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Romances in NWN 2 and RPGs in general


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So what we want is the of storytelling and dialog of adventure games with the gameplay of RPGs!

 

(w00t)

Exactly! :)

 

 

 

 

(and as for myself i also like to give strategy options to the mix, the keep in NWN2 comes near it, but creating a city and expanding + politics would make it superb ;))

 

Wasn't Torment exactly like that? :*

no

 

Storytelling and dialog was like an adventure game, deep, involving, magnificently written. The gameplay was RPG, almost exactly like BG and the combat was just as strategical as any IE game before it.

 

;)

strategy:

 

building up a city, decide what building where to, get trade routes, interact with neighbor cities, get some societies going on (like thiefs guild) or stop them, bribe bandits to attack enemy cities merchants, ask an archmage to build a tower and live in your city, get alliances and go to war, improve your armies and inclued allies (like elven archers), ect.

 

 

connect this with RPG elements:

 

get to know a princess and be in love with her, marriage and intrigues strenghten/weaken some relationships, and your city (nation), be attacked by heroes who investigate on the attacked merchants, roleplay out how you get enemies/allies, and where, kill some dragon or make it a slave/ally, hire mercenary troops to double your army size, then backstab their leader, ect.

Edited by jorian

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strategy:

 

building up a city, decide what building where to, get trade routes, interact with neighbor cities, get some societies going on (like thiefs guild) or stop them, bribe bandits to attack enemy cities merchants, ask an archmage to build a tower and live in your city, get alliances and go to war, improve your armies and inclued allies (like elven archers), ect.

 

 

connect this with RPG elements:

 

get to know a princess and be in love with her, marriage and intrigues strenghten/weaken some relationships, and your city (nation), be attacked by heroes who investigate on the attacked merchants, roleplay out how you get enemies/allies, and where, kill some dragon or make it a slave/ally, hire mercenary troops to double your army size, then backstab their leader, ect.

 

Interesting.

 

Have you ever played Spellforce?

It mixes RTS and RPG very well. Not the extent you write about though but it's a start. And dialog is horrible. :'(

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Interesting.

 

Have you ever played Spellforce?

It mixes RTS and RPG very well. Not the extent you write about though but it's a start. And dialog is horrible.  :'(

 

RTS bits in Spellforce are good fun, but the "RPG" parts are bloody awful. It's like Diablo, only infinitely worse.

"My hovercraft is full of eels!" - Hungarian tourist
I am Dan Quayle of the Romans.
I want to tattoo a map of the Netherlands on my nether lands.
Heja Sverige!!
Everyone should cuffawkle more.
The wrench is your friend. :bat:

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strategy:

 

building up a city, decide what building where to, get trade routes, interact with neighbor cities, get some societies going on (like thiefs guild) or stop them, bribe bandits to attack enemy cities merchants, ask an archmage to build a tower and live in your city, get alliances and go to war, improve your armies and inclued allies (like elven archers), ect.

 

 

connect this with RPG elements:

 

get to know a princess and be in love with her, marriage and intrigues strenghten/weaken some relationships, and your city (nation), be attacked by heroes who investigate on the attacked merchants, roleplay out how you get enemies/allies, and where, kill some dragon or make it a slave/ally, hire mercenary troops to double your army size, then backstab their leader, ect.

 

Interesting.

 

Have you ever played Spellforce?

It mixes RTS and RPG very well. Not the extent you write about though but it's a start. And dialog is horrible. :'(

i played it, it was a try to combine the two genres, but it failed.

I am definetly sure it can be made much better, and i guess Obsidian and /or Bioware are capable of it.

 

A game what also tried to combine the two -but with a more deeper RPG and hack&slash than the strategy part- was Jeanne d'Arc, I liked the alternate story outcome and the slowly evolving troops. But as said, it was a nice try, but sadly not a successfull one.

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Well, personally, I think by far the most important thing to get down is character development for all party members, with or without romance. I don't think one character should be cheated out of an interesting and fleshed out personality so that the romancable characters can spend more time on the shrink couch. I'd be fine with fewer party members if it meant that more time was spent on their creation.

 

I do enjoy in game romances, although my experience is mostly limited to the Kotor series. I had fun harassing Carth the boy scout, and felt a certain comfort with the fact that if I got tired of his whining, I could always tell him to shut up and never hear from him again. Kotor 2 was less fulfilling mostly because I couldn't tell Desciple to bugger off, and I kept coming accross cutscenes for him when I would have rather seen more of the much more compelling Atton.

 

If I could change their execution, I would give the player more controll. The NPCs always seem to be in charge of gradually initiating the romances; you don't really get the option to go up to a new party member and say "you're hot". Personally, I'd like to decide which party member I like best, then blatantly hit on them until they get the idea. Instead of the whole "let me tell you about my life story so I can fall in love with you" thing.

 

The influence system helps this idea along, because if a character is counter to your alignment, then they feel less compelled to talk to you and perhaps even less attracted to you. I'm sure there are light side characters that have to warm up to you before they initiate anything, but if you're dark side, why not skip the whole falling in love bit and just have some fun? Fallout gave the player so much freedom, and I wish more games nowadays would use that formula.

 

Obvously the nature of love and romance is complex, making it difficult to translate effectively in to a video game. But despite the pitfalls and flaws of romance quests, I ultimately find them to be enjoyable and fun, just as I enjoy talking to any of my interesting party members. (Jolee was always the most fun to talk to, even if he wasn't romancable.) Even if the romance option fails to hold my fascination, it's always interesting to see how they progress from stranger to devotee. As long as I have the option to say "thanks but no thanks" (as I did to Casavir because I found Bishop more interesting) then why not have them in a game?

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excellent points there Savvy,

 

I agree that there should be different *kinds* of romance, just because it is more realistic. If your character is a Dark Jedi, for instance, he is probably not interested in a long term relationship. I realize that they generally don't want a Mature rating for these kinds of games but as long as they keep it to words, expressions, and generalized cutscenes, I don't see a problem.

 

I also agree that more characters should be fleshed out in terms of dialogue. However, I also realize that the more fleshed out the characters are, the less likely we are to get good party management.

 

Hence, I think party members should fall into 1 of 3 categories:

* releasable

* non-releasable

* hireling

 

As I envision it, the non-releasables are the ones like Kreia, Bastila, Atton, etc and those are the ones with deep, unlockable backstories. Romance for these is not essential and might actually be counterproductive.

 

Releasables would be for characters like Juhani, GOT0, etc. They might actually have an important story clue for you but, as soon as they give up their clue, they can be released. I think this category is the best for romances as romances in game should be non-essential....just as these characters are.

 

Hirelings are releasables but with very little dialogue/backstory and may not even have a name beyond "Mandalorian Scout", etc. This category would include slots for non-sentient droids in the case of a game like KOTOR.

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They need better males for us female players or hell just make a damned lesbo romance.  :joy:

 

Check out this hakpack for NWN:II... :bat:

"A little inaccuracy sometimes saves a ton of explanation."
-H. H. Munro

 

"Geez. It's like we lost some sort of bet and ended up saddled with a bunch of terrible new posters on this forum."

-Hurlshot

 

 

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I think we should have more Humphrey Bogaryt style romances.

 

" I grab the dame by the shoulders like THIS, see? And she gets hysterical, so I have to slap her around to calm her down. And then I kiss her so hard I bruise her teeth."

 

(Old Harry's Game)

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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  • 3 weeks later...
@Josh: Do you think the writing for CRPGs' romances is worse than everything else that's written for CRPGs?

The prose isn't necessarily any better or worse, but the writing often comes across as worse because I think many people are more sensitive to the context of romance than to other situations.

 

"Oh, [CHARNAME]. I know that I'm a devout pacifist druid of Eldath and you're a halfling cleric of Talos, the Lord of Storms, but... as I stand next to you among this pile of fourteen freshly fireball-charred goblin corpses, I really feel something special between us. It's the sort of bond that could only be felt between me and someone like you, someone with the [PROTAGONIST] tag."

 

3. Shut up and get out of my face.

 

"Oh... oh, [CHARNAME], how could you? After that one previous node of dialogue where you gave a non-hostile response, I thought I was something special to you! Well now I see I was wrong!"

 

5. I hate you and hope that the Lord of Storms consumes you with a divine call lightning spell.

 

"Okay, I'll end this dialogue now, but you better know there's only one more floor trigger that's going to give you the option to be my sweetheart!"

 

I am honestly mourning all of us pro-romance gamers that a person like you have the last word over games that had great potential, until you shove it aside with the wave of your hand.

 

You should have realized by now that it's none other but people like you, who can make a difference and with a little work, revitalize the romances in games. Do not give sloppy reasons like 'I don't like it because they are poorly written most of the time', because that is indeed as dubious as it sounds. Who else is going to make them work if not companies like Obsidian? (well, Bioware obviously, but that's another matter).

If you are not in favor of the romances, say the real reason, like simply not liking them. Even that is more understandable than the answer you have initially given.

 

Now I'm expecting the defender hounds jumping at my neck, but the reassuring thought that there are a lot out there who agree with me is enough to repel them.

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Now let's be fair here - the initial topic of this thread (I should know, since I started it) was regarding why JE didn't like current RPG romances, not whether he supported including romances in RPGs. The answer to the latter, I think, can be found in this quote:

 

JE: "I agree, which is why I feel that romances should either receive less (i.e. zero) time or significantly more time per character."

 

Which is a response to:

 

"It seems to me that that stems from a design policy rather than the writing itself. Perhaps developers should approach romances more as a secret side quest, rather than a main feature of RPGs. With this in mind, romances should be made easier to screw up (you say the wrong thing, and you're done), and also, the PC should choose who he/she wants to romance. This should make things seem a little bit more open-ended and not as scripted as they usually are. The problem with this approach is, of course that a lot of development time/money is spent on something that in the end, won't be experienced by most players of the game."

 

From that, I think it's pretty safe to say that JE isn't against romances in CRPGs, more that he's against gimmicky romances included as an afterthought.

Edited by Azarkon

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"It seems to me that that stems from a design policy rather than the writing itself. Perhaps developers should approach romances more as a secret side quest, rather than a main feature of RPGs. With this in mind, romances should be made easier to screw up (you say the wrong thing, and you're done), and also, the PC should choose who he/she wants to romance. This should make things seem a little bit more open-ended and not as scripted as they usually are. The problem with this approach is, of course that a lot of development time/money is spent on something that in the end, won't be experienced by most players of the game."

 

Ever heard of something called 'replayability value'?

As much as I agree with RPG romances should have way more depth I disagree with excluding them for merely because it is supposedly too much work and 'won't be experienced by most players of the game'. A role playing game IS and SHOULD be about having a lot of different ways of solving problems, talking to NPC's, romancing henchmen. Why is it that the designers don't even try to understand the GROWING need of such options in their games? Now I understand that Obsidian wasn't the only culprit in this, as we all know how Atari rushed the game out and so on and so forth... what grieves me is that I see the lack of intent from JE to give it even a little thought at all.

 

 

From that, I think it's pretty safe to say that JE isn't against romances in CRPGs, more that he's against gimmicky romances included as an afterthought.

 

All right, we got that. That's a perfectly fine thing for a shoemaker or a gardener to say. But not for a designer, who can ACTUALLY do something about. So he is only against badly scripted romances then, who isn't? I assure you, the community will stand by him with full force if he decides to make a difference about it, but not until he just throws his hands up in the air helplessly and say 'yeah I mean, it's only my job, I can't do anything about it, tootles.'

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Zsa Zsa is completely missing the point.

"My hovercraft is full of eels!" - Hungarian tourist
I am Dan Quayle of the Romans.
I want to tattoo a map of the Netherlands on my nether lands.
Heja Sverige!!
Everyone should cuffawkle more.
The wrench is your friend. :bat:

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The "faithful followers" know that I was only on the project for the last six months of development. Having an understanding of how little course correction can be done in six months tends to cause most people to not act like I personally penned the story and all the dialogues for NWN2 over the course of two years.

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No, I did not miss the point. I'm just  don't soil my pants when a designer posts some utter garbage and not afraid to speak my mind. I'm deeply sorry if that does not bode well with the 'faithful follower' community around here.

So, you are just being deliberately dumb and personal in your insults based on your lack of knowlegde about the subject you are talking about?

 

Sounds more like somebody who wants to disagree for the sake of disagreeing rather than discuss why he can't get enough virtual nookie.

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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I wonder if they'll go for a romance in the Alien game, if Josh Sawyer is such a  :) -hating scrooge?

Aren't those all about getting off-spring? :D

 

Or perhaps, that wasn't what you meant :)

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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