What genre of game do you feel is most in need of more representation?

Hey now, I thought this was a safe place, you just called my entire ass out, shot me and left my body in the dumpster to find Jesus.

Personally I’m a hopeless romantic, so I really love all of the stuff you describe, I just love reading characters work for their romance, you could say I have more interest in the race than the finish line . It’s why TWC has me at a chokehold, in it’s defense, you can get into a relationship early with two of the main love interests.

But I’m down for any romance as long as it’s actually good and makes sense.

1 Like

I like it as well, sex is different for everyone and I personally like it slow, if that puritanism so be it. I’m pretty much an old prude anyhow.

3 Likes

See, that’s what I take issue with. Getting together is not “the finish line.” The finish line is when you’re dead. Or your LI is dead. Or when you break up with your love interest.

But the relationship? That’s the actual meat of the romance. It’s what happens after the first kiss, first bang, first declaration of love that’s the good part. The learning to live together without murdering each other. Tolerating music you would, at one time, rather have stabbed your eardrums out rather than being forced to listen to it. It’s learning to be “we” while not losing “me.” It’s finding that balance as a couple. How to give and take, when to stand your ground and when to just let it go because whatever it is really isn’t that important.

It’s facing problems together and knowing you’ve got someone at your side who has your back, but will still tell you if you’re being an idiot or selfish or flat out wrong and they can do that with you still knowing that they love you. It’s learning to discuss without fighting and adjusting your own behavior a bit when it’s no skin off your nose and it really means something to the one you love. That shit is gold and would be a blast to play in these games.

The buildup? That’s really nothing. But it seems to be the only thing anyone wants to write (and not just in IF, but in books, TV, movies, etc). I guess writing an actual relationship is too hard?

Yeah, as much as I like F, I had to create a woman-child MC to go with him to be able to get through that romance. He’s fun, but it feels like a teen romance. And N is… well, he’s growing on me some, but the all the “suave” stuff is just silly to me. Every time he is supposedly suave, I roll my eyes and feel kind of ill. The rest of the time, he’s okay. Plus, he is fun to torment with inappropriate comments, even in his romance.

Out of the four vampires, M is the one I find most interesting as a person (and more real, because he’s not childish, not mental, and doesn’t act like he thinks he’s in a 1940s harlequin book). And yet, he’s going to be slower than A to get a relationship because, despite all of his “I’m observant, especially where you’re concerned” crap, he’s apparently not observant at all and too dumb to figure things out in a reasonable time frame. And he is still my favorite… thank goodness for fan fiction where he can actually display a brain before the last half of the series.

6 Likes

Good for you, I guess?

I tackled some fairly mature romances with The Gray Painter! Check it out if you haven’t. It’s about 60% slice of life, 20% romance, and 20% horror. I agree that a lot of the romantic subplots in COGs tends to be pretty chaste, unrealistically slow-burn. Maybe it’s all the 12-season workplace sitcoms everyone’s grown up with that have set the wrong expectations for courtship. You wait seven years to ask someone out IRL, they’ll already be married with kids lol.

15 Likes

Actual historical fiction, as delicate to handle as it may be. I would give an eye for a game during the norman conquest of southern Italy and Sicily, for example, or during the english Anarchy.

3 Likes

Good news for me I guess, as I feel more comfortable writing established relationships than the buildup. The caveat is, of course, that I can’t just drop the MC in a relationship with no input from the player…

5 Likes

With this kind of thing I think it’s more likely that the cause is actually Mass Effect. Like it or not, the ‘Bioware Romance’ has become the genre standard for RPGs. A few missions to meet and get to know your companions, then you lock in a romance, alternate missions and RO conversations for a while, and finish up with a sex scene at the finale.

It makes sense, really. It’s a comfortable structure that fits well into an episodic adventure game without letting the romance dominate the plot, and that’s really what most COGs are. They’re not romance games, they’re adventure games that include a romance because romances are a make-or-break feature for story based RPGs now.

11 Likes

I enjoy the Dragon Age 2 structure in particular where the romances interweave with the overall plot (as do the party NPC plotlines, so it all feels meshed together).

I suspect some of the romance-slowness is to do with the popularity of the “getting together” stage of romance which is common across the romance genre, and also comes out in multi-game series. Authors may not want to have characters get together in a first game because they want the romances to develop over each game - perhaps there’s a sense of feeling like there aren’t many places to go once the romance is considered committed?

I personally really enjoy seeing relationships develop after they’re “committed” whether that involves intimate scenes or not. I understand wanting to draw it out, especially if you’re planning a very long series - and the slow-burnness of Wayhaven, for example, is wildly popular, so it’s definitely something a lot of players enjoy! - though I’m not sure I’d have the patience to do it that when writing my own games. (To be fair, I haven’t tried making a multi-game series either - by the time I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words on a game I want to move onto something else and new characters - so take with a pinch of salt to taste.)

18 Likes

Showdown at Willow Creek lets you start the game already in a relationship with one of three out of five ROs, and you can only romance two of those three ROs if you choose to be with them from the start.
Supernatural in New York has the “best of both worlds”, given that you have the “enter the relationship” stage and the “being in a relationship” stage in the “current” demo. You can still play it on dashingdon but I think it got moved to twine and I am unsure if the author is working on it at the moment.

1 Like

Just my opinion, but I believe Wayhaven’s popularity has more to do with the fact that it has been, thus far, the only romance-focused game to be published with a variety of LIs. The LIs are tropey as hell, but there’s a trope for most people.

The romances (or friendships, if you prefer no romance) are weaved into the story to the point where there’s no way to disentangle them. The “slow burn” part of it is one of those things that appeal to some and don’t appeal to others, but the overall romance-focus of the game appeals to all who play it (hell, it’s why most Wayhaven fans play it). I hate the slow burn aspect, as do many others. Waiting five or six books to finally get a relationship with a LI is ridiculous and passes by “slow burn” into the “so frustrating you’d have more fun if you beat your head into a wall repeatedly” category. But it’s all we’ve got and, when the only LIs who appeal to you to read are the ones who are stuck in ‘MC means nothing to me’ mode for several years, then you suck it up and play it.

I have really high hopes for The Fernweh Saga, because even in the demo, it feels like there is progress and your MC is getting closer to the characters/LIs. That’s nice.

Awesome game. Well, demo. The author is moving it to Twine, but I haven’t seen anything over on itch.io about it yet. She seems to be focusing more on the Arthur story, which doesn’t appeal to me as much. Hopefully, she’ll work on Supernatural soon!

Never played Showdown at Willow Creek. Probably because it’s gender locked to male. I tend to avoid that unless it’s a video game.

Thanks for letting me know! I don’t know why I thought that. I guess I know what I’m doing tonight now. :grin:

4 Likes

It’s not gender locked to male btw - you can play as a woman in that one.

6 Likes

I’m thinking of perhaps a relatively simple game set in High School or College which tries to recapture both the nostalgia and the feel of those bygone days of our youth. Nothing special, no fantasy elements, no superhero stuff, and etc. But just a simple game which tries to recapture the feeling of developing and getting to know oneself when it comes to romance, life, and etc.

Perhaps this belongs more in an idea thread or something but I just felt it needed saying since all the games that I know of that are set in High School or College have some sorta extra twist to it—be it superpowers, supernatural, fantasy, and etc.

8 Likes

Slice-of-life games are rather rare to come by here. There is An Office Romance Game, but it’s gender-locked female and has been on hiatus for a while now. There is also A Long Weekend, but because it apparently deals with some heavy themes, and I’m struggling enough already as it is in real life, I haven’t read that one yet.

There are two twine games I absolutely adore that are slice-of-life, Aquarium and Thanksgiving written by @HannahPS, but because the MC has a preset past in crime, they don’t really scratch the itch of a mundane slice-of-life game for me. Still a very cute and interesting read.

I’m also trying to write my own slice-of-life game, but process is very slow because I always fear that it is too boring :smiling_face_with_tear:

9 Likes

Have you checked When Life Gives You Lemons (7/6/2022) (WIP) for slice of life’ing?

7 Likes

I absolutely forgot about that one :joy: I started reading it and was like “Yes very good, I will read this later” and then I just didn’t do it :person_facepalming: Thank you for reminding me!

3 Likes

Another thing that I haven’t seen at all are games that are more…meta. The Strongest Writer, should it make the queue, is shaping up to be a funny version of this genre. I’ll admit I’ve had some ideas for a game of this type, as well.

6 Likes

Creatures Such As We felt pretty meta to me.

1 Like

It did, sort of, but it got so philosophical I kind of lost the thread of what was going on

Haha, I agree, but I think there’s been lots of interest in the slice-of-life genre recently.

I enthusiastically second When Life Gives You Lemons, and you might also want to check out Leftski’s IFs (fantasy slice-of-life, but still! really well-written and sweet.)

Also, shameless plug for my own slice-of-life, Merry Crisis, where you head home for the holidays, hang out with fam, pursue various romances, and try not to implode. Of course, College tennis: origin story could kinda fit the ‘slice-of-life’ label too, since there’s a fair amount of just chillin’ and being a college student in it, but it does have sports - so. take that as you will.

6 Likes