Options you want to have more often and other features and elements you want to see more often in COGs or HGs

In recent weeks, there’s been a lot of discussion about what people don’t like in COGs and HGs, whether it’s ROs you don’t like or tropes,elements and mechanics people don’t like in COGs and HGs. I thought it would be interesting to take a different perspective and for people to tell more about what tehy want to see more often in COGs and HGs. This includes both options for your MC and in-story, types of stories and tropes you want to see more of and basically any kind of features and elements you want to see more often COGs and HGs. This also includes any features and elements that you feel have been missing from HGs and COGs so far and feel should be a part of COGs and HGs.

I’ll start of by telling you about some of the features, elements and options I want to see more often in COGs and HGs. Firstly, I want more COGs and HGs to give me the option to choose the height of my character. I’ve got a strong aversion against playing the big, strong hero type that is so common in several media, at least with male characters. When a COG or HG allows me to choose the height of my character, it also makes it easier for me to make it explicit that my character, at least in some ways, is not that kind of type, which in turn makes it easier for me to relate to and care about that character. It also makes it easier to explore dynamics I really like with the chosen ROs. As far as I know, the only HGs in which this is an option are Soul Stone War and(from book two onwards) The Wayhaven Chronicles and, mostly implicitly(by allowing you to choose from races that are canonically taller or shorter than humans on average), Life of a Wizard and the Evertree Saga. No COG have made this an option so far, although I know that HannahPS plan on making this an option when her Royal Affairs is released, which I really appreciate. I would really appreciate it if more COGs and HGs will follow suit and make this an option.

The next two both mainly applies to COGs and HGs written in the Fantasy genre, which is my favorite ChoiceofGames genre(and also one my favorite genres of literature in general). Firstly I would really appreciate it if more COGs and HGs gave me the option of choosing other Fantasy species/races than human. I’m particularly talking about the “typical” Fantasy races/species like elves, dwarves and halflings, with a power level roughly similar to that of human, I’m less interested in playing species such as werewolves or vampires.

I do think it’s interesting to play from a perspective that is a bit different from the usual human one and that it gives you more interesting options and in some ways it’s actually easier for me to identify with them than your standard human protagonist. This probably has something to do with me being an Aspie, so playing someone who belongs to a Fantasy race/species that is different from that which most of the NPCs belong to, mirrors my own experience of being different from most “normal” humans in a way that I can relate to. As far as I know the only HGs that gives you this option are Life of a Wizard, the Evertree Saga, Imprisoned and Raiders of Icepeak Mountain. As for COGs on the other hand, the few that you give you an option to play a Fantasy race/species other than a human, mostly locks you into playing a vampire, werewolf or rimilarly powerful Fantasy species, which, although it’s an interesting change of pace from playing a regular human protagonist, is not really what I’m looking for personally. So I do hope there will eventually be more COGs and HGs that allows me to play non-human protagonists like the “typical” Fantasy races/species.

I would also that like to see more Fantasy COGs and HGs(although seeing that in a Sci-fi or even Historical COG or HG, could be interesting as well) that uses a RPG-inspired character class system or something similar. Like I wrote in a different thread, I really enjoy the feeling of “building” and developing my character and having a RPG-style class system is one of the best ways of getting into that “mood”.The Lost Heir, Evertree Saga and Raiders of Icepeak Mountain are all HGs that uses such a system and the profession system of Pon Para seems to work in a similar way. However, as far as I can recall and as far as I know, those are the only COGs and HGs that uses such a system. Given the large number and great popularity of Fantasy COGs and HGs and popularity of Fantasy RPGs(whether tabletop ones or the computer/video ones), it’s a bit strange that not more people have tried implementing RPG-style character classes in their COGs and HGs.

Finally I would like to see more “Life of…” style COGs and HGs. I’m aware that the “Life of…” style is probably to different from the regular COG “standard” to be used in a regular COG game. But there is something intriguingly different and intriguingly large-scale about such HGs that makes them really enjoyable and that kind of structure also makes it really good for exploring different paths in a way that gives them immensely great replay value. So, although, I’m aware that those kind of HGs are not for everyone, it would be really great to see more people exploring that kind of structure.

But enoguh about what I’d like to see more of. What about the rest of you. Which features, options and other elements would you like to see more often in COGs and HGs? And are there any features, options and other elements that you feel have been missing from COGs and HGs so far and that you would like to see implemented?

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I see very few stealth option and stealth built characters… and when present stealth is often pointless or a dumb stat

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More separation between “these options are fluff” and “these options are crunch” limits. Limit how many times I can raise my skills, sure, but there’s no reason to arbitrarily limit the time you spend talking with NPCs. Trying to get me to replay a game just so I can get to know (not romance) other characters is doomed to failure and is, in fact, a turn off. Shout out to @Jjcb and his A Tale of Heroes for understanding this.

More logic puzzles. I love logic puzzles. Give me more of those, ones that aren’t auto-solved if you have the requisite skill levels and aren’t auto-failed if you don’t. @Moochava 's Pon Para series has one chapter of puzzles per game; @Schliemannsghost 's Relics 2 has so many of them that I was actually giddy playing it. GIMME MORE PUZZLES!

Every character that goes on about “the prophecy” should be face-punchable. No exceptions.

Every character that is a self-important asshole should be ignorable in-universe; literally an option saying “Ignoring them as if they weren’t there, you continue as you were.” No exceptions.

Progress-based character advancement; shout out to @ThomB 's Evertree Inn Saga that does exactly this: the more you learn about the goings on, the more advancement points you have to improve your character.

More ROs taking the initiative, yes, please, thank you. Say “Hi”, Astrid.

Heists are basically logic puzzles, so I’m all for them!
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Both my Wayhaven and Relics MCs have a prior romantic relationship from college. It… uh… Well, let’s just say I’m pretty sure they spent the entirety of college drunk AND high, because I can’t justify those in any other way. @Sargent 's Professor of Magical Studies lets you have that prior relationship while you play in flashbacks, which is a nice touch. My MC was still drunk and high for that one too, though, because ooooooh, boy.

Romancing Wayhaven’s M means you’re never too bold.

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I personally like science fiction a lot but I also like historical fiction or alternate history. One of the titles I would like to explore is Choice of Robots, The parenting simulator, Ironheart, Welcome to Moreytown, Hero or villain and Wereolves.

The common point that I like to play with these titles is that you are immersed in the environment of your character that in some way or another you are different from them and as you interact with them you feel the same sensation that can be felt when you have an interaction like that in real life (parental and family love, discrimination, appreciation with colleagues, joys and sorrows, etc) Things that can make you hit rock bottom and introspection in yourself knowing the type of position you would take in those situations and depending on the position you take You can change the state of things somewhat while interacting with people who think the same or differently from you. Like Detroit Become Human or Kaiserreich two of My favorite unverse and their lore.

Also games where it is difficult to figure out who is the villain or hero but simply who is willing to be Machiavellian for You ideas

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  1. I’d like more games set in country other than the United States. Let MC live in Finland or Peru!

  2. More sci-fi games, but focusing on something other than being captain of a spaceship or participating in a space war. Like… game where MC is an Alien stuck on Earth! :pray:

  3. This is detail but I always like when the author lets you choose a nickname for MC and friends / family use that instead full MC’s name.

  4. MC is in a relationship from the beginning of the game (I guess I think a lot of people wouldn’t like it). There are ROs but that person may or may not be RO.

  5. More games where RO not chosen by us can fall in love with someone else

There are more things, but for now it comes to my mind first.

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The height thing is interesting! I hadn’t thought of doing it before and it isn’t something that personally matters to me when playing, but several people asked about it and I figured it’s not much extra effort on my end. (I do try to make sure I mention it every time there’s a hug or kiss so it doesn’t feel an empty choice!)

I would love more spy, heist, or con artist type games! I’m very interested in how complicated social dynamics play out in IF, especially if there’s a degree of playing a system or navigating deception. Games like Ladykiller in a Bind (the SFW bits) and Overboard are great for this. I am always trying to figure out different ways of exploring weird social dynamics and I love to see how other creators do it.

I’m also interested in seeing prior romantic relationships between the MC and an NPC, whether they end up staying together, breaking up ingame, having broken up before the game, are enemies, or some other configuration.

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When it comes to the romance genre in particular, I appreciate games that give my characters varied ‘flirt’ choices. Too often there are only two options: either play as a shy and blushing mess who is prone to heart palpitations, or say something so flirtatious and bold that one must put their phone down for a moment and whisper apologies to fictional characters.

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i really love the fantasy genre in cog and hg but i do wish we could be play as a more animalistic mc rather than the typical elf, halfling, orc and such. the keeper series is a good example. i would love to see more kitsune options for the mc, give me the option to have fluffy ears and tails!

more exes as an ro pls. i enjoy the whole rekindling an old flame type of romance. bonus points if theyre a flirt too!

pov switches! i like seeing situations on an ros pov. i think it builds more of their character outside interacting with the mc. also make the ros be jealous! forget about a jealous mc, i think its more fun to see how the ros present themselves to be jealous. gotta also give the ros the treatment of second guessing. yes for more varied flirt options.

to add on the flirt options, id especially like to see a dense flirting (if that even makes sense). in the affairs of the heart. sherlock kinda takes romance more logically and in turn whenever a bold option comes up, its not an in ur face one cause for sherlock, its very normal. i like to see more dense bold options

i like it when stories presents us with more feminine clothing. it scratches my brain to imagine a my femboy mc with a dress. i like it when the stories makes us choose any clothes and people wont bat an eye about it. and if they do, its more of a “i dont like ur style” type of response

the fake relationship trope. this has gotta be my favorite trope of all time. i honestly just have nothing to add here that i love it alot.

friendship scenes with other ros. a good example is wayhaven’s friendship points that makes it so that the ros react differently to you depending on how much you’ve accumulated on them.

i know people enjoy being more hands on and like be the leader type but id like too see more of a follower type mc. i dont like having someone look to me on what theyre gonna do cause i dont know either!

more options to wear a veil. the abyss, fell star, the mage reborn, (i know im probably forgetting a few) i love you. if applicable, id like to see that option pop up more often. they are just honestly aesthetically pleasing.

vices. i think if the mc on the story is mentally unstable, the option to have/or be required a vice is a cool way to kinda make the mc feel more fleshed out.

hobbies! i love having a down time chapter be the mc’s hobby. acknowledge the hobby you give the mc rather than use it to raise one stat. i wanna see the mc actually do their hobby. golden does this and i absolutely love it.

more of the, i died but im actually not dead because of some reason and i am now part of the bad guys! i love you fallen hero and the mage reborn. big bonus points if you can romance an ro back when youre with the good guys/youre still good.

allergies/or food problems for the mc. greenwarden does this with having the mc either be diabetic or lactose intolerant. i just honestly like tiny details that flesh out the mc more and make them feel less perfect. tiny flaws if you will.

mc having a handler. the northern passage and virtue’s end.

glasses! make my mc suffer with having shit eye sight lmao.

another thing is i wanna see more mc’s be hindered with disabilities. most of the wips with this ive seen are sadly abandoned. remembered: the past (i think was the name) had a variety of it such as lack of taste/feeling tossed along side being either mute, blind, or deaf. i think its a good thing to balance out something if you give the mc some kinda op power

give me more ros that radiate big dick energy. i crave the whole “i have the world in the palm of my hands” type of ros. like holy fuck why is that kinda hot? careful not to make them act like a spoiled brat tho lmao. not a fan of romancing someone whom is younger than me. ngl

i probably have more but honestly, thats all i can think about lmao.

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I would like to see more games without ROs. Even a passing glance at this forum, of course, will reveal that such a game is probably hobbling itself from the outset. Nevertheless, I think the focus on ROs often hampers games’ abilities to develop other kinds of relationships between characters and explore the complexities and variations of those.

For example, the relationship I liked the most out of all the ChoiceScript games I’ve played was not with an RO but the one between the archmage and their created monster in Tower Behind the Moon. I found it fascinating how started out hating the archmage yet desiring their attention, how you could leverage their antagonistic relationship with their other creator, how the relationship could improve to make the monster actually loyal or leave them barely kept in check. Then, although not explicitly mentioned, there were the many ways I could imagine the archmage envisioning the relationship with the monster. A tool? A servant? Even a child, perhaps? I feel this was reflected obliquely in the continuations you could grant them in the finale: Do you give them an improved body and let them go live their best life, ask them to take care of your apprentice, or continue in your service? I personally couldn’t help but see my hulking skeletal horror as a beloved daughter; no fictional character has ever made me happier than when she asked me to give her a name.

None of that, I think, could be achieved by an RO. I would similarly credit the former mentor and apprentice in that game as having fulfilling, nuanced relationships with the protagonist in the absence of any romance, and surprisingly enough the many interactions with characters who didn’t even get a relationship stat, like your dead adventuring party and your lesser archmage correspondent, among many others.

At this point I will say that the game had romances, but they felt like afterthoughts. To me it stood better as an example of what can be done when what is generally reserved for ROs gets given to every character instead. Not only can it be just as good, but it’s much more refreshing than yet another romance.

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Hoo boy, let’s see…

Storytelling-wise

—PCs in ranges other than teen and YA—saying this as a YA.

—PCs established in their world i.e. a semi-fixed background and goals, with some malleable parts. (Not a fan of self-inserting/blank PCs)

—As has been said, PCs being allowed to stand their ground vs jackass characters, without the narrative framing it as an overblown reaction.

—Failure being rewarding in their own way: opening up new avenues of problem-solving, new scenes, hidden convos… I find this a great way to offset the flaws of a stat-reliant game.

—Platonic routes not feeling like an afterthought. I shouldn’t need to smooch every character I want to know!

Romance-wise

—Flirting flowing naturally into the conversation, rather than as a clunky patch-up.

—The option of having had an ex. ROs with exes also (and as exes mayhaps).

—ROs who’d realistically take the initiative actually taking it.

—On a similar vein, ROs with ambitions that don’t revolve around the PC. Just give me that sweet, sweet autonomy.

Mechanically-wise

—Personality variables as a gateway for flavour text, and no more. Please, no greyed-out text when my usually stoic PC just feels like acting emotional for a change!

—If I never have to choose between bettering my rapport with an NPC and upping my skills, it’ll still be too soon.

—Separate PC attraction and NPC attraction variables (what the PC feels vs what the NPC feels), to favour individual characterisation.

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Boring, obvious answer: checkpoints.

Less boring and obvious: pacifist routes. Fighting stuff is overrated, figuring out how to avoid fighting stuff is much more fun! Bonus points if there are characters who disapprove of your character’s pacifist ways and you can have, like, conversations and stuff about it. Not necessarily to convince them of your point of view, but to address some of the issues around such a stance.

Just in general: kittens.

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Not sure how popular or unpopular my comment will be, but I personally would like to see more games with a Godmode option. Like I’ve said in another post, sometimes one can become tired of always following the rules of the game. Besides savy people messing around with code, third-party apk instalments and paying off third-party hackers, any author could for example implement a kind of God mode option and save everyone the trouble of resorting to such measures. Besides, they can make it an in app purchase and everyone wins. While I wouldn’t hesitate to resort to such measures myself if I can, it would obviously be in everyone’s interest to buy Godmode from the author themselves. After all, it’s safer, it’s accessible for all and most importantly, we could all probably agree that should a purchase be made in order to obtain such an option, that money would be better off going to the actual author, than the third-party who didn’t lift a finger in the game development. Just a thought.

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Genderlocked and/or a MC who isnt’ just a blank canvas. I like that they are not a trustworthy source but a character on their on (like in the absolut best game in the world ever, Fallen Hero)

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The option for a fulltime sub-dom relationship.

I’ve yet to come across a single game that let’s me play out the type of relationship I want most.

I want games by authors who understand that the sub-dom dynamic can - but absolutely doesn’t have to - stay in the bedroom. And even in the bedroom, in nearly all stories it’s actually never about submission and domination, but rather the question who’s top and who’s bottom, which isn’t the same.
A relationship like this can be based on mutual respect and love like any other, it doesn’t have to include or glorify abuse.
At the same time, I don’t want my potential dream game to go full BDSM or make it about BDSM, because most of what this includes doesn’t interest me at all. I had high hopes for “A Stern Hand”, but - aside from going so hard into American politics that I wanted to cry, and I’m saying this as someone who’s on the left and watches breadtube - it made the mistake of assuming “if you like kink x, you like kink y” to the point where I couldn’t identify the slightest bit with the MC anymore.
Most stories even work actively against my wishes, because you tend to be the leader type, the chosen one, and when it comes to romance, you’re the one who always has to make the first step and initiate everything.

My dream game would basically look like this:
A typical IF storyline, but I can play a character who serves another, instead of being the most important person. Example would be a knight to a king / prince, or bodyguard of a CEO. A living weapon, a guard dog, a real badass (so far, so good), yet at the same time someone who turns to a lap dog for their master, both professionally and in private. I can’t think of a game that comes even remotely close to trying, let alone achieving this.

Btw, a game like this wouldn’t even have to fall into the adult category. What I’m thinking of doesn’t rely on explicit content at all, because it has nothing directly to do with sex.

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Wow. As I read your post I was just increasingly amazed by just how much I agree with what you’d listed. ROs with their own agency/wishes/desires, fluid flirting, rich platonic relationships, failure being an interesting branch of the story rather than deadtext that you avoided at all costs… You took the words right out of my mouth.

Although… I do feel like the points in your mechanics section are valid but lots of work to execute. I feel ya on it being fun for characters to comment on uncharacteristic choices though! And the third point on separate PC vs NPC attraction levels is an interesting idea, and I’d love to experiment with that on one of my games - ties into that concept of NPCs having their own desires and dreams and preferences.

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I like this idea too, it’s actually one I thought about before, but assumed it would be too complicated. Imagine a PC who’s secretly attracted to an NPC but puts up a front of disliking them, so the NPC dislikes them in return - a prime opportunity for Dramatic Revelations to occur if the game “knows” what’s really going on.

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Hahaha, that’s fair. These are mostly just my own wistful musings and of course every author should gauge whether the time spent on implementing them would be worth it. Either way, I’m glad you find the attraction mechanic interesting enough to try it out—it’s certainly a gripe of mine when the shared romance stat randomly goes up in scenes where the PC can choose to think they find someone dateable (though you could make a point of there being a psychic or two on the loose TBH).

EDIT:

a prime opportunity for Dramatic Revelations to occur if the game “knows” what’s really going on

@Tarlonniel You… you get me.

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Haha exactly! There’s a WIP I’m writing where the MC chooses how much they still have feelings for their ex (an RO), and I wonder whether or not to increase the relationship bar - after all, it’s not like they did anything to make the RO like them in return.

With a split-stat, it would be so much easier to insert nuance - anddd write in scenes with unrequited feelings! (Always fun!)

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OK, here goes: one: games without RO‘ S. Sometimes I really get annoyed by how the romance writing takes over the story to the point where the plot and everything else fades into the background. Even with games that are supposed to be romance games specifically like Wayhaven, it’s really jarring for the extremely important murder mystery plot to sort of be a background filler thing. To: games that let you join the antagonist because the antagonist has sympathetic reasons for what they’re doing, or even better, games where there aren’t really a specific antagonist and you basically have a dozen people all trying to achieve the same thing while killing everybody in their way. Games where those characters aren’t black or white but are also somewhere in the grayer part of the spectrum, where all of them have sympathetic motives instead of a specified good guy and specified bad guy. Three: games that start you out with a partially defined PC. I know that’s not everybody’s cup of tea but sometimes when you have a partial personality already set up and remove some of the customization options, the PC can feel like their own specific character with their own goals and actions. For an example of what I mean, I, the forgotten one does it really well. Samurai of Hyuga is similar as well, but letting you do more personality customization although the core is still the same. four: don’t make us sacrifice character interaction time with stat boosts. There are so many games out there I love but that also make you pick between either jacking up your stats or hanging out with your friends and it’s beyond aggravating. Five: I agree with an earlier comment that failure should also lead to new opportunities, something that gives you incentive not to be the best at everything. Six: don’t make important stat checks rely on personality checks. Characters should be allowed to act oppositely than they usually do because that’s how human nature works. A sarcastic person can be serious occasionally, stoic people do freak out, and emotional people can keep a cool head. Having flavor text effected by personality should really be the only important part, although the characters having some sort of surprised reaction to a PC that acts differently than usual could also make things interesting. seven: more puzzles; please, more puzzles. eight: we need more games from different genres like alternate history, sci-fi, and Hell, even steam punk could be fun. Nine: a combat system that doesn’t consist of passing a bunch of stat checks. I want combat to be based around your situational awareness, the weapons your wielding, the type of enemy you’re fighting for the ones that aren’t like that, the writing should make up for it. I, the forgotten one has whole chapters based around warfare from both a person to person perspective to that against armies trying to take each other down with various tactics being implemented. SOH waivers a lot because there are plenty of combat checks that are based around making a move depending on your situation but a lot of them are also stat-based, Something the writing makes up immensely for. 10: point of view flips add flavor to the story so more of those are always appreciated. 11: more sarcastic writing, please. Anyone who’s played keeper knows what I mean; you can’t go to paragraphs without somebody making a snarky remark, although the downside is that not everybody’s going to get it which makes the whole thing awkward but for those of us who do get it, it can definitely lighten up some tense situations 12: games where the PC is not the main character that the story revolves around. Essentially, kind of like the Eagles heir, where the PC is really just a bodyguard to the real big fish and you spend most of your time keeping him from getting killed and pulling the strings behind the curtain. 13: going off of the whole not being the hero part, we need more games like fallen hero, where the PC is the antagonist, or at least isn’t supposed to be the good guy of the story

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As someone who is nonbinary and uses he/him pronouns, separate gender and pronoun options.

I like being in a position where I have the legal authority to do something evil, but I can just choose not to do that.

I’m not really sure how to express exactly what this entails, but I like romance optional games where there are romance routes, but they don’t feel core to the plot.

I agree with @yb_minhee on some of those MC details being cool bonuses, like hobbies, vices, allergies.

I think there’s a general paucity of adult games. I mean, just compare how many threads there are in the adult section with the other categories. Also like @Hayden_Winter I am into BDSM relationships, but unlike him I would want it to be an adult game :stuck_out_tongue:

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