Marked romantic/flirting choices

Excuse me but I absolutely need indicators in real life. I’m the type of person to ask “does this mean we’re dating?” In real life the indicator is called healthy communication.


That could be a seperate achievement. Heartbreaker: start a romance with all characters only to immediately end them.


Please don’t tell other people that their subjective experience of their own lives is inaccurate. There can indeed be a lot of ambiguity about entering a relationship, especially for those of us who aren’t particularly attuned to social cues.


I love this.


Ah the age old philosophical question, if no one is around to observe you dating a person are you dating them at all? If Diogenes couldnt solve it then how could we?


Ah, but in the case of COG games reader and protagonist are one and the same, not to mention there is always the comparison of real life, where there is no reader.

1 Like

I think there’s also an interesting element at play about how games respond to a PC’s romantic feelings vs flirtatious overtures vs clear “shall we go on a date?” conversation. Some games have explicit routes in which the player very clearly chooses “I’m into this person now” which closes off all others, while some have a period where you can date several people at once if desired and then choose which one or two you like best.

Where there isn’t an early-ish “I’m locked to this route now” choice, there’s almost always going to be a bit of worry about whether flirting with one character will jeopardise a relationship with another. That’s part of why I like using the [End Romance] tag - because I want it to be clear when you’re treading into territory that will put a dent in your current romantic plans. That said, I don’t always use it - eg in Royal Affairs, a breakup happens when you make a speech against suffrage when romancing Trevelyan - that felt like it would be clear without a tag that it would get in the way of romance.

The slap example is interesting. I don’t know the context of the scene and how it feels to play, but that is a good example of symbols being helpful signals to the player (probably [End Romance] could be used there too - if the slap didn’t trigger [End Romance] that would give the player information about the character’s response). Where the PC’s actions are ambiguous - or in that case, aggressive - it can be good to have extra context even if it’s less fraught than physical altercations. It can also be helpful to track the PC’s opinion of the NPC behind the scenes, so it feels consistent.

I may be veering off-topic, but here is an example of a non-physical, but emotionally ambiguous interaction which includes how the PC feels about the NPC (hottie_interest), whether they’ve flirted overtly with the NPC (hottie_flirt), and whether the romance route has started (hottie_romance). It’s pretty much how I’m doing it in Honor Bound:

Hottie McBrooding storms into your office. They realised you've sabotaged their hard work! "I never want to talk to you again," they say through gritted teeth, looming over your desk.
*if hottie_interest
	God, you can't keep your eyes off them when they glare like that.
*if hottie_flirt
	There's something sparking in their gaze... could they be thinking of that charged moment in the elevator yesterday?
	*if (hottie_interest)
		#"Look, I can explain. Can I take you out to dinner so we can talk it over?" [Start McBrooding Romance]
			*set hottie_romance true
			Hottie McBrooding stares at you for a moment, the wind taken out of their sales. Their brooding gaze tracks your face as though they're concerned you're making fun of them. "All right. Fine. But don't think that means I'll go easy on you in the next meeting."
	#I glare at them back.
	#I smile flirtatiously. "Really? You were keen to come and talk to me now."
		*set hottie_interest true
		*set hottie_flirt true
		Hottie McBrooding looks taken aback. "Well... that doesn't count! Whatever. I'm out of here."

	#"Don't talk to me like that."
	#"That's fine. I never want to talk to YOU again."
	*if (not(hottie_interest))
		#They've been annoying me all week but now that I'm seeing them so passionate - it's awoken something in me. But I can't possibly say anything! Not now!
			*set hottie_interest true
	#"Fine. I never want to talk to you again." [End McBrooding Romance]
			*set hottie_interest false
			*set hottie_romance_end true
They storm out, leaving you to your work.

Hottie McBrooding :smiley: now I’m wondering what’s the difference between those two “I never want to talk to you again” options.


The “never want to talk to you again” option is the one where you want to be rude to them, but continue your rivalry-romance; the [end McBrooding] option is the one where you’re fed up with this dynamic and want to be a full enemy or maybe become grudging friends in the end - either way, any romantic spark is snuffed out. Edited to add variable changes on the [end romance] option!


Personally, I like indicators of some sort, be it in text, symbols, or emojis. For reasons mentioned above, I find that it also helps me understand the tone that the writer is indicating. Weirdly as mentioned above, I too find it helps me avoid triggering romances with characters that I am not intentionally pursuing.


For some of us (me) it’d be handy to have them in real life as well. Not everyone is socially adept.


According to some tests that was done, humans have a less than 50% chance of guessing correctly whether they are being flirted with or not, interestingly enough.
As in, actively trying to guess gives worse results than just guessing randomly…


If you’re telling me I’m normal, that is absolutely horrific news. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I’m a very social person but–I have a side that no one knows about. My choicescript side, most of my friends know about but only the close ones. I’m not ashamed of it, at all but I do make my friends play my WIP. :laughing:

I don’t really think I need social indicators but for those introverts , I think they would hand money for it. It would be funny irl when your on a date you can just look at your choices and see which one has a :heart: :rofl:


As someone on the autism spectrum, yeah I absolutely need marked romantic/flirting choices cuz I can be blind to those cues especially when I often don’t realize I sound flirty/the other person sounding flirty when I’m playing an IF, especially if the writing’s subtle about said romance/fliritng choices, so I always turn it on whenever there’s the option.

Like others have said, I think having the option to disable/enable the marked romance stuff is great because it’s the best of both worlds (Insert the rest of the Hannah Montanna song here).


To repeat, it’s important for there to be some signposting. Both in real life and in IF. Some games already have started to implement this feature e.g. Honor Bound. We all want to know where we are headed, right? Not just dungeon exploration, mind you.

1 Like

I like choices marked but i’m particular about what emojis are used lol. I think using regular texting emojis like :heart: is so ugly and out of place but if you were to use :heart: or :heart:︎, yeeessss…now this? This pleases me. Past aesthetic purposes, romance indicators personally help me because sometimes i’ll pick a choice thinking it’s platonic but then the other character takes it as flirting and i’m like okay…i do not know how to tell you i don’t want you…

Honestly it’s just helpful for people who have trouble reading tone and or have different perspectives of flirting.

edit; ok well i didn’t think it would turn my text emojis into the same emoji………life is cruel :confused:

another edit; and i didn’t realize i just frankensteind the thread……also my bad


Sadly all the heart emojis look the same in the forum :frowning:

1 Like

Different emojis at different places. :grin:

1 Like

oouughhh…my eyes …:tired_face:
I meant more along the lines of what this wip got goin on