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Unofficial P.E. Relationship/Romance Thread pt.2


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First just because you are in a relationship with somebody does not mean that you talk about nothing else. The relationship status can be easily expressed by changing a few lines, e.g. how the character responds, how he/she adresses the main character.

 

Hey there! I wrote a post talking about that three pages ago, right here. You might be interested in rereading it, and it would make me happy because it takes me time to write stuff like that. I mean, it's just four paragraphs. It's not even that big of a wall of text. Could you do me that favour, please? Thanks! :)

 

If you reread it, you will notice that what you said is patently wrong. You can't just "change a few lines", because the entire character has to accomodate for these new lines if you want them to feel natural.

I read it and I already pointed out the logic mistake you made.

A character who is planned from the start with a romance does not need much more resources, than one who is planned from the start with an optional (platonic) friendship. The only way a an optional romance would really increase the amount of work needed drasticallly is if character interaction is set on rails and nothing you say to NPCs really matters. Because if your interactions with a companion matter you already need several dialog branches so that the romantic branch is only one amongst many.

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Looking through all this discussion, one thing I've wondered about is the demographics of those who are hardcore fans of romance in games. I know that Bioware started off making romances primarily for 'straight male gamers' under the logic that those are their main market. That's why, for example, Baldur's Gate II featured three romance options for 'straight male gamers' and only one for 'straight female gamers.' However, from that time on Bioware has swung completely in the opposite direction. In DA 2, they ended up with four bisxeual romances, and an extra one for 'straight female gamers.'

 

Is this reflective of the market for romances in CRPGs?

There are doors

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:banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

 

GOD DAMN IT!

 

Okay, I just wanted to point out -

 

all those times people tried to paint me as "angry" or "needing to calm down" - and there was nothing to base their assumptions that I was upset somehow other than my being verbose and arguing point by point -

 

kenup here is clearly demonstrating being upset.

 

kenup - if you are really that upset, go away from the thread for awhile. You aren't holding a line for Obsidian anymore than the most apoplectic of "must be all romanceable characters in all gender variations or I explode" is forcing Obsidian's hand.

 

Take a breather. Realize that, to your benefit, Obsidian is NOT known for it's romances, nor do they claim to want to be known for them.... and, if romances are included, you'll still like get a game along the lines of PS:T and Baldur's Gate, okay?

 

Seriously, no matter how many "promancers" there are, Obsidian is far more inclined to make the anti-romance crowd happy.

 

Accept that reality, take some solace in it, go do something more fun than arguing on a forum thread...

 

then, refreshed, come back and give it once more with both barrels! :biggrin:

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@ 'Tep.

 

Agreed more or less. Therefore let's try to agree that romances should be, on aggregate, as important to P:E as they were to the totality of what went before.

 

That is to say marginal, unobtrusive, easily ignored or (in the case of PS:T) so ambiguous you could see them either way and just as intriguing NPC interaction.

 

Well if we can be so unlucky as to have PST style of character development - romance or not.

 

I'm perfectly fine without romance as long as the characters are well realized - my thinking has always been that part of characterization, part of developing that in-depth NPC could include (not must) the idea that maybe that NPC might fancy the PC and that maybe it could be addressed in interesting ways.

 

But if it doesn't - no problem.

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I find funny how so many people refers to romance as a minigame. It's not, essentially is a "normal" interpersonal relationship, like friendship. Like in PST, you have different relationships with different characters and that's it, no minigames involved.

 

This also for you if you really want to debate about romances:

http://forums.obsidi...40#entry1257224

http://forums.obsidi...60#entry1257453

http://forums.obsidi...80#entry1258212

http://forums.obsidi...80#entry1257519

http://forums.obsidi...80#entry1257566

http://forums.obsidi...00#entry1258255

 

Have fun reading and counter-arguing mine and others points from those with actual facts and solid arguments why romances wouldn't take much time, and how they could be well done with a small effort and time.

 

I expect counter arguments on all the points I've give in those posts. Enjoy!

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Looking through all this discussion, one thing I've wondered about is the demographics of those who are hardcore fans of romance in games. I know that Bioware started off making romances primarily for 'straight male gamers' under the logic that those are their main market. That's why, for example, Baldur's Gate II featured three romance options for 'straight male gamers' and only one for 'straight female gamers.' However, from that time on Bioware has swung completely in the opposite direction. In DA 2, they ended up with four bisxeual romances, and an extra one for 'straight female gamers.'

 

Is this reflective of the market for romances in CRPGs?

 

An intriguing question, I'd like to know more but suspect the marketing / sales guys would be the folks in the know.

sonsofgygax.JPG

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@Merin Is that when you play epic music on the background? :rolleyes:

 

I don't understand what you are getting at here.

Duh!

 

I mean do you play epic music on the background in order to feel you de-constructed my character or our arguments?

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@jarpie: Ehrrrrrrrrrrrrr, like Annah in PST? That was nice and it wasn't nor obstructive nor forced. And I think it wasn't that expensive (time\resource wise).

 

Not gonna argue vs the internet, I like keep my opinions simple.

 

So you dont have any arguments on how romances could be done well without sacrificing anything else, with small effort, and quickly.

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I wasn't suggesting that the game become PC FANTASY ROMANCE: THE GAME if a romance was initiated; only that I don't think the summation of a romance to be a "married" perk and a companion you can't kick out of your party until you divorce them is a terribly interesting design.

 

And I also don't think that adding a well-realized romance is necessarily trivial; "small one line long remarks by other character" would need (for realism) several triggers just to make work (so the character doesn't start dialogue in combat or similar inopportune times). Add reactivity to the other NPCs? Well now you have to think through 7 more reactions to the relationships and probably at its various stages...etc.

To give an example of what I was talking about. In DA2 both your mother and your uncle will give a remark regarding your romantic status fitting to the choosen love interest. Other partymembers will occasionally bring it up when talking to Hawke and banter will be adjusted. All that are only little changes to the dialog tree each one barely more than a sentence yet they deliver the feeling that you are in a relationship with one of the four possible Lis rather well.

And as I already wrote according to the BioWare dev´s all this was a relatively little amount of resources.

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Well in the end Obsidian will have to see if it is worth it making the people happy that are pro-romance or not. If a decision against romances would make you "anti" guys happy (what it probably would), then I can just scratch my head and ask myself if you are not just against it because you want to do something against the people that like that kind of feature. It is like the (now probably sad) anti-paladin fraction, if you don't like it, don't play it, but if so many people like it, throw them their bone (that sounds wrong now but you know what I mean :D).

If you really worry about ressources in optional features go where a lot of ressources are needed - for example redoing whole dialog for low int or low charisma. ;) probably 50 times more dialog affected, right?

 

I see it like Uomoz or Estelindis. Romances are just one possibility of human relations but not the only one. Most people here that I read just want the companions to behave believable and develop interesting dialogue and maybe emotions of all kind for each other rather than being a IWD-party of artificial robots. And I am fully on that side. Romances are not a must but in a "grown up RPG" it would maybe be strange if they didn't happen naturally. They do everywhere else.

Edited by Rink
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Annah in PST? That was nice

 

Really, it was nice? What was nice about it?

 

and it wasn't nor obstructive nor forced.

 

Oh. I see. You have a lot of relationships that go like this then?

 

You: Hi, you're a demon?

Demon: Yeah.

You: You like me?

Demon: Yeah.

You: Don't be mad, I want to kiss.

Demon: *kiss*

 

Yeah, seems reasonable and unforced. I mean, why wouldn't a demon have the hots for an irreparably disfigured dead guy mere minutes after meeting him? Right?

 

And I think it wasn't that expensive (time\resource wise)

 

Oh, ok. Good to know you think this. Insider knowledge I presume?

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@Merin Is that when you play epic music on the background? :rolleyes:

I don't understand what you are getting at here.

Duh!

 

I mean do you play epic music on the background in order to feel you de-constructed my character or our arguments?

 

...

 

Yeah, sorry, reading comprehension is still failing me here. I sense some kind of dig, but I must be too slow to grasp it.

Edited by Merin
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Looking through all this discussion, one thing I've wondered about is the demographics of those who are hardcore fans of romance in games. I know that Bioware started off making romances primarily for 'straight male gamers' under the logic that those are their main market. That's why, for example, Baldur's Gate II featured three romance options for 'straight male gamers' and only one for 'straight female gamers.' However, from that time on Bioware has swung completely in the opposite direction. In DA 2, they ended up with four bisxeual romances, and an extra one for 'straight female gamers.'

 

Is this reflective of the market for romances in CRPGs?

 

I dunno if I'm representative but when I played a female PC in BG2, I was more annoyed that the singe straight female romance was with Anomen than I was that my male PC got more romance options. Since I couldn't stand Anomen I never did the romance (because I never had him in the party). EDIT: Didn't feel like I was missing out for ignoring the content there either. So...

 

To give an example of what I was talking about. In DA2 both your mother and your uncle will give a remark regarding your romantic status fitting to the choosen love interest. Other partymembers will occasionally bring it up when talking to Hawke and banter will be adjusted. All that are only little changes to the dialog tree each one barely more than a sentence yet they deliver the feeling that you are in a relationship with one of the four possible Lis rather well.

And as I already wrote according to the BioWare dev´s all this was a relatively little amount of resources.

 

We're still talking about a creative output - one line of companion dialogue may be written in ten minutes and it may also then be rewritten dozens of time taking hours (if not longer) to get right.

 

I'm a believer that the characterization in RPGs are important (which is why I'm pro-romance). So IMO my mom shouldn't react to me romancing Merrill, Anders, Isabella, and Fenris the same way; so its really not writing one line and done.

 

The dialogue shout-outs should fit the character - what did my mom envision for me as a kid? Does she want grandkids (in which case a Male PC- Anders / Fenris relationship or a female PC - Merrill / Isabella relationship should not be treated the same as Male PC - Merrill / Isabella or female PC - Anders/Fenris). Does she buy into the anti-elf sentiment (changes Fenris and Merrill) or anti-Mage (changes Anders and Merrill)?

 

I just don't see making these decisions as being trivial things.

Edited by Amentep
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I read it and I already pointed out the logic mistake you made.

A character who is planned from the start with a romance does not need much more resources, than one who is planned from the start with an optional (platonic) friendship. The only way a an optional romance would really increase the amount of work needed drasticallly is if character interaction is set on rails and nothing you say to NPCs really matters. Because if your interactions with a companion matter you already need several dialog branches so that the romantic branch is only one amongst many.

 

Ah, but that's cheating ;)

 

There are many, many types of relationships that can be explored between the PC and a companion aside from friendship. You can have mentor-student (do you seriously want to put a romance when the characters have such a power dynamic?), or sibling-like relationships (a romance there? ewww), for example. And those are just on the happy part of the spectrum. You can have rivalries, revenge, indebtment... the list is long.

 

Saying "romances are easy to incorporate" because one type of relationship (or maybe a few types, if you want to be lenient) could be adapted to include it is not really applicable. What about the others? You can't cram a romance in many of those without coming off as cheesy, or as severely creepy, and I have some serious doubts it can actually be pulled off well without negatively impacting the non-romance route.

 

And guess what? Deciding what kind of interaction you're going to have with a companion is decided at preproduction. That's why I said in my post that this kind of stuff has to be decided at the beginning. It can't be added in. It can't be "just a few lines". It simply cannot be done if you want to have a cohesive, internally consistent character.

Edited by Lurky
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Well in the end Obsidian will have to see if it is worth it making the people happy that are pro-romance or not. If a decision against romances would make you "anti" guys happy (what it probably would), then I can just scratch my head and ask myself if you are not just against it because you want to do something against the people that like that kind of feature. It is like the (now probably sad) anti-paladin fraction, if you don't like it, don't play it, but if so many people like it, throw them their bone (that sounds wrong now but you know what I mean :D).

If you really worry about ressources in optional features go where a lot of ressources are needed - for example redoing whole dialog for low int or low charisma. ;) probably 50 times more dialog affected, right?

 

I see it like Uomoz or Estelindis. Romances are just one possibility of human relations but not the only one. Most people here that I read just want the companions to behave believable and develop interesting dialogue and maybe emotions of all kind for each other rather than being a IWD-party of artificial robots. And I am fully on that side.

 

I'll make it easier for you than other previous two, I even provide my own quotes!

 

From me:

Read the Lurky's post in here and I agree with it, you have to devote almost everything you write for the character with the romance in mind if they decide to add it or it'll just feel tacked on artificially. You just can't go "Oh we have extra money to do something, let's write romance dialogues for one of the chacters" because then they would feel completely separate from the rest of the character and feel lacking without substance unless they would write most of the character again from the ground-up and I doubt they would do that.

 

From Lurky:

I see that there's been some discussion regarding the time it takes to write a romance, versus the time it takes to write a character. For this, remember that the process of writing a character is not just typing dialogue on the screen. There's a whole process that comes before that.

 

First, preproduction: you have to decide on the high level concept of the character, basic roles it will fulfill in the story and so on. Then you have to start designing the character, by fleshing out its personality, background, the interactions the PC will have with it, possible quests and so on. Only when you have all this nailed down you go into production, and start writing actual dialogues and actual game content, which also has to be iterated on and peer reviewed before it's considered finished.

 

Deciding whether a character will have a romance or not is a design decision, which comes before starting to write dialogues. But a well-done romance develops with time, which means that all the dialogue before the "hey, romance trigger here" moment has to accomodate for it, so that it doesn't come from nowhere. In other words, the romance cannot be isolated from the rest of the character interactions if it aims to be believable, just like a friendship or a hidden secret or other types of relationships need to have some basis to build on. This means that the decision of having romance dialogue permeates the entire character. And writing and designing all that takes much more time than the few romance-only lines would take to write.

 

Granted, the final game dialogues can be written subtly, so that if you don't choose to activate the romance the alternative route flows smoothly. I think that's the best way to go, because that way the impact of the romance can be ignored easily for those who don't want it. But saying that romances take little time to create because that small portion of romance-exclusive dialogue takes little time to create is simply not true. That's just the tip of the iceberg; everything before it has to account for the romance, and that takes much more time to write. Comparing the 2-3 months it takes to write a character to the time it takes to write a romance might be a much more accurate comparison than you think it is.

 

Rest are from me:

The point me and other "anti-romancers" has forgotten to make is that they also have to write the dialogue lines for the main character as well so it's not just the companion's dialogues.

 

 

The potential romance-route for main character would basicly double the written dialogue-lines for the PC and between the companion unless you want just sudden "Hey, let's be lovers!"-throwaway at some part of the dialogues.

 

As many have said, it's not just the case of "Hey, I'm going to quickly write these lines!", you have to take the whole backstory, which NPC the PC is discussing with, potentially who else is in the party if they chime in and if there are more than one potential companion you can romance, the lines from the PC to them would also double.

 

If there'd be for example three romanceable companions, they would have to write three times more dialogue for the PC than without romance-route.

 

You brought up low-intelligence dialogue which has been asked a lot by people and devs actually -likes- to write low-intelligence dialogue, and where did I agree that it's not just about time or budget? I asked about disregarding low-intelligence dialogue because you brought it up and devs have actually said that they like to write it.

 

 

So I ask again since you brought it up, if writing romances would mean to disregard low-intelligence dialogue which they like to write for romances which they don't like to write, would you still want them to write them in and dropping something what they want to do?

 

I expect counter arguments for those since you want to chime in on the debate, thank you in advance.

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You gotta be kidding me. This ****ing **** is still going on?!

The answer to the question of which will happen first, the end of this thread, the release of Half Life 3, or the heat death of the universe, is unknown. Edited by ravenshrike

"You know, there's more to being an evil despot than getting cake whenever you want it"

 

"If that's what you think, you're DOING IT WRONG."

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If they do put in romances, they need to make sure there's low Intelligence or low Charisma options, heh. Would at least make the silly thing funny.

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Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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@Jarpie, well thank you. *awkward silence* Aaaand what part of that post was dealing with my arguments and statements ?

To take your arguments - well the ones I can see as arguments:

- they have to plan it: sure they have to plan it just like any other kind of human relation it comes from the character of the npc if a romantic relation is something this person would tend to and if so under what circumstances. But that counts for every other thing the npc-pc-relation can include. If you want to make that npc argueing against your good deeds then u have to forsee that as well. How is that an argument again?

- it takes time and ressources: yes it does, like any other dialogue this also takes time. Like any npc dialogue, like main story dialogue, like low int and low charisma dialogue.

- It takes time and ressources because of .... : see above.

-

So I ask again since you brought it up, if writing romances would mean to disregard low-intelligence dialogue which they like to write for romances which they don't like to write, would you still want them to write them in and dropping something what they want to do?

First of all nobody said they hate writing romances. Secondly if ressorces really are your argument there is no way you can support something that takes this much more ressources than romances and is clearly optional as well even if they like writing it.. :) If you do not shoot against it, then it shows that your argument of ressources isn't that important to you.

Edited by Rink
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