More Friendship Options in COG?

I don’t know, I’ve read a post or two about Aromantic and Asexual options in Choice of Games recently and it brought up something I’ve been thinking about.

As an AroAce (both) who personally doesn’t want to date in these games but still wants to learn character backstories and CONNECT with them, in almost every game I’ve played that insignificant fact about me has gated me off from almost every important side character. Like, it’s a legit, completely ongoing issue.
I fully understand how difficult coding can be, and adding more options outside of the standard romantic interest paths could seem tedious to those who enjoy dating to discover character backstories, but the lack of non-romantic/sexual paths in most games personally takes away from the immersion. I wanna see if I’m the only one dealing with this/get more opinions.

For Reference in what I mean:

Good Platonic: Weaver/JK from The Hero Project: Redemption Season - easily accessible friendships with a decent-to-good amount of backstory.

{edit} Neutral Platonic: Haze Vermillion from Tally Ho! - got some good friend scenes from them but I had to go through the insanely awkward relationship drop after refusing to go sleep with them.

Bad Platonic: Black Magic from Heroes Rise - literally never talked to me again after I showed no interest in them through the only way I could. Happened to get the backstory I wanted from the secondhand source in-game later on, which is better than some other games.

Non-Aro/Ace gamer folks who would like more “platonic paths” in their COGs are more than welcome to add to this as well!

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I couldn’t agree more. Sure, I love the romance options, but I remember playing the Mass Effect series and enjoying my bromance moments with Garrus just as much.

Potential Minor Spoiler?

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I really enjoy romance, but I like bromances too.
I liked in the DA serie how my characters could be friends with their companions. Morrigan and Zev will always be my Warden’s best friends (I loved the complicity moments with Leliana too, like the “girl talk” while I was romancing Alistair. Pity she had to “njnjamance” me a moment later, screaming at the world she loved my Warden. :expressionless: . Quite embarassing… I was like “girl, you know I have a boyfriend, and I love him a lot…right? We just talked about it…”)
Dorian, Varric and Cassandra where just as great as friends in DAI.
In ME I felt very attached to Jack, Grunt, and Samara.

Friendships are just as important to me as romances, expecially with female characters, since I very rarely romance them, and I like my MC having female friends to have (even if just in my headcanon) girls talk from time to time.

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I like romance more then friendship . Being a Lesbian , there aren’t many games that give me the option to be in a romance (no matter how good the game is) , so in the end…I’m stuck to being friend with everyone .

So for me , choiceofgames are a rare treat .

not saying friendship is bad or anything , truth is . There should be a friendship path by default since not everyone will fall for said character . Some of them you will love , some will get on your nerve with that first ‘Hi’ .

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Garrus is the bromance we can all aspire to have.

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I’m aro/ace (I think. Probably…:sweat_smile:) too but I enjoy reading romance in cog/hosted games (maybe 'cause it’s fictional? Idk…) I would love for there to be friendship paths for everyone too!

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Garrus went from Alien Carth Onasi in the first game to The Punisher in space. It was a lot of fun. Still not as entertaining as Wrex or Mordin though.

I’m not asexual or aromantic, but I don’t usually care one way or the other for romantic relationships in games, so this would be all right by me.

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I agree. That content shouldn’t be gated just because you’re not seeking out a romantic/sexual relationship with the character in question.

I must admit that I never actually choose the aro option, even when it’s given in-game (usually something like “I am not interested in those types of relationships”), because I always assume that it will only lock me out of content instead of actually working with that part of my character’s identity. It used to be similar with the option to be ace, but, fortunately, nowadays fewer people mistake asexuality for being actively disinterested in any sort of romantic relationship.

As already mentioned by other commenters, BioWare games have some really great friendships that don’t necessarily have to involve romance: Wrex, Varric, Mordin, and Aveline, for example, are characters with whom you can form entirely platonic bonds. There are many more memorable friendships but those are romance-free, regardless of the gender of your MC.

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then you have those , you just wanna be friend and they suck you in a vromance :sweat_smile:

Oh, I absolutely understand. A lot of the games that didn’t have many friendship paths were still amazing at storytelling and at offering a variety of romances for under-repped sexualities. And I still adored those games. I’ve also accepted that not wanting romantic and/or sexual content at all is very uncommon, so by default I’ll not exactly be part of the target demographic on these games (though it’s still awesome to just have an option for “ace”, instead of constantly side-stepping advances). I just figure it can’t hurt to put the idea out there and maybe open up some paths in future games for even those readers who, as you said, just weren’t feeling date vibes from a specific character, but their story is cool and you just gotta learn more! :smiley:

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I get you. I used to be super chill about it and even chose to date in most of my first playthroughs a few years back, but maybe it’s just people irl getting more on my case about not dating recently. Plus, I had a character I really cared about in one semi-recent game literally just shoo me away/shut a door in my face when I came to console him just because we weren’t lovers. I actually scoffed irl, like “SOR~RY, man. Didn’t know I had to have a ring on my finger to care about your mental health.”

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I agree for sure. I think part of it though, is that I do feel like I’m a bit in the minority so I can understand authors going for what the majority wants - and it seems like any time a character gets popular, fans clamor to have them as a romance, so you see a lot of characters who weren’t originally intended that way turned into an RO. Which can definitely work fine, but it does mean that that tends to be where the focus goes. Because in order to make a satisfying romance, there needs to be a fair amount of material you’ll only see during a romance, which means fewer of those words can be used on friendship.

My personal preference would be for a smaller number of romances available, with plenty of time/effort given to them, instead of nearly everyone you talk to being romanceable. I actually like having some characters who are just not options for looooove, either because they aren’t into your character, don’t want a romance at all, or (gasp!) are already involved with someone. I agree with the above people who said BioWare does this really well. I also appreciated WayHaven Chronicles where you have your good friend Tina who just doesn’t see you that way.

Speaking of BioWare, this also brings to mind something I personally would looooove to see more of. And you can do this with characters who are romance options but it would be very very complicated to code and make everyone happy? I’m talking about MATCH!MAKING! It’s something I would just love to see more of to be honest - the sidequest with Aveline was one of my favourite things in Dragon Age 2. I also like that in the Dragon Age games sometimes your companions will get together if you don’t romance either of them. I wonder though, if I might be in a minority here too. Personally I much prefer seeing friends/companions/NPCs etc. be interested in people other than your MC. It makes the world feel more real and less like a power fantasy where everyone is single and has eyes only for you. But I also know that some DA fans haaaated when your companions hooked up with each other so this might just be me.

I also am always here for especially, female friendship, because I’m so tired of seeing women being pitted against each other in media.

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You’re definitely not alone here. I think COYA’s greatest strength can easily become it’s biggest weakness. The story is all about you, everything revolves around you and your choices. This sometimes makes situations and worlds a little hard to believe and relate to, like you said, the world isn’t typically your oyster – you can’t just romance or even bromance anyone in plain sight. Nor will people sit around and wait for you, if you miss the beat, people move and/or someone else jumps in before you. Yes, let’s have more of that please. Realistic characters with real agendas, not puppets who will just sit around waiting for you to say “I do”.

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I really just choose “Aro” or “Ace” option’s now because they’re there and they make me happy. In all honesty I’ve probably missed out on like 25-45% of the character-driven content in any games I’ve played since deciding to go stag to every storyline, but I just say to myself “Eh, if I couldn’t see it without dating them then it probably wasn’t all that important to my life” and ignore the romance achievements. I’m like a bit bitter in the background but I also still find my own ways to enjoy the games.

And I can’t really join in on the Bioware conversation since I haven’t played ‘em but I’ve heard great things!

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I agree, even though I usually always go for the romance paths and go flirting with everyone. :blush: They’re usually more interesting to read even if I don’t like the character very much.


For my WIP I’m making it so that for each RO, there’s also a “friendship” option. That way, you don’t miss out on anything if you just want to be friends with them.

I don’t think it would be too much work either. If you’re writing a romance scene anyway, you can easily change that to fit a hangout scene instead.

Yup! I’m planning to do this in my WIP too, because I wanna see more of it. (and only if it makes sense. because that’s what friends do, right? :stuck_out_tongue:) It’s not really complicated to code, but writing this option is pretty much like writing another romance (if you don’t want it to be flat), and I think most people would rather make a new RO.


What I really want to see is more relationship problems though. It doesn’t even have to be major. Just a couple scenes where you disagree will help a lot to make the romance more meaningful and not just, “I like you, let’s go smooch together.”

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Aveline belong to femHawke!!! :kissing_heart:

ahem

well in DA2 , that was kinda impossible . Since most of the companions hated each others . I mean , I couldn’t see fenris hooking up with Anders . Or Merril with Sebastian .

But they did do it in Mass effect . If you don’t romance Garrus or Tali , they do end up together .

I’m not against match making , but as long as it make sense . Not just ‘Aww they look so cute!’ lol I want them to be HAPPY afterward …long happy relationship . Not just for looks lol and nobody sacrifice their ideals for the sake of a romance . Like say a character change drasticly cose now they are hooked onto someone .

yeah , female friendship…well real ones have been kinda rare . Don’t say Samara lol I was drooling over her so much…

But say like Garrus . There is none like him in the female departement . At least in ME serie .

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Oooo, matchmaking actually would be pretty sweet. Don’t know how authors would like the scope of that but it’s a nice idea. And a smaller number of romance options to give the extra content for other non-romanceable characters is a great fix, honestly. It might have to be that some characters are specifically crafted to be friends, and lovely-love people might not like that, sadly.
Personally: I think I really just don’t like romance when I have to personally be a part of it, so the matchmaking would be fun as heck. Like, I adored Gregg and Angus’ relationship in a game called Night in the Woods and the two mermaid friends who hooked up in Sea Eternal were sweet. Plus that’s always how I saw my MC’s dating in these games before I stopped: I was hooking up my friend with whoever she was attracted to. (It didn’t help my immersion when we’d have opposing reactions to scenes in the relationship. She’d get kissed and get super pumped and I’d be over here like “get a room.” at my own character.)

Oh, that’s true, too. I remember there was a side character in Community College Heroes that I tried to romance way-back-when. I think their name was Crook? When they said that they were already married and they were flattered(?) but had no interest in pursuing a relationship with my MC, I thought that was earthshatteringly cool. If that could be tweaked so that you never really know what to expect, like in real life, then that would be cool. Might cause some stress, though, since stories are sometimes a person’s place to get away from the uncertainty of life and not have to worry.

well they could do it like they did in Dragon Age Inquisition . Anyone you don’t romance , end up hooked to someone else . Which is a good way , cose then you aren’t barred from romancing someone and those you don’t romance kinda move on with their life .

I’ve never played DAI but I think I have a good image of what you mean from my childhood of Harvest Moon/Sims/semi-Fire Emblem. I don’t know how much extra content that would amount to for the author (and if done wrong it could possibly feel like just shoving underdeveloped characters together which kinda makes me sad, like “they HAVE to date somebody”) but that kind of story progression could turn out really nice. The new Hero Project game kinda did that and it was a bit too drawn-out for my taste but still immersive.