How early should romance options appear?


#1

In almost all the games I’ve played by COG (and, well, games in general), romance appears pretty quickly. As soon as you meet a character, you get the “flirty” option in case you want to go down that route.
While my WIP has about three ROs, the beginning doesn’t include any romantic options with them, just friendly ones. If you build your relationship with the character, then they’ll start appearing. I have multiple reasons for that, but mostly it’s because all the characters are friends before the game begins, and I thought it was weird for your long time friend to just start flirting with you. In my opinion, a build up to the romance was necessary (and it fit the game better).
While you have relationship bars with all the ROs, it’s not explicit at all that they are ROs in the beginning. Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is: would this bother you?


#2

In my opinion it should be as realistic as possible, but i understand game length matters. As long its clear, interesting and has a impact on epilogue im happy.


#3

This is ofcourse a good idea.


#4

It will not bother me.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

My first reaction, when my MC meets a new character, is much like my reaction when I meet a new person in real life: I try to keep them emotionally distant until I feel somewhat familiar with their personality, until I feel confident there aren’t any major conflicts, and feel safe showing my vulnerabilities around them.

The result is that I rarely engage in romance in most ChoiceScript games… at least on the first play-through. Way too many seem to demand I either “fall in love at first sight”, or forfeit any chance at developing a romantic connection.

“Love at first sight” may be fun for some, and even realistic for a few, but I’d very much appreciate a third option. A chance to really know who these characters are before I have to decide if my MC is flirting or not would be lovely.


#5

Well, as the other ppl said, getting to know and closer to the RO first is preferrable than insta-“love at the 1st sight.”

You can do it by making a pretty major scene.
Each ROs will have their own scene. And if the player finish that scene, the romancing option will be available.

The scenes can range from finding RO’s lost memento, or helping RO to resolve their personal problem, or it can be as dramatic as “RO is targeted by an assassin guild. Remove the threat, and you can romance them” thing.


#6

Same as previous people. Actually, that’s why, on Romance deparment, i absolutely love Mecha Ace by Cataphrak and Tin star by Allen Gies. Both games have very dynamic character relationships with atleast number of opportunities to know them better and then initiate romance.


#7

Its a well established idea as in
Sorcery is for saps
Sixth grade detective
Others too but can’t differentiate romances between games , i have played more than 40 COG and hosted games and in general I prefer a bit relationship over love on first site so i would like a game with that .
Also in some games there is one time decision over your relationship like what do you think of her and then when in the game later when you have second thoughts you just can’t change how would you like the relationship to proceed


#8

I think it can be quite nice to have a bit of time to get to know a character before romance gets going. That way I’d have a better idea who I actually like.


#9

Says the guy who’s crushed on at least three guys after their single appearances. :rolling_eyes:

In my mind, it certainly makes far more sense to have them take it slow. Even if we know exactly who we want to romance from their first appearance. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#10

Yeah, I like having romance options, don’t get me wrong, but I very rarely encounter one that doesn’t feel shoehorned in. Option A: “Tell me more about the murder victim.” Option B: “How long have you been in Murder City?” Option C: “HEY BABY IS THERE A MIRROR IN YOUR POCKET ;D ;D”

Like c’mon.


#11

I’m only counting two :confused: Alex and Tommy…

But I guess the point there is that if you write a character intro really really well, sufficient crushable qualities may come across, but the character needs to be very striking :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: usually I would prefer more time.

But yeah, speed of romance depends on situation and personality, too. And even if you flirt a little, doesn’t mean a full committed relationship is gonna blossom overnight. Plus, it can be nice to have more than one opportunity for the romance to get started… instead of just one chance, and if you miss that, POW, you’re never getting together. Also can be nice to have options where an NPC initiates something rather than the player character having to make the first move… a mix is nice. Uh, as long as the NPC isn’t overbearing.


#12

I think it depends as some people fall in love at first sight while others require to know each other to fall in love , I mean if it is a childhood friend and thus we know about her so we can go for a early romantic option else I prefer Little talking and knowing before flirting …


#13

Something to bear in mind is the size of a project. Considering I can usually finish the average CoG in 15-20 minutes, there isn’t a lot of time to develop a romance.

In fact, in other threads, numerous people have said they would rather have a good story rather than a tacked on romance…yet, CoG’s are known for romances, so they have to be included.

So to answer @bianca_065’s question, it really depends on the size and pacing of your project. The games which have romances that I like tend to be on the big side (Tin Star comes to mind, as well as Zombie Exodus). In other games, like Choice of Kung Fu…I would rather the writer not have bothered to do romance.

That isn’t to say short games don’t do it well. I actually did like how the romance parts developed in Choice of Deathless or Sixth Grade Detective. They managed to give the illusion of a lot of time passing, even if it doesn’t…and some of the relationships felt like they ‘grew’.


#14

That’s how I prefer it, personally, which is why our romance in So, You’re Possessed! was subtle…so subtle, in fact, some people didn’t realize there was one. Oops?

We also poked a little light-hearted fun at the idea of insta-attraction when we introduced Elysian…it is, in fact, one of their personal powers to make others feel completely comfortable and at ease around them, to the point that people will reveal things about themselves they wouldn’t under normal circumstances. :smile:

Having “quicker” romances doesn’t turn me off on a game at all, though. I’ve played plenty like that and enjoyed them just fine. I think context is important (how long, according to the story, have they known this person, for example). I just like an organic read where the player gets to kind of grow attached to an NPC almost in real time along with their character a little better. :slight_smile:


#16

I say it should be decided on a case-by-case basis, considering the lengt you’re going for. Longer works can afford the show romances in the middle or the ending. Heck, groups of games don’t even need romance in the first entrance, choosing to put it in the sequels.

But in case the game is shorter, romances can appear early, but pacing should come first. If a chapter isn’t flowing as well because the protagonist has to meet this character who can be a RO, I think you should considering throwing their scene to a more appropriate point.


#17

The pot calling the kettle, eh @ParrotWatcher (remember Toby)? Then again I’m just as guilty here too.

Depends on the kind of game and its length and what sort of guy my mc there is.

See in that game I think it makes sense for my mc to flirt with the pretty boy straight away. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
Considering it may have been our last chance to so for a good long while, since we’re getting imprisoned in the awful “super school” right after. Really actual prison would probably have been preferable to my mc. In the more decent prisons we could still get an education without all of the pretense of that silly super-school.

I love this and I like that Brody in Zombie Exodus does this, even if others disagree on the execution and timing of that particular scene, since my mc is painfully shy and a bit of a stuttering mess around Brody.


#18

It actually felt more natural to me in Sixth Grade Detective… maybe because the characters are so young, so it’s not really a serious relationship they’re getting into :thinking: I think it’s also a factor with the AJ romance, which is the one I played with, that it makes it feel like something which had already been developing and just now reaches that point…

Then, thinking of @ParrotWatcher’s WiP, Totem Force, I didn’t end up falling for Sammy until some while after his introduction… so getting that amount of development time was really nice…

[cough]Phil [/cough]

I think the main thing is, if an NPC initiates, being able to choose your character’s reaction :thinking:


#19

Technically, that was two scenes. :rolling_eyes: You fell for Jason before he even had a name.


#20

I’m also just as bad as @TSSL when it came to falling for Alex. :heart_eyes: And there’s both Altair and Cyrus in keeper of the Sun and Moon and let’s not even discuss “the Myrmidon”, eh? :sweat_smile: :innocent:


#21

We should probably stop derailing this thread… :sweat_smile:

Back on topic, one of the things I’m trying to do with TF is to make it so that even after the relationships begin, not all the ROs will actually be “in love” with the MC. One kinda is in love, but another is using them for a bit of fun, while another is mainly just humouring the MC, while the others are in various places between.


Totem Force [Updated 24/05/18]