Family and marriage life in interactive games

Ah yes two topics in one day, I hope the mods are okay with this.
I have always been a fan of interactive games with a family life subplot in them, it was to a point that I came here to see if there were any game similar to Alter Ego, A game about family. I was disappointed at first but after seeing all the lovely wips and games on here, I decided to stay.
Anyways enough about my short story, this is the general category.

One of these questions came from a friend of mine who didn’t have an account but wanted to ask this.

I’m wondering what are your feelings on pregnancy, Mpreg or adopting kids being an optional not-related-to the-plot choice in a interactive game your playing? Not at the end of the game, somewhere in the middle.

I also want to know:
What are your thoughts about your main character marrying the love interest at the end of the game your playing?

And in general:
What is feeling on your main character starting their own family in choice or interactive games? Hate it, neutral or love it?

This might belong on the writing category but I’m new here.

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@hustlertwo has a WIP about raising a baby.

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If it is a choice, I will love it. It is always grand to have mor possibilities for a character. If it is the only “right” choice, I would not be so keen on that. There are a lot of people to whom marriage and children are not the top of their wishlist^^

So as with the most questions here, giving them as a opportunity is really nice, especially when you get to play a part of the relationship that is more than just the first happy weeks. Which is a rare thing.

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I’m for it! It’s not something many CS games address, but for a story on the right timescale I think it could really add a lot.

I, personally, even like the stories where your character has a spouse, and children before the story even starts. Though I know there are people who really really don’t like that.

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Well I for one I’m a fan of games that go deeper into long term relationships, such as marriage and child… “birthing” I suppose. Though it really has to be done right. You need to really have a liking to the character, and for the most part, it being optional is nice. Like in a study in steampunk (One of my all time favorite choice games) where you have the ability to marry the maid Grace last name, though the story doesn’t punish you if you chose to abstain from doing it. Where as in games like the lost heir trilogy the game focused more on the world then the characters not really making them all to interesting (in my opinion at least) but you felt pretty compiled to marry a character.

I asked a question much like this on the official discord server recently and it seems as though a lot of people feel the same. Though there were mixed opinions when it came to something like a plot twist child. Some thought it was a alright idea and some thought it was a terrible idea. It mainly circled back to how the writing is done though.

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I generally don’t like marriage and baby subplots, especially if it’s meant as “settling down”. Marrying a character but still traveling the world vanquishing evil or whatever? Cool, all about that. “Adopting” a kid The Last of Us or God of War style? I might just be the proudest dad ever.

But usually if there is a marriage or kid option in game, it’s meant as (or comes across as) “the hero grows up and settles down bc they’re finally fulfilled in life” which… I hate.

If the family plot happens midway through the story, I guess it could be better? Depends on how it’s handled - you could make an interesting story about parenthood, but those kind of stories usually force the parenthood on the player bc otherwise you’d have either two completely different stories (one with a kid, one without) or a story that’s half-developed and you barely even connect to your kid bc there’s like 3 scenes with them and couple of alternative dialogue options.

Although I don’t “mind” forced parenthood if it’s done well and is one of the aspects of the story, even if the story itself isn’t really outwardly a story about family - like Dishonored is about revenge and the whole main story is about disposing the people who killed your lover and placed the blame on you, but you’re also a parent to an impressionable child who lost their mother and your choices will affect them.

But if you just want the player to have a family for reasons (looking at you, AC Odyssey) without really developing the idea or even making the story compelling, it’s just gonna be a Bad Time

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My relationship with pregnancy and childbirth is semi-phobic.
I can handle it in other people, but if it’s something that could possibly happen to the MC, that gets way to close, and I would need to have known about it before I even started the game.

(Please don’t get offended or try to explain to me that it’s natural, and I shouldn’t feel that way. Thinking of pregnancy in relation to myself can cause me severe dysphoria and distress, but for some reason a lot of people get angry at me, when I mention this.)

Strangely enough, I have found that fetishization of pregnancy and childbirth is not as bad for me (maybe it feels less real?), even if I don’t exactly enjoy that content.

:baby_chick::baby_chick::baby_chick::baby_chick:

As for raising a family, I just don’t have that drive. Babies and little children are just sort of weird, and not cute, to me.

So it’s content I usually avoid.

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In my first two Hosted Games, “Attack of the Clockwork Army” and “Scarlet Sails” I amused myself by writing rather long-term epilogues based on a mix of romances, stats, and other choices that had likely long-term effects. That was a lot of fun, but I suspect felt somewhat arbitrary to many players, especially the parts about having kids (I was probably still awash with postpartum hormones at the time and couldn’t imagine a life without kids; my kids are a little older now and my brain is its normal semi-rational self).

I’m actually a bit phobic about pregnancy etc too, and there are a lot of good reasons for that based purely on my own (horrific and permanently disabling) experiences, let alone anyone else’s! And yes I know it’s weird and deeply hypocritical that I forced MCs into having kids at the same time as being traumatised by my own. Life is complex like that. And I agree that the “settled down and had babies” trope is awful; bad writing and problematic too. So… sorry :confused:

So I agree with the general gist of this thread that family and baby plotlines can be super cool so long as the MC has a choice (and/or it’s clearly the main plot of the story).

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The only way I could see this working is if it covers a longer time period (with a few months or years skips here and there). It worked well in Stronghold or in The Great Tournament tho it was still obvious that romance isn’t the most important thing in those games. Othervise if it’s just a few days or weeks in the MCs life which the game is about it works better if the MC gets to know the RO the same time the player gets to know them (with the exception of The Grim and I where it was obvious why the MC had to start off with a significant other).

Anyway since I don’t think much of the concept of marriage or having kids IRL, I don’t feel too strongly about the idea of having it in games either.

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Like others have said, it really comes down to the writing for me. I play most interactive games as my own original characters, some of which have no interest in long-term personal commitments and a few of whom can’t wait to marry and have kids and plenty who fall in between that. As long as it’s written well, in a compelling way that doesn’t just feel like tossed in your lap at the end of a romance route or something, and the choice exists, I’m good.

In that vein, does anyone have any ChoiceScript recommendations for this kind of content? I’ve read the WIP Quite App-parent and while I think the family aspect is done well, there’s so little focus on who the main character actually is outside of their parenting it just can’t hold my interest. (Not as in, why isn’t there more me-time in a parenting game, more like… I can’t even tell what the personality of my character is supposed to be.) I like Curious Cuisine’s balance, so far. Any other WIPs or published games people would recommend with some long-term relationship development and/or family life?

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Stronghold.
Well, I’m just repeating myself here still that game is the best out of the already released ones what comes into my mind atm if an MC with a family life is the requirement.

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I enjoyed the relationships with your child and ex spouse in Rent-a-Vice.

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Totally absolutely hatred. Why? Because is a total portrayal of the bigotry idea only place of women only desire of women is marry and get pregnant. I respect people that desired that but i don’t i don’t like babies and i don’t want marry. I also hate when games directly try HARD force me to marry and have babies to point asking me five times in a row if I want marry.

Take for instance Stronghold a game tht i adore It is HORRIBLY how trying to forced me marriage and babies when I haven’t even knew all possible marriages ro To point and entire village trying force me or being a concubine of a random guy girl queer or force me to choose a husband or queer wife. SORRY FUCK OFF… GO MARRY YOUR HAND WHOM are the game to try hard to force a patriarchal system upon me. No person should be guilt trip by games to marry and have babies…

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I don’t think it’s bigotry, or a representation of it, unless the story specifically pressures female characters to have families. But I think it’s fair to say that if family life is included, it should be handled the same way for male and female alike.

More personally, I’d say if family is included it should be fairly central to the story. Getting married in the epilogue, or playing a parent who has three lines of dialogue with their child, doesn’t add much to the story.

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I would suggest Great Tournament 2, where MC could start as the Queen’s husband and counsel at the start of the game … and have a wonderful scene with the children as well as the history of Great Tournament 1 on how MC climb the tree to meet then Princess Hannah… along the way, MC will represent his wife the queen on numerous mission, had a choice of bringing his wife to the diplomatic contact with the barbarian tribe , thus endangering his wife as the Barbarian aim to kidnap the queen for slavery, it was a close call but i genuinely feel the anxiety when the queen had been kidnap , luckily i manage to rescue her on time… It was a satisfactory marriage adventure for me :slight_smile:

@Malvastor i agree with you, marriage or family life is about having a trusted companion or partner to share the joy or drudgery of life together , nothing wrong with the scene of the wife holding her child while waiting for her husband to finish work so that they go for dinner together or the husband holding an umbrella in the rain to walk his wife and sick child to a clinic together, these are all wonderful family scene i cherish :slight_smile:

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I’m not sure about the marriage part but about the kid you could state quite early in the game that you aren’t interested in having one of your own even if your MC is female, that’s one thing I liked about that game. I adopted a child who is a bit older but my MC could still teach them (so that was a nice way to skip all the awkward baby scenes). About the people pressuring you, I think it kinda makes sense if people would want for a good leader to have a heir. Anyway I think we will have to agree to disagree when it comes to that game.

@Eric_knight About the examples you brought up as pictures of an idillic family life: Tbh it kinda made me cringe, it’s too stereotypical. Not all women would be content with staying home with the child while the husband does everything for them. Like if Princess Hannah would live in the modern ages can you imagine her to be happy with that? I liked in that playthrough (MC romancing Hannah in The Great Tournament 2), that for once the woman was the one portrayed with more power. But this starts to get offtopic, sorry. I’ll just try to concentrate on your original point about mutual trust and bc that’s something I can agree with.

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like @Samuel_H_Young said , there is a wip about parenting and its better then Alter ego . Cose Alter ego catered to a certain demographic…so if you came from space…half of the thing didn’t fit you .

I don’t mind kids and marriage in a game . I dont care for either in real life , cose I dont believe that marriage should be a goal or a reward . Thats when it become a bad thing actually .

I think a hero can retire under the sunset with their chosen love interest and their life is FULL without marriage and kids .

just like I think its fine if a hero continue questing ALONE without a love interest , and said love interest get on with their life and don’t moan about the hero forever and ever .

If the option is there…like say in DAI , I pick it just for fun . But if it isn’t there…I wouldn’t miss it or feel incomplete either .

as for adopting , I think that be great . As long as you don’t do it like Sims did it :joy: all the kids that were for adoptions were randomly created and were the ugliest ever…:sweat_smile:

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The much-discussed parenting WIP mentioned herein shall be linkified forthwith: The Parenting Simulator- Now Available on iOS, Google Play and Amazon!

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Why has the wife carry a baby why no the husband. Why all womanHAS to have babies to be presented as married. Why woman has to left all behind for have a baby. Why is the supposed GOOD ending for a woman. For me is rhe BAD ENDING. as it is forced upon me like a plague in any hetero romance ever . It is like game says.

Sorry you have to lost your family name and all your independence. You have submit to this guy without no choice whatsoever due is the epilogue and game gives a shit if your character wants babies. here it comes FORCED HOUSEWIFE yeah… YOUR DREAM COME TRUE… :sob: I prefer die to that. At least is die free.

Marriage is a structure created to possess women and forced them to servitude and to have babies. Still being that way in 90% of planet.

No human being should be forced to have babies and marry. Moreso in a choice of games. I understand if game started with a character already in chains but should also let room to say you don’t like it and you don’t like marriage in general.

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Well… to be fair, there shouldn’t be definite role for either gender, it could be the wife who hold the umbrella for the husband and child .
And about waiting for the spouse to finish work, when i was small, my father finish work at 5.30 pm, so he occasionally brought me to my mother’s working place to wait for my mother to finish her work , my mother was a tailor back then and she would finish her work around 8 pm…:slight_smile:

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