Ninelives [WIP] [DEMO]

Thanks for making the form! It’s always nice to be able to give that kind of feedback!
I’ll probably be in the minority with my answer, but that’s not so important, I’ll manage with any of the options!
With that being said, once you decide, could you announce the decision here, so we know?

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Absolutely! I like to be transparent with things like this, so I will be sure to update once I go forward with a decision on this. :slight_smile:

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I answered the form, but have one small thing to add;

for the “flirt” options, maybe you can have a “toggle option” where players that want to see qhich options are marked can, and those who don’t, don’t have to?

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I believe you could ask a moderator into making the topic post a wiki so you can edit it

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I decided that I would do this less than five minutes after I posted the form. :rofl: But the responses are still helpful because now I know what the default setting will be.

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An update to yesterday’s poll:

Thanks to everyone who took the time to fill out the form I posted yesterday!

It seems like most people agree with what was my personal favorite choice, so I will be going forward with the “Organic Dependency” approach to the romances.

As a reminder, this means that ROs will only express romantic interest in the PC if at least one romance or flirt option has already been made with them, and they will show varying levels of romantic interest depending on how many total romance points have been accrued with them.

I have also decided that I will be adding a setting option at the beginning of Ninelives that allows players to choose right off the bat if they want romance options to be tagged or not. People overwhelmingly responded that they would like tags, so that will be the default setting, but those who do not want them will have the option to turn them off.

I was surprised that a decent number of people were interested in the “No Dependency” option for the romance approach. It could have definitely been a fun option, getting to explore more of the ROs and who they are. Still, I think giving people a way to entirely avoid anything romantic is still the better option. Also, the “Organic Dependency” approach gives people more control to avoid conversations with ROs that might involve jealous feelings, which I’m sure some people would not be comfortable with while others might like the realism.

This is the first IF I’ve ever coded, so I have to find a balance between ambitious but doable decisions and biting off more than I can chew. On future projects, I would like to explore making an option for the romance approach so that people can have more tailored experiences, but for my first project I think that is more coding than I am prepared to do.

Once again, thanks so much for your responses! It was very helpful to see how people are feeling about the approaches I’d like to take. It means a lot to me!

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I think for me, it is okay and valid to post a comment in your thread with an update, telling your wip has an update. Most of the other wip authors are doing the same thing as I what I seen. But just don’t too much spam the thread like answering some questions with lots of replies when you can put it in one reply.

By the way, about the story… haha I am waiting for your update so thanks. Keep it up, can’t wait for more chapters. after I replay again the demo, I’ll leave some feedback in your form pr maybe here.

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Organic dependency is not bad, but I’m a bit scared for people who select only shy options for “flirt” and who don’t flirt at every occasion depending on the context (basically what I do) - won’t it be easy to “miss” possible romantic actions initiated by the ROs if it depends on the amount of flirt options the players selected?
As I said, I’ll manage with any of the options, but I’ll admit this is my least favorite - because of course it is :rofl:

Ah but I’m not saying that to try and convince you to do otherwise, especially considering you were asking people overall and that one won - I’m just wondering how it’ll be structured in relation to these worries of mine.

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Yeah, if I did that a little in the beginning, it’s only because I wasn’t used to this particular forum and wasn’t finding the buttons immediately. :rofl: Sorry about that! And thanks for the kind words, I am glad you are enjoying it so far!

This is a fair concern, and definitely one I’m keeping in mind. I’m a lot like you when I play IFs. I don’t always pick the blatant flirt options if there’s another option that sounds more like my MC. I have a document that helps me keep track of maximum values of everything, including the maximum possible romance points if you pick every available option, so that I can set an achievable threshold that does not require picking every possible option.

Early on some of the choices look like:

  • choice
  • choice
  • romance choice
  • romance choice
  • choice

But I also plan to have opportunities for the PC to spend time with specific characters, and there will be options like

  • I’m hoping to be better friends
  • I have romantic interest in this person

In other words, choices kept separate from dialogue and actions that serve to aid the accumulation of romance points without sacrificing the roleplay aspect of the game.

So ultimately these thresholds will be designed to be pretty easy to hit, but not so easy that people are romancing characters on accident. Just as an example, with my current point system, you can actually hit the first threshold with Alex already, even though we haven’t gotten to any scenes where this threshold matters yet.

And of course, once a lock-in scene happens, advancing the romance won’t depend on points, so players will be even more free to choose options without worrying about missing out on the romance content. Hitting these thresholds won’t mean you’re required to lock-in the romance as soon as it becomes available either.

It’s kind of a hybrid of the systems I’ve seen other IFs use (mixed with a little inspiration from a visual novel I’ve played) that I think will add some variety and replayability to the way the romances unfold. Perhaps a bit ambitious and definitely requiring a lot of work on my end, but since this is a character-driven IF before anything else, I’m happy to put the work into it.

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Just to clarify, I know in the demo it’s acknowledged by the MC whenever they’re flirting with two people so you’re saying that it’d be possible for the ROs to notice that too?

Possible, but not a huge focus unless that’s the result the player wants. Ideally, I want players to be able to pick the occasional flirty option or explore romance choices in the early game without being heavily punished by dealing with uncomfortable conversations just because they got 1 romance point with a single RO once upon a time. I myself am very much not a fan of the typical love-triangle dynamic or reading about hugely jealous characters. I’m operating under the assumption that there are people who feel the same way as me, but I also want there to be some level of realism to the way the ROs behave. So a player who has gotten only a couple of romance points with a few ROs but a lot with a single RO shouldn’t encounter this. A player that is blatantly picking every flirt option with multiple ROs might.

Of course, right now that’s all theoretical. Between choosing to spend time with certain characters and picking different narrative branches, it might simply turn out that it’s only possible to accumulate that many romance points with one RO at a time, but we’ll see. I may also end up adding some equalizer choices to bring romance points back down to give players more control in the event that they change their mind about certain ROs partway through. Ultimately, a lot of this is really trial and error until I get further in the story and coding.

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