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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


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I myself am not in the "Anti-Romancer" camp, I sit quite firmly on the fence, trying to see the positives and negatives - Options can be a huge positive, offering opportunity to the more picky players. But it can easily become a negative, especially if it's coupled with other failings. Romance itself requires a very delicate balance, but the expectations of romance coupled with the reasonable number of four options could quite easily be the downfall of character interactions and integrity.

For me, romance is just another form of deep relationship you can have with your companions in an RPG, and saying 'no' to romance is basically saying 'no' to the relationships which started to appear in Baldur's Gate 2 as opposed to Baldur's Gate.

 

Edit: Don't take this the wrong way or anything, but I have to admit that I find it quite funny how you used Baldur's Gate 2 as an example, considering not only the insanely large number of available followers, but the fact there weren't really any "options". Not for Lady-Players at least. *Grin*

 

Yes, I am aware that Baldur's Gate 2 isn't exactly the best example, but for me it's the same template, they just hadn't worked out some of the kinks yet. For all we know, they planned for more men to romance (Valygar and Haerd'Alis are prime candidates), but were cut short because of time constraints.

 

Also, "insanely large number of characters" :grin: ? Baldur's Gate had easily twice as much companions to choose from, but Baldur's Gate 2 is when the Bioware designers realized that quality should be preferred to quantity.

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For me, romance is just another form of deep relationship you can have with your companions in an RPG.

That's the problem a lot of people have though - Romance isn't "just another relationship", not anymore. It has become so important, so all encompassing and piled with so many expectations that it now tends to overshadow all other forms of Player/NPC relationships and that's why so many people have problems with it. Bioware games are an excellent example, though not the only example, of this - Romance receives more content and, while it might be strictly "romantic content", it's still an unfair distribution of character interaction (they've even linked serious character evolution to their romantic dialogues on occasion).

 

Romances aren't more important than any other form of relationship. They don't mean more than friendships or rivalries, they aren't worth more than platonic love or blatant antagonism. All relationships are different, but they're all equally wonderful and they all deserve the same treatment. Yet somehow romances rise above this, they're held in the highest regard and given the greatest treatment - bonus conversations, more content, more interaction - they are given everything that grants them a greater sum of content, more content than any other form of relationship. It's unfair no matter how you look at it, and a lot of people have a problem with it (rightly so).

 

This hasn't always been the case - though from my experience, Baldur's Gate 2 also offered a great deal more content to romantically involved characters than it did to platonic relationships - but it's the modern expectation that people now apply to romance. It's become important, it somehow deserves more and the people that choose to pursue it, for some reason or another, seem to believe that's perfectly okay. It isn't - No one should be deprived any major character interactions or character evolution simply because they choose not to pursue a romance.

 

If the relationships were fair and well balanced then I imagine a lot of people would simply go about their business, choosing to pursue the relationships that they would prefer - whether it's a romantic relationship with a Sexy Paladin or an unhealthy love of Bloody Giblets. But things aren't balanced, they aren't fair. Friendships, rivalries, bloody giblet obsessions and all other relationships often suffer at the hands of romance and a lot of people understandably have a problem with that.

 

I understand that it's a topic that will never reach an agreement, but I think it's vital that people try to understand each other on this - Both sides have perfectly valid arguments for, and against, romantic inclusions. It's the reason I try to keep open-minded about it.

Edited by Sylvanpyxie
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QFT:

 

To be entirely honest, I tend to enjoy them, but half of the nerdy pleasure I derive has to do with what non-romanceables lack. In general, characters that aren't being romanced have fewer dialogues, and aren't explored to the same depth.

 

One of the *many* reasons why romances gargle donkey sick.

 

I don't follow... character depth is bad? Is that the reason to which you're referring?

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

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David Gaider made some good points in that linked post. Going through his tumblr I also found this: on the origin of romances, and the line of thinking that led to them becoming more prominent. It's good for perspective, and it's true that romances invoke visceral feelings. Which is a huge reason why they're so delicate, and why they should be handled with extreme caution. You don't want visceral feelings to blow up on your face, or you end up having things like the fan campaigns to "Retake Mass Effect 3".

 

Another thing: he admits that romances really are Bioware's Thing, something that makes them stand out. They are not Obsidian's Thing, which means that PE shouldn't really be held to the same expectations. It's good to remember that little fact.

 

Having said that...

 

For me, 'too many love interests' is a discrete thing, not a percentile thing.

 

Gaider said this:

 

As soon as the player is aware it’s possible, you are in fact encouraging them towards a certain type of behavior [...] doing it to all characters equally would still make them be viewed as potential romances and thus change how the player related to them.

 

If that's the case, wouldn't that mean that having a large percentage of potential romances could also affect how the player perceived and related to the companions? If a majority of companions were romanceable, that would become the norm of party relationships the player can have, and the pressure would be on the non-romanceable characters to follow the norm. I'm certain I've seen a lot of posts on the internet whining about the non-romanceable status of Aveline and Varric, compared to posts that simply discuss their characters.

 

So yes, percentages and relative measures matter, and they do affect player perception. Even if it's not quite as conspicuous as a full romanceable party, "too many love interests" is a percentile thing. Just like "romance content is unbalanced" could be seen as a relative measure thing too; even if romances only add a few lines and a scene or two, it's always a bigger amount of content compared to non-romance paths (since it's added on top), so it feels unfair. If it can affect player perception like that, it counts.

Edited by Lurky
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QFT:

 

To be entirely honest, I tend to enjoy them, but half of the nerdy pleasure I derive has to do with what non-romanceables lack. In general, characters that aren't being romanced have fewer dialogues, and aren't explored to the same depth.

 

One of the *many* reasons why romances gargle donkey sick.

 

I don't follow... character depth is bad? Is that the reason to which you're referring?

 

I believe he's referring to romantic character depth existing at the expense of having non-romantic character depth. In short, the player gets short changed in terms of a responsive and interesting NPC if they don't follow the romance path (or worse, that non-romancable NPCs have very little character development also)

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Reading through the pages of this thread, I get an impression from the No!mance crowd: romantic interaction wasn't done well in other games they've played, devs say it's difficult to include and/or fluff, and who wants that kind of thing anyway? Not them! Not the majority! Not anyone! (according to them)

 

Constant reminders of previous disappointments... insistence on dark predicions of the future... seeing any opposing arguments in a totally negative light...

 

These people are heartbroken! They went into games like DA and ME with innocent eyes and high expectations for character interaction and were betrayed. The numerical influence system punched them in the gut. The 'final battle is coming, might as well shag' scene trampled on their feelings.

 

I see Anti-mancers as being in the aftermath of a bad breakup. Everything before was terrible, even though many (maybe even they themselves) liked it/didn't mind it at the time. Things can never improve in the future. Life is pain, etc.

 

Maybe I'm just a naturally optimistic person. Or even worse... a romantic! Still, I believe that romance CAN be done well in a video game, and moreover WILL be done well in some future game. That game may be P:E or it may not. But no idea is truly impossible unless you give up on it.

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Reading through the pages of this thread, I get an impression from the No!mance crowd: romantic interaction wasn't done well in other games they've played, devs say it's difficult to include and/or fluff, and who wants that kind of thing anyway? Not them! Not the majority! Not anyone! (according to them)

 

Constant reminders of previous disappointments... insistence on dark predicions of the future... seeing any opposing arguments in a totally negative light...

 

These people are heartbroken! They went into games like DA and ME with innocent eyes and high expectations for character interaction and were betrayed. The numerical influence system punched them in the gut. The 'final battle is coming, might as well shag' scene trampled on their feelings.

 

I see Anti-mancers as being in the aftermath of a bad breakup. Everything before was terrible, even though many (maybe even they themselves) liked it/didn't mind it at the time. Things can never improve in the future. Life is pain, etc.

 

Maybe I'm just a naturally optimistic person. Or even worse... a romantic! Still, I believe that romance CAN be done well in a video game, and moreover WILL be done well in some future game. That game may be P:E or it may not. But no idea is truly impossible unless you give up on it.

 

Or maybe you're just condescending by essentially calling everyone with a different opinion an emo kid.

I'd argue the anti-mancers propably have more to laugh about in this thread than the pro-mancers.

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For those new to the forum/topic, here's a few example points of discussion (but not limited to):

  • What type of dynamic, complex character relationships are important to your gaming experience, if any?
  • If you enjoy romances in games, what type of plots do you enjoy or dislike (tragic, happy ending, marriage/family)?
  • What romance or relationship arcs from other games did you personally enjoy that can serve as examples?
  • Do you have any particular, preferred game mechanics for romance/relationships that you'd like to see included (optional questlines, dialogue, cutscenes)?

 

 

Let me just start off by citing games where the protagonist has romance in them.

 

The JRPGs

  • Final Fantasy X, Persona 4, Ar Tonelico series

- Final Fantasy X is heavily filled with cutscenes and graphically impressive during it's time. The role playing is pretty much limited to Tidus perspective as he travels around the world, Spira, with the characters he met there. At the start of the game, Tidus is portrayed as a bit whiny and shallow at the start, but over the journey that he had in Spira as a guardian for Yuna, his growth and eventual fate is ultimately satisfying to me. FFX has one of the most memorable romance ending that I don't think I'll ever forget. (FFX-2 is a travesty.)

 

- I personally played persona 3 and 4, and the romance aspect is considerably light. But I enjoyed it over most of the Bioware romances for some reason, and an example would be the Mass Effect series. I think most importantly the characters are suddenly tacked on with a Male/Male option in ME3, or why suddenly Garrus is your new pursuable, or the other reptile alien... Persona games have been a simple click and choose the correct option in dialogues to improve relationship points, but the characters are well written with a cohesive plot overall. It's enjoyable enough to get a 9.0 score from both critics and users.

 

 

- Ar Tonelico is a JRPG with the romance aspect taking up a relatively big part of the game. It's probably well known for being, well I quote from IGN,

 

"The Ar Tonelico series is well known for its rampant innuendos, scantily clad heroines, and overarching love stories that span epic narratives."

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoODv8LVib8

 

I had a few silly giggles over this, but I did enjoy Ar Tonelico overall.

 

The Western games

  • Max Payne 2, KOTOR 2, Bastion (indie game)

- Max Payne 2 romance aspect comes in the type of Noir. Bleak, dark settings with a cynical protagonist. It defied my idea of romance when I first played it. It wasn't the sappy type or the heart-moving romances, but one that came across like a breeze and then suddenly vanished. That love ended tragically and quickly.

 

 

- KOTOR 2. I believe it was the restored mod that sparked the Atton's and disciple's fight for the Exile's love? At the time I thought that it was refreshing to play as a female and seeing the dark love side. All very subtle, and I think many people appreciated the romance in KOTOR 2 over 1.

 

- Bastion. The romance with bastion isn't love between people. The definition to romance is not limited to one.

 

1) A strong, sometimes short-lived attachment, fascination, or enthusiasm for something.

2) A mysterious or fascinating quality or appeal, as of something adventurous, heroic, or strangely beautiful.

3) A long fictitious tale of heroes and extraordinary or mysterious events, usually set in a distant time or place.

 

To me, Bastion's ending can only be described as romantically involved with the player. The final choice is in your hands and either endings can only be seen as sublime.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TSpJkkm1vg

 

 

Project Eternity is a CRPG that's probably going to resemble Baldur's gate a lot, or so I heard (infinity engine). I for one, can't really enjoy that top down view, after playing KOTOR 1 and beyond, but I hope I can at least try to enjoy PE.

 

There are so many games out there that doesn't end up with a simple Guy Chases Girl And Gets Laid, but Infinity Engine + Romance? Not too sure about that. I didn't enjoy all the previous romances in Planescape torment and baldur gates (no cutscenes hurt the romance), sadly. Not in Neverwinter nights 2 (cheese) as well, while MOTB is barely passable. It's quite likely the medieval settings will not help out either (I don't really like the antiquated speech). KOTOR series are okay in my opinion.

 

So unless the developers are certain that their romance writing skills are up to par and it will further the quality of the game itself (and please at least have cutscenes instead of static dialogue, if the devs decide to do it)...

 

PS: With the 4 million budget... I don't really see the point of having romance. If PE 2 comes out with a bigger budget and longer development phase, then I'll be interested in romance. Otherwise I prefer no romance to badly written romance.

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Am I the only person who thinks that romances are just another type of relationship and they don't make or break a game? Obsidian isn't Bioware, if romances are in the game, other relationships will get plenty of attention as well, if they are not, the characters will still be well written and complex. Half the people here need to just chill the **** out.

 

Romance, like ANY GOOD relationship, should be written with the intention of allowing roleplaying, serving a thematic purpose, and providing one route for character development(there should always be an alternative). They should not break the NPC's character simply for the purpose of letting the player get what they want(I don't want to get into the whole **** to pixels thing again) or be the only possible relationship(or contain a much larger share of content than other relationships).

 

 

 

Or maybe you're just condescending by essentially calling everyone with a different opinion an emo kid.

I'd argue the anti-mancers propably have more to laugh about in this thread than the pro-mancers.

 

IMO, pretty much anyone who is strongly anti or pro romance comes off as unreasonable at best. I especially loved it a while back when they started calling each other the same thing(emotionally stunted IIRC).

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Sometimes the best romances are the ones that never happen. Take "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" for example. Maybe people would describe it as a martial arts movie. I like to think of it as a love story. *Two* love stories in fact. But it's the two main characters, Master Li Mu Bai and Yu Shu Lien, who are in love with one another, but due to a strong sense of tradition and circumstance, never fulfill that desire. It's heartbreaking to see it unfold because it's so near and yet so far.

 

I would welcome something like this in P:E.

Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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Sometimes the best romances are the ones that never happen. Take "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" for example. Maybe people would describe it as a martial arts movie. I like to think of it as a love story. *Two* love stories in fact. But it's the two main characters, Master Li Mu Bai and Yu Shu Lien, who are in love with one another, but due to a strong sense of tradition and circumstance, never fulfill that desire. It's heartbreaking to see it unfold because it's so near and yet so far.

 

I would welcome something like this in P:E.

 

I really need to watch that again, cuz all I remember is folks walking on trees and beating the snot out of each other with rice flails.

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I'm a little puzzled that he seems to be arguing against the way he himself handled romance in the DA and ME series. All the companions in ME were romance options as far as I can remember. Same for DA2, right? BioWare, and Gaider specifically, are basically the poster-child for pandering wish-fulfillment fantasies.

I never played the game, but I thought there were only three romanceable companions in ME : a man and woman who were heterosexual, and an alien who was omni-sexual in almost every way, so two romance options by gender of the main character.

 

And if anything, Obsidian is guiltier than Bioware on that topic if only for the inclusion of Scarlett as a romance option in Alpha Protocol : she panders to a lot of wish-fulfillment fantasy with her fiery red-head who's also an intrepid reporter status, and the main mechanic of her romance is gift-giving, a mechanic which was disqualified when Dragon Age went too far with it!

 

I sometimes feel like Bioware's love of romance is really, really overblown by everyone.

You're right in the case of ME1, but all of the recurring companions were romances in 2 & 3. Obviously Gaider isn't the main shot caller over there, but what he's preaching against is exactly what he's been doing for the past three Bioware games, at least (disregarding ToR).

 

As for Alpha Protocol / Obsidian, I think there are a few points in their favor. 1) that's one game, not a recurring and escalating trend like with Bioware, 2) you could fail the sweet talk and not get sex, instead of Bioware's ([flirty/nice/not-evil dialogue choice]*10 = sex) formula, 3) the girls' character arcs didn't end after sex, 4) it was seduction, not romance, which fit nicely with the games theme and mechanics, and 5) the writing was solid.

 

I think you're absolutely right that Bioware's implementation of romance is overblown. The problem is that a lot of that is positive overblowing, and it seems to be pushing Bioware to keep upping the romance content at the expense of other content. At this point I would honestly prefer them to just make a romance game and do it right, instead of making mediocre ARPGs with romance sidequests.

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Having played Alpha Protocol, I now want a "I'm not interested, go away." dialog option. If only for the love interests and the final boss (though more couldn't hurt, I liked telling Annoymen that I was evil back in BG2).

 

*Love interest slides up to PC* "What are you doing? No koffiekoeken for you."

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However when each time you make a game isn't it natural to expand upon the material and outdo previous examples? The romances in Baldurs Gate 2 were very slick in that they could be ongoing from beginning to end not merely one-night stands; something lacking in latter games. Only the Mass Effect series/ DA series carried this continuity to my knowledge, but M.E. blew it (unintentional pun) by increasing the available partners and then throwing that inexplicable finale at the players (I am really trying not to go ballistic about that ending, it left me numb for hours and not in a good way).

 

It is also natural for the romances to increase the depth of characters as most people aren't likely to open up their deepest secrets to a new acquaintance; a lover however ...

I'd personally like to see more as it adds to the experience for me. Baldurs Gate 2 style with enhanced interactivity and a bit of a softer touch in regards to dialogue: one wrong answer to question should not completely derail a relationship ... it should just make it a trifle rocky. In short romance, yes as long as it adds to the re-playability of the game and depth of the setting and characters. Note character(s) as romance should at least influence the story if not entirely change how some incidents play out.

 

Example: main character falls into crevasse alone or Love Interest in a frantic attempt to save MC falls down as well. Depending on individual personality a more self involved LI may hesitate, recklessly jump in afterwards or try to climb down but get stuck there. Something like the Bohdi event near the end of Baldurs Gate 2: Shadows of Amn only more varied and scattered throughout the game.

 

Also please no late-term pregnancy/childbirth/babysitting on the road/in combat ala Aerie in BG:TOB. We know kids happen unexpectedly. Only a negligent person carries an infant into a sword fight.

 

Also romance should have an initial (stop here) dialogue and also a further (lets just be friends) one available to cancel a romance outside of scripted dialogue. I don't use it but better to have it and not need it ...

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If I must definine myself , on this topic then I need to say I am anti-romancer , that said I am not exactly complitly against it being implementen, but I feel that if it should be implemented , for it to be good it the whole romantic sub-plot or rather quest , needs to be complitly remade from scrachtes.

First thing, there should be complitly new character who is created only for the sake, of romantic sub plot, also this character shoudn't be part of adventuring group, why because in most cases when characters becomes romancable, it complitly destroyes it's identity and change it to meerly a love interest, it hits especially hard female characters. By making a character that isn't part of adventuring team , who is created just for romances there is no risk of destroing character of companions, and it allows RQ to be complitly ignored if player doesn't wish to complit it with no harm for character development, and for story, also it will allow to dodge situation when every one falls in love just becaus you are nice to him.

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My views on romances.

 

1) Obvious but i'm restating it anyway, don't make every character bisexual.

 

2) Quality over quantity

 

3) VO is not essential however text can be easily misinterpreted without the context of tone, therefore if it is text based please indicate to me whether that was a saracastic remark or if the npc is just incredibly naive.

 

4) No softcore sex scenes, I don't mind the fade to black implied sex (as long as it doesn't come with 50 shades of grey dialogue) 

 

5) Please make an effort to represent it in a real form and not just lovey dovey pandering and ego stroking, i.e. whilst there is obviously an element of cheesyness to any romance there are also arguments, fights, jealousy, betrayal etc.. 

 

6) Sometimes there is no "right" answer, loaded questions etc.. would be nice to see a situation where lying appears to be the nicest approach but has repercussins further on down the line.

 

7) Again obvious but no DA:O gift giving mechanic, that was ****ing stupid

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I'm all for complex pc-npc relationships, romance with or without sex included.

 

By the way, choosing to create your whole party via Adventurer's Hall will disable any kind of inter-party interactions since all party members are PC-controlled, right?

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By the way, choosing to create your whole party via Adventurer's Hall will disable any kind of inter-party interactions since all party members are PC-controlled, right?

That's a big unknown. As for me, if all I'm missing out on by creating my own characters is some romance, I think I'll make a point by never taking any companions. trolololol
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So this is still a thing, huh? Just don't make MCA do any of it and it should turn out workable enough, if they go ahead with it. Also if they decide to add romance, they should get Avellone drunk before telling him they're going ahead with it and livestream it or record it and upload it to youtube just so we can see his (hopefully hilarious) reaction.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So this is still a thing, huh? Just don't make MCA do any of it and it should turn out workable enough, if they go ahead with it. Also if they decide to add romance, they should get Avellone drunk before telling him they're going ahead with it and livestream it or record it and upload it to youtube just so we can see his (hopefully hilarious) reaction.

Aww cmon, they should get him to do at least one romance. That way on my third playthough I'll have a delightfully twisted relationship to go through.

"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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My thoughts on Gaider's post:

 

1) Romances are a side show, not the main game. Yes, some people like them a lot, and I have absolutely no beef with them doing so. In fact, it’s very gratifying. While I suppose a game could be made where the romantic plot takes a level of importance equal to that of the critical path, that has never been the case with the games BioWare makes. These plots are tertiary, optional content… something to add to your enjoyment, and add to your level of emotional investment in the characters… and that seems to get forgotten when people discuss it at length.

 

Such is the case whenever any piece of content gets discussed online. Under a microscope, whatever you’re discussing seems like all there is… and thus is clearly the most important thing ever. I cannot do that. I always have to keep my eye on the bigger picture, and there is an entire rest of the game that needs to be contended with… which includes a lot of elements that have much more pertinence to the game than who someone does or doesn’t get to have sex with. Romances are a nice extra, and naturally we’re always going to struggle with how to do them right, but they’re well down the list on things I need to concern myself with. I could, in fact, happily have a game without any romances at all… or spend an equal amount of time developing relationships with followers that are non-romantic. Occasionally the focus on romances reaches such a fever pitch that idea seems rather attractive, actually. But only occasionally.

 

This is the standard 'romances are secondary content' response we see from developers. Yet, the problem with Gaider making this argument is that not only have character romances become one of Bioware's main selling features, and the source of a lot of their publicity, but Gaider was responding to a 'in a perfect world' scenario of infinite resources, rendering the cost:benefit ratio moot.

 

2) I dislike the idea of every character being sexually available to the player. Not that it cheapens them, necessarily, but it would lend itself towards their objectification. Take the first Witcher game, for instance— I enjoyed many things about that game, but the collectible sex card mechanic? Ultimately it rendered every female character in the game into a puzzle to be solved. What do I do to sleep with them? How do I get their card? Yes, you can ignore the mechanic (I certainly tried, even though I ended up sleeping with several characters purely by accident) but having the mechanic in the first place necessitates a difference in how they are approached, both from a writing and implementation standpoint. As soon as the player is aware it’s possible, you are in fact encouraging them towards a certain type of behavior. Even ignoring the awkwardness of doing that solely to female characters, doing it to all characters equally would still make them be viewed as potential romances and thus change how the player related to them.

 

There's a lot to agree with in this paragraph, but the idea that sex = objectification is a rather blatant invocation of contemporary liberal feminist ideology, which I find out of place in the bulk of RPG settings. That this sort of talk is a de facto standard of the AAA gaming industry makes us think that the industry has not yet evolved to a stage in which it is capable of releasing a SoIF - and indeed not even a Spartacus. Game publishers are too afraid to do what TV studios have been doing for decades, which given that TV studios are themselves afraid to push the censors, puts them at the bottom of the pile. To me, this says that the attitude of 'video games are for children' persists against changing demographics - the average people playing games these days are in their 20s and 30s - and isn't going away. Ultimately, this makes it difficult for the gaming industry to break out of its kid's box to become a capable medium for aesthetic expression and mature entertainment. 

 

I would, however, resist making the romance elements of our games more prominent without also changing the nature of that content. Adding an element of failure, for instance, or by having not all characters be available to all player characters (they’re attracted only to certain types, for instance). Adding different types of romance: tragic romances, romances where your partner cheats on you, romances where the character is already involved in another relationship, characters that don’t know how to relate to someone else on a romantic level or aren’t interested in such. It needn’t all be unhappy, of course, but were I to cross the threshold of making all followers possible to romance I’d at least want to change the approach into something more plausible. To me, the idea that a player should get their followers and then simply select one or more companions to be their romance, and that romance is their cuddly bunny for the entirety of the game and plays out exactly as they wish, would be the worst of both worlds. It would be wish fulfillment on a level that reduced the characters into romantic playthings— sex dolls, really. And I have no interest in creating that, even if there are people who think it’d be grand.

 

I do not understand why Gaider thinks that 'plausible romance' ought to be implemented only when Bioware starts making all followers romanceable, instead of the 70-80% romanceability they already reach. Further, is he saying that he's making 'cuddly bunnies' and 'sex dolls' in the current batch of Bioware games because he has limited choice as to the amount of followers he's able to make romanceable?

 

Would doing romances in that way actually be popular? Probably not. Take the resolution of the Thane romance arc in ME3, for instance. There are people who did (and still do) think that, having selected Thane as their romance, they should have been able to cure him of his illness and make everything better. Why? Because he’s their romance, and they’re entitled to have it be a happy one. Regardless of whether you think they are justified in feeling so, they do. I don’t think plausibility is really what they’re looking for.

 

So that would leave us at an impasse… some might appreciate such an approach, and some might even enjoy the stories, but I suspect many who are looking for romance in their story are hoping for something more fulfilling… and would likely be put out if their choice ended up getting the short end of the stick (from their point of view) compared to some of the other romances. The discussion would change from “oh! I get to romance this character?” to comparisons with other romances and assurances that, because their character didn’t work out as they envisioned it, that must be because they’re not “legitimate” choices.

 

So, no, I’m quite fine with selecting a few characters and having them be romantic options and letting the rest be simply what they are. My preference is that the romances cover a range of styles and sexualities as evenly as we can, and that they have comparable levels of content, and leave it at that. If someone doesn’t find something to their liking in that particular game, chances are we’ll have a whole different batch in the next game (I do find it rather amusing how people always assume we’ll write exactly the same characters in the next game as the current one— even though we never have, the assumption is the same after every game). In the meantime, there are hopefully friendships and rivalries among the followers that you can develop, and reasons to appreciate each of them beyond whether they can be sexed to your liking, as well as that whole other thing we wrote.

 

Having said several times, earlier, that he's against 'wish fulfillment on a level that reduced the characters into romantic playthings' and that 'I have no interest in creating that, even if there are people who think it’d be grand,' Gaider's surrender to player desire and status quo in these two paragraphs contradicts his own attitude towards character writing. It's the equivalent of going on a grand and lofty diatribe about one's ideals, only to end exactly where one began with a clumsy rhetoric of 'popular wisdom': a disappointingly defeatist attitude.

Edited by Azarkon

There are doors

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for me romance is the point i read stories and play games, of a game doesn't have a romance subplot that can't be explored even if it is optional then i have no interest. the thing about the romance is that i want to care about what is going to happen and i want to make decisions based around protecting the love interest here and there, having kids etc. as long as it is well written it's fine, and as long as it is in the game.

ANIME!!!!!

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Romances. A tiny part of BG2. Tiny.

 

So, you said that. A tiny part of game. Worth very little in development hours. And how much exactly does it add to gameplay?

Many that played BG2 will firstly remember their romances, then other companions, and only then general plot - baalspawn, etc. Majority, i dare to say.

If it works so good - why not to consider spending a little more effort this way? Twice or trice more text than in BGs(1,2,TOB) would be absolutely great and enough.

Why do most people remember the romanceables over other charavters? Because they had more INTERACTION! It is because the other characters were neglected in developing their interacterability with the main character in favor of titillating the player instead. If the other relationships had been developed as much as the romances then you would have their characters remembered as much. In fact: Sarevok! He was not romanceable yet he was the most memorable character in ToB because he was more interactive and fleshed out! And the lack of interactivity with Imoen, your sister, was criminal!

 

I made the same mistake you did, thinking that the romances added immersion because the other characters lacked interaction. And romance actually detracts from interaction, since in order to interact woth them you need to bone them, which prevents interaction with others and requires those who don't want to romance to have to shove their **** in someone just to get some conversation.

 

I say sort out all the other possible interactions first them stuff a romance in at the end if there's time and it fits with the character's personality (last bit is vital, no personality breaks just to make them boneable).

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Oh god this is still a thing?

 

Personally I do enjoy romances in RPGs as they are simply another means to help define my character and enhance the roleplaying experience. However if including romances creates the same insane culture that now surrounds the Bioware fanbase than I sure as hell want none of that for Project Eternity.

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So I got to thinking, one relationship I would love to see is an intense rivalry. I think that having a character driven by the desire to best the PC at X would be quite cool. What would make it even better is if it could be a friendly rivalry or a bitter one depending on the PC's interactions with the NPC. I think having multiple sub-types of a relationship would be a nice break from a binary choice of friendly or unfriendly.

 

Also try to make all relationships have plenty of content.

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