What would you like to see in a dating/romance game?

If you were playing a game where the focus was romancing other characters, what would you like to see in that game?

The reason I ask is, well, I’m in the process of making one. I started it a few months ago, but then college and work and I ended up putting it on the back burner until now. But I’ve always been meaning to ask this.

So, yeah, what kind of things would you like to see? What would you like for customization (for yourself), personalities, situations? I’m trying to make sure the RO’s are varied as well. I might have over extended myself because there’s 20, so it’s definitely going to take a while.

I’d like emphasis on appearence, charisma, intelligence and other such attributes as variables.

Wow 20! That’s an awful lot.

Can I ask first, before I answer, what’s the setting?

So far, I don’t really have ‘charisma’ or ‘intelligence’ levels, but I do have traits you can choose from such as “Shy”, “Party Animal”, “Athletic”, “Mean”, and a number of others. You can choose more than one, and all will have an impact on situations and conversation.

@FairyGodfeather -The setting itself is in a college town, and while you don’t have to be a college student you can find yourself on campus. There’s a number of places you can go to such as a dog park, a gym, a bar, even the store. Or you can just stay at home. There’s also places you can work, but so far I only have one actual scene for the RO if you work at the store.

In all romance games I’ve liked cheating so I’d like to see that. But with cheating I see more of free choices the right to do what you want so also a lot of choice options. But not only that also rejection that also. Plus if there is cheating I want it to be in depth like there’s problems in the relationship so the mc decides to get drunk at a bar and meets a girl then a month layer the mc learns she’s pregnant(just a example)

Sounds great:) will this be modern?

@Anon -I’ve actually been dabbling with the idea of allowing your character to cheat, I even have a plan where, if you don’t maintain your relationship with a certain character you can expect the same from them. Also repercussions that come with cheating and possibly being found out.

Pretty much, after you get the other to enter into a relationship with you, depending on your choices it can go either way, to the point that if their relationship drops enough, they’ll pick fights or end it themselves.

@Samuel_H_Young -Thanks! And that it will :slight_smile:

I liked your stats. I was actually going to suggest something like that, as opposed to the boring old ones. Is GSOH an option?

So the game’s purely about dating and going to college? A slice of life? No background plot? Any personal goals other than romance? Do each of the romantic interests have stories you can get involved in and find out more about?

Will you be allowing poly relationships of any variety?

Can you be friends with people you’re not dating.

Hooray! I would love to see more good-quality English-language dating games!

At the risk of sounding negative, here’s something I don’t like to see in a dating game: You’re on a coffee shop date, and your RO asks if you’d like a latte or a cappucino. If you pick the latte, you get love points, and if you pick the cappucino, you lose points. Your RO asks if you want a croissant or banana bread. The croissant loses you points and the banana bread gains them. Seriously??? So now, in order to get the happiest ending, I have to replay the whole thing just so I can pick the totally arbitrary latte and banana bread? That’s the basis for the relationship? I mean, I understand that shared likes and dislikes are a factor in relationships, and one person liking dogs when the other doesn’t might be a deal-breaker, but banana bread?

What I like are characters who are developed and consistent enough that I can make good guesses about what will make them happy. For example, maybe I have to decide whether to offer to pay for the coffee myself, let them pay, or each pay for our own. I’d already know enough about them (maybe I know that they’re an impoverished artist, or that they love to be generous, or that they’re a feminist) that I can make a good, non-arbitrary judgment call.

@FairyGodfeather -I have no idea what GSOH means… >.> And, sort of, yes. More than anything it’s about dating. The first part is about finding someone to go after, but you also have other things to take care of that may bring you down (such as, if you don’t go to work, you may end up broke and unable to pay for future dates/gifts, etc. Or if you say you’re in college but you don’t attend at all, you’ll be dropped)

My initial plan is that each character gets their own piece. Once you choose them you learn about them, do things with them and generally try to make things work. They all have their own thing going on, and each have their own background and personality.

Also, there are a few specific characters that you can convince to add a third into your relationship (if that’s what you mean). It’s completely avoidable for those who don’t agree with it.

At the moment I’m wondering whether to decide about friendships with others while you’re dating someone else. During the first part you go through and you ‘meet’ people, get their number and such, and I’m deciding whether to allow you to be able to text/call those you’ve met before and even potentially starting a relationship with them instead. More of a ‘restart’ than anything, really. But we’ll see.

@jeantown -I know exactly what you mean. I’m constantly restarting games because I realize that I’ve done something that I shouldn’t have and completely messed it up what I was going for. There are moments that you can say something that will have negative effects but they’re very easy to spot. But you also kind of have to keep an eye on the person you’re talking to, because if you say you absolutely hate dogs while you’re helping her carry dog food, chances are you might hurt her feelings a bit.

GSOH is Good Sense of Humour. It’s pretty much a requirement for dating advertisements for people to be seeking someone with one.

I’d rather have less romantic options, but more depth to the relationships. I’d rather see a couple that are fully fleshed out, with characters who I can get to know, help with problems, etc.

I do think some things are complete deal-breakers. If you take the vegetarian to a steakhouse and pour gravy all over their salad. Only that sort of thing also seems to be the staple of romantic comedies. ‘Hilarious’ misunderstandings, people failing to communicate, lots of lying and deceit but with it all working out in the end.

I hate romantic comedies (and sitcoms too for that matter). I utterly loathe them. But I also think there’s a lot to steal from them, especially in problems and misunderstandings that star-crossed lovers can experience and then overcome so they end up together.

@FairyGodfeather -I’m gonna make sure that they’re all fleshed out, to be sure :slight_smile: though, it definitely is going to take a while. I’m not fond of romantic comedies either (or romantic movies in general, which is strange considering the game I’m writing, but it just with movies, I guess), but there will be moments that end up awkward but potentially endearing. Or relationship ending. Whichever way it goes.

Different variations of relationships? In a lot of romance games, I’ve noticed that each path is more or less the same, just with a different person. Under the surface though, they’re all the same power balance and the same arcs. I would like to see a wider variety in that. Perhaps one character takes a lot of work to open up, while another is immediately open to getting to know the player, but at the same time hard to understand or something.

Also I like games that allow the player to be wooed instead of the usual them wooing the NPC. Like, have the other person initiate stuff and do the big romantic gestures and stuff. Not only does it help characterize them, but it also gives the player a chance to flesh out their own character.

Oh and of course: gay relationships that aren’t stereotypical! Why not two girly lesbians? Or a couple of gay dudes with beards and big bellies? This, of course, only matters if you were planning to have gay relationships.

@SpaceLesbian -I actually have characters in mind that I intend to have chase after you. There are also some that are easier to approach than others. For instance, one character may treat you like their new best friend upon meeting while another is initially standoffish and you have to poke and prod your way into their good graces.

For sexual orientation, they’re fixed in that 2 are straight, 2 gay, and the rest are bi for less restriction.

I’m also going to keep away from stereotypes as much as possible, whether it be gay relationships or gender.

I think the most important thing in any romance game is that the characters feel like characters and not just cardboard cut-outs you can make out with. It always makes me think of the scene in the Red Letter Media review of the Phantom Menace where he asks people to describe Star Wars characters without reference to their physical appearance or occupation. You want people to be able to describe your characters the way they could characters from the Original Trilogy - “Han Solo is a cocksure rogue who has a problem with authority,” and not the Phantom Menace characters - “Qui-Gon Jinn has a beard and a ponytail.”

I think @jeantown captured a lot of my concerns (as one would expect given her stellar game). This is going to be all about relationships, so having realistic characters and plausible interactions are the most important thing of all. I want partners that are varied and unique, with meaningful choices and dialogue that help highlight what those unique traits are, and help build a some sort of rapport from them.

So far I think I’m doing okay with the interaction, at the moment I’m working on allowing them to show you their personality rather than your character telling you that they’re nice or shy, etc.

The last thing I want is for you to feel like you’re being pushed to think of someone some way (such as, YOU being told they’re nice when YOU find them creepy.)

Anyway, is there anything else that you want to be able to customize? I have general things like hair, eyes, body type, and I also have traits like I mentioned before. I have a number of traits all ready, but are there any specific ones you want to see? I’m also thinking about letting you choose where to live (apartment, house, dorm).

It’d be awesome (though potentially unmanageable) if you could give the NPCs music genre preferences, and then give the MC choices to define his/her music preferences. It’d be complicated, but could add depth, as characters with differing musical tastes could get annoyed with each other, and ones with mutual tastes would probably enjoy spending time with each other more.

Can we also be friends with the ones we decide not to romance? Also it would be interesting if you raise multiple characters romantic affections towards you, and then they try to make you like them as well.

@Samuel_H_Young -I’ll give it some thought, as it could lead to some interesting moments.

@ninja6398 -At the moment I intend to allow you a chance to keep in contact with those you met before. You won’t be able to still meet others that you haven’t before or wronged. But you will have the option to potentially get with them instead.

There will be a number of characters that will take initiative as well, and may ask to take you out or even give you gifts and such.