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Chris Avellone said...

 

So if I were to implement a romance subplot in Eternity - I wouldn’t. I’d examine interpersonal relationships from another angle and I wouldn’t confine it to love and romance. Maybe I’d explore it after a “loving” relationship crashed and burned, and one or both was killed in the aftermath enough for them to see if it had really been worth it spending the last few years of their physical existence chained to each other in a dance of human misery and/or a plateau of soul-killing compromise. Or maybe I’d explore a veteran’s love affair with his craft of murder and allowing souls to be freed to travel beyond their bleeding shell, or a Cipher’s obsession with plucking the emotions of deep-rooted souls to try and see what makes people attracted to each other beyond their baser instincts and discovers love... specifically, his love of manipulating others. You could build an entire dungeon and quest where he devotes himself to replicating facsimiles of love, reducer a Higher Love to a baser thing and using NPCs he encounters as puppets for his experimentations, turning something supposedly beautiful into something filthy, mechanical, but surrounded by blank-eyed soul-twisted drones echoing all the hollow Disney-like platitudes and fairy tale existence where everyone lives happily ever after.

I love this man.

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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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let's have avellone's dungeon attached to the the stronghold as a prison

 

could we have a choice between the final coup de grace and sending npc's to said dungeon ?

 

and while we're at it how about a dungeon keeper chair to torture them into joining us.

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Romance can definitely add to a game.

 

The most common problems with romance in video games are:

  • romance (or general companionship) gets turned in to a minigame with a score (I'm looking at you, Dragon Age).
  • very limited romance options with very stereotyped characters leaving only one or two popular romances
  • the path to romance is so unclear and the love interest reactions are so unpredictable that you have to research online how to "win it"

If P:E can avoid these common pitfalls, then I'm all for it.

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* Bromance

* Homance

* Low-mance

* Nomance

* Go Dance

 

Give me lots of variability carried over several characters :) one character might be a grumpy "impossible to -mance" character, I'd be happy with 1 romanceable optional option for 1 or 2 characters.

 

Love is complicated, it's not something that always something that "dimps" down from the sky (though at the same time it can very much be like that... see where I'm getting at with "complicated"?). The only input I've got is that it shouldn't be at the end of the "Banter Tree" and you always get the romance. In another thread I spoke about how Kaedan made his move on Shepard, which I just felt awkward about, I felt I was more treating him like a bro... did he really have to come on to Shepard because of that?

 

Biowarian Romance:

"I think I'm in love because you are talking with me!". It is way too simple and easy, and way too accessible. Avellone seems to have his head straight on what he wants to do *thumbs up*

Edited by Osvir
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In another thread I spoke about how Kaedan made his move on Shepard, which I just felt awkward about, I felt I was more treating him like a bro... did he really have to come on to Shepard because of that?

 

Well...it's Bioware. They did the same thing in DA2.

 

The only NPC in a Bioware game in recent years that I have liked is Garrus.

Edited by argan
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I don't like romance in game. If i had a say, i would like PE to not have any romance.

 

What i dislike in romance, is that they are more like fan-service than actual romance (See DA:Origins for more explanation).

But, i approve romance like Jaheira/Viconia. For one good reason. The romance doesn't actually start in BG2. But in BG, you encounter them, talk with them, develop attachment and it's only natural to see evolution in relationship.

 

I'd rather see no romance in PE but the start of romance and the conclusion of it in the expansion; PE2. It just makes more sense for me. Feelings can't develop in such a short time that involve only one game..(except if it's a generational game).

 

DA romance was way too short and not believable; it was more a way to throw sex at the face of players to attract youngster..

Edited by Dawn_
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I don't like romance in game. If i had a say, i would like PE to not have any romance.

 

What i dislike in romance, is that they are more like fan-service than actual romance (See DA:Origins for more explanation).

But, i approve romance like Jaheira/Viconia. For one good reason. The romance doesn't actually start in BG2. But in BG, you encounter them, talk with them, develop attachment and it's only natural to see evolution in relationship.

 

I'd rather see no romance in PE but the start of romance and the conclusion of it in the expansion; PE2. It just makes more sense for me. Feelings can't develop in such a short time that involve only one game..(except if it's a generational game).

 

DA romance was way too short and not believable; it was more a way to throw sex at the face of players to attract youngster..

 

Feelings can develop as fast as a blink of an eye, and 5 days later you are having the best time of your life.

 

And in Baldur's Gate time passes (with resting and by just loitering about and traveling). 5 days will go by like nothing happened in Baldur's Gate. There is plenty of time for emotions to grow. I do hope that it is more subtle. The thing about romances is that I can start romancing someone and then kick them in their face, then they won't want to romance me, but days later maybe I do something to redeem myself and then they want to romance me again (although makes it harder). See how it works? It's complicated.

 

In Dragon Age: Origins it is easy where I can easily just get 100 Gift items and maintain my relationship like that (Which is a horrible method too).

 

Make one romance really relly good, doesn't matter if it is a girl or a guy or if it exclusive. It would work as a great template for others who want to make every character romanceable, bromanceable.

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5 days is a little short to express feelings..you may think otherwise though, but i don't agree on it (in a game). In BG2 like i said, i only acknowledge Viconia/Jaheira romance..not Anomen neither Aerie.

 

Since Viconia/Jaheira romance seems to follow a natural process that the 2 others don't have. Sure, you can in real life know such a 5 days romance but they usually start off strong and end up badly. I don't find them realistic in a game, since..when you do have a romance with a character in the game..it usually goes to the end..it hardly end up badly otherwise you've screwed up the actual romance.

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5 days is a little short to express feelings..you may think otherwise though, but i don't agree on it (in a game). In BG2 like i said, i only acknowledge Viconia/Jaheira romance..not Anomen neither Aerie.

 

Since Viconia/Jaheira romance seems to follow a natural process that the 2 others don't have. Sure, you can in real life know such a 5 days romance but they usually start off strong and end up badly. I don't find them realistic in a game, since..when you do have a romance with a character in the game..it usually goes to the end..it hardly end up badly otherwise you've screwed up the actual romance.

 

Ouch, yes it kind of is (Speaking out of personal experience :p).

 

I do agree lots with the thoughts of not having romances in the game, but I don't see why not (in a subtle way). If it could enrich the experience it'll enrich the experience.

 

Dynaheir romance (Mod) in Baldur's Gate really enriched my experience. Liara in Mass Effect 1 enriched my experience, in Mass Effect 3 as well (just much less and not as well done). Miranda in Mass Effect 2 enriched my experience and Morrigan in DA:O as well, Lelianna did not enrich my experience and was more or less a replay to find content I didn't find on my first playthrough.

 

What didn't enrich my experience was that also every character wanted a piece of the action at the end of their Dialogue Tree. Something Baldur's Gate does well and avoids, where everyone stay friends. Imoen didn't try to flirt with my character, neither did Jaheira (with mods you can romance both of these early game), when I romanced Dynaheir. Neither Minsc or Khalid were coming onto my character. It felt more or less like all the characters were adventuring buddies, and in DA:O my buddies were sticking around because they seemingly had the hots for my character.

 

I do not have anything about gay sexuality, but I'm not too fond of it when a guy comes onto me. Sure I can get a little bit flattered but to be honest I'm rather "turned off" generally. Specially if I'm on an epic Archdemon hunt and suddenly Alistair has gone gay and want some Elf steam on him (I had an Elf Fighter). Zevran was cool about it though and Alistair was just awkward.

 

I am simply advocating that a romance should not be at the end of a Dialogue Tree. I think I've said this, and probably many others, countless times now.

 

It is an around and around around and around thread this thread this thread around and around.

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5 days is a little short to express feelings..you may think otherwise though, but i don't agree on it (in a game). In BG2 like i said, i only acknowledge Viconia/Jaheira romance..not Anomen neither Aerie.

 

Re-quoting the same, wanted to highlight this further.

 

I backpacked/hitch-hiked across America (East Coast, from Woodstock, New York all the way to Portland, Oregon, the up to Seattle, Washington, then down to Mt Shasta California, finally all the way to Ann Arbor, Michigan). I met several women along the way that I had "romances" with for a brief encounter. It could be all from holding hands, smiling blushing, revelations of the soul, a friend indeed. It was enjoyable, loving, caring and just hippie sharing. Peace, love, understanding and respect. "Traveling" and "Love" goes very much hand in hand. If you travel a lot, you will meet someone (even if you only commit to traveling inside your city).

 

No attachments, one encounter could be the last encounter. Exciting. Simple.

 

Thinking about this further I don't know if "In-Party" Romances would be good, but NPC's found in the world (the Mayor's daughter I meet, or the hunky slave stable boy) should hold more importance in terms of romance.

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And, you see, this is the entire problem here:

 

If there is going to be a romance, and I think there is, hopefully it'll be someone that has been written with romance in mind.

 

1/8 of the companion writing tyme dedicated to sappy Fan Service.

 

I wish someone would write a low-combat romance CRPG, even an indie one. They would make a fair bit of money and lots of folks would be happier and not haunt games like this with their demands.

 

Romances are part of the Infinity Game family tree, like it or not. The only series that didn't have them at all was Icewind Dale, which also didn't have meaningful character-driven relationships of any sort.

Edited by Morality Games

May Kickstarter be with you and all your stretch goals achieved. 

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Well the game will most likely be a fairly long journey as I assume it goes from lvls 1-20, so I can't imagine the issue of the relationship developing to quickly to be present, unless its poorly written. But sometimes relationships do happen quickly, I would think especially so in a medieval context(or renaissance w/e).

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And, you see, this is the entire problem here:

 

If there is going to be a romance, and I think there is, hopefully it'll be someone that has been written with romance in mind.

 

1/8 of the companion writing tyme dedicated to sappy Fan Service.

 

I wish someone would write a low-combat romance CRPG, even an indie one. They would make a fair bit of money and lots of folks would be happier and not haunt games like this with their demands.

 

Romances are part of the Infinity Game family tree, like it or not. The only series that didn't have them at all was Icewind Dale, which also didn't have meaningful character-driven relationships of any sort.

 

No. BG2 had them. That's it. And they were an astonishingly (and mercifully) shallow part of the game. IWD 1 & 2 didn't.

 

BG1 had no romances. PS:T's 'romances' (I don't consider them to be) can be viewed either way.

 

I'm not a maths genius but that's 1/5th of 'the family.' And a tiny fraction of that 1/5th.

 

If that's the level of romance we have to endure in PE then fair enough, otherwise you are inflating something to suit your own preferences. Which is fair enough, but doesn't bear scrutiny.

sonsofgygax.JPG

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And, you see, this is the entire problem here:

 

If there is going to be a romance, and I think there is, hopefully it'll be someone that has been written with romance in mind.

 

1/8 of the companion writing tyme dedicated to sappy Fan Service.

 

I wish someone would write a low-combat romance CRPG, even an indie one. They would make a fair bit of money and lots of folks would be happier and not haunt games like this with their demands.

 

Romances are part of the Infinity Game family tree, like it or not. The only series that didn't have them at all was Icewind Dale, which also didn't have meaningful character-driven relationships of any sort.

 

BG1 had no romances.

 

Um., pretty sure you can romance a NPC in the BG1 expansion. That was the start Bioware romances IIRC.

Edited by bonarbill
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^ No, you can't.

 

Unless you d/l a sappy fan-made mod.

 

You can and you can't. There's an NPC on Werewolf Island who is a pretty blatant, if extremely short-lived, love interest. The NPC's gender changes based on your own and you give him/her flowers and he/she gives you a kiss and so on.

 

That was pretty much the oncoming wave of Bioware Romance in its infancy.

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* Bromance

* Homance

* Low-mance

* Nomance

* Go Dance

 

Give me lots of variability carried over several characters :) one character might be a grumpy "impossible to -mance" character, I'd be happy with 1 romanceable optional option for 1 or 2 characters.

 

Love is complicated, it's not something that always something that "dimps" down from the sky (though at the same time it can very much be like that... see where I'm getting at with "complicated"?). The only input I've got is that it shouldn't be at the end of the "Banter Tree" and you always get the romance. In another thread I spoke about how Kaedan made his move on Shepard, which I just felt awkward about, I felt I was more treating him like a bro... did he really have to come on to Shepard because of that?

 

Biowarian Romance:

"I think I'm in love because you are talking with me!". It is way too simple and easy, and way too accessible. Avellone seems to have his head straight on what he wants to do *thumbs up*

 

I think you actually nailed it. Romance is just a small part ouf of many other mances you can have with characters. For example, I wish Alistair would be a better bro and have more dialouge options. I liked talking to him, but he didn't seem too into me since I didn't have a vagina. :( Oh well, I was still a good bro and wing-manned him into a sure lay with a hot dark haired chick. I know it wasn't his fault that he was written that way. And again, I also agree about some of the latest Bioware-romances in general. Leiliana and Liara think you're flirting with them just because you did the most awesomest pick up line in history and said hi

 

Hm.. Actually, Avellone doesn't what he WANTS to. He wants them gone entirely, but the fact that Chris dislikes romances encourages him to research and do romances better than many other writers. Alpha Protocol had some fun brief and long-term ones, and best of all, they felt organic to the setting and story of the game. They were well written. It wasn't enough to be generally nice to all of the girls. The women responded differently to your attitude. One girl liked Mr. Thorton to be professional, while one liked that he flirted with her, and another one liked that he wasn't interested in her, and so she had to chase him.

 

But yeah, he does romances well never the less. :)

Edited by -Zin-
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And, you see, this is the entire problem here:

 

If there is going to be a romance, and I think there is, hopefully it'll be someone that has been written with romance in mind.

 

1/8 of the companion writing tyme dedicated to sappy Fan Service.

 

I wish someone would write a low-combat romance CRPG, even an indie one. They would make a fair bit of money and lots of folks would be happier and not haunt games like this with their demands.

 

Romances are part of the Infinity Game family tree, like it or not. The only series that didn't have them at all was Icewind Dale, which also didn't have meaningful character-driven relationships of any sort.

 

No. BG2 had them. That's it. And they were an astonishingly (and mercifully) shallow part of the game. IWD 1 & 2 didn't.

 

BG1 had no romances. PS:T's 'romances' (I don't consider them to be) can be viewed either way.

 

I'm not a maths genius but that's 1/5th of 'the family.' And a tiny fraction of that 1/5th.

 

If that's the level of romance we have to endure in PE then fair enough, otherwise you are inflating something to suit your own preferences. Which is fair enough, but doesn't bear scrutiny.

 

PS:T had romance-themed content you could choose to act upon, or not. It wasn't as much about developing a specific kind of relationship as exploring a different aspect of the relationship.

 

My other main point is that Icewind Dale as a series isn't even applicable because it had no meaningful companion relationships. Its not a question of whether romances are good to include among character relationships, its that character relationships and character-driven narratives are themselves not instrumental to a role-playing game.

 

The only game that omitted romances among the character-driven narrative Infinity Game engine was Baldur's Gate.

Edited by Morality Games

May Kickstarter be with you and all your stretch goals achieved. 

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ice wind dale felt very empty to me, for lack of npc personality, more like a hack and slash

 

I can see why some would like to use the chance to fully build a party - but it totaly kills the imersion having no characters that banter argue, like /dislike etc.

 

technicaly romance/casual sex/marriage go under the same banner imersion - rpg. it just has to be there

 

let's say you get 4 male and 4 male npcs , it's obvious 2 males could be gay and one women doesn't like your class or alignement , but that still leaves 5 romancable characters , same for women player 3 men and 2 women could be interested.

 

on the same statiscal note some may forma couple onto themselves. especialy if you don't try any advance towards said characters and/or could be a couple interested to try a piece of a hero, or a couple of lovely ladies amazons , interested in the lonely hero ..... but I degress.

:biggrin::devil:

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ice wind dale felt very empty to me, for lack of npc personality, more like a hack and slash

 

I can see why some would like to use the chance to fully build a party - but it totaly kills the imersion having no characters that banter argue, like /dislike etc.

 

technicaly romance/casual sex/marriage go under the same banner imersion - rpg. it just has to be there

 

let's say you get 4 male and 4 male npcs , it's obvious 2 males could be gay and one women doesn't like your class or alignement , but that still leaves 5 romancable characters , same for women player 3 men and 2 women could be interested.

 

on the same statiscal note some may forma couple onto themselves. especialy if you don't try any advance towards said characters and/or could be a couple interested to try a piece of a hero, or a couple of lovely ladies amazons , interested in the lonely hero ..... but I degress.

:biggrin::devil:

 

I have no idea what I just read.

 

While it would be great if you could be in several kinds of relationships with every NPC(More PC options are always better), it would be much too resource intensive to implement in PE effectively.

 

Lets just let Obsidian do what they want for NPC relationships(I'm sure there will be something akin to "romance",quite a few people do seem to want it.) and enjoy the game.

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on the same statiscal note

 

Personally I'd rather them avoid statistics when designing NPC-PC character interactions. That's the line of thinking that gives you a "romance" not because it makes sense for the character/story/game but because it fits a percentage point or gives you 2 "evil" characters, 2 "neutral" characters and 2 "good" characters so everyone can be represented equally.

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Very late to this conversation (I just joined the forums) but wanted to put in my 2 cents on the issue --

 

First, I like the idea of making sure all relationships, be they romantic, platonic, brotherly, hateful, or in between, are well developed. And I would rather a handful of extremely well developed companions who can develop unique relationships with the PC than a large number of companions who are shallowly written.

 

Second, in RPGs, I am all for romance, and I am all for sex (non graphic), but I do not want to be given the impression that romance=sex. Sure, there are romantic relationships that are also sexual relationships, but there can be also romantic relationships that are not sexual (or not for a long time) and there can most definitely be sexual relationships that are not in the least romantic. More to the point in game design, it really really irritates the hell out of me in video games where the moment you bed another character is determined to be the moment you successfully "romanced" them. I hate when "romance" is used as a euphemism for "screw." Using an Obsidian game as an example, Alpha Protocol does this rampantly. Banging a girl you hardly know after a long day of shooting people just because you let her bandage your wounds, or having an "exclusive interview" with a journalist who has been largely and entirely been cool and aloof to you the whole game, or letting a mercenary ravage you on a table is not romance--it's just plain getting laid (I want to use a different term in fact but I'm fairly sure it would get filtered out). So don't tell me, game, that I successfully "romanced" these characters when all I did was bang them at a moment of convenient opportunity (I don't even think you ever get to tell any of the bangable women that you love them, and I'm pretty sure with maybe one or two exceptions, Mike doesn't). I don't mind that these events can happen--I in fact quite enjoyed them :) --but just call it for what it is.

 

In fact I think to this day, the most satisfying romance I ever felt I played through--in any video game ever, not just any Obsidian game--was Annah in Planescape Torment, which culminates in no more than a quickly cut off kiss and of course more or less ends tragically. But through the dialogue, I felt the tension there, and I could see clearly how she felt and how she struggled with her feelings, and thus it felt to me like a real story of love. The moment where she says, "He matters to me more than life," actually made me cry. It's not often that I actually feel in a game like a character truly loves my PC, and Torment is one of the very few that accomplished that.

 

Now, just in case I haven't made it clear, I have no problem if there's "bedroom scenes" in a game, but I just want to be clear of the distinctions between lust and love (and the spectrum between), and that one does not always immediately come along with the other. Hell, I'd think it was awesome if there was a companion who beds the main character on a lark but then makes it absolutely clear that they have no particular feelings at all toward the PC (and perhaps by contrast, an NPC deeply in love with the PC but who is very slow to admitting that, let alone to seeking out physical intimacy).

Edited by DeathQuaker
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I love the dude splitting the IE games into character and non-character driven.

 

Check out the KS pitch: 'tis not a distinction mentioned there.

 

And anyone mentioning how not having romances "is, like, breaking my *immersion* man" well all I can say is feh.

 

Sappy romances kill my immersion because I'm playing a fantasy CRPG, not reading Twilight. FFS.

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In fact I think to this day, the most satisfying romance I ever felt I played through--in any video game ever, not just any Obsidian game--was Annah in Planescape Torment, which culminates in no more than a quickly cut off kiss and of course more or less ends tragically. But through the dialogue, I felt the tension there, and I could see clearly how she felt and how she struggled with her feelings, and thus it felt to me like a real story of love. The moment where she says, "He matters to me more than life," actually made me cry. It's not often that I actually feel in a game like a character truly loves my PC, and Torment is one of the very few that accomplished that.

I wonder if the relationship would still have been felt so romantic if Anna would have also looked like a rotting corpse like the nameless did?

Sure, appearance is not everything, but a romance with a zombie?! Disgusting! I hope I don't have to see something like that in P:E.

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