Zany Supervillain/Anti Hero can be done without the sort of emotional baggage Harley traditionally has. Just have a bit of a soft spot for Bruce/Harley after BTAS made it adorableish. (OTP is still Diana though.)
I suspect a sultry sometimes supervillain RO like Black Cat, Emma Frost or Poison Ivy is inevitable.
Oh they’ve added a few exciting games to the ‘upcoming’ roster recently. I love a good vampire, and I’m always down for the Fae (+ the first 3-pepper game to give us the option of f/f romance? truly a girl can die happy)
On the assumption that this part of the discussion is going to be moved to avoid further hijacking the Changeling Charade thread (I could move it myself, but since the moderators already have things in hand, I won’t), I’ll answer this.
First of all, Heart’s Choice doesn’t make “plans” about whom to include. Writers pitch games to them, and if they like a proposal they’ll offer the writer a contract. They’ve always made it very clear that they would be happy to publish a m/f game, if and when one was pitched to them that otherwise met their writing and publishing standards. (By the way, when was the last time you read a traditionally published m/f romance novel in which the male protagonist was the sole viewpoint character?)
Second of all, you left out the GV/GV descriptor. @HannahPS listed four games that it’s possible to play with a man as protagonist, romancing a woman. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend them all as pulling it off equally well (the PC in Brimstone Manor always reads as attracted to men, and the PC in Jazz Age reads as bisexual), but it can be done. (Heart of Battle does it well. Play as a man and set all the ROs to be women, and bam! you’ve got a m/f romance game.)
Finally, this game was added to the Upcoming Releases post yesterday, (hopefully) ending this line of discussion once and for all:
Sixty Four Million Dollar Question. As Hannah mentioned the ones above include some M/F content, though Heart of Battle is the most flexible for now. Excited to see Sentinel City! (And superheroes, yes!)
While I understand the frustration of the same discussion occurring every few months, there’s no need to let that frustration out on the person. It’s important to remember, not everyone was here when the last conversation took place. And not everyone looks back at the rest of the thread. So let’s just kindly explain the situation and move on, ok?
I think the fact that different straight males keep asking about it shows that whilst you aren’t wrong, there’s still an audience there, no matter how much smaller compared to women or gay men, for traditional romance stories that include them. Doesn’t mean everything else planned has to suffer for it, just that it’s considered properly rather than the typical eye rolling response the mods sometimes give it.
I am appreciative that we do have a M/F game on HC finally incoming and I think at least two games with GV content, so progress is happening.
I think the thing that we (the COG/HC team) sometimes find frustrating is that not having m/f games is not a decision we’ve made, and it doesn’t feel like we’ve successfully gotten that across. We agree with what you’re saying here: we know there’s an audience for m/f games. When authors pitch them and their pitches meet our other requirements, we move forward with them. But, as Mary said, authors just don’t pitch them very often. The authors applying to write for HC have mostly been people with experience writing f/m or queer romance, and those, or fully gender-variable games, are the kinds of games they pitch. We don’t assign pitches to authors, and we don’t generally ask them to write a different gender combination if they’re proposing a specific one.
We want to have m/f games, and we have Sentinel City Liaisons in progress now, as you’ve noted. Our goal with Heart’s Choice has always been to have games for a wide range of gender combinations. You don’t have to persuade us! We just can’t make them appear out of nowhere if authors aren’t pitching them.
Well I do understand that it will be logical that nearly all writers are likely to be pitching other stuff as you say, and that’s fine. Writers have to write what they are comfortable with and want to write. All I can suggest of course is that readers maybe keep pitching their ideas for romance focused games of any sort and writers decide if they appeal.
We have a super hero game incoming and that’s definitely a logical choice for a male audience, another would probably be something sci fi inspired (either star Captain or alien planet survival). Slice of life or location specific games (akin to Life Gives You Lemons and Love at Elevation) are probably ideal too for GV.
At risk of going off topic, I can’t help but wonder why romantic fiction aimed at straight men is seemingly nonexistent. Presumably there’s just no market for it, but I find that surprising. Do most straight men just watch porn instead? That seems like a lazy stereotype.
As a mostly-straight man myself I almost feel like I’d be intruding onto other people’s turf by wanting something in this genre catered towards me. There can’t be many other areas where women and queer folks dominate so thoroughly, and I’d almost feel bad taking that away from them.
What I would love to see more of is straight men talking about the kinds of romance games they’d enjoy from a straight male perspective, and maybe thinking about MC-gender-selectable games in which they felt immersed in the romance as straight men.
Because for me, it’s a shame that this conversation seems to arise most commonly in response to female-locked or queer games being announced and people saying “there’s a straight-male-protagonist-locked-shaped gap here”. Which gets a little tiring, because straight male protagonists are not, largely, underrepresented in games in general. I’d also love to hear what people love about the idea of a game being locked to straight male rather than featuring a gender-selectable straight male MC and a female love interest.
I hope Sentinel City Liaisons is fun! It will be interesting to see another kind of protagonist in HC. I love seeing more games from the label over time.
Anyway, thank you @HannahPS for your comment; I absolutely agree and you were able to put it into words better than I could.
It feels a little weird to see several comments here about wanting gender locked male MC games in this community specifically. It’s always rubbed me the wrong way.
I have to say I’m so happy to have found a community that I feel does “cater” to me, a woman, because it’s so hard to find that elsewhere. I want everyone else to feel the same way, of course. But I think that HC games having mostly (at this point!) female or gender variable PCs is something to be celebrated and acknowledged in a positive light. Especially when you consider the communities and spaces that women and other people who do not identify as male have been historically locked out of.