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I'd like a moratorium on the the word "immersion" while we're at it. :)

 

Hah, yes please.

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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I'm not a fan of the modern Bioware-style romances.

 

"Hey, you're cute."

"Want to ****?"

"Sure!"

"*Cue porno music.*"

"Awesome. We're a couple now!"

 

It comes off as to me, more as fan service, than legitimate character development. I don't mind the concept of in-game romances, in theory but most of the time the Bioware-style is disappointing, especially with the "love = sex" portrayal. I'd personally want to see a well-written chaste/asexual romance in a game for once, rather than everything basically leading up to sex and that being the end of it. Likewise, I'd like to see a relationship that's purely sexual, with no emotional l attachment involved - and unlike a certain character in DA2, they never come around to the idea of monogamy.

 

But more than that, I want to see other sorts of relationships. I felt that Imoen and <CHARNAME> had a lot of potential, developing their brother and sister relationship - and I want to see oaths of brotherhood, and just close friendships.

 

I actually agree. I thought romances from before Mass Effect were good. In KOTOR you never saw an actual kiss. The screen just faded to black before it and it was actually enough. Jaden Empire did show a kiss, but faded out before sexing later on.

 

It's not the sex scene itself that's important. I just like the idea that my virtual character gets along with the virtual world. That I'm playing someone who has a personality outside of saving/destroying the world. Romance just happens to be a part of a bigger story element. Questing is fun, but I just want the game to show interest in the player seeing as we, the players, show so much interest in the game to begin with. I like when games pause the campaign from being purely practical combat all the time to just have different emotional moments. Moments where you hate the villain and serves as motivation for wanting to fight. Moments where the game makes you THINK of the consequences of your actions. Random moments that doesn't have much to do with anything but just are funny or beautiful.

 

To loosely quote a certain Mrbtongue from Youtube: "In Fallout: New Vegas, there is a moment where you meet a certain Chief Hamlet at Lake Gulf. I listened to every scrap of random dialouge this man had to offer, and afterwards, I listened to it again. He shared a story about making the best out of a bad situation. This was a story that had nothing to do with the rest of the game. A story that served no practical gameplay purpose. Hearing that story was my one of my favorite moments in gaming of all time."

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I, unlike apparently half the people still in this thread realized that Obsidian isn't Bioware and therefore won't completely fail at writing.

 

 

I lol'd.

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlshot

"I'm fine with humanity being wiped out" - majestic

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Just for fun, here is JE Sawyer's stance on romances:

 
I don't hate love in game stories; I just hate reducing love to shallow, masturbatory fantasy indulgence. Maybe that's all love is to some people, but I think that's a pretty narrow view. Ego-stroking is very popular in CRPGs, which is one reason I don't feel comfortable doing CRPG writing anymore.

 

I appreciate that people wanted more romance options in NWN2, but sometimes I think that people want there to be romance "victory" conditions for all companions. I think that can diminish some characters. For instance, if Shandra and Qara had their own romance plots, I think some people would still want Neeshka to be "romance-able", regardless of how Neeshka's author felt about the character's place in the story.

 

That bugs me. I don't like the idea that you can "win" everything or get everyone on your side. I'm also not fond of the idea that romance always has to resolve with a "fade out" to implied coitus, but that's another issue.

 

I'll re-state what I wrote before: I want romance to receive either less or more attention in games. Anything worth doing is worth doing well, especially when it's something with so much emotional potential. But I certainly don't want to go the route of
, which is total fantasy indulgence and gross pandering.

 

I'm with him. Then again, If Avellone can do it right, and make it meaningful, and more than just a way for the player to realize their fantasies through an RPG, then go for it. I don't think romance in an RPG is bad at all, it's been part of many great stories, it's just that Bioware has taken romance and re-appropriated romance as some awkward relationship that leads to awkward sex scene all wrapped up in the writing equivalent to that of a bad fanfic. So I can understand the resistance to ANY sort of romance in this game.

 

Then again: MCA

 

Do I need romance in this game? If the story permits it and it adds to the experience and the story in a worthwhile way, sure. But I'm often worried about other things when playing an RPG. Namely combat, quests, over-arching narratives, and everything else that makes a cRPG great, and over the years romance has made up but a tiny-miniscule part of that, if not at all. In some ways, the less romance this game will have, the more old school it will feel. The more it will stand as a contradiction to every watered down cRPG we've received over the last ten years. And isn't that sort of the point of this project?

 

Frankly, I could care less if this game has no romance. It won't be made a worse game without it. That's my official stance as guy who gave you money to maek me vidyogaemz.

Edited by Ignatius
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But I'm often worried about other things when playing an RPG. Namely combat, quests, over-arching narratives, and everything else that makes a cRPG great, and over the years romance has made up but a tiny-miniscule part of that, if not at all.

 

This to the power of ten.

 

On top of my usual reservations.

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I agree with Sawyer a whole lot; I think his fear of people wanting NPCs to be romance-able even against the design of the NPC is very fair. Because I do think there are some players who feel that the NPCs should be subjugated to the will/identity of the PC, caught in the gravity well of their leadership.

 

I'm against that. I think its poor NPC design to allow players an option to violate who the NPC is just for the sake of giving the PC something "special" (a romance, a quest, or anything else).

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As for motivations, again, we have different stances. You insist and insist that they are unknowable, almost as if they should always remain that way. I know that they can't be fully knowable, but I like knowing things, and I like if that unknown can be subverted. Knowing things also lets you build approximations that help you deal with reality, and with people.

I never cease to be amazed by people's capacity to believe what they prefer to be true, rather than what the evidence shows to be likely (or even possible).

Even if you don't agree with this approach and claim that it's for crazy people (in bolded letters, at that) because having a degree totally gives you the right to judge people, these approximations can be pretty damn useful in real life. They're valuable, no matter what you say.

My degree only allows me to judge the field in which I hold that degree, and I find it lacking.

 

Your approximations (which wouldn't need to be approximate if you actually knew things) produce error. That's the sum total of their value. What you're actually doing is projecting your motives onto other people. If those other people are relevantly similar to you, then their motives match what yours would be in their place, and you think you've correctly perceived their motives. But you haven't. If the other people are not relevantly similar to you, then their motives will not match, and you will have drawn a false conclusion.

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God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

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I agree with Sawyer a whole lot; I think his fear of people wanting NPCs to be romance-able even against the design of the NPC is very fair. Because I do think there are some players who feel that the NPCs should be subjugated to the will/identity of the PC, caught in the gravity well of their leadership.

 

I'm against that. I think its poor NPC design to allow players an option to violate who the NPC is just for the sake of giving the PC something "special" (a romance, a quest, or anything else).

On the other hand I wouldn't like it if a character starts leaning towards becoming a romance and its underdeveloped because they didn't want to have romances. I'm saying that the devs shouldn't commit strongly to either option before seeing if their characters take a life of their own.

I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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Funny you'd mention Gann. He was written by Chris Avellone. That's the guy mentioned in this quote:

MCA doesn't like writing them and I sure as **** don't care about Hepler. There is a general rule of thumb, if a writer likes to write romances in games, he most likely sucks.

He had intended to go heavier on the romance angle with Gann. Make him bisexual, even, but the publishers balked. NWN2 was actually a far more... "romance-heavy" game in intent than in actuality. Infamous time and budgeting issues got in the way.

 

I think it's a good deal more fair to say that MCA - and the rest of the Obsidian staff - don't like being pigeonholed. That means not being forced to hit romance checkbox A B and C and not making every meaningful bit of character interaction revolve around it. It also, I figure, means not being forced to ignore an important and basic part of human interaction because some people like GI Joes.

 

Why did I enter this thread?

 

Direct quote from gamasutra interview:

 

Also, I'd have dropped one romance, at least. I hate them normally, and having 4 in one game, all of which I had to write, was a pain in the ass. I lobbied for killing the Scarlet romance (spoiler, though probably not a shock if you've played past the first mission) and successfully got a 5th romance kicked from the game, but the others remained like a taint

 

http://www.gamasutra...lep__Part_2.php

And yet, he wanted to make a male romance for another character of his.

 

It's almost as though there's more nuance to the man than you can get from a single quote...

 

Perhaps he believed that if he had to do romances he could as well do them well. It's not like gay romance with Gann would be different than heterosexual one so I doubt that he volunteered to write more romances. And direct quote >insinuations.

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I'm against that. I think its poor NPC design to allow players an option to violate who the NPC is just for the sake of giving the PC something "special" (a romance, a quest, or anything else).

 

Yea it is bad writing, I think we all agree. But I think we also agree on people here not being some children that just want to bang npcs. If you want that u play other games. And if there were any then they would be 2 years older already as soon as the game comes out and may have other preferences :D

 

I still think it is something beautiful if a character can be created in a way that makes players want to connect with that person, build friendships that go deeper than just "work", wants to know more about them, their past and their visions and wants to support them. And then maybe with some characters a romance makes sense at some part, others will become best-buddies-in-arms or fight to keep their distance for some reason.

I also think nobody wants easy relationships like in some games, of course we want the characters to struggle, maybe tragically fail or still have some moment of a happy-end at some point in the story just to let us sit here crying some hours later when we hold her dead body in our arms. I think there is no story-element that is able to induce so many emotions in players than companions that you are able to connect to are. In books and movies it doesn't work quite this way, because you are not acting yourself and in movies you usually don't have the time to really know people that well.

I want one ticket for this dangerous emotional rollercoaster please, no, make that two!

 

*still waiting for an official statement*

Edited by Rink
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I agree with Sawyer a whole lot; I think his fear of people wanting NPCs to be romance-able even against the design of the NPC is very fair. Because I do think there are some players who feel that the NPCs should be subjugated to the will/identity of the PC, caught in the gravity well of their leadership.

 

I'm against that. I think its poor NPC design to allow players an option to violate who the NPC is just for the sake of giving the PC something "special" (a romance, a quest, or anything else).

 

All of this... times a thousand.

 

I'll be honest, if MCA writes a romantic subplot into the game I almost want to see the whole thing get turned on its head. Have the NPC object of desire turn into a psycho stalker or have them deliver the "I just want to be friends" speech, or claim chastity. Anything but the detestable, give gifts, talk sweet, subjugate and "win" the relationship garbage that most cRPG romances have devolved into.

 

Maybe this is my problem with people vocally and persistently asking for romance able companions. I can only presume that they've enjoyed the kind of shallow fan service romances we've seen from companies like bioware and others. I'm hard pressed to think of any games that have handled this kind of thing in a nuanced or compelling way.

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Perhaps he believed that if he had to do romances he could as well do them well. It's not like gay romance with Gann would be different than heterosexual one so I doubt that he volunteered to write more romances. And direct quote >insinuations.

Who forced Annah and Grace on him?

 

I'll take actions over quotes...

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Perhaps he believed that if he had to do romances he could as well do them well. It's not like gay romance with Gann would be different than heterosexual one so I doubt that he volunteered to write more romances. And direct quote >insinuations.

Who forced Annah and Grace on him?

 

I'll take actions over quotes...

 

Yes Chris Avellone is mentally unstable man who don't even know what is he talking about, he actually wouldn't do anything other than write sappy romances but voices in his head forced him to lie in the Interview.

Edited by BasaltineBadger
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Who forced Annah and Grace on him?

 

I'll take actions over quotes...

 

They were "weak" romances as you could not get your hand in their pixel panties.

 

How does not being able to have sex with them make them "weak" romances?

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlshot

"I'm fine with humanity being wiped out" - majestic

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I don´t know I it has been written yet but, I would be much more interested in some sort of friendship between characters, specially between an man and a woman character, getting closer to someone should not only be about sleeping together.

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I don´t know I it has been written yet but, I would be much more interested in some sort of friendship between characters, specially between an man and a woman character, getting closer to someone should not only be about sleeping together.

 

I don't think that many people who want romances in this game simply want a sexmance that consists of

  1. Hit on NPC
     
  2. ????
     
  3. Achievement Unlocked!

Probably the worst thing that has happened to RPG romance(other than the fanservice romances in certain games) has to be the "Sex=Victory" idea. Sex in a romance is no more a "win" than completing a companion's personal quest and getting a fistbump is a "win" in a friendship.

 

I would guess that the majority of us in the "Pro-Romance" crowd want romances in PE to involve a good bit of character development, player options, party interaction, and good story telling, something that we feel Obsidian can easily do. I would go as far as to say that quite a few of us don't want a fanservice romances that involve a NPC with the personality of a cardboard cutout trying to have sex with the PC every five minutes while telling them how awesome and amazing they are.

Edited by KaineParker

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlshot

"I'm fine with humanity being wiped out" - majestic

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Well, I know this thread focuses on romance, but moral alignment is something mentioned in the OP, and it's a dimension of character identity that I would definitely like to see revisited in Project Eternity. In older DND-type games alignment was little more than another mechanic for people to optimize, and I'd like to see something more stimulating.

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Well, I know this thread focuses on romance, but moral alignment is something mentioned in the OP, and it's a dimension of character identity that I would definitely like to see revisited in Project Eternity. In older DND-type games alignment was little more than another mechanic for people to optimize, and I'd like to see something more stimulating.

 

I think that topic deserves it's own thread.

 

It is too interesting of a discussion to get lost in here.

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlshot

"I'm fine with humanity being wiped out" - majestic

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Who forced Annah and Grace on him?

 

I'll take actions over quotes...

 

They were "weak" romances as you could not get your hand in their pixel panties.

 

How does not being able to have sex with them make them "weak" romances?

They were weak, but not because of the lack of consummation. Mainly because TNO couldn't given the events of the game have a strong romance. Which unless the plot is going to be VERY different than current events indicate, really isn't applicable to PE.

"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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I agree with Sawyer a whole lot; I think his fear of people wanting NPCs to be romance-able even against the design of the NPC is very fair. Because I do think there are some players who feel that the NPCs should be subjugated to the will/identity of the PC, caught in the gravity well of their leadership.

 

I'm against that. I think its poor NPC design to allow players an option to violate who the NPC is just for the sake of giving the PC something "special" (a romance, a quest, or anything else).

 

All of this... times a thousand.

 

I'll be honest, if MCA writes a romantic subplot into the game I almost want to see the whole thing get turned on its head. Have the NPC object of desire turn into a psycho stalker or have them deliver the "I just want to be friends" speech, or claim chastity. Anything but the detestable, give gifts, talk sweet, subjugate and "win" the relationship garbage that most cRPG romances have devolved into.

 

Maybe this is my problem with people vocally and persistently asking for romance able companions. I can only presume that they've enjoyed the kind of shallow fan service romances we've seen from companies like bioware and others. I'm hard pressed to think of any games that have handled this kind of thing in a nuanced or compelling way.

Strangly enough Bioware provided all the things you have asked for in DA2.

Aveline won´t be intrested no matter how much the player flirts with her. And Sebastian will insist on keeping the relationship chaste on the friendship path.

Edited by Andwit25
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I agree with Sawyer a whole lot; I think his fear of people wanting NPCs to be romance-able even against the design of the NPC is very fair. Because I do think there are some players who feel that the NPCs should be subjugated to the will/identity of the PC, caught in the gravity well of their leadership.

 

I'm against that. I think its poor NPC design to allow players an option to violate who the NPC is just for the sake of giving the PC something "special" (a romance, a quest, or anything else).

 

All of this... times a thousand.

 

I'll be honest, if MCA writes a romantic subplot into the game I almost want to see the whole thing get turned on its head. Have the NPC object of desire turn into a psycho stalker or have them deliver the "I just want to be friends" speech, or claim chastity. Anything but the detestable, give gifts, talk sweet, subjugate and "win" the relationship garbage that most cRPG romances have devolved into.

 

Maybe this is my problem with people vocally and persistently asking for romance able companions. I can only presume that they've enjoyed the kind of shallow fan service romances we've seen from companies like bioware and others. I'm hard pressed to think of any games that have handled this kind of thing in a nuanced or compelling way.

Strangly enough Bioware provided all the things you have asked for in DA2.

Aveline won´t be intrested no matter how much the player flirts with her. And Sebastian will insist on keeping the relationship chaste on the friendship path.

 

DA2 sprang to mind as one of the worst offenders when I was writing up that post. And just so we're clear I'm not asking for any kind of romantic subplot in the game, but if it's there, I want it to completely subvert the fan-service, ego-stroking, tack taken by games like DA2

Edited by nikolokolus
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DA2 sprang to mind as one of the worst offenders when I was writing up that post. And just so we're clear I'm not asking for any kind of romantic subplot in the game, but if it's there, I want it to completely subvert the fan-service, ego-stroking, tack taken by games like DA2

Strange considering that the romances are pretty much the oppposite of what you described.

Two of the four LIs will break it up after the sex in act two and only if the player does not romance someone else will give you the achievement (I personally hate romance achievements, but this is another topic).

None of the LIs bend their life around the players wishes, even the two who move in with Hawke, don´t give up their hopes and ambitions and you still have to deal with the fallout from that.

Not to mention that all romances come with two paths so sweettalking is not actually required. Also if you describe the culmination of e.g. the Anders rivalromance as fan-service and egostroking I don´t think we are thinking the same when using those two terms.

Edited by Andwit25
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