Disliked Elements, Mechanics, and Tropes

A general pet peeve with CoG’s games in general:

How the description gives the total wordcount (often rounded up and with code) instead of the total and the average ‘per play’ one. It just… feels a little like false advertisement to me, cause saying a game has 300k words does not tell one anything about how long the average playthrough is. I know from my own writing that sometime 20k words can result in just 2k per read…

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One of my biggest pet peeves is when the RO genders are ridiculously unbalanced, like 4 male ROs, 1 female RO, and 1 nb RO. As a lesbian it’s like, oh okay so the romance really isn’t a choice for me. Also I feel like a lot of cishet women authors put much more effort into writing male love interests to the point where their personalities and routes are incredibly diverse, and the one or two female love interests fall in the “mc’s best friend!” or “kind shy bookworm!” tropes. It just immediately turns me off to a story.

Along those lines, I really dislike when there’s a very obvious “canon” love interest that the author sometimes favors over the others. Or when the ROs are gender customizable but clearly written with a certain gender in mind. It just makes the story feel flat and less immersive in my opinion.

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Oh, I know this struggle. Romance is one of the aspects it seems other people are most enthusiastic about, and yet I hesitate to get invested because it so often comes across like someone wrote their f/f romances as an afterthought or an accident.

At least it’s inspiration to try not to make people feel left out of my own content, but… yeah.

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When games give you the option to customize your appearance but it is rarely every mentioned or interacted with later.

Especially when the game has a “type your own” or “other” style option. It usually means it’s just there for the player’s convenience on a visual representation of their character.

I don’t blame the authors for this however. It definitely is hard to include the characters appearance into the dialogue and text. And it would be hard to satisfy everyone. Thus, having it there is better than not having it. Regardless, I would like to see a couple more game that does more with a character’s appearance than a simple intro customization.

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Lack of checkpoints for every chapter. Jolly Good: Cakes and Ale executed this properly and I hope that it’s implemented more in other games, especially if the game contains 100k+ words or more.

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I hadn’t wanted to open the RO can of worms because I get that it’s all very subjective, but for me everything in that last paragraph is spot on.

I know I was just complaining about linearity, but that’s been times all pretense of roleplaying as my own character was so quickly out the window because of this. I’d almost rather have just had a set character with a set RO than constant indicators of what I was “supposed” to have picked and the author only begrudgingly including other options while half ignoring them.

It makes for a very lackluster game when you pick the author’s less desired options.

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This part has got me thinking. What are peoples thoughts on the MC having a Canon (wife/husband/partner) but get to decide who they are?

I’m asking because one of my ideas one part of the entire plot is trying to stop something bad happening to their Significant other and without them already having a partner the concept doesn’t work as well. (Won’t go into more details as not to go too far from the topic)

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i have played a few games (both WiPs and released games) where the MC is married or has a significant partner. The ones i enjoyed where i can decide the exact relationship with my partner alongside their customization.

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This is what would make the difference for me. I’d need at least some ability to customize them (physically and personality-wise) and the state of the relationship, otherwise I probably wouldn’t be too invested in saving them.

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I find it boring if I have too much control over the LI, getting to shape them myself to make them exactly as I’d like them personality wise and looks wise means I have about as much attachment for them as I would for my favorite sims character. Spoiler alert: I don’t have a favorite sims character. What makes RO’s interesting to me is how the authors handle them, flaws and all, which means I don’t necessarily click with all of them but even those I don’t click with at least make me feel more than a blank state would. This is why I so much more often have issues with how the MC’s are handled (as in, they’re too bland/mary sueish/uninteresting) than how RO’s are.

That’s not to say I wouldn’t enjoy an established marriage, Seven Days in Purgatory for example does it and does it so well. I don’t trust Anthony (MC’s husband) as far as I can throw him but man if I wouldn’t jump in front of a car for that psycho. That’s all credit to the author and doing a great job with that character.

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That’s something to consider as the more customisation the less actual character they could end up having.

Thank you the input.

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Having an established relationship is a two sided thing, If the character is too blank, no one will care about them, but having No customization is not better in my opinion since I then have to like the character as it is, or I will keep asking why I entered a relationship at all.
The Minimum customization should be the gender.
And perhaps it could help not to customize the character involved but some past interactions with the Partner, so that a Connection could be established?

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Hate is probably too strong word for me, but there are some thing that can get on my nerves i guess. I don’t have too much to add, because most of my pet peeves were already discussed. I guess i have a major one for me. :thinking:

Absolutely bland blank Main Character. Here is colorful interesting characters and colorful interesting ROs with different races, interesting looks and descriptions and here is for you White T-shirt, jeans, brown hair and hazel eyes if you are lucky, trying to find heterochromia eyes in any game almost impossible, playing humans again and again and again. You must be 20 years old etc. Even if it doesn’t have any impact on the story, i’m just happy with flavor text at the start. I want to be flamboyant too and have my freckles But it is just my preference. :hugs:

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This isn’t a hate so much as a recent trend I’ve noticed that I’m not overly fond of. Namely attaching a stat check to almost all choices.

I understand and approve of making stats matter, and more checks can be a good thing. But I’ve been finding more often lately I’m stopping at a choice where the option I want is connected to stats I know I’ll fail. And I’m not talking about obvious ones like needing charisma to be convincing, for example, but more like needing intelligence to convince them of A and stubbornness to convince them of B. What if my stubborn MC wants A? Now instead of stats being a tool or defining aspect of my character they have become an obstacle to overcome. I’m left to choose between being a bumbling buffoon who keeps failing checks or a schizophrenic who keeps successfully changing course.

Either more options are needed for a greater variety of characters or perhaps a first choice selecting your goals then a second one for your preferred method.

Edit to be more clear: My frustration is more when these choices are presented when choosing a path or companion and less so in a basic win/lose situation.

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I have the same issue. I’d like my stats to reflect the choices I make, rather than determine what choices I can take.

That said, my current project is littered with choices gated with stat checks, but I’m tying them all to one stat and you can pick a choice even if you don’t meet the requirements. You get a different flavour text if you fail the check. And when you get a few chapters in you’re basically passing every check anyway. I want the decisions you make to matter, rather than how well you’ve optimised your stats.

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This actually is a mechanic I hate personally:

The approach that choices that pragmatically speaking shouldn’t require a skillcheck are considered/handled as a ‘fail’ if you don’t pass the skillcheck.

Like, do you really need high charisma to compliment someone’s outfit? Normally no. But i’ve seen a number of approaches where you’ll put your foot where your mouth is if you are just one skillpoint too low. like… what?

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I agree with a lot of things said here, I assume it has been said before, but I really don’t like “fake choice”. There is a lot of different “fake choice” but typically, I don’t like when you have a “turn right, turn left” kind of choice where you have no clue what you will find in each side and you just have to pick it randomly.
Or when you have the choice to do something bad like kill someone, but then your character just don’t do it and it doesn’t change a thing at all.

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I believe that skillchecks should only be necessary if something important to the game is about to happen, and your stats would determine whether you fail at it or not. For narrative stuff yeah, I do agree using skill checks for things not important are a waste of time.

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I wouldn’t call that a fake choice. ‘fake choice’ in that sense is more of a ‘doesn’t matter what you pick, outcome is the exact same’. if there’s different, well-done flavortext, they’re alright, but when there’s not even flavortext or just ‘you try but it fails’ each time… that’s a nope.

And oh boy, the ‘kill this character’ choices… like, again, if the story gives you a good reason why it doesn’t happen, okay, but if not… it’s bad. worse when the gamegoes and says ‘you don’t have enough ruthless stat to kill this npc who is really bad and nasty and who really pissed you off’… like whut?

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Just a Personal dislike, I hate choices where I have to side with one companion against another.

It is ok when it is a real important choice once in the game like, saving or dooming a City. But just because two npcs do not get along, why should I take ones side? I think there should always be at least the Option to stay out of this argument, I would be happier If there is a Option where you try to keep the peace or tell the npcs to quit this bullshit. Like who cares If you like blue and He Likes Red, the damn house is burning.
This side with one char and the other hates you, has made me quit more than one game

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