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The Progression of Romance

Games with gameplay beside the story: raising your skills, map systems, life simulations, etc
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jack1974
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Re: The Progression of Romance

Postby jack1974 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:39 am

thesleepykitten wrote:The sooner the first kiss/date/etc happens, the earlier the other love interests get locked out (unless the game gives you the option to cheat or be ambiguous about the relationship and not really commit.) So I guess it's also a balancing thing too... And of course CGs/resources, how much writing you can devote to developing the relationship...

Yes indeed forgot about that aspect too. Beside moral/ethical (do you want to play a cheating character? :lol:) it's also much harder to write/code if you're allowed to flirt with more than 1 character. So the simplest option is to lock out the other character's romance. Which means that on each playthrough you see LESS stuff (since most of the content is locked after you pick the romance).
It's interesting what Aleema is doing with Planet Stronghold 2. Is the first of my games in which we have the romances that resume from the previous one. I can already tell you that is going to rule, is especially interesting and you get even more attached to the characters and their relationships! 8)

thesleepykitten wrote:Yea, although right now the yaoi/yuri expansion seems to be more popular with the players. ;D We'll figure it out.

Yes, probably AFTER the main game is done will do a poll in forums to see what people would prefer, adding yuri/yaoi or post-marriage romance. I think I know what the result is going to be though :twisted:

MrEnvy8
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Re: The Progression of Romance

Postby MrEnvy8 » Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:45 pm

This is a rather fascinating topic for romance type games.
I think I could easily start off my thoughts with something stupidly dramatic like "Romance is dead today!" but that rather misses the point. Firstly, Visual Novels are still games, and gamers tend to like goals (I'm speaking from a place of visual novel specific ignorance, but general gamer knowledge, caveat emptor). I'm not saying it can't be done, but generally if you just meet a person and then start humping, what precisely is the goal? How many people have just been turned away because they've gotten what they were after? Or, how many people will dismiss that character because they already "won" them? At that point, if enough people are dismissing that character is it a valid gameplay choice to keep them in there, rather than scrapping them for someone more "interesting". I think Aleema also makes very salient points about also considering the various social/cultural influences that might be impacting the characters.

The narrative might resonate more strongly with early kisses, etc, but it's fairly easy for the writer to throw in an excuse or barrier. "I'd totes kiss you right now, but my lips were stolen by an ogre. Grab those smart quick, would ya love?" And once the narrative explains why they aren't kissing, it makes sense that they aren't necessarily.

For the record, I'm not going to get into the weirdly puritanical reactions I've seen around various games to characters who enjoy their bodies a bit too much a bit too early. Suffice it to say, it weirds me out, but I'm aware of it as a vector of reaction.

All that said, I agree that this stuff can feel a bit formulaic encompassed over an entire genre.

ChaosMorning wrote:(Though if I may, having some characters get engaged at the game's end is a bit of a poor plot move--it's a more than a tad cliche, and since the characters are--to the extent of my knowledge--young university students, then planning to get married isn't a great plan. Moving in together off campus would seem like a better idea.)


Don't worry, the main characters are college freshmen. They're not marrying anyone yet. Not that it doesn't happen irl, but... it's probably not going to happen here (excepting in a possible post-script: "With their first year over, they went to college for another three. Afterwards, they got married and had six kids, four dogs, two gerbils, an ostrich which they lost in a sports gambling accident and two more kids that they stole from their neighbors. Y'know, like you do.")

That said, because this is supposed to be a more modern depiction, the romance won't be all held to the end (as Jack mentioned). It also probably won't be given out right at the beginning though, either. I still want people to know the characters a bit before they start pursuing and getting, etc, etc. And I think it makes sense for most of the characters as well. Many people do fall at first sight (or first beer), but many also take their time :)

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Sylrissa
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Re: The Progression of Romance

Postby Sylrissa » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:33 am

jack1974 wrote:Yes, probably AFTER the main game is done will do a poll in forums to see what people would prefer, adding yuri/yaoi or post-marriage romance. I think I know what the result is going to be though :twisted:

Aww, we can't have both? :lol:

half kidding aside, I agree with some of MrEnvy8's points, and while certain things really do or do not happen in real life, a games characters and narrative I imagine are designed to be set out a certain way.
Also I know I would be happy with an epilogue screen with text saying what the future held for the couple, kinda DA:O like

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thesleepykitten
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Re: The Progression of Romance

Postby thesleepykitten » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:11 am

Sylrissa wrote:
jack1974 wrote:Yes, probably AFTER the main game is done will do a poll in forums to see what people would prefer, adding yuri/yaoi or post-marriage romance. I think I know what the result is going to be though :twisted:

Aww, we can't have both? :lol:


:lol: We'll see. I wouldn't mind both as well. >.>b

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jack1974
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Re: The Progression of Romance

Postby jack1974 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:02 am

Yes this is a complex topic... for this kind of games, how you treat romance is like talking about "the core" of them :)
MrEnvy8 wrote:That said, because this is supposed to be a more modern depiction, the romance won't be all held to the end (as Jack mentioned). It also probably won't be given out right at the beginning though, either. I still want people to know the characters a bit before they start pursuing and getting, etc, etc. And I think it makes sense for most of the characters as well. Many people do fall at first sight (or first beer), but many also take their time :)

For Roommates for example we're going to have different character personalities, more shy, more extrovert, thoughtful, silly etc and of course each one will tackle romance/relationship or even just flirting in a different way.
The biggest difference of this game vs the other is the length/scope... I don't mean just by words (which is already at a record level :lol:) but in-game length. Always Remember Me or Nicole timeframe will be 3 months or little more, while in this game you actually play it for 10 months (I think, if I understood well how college works!).
For the first time in one of my games, you see the characters in winter clothing, in summer clothing (well, bikini), doing Halloween party, Valentine's Day, and so on. I think that's pretty cool 8)

thesleepykitten wrote::lol: We'll see. I wouldn't mind both as well. >.>b

The main problem for me was that I had to "code" all the character expressions. Whenever you see a sprite on screen, there's a line of code saying who is, what expression to use, the placement, etc. That looks simple but is taking away lot of time. But luckily now the brave writers agreed to do that as they write the story. I'll still have to adjust the positions on screen and add a "bit of movement", but is definitely less work and I feel relieved.

For Heileen3, I'm doing that process since 2 months! (not full time of course, but still). If you do it as you write I think is faster, since you already know which expression/emotion to use, instead I have to review every time the text :)

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Sylrissa
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Re: The Progression of Romance

Postby Sylrissa » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:40 am

The improvement to 10 months is a good to hear, though now I can't help but picture spending christmas together, as not everyone went home for holidays, (or even had a family to go back to :cry:) back during their time at college


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