Hello! Writer, here. Learning ChoiceScript while waiting to hear back about my pitches. I don’t know much about the IF playerbase, so am humbly asking for insight.
My current abbreviated chargen design framework (D&D-ish):
Gender: male, female, non-binary
Orientation: straight, gay, bisexual, asexual; androphile and gynephile as nb only**
Race: human, elf, dwarf, halfling, half-orc
Class: 12 options, 3/type: melee, caster, trickster, hermit (ranger, druid, monk)
*for now, ROs do not have sexual preference wrt race or class
My current ROs:
1. straight human female; chaotic-evil sorceress
2. pansexual elf male; lawful evil warlock
3. straight half-orc male; neutral-good ranger
4. bisexual halfling female; chaotic-good rogue
5. lesbian dwarf female; lawful neutral monk
6. gay human male; lawful-good warrior
a straight female PC has 2 ROs (2, 3)
a straight male PC has 2 ROs (1, 4)
a gay female PC has 2 ROs (4, 5)
a gay male PC has 2 ROs (6, 2)
a nb (non-binary) androphile PC has 3 ROs (2, 3, 6)
a nb gynephile PC has 3 ROs (1, 4, 5)
a bisexual female PC has 4 ROs (2, 3, 4, 5)
a bisexual male PC has 4 ROs (1, 2, 4, 6)
an asexual male/female/nb PC and all PCs have 6 intimate platonic friendship options
Here are some (perhaps wrongful) assumptions, dangers, and questions:
a. Gender/orientation-locking my ROs reduces options but increases individuality and concrete RO identity(?)–since I’m a strong writer but weak coder, this allows me to lean into a strength and away from a weakness. Am I lying to myself, here? Is there a CoG/HG I can play to dispel this as myth?
b. A PC could end up w/no ROs if their gender/orientation eliminates some options in their playthrough and class/alignment (e.g. evil) eliminates the rest. Design decisions to mitigate this?
c. Does having, say, 2 straight female options reduce replayability? Anyone have replay knowledge wrt 2nd, 3rd playthroughs? For example, do straight females play mostly as straight females? So, in RO terms, have 2 possible playthroughs? Or are they more likely to alter gender/orientation in subsequent playthroughs?
*maybe this is an impossible question w/o data.
d. 6 is the RO sweet spot(?) in terms of player memory, multiple options for all PC gender-orientation combinations, writer ability to deeply distinguish (archetype, appearance, voice, values), and opposed pairs wrt binary stat %s. Are fewer better? Has someone very successfully done more?
*the best I’ve read so far are Creme de la Creme and Wayhaven.
*outside CoG/HG I’m modeling w/Dragon Age and Persona
e. Is there a PC-race consideration I’m missing? e.g. straight female PCs would be irate w/only half-orc and halfling ROs.
f. With 6 ROs and 5 races, the race I’m repeating is human as I’m guessing that’s where the widest interest would be?
g. My pansexual option is an elf, since I think that would be the most-preferred “exotic” race option? Agree/Disagree?
h. My bisexual option is halfling (cheery, small), since I think that would be the next most-preferred “exotic” race? Agree/Disagree?
i. Based on my questions, is there a CoG/HG work you’d strongly recommend?
j. What question would I ask if I knew enough to ask it? Also, what is the answer to that question?
Grateful for any and all feedback. Cheers!