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I think Romance can fit a character/companion if it fits their character/personality and if it fits their motivations/lore/story/plot/narrative/goals-in-life etc. etc..

Take Alistair for instance, again, from Dragon Age: Origins. As a male character, I can not find anything in Alistair's personality that would make him get the "hots" for the main male character, unless he gets inspired/influenced by Zevran. I feel this is implemented into Alistair's character because BioWare wanted to be accessible and diverse for everyone.

And therein lies a big problem about romance, it can easily transform into something "plastic", a reward system. I think "Romance" would flow best in a game if it showed both how cruel Love can be, as well as how beautiful it can be. "Romance" can also be poetic, "romantic", and be appreciative of the beauty of nature, of life, and of love itself, but that doesn't mean it have to be directed towards any specific person, but rather just... PLUR (Peace Love Understanding Respect-jargon)

 

But then again, after seeing Dragon Age: Inquisition, and some of the romances from AngryJoe's review, I started to think that... maybe Ferelden is a bit "Roman Empire" inspired? During one the Ceasar's periods/eras, IIRC (I don't remember which one though), orgies were common place, and sex was liberal between man and man, and woman and woman. Though, I think this was more common among higher ups in the hierarchy, rich people conducted these acts moreso than the poor folk.

There's a movie about it that's been applauded even, don't remember its name. Regardless, if Ferelden is inspired by the Roman Empire and this "Era", then I guess it'd make some sense for Alistair to pique his interest.

In many games you are also the "center of attention". NPC's will want to either be you, or want to be with you. In Mass Effect, Shepard is a famous person, and with fame comes fanatism, or even obsession. How many teenagers or even adult women or men can say that they're not attracted to successful people? I find it that, if people were given the chance, they'd choose to be with someone successful, and the more successful the person is and there's a mutual love between the two, then you'd probably choose the one who's more successful.

In a party of adventurer's, traversing the land, I could expect that some summer-fling romance or sexual desire/attraction could occur, but I also believe it could be a journey without love, and that the journey and adventure is the focus, concentrating on the task at hand, the objective and the mission.

The most important aspect, I feel, is that there has to be a thematic motivation in the companion character, and that he/she/it should not be swooned by the Players word or a gift system. Hypotethically: If Aloth would be a character that you could romance, it shouldn't be a dialogue thing you do, but rather something that "pushes his buttons", whatever that may be. Taking him on a journey, doing a questline to get to know him better, or even keeping him around in the party for a duration of time.

For instance, if I have Sagani in the party half the game, she might develop feelings based on my actions and how I act to her, but if I drop her in the Stronghold 1/4th of the way, and then pick her up again 3/4th's of the way, I might never even see a "Romance" option. This goes for all interactions with companions, in all aspects, that they would do better if they were "dynamic" in this way, and not "static" until Dialogue Button is pressed.

Edited by Osvir
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I think the term being looked for is "platonic love" not "platonic romance".

 

Plato defined love as being two types, Vulgar love and Divine love. Vulgar love moves the person to the physical (beauty, sex, reproduction). Divine love is a love that moves a person to the spiritual.

 

Hope this helps.

Edited by Amentep
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My issue with romances, at least as they are presented in BioWare games, is that they are ultimately based on what your character says, not what your character does. In a game like Mass Effect, romances essentially come down to this:

 

NPC: You can talk to me five times!

 

NPC: Say the right thing four times, and I'll love you forever!

I think at the moment computer game environments are still rather limited in being able to express a developing romantic love. It's not just whether dialogue is written well, it's the whole question/response/rep systems available/often used in crpg's. Even if I like/appreciate the effort (vs ignoring it), it's not going to evoke emotional response from me. Too perfunctory, not in-depth enough. It's not romantic.

 

My own imagination making up who gets to hook up with who, is still better. :biggrin:

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“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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I can live without romances in my RPGs. It feels shoe horned in to appease old schoolers who keep making call backs to BG2 or other RPGs claiming that it's feature or "necessary" for the immersion.

 

As for how to apply good romance gameplay, I'll leave that to better minds and developers to figure out.

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But then again, after seeing Dragon Age: Inquisition, and some of the romances from AngryJoe's review, I started to think that... maybe Ferelden is a bit "Roman Empire" inspired? During one the Ceasar's periods/eras, IIRC (I don't remember which one though), orgies were common place, and sex was liberal between man and man, and woman and woman. Though, I think this was more common among higher ups in the hierarchy, rich people conducted these acts moreso than the poor folk.

Nah, You're over-analyzing. It has nothing to do with any "Roman Empire influence". There's only one explanation for Dragon Age's 21st Century-like views of sexuality/relationships: David Gaider. He is: 1) Gay; and 2) Dragon Age is his fantasy world. He wrote it. It's his creative outlet. In light of these two simple facts, everything is obvious. Edited by Stun
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Nah, You're over-analyzing. It has nothing to do with any "Roman Empire influence". There's only one explanation for Dragon Age's 21st Century-like views of sexuality/relationships: David Gaider. He is: 1) Gay; and 2) Dragon Age is his fantasy world. He wrote it. It's his creative outlet. In light of these two simple facts, everything is obvious.

 

Not all of us gayfolk would write a world where everyone humps everyone. I personally prefer Robert E. Howard's take on things.

 

And I believe the movie Osvir spoke about was Caligula.. but that may be because, for reasons that are obvious to those that have seen it, the only non-comedy movie I've seen that's set in Roman times.

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My issue with romances, at least as they are presented in BioWare games, is that they are ultimately based on what your character says, not what your character does. In a game like Mass Effect, romances essentially come down to this:

 

NPC: You can talk to me five times!

 

NPC: Say the right thing four times, and I'll love you forever!

I think at the moment computer game environments are still rather limited in being able to express a developing romantic love. It's not just whether dialogue is written well, it's the whole question/response/rep systems available/often used in crpg's. Even if I like/appreciate the effort (vs ignoring it), it's not going to evoke emotional response from me. Too perfunctory, not in-depth enough. It's not romantic.

 

My own imagination making up who gets to hook up with who, is still better. :biggrin:

 

 

But at least in Baldur's Gate 2, you had a dozen or so "love talks" with your romantic partner, and they were timed in such a way that they were spread out across the game, giving the impression that the relationship was developing in a way that felt somewhat natural.

 

I wouldn't say it evoked a emotional response for me, but then again, romance in games (or any media) doesn't evoke emotional response for me in general. (Actually, that's not quite true. The romances in KotOR1 made me pray for the violent deaths of all individuals involved. Guess that counts an "emotional response.") At any rate, while the BG2 romances weren't anything spectacular, I did feel that they contributed to development of the NPC's characterisation.

 

Compare this to Dragon Age 2. I hit the "heart" button on the dialogue wheel when speaking to a character once or twice, then *bam* - there's a time skip and suddenly people start acting as though Hawke is in a relationship with that person. It's totally superfluous, simply thrown in because BioWare knows that their fans will scream bloody murder if romance isn't present. Or there's the Mass Effect example I mentioned, where I felt that the romance arcs with your squadmates actively diminished their characters, because it made them seem as if they were willing to throw themselves at Shepard regardless of what sort of person he is.

"There is no greatness where simplicity, goodness and truth are absent." - Leo Tolstoy

 

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Nah, You're over-analyzing. It has nothing to do with any "Roman Empire influence". There's only one explanation for Dragon Age's 21st Century-like views of sexuality/relationships: David Gaider. He is: 1) Gay; and 2) Dragon Age is his fantasy world. He wrote it. It's his creative outlet. In light of these two simple facts, everything is obvious.

 

Not all of us gayfolk would write a world where everyone humps everyone. I personally prefer Robert E. Howard's take on things.

 

And I believe the movie Osvir spoke about was Caligula.. but that may be because, for reasons that are obvious to those that have seen it, the only non-comedy movie I've seen that's set in Roman times.

I haven't seen it, but I've heard it's good and IIRC has some of the content I spoke of earlier.

 

The explanation might be as simple as that, that he wants more versatility and more representation and diversity, which I think is cool and good. From a narrative stand-point, I think romance would be more cool as something "happening" rather than being a gamified reward system.

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I think, that if a game wants to do romance the best, there should at least be like 50 different companions you can pick up, all catering to different playstyles. Naturally, this isn't a "Hey! That's easy!" thing to do. You wouldn't be able to get all of them on one playthrough, as they would be tied to Choice & Consequence in the story, so if you an evil path, the questline would adjust, or if you play a good path, the evil companions are mid-bosses or even end-game bosses.

I think it'd be easier to write romances that way as well, as you wouldn't need every 50th character to be romanceable, but 1 or 2 out of 10, and if there are 5 different paths in the game, there'd be 10 companions to recruit in each different storyline. And even then it shouldn't be something that's obvious, and other factors included.

Edited by Osvir
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IMO, modern bioware has become a little weird when it comes down to romances, playing DA:I now and there has already been several instances of using the "romance" option without meanign to, I don't always pay attention to the "icon" that the dialogue option has, and my char will take on this smug/horrible grin/attitude and say somethign stupid, it's really anoying.

 

BG2 had romances, and in my oppinion they worked fine. That was because the strength of the character, and that the romance was something that was there as an afterthought, not a main design perspective, which I believe todays Bioware characters are sometimes designed as.

 

Heck, the romance I had in BG2 even made me chose a different ending then I thought I would. Also, the threat of companions leaving you is essential, if you're "in love" with an npc, then your actions should be affected, while in DA games all you care about is getting the right dialogue option to get "rep" with the character. Though if you wanted to romance Viconia (the original Morigan) you needed to make sure you didn't scare her away early if you were being too good, and slowly try to open her up to another world view.

 

Main thing is for me, romance has to be an after thought, not a main reason for the cars existence, something that flows naturally between companions out in the field for a long time, not somethign you jump at when the dialogue option says "romance option".

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He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster . . .

when you gaze long into the abyss the abyss also gazes into you

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Nah, You're over-analyzing. It has nothing to do with any "Roman Empire influence". There's only one explanation for Dragon Age's 21st Century-like views of sexuality/relationships: David Gaider. He is: 1) Gay; and 2) Dragon Age is his fantasy world. He wrote it. It's his creative outlet. In light of these two simple facts, everything is obvious.

 

Not all of us gayfolk would write a world where everyone humps everyone. I personally prefer Robert E. Howard's take on things.

 

And I believe the movie Osvir spoke about was Caligula.. but that may be because, for reasons that are obvious to those that have seen it, the only non-comedy movie I've seen that's set in Roman times.

 

 

Sorry for being a little hostile earlier, I did think you were being homophobic and its something that really bothers me

 

I live in South Africa and you can't be sexist or racist in our new multi-racial country but you can still be homophobic and it really frustrates me

 

Anyway I am glad I didn't assume what I thought, sorry for the misunderstanding :)

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"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

 

 

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The ****, you guys need to keep all the previous thread links in the opening post.

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/60404-merged-gods-save-us-another-romance-thread/page-1

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/60688-romance-in-project-eternity-how-important-how-much

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/61515-romance-and-friendship

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/61683-the-official-pe-relationshipromance-thread

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/61676-the-unofficial-pe-relationshipromance-thread

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/61768-unofficial-pe-relationshipromance-thread-pt2

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/61886-unofficial-pe-relationshipromance-thread-pt-3

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/62215-relationshipromance-thread-iv

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/64084-romance-marriage-pregnancy-and-having-children

 

etc.

 

It's all an eternal circle-war anyway.

 

Nah we like discussing this stuff over and over again. Besides I have set myself a personal vow...so I can't break it ....that I won't stop discussing Romance until Stun agrees that Romance is a relevant part of an RPG journey. I basically want him to agree that Romance makes sense. Now you can imagine how much work that is :aiee:

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"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

 

 

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I think at the moment computer game environments are still rather limited in being able to express a developing romantic love. It's not just whether dialogue is written well, it's the whole question/response/rep systems available/often used in crpg's. Even if I like/appreciate the effort (vs ignoring it), it's not going to evoke emotional response from me. Too perfunctory, not in-depth enough. It's not romantic.

 

My own imagination making up who gets to hook up with who, is still better. happy0203.gif

I very much agree. However, I don't really think the goal should be to evoke an emotional response from you, the player. I think it's just another connection between characters that happens in this virtual fantasy world. It's just a part of the story, in my eyes. "Oh, these two peeps were really close, and so this is what happened as a result of that, throughout this narrative."

 

I mean, to be honest, the choices of being able to have my character just run amok slaughtering everyone don't really evoke an emotional response from me, because I know I'm puppeteering a virtual person in a virtual world. I like for verisimilitude to exist in the world, for the narrative's sake, but I'm not like "*GASP*, I just looted that chest that was in that person's house, even though they can't afford to eat! WHY WOULD I DO THAT?!". If I decide to play that guy, I've decided up front that I'm controlling a guy who doesn't careabout that.

 

I dunno... it's just a strange environment. Having an interface to control a virtual world. You want similarities to exist, but you can't ever really shake the knowledge that it's a simulation. It's just like imagination in your head. It's a reality, but you know it isn't reality.

 

I won't say it's impossible, but I don't know that I'm very worried at all about an RPG ever evoking a romantic emotional response from me towards a virtual character. I can like the idea of characters aplenty, but I'm never gonna be like "Man... I feel like I'm in love with that voice-acted script with a model and animations!"

Edited by Lephys
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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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  • 2 weeks later...

The Solas romance in DA:I actually adds to the impact of the main story, I think Bioware really did that rather well. And while I find that game to be a drag to play because of the mmo filler quests and the truly terrible PC controls, that particular romance is why I'm still playing it. Romance can make a game better.

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I understand the occlusion of romances for PoE, but I hope they exist for any future installments. Moirnelithe is exactly right in her assertion. Romances in games are some of the most memorable interactions I've had in RPG's, ranging from good (Ohhh, Miranda Lawson how you haunt my dreams) to absurdity (Aerie pregnancy anyone?). 

 

I realize that stuff is probably crazy time consuming to create and since OE is building this game up from scratch I'm glad they're focusing on other things instead. I would hope, however, that if a PoE 2 comes into being that romances would get another look.

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When I played Dragon Age: Origins, I kept thinking how great it would be if you could play as a female blood mage, then persuade Alistair into becoming king and keeping you as his mistress. Then, you'd use blood magic to manipulate his mind, effectively making him your puppet and making you the shadow queen of Ferelden.

 

And while I normally hate BioWare romances, I thought this was good for a laugh:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHPkgeGiq4o

 

Y U SO STUPID, LELIANA???

Edited by 500MetricTonnes
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"There is no greatness where simplicity, goodness and truth are absent." - Leo Tolstoy

 

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The Solas romance in DA:I actually adds to the impact of the main story, I think Bioware really did that rather well. And while I find that game to be a drag to play because of the mmo filler quests and the truly terrible PC controls, that particular romance is why I'm still playing it. Romance can make a game better.

 

 

I understand the occlusion of romances for PoE, but I hope they exist for any future installments. Moirnelithe is exactly right in her assertion. Romances in games are some of the most memorable interactions I've had in RPG's, ranging from good (Ohhh, Miranda Lawson how you haunt my dreams) to absurdity (Aerie pregnancy anyone?). 

 

I realize that stuff is probably crazy time consuming to create and since OE is building this game up from scratch I'm glad they're focusing on other things instead. I would hope, however, that if a PoE 2 comes into being that romances would get another look.

 

Yes you guys are right, Romance can really enhance the overall RPG experience and make it more memorable 

 

When I think about all the RPG I have played over the last 10 years and all the characters in my party its always the people I have Romanced that I remember first  :wub: 

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"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"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

 

 

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I've been playing Persona 4 (For those who don't know it's pretty much the most japanese RPG you can get, great game though) and that game showed me how much impact Romance has in character development. I've never really cared about romance in CRPGs (I didn't even know it existed in BG when i first played it) as I didn't really care about most characters anyway. Character doesn't need a romance option to be well written but it definitely adds to the personality and depth if it is done well. What bugs me with most RPGs that include romance are the irrational romances. Racial differences or even total opposite ideals are usually irrelevant, as long as you say the right things (or even worse, give enough gifts). 

 

My point is: If game is to include romance, limit the romances with certain characters to specific races or acts. If i play Human and decide to romace with Orlan, god knows what the possible child would look like. Being a Priest (using the RL definition of priest) instead of Barbarian should make a difference as well. Saving one of your companion's parents from bandits for example would be a good way to open new dialogue options with that guy.

 

I personally won't mind if they won't include any romance options as it is a lot of work to make them properly. I prefer interesting characters without romances to one-dimensional, easily charmed followers.

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I'm all for romance in games... romance. Not any of these:

 

Trite and meaningless sexual encounters, seriously... There's this stuff called pornography, and it's much better at this.

Example: Witcher 1

 

Romance dialogues that pop out of nowhere for no apparent reason on characters I barely know and don't really care about.

Example Skyrim: Options to romance dozens of nobodys, while the one person you actually spend time getting to know, Serana, can't be married. In other words: build the character and then build the relationship.

 

Romance dialogues that are crafted solely for the purpose of promoting awareness of a particular orientation or to give examples of sexual oppression.

Example: Don't have one, but I've heard whispers of it on the rise. I know more about sexual oppression than anything like that could possibly teach me. I'm playing a game, not attending high school sex ed.

 

So, if it's going to be any of those, I'd vote for it to be dropped.

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Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. - Julius Caesar

 

:facepalm: #define TRUE (!FALSE)

I ran across an article where the above statement was found in a release tarball. LOL! Who does something like this? Predictably, this oddity was found when the article's author tried to build said tarball and the compiler promptly went into cardiac arrest. If you're not a developer, imagine telling someone the literal meaning of up is "not down". Such nonsense makes computers, and developers... angry.

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^ Well said.

 

DA:I I think is an example of a game with romances that exist just to show they represent the whole spectrum of sexual orientations. I mean, its nice that those are available, but it feels forced. Also in Bioware games everyone tends to be single and looking. I'm fond of how OE handled romance in F:NV. Your companions simply weren't interested in you, or they were in relationships with someone else. I thought that was a great way to get around having a romance mechanic in the game, but making it fit in story-wise.

 

I'm playing through Witcher 1 right now and find that nudity in video games is especially unnecessary. I don't think it adds anything meaningful to the game. Now with nudity in DA:I I'm concerned it's going to become a trend. At least in Dragon Age you're actually developing a relationship beforehand tho...

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^ Well said.

 

DA:I I think is an example of a game with romances that exist just to show they represent the whole spectrum of sexual orientations. I mean, its nice that those are available, but it feels forced. Also in Bioware games everyone tends to be single and looking. I'm fond of how OE handled romance in F:NV. Your companions simply weren't interested in you, or they were in relationships with someone else. I thought that was a great way to get around having a romance mechanic in the game, but making it fit in story-wise.

 

I'm playing through Witcher 1 right now and find that nudity in video games is especially unnecessary. I don't think it adds anything meaningful to the game. Now with nudity in DA:I I'm concerned it's going to become a trend. At least in Dragon Age you're actually developing a relationship beforehand tho...

 

It was handled well in FO:NV, but I still think that it suffered from feeling forced in the whole "represent the whole spectrum of sexual orientations". In the wake of a nuclear holocaust, I can't see homosexuality as being something as handwaveable as it was portrayed - especially not by the two most technologically advanced factions that have charged themselves with the survival of humanity.

t50aJUd.jpg

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So I've been thinking about romance in video games, and the one that keeps coming to mind as doing it well is "Catherine."

 

Basically, it seperates your romance choices from your attitude. So while you can choose one love interest over the other, if it doesn't match your attitude the romance will not end well.

 

I could see something like this working well with PoE by using the dispositions. So you could say the right things to woo a benevolent party member as a cruel PC, but the relationship woul be toxic. Or make it so another character is only attracted to PC with an agressive disposition, regardless of anything said to them. Using a system like this wouldn't have to be limited to romance options either. You could have abbusive friendships, etc.

"Wizards do not need to be The Dudes Who Can AoE Nuke You and Gish and Take as Many Hits as a Fighter and Make all Skills Irrelevant Because Magic."

-Josh Sawyer

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^ Well said.

 

DA:I I think is an example of a game with romances that exist just to show they represent the whole spectrum of sexual orientations. I mean, its nice that those are available, but it feels forced. Also in Bioware games everyone tends to be single and looking. I'm fond of how OE handled romance in F:NV. Your companions simply weren't interested in you, or they were in relationships with someone else. I thought that was a great way to get around having a romance mechanic in the game, but making it fit in story-wise.

 

I'm playing through Witcher 1 right now and find that nudity in video games is especially unnecessary. I don't think it adds anything meaningful to the game. Now with nudity in DA:I I'm concerned it's going to become a trend. At least in Dragon Age you're actually developing a relationship beforehand tho...

 

Yes, and it's going to be near impossible to do that because human sexuality is as diverse as human personality.

 

How do you represent pansexuality or polysexuality in games? Not to mention gender identity, androgyny, gender roles, polyamoury. That's going to be hard to do. I've seen whole movies try this and fail miserably.

 

Just put in a couple of good love stories between two people, and pick their genders based on what might seem interesting. And there's no reason to get graphic and start trying to showcase penetration and oral and all that. Seeing two people make out and then jump in the sack is probably as far as it needs to go. If people need more visual stimulus than that, they need to visit a porn site, really.

 

Just as... lol and example. Look at this girl's fantasy. Yes, that's Cicero... She's hot for an unstable & psychotic clown. You'll never be able to cover all the bases.

 

balancing_act_by_wrathling-d53f1gj.jpg

Edited by Luridis

Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. - Julius Caesar

 

:facepalm: #define TRUE (!FALSE)

I ran across an article where the above statement was found in a release tarball. LOL! Who does something like this? Predictably, this oddity was found when the article's author tried to build said tarball and the compiler promptly went into cardiac arrest. If you're not a developer, imagine telling someone the literal meaning of up is "not down". Such nonsense makes computers, and developers... angry.

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