Well, I dunno, @Gower, I think there are few things that can make a few IF characters really stand out from each other.
A more unique take on a character or a trope or an archetype would be one thing, but I like the school of thought that puts an emphasis on how writng is often about giving a good or newer spin on well-worn ideas, rather than always building new ones. But I’d say that there are two things that stand out in romance choice games:
Time and variety.
Most choice games don’t play with romance a lot. They have romance, but it’s often just a few scenes and a few narrative nods here and there through the story. Doing a romance path doesn’t change much, it feels like doing it just to get an achievement. That’s not necessarily bad, those games often focus on other ideas and themes, but for a good romance-focused game, I’d bet on giving the RO and the MC more time together, and in that time you could give…
A bigger variety of scenes, as a result from the different choices given to the player, and they don’t need to be those shakesperean confessions. It could be how to spend time, where to spend time. That fleshes out said characters, and it can just take the narrative, even for a little while, to places it normally wouldn’t go.
Midsummer Night’s does the above in a good way, I’d say. Especially since it focuses more on romance and character-based storytelling than other CoGs, so I think you already have some good background to work with.
Well, why can’t I just Young Werther my way out of that?