How to code romance and should I add sexuality into the mix?

hello again, everyone, I hope your day has been well💕

in my book, I would like to add friendship and romance to go hand-in-hand aside from my main storyline to immerse the players who are into building relationships (platonic and/or romantically). how would I go about creating that? (links and examples are always helpful for my visual brain)

now on the similar side of the coin; as of right now, I do not have any coding for the players sexuality options (if I did, my options would look like; gay, straight, bi/pan, asexual). I was wondering if I should leave it open and not have them choose a sexuality to allow the player to go for a character regardless of any gender. or should I let the players choose their sexuality from the get-go and lock certain characters from romances due to sexuality and gender preferences but that can get tricky and complex with various sexualities and gender possibilities to match up.

would it be worth it to the players for me to do that or leave it free reign to choose to romance charas or not?

I hope this made sense. it looks better in my head than when I try to type it. I myself am pansexual and I personally love when I have free reign over who to romance and I am not locked from certain characters, but that cannot be said for everyone else.

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You can check out the codes of some of the other games. Go to the online version of the game and add “scenes/startup.txt” to the end of the url. You can see a list of scenes, change startup.txt to .txt to check out the codes there.

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I think you should do whatever suits your writing/coding process the best. Offering sexuality choices will definitely come with more coding work whereas not offering those choices comes with the burden of giving your players as inclusive as possible choices to allow specific headcanons.

Personally, I prefer choosing my MC’s sexuality and thus being locked out of certain actions that would otherwise feel immersion-breaking. For example, if I’m playing an ace character, I don’t want them mentally undressing every single RO they meet. Or if I play a gay guy, the narrative shouldn’t describe a female RO in ways that imply sexual attraction on my MC’s part (“She boobily boobed down the stairs”).

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For relationships in general, many games use numeric variables for how much a character likes the MC and true/false variables to track their romantic interest in the MC. But some other games do this differently, so this is just one way you could handle it.

Some games define your sexuality (gay, straight, bi, etc.), while others simply ask which gender(s) the MC is attracted to. They do this by making variables like mc_likes_women and mc_likes_men, using them for choices where the MC might flirt or start a romance with that character. If you intend to include asexuality, you will need to create an asexual variable to add variations of romantic interactions that don’t involve sex (for example).

Like TheMogician said, if you have any WIPs on Dashingdon or completed works that you like, check out how they work behind the scenes to see how they do it. It will help you outline your game and how you want to code the MC’s sexuality. For an example on coding asexual relationships and QPPs specifically, you can check out Dawnfall.

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I don’t think this is an option that SweetRoll put on the table.

If (IF) I understand what they’re torn between, then not having a choice to lock the MC’s seuality sexuality wouldn’t result in, e.g., “mentally undressing every single RO they meet” being in every playthrough, but it would merely not auto-grey out (or hide) the option “mentally undress this RO” when you meet them.

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Personally, I think it’s best to have the player choose their sexuality and then either block certain romances or adjust the romances to fit. It doesn’t happen super often, but sometimes an option seems like a “friend” option, but it’s actually romantic. And that can be annoying.
On a similar note, I also recommend having the ROs be playersexual. It’s a little too realistic, you know?

Now I feel like I have to respond by saying I recommend the exact opposite :rofl: But in the end it really depends on your style, author, would you’d like it to matter for their backstory or touch upon it in their characterization, provide representation and explore sexuality or are you leaning more towards wish fulfilment?

I think having MC specify attraction instead of sexuality might be better, not everyone will use the same labels and some might want to roleplay MCs sexuality differently than author might assume, especially with for example asexuality, where there is a lot of variation (not every asexual is sex repulsed, asexuals have gender preferences too etc). Another example: dating outside of usual preference.
It’s all about how much flavour text you want to include though.

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yes, this is exactly what I meant.for example, there is no specified sexuality that the player chooses and comes across an RO, if the player were to choose to flirt or not, the option would be there, but not grayed out or not available to the player, it leaves it “open” for them to choose what they’d like.

I’m still new to coding and while it would take more time and effort to code all that, if it gives the player’s character a more dynamic and realistic feel, would adding sexuality be worth it for the player to feel included? or to leave it open and let them freely decide to pursue ROs.

this may sound rly dumb, but like, how do I check the behind the scenes on other people’s work?? nvm i figured it out hehe;;

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I never enjoy taking choices away from the player, especially based on an MC’s body or identity, even if what they choose seems contradictory to a previous choice they made. I would personally say it depends on what you wish to do with such a choice. Just letting players choose romance options with the character of their choice without defining their sexuality (outside of the option to engage in physical intimacy with said RO) is a valid way to go. Few people have a problem with that unless the narrative implies the MC is attracted to a character they’re not supposed to be, but if that happens, that can be fixed by listening to feedback.

I haven’t worried about a sexuality choice in a while, but if I added one to a game, I think I would end up still letting the player romance whoever and use that opportunity to explore the complexities of sexuality that don’t fit into rigid boxes. But that’s a lot of extra work, naturally.

If you like just having the option and not being locked out, and if the choice of sexuality won’t really add anything substantial, I vote for going ahead and just not including the option. I only ever romance one gender nowadays but back when I explored other romances, I also liked having the ability to just choose ro options and not have to state anything explicit about my MC. Was more comfy that way, when I was having gender and sexuality feelings I couldn’t unpack.

Special shoutout to those IFs that clearly mark the romance choices for this very reason lol

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while I understand what you’re saying, that’s not quite what I meant. it would be up to the reader to choose a flirty option and rack up “points” with a certain character in order to enter a relationship with said character.

YES! Tone doesn’t translate via text, so knowing exactly what I’m doing is immensely useful.

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