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Romance  

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  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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Ah, but you probably won't miss out on much if you toggle food off. No romances OTOH will possibly bereave you of mucho content.

 

But if it's "content" that people are voting against existing to begin with, who gives a ****? If you don't want romance options, turn them off. If you don't want romance options in the game because you're afraid if you have the option you'll be compelled to leave them on, then you voted wrong.

"When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him." - Jonathan Swift

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But if it's "content" that people are voting against existing to begin with, who gives a ****?

 

I'm not voting against romances in general, but against sappy writing. I'm especially not voting against quests that result from romance/ from having a certain character in the party, because that would make me tolerate any bad writing that may come with it.

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But if it's "content" that people are voting against existing to begin with, who gives a ****? If you don't want romance options, turn them off. If you don't want romance options in the game because you're afraid if you have the option you'll be compelled to leave them on, then you voted wrong.

"I don't want to do them" is not the real reason why there's opposition to romances.

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If you find breathing is a chore that takes much effort mebbe stop it?

Well, just as I expected ) You simply have no idea on how important the right way of breathing during the battle. Do it wrong and you'll be dead in a minute. And if to consider stealth? Unable to manage your breath - and you are completely revealed yourself. Could you ever imagine mage citing spells after fast run without proper control on his breath? (should resort to spells without vocal part if he fails to manage his breath, quite an interesting gameplay feature, I'd say)

 

Would you provide any reasons to implement general plot line and not to implement such crucial to every aspect of game feature as breathing? Or couldn't you answer your question totally in your terms for some reason?

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"I don't want to do them" is not the real reason why there's opposition to romances.

 

What is it, then? Maybe I'm dense, but it seems like a simple issue with simple solutions available to me.

"When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him." - Jonathan Swift

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Well, just as I expected ) You simply have no idea on how important the right way of breathing during the battle. Do it wrong and you'll be dead in a minute.

 

Yes, especially if you stop it altogether. Also nerd rage

 

And if to consider stealth? Unable to manage your breath - and you are completely revealed yourself. Could you ever imagine mage citing spells after fast run without proper control on his breath? (should resort to spells without vocal part if he fails to manage his breath, quite an interesting gameplay feature, I'd say)

 

Would you provide any reasons to implement general plot line and not to implement such crucial to every aspect of game feature as breathing? Or couldn't you answer your question totally in your terms for some reason?

 

It boils down to this:

 

- add food: increases realism and is an enjoyable mechanic to micro-manage for some people

 

this does not at all exclude adding further elements where this is also true. I've already mentioned several ways to implement a food mechanic that I'd like/ wouldn't mind having in the game. Now you can do the same for breathing and heartbeat. Hav fun!

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If you find breathing is a chore that takes much effort mebbe stop it?

Well, just as I expected ) You simply have no idea on how important the right way of breathing during the battle. Do it wrong and you'll be dead in a minute.

Well aren't you a master of battle knowledge? NO.

 

While fighting the breathing must be as natural as possible. There is no right or wrong, that is different than what's best anywhere else. But of course you are a master of battle arts right? :rolleyes:

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"I don't want to do them" is not the real reason why there's opposition to romances.

 

What is it, then? Maybe I'm dense, but it seems like a simple issue with simple solutions available to me.

 

Well, not everyone has the same reasons, but the most common are:

 

1) The existence of romances in PE means that a certain demographic of people overly obsessed with romances will be attracted to PE and to these forums, bringing their habits and expectations with them. Did you see this post at page 2 of this thread? Those posts from the BSN aren't outliers, because many topics found there are just that romance-focused. Many people don't want the Obsidian forums to resemble the BSN.

 

2) The existence of romances in PE leads to sacrifices in character design that many people don't want to see. I wrote a post explaining the biggest ones here, if you're interested (it's really long and not really that detailed, but hey, this topic has been going for a while).

 

3) Even if you minimize the sacrifices in character design, far too many times there's problems with the implementation too. Ieo voiced here the impact romances can have on companion content. Sylvanpyxie wrote some good posts here and here about her experiences with romanceable characters, and she's not even against romances anyway!

 

There may be more, but I already gave you a bunch of stuff to read. I know that's a lot to throw at your face, but bear in mind that this is a long running topic. A lot of stuff has been said about romances already. Might as well try to be up-to-date with the discussion :)

Edited by Lurky
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Generally as much as possible. ^^

I don't really see a function with independent sex, but for romance and friendship I think dialogues and quest-lines would be splendid. Prefferably with some effect on the actual game.*

 

*See for example D.A.O. where good relations with your companions will make them help you more, as well as trust you further, giving you access to side-quests sprung from, but not related to the relationship.

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"I don't want to do them" is not the real reason why there's opposition to romances.

 

What is it, then? Maybe I'm dense, but it seems like a simple issue with simple solutions available to me.

 

Well, not everyone has the same reasons, but the most common are:

 

1) The existence of romances in PE means that a certain demographic of people overly obsessed with romances will be attracted to PE and to these forums, bringing their habits and expectations with them. Did you see this post at page 2 of this thread? Those posts from the BSN aren't outliers, because many topics found there are just that romance-focused. Many people don't want the Obsidian forums to resemble the BSN.

 

2) The existence of romances in PE leads to sacrifices in character design that many people don't want to see. I wrote a post explaining the biggest ones here, if you're interested (it's really long and not really that detailed, but hey, this topic has been going for a while).

 

3) Even if you minimize the sacrifices in character design, far too many times there's problems with the implementation too. Ieo voiced here the impact romances can have on companion content. Sylvanpyxie wrote some good posts here and here about her experiences with romanceable characters, and she's not even against romances anyway!

 

There may be more, but I already gave you a bunch of stuff to read. I know that's a lot to throw at your face, but bear in mind that this is a long running topic. A lot of stuff has been said about romances already. Might as well try to be up-to-date with the discussion :)

 

1. I don't think this is at all a legitimate argument to be made. Forums are there to facilitate communication for the game. Ultimately, the most important part of that is the game. If the game is the best that it can be, I can deal with the drooling knuckle-draggers that infest so many forums these days. And let's not pretend we don't have some of them already.

 

2. Valid points, but as has been discussed, character design sacrifices can be minimized to (near) non-existence by utilizing various methods and techniques of design.(I'm not going further into this because that's a can of worms that obsidian will choose how they deal with. It's not our concern how they apply their resources. Our concern should be on what final product we expect.)

 

3. I didn't read her entire thread, but I've read others from her in the past. I'm aware that she is self-proclaimed "on the fence" when it comes to romance options. I don't think many of the pro-romance people are interested in poorly written, romanceable just so we can do it proponents. I think all of us want to have the entire game be well-written and emotionally believable, so that argument goes without saying.

 

As far as the creepy psychopath romance option she mentioned; well people, like characters, are built differently. To one person, said psychopath might hit on your character and be completely offensive. To another, it might be a legitimate proposition. To me, this emulates life, and is a fine way to implement character relationships. Unwelcome advances? Happens all the time, and there is nothing wrong with putting it into a game. It creates emotional impact. If the creepy sociopath keeps making passes at you and creeps you out, you may not want to bring them with you, even if his/her skills could be useful to the party. These types of choices are part of what make RPGs great. (EDIT: I would like to mention that I find it humorous that someone would be ok with having a "creepy sociopath" travel around with them everywhere they go, but when he makes a pass at you, that's just "too much."

 

I might get set upon by raptors for mentioning this, but I thought the romance option for Isabella in DA2 was actually fairly well done. Based on her personality, you couldn't romance her with sappy emotionalism. She required a specific type of personality before the options even opened up, and THEN you couldn't go getting all mushy on her, or you'd scare her off. Different strokes for different folks. I think character personalities should influence what types of character they'd be attracted to, in most circumstances. Then you might have an NPC or two that has the romance priorities of 1. Is here, 2. Opposite sex, 3. Is alive, in that order.

 

I think all NPC design should start with "Who am I?", and branch out from there. Even if the character background isn't available to find out in the game, the developer should answer these questions:

 

1. Where was I born?

2. Who are/were my family?

3. How did I grow up?

4. What led me to be here?

5. What do I value?

6. Who do I care about?

7. Am I susceptible to romance/seduction?

 

#7 completely depends on 1-6. Someone who has been a loner by necessity, and who has never had an opportunity to be close to people might be a yes, while someone who grew up trained as a town guard, who is married with a family somewhere in the game might be a no. On the other hand, marriage itself doesn't necessarily cause 7 to be a no either, and could create an interesting romance storyline. The entire point is, once you answer questions 1-6, 7 should be fairly easy in most situations. And if you answer questions 1-7, and end up with a "yes" for romance, you should already have your answer about what kind of personality they'd be attracted to. This makes design from that point forward a breeze.

Edited by BetrayTheWorld
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"When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him." - Jonathan Swift

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In fallout - 20 caps are worth killing someone. And if chip is worth hiring a courier - any normal person would know it definitely worth killing for someone.

 

The opening video makes it clear that it's not just some random chip worth 20 caps. Benny also hires thugs and take time to make sure nobody finds courier, with is not something someone does for 20 caps. It's pretty obvious that the chip is very important and valuable.

 

You were hit by the car. It vanished in the night, you survived. Would you devote your life in chasing that driver? If he deliberately targeted you and your family - that is. If not - that's plain stupid, hurts it more or less, no matter.

 

If someone hit me on purpose, not trying to get him punished would be pretty stupid. It's not like Benny shoot you by accident.

 

 

At first - you didn't have info about other couriers or about that chip being some technological artifact. Next thing - you weren't aware of real scale of value of that chip, so you didn't expect organized and targeted ambush indeed. Third thing - agency didn't pass contract for couriers in blind, previous courier (more informed one) refused this mission and he was contacted personally.

 

You knew that the cargo was pretty valuable which is enough to expect someone to want to take it. Knowing about other couriers or the chip being a technological artifact or even knowing that Benny wants the chip would save the courier from an ambush.

 

 

By the time you are dealing with Cesar this village is lo-o-ong forgotten. So you have to think in such way: i won't be able to ask any non-scripted favor from Cesar no matter what i do, village is long forgotten by plot, so there definitely won't be such option, sooo, he could probably be bad to them. Well, let's slaughter all legion, just in case. And (surprise!) no one bothers about goodsprings in the end, no matter who wins the global struggle.

 

This is not true. Goodsprings residents flee from Legion if it gains control of the Mojowe.

 

Oh, really? And you couldn't do this by yourself, without ruling the region with army of robots or without help from some NCR slowpokes?

lend a bomber, arm it with nukes, bought on your cash, lay waste on anything that moves your way?

And where are all the cries about moral ambiguity in FO:NV sides and decisions?

 

Why not get help when it's offered?

 

 

Wow! Such an argument! Don't add much to in-game motivation though.

 

You are playing the game to have adventures, it's not the game's fault that it pressumes the MC is an adventurous type.

 

 

All lesser fractions (with single partial exception of followers of apocalypse) were shallow and unwilling themselves. Main ones... To chose from: stupid and mean because of that, or selfish&mean / selfish&mean&protagonist, and very mean ones - without other variants and personal attachments...

Such attachments could be provided by your companions or outstanding not joinable characters. But they mostly fail to.

Can't name any NPC's not from dlc except House or Cesar, but they were equal to their sides.

Your companions are tumbleweed just as you, not matter much to them what will happen in that particular part of wasteland, they can handle themselves. One bright exception - Boon, he is not quite a deep person, but at least willing to do something. Another one - enclave man, but he is much less entertaining and caring about conflict. Cass? Veronica? Others? No one else cares about global struggle (clearly seen in endings). There is some negative feedback on certain sides from your companions but not any positive one.

 

...have deep enough personalities and lacking feedback to be such, or interesting ones if to be precise.

 

I hadn't mentioned this, but if it bothers you so much: Two lines of "I want to **** you" wouldn't add much to their personalities neither to plot motivation.

 

 

It's not the problem with lack of motivation but with you not liking an NPCs. No matter whet they'd do you'd still be unmotivated if characters are not to your taste.

 

 

I need a plot to care. If main plot is lacking in motivation - romances are possible tool to add more personal in and fix it, or to add even more if it's enough already. Not absolutely necessary thing though - loved Fallout 1 and 2.

 

The main plot is pretty much the same in F1, 2 and NV. Big army/organisation trying to do something horrible to the wasteland. The only difference is that the location you start in is threatened. It's not like Aroyo or Vault 13 are even important in the lategame. You are basically saying that you didn't like the plot and NPCs in NV and if you don't like the game there is nothing authors can do to keep you motivated. They can add 1,000 romances and it still means nothing if you say that NPCs are shallow and stupid.

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1. I don't think this is at all a legitimate argument to be made. Forums are there to facilitate communication for the game. Ultimately, the most important part of that is the game. If the game is the best that it can be, I can deal with the drooling knuckle-draggers that infest so many forums these days. And let's not pretend we don't have some of them already.

It might not be a legitimate argument, but it is the dealbreaker for some people. Selfish? Maybe. But I completely understand why they wouldn't want the fan interest to shift to romances 50% of the time. Which is what happens on the BSN. You can ignore the knuckle-draggers, sure, but if that involves ignoring a great deal of the forum discussions we might have a legitimate problem in our hands. Which is what happened on the BSN, too.

 

And yes, there's already some of them. And there could be more. If there's already some of them when romances aren't confirmed, how many would there be if they were announced? The idea of this community gradually but surely shifting its interests towards a bigger focus on romance is a concern for the people who like to hang around this place, and if there is concern, there is going to be opposition. It's not really rational, but hey, you asked why.

 

2. Valid points, but as has been discussed, character design sacrifices can be minimized to (near) non-existence by utilizing various methods and techniques of design.(I'm not going further into this because that's a can of worms that obsidian will choose how they deal with. It's not our concern how they apply their resources. Our concern should be on what final product we expect.)

Well, I am interested in learning what these methods and techniques you mentioned are. I know that explaining them would be a lot of work, but come on, I made the effort to dig around the various threads to find posts explaining everything, just for you (not to mention that I made the effort to write that big post about design sacrifices). Surely you could spend some time writing how this could be minimized? I'm genuinely curious :)

 

3. I didn't read her entire thread, but I've read others from her in the past. I'm aware that she is self-proclaimed "on the fence" when it comes to romance options. I don't think many of the pro-romance people are interested in poorly written, romanceable just so we can do it proponents. I think all of us want to have the entire game be well-written and emotionally believable, so that argument goes without saying.

Everyone wants a well-writen game, yeah. No argument there.

 

As far as the creepy psychopath romance option she mentioned; well people, like characters, are built differently. To one person, said psychopath might hit on your character and be completely offensive. To another, it might be a legitimate proposition. To me, this emulates life, and is a fine way to implement character relationships. Unwelcome advances? Happens all the time, and there is nothing wrong with putting it into a game. It creates emotional impact. If the creepy sociopath keeps making passes at you and creeps you out, you may not want to bring them with you, even if his/her skills could be useful to the party. These types of choices are part of what make RPGs great. (EDIT: I would like to mention that I find it humorous that someone would be ok with having a "creepy sociopath" travel around with them everywhere they go, but when he makes a pass at you, that's just "too much."

Well, having a companion whose interactions are disgusting for a good chunk of people seems kind of wasteful. I mean, we only have 8 companions, in a party of 5 companions+PC. There's not much room for characters like that.

 

Incidentally, that's another argument for opposing romances: there's only 8 companions. If we had like 15 companions there would be a lot more room to experiment for the developers, both with character types and with romance types, and there would be much more freedom for the players too. The impact of romance would be much lesser in the game, so the opposition to them would be lesser too. But that is not the case here.

 

I think all NPC design should start with "Who am I?", and branch out from there. Even if the character background isn't available to find out in the game, the developer should answer these questions:

 

1. Where was I born?

2. Who are/were my family?

3. How did I grow up?

4. What led me to be here?

5. What do I value?

6. Who do I care about?

7. Am I susceptible to romance/seduction?

 

#7 completely depends on 1-6. Someone who has been a loner by necessity, and who has never had an opportunity to be close to people might be a yes, while someone who grew up trained as a town guard, who is married with a family somewhere in the game might be a no. On the other hand, marriage itself doesn't necessarily cause 7 to be a no either, and could create an interesting romance storyline. The entire point is, once you answer questions 1-6, 7 should be fairly easy in most situations. And if you answer questions 1-7, and end up with a "yes" for romance, you should already have your answer about what kind of personality they'd be attracted to. This makes design from that point forward a breeze.

 

Some options are lacking, I'd say. Where is the basic personality type covered? That can make or break a character's possible interest in romance/seduction, especially when combined with interests and values.

 

Basically, all points would have to align in a certain way for the character to even be eligible for romance. The moment one of them fails, point 7 should be a no. Combinatorially speaking, that leads to far more "no"s than "yes"s, the way I see it.

 

 

 

Your point of view is refreshing, by the way. After so many posts arguing that romances are good because they are good, it's nice to see some thought put into this :)

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If the creepy sociopath keeps making passes at you and creeps you out, you may not want to bring them with you

I'm sorry.. I can't help but feel you've missed the entire point I was making with that particular argument. Unwelcome advances are not my concern, blatant disregard for consistent characterization is.

 

If a character has shown a complete lack of empathy and an interest in nothing but the blissful feeling of bloody giblets rubbing against his skin then his priority should not be to disrobe a woman and make sweet love to her like the classiest gentleman in the known universe. He should be more interested in where he'll get the giblets for his next bath. Being a Player Character should not allow me to change a character like that by will of the Gods. This guy thrives on violence, he lives for death, he has utterly no remorse and a blatant disregard for the suffering of others, I should not have the power to wipe his slate clean and turn him into the living embodiment of the suave and sophisticated James Bond.

 

If the first Baldur's Gate game had included romance, should I have had the ability to bed the mad mage Xzar? Should that have been an option? Sure he likes to brutally murder people in the most inventive ways, and he's a complete nutter obsessed with violence, murder and death, but dammit! He was sexy in those robes!

 

No. I'm sorry, but the power of "wuv" should not entitle the Player to change the very basic foundations of a character just for the opportunity to establish a romantic relationship.

 

I'm sorry if this post seems a little aggressive, it's not meant to be, i'm just trying to make my original point as clear as possible - I'm also sorry if I wasn't entirely clear in the post that you were reviewing, I get quite carried away sometimes. I hope I've managed to clear it up for you a little bit. *Embarrassed*

 

 

@Lurky: Your post earlier on the expectations that "many people" place upon romances was brilliant. The "infatuation period" of dialogue is something that I personally abhor, which i'm sure everybody knows by now *blush*, but it was nice to hear such an eloquent view point on the topic. While I understand the expectations of others, they honestly make me quite uneasy. Romance so easily becomes a dominant force in character interaction and I fear that it will easily intrude on other relationships, but I also feel that if it remains too subtle it might appear nothing more than idle flirtation(not that I mind idle flirtation) and of course if romance is excluded all together it might prevent some truly brilliant relationships from forming.

 

It's a very delicate balance and, as you said earlier, it would be extremely difficult to get it just *perfect*.

Edited by Sylvanpyxie
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If the creepy sociopath keeps making passes at you and creeps you out, you may not want to bring them with you

I'm sorry.. I can't help but feel you've missed the entire point I was making with that particular argument. Unwelcome advances are not my concern, blatant disregard for consistent characterization is.

 

If a character has shown a complete lack of empathy and an interest in nothing but the blissful feeling of bloody giblets rubbing against his skin then his priority should not be to disrobe a woman and make sweet love to her like the classiest gentleman in the known universe. He should be more interested in where he'll get the giblets for his next bath. Being a Player Character should not allow me to change a character like that by will of the Gods. This guy thrives on violence, he lives for death, he has utterly no remorse and a blatant disregard for the suffering of others, I should not have the power to wipe his slate clean and turn him into the living embodiment of the suave and sophisticated James Bond.

 

If the first Baldur's Gate game had included romance, should I have had the ability to bed the mad mage Xzar? Should that have been an option? Sure he likes to brutally murder people in the most inventive ways, and he's a complete nutter obsessed with violence, murder and death, but dammit! He was sexy in those robes!

 

No. I'm sorry, but the power of "wuv" should not entitle the Player to change the very basic foundations of a character just for the opportunity to establish a romantic relationship.

 

I agree with you. However I think that you can have a 'romance' with such a character despite this. For example if throughout the game you continually choose the most aggressive and evil options available to you and relish the the thought and feeling of hacking your way through a group of anything that looks at you funny than I'd say you and Xzar should be able to get together and talk killing some night and maybe have a romp in the sack while you're at it. This isn't entirely unheard of in movies where a psychotic couple loves each other while they love killing. Natural Born Killers and The Frighteners both spring to mind. However if you're a champion of justice and peace and all things warm and cuddly than an option to romance an evil psychotic shouldn't be available.

 

Now I personally wouldn't want such a romance in the game as it's a bit too macabre for me. Once again I agree that a romance shouldn't change a characters personality but that isn't to say you can't have one in line with their personality even if that personality is a bit off. Morrigan in DA:O was a strong, driven, cynical, bitch. If you romanced her she might have reluctantly decided that you were ok, but she still saw the world the same way. In the end she'd still want to have your demon baby and run off with it leaving you in the dust despite your relationship and her feelings towards you.

 

So I agree that romances if included should not fundamentally and radically alter a companions character. Then again, nobody said that in order to have a romance you had to.

Edited by Pshaw

K is for Kid, a guy or gal just like you. Don't be in such a hurry to grow up, since there's nothin' a kid can't do.

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1) The existence of romances in PE means that a certain demographic of people overly obsessed with romances will be attracted to PE and to these forums, bringing their habits and expectations with them. Did you see this post at page 2 of this thread? Those posts from the BSN aren't outliers, because many topics found there are just that romance-focused. Many people don't want the Obsidian forums to resemble the BSN.

 

While I certainly agree that the BSN is incredibly romance-centric, I don't think that if a game includes romances, the forums associated with it will necessarily become saturated with creepy threads like the BSN. I'd argue how the romances are presented and executed may contribute to the BSN obsession with them. Since Bioware romances are often cinematic experiences that tend to focus on consummation and "love" scenes(on a side note, bio-drones are also generally against explicit sex and nudity, unless it is done "tastefully", whatever that means.) instead of exploring the character/personality of the NPC who the PC is involved with, they tend to focus on sex more than actual character development.

 

If romances are done in PE, I would bet that they would focus more on NPC characterization and PC-NPC interaction than the Bioware romances. Just look at Obsidian's track record compared to Bioware, MotB and KOTOR2 romances are hardly comparable to those in ME and DA(especially 2).

 

2) The existence of romances in PE leads to sacrifices in character design that many people don't want to see. I wrote a post explaining the biggest ones here, if you're interested (it's really long and not really that detailed, but hey, this topic has been going for a while).

 

I don't see how character design would be negatively impacted if romance was one of the relationship options(yes I read your whole post, btw). A romance does not have to supersede any type of relationship to be believable or well written, in fact it can simply be an extension of them and give the same amount of content. For an example a romance could simply grow out of a friendship or rivalry, like quite a few do IRL. Like others have said, the NPC shouldn't be solely defined by being romanceable(or any other type of relationship), but if romance would fit the character design of the NPC then it shouldn't be avoided simply because it could be perceived that something else was sacrificed in order to make romance an option.

 

3) Even if you minimize the sacrifices in character design, far too many times there's problems with the implementation too. Ieo voiced here the impact romances can have on companion content. Sylvanpyxie wrote some good posts here and here about her experiences with romanceable characters, and she's not even against romances anyway!

 

I agree with Leo completely on that. However, his proposed solution to have different branches(representing different types of relationships) pretty much solves that problem. Not to mention it is a good idea in general, after all it would be terrible if the only way the PC could actually get to know their companions would be to be everyone's best friend.

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I think all NPC design should start with "Who am I?", and branch out from there. Even if the character background isn't available to find out in the game, the developer should answer these questions:

 

1. Where was I born?

2. Who are/were my family?

3. How did I grow up?

4. What led me to be here?

5. What do I value?

6. Who do I care about?

7. Am I susceptible to romance/seduction?

 

#7 completely depends on 1-6. Someone who has been a loner by necessity, and who has never had an opportunity to be close to people might be a yes, while someone who grew up trained as a town guard, who is married with a family somewhere in the game might be a no. On the other hand, marriage itself doesn't necessarily cause 7 to be a no either, and could create an interesting romance storyline. The entire point is, once you answer questions 1-6, 7 should be fairly easy in most situations. And if you answer questions 1-7, and end up with a "yes" for romance, you should already have your answer about what kind of personality they'd be attracted to. This makes design from that point forward a breeze.

 

While I agree with all of your questions, I have to modify your list a bit to what I believe it should be....

 

1. How does the character think?(Personality)

2. How does the character act?(Presentation to others)

3. Where was I born?

4. Who are/were my family?

5. How did I grow up?

6. What led me to be here?

7. What do I value?

8. Who do I care about?

9. Am I susceptible to romance/seduction or try to romance/seduce others?

10. Why does the character do what they do?(motivation)

 

I think that questions 2-9 should support 1. Where the character is born, how they grew up, their experiences, and what they care about should reinforce why they think the way they do. After all other questions are answered, then the answer to 10 becomes clear.

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1. Well, I am interested in learning what these methods and techniques you mentioned are. I know that explaining them would be a lot of work, but come on, I made the effort to dig around the various threads to find posts explaining everything, just for you (not to mention that I made the effort to write that big post about design sacrifices). Surely you could spend some time writing how this could be minimized? I'm genuinely curious :)

 

2. Well, having a companion whose interactions are disgusting for a good chunk of people seems kind of wasteful. I mean, we only have 8 companions, in a party of 5 companions+PC. There's not much room for characters like that.

 

Incidentally, that's another argument for opposing romances: there's only 8 companions. If we had like 15 companions there would be a lot more room to experiment for the developers, both with character types and with romance types, and there would be much more freedom for the players too. The impact of romance would be much lesser in the game, so the opposition to them would be lesser too. But that is not the case here.

 

3. Some options are lacking, I'd say. Where is the basic personality type covered? That can make or break a character's possible interest in romance/seduction, especially when combined with interests and values.

 

Basically, all points would have to align in a certain way for the character to even be eligible for romance. The moment one of them fails, point 7 should be a no. Combinatorially speaking, that leads to far more "no"s than "yes"s, the way I see it.

 

Numbered quotes for ease of response:

 

1. I choose not to delve too much into this because of the fact that I agree with several of the methods listed in the thread you pointed out to me, and there are some of your arguments I disagree with from the thread. Primarily on how much work it takes to implement a romance into the game. No reason to rehash an argument that has already been made to you. Sometimes it's ok to agree to disagree. I think this is one of those times.

 

2. If someone already considers a character's behavior to be a "creepy sociopath", I think it's safe to say that some people are going to be disgusted by their behavior anyhow. That being said, I see no problem with giving said character the same depth of character as any other, and allowing those who enjoy the character in their party, for whatever reason, the same opportunities for interaction as any other personality, given the proper circumstances described in issue #3.

 

EDIT: Oh, forgot to mention my other point. If we leave out parts of characters because of uncomfortable emotional impact(ie, too creepy), then where do we draw the line? I'm not comfortable drawing it at all. Characters should be fully developed and fleshed out. Invariably, some will like their personalities, and some won't, but at least they will -have- personality. If we start restricting available companions to only "nice do-gooders", then you end up with a bland, unbelievable palette of characters that isn't interesting or emotionally impactful.

 

3. Sure, I don't necessarily disagree with you. I'm of the camp that believes 90% of who we are is a product of our environment. So if you believe that, then my questions are sufficient. If not, and you're of the camp that believes people are innately who they are, and their environment and upbringing only slightly mold that, then this list is probably better:

 

While I agree with all of your questions, I have to modify your list a bit to what I believe it should be....

 

1. How does the character think?(Personality)

2. How does the character act?(Presentation to others)

3. Where was I born?

4. Who are/were my family?

5. How did I grow up?

6. What led me to be here?

7. What do I value?

8. Who do I care about?

9. Am I susceptible to romance/seduction or try to romance/seduce others?

10. Why does the character do what they do?(motivation)

 

I think that questions 2-9 should support 1. Where the character is born, how they grew up, their experiences, and what they care about should reinforce why they think the way they do. After all other questions are answered, then the answer to 10 becomes clear.

 

Either way, primary characters in the game should be fully fleshed out. Even if we, as players, don't know completely everything about them, the developers making the characters should, before they're ever included as a companion/main npc.

 

I also don't think it's necessary that all romance options be companions. What about the innkeeper at the inn you always stay at? There are non-companion NPCs that can be romance material based on how often you interact with them.

Edited by BetrayTheWorld

"When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him." - Jonathan Swift

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Either way, primary characters in the game should be fully fleshed out. Even if we, as players, don't know completely everything about them, the developers making the characters should, before they're ever included as a companion/main npc.

 

I agree. However, I think that how the character thinks should be the first thing that they consider.

 

I also don't think it's necessary that all romance options be companions. What about the innkeeper at the inn you always stay at? There are non-companion NPCs that can be romance material based on how often you interact with them.

 

I don't either, however, it can be simpler since companions are already getting quite a bit of attention/fleshing out while that innkeeper might not be.

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

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Either way, primary characters in the game should be fully fleshed out. Even if we, as players, don't know completely everything about them, the developers making the characters should, before they're ever included as a companion/main npc.

 

I agree. However, I think that how the character thinks should be the first thing that they consider.

 

The only problem with this is that other questions influence it. You can certainly have a character concept to begin with(who they are, how they think/act/etc), but you ultimately have to decide how that came to be. And doing so requires many questions and answers that will add up to who they are now/how they think. I honestly don't think the order is important, so long as the questions and answers are consistent and coherent. For instance, the story I'm trying to tell might require a specific history for a certain character. In that case, it's likely better that you come up with the history first, THEN define how they think based on how that history molded their personality.

 

Basically, what questions you ask first is ultimately dependent on what your goal is with the character, and why you're putting them there.

 

I also don't think it's necessary that all romance options be companions. What about the innkeeper at the inn you always stay at? There are non-companion NPCs that can be romance material based on how often you interact with them.

 

 

I don't either, however, it can be simpler since companions are already getting quite a bit of attention/fleshing out while that innkeeper might not be.

 

Fair point.

Edited by BetrayTheWorld

"When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him." - Jonathan Swift

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3) Even if you minimize the sacrifices in character design, far too many times there's problems with the implementation too. Ieo voiced here the impact romances can have on companion content. Sylvanpyxie wrote some good posts here and here about her experiences with romanceable characters, and she's not even against romances anyway!

 

I agree with Leo completely on that. However, his proposed solution to have different branches(representing different types of relationships) pretty much solves that problem. Not to mention it is a good idea in general, after all it would be terrible if the only way the PC could actually get to know their companions would be to be everyone's best friend.

 

Thanks. I really hope that Obsidian sees the actual implementation ideas around the threads...

 

Anyway, after a lot of work, I managed to nab part of the new PureSophistry interview that I think is cogent to this discussion on the technical resource level.

 

PureSophistry: I think Obsidian is really famous for making NPCs in gaming. You do it better than anyone else. Can you give us any details on the different array of followers--the dogs, the monsters--everything that'll be traveling with us.

 

Feargus Urquhart: The key thing that we try to do there is to always try to make sure that there are a good combination. You know, there's a certain number of classes in the game, and there's obviously for each race and then there's the male and female. What we do is we always try to look and go, okay, so if I choose this class, this race, this sex for my character. There needs to be then--able to flesh out the party, if I want to play with any of the other classes or races or things like that. There has to be a good number of combinations. We can't do all the combinations because that's impossible.

 

And that was probably one thing that people really wanted to see us add--another companion. You know, I think we're at eight right now. They really wanted to nine or even more. And that was one where, we're going to look at it and we're going to try to figure it out, but you know--as you were saying, we're known for NPCs, and they are the most in time-intensive design--individual design element that I think we ever do and maybe anybody ever does in this industry.

 

Because it takes like someone who's Chris Avellone (who's one of the founders of Obsidian as well, and he was the lead designer on Torment)--it takes him, if it's a very big, robust--it takes him just an initial two or three months* just to do the writing and get most of the stuff in it. So that's what we're really doing. So it's coming out with the right combinations, and if we can do more. we're gonna do more. But it's--we don't want to kind of extend ourselves and just throw more in just to add to the numbers.

 

*Cross-referenced with another interview, that's 2-3 months per party NPC.

 

There are several things in this section of the interview, direct and implied. For one, especially if we're looking for PS:T levels of depth (which had seven party NPCs), that's a crapton of work. Therefore, while other people are complaining there are too few and they want more, I really don't want anymore than eight. Eight's enough, thank you very much.

 

Then there's another point that's implied: Obsidian likely will not be hiring a bunch more writers the way Bioware can for their AAA cross-platform titles. Now, it's possible that Ziets will be responsible for world-building/quest writing and Avellone for party members, or a team does world stuff and Ziets and Avellone do the characters and oversee the team stuff, maybe--but the examples given always has Avellone doing to the party NPCs (he did write PS:T himself, after all). It would be nice if Obsidian could clarify exactly who's doing what, but that's how I interpret the interviews so far about Avellone being responsible for this part of game development--ergo, this is the resource bottleneck if we're expecting quality. You can outsource programming easily these days, but I highly doubt this is true for cohesive writing.

 

I'm trying to look at this from a game development resource management perspective: I'd truly love the kind of equal, split path implementation into different interesting relationships for a full play experience regardless of player companion choices (outside plain ignoring the companions), but who knows if there's enough time given the resource limit (i.e. it comes down to a math problem again, that I can see).

 

Plus the low intelligence dialogue they plan on adding. :p

 

So, on the resource burden...Maybe with the "Y" examples I posited much earlier, make the main trunks much longer and either relationship branch shorter, I guess? I think it'd still be possible... I'm hopeful, mostly...

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It boils down to this:

 

- add food: increases realism and is an enjoyable mechanic to micro-manage for some people

 

this does not at all exclude adding further elements where this is also true. I've already mentioned several ways to implement a food mechanic that I'd like/ wouldn't mind having in the game. Now you can do the same for breathing and heartbeat. Hav fun!

 

They see me trollin...

 

I don't see why you had to post three pages of hyperbolic BS just to come out and say that all you were against was poor writing. Also I still can't see any reason why a food system in a game like this would be fun for anyone other than a complete sperglord with a hardon for performing mundane repetitive tasks ad infinitum. At this point I have to conclude that you're just being intentionally silly.

Edited by Mandragore
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I don't see why you had to post three pages of hyperbolic BS just to come out and say that all you were against was poor writing.

 

It is the internet.

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"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

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Ah, but you probably won't miss out on much if you toggle food off. No romances OTOH will possibly bereave you of mucho content.

 

But if it's "content" that people are voting against existing to begin with, who gives a ****? If you don't want romance options, turn them off. If you don't want romance options in the game because you're afraid if you have the option you'll be compelled to leave them on, then you voted wrong.

 

With the greatest respect, and although the principle is sound, with romances you might as well have a switch that says 'NPC interaction on / off' if it's romanceable. The one thing that there is consensus on is that romances, done properly, will be a considerable part of the content for that NPC.

 

So somebody will lose out, and I contend that if NPCs are such a big part of the game, then why should the demands of the romance crowd effectively lock out fifty per cent of NPC content for the folks who loathe them?

 

Edit:

I might get set upon by raptors for mentioning this, but I thought the romance option for Isabella in DA2 was actually fairly well done.

 

I'm not going to set on you raptor-like, but the fact that you found something positive in DA2 suggests that, off the bat, we will be at variance at the style of games we enjoy. I like games, you like erotic screen-savers.

Edited by Monte Carlo

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"I don't want to do them" is not the real reason why there's opposition to romances.

 

What is it, then? Maybe I'm dense, but it seems like a simple issue with simple solutions available to me.

 

Well, not everyone has the same reasons, but the most common are:

 

1) The existence of romances in PE means that a certain demographic of people overly obsessed with romances will be attracted to PE and to these forums, bringing their habits and expectations with them. Did you see this post at page 2 of this thread? Those posts from the BSN aren't outliers, because many topics found there are just that romance-focused. Many people don't want the Obsidian forums to resemble the BSN.

 

2) The existence of romances in PE leads to sacrifices in character design that many people don't want to see. I wrote a post explaining the biggest ones here, if you're interested (it's really long and not really that detailed, but hey, this topic has been going for a while).

 

3) Even if you minimize the sacrifices in character design, far too many times there's problems with the implementation too. Ieo voiced here the impact romances can have on companion content. Sylvanpyxie wrote some good posts here and here about her experiences with romanceable characters, and she's not even against romances anyway!

 

There may be more, but I already gave you a bunch of stuff to read. I know that's a lot to throw at your face, but bear in mind that this is a long running topic. A lot of stuff has been said about romances already. Might as well try to be up-to-date with the discussion :)

 

Hi anti-Romance people

 

Lurky, I don't troll. I occasionally joke, there is a huge difference. But then its obvious. Trolling is craven and a waste of intellectual capacity. So please going forward remember everything I say I believe and I can justify. Thats not to say my opinion can't be changed.

 

I debate in the world of facts and pragmatism. I leave the emotion out.

 

What I find amazing about the anti-Romance crowd is the way you happily ignore or dispute the facts about whether Romance\Sex should be in PE and also has it worked in other games. Firstly the Poll on this thread, 56 % of people want Romance of some sort and only 9 % say no. So I am battling to understand how anyone can argue that the community doesn't want Romance\Sex in the game. And please don't say "people are using multiple alts to embellish the numbers". If it was so easy why isn't the anti-romance crowd dong the same to skew the numbers? So the first bitter pill to swallow is that " the PE community wants some sort of Romance\Sex in the game"

 

Then all the reasons you give above why Romance\Sex is fundamentally flawed in RPG and why they won't work show people have really spent time and effort thinking about it. I respect all that. Expect for one major and glaring flaw. For many people games like NWN2 and BG2 are excellent RPG and they had Romance\Sex implementations that did not detract from the gaming experience, unless you feel these weren't good RPG? And for the record I also enjoyed the Isabella Romance\Sex in DA2. But she was smoking hot, so who wouldn't like that :). Second bitter pill to swallow, " Romance\Sex has worked in several of the most cherished RPG of all time"

 

Lurky you mustn't be the reed that stands in the path of the Romance\Sex hurricane. Rather accept that Romance\Sex will be part of PE, acquiesce to his and you'll be a much more happier person :)

Edited by BruceVC

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They see me trollin...

 

I don't see why you had to post three pages of hyperbolic BS just to come out and say that all you were against was poor writing. Also I still can't see any reason why a food system in a game like this would be fun for anyone other than a complete sperglord with a hardon for performing mundane repetitive tasks ad infinitum. At this point I have to conclude that you're just being intentionally silly.

 

lol u mad

 

Tbh you should just stop assuming things about people if they don't share your opinion. I never said I'm completely against any romance in the game. I'm just jaded about it because it's usually just not well done and ends up being more of a nuisance than it needs to be.

 

I don't need or am particularly fond of romances in games; I'd rather the devs focus on other things. If they're in, they're better done well or they can signifcantly diminish my experience. If they're not done well, then at least they should lead to some optional content (like quests) so I can forget about the romance-y stuff and just powergame my way through.

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