Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Yo just wanna chime in again and say that love (romantic love, that is) can be a pretty cool plot element, or even driving force of a narrative.

 

Also, narratives can be pretty great in the complete absence of romantic love.

 

I reckon it's hypothetically possible to have a video game romance that doesn't feel gross and icky, and that is well told and rewarding. Closest I've seen to this is romances that don't involve the PC, but whatevs. Romance could be a good thing.

 

Equating the absence of romance in a game to an absence of roleplaying or story seems kind of dumb though. The more powerful narrative scenes I've seen in video games had, without exception, absolutely nothing to do with romance. (Nothing inherent about romance in this, I just don't think it's been done as well in video games as other themes have.)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yo just wanna chime in again and say that love (romantic love, that is) can be a pretty cool plot element, or even driving force of a narrative.

E,g, in The Witcher series where personal relationships are a significant plot element. When romances are a part of what is considered "canon" they can be implemented without their usual awkwardness. But this idea isn't not very helpful because few games are based on famous literary works.

Edited by prodigydancer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Damn well hopefully i can gather my thoughts together and surprisingly change my stance.

i do want romance in future games.

 

BUT theres a catch. I dont want it as a romance for my character to be in.

I got to talking with a friend of mine that ive known for some time. He gone thru a divorce and sitting down talking about games we GM in pnp, the talk got onto romances. You know like what we allow in games and what stories we create and the players and so forth. Got onto anime and final fantasy (ty longknife, ur post let me fonnect the dots between anime and final fantasy which i like both but u see them doing romances very similiar which isnt surprising since most anime and final fantasy comes from the same small island) and the topic shifted to romance. What he allows and encourages and so forth. We had already talked about our players and what they are like. I coukdnt help but notice that in his group it seems heavily implied that his group a big focus is on romance because its something they are lacking in real life. From my friend who is divorced who works and has a schedule that doesnt seem to permit a life outside of work to "basement trolls" to people who have social issues. Not surprisingly biowares a huge fan favorite of all them. As silly as it seems to me, trying to have an open mind, the interacting romances...tryingto find the right words...lets them roleplay situations that they are lacking or cant optain in real life. Thats fine, because myself i like to roleplay the same way except not romance options but as a warrior or a sneaky rogue or a mage etc etc. The grand adventures that u cant find in real life.

So im glad theres bioware for people like them whos main focus is romance. Just like im thankful theres bethesda for people who want open worlds to digitally LARP in.

BUT that focus of interacting romance isnt for me. Like i said, i didnt even know there was romance in BG2 because i never got into a situation for it to lead there or whatnot.

 

But i saidbi wanted romance in the games though didnt I? That is correct because i was thinking of one of my favorite roleplaying games and thats FONV. Wait FONV didnt have romance in it, but it did, it just wasnt something there for YOU to romance besides getting laid by a hooker or robot. No remember, FONV is about YOUR story, its about everyone elses story. Theres quite a bit of romance in that game and even hell, my favorite DLC of all time had literally Romance as the whole stage and reason for it even existing.

I give you Dead Money. Survival horror, excellent story, atmosphere, and some of the best characters in the damn game but while u never had any romance options urself, the whole DLC area and story started because of romance. The love of a rich man with a celebrity. The whole place was built for her and everything included was all for her. You take away the romance in the story, and there is no Dead Money because without romance it woukdnt have existed.

Theres other types of romances in the game as well from the BoS girl having her love taken away, from the guy trying to free his wife whos a hooker now, the guy falling in love with a woman hes never met but seen from afar, the doctor who lost his wife, the soldier who had his wife taken from him, the wife who wants her husbands body back, etc etc.

there are many great romance stories in FONV that we could experience and enjoy but i was able to enjoy them wasnt because its was MY character in love, but someone else who i could help influence for good or bad.

thats the types of romance i want in games, powerful stories that set teh stage for tone and backdropbof the world we are in. But not to interact ourselves in a relationship. I havent seen really any that were well done and while im thankful bioware has their type of romance they do, I myself dispise interacting with it a vast majority of the time.

i will say i was ok with romances that were part of the main story but most of those we disnt get to create a character we was playing a predifined character (FF series and Witcher).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BUT that focus of interacting romance isnt for me. Like i said, i didnt even know there was romance in BG2 because i never got into a situation for it to lead there or whatnot.

 

I havent seen really any that were well done and while im thankful bioware has their type of romance they do, I myself dispise interacting with it a vast majority of the time.

 

I envy your supernatural abilities to know that certain story parts were not well done without even having played them.

 

And the sex cards in The Witcher were probably the biggest disgrace to romance themes I've ever seen in an RPG. You almost can't sink lower than that.

 

The most ridiculous story parts are usually the evil routes anyway. I remember countless times when I thought: If I'd truly be 'evil' or just had 'common sense', I wouldn't face the big super villain and just pack my bag full of gold and travel to the next continent and live a life in wealth or just switch sides. Traditional campaigns against the great evil usually require a particular strong sense of morals to just stick to it and risk your life day by day against all odds of survival. A writer therefore has pretty much already given up on any realism if he includes evil paths. 'Gray' options like "Don't help X because it's too risky." are much more realistic. Unfortunately, most writers just think in black and white don't consider the long-term consequences of truly evil choices. That's not to say it's impossible, but if you really want to make it authentic, you almost have to write a separate campaign for it.

 

Romances are just optional 'side dishes' that usually don't have a lot of influence on the main story. Relationships are just normal, and nobody cares about them. But people do care if you start slaughtering the innocent, rape the women, kill their children etc. In some game I've butchered whole cities and was still celebrated as the big hero. (In my defence, it was just a misunderstanding...)

 

I still support evil paths and choices because at least I have the choices and the choice to be 'good' was mine. If we start to expect full realism with all choices, we'll just end up with predefined characters and no freedom at all. I think players have to bring a bit of story tolerance with them if they want games with lots of freedom and choices.

Edited by ArkhanTheBlack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And the sex cards in The Witcher were probably the biggest disgrace to romance themes I've ever seen in an RPG. You almost can't sink lower than that.

 

What the **** is wrong with sex cards?

 

They were a fun little gag meant to stir people's desire to collect things and to give some nice visual feedback for the romps in the hay the game offered. And **** had nothing to do with 'romance'. (Unless you consider casual sex romance, of course.)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

And the sex cards in The Witcher were probably the biggest disgrace to romance themes I've ever seen in an RPG. You almost can't sink lower than that.

 

What the **** is wrong with sex cards?

 

They were a fun little gag meant to stir people's desire to collect things and to give some nice visual feedback for the romps in the hay the game offered. And **** had nothing to do with 'romance'. (Unless you consider casual sex romance, of course.)

 

 

Remember those cards in W1 after the threesome with the group of Vampiresses, those ladies were smoking hot :fdevil:


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

 

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

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think just make romance DLC so it satisfies both groups.  :yes:   

 

If the writers focus on romance, there would be resources taken off from the other parts. Therefore I think a DLC from separate team would be the soultion.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

And the sex cards in The Witcher were probably the biggest disgrace to romance themes I've ever seen in an RPG. You almost can't sink lower than that.

 

What the **** is wrong with sex cards?

 

They were a fun little gag meant to stir people's desire to collect things and to give some nice visual feedback for the romps in the hay the game offered. And **** had nothing to do with 'romance'. (Unless you consider casual sex romance, of course.)

 

 

Women were just treated as obedient and willing sex objects in the Witcher. He more less just had to open his fly and they all came from a distance of 5 miles crawling to him, begging to give him fellatio. I was almost surprised that he didn't have an ability tree for his third sword.

Edited by ArkhanTheBlack
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is very romantic to have a few obediant sex slaves with ripped out tongues (so they cant TALK) in your dungeon. Thats just the way we males love it !

 

No talk... just gag hahahahahahaa

Edited by NWN_babaYaga

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even if one avoided the sex card nonsense in Twitcher 1, one would still get trolled on occasion by a sex scene out of the blue. Like after the innocuous handing over of a loaf of bread to a she-elf.

 

Also for a certain side-quest sex was necessary to advance.

 

Only sex card really worth getting was Torúviel.

Edited by HoonDing

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The most ridiculous story parts are usually the evil routes anyway. I remember countless times when I thought: If I'd truly be 'evil' or just had 'common sense', I wouldn't face the big super villain and just pack my bag full of gold and travel to the next continent and live a life in wealth or just switch sides.

 

Well "evil" means egoistic and ruthless and not beeing a comic super villian. Every rpg that offers evil choices seems to forget that. Evil parties are the most absurd thing ever, a group of 6 egocentric selflloving sociopath wouldnt be able to form something like a adventurous party in the first place.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The most ridiculous story parts are usually the evil routes anyway. I remember countless times when I thought: If I'd truly be 'evil' or just had 'common sense', I wouldn't face the big super villain and just pack my bag full of gold and travel to the next continent and live a life in wealth or just switch sides.

 

Well "evil" means egoistic and ruthless and not beeing a comic super villian. Every rpg that offers evil choices seems to forget that. Evil parties are the most absurd thing ever, a group of 6 egocentric selflloving sociopath wouldnt be able to form something like a adventurous party in the first place.

 

 

I wouldn't necessarily say that an egoistic and ruthless person is evil. In a harsh and cruel environment, this can just be a requirement for a survivor.

 

I consider true evil more along the lines of a sadistic serial killer who kills just for the lust of slaughter and causing pain and suffering. And such people unfortunately exist. Comic book villains are usually just school boys compared to such monsters.

Edited by ArkhanTheBlack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Women were just treated as obedient and willing sex objects in the Witcher. He more less just had to open his fly and they all came from a distance of 5 miles crawling to him, begging to give him fellatio. I was almost surprised that he didn't have an ability tree for his third sword.

 

1. What does any of that have to do with romance themes?

2. Seriously, it's just meant to be a bit of fun. Geralt is a lady's man, after all.

3. You do realize this isn't tumblr?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I admit that I was wrong. This thread just went from irksome to hilarious.

 

Women were just treated as obedient and willing sex objects

You do realize that if you feel that way about The Wirtcher you must feel the same about any game with romances in it, don't you? A video game romance consists of a set of pre-defined triggers and dialogue options. If you find the triggers and select the right dialogue options, you get your sex scene. There's less magic in it than air in outer space.

 

The Witcher used casual sex as a running gag to lighten up the game a little (the overall mood was quite depressing). From a technical standpoint it parodied other games' romances by "fast-forwarding" to the end goal. That's why it worked and that's why it was funny.

Edited by prodigydancer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, after every adrenaline rush where a thirty foot monster is laying twitching on the broken ground, while I puke, tremble, and pull my trousers off to poo, I always strike up a romance with other adventurers, who are trying not to scream from the agony of their wounds.  Everything is just so sweet and calm and conducive to the sexual urges.  You know, later on, while we sit in our inn rooms, weeping from reaction to the entire horror of constant life and death struggles, we strike up witty conversations with one another and slip in a few seductive, sly comments.  It's such a romance, the adventuring life.  Especially with all that money and the hundreds of thieves guild members who descend upon us to replace townsfolk and steal our fantastically expensive magical artifacts and unique royal jewels from ancient dynasties.

 

Yeah, romance.  It makes the game more interesting, but it's not so realistic.  I'll opt to keep the games fantasy based.  After all, no one would saunter out into the wilds with only three to five companions to fight giants and dragons, let alone delving into dust and disease filled tunnels to combat the undead spirits and demons.  I get sick even thinking about poor little Buffy. Oh, I need some pizza.  Someone please buy me some pizza.

  • Like 3

"This is what most people do not understand about Colbert and Silverman. They only mock fictional celebrities, celebrities who destroy their selfhood to unify with the wants of the people, celebrities who are transfixed by the evil hungers of the public. Feed us a Gomorrah built up of luminous dreams, we beg. Here it is, they say, and it looks like your steaming brains."

 

" If you've read Hart's Hope, Neveryona, Infinity Concerto, Tales of the Flat Earth, you've pretty much played Dragon Age."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, after every adrenaline rush where a thirty foot monster is laying twitching on the broken ground, while I puke, tremble, and pull my trousers off to poo, I always strike up a romance with other adventurers, who are trying not to scream from the agony of their wounds.  Everything is just so sweet and calm and conducive to the sexual urges.  You know, later on, while we sit in our inn rooms, weeping from reaction to the entire horror of constant life and death struggles, we strike up witty conversations with one another and slip in a few seductive, sly comments.  It's such a romance, the adventuring life.  Especially with all that money and the hundreds of thieves guild members who descend upon us to replace townsfolk and steal our fantastically expensive magical artifacts and unique royal jewels from ancient dynasties.

 

Yeah, romance.  It makes the game more interesting, but it's not so realistic.  I'll opt to keep the games fantasy based.  After all, no one would saunter out into the wilds with only three to five companions to fight giants and dragons, let alone delving into dust and disease filled tunnels to combat the undead spirits and demons.  I get sick even thinking about poor little Buffy. Oh, I need some pizza.  Someone please buy me some pizza.

 

Interesting.  You make a post about a 30 foot monster and then declare that the romance is unrealistic.  I guess 'Fantasy Based' is a very narrow definition to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

At WORST, you end up with blatantly, cringeworthy and obvious attempts to pander to and cater to that demographic, while ultimately failing HORRENDOUSLY because it's ****ing awkward for the developer: 

Ok, lets take what we saw in this video one point at a time.

 

1) You Bring your love interest a mammoth tusk.

2) Your Love interest is so happy to have a mammoth tusk, that she decides to marry you.

3) You rush to the Temple of Mara to have your wedding.

4) Hired mercenaries crash your wedding. A wild death-filled melee ensues. blood drenched bodies litter the floor.

5) the wedding is rescheduled and all is well.

 

I don't see the problem..? This is several magnitudes better and more realistic than anything Bioware has ever given us.

 

 

 

But on a serious note, one of the great things about Skyrim that never gets the credit it deserves is the way random events can come together to create their own story -sometimes a hilarious and memorable one. This video illustrates a wonderful example of that. Also, Marriage in Skyrim actually *works*, unlike Romances, because it serves a gameplay purpose.

 

Except the Priest himself hired the Hired Thugs, and I actually suspect the guy got the thugs BECAUSE he wasn't a thief and therefore his disposition with the thugs was set to "friendly" as they had no reason to hate them, but because they only have one interaction programmed in (AKA fight) they fight you to the death anyways. The result is random thugs show up hired by the priest (the guy who initiated the quest to search for friends of the player) and a random fight ensues.

 

And mind you I'm not blind to your humor, I merely mean to highlight that the moment you do that whole "thinking" thing, it kinda ****s with the whole creativity aspect about how this all makes for good storytelling. You see interesting storytelling, I see half-assed programming. ;P  Likewise, what "gameplay purpose?" They start calling you "my love" and giving you a couple coins each day...

 

 

 

 

 

Case and point:  Romance is a crutch. It's a literary crutch. There's nothing wrong with romance existing as side flavor, something akin to Cass and the Courier, but that's it. Side flavor like that is exactly what we MIGHT still encounter. But romance as a focal point? That's a crutch. A crutch that has nothing meaningful to say and feeds off the lowest common denominator for an audience. I think you'll find you'll struggle to name a work of art with critical acclaim where the focal point or major element was romance, and I for one am rather disappointed to see this many people considering romance to be some great little element that any good, well-written story MUST have! Holy balls, kill me now.

 

 

Romeo and Juliet

Titanic

West Side Story (although this is only modernized version of Romeo and Juliet)

Before Sunrise

Pride and Prejudice

Anna Karenina

Gone With the Wind

The Notebook

The Time Traveler's Wife

Jane Eyre

Message in a Bottle

 

As for example of critically acclaimed novels and movies that have romance as one of their main focal points.

 

 

Wow Longknife, you talk about your  point being utterly and completely negated. Back to the drawing board for you my friend ;)

 

Its a completely ridiculous suggestion to make that the idea of Romance is not a central theme in many movies or books

 

 

*Sigh* no, that misses my point completely.

 

Romance is not a key focus, it is a vehicle. Romance is used to help advance the plot or the story themes, but it itself is not a story theme or motif as it's simply not capable of being one. A meaningful story will include a lesson or a bit of wisdom to take with you when the story is done and over, and that Romeo loves Juliet is no such thing. It's not a bit of wisdom, it's a plot device. There's nothing life-changing about Romeo loving Juliet because you are not Romeo and won't care once the story is done. What you can care about though is, for example, Lily from New Vegas showing a conflict between pragmaticism and emotional choices, or between fantasy and reality. You can dwell long and hard on if pragmaticism truly is always the answer or if a world without human flaws and fractured dreams is even worth living in.

 

 

  In that sense, it's not even about romance being **** or garbage or a literary crutch or whatever, but about how ridiculous it is for the romance camp to state that romance is VITAL for a meaningful experience and this game will suffer without it. For anyone to claim romance is vital for a meaningful experience is like claiming a leather seats are vital for a cross-country trip in a car. Uhhh no, a working vehicle is vital. The leather seats are just fluff and we can survive without them.

 

  • Like 2

"The Courier was the worst of all of them. The worst by far. When he died the first time, he must have met the devil, and then killed him."

 

 

Is your mom hot? It may explain why guys were following her ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Yeah, romance.  It makes the game more interesting, but it's not so realistic.

 

Interesting.  You make a post about a 30 foot monster and then declare that the romance is unrealistic.  I guess 'Fantasy Based' is a very narrow definition to you.

 

Actually, I did say that romance makes a game more interesting.  I did describe that saving the world through fighting horrible enchanted monsters is like, as far as I could guess.  I also described that I'd prefer the game be fantasy based, that is, without realistic considerations such as "not being a psychopath", not that I really want to insult the poor meandering psychopaths of the world.


"This is what most people do not understand about Colbert and Silverman. They only mock fictional celebrities, celebrities who destroy their selfhood to unify with the wants of the people, celebrities who are transfixed by the evil hungers of the public. Feed us a Gomorrah built up of luminous dreams, we beg. Here it is, they say, and it looks like your steaming brains."

 

" If you've read Hart's Hope, Neveryona, Infinity Concerto, Tales of the Flat Earth, you've pretty much played Dragon Age."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, after every adrenaline rush where a thirty foot monster is laying twitching on the broken ground, while I puke, tremble, and pull my trousers off to poo, I always strike up a romance with other adventurers, who are trying not to scream from the agony of their wounds.  Everything is just so sweet and calm and conducive to the sexual urges.  You know, later on, while we sit in our inn rooms, weeping from reaction to the entire horror of constant life and death struggles, we strike up witty conversations with one another and slip in a few seductive, sly comments.  It's such a romance, the adventuring life.  Especially with all that money and the hundreds of thieves guild members who descend upon us to replace townsfolk and steal our fantastically expensive magical artifacts and unique royal jewels from ancient dynasties.

 

Yeah, romance.  It makes the game more interesting, but it's not so realistic.  I'll opt to keep the games fantasy based.  After all, no one would saunter out into the wilds with only three to five companions to fight giants and dragons, let alone delving into dust and disease filled tunnels to combat the undead spirits and demons.  I get sick even thinking about poor little Buffy. Oh, I need some pizza.  Someone please buy me some pizza.

 

I don't  agree that Romance implemented under the circumstances you mentioned wouldn't be realistic. In fact its exactly the emotional response you would expect

 

Let me explain further, lets say the party has survived this epic battle against untold evil and diabolical beasts. Death was possible...even likely but somehow they survived. They would return to the Inn and reflect on the battle and how fortunate they are to be alive. Alcohol would be flowing and various emotional bonds and  personal connections  would be reinforced. Now two of the party members also happen to be attracted to each, why wouldn't they retire to the room together?

 

Historically we know that suffering leads to many  people using sex as a form of succour. There is this view that today could be your last day so why wouldn't you pursue a Romantic interest?

 

So in summary Romance in any typical  RPG journey and adventure  is not only likely its realistic


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

 

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

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wiki

 

A study done by Loftis and Ross in 1974 looked at the effects of misattribution of arousal upon acquisition and extinction of a conditional emotional response. They conducted two experiments with 89 female undergraduates to show that misattribution procedures can alter physiological response to a conditioned source of a fear or arousal. The results suggested that self perception and attribution play a major role in emotional response.

 

As a result, the men who were approached on the bridge were found to be more aroused and could have mistaken their arousal from the bridge for the arousal they experienced from the attractive woman’s presence. There was a large amount of those in the first condition who called the woman and asked her for a date, whereas there was a lower number in men who called the woman after crossing the bridge and resting. Similar results were found when a male approached women in the same situation.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misattribution_of_arousal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wiki

 

A study done by Loftis and Ross in 1974 looked at the effects of misattribution of arousal upon acquisition and extinction of a conditional emotional response. They conducted two experiments with 89 female undergraduates to show that misattribution procedures can alter physiological response to a conditioned source of a fear or arousal. The results suggested that self perception and attribution play a major role in emotional response.

 

As a result, the men who were approached on the bridge were found to be more aroused and could have mistaken their arousal from the bridge for the arousal they experienced from the attractive woman’s presence. There was a large amount of those in the first condition who called the woman and asked her for a date, whereas there was a lower number in men who called the woman after crossing the bridge and resting. Similar results were found when a male approached women in the same situation.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misattribution_of_arousal

 

Can you explain how your post is relevant to Romance that may or may not develop in a party on an RPG adventure to save the world or at least the land they are on from an ancient creature or demi-god or any other end boss in your typical  RPG? I am completely missing the relevance of your post to the discussion, sorry :blush:

 

Unless its not suppose to be relevant


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

 

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

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

Can you explain how your post is relevant to Romance that may or may not develop in a party on an RPG adventure to save the world or at least the land they are on from an ancient creature or demi-god or any other end boss in your typical  RPG? I am completely missing the relevance of your post to the discussion, sorry :blush:

 

Unless its not suppose to be relevant

 

 

The studies showed when people are under peril, they're more likely seeking for intimate relationships, although the attraction may originate from primal instincts.

 

Therefore, I think it relates to the whether romance/intimate relationship within a dark and gritty setting is realistic or not debate. 

Edited by sorrowofwind
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

 

Can you explain how your post is relevant to Romance that may or may not develop in a party on an RPG adventure to save the world or at least the land they are on from an ancient creature or demi-god or any other end boss in your typical  RPG? I am completely missing the relevance of your post to the discussion, sorry :blush:

 

Unless its not suppose to be relevant

 

 

The studies showed when people are under peril, they're more likely seeking for intimate relationships, although the attraction may originate from primal instincts.

 

Therefore, I think it relates to the whether romance/intimate relationship within a dark and gritty setting is realistic or not debate. 

 

 

Oh that's very clever. So then it supports my view that in a RPG where your characters would be facing death on a daily basis Romance is more likely to flourish?


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

 

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

 

 

Share this post


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

×
×
  • Create New...