So, I want to ask a few poll questions here and I implore people, if you answer one, try to answer all of them! I wanted to do this just out of a curious instinct I had while conversing with people here on the forum.
How do you generally view romance?
I believe in soul mates.
I think love is something you work up to.
What is your preferred date night?
A romantic picnic under a moonlit sky.
A trip to an arcade!
A quiet movie night at home on the couch.
I don’t really do date nights.
What do you value most in a relationship?
Togetherness. Time is something we don’t get back.
Intimacy. That “spark” you feel towards each other.
Openness. The ability to tell each other everything.
Contentedness. As long as we make each other happy, that’s all that matters.
What do you think of RO/NPC relationships?
I don’t like them.
I don’t mind them.
What is the most important trait an RO can have, in your opinion?
Loyalty. Whether or not they’re ride or die.
Intelligence. Being able to have an interesting dialogue is important.
Morality. Someone who knows the principles of what’s right and wrong.
Kindness. Someone who will always be patient and understanding.
I don’t think there’s one single most important trait. I don’t want to be with a dull-witted saint or an evil genius. Not in real life, anyway. Being with an evil genius in fiction can be a lot of fun.
For the first question, I chose “other”. I believe in soulmates, but loving someone is easy–having a life with them is not always easy, soulmates or not, because nothing is perfect. What’s more, it takes a commitment and willingness to work with and compromise with another person.
There will be ups and downs in a relationship, as with everything else in life, and if you don’t stick with each other through the downs, it doesn’t really matter if you love each other or not, it won’t work. That’s one reason why I chose ‘loyalty’ for the trait (not that the other traits aren’t important). You can’t love someone when it’s convenient and desert them when it’s not. So that loyalty has to come from all parties in the relationship.
For the date night thing… eh, I don’t do date nights. I don’t like schedules, in general, because they’re too confining. I’m more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda person. Spontaneity is the key, from where I stand.
I dislike polls of this nature because, usually, there are nuances and shades to these issues that poll choices do not allow for.
I believe in both soulmates and that love is something that needs to be worked up to and on.
I value a relationship holistically, and every single part of a relationship is equally important to me.
I’m not sure what you mean by: “What do you think of RO/NPC relationships?”
The most important trait a RO can have in my opinion is: Faithfulness, which is different than loyality to me.
Sorry I could not answer each question as you wanted @ViIsBae.
Edited to add (in case anyone reading was wondering): Loyalty grows out of the past; faithfulness reaches back to us out of the future. Loyalty is historical, based on experience. Faithfulness is eschatological, based on promise and hope.
For me its weird. What I want in fictional romances is the exact opposite of real life.
Real life is for being cozy, since I’m on the aro/ace spectrum. I don’t think real life romance even has to be love. Idk, for me its never love, its just being able to exist alongside someone without dipping into your daily allocation of spoons.
In fiction, I want it wild. Over the top romance, true love, soulmates, the whole package. Its about experiencing an emotional high. Imagine drugs but like, feelings. Its fake, you know its fake, but it allows you the experience of feeling without any of the negatives coming with it. Heartbreak without fallout and messy baggage after, the fluttering feeling of a crush without the worry of embarrassment or rejection, the passion of intimacy without the mess. And once you have a large enough collection of romance stories, whatever exact emotion you want is on tap at all times.
…now I realize that I kinda sound like a pod person.
TLDR: Irl, I like things cozy, in fiction, I want an emotional cocktail of drugs, straight to the vein.
I don’t believe in soul mates in real life, (or fate in general) but think it can work in fiction. I don’t like it in CoG, specifically because the choice aspect makes it weird. If there are multiple ROs, is whoever you pick your soul mate? If so, does that mean the others are doomed to never find theirs, or do they get a different one?
Totally fine that you couldn’t answer each one, I value the responses nonetheless. I think, for the first question, I should’ve done “Do you believe in soulmates?” and made it a yes or no.
As for “What do you think of RO/NPC relationships?”, I simply mean, do you mind if an RO romances someone in the story if you are not currently romancing them (a topic that has been talked about to death, but this topic isn’t necessarily about talking about it, more just getting a practical number on it in the instance of this particular poll).
I agree that polls can’t capture all the nuances that all these questions pose, however this one is more about narrowing things down as much as possible, because the less variables you have in things like this, ironically, the more answers you tend to get.
This is what I suspected, so to answer your question:
1: As a player/reader: It all depends on the execution and the presentation, because a relationship between written or constructed cast members can mean anything from a “brother, sister, or sibling” type of relationship to full-on marriage between cast members.
2: As an author, my goal is different in each project.
In Patchwerks, my goal is to show non-romance relationships up to and including friendships (both amiable and rival) existing between the cast members but not have actual romance flair into being until the reader/player inserts their chemistry and it blossoms into being between the player/reader and the cast member.
I still am undecided, if after the player/reader chooses a RO, anything will move into the romance area, but my current leaning is to deepen friendships and familial relationships between cast only.
Bleh if it’s magic than fine but I want drama then. Make me soulmates with someone who needs me to die or something.
Not any in particular. Loyalty is meh. I can deal with betrayal if I like their reasons. Same idea with morality. In fact a character to focused in morals is usually someone I hate. Nvm it’s usually treated black and white.
Regarding 1: In IF, I generally don’t like the ‘soulmate’ route just because it can oftentimes force things. I prefer relationships to feel earned. I don’t believe in soulmates at all in real life and even in fiction they are often a stretch for me. My general preference is to demonstrate compatibility between characters by spending the effort to show chemistry rather than hamfisting down my throat that two are ‘meant to be’ because of some magic spell or something.
Speaking of which, I am much more interested in a story showing how your ‘soulmate’ is actually an enormous asshole and you trying to move on from them than I am another ‘found soulmate’ situation. This is just my own preference though.
Regarding 2: I think that a date night with a spouse? Probably a quiet movie at home, [unless we need to do something more refreshing, but I am generally a home body] a date night with someone more new? I would prefer to go to a coffeeshop, visit a bookstore, and maybe spend some time at a park or beach. [It’s safer in public]
Regarding 3: I am sure you caught wind of me saying as much in the other thread but for the uninitiated, I am a proud singer of romantically pairing off non-romanced ROs and NPCs. I think it allows you to see more of a dynamic range in them and you see other sides of an RO you otherwise would not. I always see IF as presenting ‘parallel universes’ so to me it doesn’t bug me when in alternate playthroughs someone I previously romanced might get with someone else.
I think the issue might come along if an RO is painted as pining after the NPC even before you are decidedly not romancing them, or if you are forced to enter a poly/love triangle due to the RO.
Regarding 4: For me I would say in general the most important skill or attribute that a person could have in regards to romance [speaking more real life than interactive fiction because fiction just doesn’t need this kind of thing and you said the poll ws intended to be read as a mix] I think Communication is the most important attribute a potential romantic partner could have. How many times do you see the stakes of a relationship be artificially raised by inserting a sudden lead tongue into otherwise two seemingly competent people?
I found a soul mate in real life, while dodging Maoist rebels in Nepal, who I asked to marry me on the strength of around 70 days total spent in each other’s company. I don’t believe in soul mates, judge my own life choices to be stupidly risky, and would be quietly freaking out if my kids followed my example one day. But it worked out in my case. 17+ years later – including a lot of damned hard years, and a lot of work – I still think I lucked into the best possible life partner I could have found.
So maybe I should have voted “other.” But I think the love you work up to is more important than the one you might get ambushed by, and that soul mates are one rare, interesting feature of the world, not its standard model.
I don’t believe in soulmates cast in stone, but we meet many people with soulmate potential in compatibility, chemistry, similar values, etc. But the work and choice to keep investing in the relationship is still half the equation.
I’m a Leo, so I always go ham on date nights. That doesn’t mean they all have to be glitz and glamour, but intent and presentation are the way to my heart. If I want to go to the arcade or have a cozy night in, I can do that alone or with the homies.
I’m a huge proponent of unromanced ROs being able to shack up with other NPCs. It can be really rewarding and amusing from both the reader and RP perspective to see characters you’ve come to care for find their happily-ever-after or just be able to see different sides of them as they navigate other relationships. I immediately think of Garrus and Tali or Dorian and Iron Bull.
Out of the traits listed, as far as IF, I think the one I’m most often drawn to is intelligence (with a healthy dose of charisma). When I can, I tend to play pretty snarky and/or nerdy characters, so having an RO who can keep up in terms of banter is always huge in my book.
While I’d like to believe in soulmates, I would rather believe that love is something you work for. If your love is already set in stone, then is your whole life a predetermined path? What would be the point if you were just along for the ride. I don’t wish to get into a rant about the debate over whether or not we have free will, but that’s my stance.
While I’d love a movie night, “quiet” isn’t really how I’d put it. My friends always turn down my offers to watch the extended editions of The Lord Of The Rings for this reason, cowards. More honestly, I’d prefer just a quiet night, sat together, cuddling on the sofa.
I believe that they are all important. Without intimacy, the love wouldn’t exist to begin with. Without being together, the love wouldn’t exist to begin with. Without contentedness, why would you be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t make you happy, at least to some degree? And without openness, A relationship would be built on lies and half-truths. While I do believe that sometimes white lies are necessary, if you have the ability to tell the truth, you should always do it, unless you have a very good reason not to.
I love it! It only becomes a problem for me when, say I’m really invested in a certain RO, and they choose another character over the MC.
I love RO’s with a mix of morality and kindness. I will take the shy, kind RO over the popular red flags RO any day.
Is this a real-life view or an ‘in-universe, whatever the fictional universe of you’ view? If so, real-life me, having a lot more constraints than fictional me, will turn out to be considerably different. Moreover, everyone is different, so getting an accurate picture of the situation IS going to be difficult if you go by polling results.
Love is something that cannot come naturally. It has to be cultivated, nurtured and ‘worked up to’- what does this mean? Is it something along the lines of having to fight for it? If so, it has a hint of the truth.
The real life me has had no experience of a date night. I have had a movie night at home on the couch with my family recently, and an arcade trip would be for action-seekers like me, but I have been reluctant to have one myself.
The meanings of all the words can vary. I feel that an authentic and reflective relationship where both sides can not only tell each other everything (openness) but also both sides understand each other well enough. Being together doesn’t mean that the latter will happen.
RO/NPC relationships are bound to happen anyway in a game, so it’s something I have no problem with.
As mentioned above, understanding is very important. Loyalty is pivotal in a friendship, but in real life, as in the imaginary world, patience, a solid mutual understanding and kindness is, together with the ability to differentiate truth and falsehood, and fighting for what’s right, are what makes a sound and sustainable relationship. “If you aren’t right yourself, you can’t fight for what’s right.” Let’s just say I am more of the fighting type in-game though.
“SnooPING AS usual, I see?” “Evolution requires sacrifice.”
Loyalty is based on what the person has done in the past, while faithfulness is one step above loyalty, based on not just what the person can do in the future, but on who the person IS.
I am not going to answer the polls because the mix of playing and real life, just make it confusing.
In real life i do not believe in soulmate, but I do believe people can click. I am not sure what you mean with “work up to a romance”. I know if I have potential for romantic feelings for a person pretty quickly, but I rarely allow those feeling to blossom, I could also never fall in love with a friend. I do believe all relationships, not just romance, is work though.
In a game I prefer to spend as little time as possible in the pre-relationship stage, since that just mean less time with the RO. Text is premium in these game and the sooner I can signal to the game - Do something with the character the better.
I really have no feeling on this subject what so ever.
Here is a big different between life and games/stories. I value a partnership in reallife, preferable a dramafree one.
In an non-interactive story I value whatever makes for an interesting read/watch. Which often mean high drama and questionable decision all around.
In interactive games, besides the - it must be interesting part, I also value an RO for their ability to further charactrise the MC. Due to the nature of the medium we often get so oppertunities to deeply say something about the MC and have the game remember it, but who our MC like or do not like is highly saying of what kind of person they are. Friendship doesn´t work like this in these games, because most games default to the MC at least getting along with the main cast which waters the MC down.
As I said in the thread I am of two mind with this. I have seen it done well and not well. Generally I prefer not, because most often than not it just give me one RO less, since the RO in question often have what feels like a canon partner and I rarely like messing with that.
The most important trait is that they are interesting to read. I have my preferred tropes of course, but mostly I would not want to read the same character over and over again.