Speed Dating in COGs & HC

I’m really interested in the parallel between railroad lines and speed dating. The whole ‘you have to get married in a year’ thing means that the main character pretty much has to put their relationship on rails. But what does that mean? There’s stuff to unpack there.

From the Gilded Rails interview, we’re told very relevant things about the romance options:

Here's a block quote from said interview

Eleanor/Eric Benson: Assistant Office Manager for the McKressin Line, an opportunity for an office romance or to secure the loyalty of a highly competent professional ally.; Isabell/Isaac Rochester Head of the Rochester-Atlanta Line, one of the biggest in the industry, and known as “The Dragon” due to a penchant for scorched earth tactics. Pursuit for any purpose highly contraindicated.; Rosalie/Rufus Cartwright Your childhood best friend and your father’s favorite of all the potential candidates, known for an interest in gardening and canapés. Carol/Carl Evans Social Page reporter for the Post , always has the pulse of the gossip scene and could help make or break your social reputation.; Beverly/Brandon Freeman Founder and leader of The Agricultural Society, and shockingly shy for an activist taking on the giants of industry in order to protect small farmers, the kind of ally who might be good for your moral character but could damage your business prospects.; Primrose/Preston Lessing Business page reporter for the Post , savvy to the twists and turns of industry and backroom dealings, but willing to champion the ethical businessperson, or crush the incompetent.; Temperance/Thomas O’Malley A pro-railroad industry fanatic and the head of a railroad similar to yours, there are many interesting business opportunities available if you’re willing to collude with the competition.; Victoria Elaine Prescott-Finley / Victor Edward Prescott III Fantastically wealthy, elegantly disposed, and resident of a a replica castle located in the countryside outside the city, and social connection like this one will ensure you never have to worry about anything ever again.; Jason/Janice Stanikopolos A Marxist reformer who fled England after a labor dispute with a mill owner, and also old enough to be your grandparent, unwaveringly loyal, possibly homicidal.; Fannie/Floyd Thompson Former sheriff of a frontier town with a penchant for dime novels about frontier sheriffs, currently working as an investigator for the government, sniffing out corruption and unfair dealings.; Diane/David Worthington Heir apparent to the crown of the social scene, die-hard opera fan, insufferable snob, as likely to help you secure your social status as to render you a pariah.

I’m guessing that the successful pursuit of one of these characters will require the MC to follow down that character’s ‘this is what I like’ path, an easy enough concept to understand given that the game’s ad copy says that “It’s speed dating […]” However, does that mean that effective speed dating requires both parties to first establish some common ground? If so, how long does that common ground have to be kept/maintained before other topics can be explored? It’s very much like being on rails until you reach your destination, and then changing course once you arrive. And of course, we only have a year to get married in the game.

Pardon the slightly off-topic change in conversation (just consider this a shameless plug), but one of the things that I am looking forward to in the upcoming Heart’s Choice line of games is exploring the world of romance beyond just speed dating. I mean an in-depth, realistic, critical look at ways romance can experience various levels of success / failure.

But in the meanwhile, I sure am looking forward to how deep the MC can develop their romance in Gilded Rails because I want to see the “top end”, if you will, basically the limits of speed-dating before it can no longer be called such, and goes into actual dating. Given that the results of a successful pursuit should result in marriage in the game, what does that say about the railroad parallel? For me, it seems to suggest that in dating, the shortest distance between two lines may not always be the best one, as one would probably miss a lot of interesting sights along the way.


i m demisexual. I hate game than FORCES YOU GET MARRY NOW … Who cares you don’t have speak more than five seconds and maybe kiss in the cheek. I want know my choice in lot of places and that the ending is not conditioned to a repressive patriarchy figure as marriage where women are FORCED to lost his legacy and last name and submit to a male That’s not a good ending is being jailed by plot for the not by player and character volition.

Disclaimer This opinion is not referring any concrete game of this company or Hosted. Is a critical to the figure of speed dating as a plot device and how several mass media companies have used that to position women in a figure of submission with titles that goes like My forged marriage Forced to marry and My fake husband. All real games and a shame to the media in general and how women are misplaced and abused by the so called Romanticism. In many cases abuse and sexual coerce is considered fine.

No Cog and no hosted has followed that and i am grateful of discovering rhis forum due I was about quit if forever before finding this forum. Seriously … I am hopeful New brand will give a room to sane dynamics for all choices involved from demisexual to pansexual and all the spectrum. But the General media is scary


Yes, I agree that no one should be forced into anything. :slight_smile:
Since you mentioned it, how would you describe a perfect

  • First date?
  • Second date?
  • Third date?

First I don’t use term date. Is like a contract that destroying the actual meaning date was used to patriarchy to control the courtship in many cases date was with the family not between the both in “love” I think in just go together or know each other without the intimidating DATE mating ritual. And the fact of giving them a number is ritualizing the process making it lost the feelings You have to kiss in x date or have sex in X other You have to wait to call i a are women Male has to pay and be dominant.

Antiquated bullshit created by a society that should be long gone . And accept a equal relationship that develop free of prejudices and stereotypes. If you want a free open relationship why not? or asexual or just go out and discover … your orientation. Ritualized dating and most on games are a way to maintain a outdated fantasy of patriarchy.

Here cog is one good step into right direction of say F*&cj Patriarchy. Romance or not whatever and at your own pace

From the demo I played of it, the MC can marry a male or female regardless of their gender. Also it always asks you why you want to talk to a person/have interest in marrying them which can be for love or more of a formal agreement sort of marriage to further your business and connections. Another thing is it seems like the marriage part from the parent is looked at as the MC having a solid foundation before they inherit the business.

Have you reading my comments? I was no referring to any concrete Cog as In fact I was totally talking about the General plot figure and is presence in current mass market giving exemples of other companies games names.

I have never talked about the cog game nor give any criticism to it here. So I don’t understand your post.


Ah okay I see. Sorry I’m on my phone so maybe I misunderstood your post .

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I agree, I don’t care for stories that require you to make a snap decision on who to romance. Romantic subplots can feel rushed sometimes, so I’m hoping the Heart’s Choice label may take off some of the pressure to write ROs from authors who don’t really want to. I’d rather authors not shoehorn a romantic subplot into their game if their heart isn’t in it. Being a more plot driven writer is okay and not everyone should have to write romance.

(Even though I personally prefer character driven sappy crap :smiley:)

Oh don’t get me started. It took me a long time to find any otome games I would give the time of day. People would recommend me shit like Kissed by the Baddest Bidder and I’m just… I don’t think sex slavery is a cute romantic trope.

There are so many gross tropes in mainstream romcoms that I’ve given up on them. Stalking, lying, rape (although I have gotten into arguments by calling it rape because the narrative presents that they are “meant to be together” - off the top of my head, Revenge of the Nerds, Overboard and 16 Candles feature rape scenes and 27 Dresses features stalking). I wish more media companies had COG’s editorial standards.

I also don’t have anything against marriage or kids, but I am kind of tired of it being presented as a default end game for romantic plots. Not everyone needs or wants those things, and for those who do, marriage and parenthood are freaking complicated and I’m tired of those complications being handwaved away. Give me some variety.

This is interesting to think about, and I can’t say what it should be in every setting. These days, where we tend to meet potential partners on the internet, the first date should probably be in a public place, not too close to anyone’s home, and mostly just for casual get-to-know-you chatter. After that, is too dependent on people’s interests and “speed” of emotional connection. I don’t know if I’m demisexual or what, but most people move way too fast for me. I don’t want to get into too much detail about my “damage” but basically I spook easily. Too many romantic plots involve love at first sight, unrestrained lust etc. that I just don’t relate to and lose interest in. And I already know my idea of romantic progression would bore the shit out of most romance readers.

Just my two cents (okay maybe I’m up to a buck by now. I could keep going, haha).


I can’t agree more Google play doesn’t stop Recommending me the most shameful machist otome ever I can’t get even Started like last month was one where a father with one million debt forces her 18 only date to becoming a sexual scort to the family of the guy he owns the money.

Like Wtf plot is rhat? he is the one who debt the money he could sell himself.

I at least safe here were i could like or not a game but I am safe of not being triggered by machismo.


I don’t think there’s much forced marriage in modern 1st world countries. That’s kind of dramatic. There is plenty of pressure and coercion, though. Actual forced would be like at gunpoint or imprisonment. “I lose my inheritance if I don’t get married” is pressure that someone could accept the consequences of and, y’know… be single and get a job like normal non-rich people. Boo hoo.

I’ve never speed dated irl, but I approach dating as an evaluation process that I make as fast an enjoyable as possible. I take a long time to feel ‘serious’. But when I do, it’s real, because I didn’t rush, and I usually had others to compare them to at some point along the way. Some people think multi-dating is evil, but I think of it as a thorough evaluation process.

I don’t look for really deep emotional/relationship content in interactive fics. There just usually isn’t enough ‘time’, and the material has a factor of being static until we’ve got some AI behind the scenes. Most CYOA ROs are someone you meet in an extreme situation like hiding from the evil king, staying ahead of zombies, waging a war, etc. These aren’t really great situations to start deep emotional commitments. In fact, I avoid risking anything serious irl when I’m too busy/stressed to focus on it as it deserves or suffering depression or have an impending relocation.

I like romances in fics, I just don’t expect too much from them. They’ll either throw themselves at me, or there are some flags I’ll need to trigger. There’s usually a scene where interest is indicated and anything physical is delayed. After some dramatic plot point, there is some scene of relationship consummation. If there’s a sunset in the end, usually a very brief mention that the RO is with you.

About the biggest surprise/deviation in an interactive fic I’ve ever experienced is when an animated skeleton actually broke up with me. I mean, seriously. Skeleton’s Tinder was not blowin’ up.


A particularly insidious trend in IF games is making you decide whether or not you want to bump uglies with someone within one day of meeting them.

Jeez man. Can’t I have some time to get to know them before I make a decision like that? Can’t I just interact with them for a little while without that kind of pressure looming over me?


Whereas, whenever I get a “let’s not rush” or “We don’t have time right now” from a male RO, I wonder if the author has ever met a gay dude… I know they gotta make me wait for the sex scene until after a major plot point, but… there should be a plausible reason like imminent physical danger or someone else he’s banging is in the same post-apocalyptic survival group and is watching to delay the festivities.

Then, when it comes to relationships, we should save the world, then in the exposition, after we’ve been together for 5 years, they can say “Well, you know I don’t like labels…”.


Then you will love the beginning of my game you are a 19 year old pc that just got very lucky in a rave party and find a super hot guy of girl and just go away together. To well what a young people would realistically do lol of course there are more serious stuff but if you have fun you can as you are single i don’t understand why all has to be serious and travel to a marriage… Lol Modernity people experiment and have fun.


Raves trigger me.


it is not a rave It is a clandestine club In an old Cathedral in middle of Forest and the hot guy girl is a vampire as it is a modern fantasy setting. But rave sounds easier to understand that Occultist goth disco party. Yeah rave is easier to explain XD

That might trigger me to think of raves.

Well like in my game raves don’t even exist and is not even named rave anywhere. You will have a phantom trigger. Also this is a off topic to speed dates. I use a similar concept to hire pc first thrall but is not forced and is not a situation of romance is just more an speed interview you read profiles and see candidates but like main goal in that os not romance I don’t consider that a speed date. Maybe later will lead an attraction or not but it will develop throughout time and know each other.

There is I think a sense that dating is dying and that millenials don’t really date any more, not the way previous generations did, often hooking up first, and then figuring out afterward whether there is enough there to build anything more serious. Whether that’s good or bad I suppose depends on one’s perspective. Some like you are celebrating while others are mourning, some are doing both since there were both things they hated and other things that they loved about dating. The classic article on the subject is this 2013 piece in the NYT:


I grew up in an evangelical church where the requirement was chaste heterosexual courtship with the intent of marriage (think purity pledges and “I Kissed Dating Goodbye.” Basically you would go on chaperoned dates from about 15 years old with the expectation of being married at 18. Breaking that up after you started led to church drama and people leaving the congregation because their daughter now had a reputation). That paired with church teaching about female submissiveness within marriage means you won’t find me shedding any tears about “courtship” dying out as a broader cultural practice.

As much as I’m not into the whole millennial “hang out” thing, at least now I can be up front with what I am looking for. I’d rather deal with people being flaky because our expectations don’t mesh than the cultural pressure of being forced into a submissive role.


Tell me that my family is atheist but best school around was a Catholic run by nuns private school. Ultra conservative . And all teachings about courtship are vomiting against women.

For instance rule number one is dont speak or make visual contact before the man do it you can’t let him touch you at least after three of four dates first date has to be introducted by a chaperone…
I ended expulsed from that class saying Spanish constitution defend equality and no discrimination by gender.thankfulness if wad a not curriculum class. … So go riddance courtship I wont surrender my soul to have a date

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