Personally, I’d really love to see one (or more!) of the Heart’s Choice games tackle some classic romance tropes in a positive way. Not a subversion (although those are fun) but actually leaning into them and dealing with the potentially problematic things that arise. MC is kidnapped by a villain and falls in love! MC has to make an arranged marriage to save their country/family/group! I love those sorts of stories, but then I get mad at myself and the author when they’re handled poorly.
Romances with villains with a legit redemption arc, not a handwave and everything is fine because I’ve got heart eyes for them.
I’m also always a big fan of nice characters who aren’t doormats. I’m not saying everyone should always be nice, but I appreciate when I don’t have to pick between playing a response I feel is nice and setting a healthy boundary.
a ramble about defined personalities that got away A Bit
I think the request for more defined personalities is really interesting. I wonder if there’s a pretty intrinsic divide among players between self-insert players and role-players?
For myself, I like defined personalities when they match how I want to play but am quite challenged when they don’t. I generally don’t like to be sarcastic or forward, so MCs who have that as part of their defining personality really grate on my nerves.
Sometimes I can move past that and create a character that works in the setting, but not always. That’s just an example from me, being picky. I know other players are literally the exact opposite and having a defined personality that I would like is everything they hate. (I love reading posts from them! It’s so counter intuitive to me, but I usually learn something.)
I think that’s why a lot of people try to go for a less predefined MC, to allow both someone like me and someone who has very different tastes to have an MC they like.
I’m not arguing that all stories should do this, or that all stories should cater to me. I know I’m picky and I’m generally okay with (or at least able to quietly be sad about) passing on ideas that aren’t my cup of tea. But for authors who are trying to appeal to the largest possible audience, I totally get it.
Sometimes predefined MCs that aren’t how I would normally play work for me. But I couldn’t tell you how. It’s wizardry. I think I’m not adept enough at literary analysis to nail down what makes a character I’d normally not like to play work for me.
I would like it if this was widely accepted to be part of a WIP blurb though! “MC in this game has a partially defined personality” or similar? Seven days in purgatory did a great job with this, clearly telling us upfront that the MC’s past isn’t under our control. Expectation management is real. If I don’t have time to get an idea of my sweet dumb MC firmly entrenched, I’m more likely to be open to a different archetype.