Polls about COG, HG, and IF games

OK, kind of borked my own poll, so doing a second take my bad! :sweat_smile:

How do you prefer romance option genders be presented?

  • All gender flippable
  • Set genders
  • Set and gender flippable

0 voters

Also if you don’t mind could you explain why you prefer your choice?

2 Likes

I do like having like some set gendered characters - it makes the world feel more grounded to me, but I’ve grown to like gender flipping features so long as I get to choose the character’s gender rather than leaving it up to randomization or setting by the MC’s orientation/gender (like how if you play as a male or non-binary person attracted to multiple genders in Wayhaven Chronicles, you’ll get female A/N and male F/M). It’s not so much about my gender preference (I’m pan ace and prefer to play characters that are the same), as it is I like to keep character’s genders consistent across playthroughs.

4 Likes

I like set genders most of the time - Fallen Hero is the rare and probably only exception - because I don’t like more interruptions than necessary when I read a story.

3 Likes

I prefer to see set-gender ROs when their gender is a significant and meaningful part of the story. I would rather have gender-flippable ROs otherwise because that is the best way to keep a cast small enough to have in-depth relationships while also giving people representation.

A good example of using selective gender-flippability in a WIP right now is Wilhelmina. Lucy’s whole sub-plot is about her being a lesbian expected to marry a man, so she is gender-locked. Dracula is gender-flippable because really, the only important thing about them for the plot is that they are rich and powerful.

That explained, I am not against either of the other methods. They also have pros and cons, and it can really depend on what story you are writing.

All Gender-Flippable

Pros:

  • Men don’t hit on lesbians in works they may be trying to use for escapism (I love that for us)
  • gives everyone the most possible RO options, and the author the largest reach.
  • The game can be gleefully recommended to both lesbians and gay men and everyone else. wlw/mlm solidarity for the win

Cons:

  • Can limit the author from doing identity-specific plot lines/ only make them available with A LOT of extra writing depending on the universe.

  • Beware the little things. Probably like 97% of things are going to be exactly the same between a male and female version of an RO in most universes authors create. You just need to make sure to pay attention to what that 3% difference is and where it impacts your story because otherwise it can really ruin immersion. This happens a lot less when characters are written as a set gender, but I think with some attention to detail and good beta testers this is largely avoidable.

  • Fandom/Social Presence Bias: If you as an author are socially present on Tumblr/Discord/Patreon anywhere you might produce/share secondary content related to the actual game you run into the potential alienation problem again where you need to make sure to keep your responses gender neutral/ if you do gendered scene writings needing to make sure you evenly balance the gender distribution or produce multiple versions of each scene depending.

Additionally, your audience is not going to be great at being inclusive no matter how hard you try. This is not any fault of the author’s of course, but I personally think it should probably be a little disheartening as an author to put so much work into making a game wonderful and inclusive for all and then end up with it being…very much not reflected.

All Set Gender

Pros:

  • technically less work (when compared to the exact same story with all the ROs being gender flippable). As you can see, this one is kind of shakey because there are lots of exceptions for this.

  • those sweet sweet representational plotlines (where gender identity matter)

  • Gender diversity in the maintains throughout all versions of the story. All of the women do not suddenly disappear from your story in some versions leaving you with the stereotypical Crew of all men or all men + one token woman in multiple variations. (This is, of course, avoidable by creating non-romanceable main characters that are well-developed in gender flippable cast)

Cons:

  • In order to make your Romance Options inclusive and equally represented you suddenly need a lot a lot more cast members. It may only be one singular con, but it can be a gigantic con. This either results in way more work for the author and/or less in-depth romances. The less in-depth part is not necessarily bad depending on your story, but it is much easier to also end up with lower quality interactions and is prone to the dreaded “only explores relationships through romance” experience.
24 Likes

@QuixquillianParadise @The_Black_Reaper @greendaisy
I really appreciate the feedback guys! :grin:

I am thinking of Creating a Game jam for Halloween where everyone can present their short games or demos. Mainly in Choicescript language but accepting other languages even Visual comics or Videos always there is an interactive component where player choose from.

I just want to check out If there is someone that is interested in participating in a Forum activity like that and contact with other forum members and writers maybe writing together.

  • I am not interested in the Game jam
  • I will like to participate
  • I will love to read other stories but not make one by myself.

0 voters

8 Likes

Gender flippable, mostly because in my experience with set genders the male ROs tend to be more fleshed out/have more interesting story lines (probably because male ROs tend to be more popular imo), which is unfortunate for people who are exclusively attracted to women. There’s probably plenty of games where this isn’t true, but that’s just been my experience.

8 Likes

Does the last option mean a mix of set and flippable, or that you don’t have a preference for either? :thinking:

1 Like

A mix of both set gendered and flippable characters in a game.

I prefer set gender characters, because of the grounding effect it has on the story/setting as a whole not to mention characteristics or relationships with other characters, but I don’t mind gender-flippable characters, because of what it can provide for players. However, I do feel like some people kind of expect the author to have the NPC’s be gender-flippable by default(i.e the comments that ask if the characters can be gender-flipped when a new W.I.P is released), and see set gender/sexuality NPC’s as something that won’t ensure they get the relationships they want which is sometimes true, but at the same time shouldn’t automatically be labeled as a game with hollow characters because of past experiences.

3 Likes

If you were reading a mystery/horror romance story, with otome style routes you lock into at a point, how would you prefer the horror/mystery/monster/villain worked?

The amount of work needed isn’t a consideration, I’m more interested in peoples views on this, regarding predictability and replayability.

  • Always the same horror/mystery
  • Horror/mystery changes depending on romance route
  • Horror/mystery is randomly determined at game start

0 voters

1 Like

@The_Lady_Luck – Are you getting at a tsundere type of romance?

I guess I am not comprehending what your poll is asking.

1 Like

@Eiwynn A romance game set in a horror/mystery story. So there would be some sort of mysterious danger that needs to be figured out, and I’m wondering if it’s best to always have this bad thing turn out to be the same, ie. it’s a cult no matter which RO you chose, or depending on RO, ie. in RO a’s route it’s a cult, in RO b’s route it’s a vampire, or randomly determined by a rand roll when you start the game, so you won’t know wich bad guy you got until late in each playthrough.

O.K …

The “otome style” is what I think is throwing me off. In my experience the otome depends on the ro you decide to pursue, so while the overarching story may be separated, the details are reliant on who you are pursuing for romance.

Perhaps it is just me, so I’ll stop here.

2 Likes

I picked “horror/mystery changes depending on the romance route,” but more along the lines of: the main story is the same (say, it’s always a cult) but the details of the horror/mystery change depending on your RO.

So like, maybe one RO is actually a cult member, so if you choose their route, you learn more about the inner workings of the cult. But if you choose the, I dunno, detective RO, you would be doing more investigating with them, but never get the ‘insider edition’ on the cult. Basically the main mystery/culprit is the same, but maybe how you discover/learn/interact with the culprit is different depending on the RO because each RO would have something different to contribute to the story.

I hope that made sense? I tried to put examples to help clarify, but it was difficult to elaborate in words haha. I also really like games like this because then your understanding of the story evolves with each character, and encourages replayability without making each route wildly different (e.g. different culprits for each route)

edit: I realized it’s just what Eiwynn said; she was very succinct where I ended up rambling haha

4 Likes

Thank you for elaborating, @Aerin!

I would put that under the “stays the same” option, as the bad guy stays the same, what changes is the content of the route, which was kinda what I meant by otome style routes.

Unfortunately, I’m not very good at explaining my (non-specific) ideas, so that they are clearly understandable to others. :sweat_smile:

2 Likes

Yeah, no problem! I totally understand, given that I wrote in multiple paragraphs what could be expressed in a few sentences haha. Gotta work on concision… :crazy_face:

But, would this happen to be for the Halloween game jam? :eyes:
If it is (or isn’t), I’d be interested to see if/what you create with this–mystery/horror otome sounds pretty cool. Good luck! ^^

2 Likes

Yeah, I was brainstorming, then remembered an idea I had sometime last year and never developed beyond a short premise.

If I do end up making it for the jam, it’ll probably start with a few routes, and then I can always add more later, if I want.

3 Likes

Okay, that last one had interesting results.
Random started out very strong, but was quickly overtaken, and the other two then kept fighting for supremacy, and ended up being fairly equal.

Here’s another poll:

How do you feel about a game having unlockable content / content hidden behind achievements?
It’s not something I see a lot in CS games, but fairly common in Visual Novels. I’ve definitely played games where you have to play multiple times, finish multiple routes, before you unlock the best endings / a special ending / the one romance route you really want.
So, what are your feelings on something like that in a CS game?

  • I love unlocking content!
  • I like it.
  • It’s fine.
  • I dislike it.
  • I won’t play games with that feature.
  • It’s only okay, if it’s very minor content.

0 voters

5 Likes

It’s a bit a case by case basis for me so here are my thoughts - sorta I just woke up so disclaimer:

  • Unlocking the best ending: depends how you define best mainly. Your ‘best’ may not be my ‘best’. Hmm… I’d say as long as the other routes aren’t a slog to replay through then I wouldn’t mind having the best ending be locked in this manner provided that I found it to be satisfying.

  • Unlocking the special ending: same thoughts as unlocking the best ending.

  • Unlocking the romance route you want: I think my verdict of whether or not the proverbial wait was worth the romance depends on how well the romance is executed/how well I like the romance. If it’s done well, I’ll undoubtedly think it was worth the lock, if it’s not I’ll probably be disappointed in it.

Overall, I think - tentatively - my feelings are this kind of stuff is okay if it’s minor content. Such as in Breach you have NewGame+ which unlocks a different prologue and different epilogue for you.

If it’s an entire character/romance/route then I’m not a fan of it because my expectations for that route will be quite high. Usually if someone locks something behind a pay wall or something there comes the expectation that it’s ‘better’ than what you could have in the vanilla game. Like if you bought a unique weapon/armor set for 2.99 for a triple A game, it’s going to be for the aesthetic, unique stats (making it OP early game), or maybe for lore purposes.

In an IF, you’ve already paid for the route and all that’s left is to unlock it. So it could go either way, it depends - I think - on whether or not the locked route is enjoyable to the reader and meets their expectations.

5 Likes