Same sex romances

I am in the home stretch of my WIP. The game features all kinds of romance.

What it doesn’t have (yet) is any differences based on your gender. Same sex relationships are treated the same as opposite sex ones. Should I be changing that? I am playtesters will be giving me feedback on my efforts a month from now. But before I start can anyone give me examples of games they thought handled this well. Any tips to somebody starting to write thus material would be grateful ly appreciated.

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first question would be:

what gender choices do you have in your game?

At the moment I only have Mr Ms or They. I am open to broadening that though if the coding demands it.

As for CoG/HG I can remember only Study in Steampunk and Broadsides. In both such relationships were socially unacceptable so need to be hided. Though in both narrative didn’t pay much attention to this.

Is it fair to say that you’re not expecting or wanting same sex relationships to be treated much differently than opposite sex relationships in the games you play?

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I just ran across this in a Choices game. Usually they do pretty well keeping sex scenes ambiguous, but they’ve been getting less vague, recently. I ran into a scene obviously written for a female MC, but I think they just changed the anatomical structure on the chest to suit a male MC. I really didn’t see that MC as a bottom… but now he is. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ I know this is a really super specific example, but if it helps you, cool. As much as everyone seemed to hate Black Magic in HR, what the author did do well is give an option for who was the sexual aggressor in the almost-obligated sex scene. It flowed well on 2 playthroughs with very different MCs and very different BM’s in mind. (Not that a woman can’t be the aggressor, yadda… but it accommodated any mental idea of any passive/active scenario.)

Even outside of sex scenes, I see a lot of every gay male MC assuming the smaller/passive role in any interaction. They always put their head on the shoulder of the male RO or are little spoon or whatever. That’s fine, that happens, but not everyone and not all the time. If my MC is a big beefy brawler who’s suddenly putting his head on the shoulder of the nerdy scientist, it’s a little immersion-breaking for me. I assume it’s just laziness or someone (understandably) doesn’t want to write a lot of gay-specific content.

I think Choice of Hearts was the courtly romance one, and playing a male MC made you basically a woman in a man’s body without the dysphoria. I couldn’t imagine the MC as anything other than the twinkiest femm-boi ever.

My overall answer would be that not all female MC content is suitable for all gay male MCs. I don’t know what to suggest other than 2 versions scenes with a physical dynamic (which I wouldn’t envy the task of) or keep it vague.

This isn’t something I normally complain about, I just accept that not everyone wants to write gay-specific content or doesn’t know how. If you want to go the route of richer gay romantic narratives, have an assertive and passive version of most things. That could even accommodate straight tomboy characters and really passive straight male characters with opposite sex ROs.

I’ve got a hobby project that is gay male-focused, and I’m considering throwing in one female RO, just for enrichment. If I do, I’d mostly be referencing dating girls in high school any tv or movie romance I’ve seen. I know there’s a big push to be all-inclusive, but I really wouldn’t know how to write a trans or other identity romance that I haven’t experienced in a way to do it justice.

If you really want to try this, watch a few gay romance movies that don’t default to the stereotypical “ones the guy/one’s the girl” scenario. I can suggest a few if you want.

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I like that same sex relationships treated as same sex ones. Though in most of the games interactions with ROs are very abstract, there is indeed no difference.
But my attitude towards treating them differently depends on how author implemented it. It could be very good drama, for example.

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Wouldnt how homosexual relationships be treated depend entirely on the way you have crafted your world narrative?

Say a war broke out and the population is abysmally low, i would assume a straight relationship would be a tad more encouraged or what not. (Although personally, I am quite tired of having homosexual relationships be antagonized/looked down/treated unfairly in any game.)

Do what you feel would make sense in your world, but also be aware of its inherent implications of you as an author as well.

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Thank you so much for 5his response to my question. It’s been incredibly helpful.

I might make up a new stat or two to track the romantic and sexual assertiveness of the MC.

Writing multiple versions isn’t a big deal for me. I just copy paste then rewrite the 2nd copy so it’s not as big a deal as you might imagine. Because ultimately the MC gender won’t be determinative plot wise.

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like they said , depand on your story world .

But I personally wrote my Lesbian the same as I would have a heterosexual . Meaning that , if the orientation or gender was switched…there would be no difference in the story .

And my story wasn’t a choice of game , so that kinda help since hello.its just a story .

But even in a game , I’m pro no difference .

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The world is contemporary Asian action cinema/melodrama. The title is Hong Kong Blood Opera which tells you a bit about what you can expect.

Chinese cinema has much less of a taboo about same sex romance than Hollywood so it would be against genre to traffic in stigma in my case.

I think this is actually a point for any romance content, no matter which sexes are involved.

If any specifics are revealed, the player should have a say in how their character behaves. It’s fairly immersion breaking if ones character behaves in a way that’s out of character.
If a writer doesn’t want that extra work, I’d suggest very neutral content or fade to black.

Of course, a RO shouldn’t change personality based on the MC’s.

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Generally, I feel that the only real differences between a gay and a straight romance would be in the act of sex itself and in how the world views their relationship (including how the characters view it themselves).

For the former: unless you’re detailing the sex scenes, there’s no need to worry about it. (I agree with @obieblu and @The_Lady_Luck, but that’s not a specifically gay thing.)

For the latter: I’d generally suggest steering clear of homophobia (or any other kind of bigotry) unless the story is actually about that kind of bigotry. And, since this is a game which can be played as a heterosexual, you’re probably not writing about homophobia. Certainly don’t include homophobia “just to make it realistic”; I’d far prefer to play an unrealistically gay-friendly story than one which penalises me for playing as myself.

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Okay, I am not gay my best friend is and we have always notice how gay character is always put as the weak feminine position and I found it awful and weird for multiple reasons.

WHY IN HELL WOMEN HAS TO BE ALWAYS IN BOTTON AND IND SUBMISSION POSTURES?

People… 2018 there are more postures that the ones admitted in XV legislation. Even worse if there are homosexual let the damn character choose the dynamics. In fact I as girl want to choose if i want be more active. Why i have to be In all romances the shy passive nun? Lol is annoying as hell absolutely all romances seem written by same author in Victorian era.

Edit I am not bashing the writters here most of romances are varied and interesting. However, when the romance scene happens all become victorian suddenly. There are guys who preffer a pasive role, there are people who love changed etc … There are even small playful kirks like caring their hair or giving massages. As I said 2018 not 1818. People sex is not shameful. And we should be not scared by it and the multiple choice in the spectrum

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Couldn’t the term ‘same sex relationships’ be really applied to both romantic AND platonic relationships of the same gender? I often think many video games and choice games spend so much time focused on romance that they neglect friendships and the opportunity to hang out with your bro/gal pal/insert friend nick name here, though there are several which do a good job at it too…

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I focus on both. I created a relations stat and a romance stat for each NPC to differentiate between great friends who aren’t lovers and torrid romances that aren’t built on a foundation of friendship. My original query was strictly limited to explicitly romantic moments but those scenes can be just friends.

The genre I work with often blurs the line between friendship and romance ie The Killer directed by John Woo. It’s a cop buddy bromine or a simmering homosexual love affair depending on how you look at it.

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I’d actually say that for far too many games “same sex relationships” are exclusively platonic. CoG is one of the few places where we can get romantic same sex relationships. Admittedly, it is getting better in other places, too, but it’s still not great, so if we seem a little over-enthusiastic about (same sex) romance, there is a reason for it.

Which is not to say that there’s anything wrong with wanting more platonic choices in romance-based games, of course, but I feel like it’s somewhat off topic here.

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I think freindship path is often taken for granted . As in , chit chat…and there you have it . You are friends !

But thats a lousy thing , because true freindship isn’t different from true romance . As in , they both require hard work to maintain , and even then…there is no guarantee it would last forever .

So no , chit chat (aka companions telling you background stories) does NOT mean Automatic friendship…just cose they unwinded their laundry .

I see it like this : mc start as aquintance , then become friend , then become romantic . So , neutral…and then friendship zone , then finally you get into a romance (or not) .

But the friendship path just like the romance path , should be heavy and worth it .

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Oh I can respect the drive to have more options in game for same sex romances totally, I was more saying a lot of games don’t take the equal effort to do relationships that well (whether they’re the same gender or not). Life is Strange I thought actually did a good job in letting the player decide well if Max and Chloe’s fractured friendship should be restored platonic-ally or romantically, for example. And Garrus in Mass Effect is awesome whether he’s your friend or love interest.

I just think maybe the title should be ‘Same Sex Romances’ to avoid some confusion? Just a suggestion. :grin:

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Good idea. I have changed the subject.