Recently I’ve realized a lot of people will ask for Romantic Options (ROs) in games. However I do believe there are game ideas where finding love would never be able to fit in with the storyline. It’s the reason neither of my games have ROs and never will.
Both of mine involve an orphaned young teenager (13-15) going to a mansion that has a two-faced owner who co-operates with Satan (I never was the most original person here). Killers and traps are breathing down your neck all the time; if you drop it for smoochy-smooch the traps and killers easily catch up and you’re dead. Since the settings of my games never change until the ending, plus the fact that the whole game takes place on the same night, this means the whole time you have interactivity, the best you can do with communication is build a friendship. I feel no remorse or regret quoting Elsa (Frozen):
“You can’t marry a man you just met.”
That doesn’t mean an idea always doesn’t work with romance. A game that spawns weeks would have an opportunity to start a relationship. Romance-themed games without romance are quite obviously going to be like school lunches.
But where do you think the line between romance and no romance should be drawn? Is it thick, and has a “bad romance” (again, I regret nothing) atmosphere to it, or is it a fence and it’s either one or the other?