Jump to content

Romance  

431 members have voted

  1. 1. How do you define Romance in a game?

    • Love (Romance)
      359
    • Sex (Ho-mance)
      166
    • Friendship (Bro-mance)
      206
    • No (Go-dance)
      58
    • Other-mance?
      55


Recommended Posts

Yeah DAO had some issues with that, I loved talking with Zevran and him flirting with my NPC but not being gay and not wanting to RP a gay relationship I just wish there was a middle road option. Cause you kinda lose something when your only options are 'gods yes' or 'omg get away you gay elf'. They needed a bromance option with Zevs damnit, he was fun and murdered people.


Def Con: kills owls dead

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm also pretty sure he was the Nasinex cg bee, haha.

 

But yeah. On that particular note, I like how they did... oh what's his name. Steve? The shuttle pilot in Mass Effect 3 (I can't remember his name... it's been a while). He was gay, so if you so chose (and were male), you could romance him. But, otherwise, you just find out he's gay if you talk to him more than like twice, and you could either be mean to him (like you could to anyone), be his friend, or flirt and whatnot. But there was never a standing-on-the-roof-in-the-spotlight-of-a-chopper hostage-situation "What's it gonna be, Shepard?!" moment to choose your relationship with him.

 

Not so much in the Dragon Age games, although Zevran wasn't really that bad about it, I suppose. I think he did kinda stop and ask you several times. "So, should we hook up?"

 

But yeah, no matter what you're doing, it shouldn't be forced. A deep relationship of any kind with any of your companions should require out-of-your-way choices, and any kind of romance should require yet another tier. Not just some "OMg, are we bf and gf now?!" note in class.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the above posters in that I think a good route would be romances that are purely optional, rather easily avoidable, and don't take away from the game experience if you decline. As others have said, some games fix it so you can't complete some of your companion's character arcs without romancing them (like Mass Effect, which has some unfortunate implications), some games don't let you avoid entering romances (like NWN2, where I think the long "courtship" and inevitable "I love you"s from Elanee and Casavir from NWN2 occur if you don't have negative influence), and some games put you in a position where you have to accept them or reject them and lose something desirable if you declide (like DA2, where required companion Anders comes onto you soon after you meet him and you have to either enter a romance or start off with unwanted rival points for denying), etc.

 

For the most part, I loved the way romance was handled in Dragon Age: Origins. The romances only triggered from flirty dialogue options by the PC; you usually had the option to let a companion down gently if they flirted; you could complete their character arcs without romancing them; you could be in love without necessarily being physically intimate; you could let them know you cared in different ways thanks to multiple romantic dialogue tailored for different personality types, ("I love you too," "You're not so bad yourself," "We're in this together, remember?" *kiss*), etc.

 

With that said, the DA:O romances do have some problems, like how some "romance" dialogue triggers are so subtle that you don't know you're flirting until they confess their love, or some companions put you on the spot and make you either accept them or reject them fully and you lose a lot of influence if you choose the latter, and so on. But then most romance options have their shortcomings, so it really just depends on what works for the game. =)


"Not I, though. Not I," said the hanging dwarf.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No. The Walking Dead. The father-daughter relationship between Lee and Clementine is the best of it's kind in any game I ever played.

 

...Which is kind of really tangential to the binary issue of the topic: "romance? y/n".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the most part, I loved the way romance was handled in Dragon Age: Origins.

 

I think I would have tolerated and even enjoyed the DA:O party interactions more if there wasn't a GIANT BLINKING NUMERICAL SCOREBOARD. Seriously, those open scoring systems piss me off to no end. Cheap, patronising, assumes up and down the entire spine of the game that the player is a ****ing stupid socially retarded adolescent and illiterate moron.

 

Ooh, I didn't like how you handled the last two quests (-6) but since you're bribing me with this pretty bauble, I'll like you again (+6)!

 

Hey you, party member, I want (A: RENEGADE OPTION! -4 //// B: PARAGON OPTION! +4). Are we good?

Edited by Ieo
  • Like 4

The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the most part, I loved the way romance was handled in Dragon Age: Origins.

 

I think I would have tolerated and even enjoyed the DA:O party interactions more if there wasn't a GIANT BLINKING NUMERICAL SCOREBOARD. Seriously, those open scoring systems piss me off to no end. Cheap, patronising, assumes up and down the entire spine of the game that the player is a ****ing stupid socially retarded adolescent and illiterate moron.

 

Ooh, I didn't like how you handled the last two quests (-6) but since you're bribing me with this pretty bauble, I'll like you again (+6)!

 

Hey you, party member, I want (A: RENEGADE OPTION! -4 //// B: PARAGON OPTION! +4). Are we good?

 

But we all know diamonds are a girls best friend, in order to encourage Romance buying people gifts is what we do in RL and for me is reasonable and appropriate?


"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the question now, is it realistic to earn someone's love by buying them lots of shiny things? Bluntly, yes. Mind you, buying lots of crap may not make up for being a boring a-hole, but it helps show that you care. Hell, in a real relationship gifts are expected on anniversaries, holidays and birthdays.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the question now, is it realistic to earn someone's love by buying them lots of shiny things? Bluntly, yes. Mind you, buying lots of crap may not make up for being a boring a-hole, but it helps show that you care. Hell, in a real relationship gifts are expected on anniversaries, holidays and birthdays.

 

It depends on the person/character, really. A nature-worshiping hippie/elf ranger/druid probably wouldn't be pleased by flashy, gaudy, expensive jewelry. And a pampered, spoiled rich girl might just see you as someone to exploit as a result.

Edited by AGX-17
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wanted to sort of voice my opinion on the subject here, little as it may matter. I've played a lot of RPGs in my time, and I always feel like some measure of romance (maybe not even involving the main character) gives the world some sort of texture it would not have otherwise. I've gone through entire games where the protgonist is a silent, unpredictable murderer and is revered by the people solely because he managed to hack his way towards the bad guy and kill him as well. At that point, it doesn't even feel like a role-playing game, more of a medieval slasher simulator (with gear! Wow!). Having the main character display an interest towards someone makes me feel like the game has an actual story. When it's a romantic interest, it puts me in the shoes of a character with personal goals, but maybe some depth of personality as well.

 

That all being said, poorly done relationships ruin the illusion. With an end goal like "sex" or "marriage" (a contemporary example could be Skyrim) the game effectively ends whatever interest you might have in that storyline. In the case of Skyrim, if you have played it you will understand how shallow a marriage system can feel. The "married" NPC is basically removed from the game, and there is almost no reason to pursue conversation with that character ever again. No respectful knight wants to spend a night with some wanting slattern, either. A few lines of dialogue leading into a meaningless, forgotten (and probably unseen) sex scene is a fast way to drop all emotional ties.

 

Frankly, the best of RPGs that included relationships made it a sort of challenge. Have a soft spot for that druid? Well, after she witnessed your spur-of-the-moment dog killing rampage, she might be less enticed to be on good terms with you. Want to get to know the captain of the town guard better? Your criminal record of breaking into houses might have something to say about that. If there is going to to romance or sex, please, please make it meaningful. Let it develop characters. Pester that elf until she gives you the time of day.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't want romances i want simple love and other emotions in da game ... whole argu anout romances is becouse there are some people that think that romance is simple addon like marridge option in skyrim or fable series.

 

I want love to not be just a simple YES or NO option addon that don't change anything in tha game ... i want no romance addons ... i want to se that every decision is significant ... so if i decide that my character in normal conditions will fall in love with some woman in game then i want to fill change ... not kisses or ****ing scenes like in mass effect or dragon age ...

 

I even think that some enginds can be easly trrigerd by thouse interactions ... if you fall in love with someone whole game can end difrently ... if you simply use your companions and don't bother about their feeling or moralyty ending coud be difrent ...

 

I don't want addon romances .... i want multiple endings that includes love, romances, hate, frendship and so on......

 

Love or romances shoud be more narrative like (more talks etc) not egostrocking sexscenes ...

Edited by Ulquiorra

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the most part, I loved the way romance was handled in Dragon Age: Origins.

 

I think I would have tolerated and even enjoyed the DA:O party interactions more if there wasn't a GIANT BLINKING NUMERICAL SCOREBOARD. Seriously, those open scoring systems piss me off to no end. Cheap, patronising, assumes up and down the entire spine of the game that the player is a ****ing stupid socially retarded adolescent and illiterate moron.

 

Um... I did not know anyone here felt so strongly about it. I said I liked it "for the most part," but I also acknowledged that it had its problems and could have been handled better in a lot of ways. I'm sorry it makes you so angry though.

 

To be honest though, if you dislike DA:O's numerical scoreboard, you should just see how it's handled in NWN2: MotB. Much as I love that game, any time you gain or lose influence in cutscene conversations, giant yellow letters would literally flash on screen with (what felt like) a "ding" sound. It was very overt and impossible to ignore. For all DA:O's faults, at least the numerical score would be placed in small letters on the bottom left-hand screen after the conversation is over, rather than in big yellow letters on top of the screen during the conversations themselves.

 

Ooh, I didn't like how you handled the last two quests (-6) but since you're bribing me with this pretty bauble, I'll like you again (+6)!

 

Hey you, party member, I want (A: RENEGADE OPTION! -4 //// B: PARAGON OPTION! +4). Are we good?

 

To be fair, what you are describing sounds like the approval/disapproval meter, which applies to friendships as well as romances. Admittedly, it could have been handled better in DA:O. In fact, relationship meters (for lack of a better term) have their faults in every game. While I personally feel that a companion disagreeing with how you handle some quests should not necessarily prvent them from warming up to you if you do something they like, I agree that simply bribing them with gifts is a bit silly. (Although, the gift-giving is also entirely optional. If we don't want to bribe their approval back, we don't have to.)

 

When I say I like the romance in DA:O, what I mean is that I mostly like the way it was written. Meeting the companion, getting to know them, talking to them, sharing adventures, having multiple romantic dialogue options in every conversation (depending on your character's personality), tailoring the relationship to suit your character. (Is your character the kind to be serious, joking, lovey-dovey, lusty, coy, aggressive? Are they the kind to say "I love you," or have trouble saying it? Are they the kind to suggest sex first, do they wait for the other to bring it up?)

 

Most importantly, I enjoyed not missing out on game content by not romancing them, for the most part. (As in not being able to complete their character arcs if you don't romance them like in Mass Effect, or being put in a situation where they inevitably come onto you and you have to take a huge approval hit by turning them down.) I also like how DA:O doesn't include only one romantic dialogue option per conversation or one relationship type, even if it's not the sort of thing your character would say or do. For example, DA2 forces your character into one type of relationship with your companions. Often Hawke has to say: "I love you," "Move in with me," "Let's sleep together," etc. or be forced to terminate the relationship, even if your character loves them but would not necessarily want to say or do those things at those particular times.

 

Ultimately, it all comes down to personal taste.


"Not I, though. Not I," said the hanging dwarf.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That all being said, poorly done relationships ruin the illusion. With an end goal like "sex" or "marriage" (a contemporary example could be Skyrim) the game effectively ends whatever interest you might have in that storyline. In the case of Skyrim, if you have played it you will understand how shallow a marriage system can feel. The "married" NPC is basically removed from the game, and there is almost no reason to pursue conversation with that character ever again. No respectful knight wants to spend a night with some wanting slattern, either. A few lines of dialogue leading into a meaningless, forgotten (and probably unseen) sex scene is a fast way to drop all emotional ties.

 

I know in Skyrim the protagonist is mostly an empty shell for you to fill. When I learned you could marry in the game I spent a bit trying to figure out who he would marry, it made the empty shell more of a character to role-play. Having just completed the Companion quest line Aela was the most likely candidate, plus she wore war paint (cool points!) and as a follower her archery skills complimented my play style. Then the "marriage" AI took over and her character was gutted, the voice set was different. This person who was cool with you turning into a werewolf and butchering civilians in the woods at night was turned into a shallow and sickeningly sweet house maid. It was just horrible. Better not to have had it than half-ass it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Servant of ASMADI

While I don't know if I can be as eloquent as some of the other posters on this page, I'll do my best to get my own feelings on this topic across.

 

For myself, simply put, I like romance in my fiction. Be in book or movie or game, I like to see the connection between 2 people. As others have done, I can make many logical reasons to back this up.

 

Such as in a mature game that establishes many kinds of relationships with various different characters, not having a romantic one(one of the most important kind to any person) would be somewhat absurd.

 

Or, if I'm roleplaying this character, exploring the world as they would, making decisions based on this characters personality. Interacting with the NPC's and world as they would. Making the choices and suffering the consequences as they would. Through the life of this character and very possibly over the time of the adventure we're undertaking, that character may well take a romantic/sexual interest in someone in that world. Again, this is human nature. And the ability to explore that side of the character should be present.

 

But what it comes down to, is I like romance in my fiction. And judging from the polls I'm not the only one. Though on the boards it also seems we're a little quieter than our opposition...

 

Yes, it has its place. It should be beside the adventure and not get in the way of our epic journey. Although the random banters are really some of the best parts of the baldurs gate games.

 

And yes, the characters should be real. This should go without saying. If I'm playing an obnoxious evil ****, which is sometimes a lot of fun to play, then most every woman should be more keen to stick a fork in my eye than talk to me.

 

But it should be an option.

 

Yes, its not for everyone. Some people feel really weird about it. Thats the fantastic part of a role-playing game, it's your choice.

 

And yes, from what I've seen, Chris Avellone seems to hate the romance sides of the games(I haven't seen the article yet). From a design standpoint it makes a fair bit more writing and again, it's not for everyone. Then please find someone who enjoys it. There's always a few of us. I personally would have tripled my pledge if it meant getting David Gaider on the team. Baldurs Gate 2 handled romances extremely well I thought.

 

lastly, to those who say its not needed. I say neither is in depth character interactions, neither are banters. You could have diablo 4. But that's not a roleplaying game (Sorry, it's not). It's these little things that make a good game great. And that's what I pledged for on kickstarter.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's always a few of us. I personally would have tripled my pledge if it meant getting David Gaider on the team.

 

I wouldn't. Gaider seems too keen on making cinematic experiences than actual games.

Edited by KaineParker
  • Like 3

"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

"...the vote of a black redhead disabled homosexual transsexual Jew should probably be worth the same as at least a hundred white heterosexual Christians."-Rostere

 

"i can think of many women i would gladly sleep with, but not a single one that i would want as a girlfriend/wife... neither real nor fictional."-teknoman2

 

"I'm all for killing dogs in film." - algroth

 

"Iselmyr is the one who did GOMAD... Aloth is lactose intolerant" -ShadySands

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. We are all RPG gamers here. All this hostility on one topic.

The game is going to be moddable, right? There is a lot of talent out there. As a last resort someone will make romance mods. With luck (and a lot of work for a few)they might be good quality.

Somehow I don't see that ending well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Complicated questions you've given me here, guys. I'll try to address them as best as I can. This is going to be long, so I'll cover my answers in spoiler tags to not clutter this thread.

 

 

Regarding the probability of romances being included in PE.

 

It's true that George Ziets will be involved in PE. He's been brought because of fan request, so we can expect that his style will be present in PE's writing. However, do we know just how involved he's going to be? Or what he'll do?

 

Well, we don't know for sure, because that's for Obsidian to handle, and there's overlap between certain areas of design anyway. Fortunately for you, I've been reading several discussions about PE here and in other places for some time, and some people have already done the stalking for me, to find information that could shed some light on what areas everyone will work on. Let's look at it ;)

 

The general ideas about PE were decided before Ziets was on board (he didn't even know what this project was going to be about before it was revealed), and he mentioned that he'll likely do dialogue writing and story, lore develoment and wants to do area design. What I get from this is that character design won't be his main area. He'll help out, there's lots of helping around in team projects, and character writing is something he's good at, but since he came when the project was already started, he probably won't participate much in character design because he's not a lead (and a part of it was already done when he came on board anyway). He'll leave his mark in the end result (which is important because it's what we actually see) and he'll help out with ideas, but he's not really calling the shots.

 

Who's going to do character design, then (since romanceability is a high-level decision)? Avellone said here a while ago how the process usually works: it's usually the Creative Lead the one who decides the high-level stuff and hands it to the writer to flesh it out, or delegates it to other designers. In F:NV, Sawyer was the project director, and he was the one who had that responsibility. In PE, Sawyer is the project director too, so he'll probably have a hand on it here too. Then again, he seems to have his hands full with brand new lore development and new game systems design and story design and all his other duties, so maybe he'll delegate. If you remember the Kickstarter pitch video, when they show the leads of the project, Avellone raves about dialogue writing and characterization and how much he enjoys writing reactive characters and stuff, and he has a blog entry dedicated to characterization tips and tricks he's going to use in PE. With so much focus on characterization in his updates, this makes me think that he's going to have a lot of say in character design: either he's going to co-design characters with Sawyer, or he'll be delegated that part of the job.

 

So, from what I gathered, Avellone is going to play a part in character design, and probably a big part. He's going to be helped by the rest of the team, and there's probably going to be a lot of iterating and refining yet to do. Nothing is certain yet. But the general direction I'm seeing is... not very romance-friendly. Avellone is well known for disliking romances. Not only that, he said here that he wants to look into other kinds of relationships that are not romances. A later interview said (the one I linked earlier, here) that he would not implement romances, and that he'd explore love from a different angle. Combine this with the fact that Sawyer isn't that keen on romances either (F:NV was his project too, and it had no romances), and with the fact that Ziets won't have a lot of influence in character design (and he's more interested in fleshing out the world anyway). Putting all opinions and data together, the global picture I get is that the odds of player romances being included are slim to none, and the chances of happy, life-affirming romances being included (the most well liked) are even lower. You may see this differently, but I see too many signs aligned in the same direction to ignore.

 

With such an uncertain picture for romances, one that is based on hopes and expectations rather than any solid evidence, I'd rather expect no romances and hope to be pleasantly surprised, than expecting romances and feeling disappointed if they end up not being in the game. It's better for the players, for the writers, and for everyone, to adjust your expectations to what you see, and while giving your opinions is important to make sure the devs don't miss anything, they're still the ones who make the decisions. If the final say is that romances are not in, there's not much we can do aside from adjusting our expectations and our emotional investment in the game. I'll do the same if romances do end up included in the final game, by the way.

 

Maybe I should have explained all this before simply giving you that link to Avellone's interview. But as you can understand, it's much faster to provide a link where the creative director of Obsidian stated his intentions regarding romances than explaining my entire thought process, complete with sourced links to all my claims. Hopefully this will help you get across that thick wall of denial some of you have, or maybe we'll still disagree, but at least now I'll feel better knowing that I tried my best to get you to understand where my opinions come from. You know, in case you thought I was jumping to conclusions too early. I think my wall of text proves otherwise.

 

 

 

Regarding design and implementation of romances in PE.

 

I'm really interested in your arguments against the colored part of that and below: http://forums.obsidi...00#entry1275894

The main problem I see with it is that it's just not possible to do well what you suggest unless the character has been designed in a certain way. If we assume that both routes feel equally natural and engaging and satisfying, well, there isn't a lot of characters and relationships that can pull it off properly. You'd have to do a lot of tweaking of the character just so that it can work, you have to focus a good chunk of the -general character content- to make both routes natural (instead of more neutral content that exists independently of you), and there's a lot of restrictions to it that you have to address in order to make everything smooth. Yes, the end result could be good for both sides, but trying to do pull it off is very limiting in the types of characters you can do.

 

In the end, my priorities are like this:

1) Above all, I want good characters. I want them to draw me in the game rather than push me out if they challenge my suspension of disbelief. I want them to add to the overall experience in the game, and to strengthen parts of the narrative (as well as benefit from the narrative themselves). I want each of them to be engaging, internally consistent, and to bring different things to the table, so that everyone has something that makes them memorable. I want them to make me think and reflect about the various parts of the game. Basically, I want them to pretty much fulfill Avellone's list of characterization guidelines, because I like what he said. As long as they fulfill a good amount of elements of this list, I'll be happy.

 

2) I said that I think the bad of the romances outweighs the good, but this means that there is some good to be found in them (others don't think so, but I'm not one of them). If romances were to be included in PE, then I want them to be of the same quality as the rest of the game. I want them to be good. I want them to fulfill the same standards of quality as the rest of the companions, I want them to feel like romances (and not like friendships with a "darling" tacked on at the end, like some people have suggested in the past), and I want the character to mantain consistency all the way through (no do-gooder that falls in love with a sociopath, for example).

 

The problem is, these standards add a lot of complexity and problems to the game. For example, if romances are a worthwhile contribution to the narrative, then I should not be locked out of them because of choices I made that I didn't know that would have this effect (such as "I made a female PC but the only companion in the game with a romance likes guys."). That's bad game design (and that's without entering the equality debate). But removing that restriction would lead to a character that is romanceable by everyone, with no preferences of their own, which removes a lot of flavor of the NPC and has a higher risk of character inconsistency (and unless you make mutability the defining trait of the NPC you're also going to harm the believability of the character, which is a grave sin in fiction). But if we make several romanceables to cover all player options we lose character diversity, because you have to make the characters in a certain way in order to have romance and non-romance routes that feel equal (as I said replying to the quote). And if you sacrifice the standards for romances that I said, then the romances cease to be a good contribution to the game, and nobody wants mediocre content unless you're desperate for it.

 

There is simply no good solution that pleases everyone. Because of this, even though I acknowledge the worth romances can have, I'd prefer them to not be implemented in the game. There's too many problems involved with their inclusion, and I think designing the game without them will produce the most optimal results; not perfect, but the best possible (and as a last resort, a group effort to make good romance mods could produce good results). If the writers of Obsidian still want to try them out, despite everything, then at least I'll know that after all this debate they'll be aware of what they're getting themselves into. I'll still voice my opinions and expectations regarding this topic if they need them, though. That's a good reason to still hang around this thread.

 

Why would locking characters out of content based on their builds be considered bad design? It's not like first-time players are going to be aware of 'optimal' character builds in the first place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally would have tripled my pledge if it meant getting David Gaider on the team. Baldurs Gate 2 handled romances extremely well I thought.

 

David Gaider is a hack, and his writing for DA:O is emblematic of everything that's wrong with writing for computer games, computer role-playing games in particular.

 

lastly, to those who say its not needed. I say neither is in depth character interactions, neither are banters. You could have diablo 4. But that's not a roleplaying game (Sorry, it's not). It's these little things that make a good game great. And that's what I pledged for on kickstarter.

 

That's a false equivalence. In a party based cRPG, hell yes, your interactions and relationships with the party members are a big, big part of the game. I'm opposed to romance options precisely because once you bring it in, especially once you bring in 'romance options', it cheapens all those relationships. You choose which one(s) you want to bang and go after them, and eventully win teh secz. It's a lowest-common-denominator approach to character interaction.

 

Again, IMO the best cRPG romances so far were in Planescape: Torment, and there they were left very much implied, hanging in the air, just out of reach. Which was the key to the whole thing.

 

Simply put, almost always cRPG romance takes away more than it brings in.

  • Like 5

I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why would locking characters out of content based on their builds be considered bad design? It's not like first-time players are going to be aware of 'optimal' character builds in the first place.

Indeed. I actually tend to see the opposite as bad design. Having all content available to all character builds kills replayability and significantly weakens the impact of the choices made by you, the PC. If you carry this train of thought to the extreme you end up with a Bethesda RPG where a magic only character also ends up being a master thief and world renowned two-handed weapons expert.

Edited by BSoda
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I personally would have tripled my pledge if it meant getting David Gaider on the team.

 

Another QED moment from a promancer.

  • Like 1

sonsofgygax.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why would locking characters out of content based on their builds be considered bad design? It's not like first-time players are going to be aware of 'optimal' character builds in the first place.

Indeed. I actually tend to see the opposite as bad design. Having all content available to all character builds kills replayability and significantly weakens the impact of the choices made by you, the PC. If you carry this train of thought to the extreme you end up with a Bethesda RPG where a magic only character also ends up being a master thief and world renowned two-handed weapons expert.

 

This is not what I meant.

 

Locking content is good and awesome, as long as it's what the player wants. As long as it depends on informed choices.

 

In my example, finding out that choosing a certain gender makes romance content inaccessible is not an informed choice. It's a consequence that doesn't logically follow my character build choice, so it feels arbitrary. I mean, I put it right there: "I should not be locked out of them because of choices I made that I didn't know that would have this effect". The bolded part is important.

 

Ideally, choices shouldn't feel arbitrary. They should feel like they have a reason to be there. So, how do you make a romance lockout choice feel like it has a reason to be there? For example, if you chose a playable asexual race (as in, one that doesn't rely on sexual reproduction and is not wired to bond in romantic relationships with others), you could put that in the race description and thus you should expect that romances are out of the question with this PC. That would be good, and as you said, it enhances replayability. Because the player chose that, and got what was expected. In my example, unless the game says at character creation "if you choose this, no romance content for your PC" the player has no way to know that. And if you make the game outright say it, you're emphasizing the arbitrarity of the situation. I think I'm not entirely wrong when I call this kind of solution "bad", since it introduces new problems. That was what I meant in the quoted post.

 

Notice that I'm not saying that unintended or unforeseen consequences are always bad, as they can be pretty great too if you know what you're doing. Maybe that spell had a side effect you didn't intend, but holy crap it was awesome and you're glad you found it (or maybe it wasn't awesome at all, but if you reload you can avoid it without much cost, unlike a choice you made at the beginning of the game). Maybe the narrative pulled a fast one on you, but if it was foreshadowed or otherwise made believable, you can look back and realize that the game had tricked you. These are good surprises, but not so much in my example. How do you foreshadow "if you choose this certain gender/race that has no inherent romantic restrictions, no content for you" without outright telling the player that? And if you do, what do you do when the players point out that they've had content excluded from their preferred choice for no logical reason?

 

Look, my point is this: no matter how you do it, including romances brings others problems to the table too. Maybe you'd prefer having all these problems rather than having no romances at all. Many people would rather choose the opposite. It's no wonder we disagree. But at least I hope I made my point that yes, these are problems, and yes, they are caused by romances. What to do with them or how important they are is a decision for the devs, not for us.

 

The only thing that could help them is giving them context for why I think this or that, and hope that they're as well informed as they can be when they have to choose. Maybe you could try to do the same, and give examples of what you enjoyed and why, what you consider good implementations and why, or possible solutions to many of the perceived problems that romances bring to the table. It'll be more productive than what we're doing now, anyway.

Edited by Lurky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In no way shape or form would I want the game to tell me anything about the companions, their personalities or even something so insignificant as their sexual orientation, before i've even met them. The companions are an essential part of Obsidian games, interacting with them and exploring their characters is one of the greatest parts pf the experience, and should not be sullied with a label telling you that you can engage in a few minutes of virtual hanky panky with said individual. That's an absolutely horrible idea.

 

There's nothing wrong with denying content to the player, in fact i'd encourage it. Helps replayability and makes your choices have consequences, rather than handing everything to the player for fear he will be denied the smallest amount of content. For me that undermines the whole believability of the world, and produces endless linear grey corridors.

Edited by Nonek
  • Like 3

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure if you're answering me, but just in case, I agree with you Nonek.

 

In no way shape or form would I want the game to tell me anything about the companions, their personalities or even something so insignificant as their sexual orientation, before i've even met them. The companions are an essential part of Obsidian games, interacting with them and exploring their characters is one of the greatest parts pf the experience, and should not be sullied with a label telling you that you can engage in a few minutes of virtual hanky panky with said individual. That's an absolutely horrible idea.

Yeah, what I said was not a good solution. It was more to ilustrate that there is no good solution. Still, thanks for pointing out another reason why it's bad :)

 

I'm fairly certain that some people would like something like what you said, though. They're probably the same kind of people who search on the Internet the romance options of Bioware games before playing, or read guides for dating sims.

 

There's nothing wrong with denying content to the player, in fact i'd encourage it. Helps replayability and makes your choices have consequences, rather than handing everything to the player for fear he will be denied the smallest amount of content. For me that undermines the whole believability of the world, and produces endless linear grey corridors.

 

Yeah, I don't think anyone here wants PE to have the reactivity of Skyrim.

 

My last post doesn't contradict what you said, either. Of course content should be locked to certain choices. I simply added the caveat that content should not be locked for reasons that feel arbitrary or illogical. I mean, you can still do it, and you'll still have replayability, but if there's no logical reason why certain content is locked away then it's kind of a poor way to do it IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...