This… Sounds interesting actually.
You mean, like if they were an alien or something? I really cannot say, myself. On the one hand, it would be fascinating to find such a creature to exist. On the other, it would be quite weird. I think it would be entirely reasonable to freak out upon that revelation, whether real life or in fiction. Some may even feel violated.
This reminds me of a story that I read, of a young woman that discovers that her long-standing friend is actually a dragon, and he has had the hots for her for years given she possesses a biology compatible with his own. There is even a biological compulsion on her part to take him as her lover. Turns out that there are other dragons out there as well, some who aren’t kindly and gentle, and the protagonist’s friend had to save her from a beast that wanted to take her forcefully. Needless to say, she was very appreciative of her friend, who nearly died trying to save her. I don’t think I need to spoil what came next.
Ah, but that was a normal story, not a interactive novel. So, who knows.
I really want to reply to everyone, but it would entail giving out MASSIVE spoilers for one of the games I’m writing.
Here’s what I can say about this specific case:
Character in question is in human form, and have been living like that for years, but is actually not humanoid, naturally.
MC is the one initiating everything, and doing the pursuing.
You can’t actually get into a relationship with them, but trying has plot consequences.
Non-human people are NOT common, and interspecies relationships isn’t a thing in the setting.
I had not even considered that this might be a problem, before reading some of the posts in this thread.
It can depend a great deal on context as to how people respond once they have read the story. And, of course, you cannot win everyone over, so take the comments with a pinch of salt.
Is there a WIP of this somewhere? … Asking for a friend. XD
Haha, no, it exists as a quarter of a prologue, and a few pages of character ideas and plot planning, on my computer. A bit more in my head.
Well, if the reader’s reaction to the Big Reveal is “Ew, my MC had a one-night-stand with that character!”, I’d obviously not been doing a good enough job of writing that part.
I just don’t want anyone to feel like they were tricked into something they are not comfortable with…
Being tricked into something could be pretty cool though on the other hand, and if you had the option to properly take revenge if you felt slighted then maybe that mends what was violated?
That’s kind of romantic though I think having some kind of human appearance makes it slightly cheating, though it does sound cool. As I might have mentioned elsewhere I like the concept of inverting the classic knight-princess-dragon trope with something where a kind and heroic dragon has to save a princess from an evil and cruel knight, so something like that is always fun.
In that case, you would likely enjoy the film “I Am Dragon”, whose story follows the very things that you have described. It’s no Hollywood blockbuster, but it’s… it’s alright. I did like the ending, though. Give it a try, if you are interested.
Hmmm, well I checked the blurb and it still involves a dragon pretending to be a human and the classic trope of kidnapping so… neh. I have to see.
Well, you can’t have everything, you know. Until you write it yourself, that is.
I’m sure it would be a hoot to play!
Go ahead! Get it out of your system!
Well, make the game then so I can!
(If you meant puns, maybe the day I’m dead. Maybe.)
Well its in novel form at the moment. I have went back and forth (and back and forth) about the best medium for the story.
I still think it could have worked, though you are right that this poll implies it had some serious hurdles. Keep in mind this is not a good cross-section or average readers, though. Who knows how much some of those things matter to more casual readers?
Still, it could easily work in conventional fiction as well.
Yes, I’m all for encouraging writers to tackle perhaps 1-2 hurdles and try new things. That’s the only way to really broaden audience tolerance and expectations. If I went back to doing a HG, I’d dump gender-lock, and I’d dump pre-set protagonist and third-person. I’m pretty sure “bird attorney protagonist with no romance paths” would still be enough of an uphill battle.
Hmm… It depends on which of these, actually.
I feel like an MC romancing someone they don’t know isn’t human and then finding out before anything very physical happens (assuming, of course, this is a relationship in which physical things would happen) would be a lot different than finding out after the fact.
If it was one where you romanced them, the two of you grew into a relationship to which they felt they could be honest with the MC and tell them the truth then I think that’d actually make for a potentially very sweet and nice scene. And absolutely one I’d be 100% for.
But if they find out after the fact I feel like maybe I’d be a bit more ticked off since that feels like the kind of thing that would probably effect a physical relationship and I would have liked for the MC to know what it is they’re getting into before they get into it, y’know? (Though I guess there’d be varying degrees of ticked off-ed-ness depending on what exactly they are. Like if they’re a werewolf then, y’know, who cares because they were probably essentially human at the time otherwise I feel like the MC would’ve known what’s up. But if they’re some kinda… bug… alien… thing… then I feel like that’s a bit more deceptive and therefore a bit less ok? It basically depends on how deceptive it is, I guess, ahaha.)
Honesty is the best policy in relationships and all that.
Gosh, all of this is making me want to dig up that old supernatural romance game idea I had a while ago and shuffled off to my idea vault…
With these sorts of quizes I pretty much always end up feeling like my answers are a little more complicated than the poll options, so…
It’s not just that “I’d feel guilty that others can’t play as their own gender,” but also I tend to be wary of male-locked games to begin with, because I will be suspicious of the motivations for it being male-locked. It basically means the game would have to pass a higher bar of proof for me to get into it.
Female-locked games would also have to pass a higher bar for me, just because I like playing as male, but I am rather curious about Guinevere, for example.
At that far a remove from the humanoid, I don’t feel attached to playing as male. I’ll just copy this comment I just made about playing as dragon…
You know, I’d kind of question whether aliens fit in with the rest of the examples here, being not really supernatural, and also being quite often far less human-like than the others.
But basically, if it’s a human-like character, then my answer on gender choice is the same as the first two; wary if male-locked, less-interested if female-locked, but could overlook those if the game is just that good.
I realized I’m not even sure what my answer to this question is… I’d have to see what the game would look like. More Visual Novel-style? (Is Guinevere like this?)
Basically yes, but I also enjoy romantic sideplots, and if there’s one of those, I’d darn well better get to be gay. I don’t need a romantic sideplot, though. I just like them.
I’m fine with a game where MC gender just isn’t ever specified, rather than being locked or being a coded choice. I’d just find it rather tricky to write
I’m also curious whether the poll results would look different if we broke it down by player gender
Well, ghosts and vampires are basically ex-humans, and demons are still often humanoids with a supernatural origin and powers and stuff.
And with aliens we’re probably still under the assumption that we’re talking about a sapient being… there’d be a question of whether the player character is capable of using language, I suppose like if you’re playing a talking animal, that might be a different matter as well? Probably would be for me, anyway. Use of language does open up stories a bit
Really un-humanlike aliens could complicate the gender question as well, given how much writers can play with gender dynamics in alien species… there might be some with only one reproductive type, or more than two, which could make concepts of gender rather different, for example (I realize that’s a matter of sex rather than gender, but it would certainly affect things.)
Sapience, really. The question being “Can the character meaningfully consent?”
At least, that’s my boundary for what I’d feel okay with… if you want my boundary for what I’d be into, then basically needs to be very close to a human, maybe with like horns, or elf ears, that kind of thing, but even an animal/human hybrid would be too out there for me personally unless they’re very far on the human side.
But if we’re talking just romance, then, say, dragon-dragon is still fun.
Depends on the monster, really. In Monsters of New Haven High all the monsters are pretty close to human, and I have fun playing as any of them, though I do have preferences, and romancing those as well. I guess if it’s a monster I could be potentially interested in, then the romance interests me as well, but if it’s romancing, say, a literal blob monster, it’s gonna fall a bit more flat
A lot of times I do like getting to play as “the ordinary person” in a setting with lots of extraordinary/supernatural types, though
Yeah. Well, it happened a bit by mistake in Creatures Such as We… there was one guy I wanted to romance, but I preferred to be all professional with the idea that we could get to the romance stage once I was no longer positioned as his tour guide… but no such option materialized, so I had waited too long
But also more by choice in The Sea Eternal, where, while I liked the gender-choosable RO, I didn’t feel the romantic connection so much.
(Huh, both by the same author.)
That’s fine, generally. This is something where the MC doesn’t know, right? Like, say, romancing someone who’s a shapeshifted dragon, and then finding out only later that they were in human form rather than being human? That would just be exciting drama, really.
I mean, as long as it’s still meaningful consent and stuff
It sort of depends on what would reasonably come up if they’re basically presenting as human, that’s what I’d be into anyway…