Romance in non-romance genre

What do you think when there’s a game about but romance (action, adventure, horror, and stuffs) then there’s an option / a path where you can romance one of the NPC?

Should you choose the romance path, is the game should turn itself to romance genre as well?

Or do you more prefer it stays at said non-romance genre?

To put it simple:
“I love you. Let’s go and find some treasure together”
“I love you. Let’s go and kill the bad guy together”
“I love you. Let’s solve this mistery together"
Or rather
"I love you. I don’t care even if I’m going to be killed. I’ll be there for you.”

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It’s almost like people have romance in their lives, but still do other things and have ambitions in real life…

I prefer a mix. Sole romance games are too… overpowering.


I don’t understand what are you try to say. Romances are part of a good storyline not change the genre in anyway. Mass effect is a great action rpg game and have romances that like that have feelings.If your romances options don’t have feelings or meaningful sense why do you add a romance? Say a character I love you don’t mean now game is a dating sim. If not only possible genre would be dating sims.

If romance is only include for achievement and don’t add anything to story just skip it.


I think you’re missing the point here. A romance genre game would imply that the goal of the game is falling in love with an NPC. A game of a different genre would have a different goal (saving the universe from Reapers, for example), and could still have romance options. We wouldn’t call that game a romance game because the goal isn’t romancing anyone, it’s just an option.


I adore romantic sub-plots in games where romance is not the main genre, but I think its better if you can still avoid them in-game if you don’t like them.


Almost everyone likes some romance mixed with the main genre, probably because of roleplaying. But sometimes i grow up attached to some characters and can’t accept any other path where MC and character aren’t together. Am i the only one?

Anyways, sometimes romance is complementing the main genre, even if they’re somehow opposed/unrelated. Take as example To the Moon, there the romance between the most important character (don’t remember his name, and he’s not MC) and some girl (forgot her name too), really made me cry, because i developed a bond with the two and seeing how tragic it ended, with the girl dying from a disease years after marrying with him, and then how the machine shows his dream of staying together with her, coupled with the fact that it was all during his final moments.
I couldn’t stop crying, and it was all inside of a tragedy/adventure/whatever the hell that game was, where the romance was an important part of the main plot.

And i could go on telling how romance can create happy/sad backgrounds and complement the focus of the story. But it depends on what feelings you’re trying to transfer to the audience, if it’s a serious relationship or a casual one, and other details. Of course, every romance needs a background for both characters, otherwise it’s just annoying.

Also, you don’t need to focus your game in romance only because there’s an option to it, as someone else said, it should stay as a subplot. Especially if we’re talking about a CYOA.

I agree. If the game is of a non romance genre then introducing a romantic subplot should be just that, a subplot. It shouldn’t overpower the plot of the story but add flavor to it. Just like how irl people should be able to live apart but just choose to be with someone because that person adds flavor to their lives.

You aren’t alone there hun

Well, those are great point, everyone.

If I’m about to put it this way: If the game has little/no romance, don’t bother with romance at all
What do you think?

And regarding to the topic. If there’re any romance in non-romance, what are you guys expecting?

A dating sim with the setting the game’s universe? (please him/her and raise the bar to 100%)
A path that eventually lead down to… umm… sex scene?
Or maybe a major plot-twist that’s so game-changing because you romance him/her?

He says if a game say I love you I will do anything for you means It is a romance game. It is what was written. And that’s weird. I mean almost all stories in humanity has a sub romantic plot is part of everything.

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The romance genre is defined by romance being the major goal and plot and all other genres don’t have romance as the major plot.

I think romance should work with the story and be intertwined with the plot instead of a side quest that you do and then the RO falls off the face of the earth and is never mentioned again( except in cases where the RO dies like Choice of the Vampire or they move away and you break up).

Romance also needs a buildup. It’s strange that this person I’ve known for a day loves me and wants to marry me. Have a friendship or regular MC - NPC actions first. So, maybe skip the love part for now in favor of strong like.

The RO should react to what the MC is doing. Don’t let MC get married and the RO is never heard from again. If they are long distance, have occasional letter writting or phone call scenes. If the MC is off to fight a dragon, maybe RO wants to join or is sad and begs them to change their quest and RO breaks up with MC because RO doesn’t want to deal with the death of their lover- basically whatever is an in character response for RO.

If writhing a good interactive RO is too difficult ( although, it should be pretty close to how a good interactive NPC is written. You don’t have to add new branches, just use*if to display the RO’s comments. It would only be a few extra lines of coding here and there.) just put the romance at the end of the game or find a reason to prematurely end the relationship (RO eaten by dragons or something). The number one romance complaint is that the pacing is too fast anyway, so a slowly built tension filled romance is good.

I don’t play many non-romance games, but I like how Lee and Clemy and Kenny’s friendship was done in the Walking Dead. It is still a zombie game, but everyone is nice to each other and wants to protect each other.


Seconded. I may have loved Disney’s Sleeping Beauty when I was little but my butt would be out of there so quickly if someone I just met tried to initiate a :notes: Once Upon A Dream :notes: kind of moment, and the same goes for a game.


It’s pretty genre dependent, I guess. There are definitely genres where the love at first sight works, and can be played without a wink to the audience. But definitely in any genre with some amount of realism in it needs to think hard about that.

As a side note, I love writing romance scenes.


Well, our game is not a romantic game, but you can romance a character in it. Granted, it was so subtle, some readers didn’t realize that they could be romanced at all while others loved the little extra flavor of dialogue it added. Also, within that relationship, you could have sex, but you can also keep it strictly romantic. And it doesn’t change the whole plot of the story any more than not romancing them or even being mean to them, it’s just…different. They speak to each other a little different or hold hands in scary situations, etc.

So, really, I hate to answer a question with more questions, but I think it comes down to: do YOU, as the author, not feel comfortable adding these scenes? Are you just trying to add them only because you think people want them? If it’s more trouble than it’s worth and your heart really isn’t in it, don’t force it, since it won’t flow as easily anyway. But if you do want to add that option, then the question isn’t “if” you should, but “how,” and there are plenty of examples here in CoG and HG to try out who have done it or maybe you can think of another game you played that did it well that you liked. Anything that makes you say “Oh, well now I have to COMPLETELY REWRITE MY WHOLE IDEA” is probably too much! :sweat_smile:


For me it’s all about the romance, even if I enjoy the plot of a game, the romance is what I look forward to.


Ultimately I think it’s up to the writer how dominant they want to make the romance in their game and whether they wish to make it the dominant factor or retain the main genre (adventure, horror, sci fi etc).

An example I thought of would be like if there was an X-Men IF game and depending on your preferences you had the option to flirt with/romance/date/marry Wolverine, Cyclops, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Iceman, Jean Grey, Rogue, Psylocke, Storm and Kitty Pryde. (Maybe Magneto and Mystique too if you end up with the Brotherhood.) But ultimately the whole being a X-Man/Mutant and going on missions and saving the world would still be more important to me.

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I guess I like a mixture of both. Plot is obviously important, but plot wasn’t the reason I started coming here; romance was. I could go to many other places to get good stories. To get good stories where the protagonist ends up with the person I want them to? Not so much.

That said, if you don’t want to write it, don’t. It’s your story, after all.


I like romance, but sometimes it’s better for the story if romance is avoided or lessened. A story about a 6th grade detective shouldn’t have any graphicness in it. A story about a 2,000 year old vampire who looks 6 would be hard to write that doesn’t seem wrong. A story where the MC is recently widowed; I’d be too busy mourning to be romancing anyone. In a horror story, I’d expect to die immediately after the romance.

Don’t do a dating sim where if I don’t have the same favorite color as RO, I loose love points. Do relationships organically where MC and RO don’t have to have everything in common and build the relationships into the story like The Walking Dead Game.

I don’t like explicit games, so a graphic romance scene is not necessary. But, if you do have one, make it optional.

If you’re doing an adventure game, it’s a pain in the butt to code if certain party members are or are not there, but optional letters are easier to code (code a letter at the beginning of each scene or have a time variable and goshub or something like that). Romance doesn’t have to change the ending unless you want it to, but it should be mentioned in the epilogue if there is one.

Romance should also have short special romance scenes and/or dialogue.

Maybe I’m a rouge adventurer trying to romance an archer and our party stops in a town that is having a festival. The archer uses his skills to win MC a prize, but MC being competitive and utilizing her throwing knife skills wins a prize for the archer who doesn’t want to be shown up. The competition continues until MC and RO are each carrying armfuls of prizes and are laughing as the vendor chases them away and accuses them of cheating. That would be sweet and not involve explicitness. If MC is not interested in romance, maybe the archer still challenges MC to a friendly competition (so, you don’t have to write too many different scenes). The MC doesn’t have to be a rouge; a mage could use magic or their own skills and if MC fails the competition, the archer could still share half his prizes because he’s friendly. This is a way you can add customization and romance without writing a bunch of different stories, just minorly different paths that don’t effect the entire story but are good.


I’m a sucker for romance sub-plots. So…maybe don’t take any advice I give you too seriously. Cause honestly I’ll take a bad romance over a no romance seven days a week and twice on Sundays.

That said…it’s probably better if you leave the love plot out if you don’t feel inspired about it.

God that was hard to say.

The one thing that really bothers me is the achieve and forget kind of romance. If I’ve got a love interest in a game then chances are I’ve developed enough of an emotional interest in that character that I really want her/him involved in the story until right through the climax. The stories where you have your “love” scene and never hear from your love again kinda bug me.


Thank you everyone for the response :relaxed::thumbsup:

Yea, TBH I’m working on a project and found out that some romance can spice up things a 'lil bit.
It’s just kinda puzzles me when it comes to How to put the romance there.

I guess I’ll sit back and try to visualize how the plot goes, with and/or without romance, before going further with the scripting

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That makes me think of the novel An Ember in the Ashes. It was heavily Romance based, but the plot wasn’t dependent upon it. It still had an amazing story line, and the forbidden romance( and the older younger relationship like yes, older guys are my liiiife, being illegal sucks!! :joy::sob:)just added to the story. Or for instance the Throne of Glass series. A lot of people like and dislike it, but I personally loved it( more older guys #400yroldfaemarryme)
The romance of the main character really gave the books that underlying umph it needed. I could go on and on about all the fantasy romance novels I read but I’ll leave it at. A mix is the best thing.