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Adventure games work well through digitally distributed platforms, says Virtue's Last Reward creator

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The adventure game genre is "very fitted" to smartphones, Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward and 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors creator Kotaro Uchikoshi said via translator during a recent GDC panel.

The Spike Chunsoft Co., Ltd. director and senior writer's talk, "Visual Novels: Narrative Design in Virtue's Last Reward," included Uchikoshi's thoughts on game writing, defining a visual novel and the future of adventure games through digital distribution. Uchikoshi used the example of digitally distributed games Journey, The Walking Dead and The Room, all of which scooped awards at this year's Game Developer's Choice Awards. Uchikoshi is "hopeful" that more adventures games will find success through digital platforms.

"I think it's safe to conclude that adventure games work well on Smartphones," Uchikoshi said. "Most people these days all own Smartphones and I believe adventure games is a genre that is very fitted to Smartphones. Adventure games, similar to novels, films, TV drama, manga and anime, are a new way to tell a story."

Uchikoshi also explored the topic of what makes a game a "visual novel," or a game that weighs heavily on narrative without having to rely completely on visuals. Uchikoshi said that when writing such a game, discomfort is his "trigger point."

"[Discomfort] is what I use as the foundation for whenever I design a game or write a narrative," Uchikoshi said. "I'm inspired by it and everything begins here. ... I suppose you can say it's very similar to having doubts about the conventional thought, or do not blindly trust common knowledge."