Romantic Option Art Poll

Note: I explicitly asked for moderator permission to start this thread in this category and was given a period of 2 weeks to have my polls up.

This is a reposting of a poll I’m running on my thread, but I thought my art would also benefit from the perspectives of people who haven’t read my story. So, the art in question:

Zale Asmar, Dragonfall Human Sorcerer/Sorceress


Octa/Octo Dhensen, Dragonsworn Human Warrior


Vera/Vero Haupin, Dragonfall Dwarf Monk


Saz LeJamb, Dragonsworn Half-Orc Ranger


Llorick/Llvette al Ghantra, Unaligned Elf Wizard


Trudi/Rudi Fernasa, Unaligned Halfling Rogue


Dragons (non-romanceable rulers)





Based solely on art, who is your favorite MALE romantic option?
  • Zale
  • Octo
  • Vero
  • Saz
  • Llorick
  • Rudi

0 voters

Based solely on art, who is your favorite FEMALE romantic option?
  • Zale
  • Octa
  • Vera
  • Saz
  • Llvette
  • Trudy

0 voters

Based soley on art, who is your favorite DRAGON?
  • Bunkisi (Frog-Dragon)
  • Hazmek (Scorpion-Dragon)
  • Brr-Brr-a (Pyth-eratops)
  • Tzob (Spider-Dragon)
  • Splosh (Turtle-Dragon)

0 voters

In the spirit of creating the best project I possibly I can, I’m open to any and all feedback in the comments. I’m particularly interested in ways I can make non-human races viable romantic candidates. So, if you have hang-ups about halfling, dwarves, or half-orcs, I’d love to hear how I can make them more appealing. Or elves. Are people unattracted to elves? Guess we’ll see. Thanks so much for participating. The data will really help my project. Cheers!

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This art is fantastic! I like all of them quite a bit, so it’s kind of hard to judge them relative to each other, but here goes. Dunno if any of this stuff is useful for you, but I have a few minutes so here’s some rambling. :slight_smile: (disclamer: I don’t know how to art so don’t take any of these thoughts super seriously)

stuff

One thing I thought in general was many of these sets of characters looked similar but not interchangable – more like siblings rather than male and female versions of the same character concept. I don’t know if there’s any real deeper meaning to that, it was just something that struck me.

I love the paint sorcorers. I don’t know if that’s more of an aesthetic thing for the images or if it plays into their actual powers/plot/etc butit’s got me curious to learn more about them. I actually voted maleZale as my favorite of the guys largely for that reason (femZale was a very close second for the girls). also damn those two sure know how to wear a smock wow

I think playing dwarves as more martial artists versus brawlers is a cool move. I really like Vera’s design in particular, I ended up voting for her just ahead of femZale.

The elves were my least favorite for both. They felt comparatively generic to me, and so I don’t think they caught my attention as well as the others did (why be a normal mage when you can be a PAINT MAGE okay I’ll stop) – but again, that’s in comparison to the other work here. My overall opinion would still land in neutral-to-positive. (also Lorrick is winning the vote as of me posting this so maybe I’m just completely off track here :sweat_smile: )

Finally, for dragons, I liked all of them, though I ended up voting for scorpidragon because I personally liked his incorporation of both animal elements best. I also really liked the coloring on the dragons in general, particularly the frogon.

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Your WIP is on the (pretty long at this time, it’s getting a little problematic) list of WIPs I haven’t gotten around to reading yet, so this is purely based on the art, and whatever prejudices I have about fantasy races, I guess.

For the males, Zale got the vote, simply for being the only one who seems to have at least slightly long hair. I feel like the male versions are generally less dynamic, and show less personality than the females.
With both genders, I felt like the ones where I liked their looks, they seemed a little boring, and on the other hand, the ones that seemed interesting, I didn’t like how they looked? I dunno.
None of them really made me go ‘wauw, I need to romance this person!’ purely based on their portrait.

Sorry if I misunderstood the point of this poll.

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This is insightful, and I think maybe I agree. How do you (or anyone) think I might address this?

They are possessed by a necromancer. Sometimes. I wonder if it wouldn’t make things more interesting to have a spirit coming out of their backs and reading over their shoulders?

@Jayffel Glad you like the dwarves! They practice Kung-Foolery. They’re low in the polls, which I expected. I’m unsure how or whether I can make them more romance-able. As for the painting, Zale paints wearing only a smock so they don’t get paint on their clothes. :art:

This is insightful. Maybe I’m projecting my own reticence. I’m going to think about this more. You haven’t misunderstood the point of the poll at all. @The_Lady_Luck If you have the time, I’d like to hear more about:

When you said:

Do you think that has something with the style of art or just the way these characters are depicted?

@dwsnee You have Trudy as the fabulous queen I saw her as. Very well done with all the art, my friend.

Long live Bunkisi.

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Re: “similar but not interchangable” - Sorry, I didn’t mean to suggest that I view the relative distinctness of the male and female characters as a negative. I actually kind of like it, I don’t think I’d say that it’s a problem that needs fixing. If you do want to change it, I think the main reason I view them as distinct is their poses and expressions - so less the way they look, and more the way they’re behaving in the image, suggesting that their personalities are different? That’s kind of a guess though.

Ooh, interesting. Hmm. I don’t really know how to keep this short, haha. I think knowing that the character is possessed in some way makes me personally uninterested in pursuing them as an RO until I have more context around that, so it’s difficult for me to imagine how changing the picture might impact my first impression in that way. However, I do think that regardless of that, seeing that ghostly figure would make the picture and character much more interesting to me and leave a stronger first impression in a more general sense.

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I voted and everything but I just wanted to say that the art is so gooood. Candy to my eyes. Well done to you and the colorist both!

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i kinda agree above that there’s something about the male counterpart portraits that arent quite hitting me even though i am a guy who generally goes after guys in IF games. And just want to say that I only have played the first 2 updates of your demo so I dont actually know who most of theses characters are so I might be talking out of my arse

By looks the Sorcerer combo is great and I love the design but the male counterpart poses seem stiffer to me and less dynamic? If you compare the male and female sorcerer the female one seems like she is more confident by her stance while the male one seems very closed in his body language…he seems more ‘sturdy’ while she seems more outgoing? I dont know if their personalities are supposed to be different or the same but the guy just looks very serious in his facial expression and stance.

Octo also seems stiffer than Octa as well. Like his stance is projecting a confidance like “go on try and get me” but his legs are very stiff while Octa has a bit of a attitude with the tilt of the hips. Her silhouette is less symmetrical so less boring to me.

I both really love Vera and Vero. They both look in there stance and personality to be the same person, I like Veras uptilt of the head…but Veros still looks more serious with a little grimace

On the other hand while we get to the Half Orc rangers, the female one looks to be the more serious one, and while her pose is dynamic and I think the positioning of the arms are great and the twist of the torso the legs feel like the pose could have been stretched more? because I think the male conterpart has a bit more ‘personality’, he seems a bit clumsy and like hes concentrating hard to aim the bow.

I cant really complain about the posing of the Elf Wizard duo, only that I think Llorick would look better with a longer haircut but thats just going by my tastes, but the haircut itself isnt bad, just a bit generic. But hey if their personality is more prim and serious than a generic hairstyle would fit them

I LOVE Trudi, but again Rudi’s legs look stiff.

Needless to say the Art itself is excellent, but I feel like the male counterpart poses could have been pushed a bit more? And maybe thats why theyre not hitting me as much as the female counterparts. Be free to completely ignore what I just said above, I just kinda started rambling

6 Likes

Sorry if this isn’t fitting for this topic, but even though I can’t see your art, and thus can’t vote on your poll, I’m so excited that you have romanceable dragonborn and elves. I love both those races and am literally adding your game to the top of my list now.

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@tangerine_skies Hey, I wrote up descriptions of the images so you wouldn’t feel left out and can participate if you want. I’m glad for your interest in fantasy romance!

Summary for Visually Impaired

Octo and Octa are depicted as blonde Caucasian human warriors armed with swords in a desert with a red banner planted near a mammoth skull. Their body language and facial expressions suggest an almost delusional level of confidence.

Zale (both male and female) is a dark skinned sorcerous painter, nude but for a splattered smock and mismatched shoes. They’re depicted with ensorcelled brushes before a burning canvas with a punching bag in the background, shot full of arrows and leaking paint. In the story, that piece is called “Childhood.” Zale is moody by the minute, possibly an undiagnosed condition, so the male-female expressions try to capture the range of that mania: male ennui, female cheer.

Vera and Vero are red-headed dwarves in silly martial arts postures smoking joints. Their faces are supposed to looked like forced chill–like on the outside they’re mellow, but really sensitive inside. They wear loose fitting robes, like fantasy sweat suits.

Llorick/Llvette is a elf in a library reading a book beneath the glow of a conjured symbol. Their expressions? Contemplative. Their postures? Reserved. They wear wizard’s robes and spectacles.

Saz (both male and female) is a grey-skinned half-orc with black hair aiming a bow at the viewer from a woodsy marsh. While their body language is aggressive, their expressions are impassive. They wear skins conducive to unrestricted movement.

Trudy/Rudi is a halfling (legally safe word for “hobbit”) posturing in front of a gold trove in some ruins. They seem playful and haphazard, wearing yellow and black. Bare feet. Big smiles. They look like a fun handful, hopefully.

At work now, so responses for other participants soon. Thanks everyone!

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Knowing this, it makes sense, but going in blind I think his expression makes male!Zale look less appealing than the female counterpart. :thinking: Especially since perhaps you’d expect a more seductive / sexy attitude from a character who’s so scantily clad :sweat_smile:

Overall I really like the art though! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: I don’t know if it would influence who I’d choose to romance in game but it’s lovely, there’s so many little details and the cartoonish style suits the humour genre very well IMO.

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:frog: :crown: :heart: @Waylon_Royce Glad Trudy’s art matches the writing.

I didn’t take it that way. Actually, I thought it was really incisive! In the future, I may work from a base genderless sketch, and then change features for the male and female versions so that they truly do look like male-female versions of the same character. In this case, I think I’ll be insulated from the mistake since PCs will only see one version of each character per playthrough, based on the RO settings that they choose. If they like the game well enough to buy it and then play it more than once, not only is that a good problem to have(!), but I’m willing to bet they’ll give me the benefit of the doubt. :thinking: @Jayffel

That means a lot coming from you @Parivir . It’s so encouraging the way your WiP has really taken off! :rocket:

Second time I’ve heard this, so I’m really paying attention. I’m a pretty reserved guy, so I think I might be projecting that. Thank you for taking the time to go through them with such detail. I’m going to go through your message point-by-point when I do revisions. @Starkness :face_with_monocle:

@Myrtle There are a few really good insights, here. As the writer, it’s hard to remove myself from the context. I have to remember first-time viewers don’t know the characters the same way I do. Good point, too, on the “creep factor” on a non-cheery near-nude! Thanks so much for your kind words of support. :pray: :smile:

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I think in this scenario this might be the option that will work best for you because when you come down to it the characters are the same person, and you want to portray who they are in the same way. Going with 2 different poses for the key art makes it look like the characters are twins (where you have ‘the grumpy one’ or the ‘mischievous one’) if you put the counterparts next to each other.

Also I think its also a great way to improve you art in general by allowing you to get in the headspace of pushing your character designs by their silhouette.

Hope I’m not seaming too pushy, your digital art is at a level in rendering that I’ve been struggling to get to for a few years and I’m hope I’m not being to negative. Do you have a Instagram or something that you feel comfortable in sharing because I would love to see more of your work?

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First off, I’ll echo the sentiment that your art is very impressive that it feels bad to give some criticisms. :sweat_smile: I haven’t really read your WIP, but it’s definitely on my list to check out later!

As a fan of both dwarves and halflings, sadly none of them really appeal to me. :frowning: I went ahead and voted for Vero/Vera anyway, but apologies in advance if I can’t communicate my thoughts well, or if it seems like I’m just rambling about my preferences.


Thoughts

I want to like Vera but something about her face seems off. Her facial features are too small, which is making the “chill” expression seem lifeless to me instead. A large part of it is just her cheek. She also doesn’t seem very “dwarfy” to me? I know it’s a blurry line but if I didn’t know beforehand I would’ve guessed she was a halfling and actually like her much better that way. But for the most part it’s mostly her face–I don’t necessarily have a gripe with making female dwarves more “conventionally attractive”.

I also didn’t notice that they were smoking at first glance (it blends in pretty well), but I’ll go ahead and say that it might be a potential hang-up. If it fits the character, sure, but maybe it’s better left in the text, and not the art? Dwarves are better known for alcohol anyway, so maybe make Vero’s bottle more prominent and actually give Vera one too!

Just my personal preference also, but I would’ve liked it better if Vero at least had a bigger beard (it’s one of the reasons to like them after all), especially since none of the other male characters have one.


I’m not a fan of Trudi/Rudi since I personally prefer more stocky halflings, but even then I dislike the vibe they’re projecting (not necessarily their personality!) so that’s probably more on me. I’m not sure how old young they are, but I’ll admit that they look like pretty young humans, so that might also be a potential hang-up? It irks me with Trudi especially with her sensual-looking pose.

They also have wildly different hair colors so it feels like they’re different characters more than the others.


Half-orcs (and rangers) are meh to me and I detest elves in general, so I won’t comment on them. But yeah, the dragons are all pretty cool! I love how vibrant and colorful they are. I voted for Turtle-Dragon but Frog and Scorpion are awesome too.

I also feel like the poll would be better in gauging interest if it was multiple choice instead of just one favorite. But anyway, good luck with your project! :blush:

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@starkness I think you might be right re: the path forward.

I don’t. I’m only a dabbler really. On these, I only did some pencil work. I have a friend I paid to do the digital coloring, shading, and background–essentially, all of the hard work that makes things look good. So, really, I can only take credit for the concepts. Sorry if I was misleading. I’m sure your rendering is better than mine. I’m more of a writer. :writing_hand: :nerd_face: :video_game:

@Franzinyte Oh no! I originally drew Vero with a beard actually, but thought it made him less romantically appealing, lol. I admit I’m clueless about what makes a man attractive or not. I know exactly what you mean about halflings looking like young humans. That can be dangerous for adults who don’t want to feel like creepers. Also, I think many people associate dwarves with dwarfism irl w humans. You might be the first person I’ve heard from who doesn’t like elves! Can I ask why? Pride and pretension, I’m guessing? I agree with you about a multiple choice poll–I didn’t want to overask and didn’t know how things would go. Thanks for all your careful thoughts! :crossed_swords: :bow_and_arrow: :fairy:

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As a bisexual man, beards. Always.

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I keep wanting to come back and make a proper, elaborate response.
But I’m just a useless pile of anxious goo, lately, so it doesn’t seem be be happening. Sorry. :sweat:

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Don’t stress on my account. You did me a favor. Hope you feel better. :slightly_smiling_face: @The_Lady_Luck

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Thanks everyone for the help. 5 days left if you want to vote or comment. Cheers!