Realism and romance options

(Boring title, i know.)

How do you guys feel about a romance option rejecting or being able to reject the main character because of their eye color, hair color, skin tone etc.? (Anything not stat or skill wise)

Also How do you feel about the romance options being able to break up with the main character whenever they want?

I ask these questions because I’m trying to make a game with realistic elements and I’m kind of curious whether this a turn off or not. (I also have no idea if these questions have been asked before.)

(I guess this can be a general thread for writing realistic romance options)

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Depends on why they break up with the MC. I would be pissed if they reject the MC bc she has blue eyes or something. That’d be ridiculous. But if it’s her personality like MC tends to be impulsive or reckless and RO can’t stand stupidly brave people that’s more understandable tho I would prefer if it’s not requirement to make an MC with a similar personality as the RO I wish to romance bc imo that just makes the romance kinda boring. The best would be as it was pointed out by other on the other thread if it’s the MCs actions and interactions with the ROs what raises or decreases their chances to romance an RO.

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Skin tone uh… you’re walking on mighty thin ice here! :wink:
And I know things like this happen and it’s realism and has nothing to do with racism of course… still I stand by my opinion that people play games to flee the stress of reality.
I think rejection because of personality or some “charisma”/“appearance” stat could work… but I wouldn’t go in too much details.

EDIT: plus it’s not realistic to reject someone for a single physical trait unless the RO is extremely shallow and vain. When you reject someone it’s because they doesn’t fit into your beauty canons but it’s really more complex than hairstyle or eye color, and usually it’s even personality mixed. You could see someone and think they are good looking and after talking for 2 seconds you’ll be like “kill me now, please”… and the other way around. At least that’s how I work, I always assumed others are quite the same.

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  1. I do not think that such reasoning for rejection as eye or hair color really works. Because if such reason for rejection is stated in a mind of rejected individual that would be an exuse or a mask for more deep reasoning (if we accept that ‘I dont like this type of person’ is deep). And I think it would be rahter difficult to play such things out.

  2. It is solely depends on how you play (write) this out. If it’s gonna be random impulsive not well explained enough in the story act than (I think) audience will be left with confusion and misunderstanding of characters intentions.

  3. In conclusion I think most part of this boils down to how good you are as a writer. Because if you do something beyond such motivations than it’s a good seed of a conflict between MC and RO and it’s potential resolve (for example RO just broke up with MC and MC start to wonder why would they do such a thing without any reason [insert some detective plot]).

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I think it’s fair to have characters reject an MC based on personality traits, though I do think it’s important to consider which personality traits might actually be dealbreakers rather than just obstacles that might be overcome in time. For example, if an RO believes that all life is sacred while the MC goes around casually decapitating people, that’s an obvious dealbreaker. An RO who prefers quiet evenings with a nice novel and a cup of tea might not match as well with a more outgoing MC, but would that really count as a dealbreaker when they otherwise match really well?

In terms of appearance, I’d say leave the realism. Yes, it’s realistic for people to not be attracted to absolutely everyone but you seriously risk upsetting people who might be self-inserting by having an RO reject them based on an appearance factor that’s lead to them getting rejected in real life too. Yes, it’s realistic, but also painful. And I’m not sure if you should want your readers to feel uncomfortable while playing your game.

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THIS omg… THIS! I love you @MadMinnie! I always loved if in a game you could see clashing between MC and RO, this makes it more real than rejection.
There are only a few games that do that, most of them just go: yeah u fall in love u happy everafter. As if… make me work on our different points of view! Make me feel RO is not just a puppet I drag around but someone who actually has thoughts.

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Right? No relationship is perfect, and it’s often the imperfections that make it interesting for me.

I liked what Dragon Age 2 tried to do with the rivalry routes. They kind of messed up by counting simple disagreements and outright hostility as the same thing, but I appreciate what they were trying to do anyway.

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MadMinnie nailed the implications of what would happen if the RO rejected the MC based on appearance alone. I think it’s important, but slightly less than the implications themselves, to also consider the context during all RO rejection scenarios.

Let’s say an RO rejected my MC because she had brown eyes, but they’ve just met and are at the bar. Since I hardly know this RO, and thus don’t have any attachment to them, I would be slightly annoyed that that was the reason the RO rejected the MC. I think the manner in how an RO would reject the MC would matter more than why they rejected the MC, especially if this is the first time the characters are meeting and a physical feature is the reason why the RO is rejecting the MC.

Depends on where we are in the relationship, why we’re breaking, and how they’ve chosen to end it with the MC.

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Hm seen another way round, would I want to date someone, who only cares if I have, lets say blond hair? Definetly not. I could understand that a romance might be easier, when you have a desired look, but someone who would reject you because of the Looks, well lets just say I am to old to mess with that sort of people.
To the realism part, I do not think that that is realistic. Sure you do not date people you find totally ugly, but that can not be realistic with one thing. Is there really anyone who would Tell me he/she/they never felt in love with a person, who did not match their ideal? I understand that some romances feel shallow, but a game can not be 100% realistic, so it would mostly every criteria to reject a MC must be a substitute for the real thing. So in my opinion, and there only, every of this questions is more about making a romance more challenging ( I do not like this), wouldn’t it be better to find was to make the romances more interesting?

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It depends.

If a game let me fully customise my appearance (e.g. A mohawk, biker jacket, prison tattoos and a face full of piercings) then i could understand some RO being unavailable due to appearance alone.

But just for the reasons of eye colour, hair style or skin colour is a definite no. Everyone should have a chance to play a MC that represents them without being punished.

An exception to this rule is when physical appearance plays an important part of the story.

E.g. If there was a story about the underground railroad helping escaped slaves to flee, then skin colour would affect available RO. But the intent of such a story wouldnt be to punish the reader but to educate them.

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I’m okay with RO’s rejecting me(my character). I think I’d even be okay with a character rejecting me for a physical trait. I’m a very tall woman, 6’-1" Other than that I’m pretty normal looking. Whatever that means. The point is if I was going to be rejected for a single physical trait that seems like the most likely one. I know I’ve been around some men who were uncomfortable with the idea of dating a woman who was significantly taller than them.

That’s by no means universal. Most men don’t bat an eyelash at how tall I am, and no woman has ever seemed uncomfortable.

I guess I was about to make the point that while it would be perfectly acceptable to me to have my character be rejected based on her appearance I don’t think it would be very realistic. Of course, as I read that I realize its an absolutely ridiculous thing to say. I’m sure I’ve been rejected based on my appearance dozens of times even if I was unaware of it, and if I’m honest I’m sure that I’ve rejected others based on the way they looked too.

I guess I’m saying go for it. There’s definitely something worth exploring there.

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Please no. Others have covered why.

If it’s done in a reasonable way, I’d be fine with this? But I think it depends a lot on execution.

So, e.g., “main character makes a major decision abhorent to RO, prompting break up” would probably be fine, if the RO’s opinions were clearly telegraphed beforehand. “Main character has a series of small interactions that put the RO off, prompting at least a talk, maybe a breakup”: I’d probably also be okay with this, depending on how it’s written. “Main character hits 80% on sarcastic/sincere meter, prompting sudden breakup”: probably not great.

(I talked about basically this earlier in the other thread.)

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On one hand- people do have attraction to certain characteristics so I could see, say, a RO being more flirtatious outright with someone with brown hair. But locking the path out because your character has red hair is when I think it’s crossing a line.

I think if anything, rather than locking it out it’s better as an obstacle, especially with personality traits. It’s not realistic for the sweet, angelic woman to be okay with someone who wreaks havoc and mayhem everywhere they go.

For the ROs having the ability to break up with the MC, it is something I’d like to see implemented, as long as it’s not just at random or due to things you absolutely have no idea are a problem. Like, they come and say, well you ignored the dwarf that was asking for help in the middle of the street and now he’s dead, we’re done.

Also, as much as I love Love at Elevation, one thing that really got under my skin was the forced drama. No matter what I did it was always ‘you’re a fake I don’t think we should be together’ when all i was, was playing a nice character and having to convince them to stay. It bugged the heck out of me. Food for thought.

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I don’t have the exact statistics but I have a friend who uses dating sites and he occasionally told me about how some people put things like ‘no blondes’ or ‘don’t like men with braces’ on their profile so I didn’t know if it was common for many people to say that(because I don’t really have a preference) or not. (I have seen people like that on other websites with other physical traits but dating sites are more honest.)

For the breakup question, like for example if the main character and romance option were fighting (nothing physical or severe) and the romance option breaks up with the main character because of that or just break up with the main character because they want to be single again. (I forgot to put when I wrote the question)

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Dating sites probably aren’t the best example considering their purpose is exactly that, dating. In most stories that will never be the case, you’ll wind up interacting with people regardless of whether you seek them out or not so you won’t exactly have a choice if you fall for a guy with braces, as an example.

Dating sites are also filled with shallow people, so :man_shrugging:

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Everyone has their preferences I guess when it comes to appearances. But I think people can change their mind once they get to know someone. Going by your “no blondes” example I can’t imagine any of those people hating blonde haired people so much that they would reject them even when they find out that a blonde haired person is fun to talk to, they have a lot in common, even looks vise they are close to their type (except the hair color of course) etc.

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Breaking up over one small fight doesn’t really make sense, instead maybe have them talk it out or something. Putting all that time into that RO and have them break up over something small would probably annoy some people.

Again it’ll make it seem like that whole RO was a waste of time. And what’s the point of having them as a RO if they just do this.

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My friend , i am totally agree with you on this…

However, i do realise it is strange that when the situation is reverse , like when it was pre-determine we broke up with an ex over some small fight , we would be stone hearted to get away from our ex , even though our ex was trying their best to get back to us ( like Luisa of Love in Elevation and Bobby of Wayhaven ) we would be calling them annoying for their notable attempt to reconcile :slight_smile:

But when it is the MC case, where an RO broke up with us… MC will be the one citing unfair and trying their best to get back to than RO, could it be that the RO hated us more and annoying with MC the way MC annoy with Luisa and Bobby :wink: the saying is "what come around ., go around " :-):rofl:

Hence , for me generally, i do endorse to give MC a 2nd chance for any breakup with RO … However , sincerely i do hope MC would give any Ex a chance as well :wink:

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Tahts different we didn’t break up with them. The game already set we weren’t together.
Also Bobby is a manipulative asshole, but this isn’t the place to discuss it anyway.

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But i thought it is about “Realism and Romance Option” ? :wink:

which i think when we really want a realism in romance relationship , we should consider it both ways instead of single person (MC) 's perspective , that’s why i gave example of reaction of readers previously … if we are only making a game that only want to make MC happy and only with their perspective in mind… i honestly don’t think that’s realism in any romance relationship at all :slight_smile:

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