So, I decided to try doing the stat-raising OPTIONAL gameplay. As always, I couldn't reuse an existing system but had to try something new
(lol I think in 10+ years I have NEVER made two games that reused the same system!).
Anyway here's the new layout with the help screen overlay:
In practice there will be ZERO randomness. Each activity will increase some stats, the only two that can go down are Energy and Morale. Every X weeks you'll get a new "goal", that will boost your relationship: those goals will be either generic, or specific for the route. So for example you could get something like "I want to relax this week, reach value of 10 in Energy". Or "I must gather inspiration for my book, raise Culture by 10 points before deadline X".
If you manage to meet the goal's demands, you'll get an increase of X points in the relationship value.
I'll balance it so that you'll need to do a mix of completing goals and do normal stat raising. Using this system, you will still have a main associated stat with each love interest like in the first game (Aaron=Romance, etc) but you'll also need to raise the other stats to meet the goals, so they won't be useless.
Will it be fun? I think so, at least it should be different and more unpredictable than the ones I have done before