Heart's Choice General Discussion

I actually agree with this for games where there are limited ROs. If there are only two choices for a LI, I don’t think it wouldn’t be that hard to have another branching path for the “soul mate” route. And it would definitely give the game more replayability than if there’s only one real path per RO.

Like @HomingPidgeon said, though, Wayhaven is kind of doing this, to some extent. Sera said that all the ROs are “soul mate” types. I don’t think we’ll get option #1 in your list, though, because in the book 2 demo, we’re already forced to go all fluttery, no matter what. And you don’t really get a choice of how to progress with your RO–two paths are classic and fast, while the other two will take most of the series before your MC actually gets anywhere with them. But they are all still “soul mate” things, so maybe that’d work for you?

I’d love to see a HC game do what you said, though, since they seem to have fewer ROs, in general. Even if they implemented it similar to the way Breach does with the new game plus option–only instead of having a boost/cheat for stats and money, have it for the romance, so you can kick it off right from the start.

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the only problem with that system is that not every reader is going to know at the start who they’re likely to romance

@derekmetaltron in that case, don’t you think that the “love at first sight” isn’t going to work for them either though? So the way I see it is currently there are three categories of people. Those who enjoy the love at first sight trope, those who don’t, and those who go into the game unsure of who they want to romance. Writing the love at first sight trope as it is generally done pisses off two of these groups (along with half of the “love at first sight”-lovers who are picking a different romance option). Whereas with at least @Hostage’s suggestion all the “love at first sight”-lovers are going to be happy.

My own 2c is that I don’t really mind if a NPC is flirting with my PC and I’m not interested in them. I feel like this can be written well either for lols or it just makes sense for the character. The problems for me come up when you don’t allow the PC to appropriately respond for their character. Or worse when you force the PC to show either romantic/sexual interest in an NPC. I get that CoG’s kinda uses a format for their intro blurb, but I think they need to stop putting “play as gay, straight, bi” in their intro if the game includes this. Just put “play as a female or male bisexual” and everyone will be happy.

I’m not a huge fan of being forced to be romantically/sexually interested in other NPCs of the sex I’m interested in, but I find this doesn’t happen as much as being forced to be interested in the sex I have no interest in.

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True, though if writers tried to cater to every possible variation of romance and means of controlling said romance in a single game they would have a beast of a time coding it. I know I have a habit of trying to get more varied gender romance games made so I can have something but there’s probably limits. :sweat_smile:

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Did you ever play a COG or HG game, work hard to romance that girl or guy, and then leave feeling a little unsatisfied with how vague the culmination of that romance was portrayed? I think there are some games that could be reworked and released as hearts choice games. You have the PG version on HG or COG, and the spiced up version on hearts. I know writing that sort of material may not be particular authors cup of tea, but a partnership with someone who does well with that, and maybe not so well with the general fiction side could render spectacular results.

I think ZE safe haven would be good, the lost heir saga too. Flesh out the sex scenes, add in a few more, perhaps add some polyamory for variety. Safe haven in particular would really suit the Eric Vall treatment. Not familiar with the author? Look up some of his books. That is a real popular genre right now, there are a lot of authors doing that stuff, and plenty of people consuming it. That style is begging for the choice treatment.

Just a thought.

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Heroes rise saga
Pendragon rising
Samurai of heugia (not spelt right)
There are others but that’s the top three.

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No single one, to be honest, and in my opinion, it will make them worse if you try to adapt them to be something different from what the author portrayed.
I like a lot of Hearts line. But their focus is one and foremost, Romances with a focus on the emotional and physical part most of the time.

Most Choice and hosted focus are other totally different. If you change their focus and turned them in another direction, you are killing the same soul and spirit you say to love.

Each brand has to have their room and their own space. Hearts will be doing great by itself, So thinking what if … It is not productive, not for any of the three labels.

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Really I think we should be seeing CG and HG games as ‘…with romance’ and HC games as ‘romance and…’ Certainly we might see games that possibly suit either but as time goes on and HC gets a wider library it should more easily define itself.

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@derekmetaltron put it nicely.

Heart’s Choice games are focused on romance, every other genre comes in second place.

Most Choice of Games are usually focused on genres other than romance, with romance usually coming in at second or third or fourth or no major place.

Where part of the content of a HC and CoG game has to fit into whatever the requirements and guidelines of the companies are, Hosted Games are a wild bunch. Their content is completely up to the respective author.

But for all of them it comes down to the same thing:

If the author wants explicit content in their game, they will probably find a way to add that. I am aware of one upcoming game that is going to have an explicit scene with one of the ROs, the series is likely going to have more of that with the other ROs later on as well. The author is someone who enjoys to write that type of content. I know another author who publishes explicit content for their Hosted Games outside of the forum, and who has an explicit/non-explicit switch for the CYOA game they are publishing with a different engine. This author, too, enjoys this type of content, but maybe it didn’t quite fit in with the story published on HG or they were unsure if it would go through the App Store’s content checks.

Other authors might not want this type of content in their games. There might be warm, loving scenes, describing some action but eventually fading to black. Others will brush over it with a sentence or two. That can be disappointing for some readers, but in the end it comes down to 1. what the author wants in their game, 2. if the author feels comfortable to write that content, 3. if they wouldn’t mind that content in their game but don’t want to write it, do they feel comfortable to have someone else write this content, mess with their ‘baby’?

As @poison_mara said, most of the games that do not have explicit content have a different focus. The authors might feel like there’s little point for explicit sexual content in their games, they don’t see the need for it, there can be a myriad of reasons. It’s their vision of their story. Having someone else tinker with it to add content they don’t deem necessary is probably not something they strive for. If authors do want to add certain content but are unsure if they portrayed it right, they are likely going to ask for assistance on their own volition.

You also can’t simply move a Hosted Game over to Heart’s Choice. Heart’s Choice functions in a similar way to Choice of Games, in that they sign a contract with authors to write a game for this label. Hosted Games are all independent of that. They do not have a contract with the HC or CoG company. A game released on the Heart’s Choice label would also need to fit to the company’s criteria, which is not always the case with Hosted Games. As it’s one of the company’s own labels, they’d also need to do a lot more editing and proofing work, as they have to make sure the game meets their standards, which I imagine is already a daunting task with the games they license themselves. Adding a bunch of previous Hosted Games to that would do the staff little favor.

There’s also costs involved for hosting/publishing additional versions of these games, and further workload to update these games when bug reports come in.

And in the end it’s like this: A Hosted Game does not have to be PG. A Heart’s Choice game does not have to be Mature. Hosted Game authors can do whatever they want, and they likely do whatever they want as long as it goes through some content checks. If their games have that type of content, they wanted it. If it does not have that type of content, they probably did not want it (or didn’t dare yet). One can dream about that content, and it’s easiest to let your own imagination run wild in these cases.

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It’s a question of overall focus rather than explicitness levels. For example, Werewolves: Haven Rising and Heart of the House contain explicit content (2 chilli level certainly, maybe even 3?), but I wouldn’t call them “romance” stories - Werewolves is action/dystopia and Heart of the House is gothic horror. In Heart’s Choice romance infuses the whole of the story and (at least from observing @FayI’s process with her HC title) there’s a strong focus on the love interests and how the relationships are developing at any time, even when you’re not having a conversational or romance scene. Heart’s Choice games also require happy endings for the romantic pairings, whereas that doesn’t always happen in CoG or HG games.

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I find this very interesting. :thinking: Is it an actual company rule / guideline or more of an unspoken thing?

romance genre in general has an unspoken must end happy rule (or it slips over into drama). There are properly a few exceptions both amongst books and readers, but the majority of reader of romances expect a somewhat happy end.

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Correct. In the field of romance novels there are two acceptable ends: HEA (happily ever after) and HFN (happily/happy for now), such that you can end with either an assured “found my true love” or “found my love and there’s a little uncertainty about the future.”

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I understand perfectly why that rule is set from a commercial perspective, however, personally, I prefer games that contains what can be seen as a negative impact ends or middle game. It enriches the positive endings.

Imagine that a romantic option Will force my character later on move city or something like that. A choice to go fuck yourself and Let me be happy in my town with my career and I will find another one later. For me is far better ending that. You are blocked to this romance path since chapter five, no matter what you will have to stick around with the asshole or start the game again.

Actually, it happened that in another company game. Suddenly, the vampire guy Tried to say Oh you love me Now you are my sex slave put that chains in your neck.

My reaction was Delete DELETE. While swearing-in 3 languages

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What game was this? A CoG game? Shoot me a PM if you don’t want to say here. :stuck_out_tongue: I’ve been on a kick of playing VNs that are ‘romance’ and… well, dark is a good word, though that doesn’t even touch how dark they are, lol.

It is one of these choice clones companies. It was called Moonlight or something like that. It is a virtual free to play so nothing of the quality of Hearts of choice.
The vampire was submissive and shy until the first choice after locking the romance. It is something that happens a lot.

Reason why a choice to say No. To a romance is key. And not being blocked into a romance because you don’t know how romance will end.

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Yeah if I was writing romances I would definitely keep their personality consistent - there’s nothing wrong with some secret backgrounds to discover of course but something like that sounds a bit 180 to me.

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That is one of the reason, I stopped reading some of this Clones, the other reason was, that even when you had a female character that seemed normal, from the moment their ro showed Up, they suddenly became unsure and blushing Teenager things. And every answer that was not submissive was only rude or extremly aggressiv as If no one could be a normal Person. I am so much happier with the hearts choice Games, where I do not have to Play as a shy Teenage Girl. :sparkling_heart::slightly_smiling_face:

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Sorry to bring it to this topic, but I’m curious, why don’t you like HC much?

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I’ve gotta to ask how do I win the port of nasseu in a pirates pleasure while romancing Nathan? I returned the idol and destroyed the fort but I can never get to fight

  1. Do not return/sell the idol - you must give the idol to Eden when he asks for it and not take it back.
    OR
  2. Make sure Eden is stranded on the island - you must give it to him by FAILING the speech check and then you must take it back from him by assaulting his camp, thus taking over his ship and leaving him behind.

This is of course assuming that you chose to save your crew and not Nassau in the early part of the game and that you have your crew support and everything else.