Your character gender in games


#1

So I was going to write a story where the gender of the PC wasn’t mentioned so it’s up to the reader to decide in their mind…however as I got more into the story I thought this would be too hard for me when getting into the romance and write it how I like it…yet it’s a lot of work to have both male and female romance options. either it takes a TON of time or a certain deepness is lost…i would rather write deeper things and deeper characters…soooooooooo… I would rather write where there is a set gender and really spend a lot of time with character and relationship development…yet i know not everyone likes a set gender game. so what should I do?

EDIT: another question for everyone… do you find that it is important for the writing to explain what the NPCs looks like. such as: they had dark short hair or blue eyes or tall and bug build. or leave it up to the reader to imagine??


#2

@RockStarPenguin Just write what suits you best. You’re not going to meet with everyone’s demands and wishes anyway, so you’d better not waste too much time worrying about it.

Edit:
There do seem to be quite some people roaming the forum who seem to dislike having the default gender set to (your stereotypical white) male though, so I’d advise against that.


#3

Yeah… I’m really torn… I do want to write what I like best and almost all of my game ideas are with a set gender but this one however would be interesting both ways…ah oh well :stuck_out_tongue: I’ll figure it out.


#4

Depending on how many Romance options there are, you could allow to be either gender and probably just lock out certain romance options based on your sex. Im not actually sure if thats doable with choice script, but in theory such a thing should work and still allow for deep characters, as all your locking out are gender-specific romances, which are not required for a deep character.


#5

You could just write the thing with both (or the three basic) gender options. It’ll sure make things more complicated and it’ll take more time to write, but it could very well be worth the effort. Also, in my experience at least, the amount of additional work caused by implementing different genders for the mc mainly depends on the setting.


#6

I’m not sure if it is worth it to make different genders… I know it will be a lot or work even with only two romance options for each gender. because I don’t just want to make a girl character romance option and then a parallel guy one with the same personality and all the same things happen if you romance him but only the name is different… a lot of games do that, and I just don’t want to…so for each romance gender option, a new scene for each one would need to be made…so if someone chooses to be a male character, that means they might totally miss everything that could happen if picking to be female… hope that makes sense :stuck_out_tongue:


#7

Personally I like inclusive games. But I also enjoy games that have a fixed protagonist. The question is how you want to incorporate choice in your game.

As much as I appreciate and champion games that work to be inclusive, you’re the developer. What kind of game do you want to make? What audience are you gearing towards? Inevitably, you will make choices that are off-putting to someone, whether they are the genre, or the protagonist’s personality, or the way you write really really long and complicated sentences. :wink:

Here are the questions I’d ask myself if I were you: does gender matter in my story, and do I have an opportunity to be inclusive in my story’s presentation? If the answer to the second question is yes, I’d encourage you to try and do so. But again, it is your game. Don’t worry about pleasing everyone, because either way? That is going to be impossible.


#8

Yep, it’s very true…can’t please everyone! and I personally would rather write something that I like than something I don’t like even if others do ;}


#9

I think I know what you mean. Basically you want to have some guys and gals who are clearly different people and use those as romance options.
I’m more or less in the same boat with my current WiP. I’ve currently got five possible romance options with set genders and very different personalities and three-and-a-half more planned (one of them is a gender switching character, hence the half). And yes, that’s a ridiculous amount of work. Luckily they’ve all got a set orientation as well, so I don’t have to write both gender romances for all of them at least. That does lock out the possibility for one gender to romance them though.


#10

Good luck with that! ;]


#11

The juggling with characters and trying to make every single path involving them worthwhile? I’ll probably need that.
Thanks.


#12

I don’t require my character to be a specific gender in a CoG game any more than I need a main character in a novel to be a specific gender. If it’s a well-written game, I will enjoy it no matter what gender choices are provided to me. Write what you are most passionate about writing. It’s your time and effort. Do with that what you will!

Have fun!

<3~Dom


#13

What @Dominia and @SwanMaiden said.

Also, what is the setting for your story, and what are the gender norms? If your story takes place in Victorian London, then it probably isn’t worth it to write separate scenes for two genders. You could wind up writing two different stories.

If your story takes place near the turn of the 21st century, it should be easier to pull it off. Perhaps, as you said, you could develop several romance options, each with a fixed gender. If you want them all to be available on the first playthrough, consider quietly making everyone bisexual.

But even if there are options that are only available to one gender or another, that just adds to your game’s replayability, doesn’t it?


#14

Stop thinking of romances as romances and think of them as characters. Bare bones, all you need is a male romance and a female romance. Both can be bi/pansexual and thus be attracted to the player regardless of the player’s gender. The two characters can be distinct and deep as can be and you don’t have to worry about it. Then the only work you have to do is the usual pronoun flipping based on gender that’s typical in games written in CS. It’s that simple, and it’s roughly the same amount of work you’d have to do with a set gender protagonist anyway if you wanted more than one romance in the first place.


#15

You could just define at the beginning of the story somewhere (maybe a paragraph or two) that you’re MC’s gender is undefined. I don’t think there is any story yet that has a MC that is set without a defined gender. I would prefer that than being told I can choose to play a female protagonist and still have all the descriptions of the female RO described as if I had chosen to play a male, and vice versa.

I’m a strong believer in writing what makes you happy. So if that’s what you want to do then I say do it :smile: Good luck with writing your story.

Also, I hope you dont mind but I added “r” in your topic title, so it reads “Your” .


#16

The way you are writing your story, where the MC’s gender isn’t defined… is it then necessary to define the sexuality of your ROs? I personally am a normal heterosexual white male, but for instance, I often like playing choice games as a female character for the perspective flip. But it occurs to me, that if it isn’t specified whether you are male or female, and you get to decide in your imagination, it should be just as easy to imagine your character is straight or gay or bi or nonist; whatever you play out your character to be in the game. So unless you are defining NPC sexualities within the game’s story, does it matter if you get into a romance with both male and female NPCs if that’s the way your character decides?


#17

I was first planning on making it so that the reader choose in their own mind what gender they are and then they can pick whatever romance option they want. but a lot of games ask you, so I just wanted to know if people would care or not.