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The Sharmat

[Merged] Gods save us another romance thread

For people who are NOT apathetic or opposed to romances in games:  

455 members have voted

  1. 1. Are you willing to sacrifice romances as a feature if it drew significant resources from other story features?

  2. 2. Are you willing to sacrifice romances as a feature if it drew significant resources from gameplay design?

  3. 3. Would you still want romance options in the game even if your hypothetical favorite NPC did not end up being available?



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I've seen a lot of generalizations on both sides of this argument. Often people who want romance arcs and people who are strictly opposed to them (if that polarization of the player base is even valid at all) lump their opposite number into a category that makes broad assumptions about their opinions on multiple subjects. So let's try to characterize these people more so we can stop arguing past each other at straw-men and people that may have annoyed us elsewhere that happen to share an opinion we disagree with.

 

Only vote in the above poll if you are actively hoping for one or more 'romance options' in the game. Hopefully this should set some light on the spread of opinions and the priorities of this particular side of the debate and allow for more nuanced conversation elsewhere on the topic.

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Yes on all three. I'd love to have romance options, but it's not a must. A deep, compelling story and a detailed world (not even graphics, but story-wise detailed) with its own cosmogony, history and culture is much more valuable.

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I don't know if it's just me but I've been using Romance as a sort of shorthand for "relationship" when it comes to cRPGs

 

So to be specific, I don't mind if there is or is not romance available in your interactions with companions but I do think that developing relationships with companions is vital. The party dynamic (as in not static) is a huge part of the RPG experience and the simulated interaction in single player games like planescape and BG are a good way of instigating the dynamic through storytelling.

 

I would therefore say that, whilst I don't mind overly whether character interactions lead to romance, I do think that the interactions between NPC and the player character & each other are very important and should be a high priority for devs. If well told, then romance is fine. But whether it's a tale of romance or friendship or enmity is academic. The important point for me is the dynamic and the player's ability to influence it from their character's perspective. The more paths you are able to take on that journey, obviously, the better. But the quality is important.

Edited by SanguineAngel
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I understand, SanguineAngel, but I'm pretty sure previous discussions have been almost entirely about whether or not relationships featuring romantic love should be possible for the player, and that's what I had in mind with the poll. I hope this is clear and not affecting the vote.

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The game should be enjoyable even if someone doesn't want to go through the romance options. Romance should/could still impact a bit the storyline as much as dialogue choices I think. Romance can help having deeper relationship with the companions for those interested in this aspect so I think it should remain an available option for the player but not a mandatory aspect of the storyline.

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Thanks Sharmat. In fact, I do actively hope for [well written] romances. I believe that having a broader range of possible character interactions can only improve the party experience overall. Besides, if they are going to created multi-dimensional Relationships with companions then I can think of no reason for not including romance aside from it not being thematically relevant.

 

So I answered the poll in that light. It was really just a case of realising, on coming in here, that many opponents to Romances are inadvertently throwing the baby out with the bathwater so to speak - grouping party relationships in with romance options and doing away with all of it, which would be a terrible shame.

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Yeah, I love the idea of it being a choice in there (if I actually cared about any of the characters), but if it ended up taking away from something I'd enjoy more, then I can live without.

 

As for the last choice, I really see it just being limited to select, important NPCs you deal with in the story and companions.

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Wait, I signed up to the Obsidian board to talk about Project Eternity. How'd I end up at Bioware?

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I'm more for some hints or flirting like in Kotor2 or Planescape than a real romance : it gives some idea of relationship but don't go too far.

Romances like in BG2 or ME/DA are far too artificial to be appropriate and having a romance developped seriously takes a lot of time.

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I don't know why this whole romance thing is so important to people. It's only another dialogue option and people who don't like romances can simply ignore it. It's basically a gameplay decision which should be made by Obsidian if it fits right in the game. In my opinion there are many open points concering gameplay and design which are more important than the question if there should be a romance dialogue option or not.....

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I'm starting to hope for asexual races....

 

But aaanyway, the way I see it, is that romance is something that would have to be done very well, or not at all. And well, making very good romances takes time, and that time could be used in areas that I appreciate more, such as world design, more lore, etc.

 

So basically I'm okay with implementing romance if it is done well and without leaving something already planned out so that there'd be time to do a romance option into the game.


Dude, I can see my own soul.....

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Wait, I signed up to the Obsidian board to talk about Project Eternity. How'd I end up at Bioware?

I realize this is probably half a joke, but for the half that's not: You really don't see how an Oblivion RPG would have a certain degree of overlap with Bioware's consumers? Though for my part I hope any party interactions only learn from the things Bioware did right, and not from things that they seem to do simply because they think it's required by their fanbase. I get the Bioware hate, really, but some of their recent games really did have wonderful character interaction...which makes the sub par sections stand out all the more.

 

baby, bathwater, etc...

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I'm sorry, but I think the way these questions are phrazed is so very biased. I think romance options (if done well) are a part of a story development, have the potential of making it truly memorable, and could easily be used as a means to propell many aspects of a plot (and I don't mean just a romance novel type of plot), certainly they are not antithetic or a hindrance to a good story. Think about the great epic stories of practically every culture - almost each and every one of tham had a romance at some point or another (even in those in which it wasn't the main plot line), and all of them are enriched by those plots.

As for me, I would prefer a plot that contains romance options over one which does not any day of the week, and in fact it IS a factor I consider when deciding whether to buy a new game.

As for the third question, it's phrazing is so odd (and potentially entrapping) that I cannot possibly answer it with a "yes" or a "no". I suspect it is aimed against same sex romances, so I will answer it in this way: While I wouldn't mind if not all NPCs/Companions have romance options, and while I wouldn't even mind if not all NPCs/Companions have romance options open to both genders (and let's face it, when I say that, I mean mainly that not all of them would have same sex romance options - I have yet to see an official Companion romance that was exclusively same sex) I would expect there to be AT LEAST one same sex romance option for each sex.

Edited by Callimachus

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In my opinion there are many open points concering gameplay and design which are more important than the question if there should be a romance dialogue option or not.....

Then you should discuss those points in those threads, surely? Is it really worthwhile to add nothing to a discussion other than "I don't think this discussion is important."?

 

I'm perfectly happy with a game with no hint of romance at all, personally. But people are discussing it, they have things to say about it, and this thread was created to address a specific question regarding it.

 

EDIT: Callimachus, what about the questions do you find biased? If they are phrased poorly I'd like to correct them.

 

The purpose of the last question was actually to discern what percentage of people in favor of romances felt that "if you can have one, you should have them all.", if that makes snse.

Edited by The Sharmat

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As long as we keep in mind that we should be willing to sacrify any feature that draws significant resources from story features or gameplay design...

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Thing is, technically romantic relationships, as they fall under character interaction, ARE a storyline feature. It's a question of how important a feature it is in peoples' minds. And in a genre largely characterized by narrative driven gameplay, and a company known for same, there's a blurry line between storyline and gameplay.

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This stupid poll is so one sided and biased. How about these here:

"Are you willing to sacrifice swords as a weapons if it drew significant resources from other combat features?", because I hate swords.

"Are you willing to sacrifice some spells if it drew significant resources from other combat features?", because I hate magic.

"Are you willing to sacrifice NPC animations if it drew significant resources from PC animation?", because I hate animations.

 

I could go on forever. lol

 

How much of the resources for BG2 were spent on writing the romances anyway? Probably not even near 0,1%.

Edited by dlux
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:closed:

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Wait, I signed up to the Obsidian board to talk about Project Eternity. How'd I end up at Bioware?

 

I'm fine with romances, as long as they cover wildly different directions from virginal girl next door to crazy up against the wall let's have it on right here. :)

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dlux All the questions you listed as examples of bias in what appears to be an reductio ad absurdum argument seem perfectly valid discussion topics to me. Is that bad?

 

May I also ask specifically what position the questions appear to be bias towards, and how they might be more impartially phrased?

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Just about anything is a drain on the resources. So if we could have, for an instance, a more complex character system, or maybe more quests, I'm in favour of skipping romances.

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So far I've only seen romance done well in PS:T, and even then it didn't affect the game path enough.

Deionarra was really important. It wasn't really a romance "option", as it's a relationship that had already occurred in the past (and was being faked in any case), but it was a subplot that dealt with romance and was vital to the plot.

 

EDIT:Oh, and I would like to point out that this wasn't technically a "should there be romance or not?" thread so much as a "how high a priority are they for you if you're in favor of them?" thread.

Edited by The Sharmat

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dlux All the questions you listed as examples of bias in what appears to be an reductio ad absurdum argument seem perfectly valid discussion topics to me. Is that bad?

 

May I also ask specifically what position the questions appear to be bias towards, and how they might be more impartially phrased?

 

Your poll is absurd, because you are stating that romances can draw significant resources from other parts of the the game, which is simply not true.

 

I can also use your "argumentation" on any feature of the game. Examples:

"Are you willing to sacrifice swords as a weapons if it drew significant resources from other combat features?" (because I hate swords)

"Are you willing to sacrifice some spells if it drew significant resources from other combat features?" (because I hate magic)

"Are you willing to sacrifice some trees if it drew significant resources from other scenic features?" (because I hate trees)

"Are you willing to sacrifice a companion if it drew significant resources from other game features?" (because I hate companions)

 

Note: None of these features alone are necessary to make a good game - but it probably makes it better.

 

Aynway, romances are a feature that many people enjoy according to this poll here. If Obsidian does include them or not is up to them, and not you or me.

Edited by dlux

:closed:

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So far I've only seen romance done well in PS:T, and even then it didn't affect the game path enough.

Deionarra was really important. It wasn't really a romance "option", as it's a relationship that had already occurred in the past (and was being faked in any case), but it was a subplot that dealt with romance and was vital to the plot.

I wouldn't call Deionarra a "romance option" in what people currently seems to think is the standard video game romance. She was a vulnerable person that got seduced, abused, killed and discarded by the players incarnation that saw her as nothing but a door key to go places. She may have been infatuated with TNO, but it wasn't "romance".

 

Somebody joked about stretch goals of $1.5, there will be romances and $2.0m, Avellone will *not* be the one writing them. He seems to hate them and takes perverse pleasure in twisting "romances" into something out of the shrinks worst horror story books. I could easily imagine an Obsidian romance that is all about being led around by our nose, just to be betrayed, back stabbed, poisoned and then your organs sold as donor organs (while your living brain is watching from a jar, screaming silently for all eternity).

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“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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