This fractal poop of ideas is the most atrocious concept for a "
I have ever seen. Where to start?
: Nothing is more dull than a visual novel. What people bring up for claiming the genre has interesting games is when the genre gets mixed with something else, which turns out to be, after thinking about it for a sec, not really a defense of the genre. This also means the "supply-side" argument for choosing to make a game in this genre – that it is easy to program, supposedly – is dubious: Yes it is easy, if
you stick to a pure
visual novel, which is boring as fuck. If you put in a mini-game or whatever that usually means a lot of extra programming irrespective of whether that section only amounts to a small amount of total play time or not. I want at least a few puzzles to solve (this doesn't need extra programming, a VN engine can just have the puzzle interactions through menu choices).
: Utopian stories are also boring af because barely anything happens. They lack tension. So you are going to have something that is barely a game in a setting that is barely a story. B-b-but, you say, utopia is only the background for the REAL story, romance. Romance in a world where everybody fucks anybody! ಠ_ಠ Oh and I guess everybody also has a super-long life in the future since the player character can be resurrected, so there's no need to hurry with anything as we have time until the heat death of the universe.
How to fix this mess
(well, some of it): You need TENSION. The story should start with a short civil-war scenario before the time jump. That's more interesting. Some of the places get visited again in the future and look very different. A bit of story-telling through mechanics: In the civil-war scenario you have an inventory and barter or steal. In the future, the inventory turns into a joke: Whenever you need some tool X, somebody hands it to you. How to get to the future: I'm against the brain preservation idea as it implies medicine tech near immortality which is just too much of a good thing which means lack of tension. I'd prefer time travel, but forward only. Some handwavy explanation about you volunteering for an experiment that needs energy from a particular constellation of planets can be used to explain why time travel isn't available after the jump.
How to have tension in the romantic future scenario: Sorry degenerates, monogamy is where it's at. There need to be decisions with hard trade-offs to have tension. I think it would be interesting if one potential mate thinks about becoming a pioneer settler on another planet, which is dangerous. The planet is not only far away, but it is also covered in a dense fog most of the time so it's only possible to communicate for a bit every other year or so. The question for the player then is not just about how to get into the pants of that person, but also: Should I convince that person to stay with me on earth? Should I leave with that person?
Serious business. The protagonist left in the past his loyal and boring gf. She pleaded him not to go, and now an option is to plead your current love interest to stay. If you choose that option, it would be good for the love interest to not
know about the old gf so you don't look like a hypocrite. Meanwhile, as luck has it, people just found some underground ruins from the civil war era. The player's character, who was just a nobody back then, can use his familiarity with the location to try hiding some things and create a bullshit story about a heroic past that never was. This can really bite you in the ass though.
Some generic things about VN mechanics. Suppose there are ten situations where the player has four choices. If every route on the decision tree has to be a piece of unique and hand-crafted story, this amounts to having over a million endings. This is not feasible. With ten situations with two choices, the number is drastically lower, 1024, still that is not feasible. So what to do? Some offered choices could be without any difference in consequences, but this feels super-phony. There are two better ways, which can be combined:
1. Choices can be probable
in effect. So, the core design of a situation can be simple like having a definitely good choice and a definitely bad choice, then some other options are added in that have various probabilities.
2. Choices have attached point-values (not visible to the player) that count towards a score. There can be also several such scoring tallies working in the background, with a single click on a choice simultaneously helping and hurting in some way (like the goal of being respected in society at large and the goal of being liked by a particular person).