Different characters for each gender/Romance question

Hi! I’m new as y’all can probably tell, and just starting to work on something for the site. I’ll put a WIP when it is further along, but right now I started it last week and only have 10,000 words of text, and I haven’t plugged any code into it yet. I want to enter it into the contest if it’s done in time, so I have the male/female choice. However, in this story both would be completely distinct characters, who happen to cross paths. So the male would be a roguish sort, and the female more of the heavy hitter. Is this a worthy notion? Or will it chafe people to not get the option to switch up the genders for each, thereby giving four distinct PC options?

Also, a side question to avoid spamming topics: how important is romance to y’all as players/readers? I don’t know if I’m interested in it, at least for my first effort. But if that’s turnoff for the masses, I may need to rethink this. Most of the ones I have seen on both CoG label itself and Hosted seem to have it in some capacity.


Welcome to the community.

Here are a couple of helpful links to help you get started:

Helpful Links:
Master-List Links For Beginners
CSIDE Scripting Tool Web-Site

The first has links to all sorts of resources, including tutorials and wikis, the last is a scripting tool to help you code much more efficient then with pure text editors.

Having separated paths is a unique idea and I’d like to see how you implement and execute the idea - but one caveat still should apply. Customization of the PC should still occur even with separate paths for different “types”.

There are romance fanatics in the community but I don’t think it is an absolute. Cataphrak’s Infinity series has no romance with two installments already best sellers although starting with the third title there is supposed to be romance.

Relationships are necessary, even if they are not romance-level imo.

Look forward to seeing your WiP when you make the thread and demo.


I’d actually like to see some games that have a selection of predefined characters you could choose from with their own backstories. Some people like that, some don’t, but if you’ve got an idea along those lines, write up the demo and see how it’s received :slight_smile: I would be careful not to make the characters too rigid though in their responses though. This is a choice game, the player should be able to decide how to respond. (BTW- not sure what a “heavy hitter” is?)

Personally, I’d rather have a strong story that works well, over romantic options added just because, (I dislike it when stories that are good by themselves but have a RO or two tacked on as an after thought rather than being an important part of the story) But a lot of people do seem to play these games for the romance aspect. As Eiwynn pointed out though there are examples of well liked stories without romance though. If you’re entering the comp, I’d ask on that thread whether RO’s are a requirement/favoured or not.

1 Like

That idea is interesting and I’d love to see what you can do with it. The only drawback I can think of is that not everyone would want to be a heavy hitter woman or a roguish guy, but that’s the only thing I can think of.

As for romance, in my opinion, as long as all the people we meet are well-written and interesting characters, I don’t mind there not being any romance. Sometimes I think a better would work better if there wasn’t romance, since the author doesn’t have to focus on that area.

I’m not worried so much at choosing between 2 or more pre-defined MC. It’s not included in my list of “parameters for good stories.”

Actually, I’m more… concerned, intrigued, with how will you handle the story when these two cross paths. Does the decision made by one MC will “affect” the playthrough of the other’s? Or will you limit the freedom of choice by “railroading” the story as needed?
I think it’s a rare concept which is done well.

The trick may be done using achievements, which is stored indefinitely for any and all playthroughs, but it’ll surely weird when you have a notification of “Congrats! You achieved” for every single choice you make :sweat_smile:

That would be me :stuck_out_tongue: So I’ll get my standard question out of the way…if you do put in romance with I be able to romance another girl?


I like the idea of pre-defined classes for each gender but like what was posted earlier; let they be enough customization. Dont put too much detail to the MC, let the players decide some stuff. Even if the female is a heavy hitter, let the players pick whether to sneak in a situation or not. Let the players pick the majority of the pesonality. Too many games are accused as being too linear because of the lack of meaningful options - you don’t want to be one of those.
In terms of romance, as long as the story is more well written and structured than my own post ( :grin: ), then you will gain some fans.

Thanks for all the replies, everyone. Eiwynn, I will definitely be using those links; this is my first time coding anything. In fact, the idea to try doing a CoG/HG title grew out of a discussion on another forum where I was discussing how hard it might be to hook up with some programmers to help me make this SRPG notion I cooked up last year, and when I mentioned I might just try to learn some stuff on my own someone pointed me to y’all. I was vaguely familiar from having seen titles like Lost Heir and Choice of Deathless pop up in the Top RPG area of iTunes from time to time, and thought it sounded intriguing. I bought or downloaded free demos of a bunch of titles and started seeing what the lay of the land was, and came up with an idea.

As for romance, that’s good to hear. I just feel like anything I try to do may come off stilted. There will be some in-depth relationships, though I do not know if there will be an actual meter for them or not the way some games I have seen had. Choices will impact them, though. And I’m thinking of having characters who travel with you be able to do some challenges for you using their stats (which would be preset, unlike yours) so even if you didn’t max a certain way, you’d still be able to take those options. And make it both a pragmatic and personal choice on who you favored. No sense overstating things that are just out in the ether yet, though.

Jacic, backgrounds would be at least somewhat set, but choices won’t be too rigid. There are a few railroad moments in the plot for necessity, such as the fact that the two meet in the first place. But even those can go different ways. They’re going to fight when they first meet, but who wins is unknown (and won’t necessarily be the one controlled by the player).

I think I might go with Eiwynn’s notion, Toxic, and make both characters ungendered to start and give a choice. It is why we’re all here, after all. And part of why I asked in the first place is that I read what I had so far and realized I had actually used virtually nothing, from pronouns to descriptions, that locked either one into their gender. The story is inspired by a webcomic I wrote ten years ago, and I guess I need to stop thinking of them as set people and let them up to be whatever the player makes them. I’d already let go of the notion of one being stronger or smarter than the other when I created stats for those and gave the player a chance to max them for both characters. Might as well let go of the gender notion too.

Lizzy, I am sorry, but I don’t think I’d be comfortable doing that. I am a Christian, and while I think the fundamentalists who shout about homosexuals being evil are a crock (and are the single most damaging thing for our faith in modern times; we are never less Christ-like than when we pass up an opportunity to show kindness and start chucking stones instead), I do know I don’t have a comfort level with the subject that would allow me to write about it with proper authenticity. And I’m not into cookie-cutter RO that just swap pronouns, it just feels a touch disingenuous. One lesbian ex-girlfriend (long story) does not a worldly fellow create. One more reason to avoid romance; I have no desire to make people feel marginalized or unhappy to be stuck in a male/female relationship when that isn’t their cup of tea, and I also don’t want to write something that leaves me feeling similarly awkward. Might as well keep things truly equal and cancel the booty calls for everyone. For now, at least. Were it ever to catch on enough for more installments, would have to revisit relationships at that time.

Thanks for all this, y’all. Good stuff to think about, even if I probably should have been writing story instead of replies, ha ha. Only seven months to go, after all. And I anticipate needing a buttload of that time for fixing my inevitable rookie code mistakes.


I can certainly understand discomfort (I have the same discomfort writing any sort of romance that involves men), that said I would be happy to help you out though if you would like to open the romances up and I’m sure that some of the guys here could offer up help with male/male romances too. As the author though it is ultimately your choice how you want to shape your story and no matter what you decide I wish you the best of luck :grin:


Well, speaking as a gay guy, I’d say that the easiest way is just to write a straight romance and then make them both guys (or both girls, for @Lizzy). I imagine you won’t be writing about the actual bedroom scenes, so anatomical differences aren’t a problem, and thus the only real differences between a gay and a straight relationship would be how the society reacts to it (which would include the characters’ own reactions to their romance). And if your society is completely okay with gay relationships, then there won’t be a difference there, either. Gay relationships really aren’t that different from straight ones.

But, if you really don’t feel comfortable with it, then missing out romance entirely is probably the best option. Either way, good luck with your game. :slight_smile:


Honestly, I preferred the idea of skipping RO from the first, I think I just wanted to make sure that doing so wouldn’t somehow put my work in an untenable place from the standpoint of the community. Of the ones I have seen, all had it in some capacity, even if in some cases it was like y’all said, just on the periphery and not extremely fleshed out. It was good to hear that at least a few others made it work.

I am also thinking of avoiding meters for relationships entirely; I am not sure I want people approaching relationship-building with the characters as just another stat to max out.

1 Like

Well, there are plenty of games that have relationship variables, but don’t display them on the stats screen. There’s also the approach from The Sea Eternal, which will display descriptive bits of text about each relationship rather than giving numbers.


One important point to note is that people will generally react differently to others depending on how much they like or dislike them, and relationship meters are a way of approximating this. And I don’t think players generally look at it as “maxing out” the stat (well, some may), but rather of building the relationship with the NPC.

1 Like

That is an idea. Less a specific number and more a general status of how they feel about you. “Alexi is currently looking for buyers for your internal organs” or “Ferdie thinks you’re the bee’s knees and isn’t afraid to say so.” Or even simplify it further, make it a title like Wildly Unenthusiastic or Somewhat Perturbed.