Why Romance?


I noticed that some of the games here (both actually made and WIPs) have options for romance? Even when you’re a soldier in “Mobile Armored Marine”, there’s the possibility of romance.

Could you explain in detail why would these authors feel the compulsive need to add romance in their games? Like, is it just for marketing purposes or wish-fufillment? Or does romance play a major role that can help further the storyline. I am busy making a game, but I don’t think I want to add any romance to my game, and I will cringe if the lack of a romance option makes people not want to play my game.


Many games do not have romance components, but many people are interested in the option in games for the wish-fulfillment factor, and also because that element often is involved in storytelling. Protagonists have love interests, and as stories progress, people often want to play through that aspect.

However, romance may not fit for all games. You are the author and ultimately you have to enjoy the content, and from that you will find your market and create a story they will follow.


I think it depends a lot on the game whether I would miss it. Also, if you don’t feel comfortable writing romance in your game, it would probably not work very well.

For example, in the Marine Raider game I wouldn’t expect any romance.


It does depend on the type of game. Like Bastiaan said, romance would be completely out of place in Marine Raider. And this is because of the short scope of the narrative (it’s just one mission). In others, the narrative spans months or years and well, I guess the thought process is of players is that there should be some bonding going on. I don’t know, I seldom go for romances myself.

Really, you don’t have to feel obligated to include it.


Nothing much to add to the well-considered thoughts above, only that in popular fiction the “almost-romance” sub-plot is often just as appealing for the reader, and sometimes more so. You’ll also see it a lot in popular TV, this “will they, or won’t they?” type of relationship (Mulder & Scully in X-Files, for example).

This may be an option in some CoG games if, as the author, you don’t feel comfortable with writing full-blown romance, which is entirely understandable.


Its a choice at the end of the day. Some players like having their character having a romance. If done right it can enhance the story.

In the game I am writing the player works with another person. I will let players initiate a romance but it will be optional you don’t have to if you don’t want to.


1: Because romance is a core part of the human condition. A significant majority of humanity spends a not-inconsiderable amount of time entangled in the worries of finding and pleasing a mating partner, partners, or whatever floats the boat. The CoGs in particular tend to be longer stories about the protagonist’s life in their particular genre; it’d be odd if you couldn’t have a romance in these.
2: Fictional tradition. Just about every piece of fiction for anyone except under-twelve males has a romantic subplot. It’s a quick way to wake up the reader and score a couple of points, and contrary to what people often assume, it’s actually very hard to screw up so long as it remains a subplot.
3: In games, you can usually just skip it, unless of course it’s a dating sim, so there’s more reason to include it as an option. (Mobile Armored Marine botched this, by forcing you into a romance should you meet the conditions, whether or not you as a player cared for the character you got partnered with. That stuck in my craw.)