s coming up and those that are are and were being readied for people now people will not be able to see those pieces of great work and all that effort.

    You should really of thought it all through first before deciding the changes. We has a VN Search site VND thingy, i don’t really use it as this place had more information.

    Wish you left the Torrent side of things and worked with them both. Be a VN Information site and a Torrent site for great VNs.

    but as many things go, no one listens to the words of the community, it has been proven time and time again.

    R.I.P Fuwanovel it has been a great time, but i will still check you guys out and lets see if i am proven wrong and things change and the balance is back together of Information and Torrents ^^

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