Romance Styles in Writing


#1

This is a two part question. The first one has to do with your personal style when playing interactive stories such as CoG and HoG. As the reader how do you like to flirt and get close to someone that could be a potential romance? Do you like to have a wide variety of options and perhaps an opportunity whenever they are around? Do you like if the romance option also tries to flirt with you (of course you have the ability to tell the to stop)?

The second question is how fast do you like to see when romance options pop up. I play Choices and noticed that literally in the first conversation of meeting someone you can flirt with them. And though I know that’s not realistic, I was wondering if most readers like to just come out and hint at it, or wait till later on in the story when the time feels right for the options to pop up.


#2

As a reader, I do like to take my time to get close to the RO. Of course, having the opportunity every time they’re around can make things dull quickly, IMO. And that being said, the “first meeting first flirting” option looks awkward to me.


#3

I like to flirt straight up if I can, but I understand it might not be wise or realistic with certain characters in certain games. I also enjoy multiple Options and surprises.


#4

Seconding this
(heck, this is one of the reasons you won’t really be able to start hooking up with anyone in my game during the first installment… Because it’s merely five months you are in the city by the end of it)

Some stories can pull it off, though, while others… let’s say this ‘oh, they are soooo hot’ approach to ‘romance’ is… eh


#5

Having a wide range of options is usually what I prefer since things change, especially in text-based games where you really don’t get the same immersive exposure to NPCs, so I’d like the opportunity to later on - maybe if the pacing is unfavourable or I’ve found out something unsavoury about them - to change attitude towards them, rather than being locked into a certain path of behaviour towards them. Also because things really do depend on situations, so having a wider variety of choices allows for flexibility. A responsive NPC whose reactions depend on previous choices would also be preferable, especially if you behave erratically and they try to figure you out. I vaguely remember one game being like that, but not sure if it was a CS one.

As for second part, I honestly feel that few stories allow the MC to flirt from the first meeting (what you describe as “unrealistic” probably applies more to an actual romantic relationship, but for more casual ones I don’t find it unrealistic), or to otherwise choose not so much a romance but a fling, the dynamics of which are then affected by and affects whatever’s happening in the main storyline. (Is a fling partner or friend with benefits still referred to as an RO?) Been on the lookout for one of those “oh hey, we’re supposed to work together now but all I remember from last night is you and too many shots of vodka” moments - would certainly add an enjoyable tinge to a story’s atmosphere, but I haven’t come across any.

Situations where you have to always chat with the RO and find out their past and have them pour out their emotions to you all the time just to raise relationship stat so you can do a little hand-holding later on are frankly exhausting and I usually stop reading those, especially if romance is a huge part of the story. So basically aromantic or less emotional ‘romances’, but it’s understandable that with some plots and characters that’s not exactly feasible. From what I’ve seen so far it’s a minority preference anyway.


#6

I’ve actually been wanting to play something like that. I had the idea to add random flings throughout one of my stories but got scared at the possible negative reception and decided against it.


#7

From a game mechanic/coding perspective, having that option as early as possible is useful because it lets the game know that the PC is attracted to an LI, and I can then write extra into their interactions to reflect that.

In Awoken you can have just a one-off thing with one character. Vin’s also a main romance if you want to go for that but there’s the option to keep it casual.


#8

Well, it’s your story. (And to be honest, I feel it probably wouldn’t be too out of place in one of yours.) I’m certainly going to do it in mine, though I have suspected that there may be some type of forum guideline here - written or tacit - against it.

Maybe it’s because CS games tend to be more focused on inclusivity than other media, and that this type of behaviour is usually seen as belonging to one ‘type’ of social position. Or maybe it’s just a sub-cultural thing - in some groups it’s the norm, but to others it’s scandalous.

I remember that. It was perfect, having the ability to respond in different ways afterwards and to have thoughts on where you want it to go, and Vin’s character makes them feel equally realistic and diegetically acceptable.


#9

I do like this if it’s appropriate for the character. Even if you’re not interested in that character as an RO it still lets you know something about them.


#10

With my writing style, early flirtation isn’t really an issue since there’s no special “flag” whenever the player likes an NPC. Everyone equally have the same opportunity to be romanced, although the result may vary (from the who downright rejects you, up to the "I feel the same to you!"
The others include “meh”)

But hey, I’m fine with flirtation. It’s just the one that goes off the boundary even though you barely met the RO.
A character that constantly nags and flirts you sounds cool, tbh.


#11

What game is this? I’m curious.