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#571484 11/10/15 08:55 AM
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Ok, so i'm a romance junkie, and in this game, i'd like to see a romance appropriate for an adult.

And i don't mean sex scenes.
That's teenage romance.


Let's use Mass Effect as an example.
The whole thing was 'insert dialogue tokens for sex scene.'

I mean, i don't mind a sex scene, i'm not a prude.
but it's like, outside that one scene, your girl (Liara, of course) was just some random ship-mate.

No spending time together, no dinners, not even any cute little endearments, or even holding hands.

TLDR: if we are going to have romance, can it be A: believable, and B: inclusive, please.

Azirahael #571488 11/10/15 10:31 AM
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Hi you should write your thoughts here:
http://larian.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=567782#Post567782

It is a romance thread that is going on for a while and a lot of discussion already hapenned there.


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Azirahael #571491 11/10/15 12:48 PM
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Most of BioWare's romances were more like a mini-game with a sex scene as the prize at the end. I think DAI got much better in that regard, though it had other issues.

But this is hard to do and so my expectations are not high. I would love to be pleasantly surprised.

As far as sex scenes, the fade to black works fine for me.

Azirahael #571492 11/10/15 12:55 PM
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I don't think you'll get your wish.

It is quite difficult to get a BELIEVABLE romance done right in a video game. And that includes JRPG-style games where both characters involved have fixed personalities, fixed dialogue, and a fixed pacing and progression of the romance. As in, the writers need to worry about two characters (although that can go higher).

From what I can tell so far about D:OS 2, what we'll apparently have is romance options based on origin stories. There are going to be a bunch of these, so there will be a lot of possible stories which need to be written. There are a lot of variables. And this isn't a JRPG with cutscenes, so the progression of the romance won't be based on the pacing of the game, but on the pacing of the player.

Stabbey #571520 11/10/15 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Stabbey
I don't think you'll get your wish.

It is quite difficult to get a BELIEVABLE romance done right in a video game. And that includes JRPG-style games where both characters involved have fixed personalities, fixed dialogue, and a fixed pacing and progression of the romance. As in, the writers need to worry about two characters (although that can go higher).

From what I can tell so far about D:OS 2, what we'll apparently have is romance options based on origin stories. There are going to be a bunch of these, so there will be a lot of possible stories which need to be written. There are a lot of variables. And this isn't a JRPG with cutscenes, so the progression of the romance won't be based on the pacing of the game, but on the pacing of the player.


There are things that could easily sell the relationship in a game like this.

The 'girlfriend' could automatically gravitate to the character, when moving.
they could have a second set of voice prompts for when they're in a relationship.
text dialogue options could have 'my love' instead of 'my leader'.
she could auto-attack anything that attacks you.
and or get damage bonuses vs anyone that attacked their loved one.
she could get grumpy if any of the npc's hits on you.
Along with some game mechanical bonuses, like 'cannot be mindcontrolled and made to attack loved one' or a stat bonus.

It's the constant small touches that sell it, not the sex scene.

Azirahael #571521 11/10/15 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Azirahael
Originally Posted by Stabbey
I don't think you'll get your wish.

It is quite difficult to get a BELIEVABLE romance done right in a video game. And that includes JRPG-style games where both characters involved have fixed personalities, fixed dialogue, and a fixed pacing and progression of the romance. As in, the writers need to worry about two characters (although that can go higher).

From what I can tell so far about D:OS 2, what we'll apparently have is romance options based on origin stories. There are going to be a bunch of these, so there will be a lot of possible stories which need to be written. There are a lot of variables. And this isn't a JRPG with cutscenes, so the progression of the romance won't be based on the pacing of the game, but on the pacing of the player.


There are things that could easily sell the relationship in a game like this.

The 'girlfriend' could automatically gravitate to the character, when moving.
they could have a second set of voice prompts for when they're in a relationship.
text dialogue options could have 'my love' instead of 'my leader'.
she could auto-attack anything that attacks you.
and or get damage bonuses vs anyone that attacked their loved one.
she could get grumpy if any of the npc's hits on you.
Along with some game mechanical bonuses, like 'cannot be mindcontrolled and made to attack loved one' or a stat bonus.

It's the constant small touches that sell it, not the sex scene.


You know, half of the listed things are in Bioware games. I never played romances for the sex scene, hell, some of them don't even have those (for example - Josie in DA:I, not that I romanced her. As Blackwall said, I am eying lady Seeker laugh ) and they are all perfectly viable... And after all these Bioware games, I can hardly imagine game that would entertain me without good companions and romance as a lovely bonus hehe .

I just don't get why are people hating Bioware romances so much (talking people in general, not you specifically ;-) )

Last edited by Brys Beddict; 11/10/15 08:39 PM.

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Azirahael #571523 11/10/15 08:45 PM
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Take Bioware.

And then do the opposit.

Realy i suggest if you want to do romance, dont do it with game mechanics. Do it as a story, a long one, alot of dialogue.
You could make some of that story invovle gamepaly, like sidequests and whatnot. But no romance mechanics.

Whats important is: The Relationships hould NOT be the end of that story.
Having a relationship should not be the "end goal" of a "romance" quest, it should be somewhere in the middle.

EDIT: Why i hate Bioware: because they pander too much and act as if they are an authority on Story when in reality their worldbuilding especialy with their fantasy games ( i cant comment too much on mass effect) is sub par and their romances arent nearly as good as they think they are.

With Inquisition Bioware seemed to think that pandering to outside audiences equates to good writing.

Yeah, wasnt a fan of that game at all.

EDIT 2: I think the idea of romance impacting game mechanics COULD potentially be a good one as long as thats a one way street. So no stupid sex token romance mechanics, but your romance status affecting how an NPC acts in the game, why not.

For example getting realy pissed off when someone attacks you. That could be interresting.

Last edited by Sordak; 11/10/15 08:50 PM.
Azirahael #571530 12/10/15 01:12 AM
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"No spending time together, no dinners, not even any cute little endearments, or even holding hands."

So basically not an "adult" romance... But a purely physical relationship. But without sex.

You sure we are talking about an "adult" + "Romance"?

Neonivek #571567 12/10/15 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Neonivek
"No spending time together, no dinners, not even any cute little endearments, or even holding hands."

So basically not an "adult" romance... But a purely physical relationship. But without sex.

You sure we are talking about an "adult" + "Romance"?


Yes.

A real relationship (that lasts more than a couple of weeks) has many small touches to keep it going.

It has demonstrations that you care, and are thinking about them.
Picking flowers, going out to dinner, doing things together, all let your loved one know that you're thinking about them, and that they are important to you.

Sex is just the icing on the cake.

Azirahael #571569 13/10/15 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Azirahael
Originally Posted by Neonivek
"No spending time together, no dinners, not even any cute little endearments, or even holding hands."

So basically not an "adult" romance... But a purely physical relationship. But without sex.

You sure we are talking about an "adult" + "Romance"?


Yes.

A real relationship (that lasts more than a couple of weeks) has many small touches to keep it going.

It has demonstrations that you care, and are thinking about them.
Picking flowers, going out to dinner, doing things together, all let your loved one know that you're thinking about them, and that they are important to you.

Sex is just the icing on the cake.


Ohh now I understand what your talking about

I thought you meant an adult relationship skips the whole "showing people you care" stuff.

Though it isn't a "adult relationship" exactly.

Azirahael #571570 13/10/15 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Azirahael

A real relationship (that lasts more than a couple of weeks) has many small touches to keep it going.

It has demonstrations that you care, and are thinking about them.
Picking flowers, going out to dinner, doing things together, all let your loved one know that you're thinking about them, and that they are important to you.

Sex is just the icing on the cake.


The problem is that none of those make for good gameplay.

At best, it's cutscene material, but D:OS 2's multiplayer focus means that cutscenes can't be used very often.

Stabbey #571608 13/10/15 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Stabbey
Originally Posted by Azirahael

A real relationship (that lasts more than a couple of weeks) has many small touches to keep it going.

It has demonstrations that you care, and are thinking about them.
Picking flowers, going out to dinner, doing things together, all let your loved one know that you're thinking about them, and that they are important to you.

Sex is just the icing on the cake.


The problem is that none of those make for good gameplay.

At best, it's cutscene material, but D:OS 2's multiplayer focus means that cutscenes can't be used very often.


You don't need any cutscene at all for that. All you need is a good writer and a text field. Yeah, I know that reading is hard for some, but it worked perfectly for old games like BG2 so I don't see why it shouldn't work for DOS2, even with its focus on co-op.

So please, believable, complex, intriguing, interesting relationships (that include romantic elements) that built on text and the full imagination of its writer instead of cutscenes that are severly limited by technical limitations and the budget and that cut the imagination of its creator down to something that reflects none of the attributes mentioned above in the end.

And one word on "romance": I absolutely hate the idea of reducing the complex field of human relationships to "romances" as if they were something on their own, detached from all other elements of human interactions. I think romance should be in the game but only as part of a wide array and composition of natural and complex relationships and interactions. There is no need to attach quests to it like it's (horribly) done in DAI. It's childish, trivial and ultimately results in a bad narrative.

Last edited by LordCrash; 13/10/15 11:42 PM.

WOOS
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I can't wait to take my companion out for a romantic candlelit dinner, and just as they're bringing out the second bottle of wine, my fellow player races in with a trail of guards and angry citizens at his heels because he got caught pickpocketing an apple, and then the entire restaurant aggros on him. And then, the fireballs start.

Stabbey #571611 14/10/15 12:20 AM
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And that isn't even top ten worst date material for Rivellon...

Stabbey #571613 14/10/15 03:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Stabbey
I can't wait to take my companion out for a romantic candlelit dinner, and just as they're bringing out the second bottle of wine, my fellow player races in with a trail of guards and angry citizens at his heels because he got caught pickpocketing an apple, and then the entire restaurant aggros on him. And then, the fireballs start.


Sounds like the script for a new Indiana Jones movie... biggrin


WOOS
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I know I'm probably building myself quite a reputation as a "Negative Nancy", but it's because I sincerely believe that a lot of things, while they may not be impossible, are still very hard to get right.

Thinking more about some of the things which were posted earlier, I've got a few thoughts.

Originally Posted by Azirahael

There are things that could easily sell the relationship in a game like this.


The 'girlfriend' could automatically gravitate to the character, when moving.
- NPC follow behavior often looks odd because the players can move in very irregular ways, changing direction, starting and stopping at random.


they could have a second set of voice prompts for when they're in a relationship.
- Okay, but the stretch goal was love and hate, which means that you need a third set of voice prompts for hate. Probably more than that too. So that's at least five prompts: Hate, dislike, neutral, like, love. That's for each companion. Maybe more prompts will be needed if you don't want all companions to share identical lines. How many more prompts would that add up to be? I don't know.


text dialogue options could have 'my love' instead of 'my leader'.
- I am cringing in nausea at the thought of hearing that. Different people will have different instinctive reactions to the relationships between characters. That happens in all types of media - if the viewer doesn't buy the relationship already, cutsey pet names aren't going to sell it. Plus, as I mentioned above, that raises the specter of having to do those options for a spectrum of relationships, plus any ones specific to individuals.


she could auto-attack anything that attacks you.
- There's a LOT of things to take into consideration to get an auto-attack working right. What kind of attacks triggers the auto-attack? What if the attacker is far away from the victim, and the angry lover is a melee attacker? Are they supposed to auto-close in on the target? I wouldn't want my other party member to move on their own and ruin my battle plans and screw up the positioning. So that would have to only really work if the player and companion are beside each other and the attacker is in melee range, or the companion has a ranged weapon.


and or get damage bonuses vs anyone that attacked their loved one.
- That's probably one of the simplest and easiest things to implement, but some people are opposed to gameplay benefits for relationships.


she could get grumpy if any of the npc's hits on you.
- I'm not sure how often that could possibly come up. Heck, it'd be rather hard to believe a random NPC to believably hit on the PC, unless the origin is specifically written for that to make sense. And as always, there's also the spectrum of reactions along the love-hate axis to consider.


Along with some game mechanical bonuses, like 'cannot be mindcontrolled and made to attack loved one' or a stat bonus.
- That will encourage forming a relationship ONLY for the bonuses, which people complained about when it came to the trait system in D:OS.

Originally Posted by LordCrash

You don't need any cutscene at all for that. All you need is a good writer and a text field. Yeah, I know that reading is hard for some, but it worked perfectly for old games like BG2 so I don't see why it shouldn't work for DOS2, even with its focus on co-op.

So please, believable, complex, intriguing, interesting relationships (that include romantic elements) that built on text and the full imagination of its writer instead of cutscenes that are severly limited by technical limitations and the budget and that cut the imagination of its creator down to something that reflects none of the attributes mentioned above in the end.

And one word on "romance": I absolutely hate the idea of reducing the complex field of human relationships to "romances" as if they were something on their own, detached from all other elements of human interactions. I think romance should be in the game but only as part of a wide array and composition of natural and complex relationships and interactions. There is no need to attach quests to it like it's (horribly) done in DAI. It's childish, trivial and ultimately results in a bad narrative.


I think the biggest hurdle to romances in D:OS 2 will be how much they rely on systemics. Systems are great for handing simple generic behaviors, but they are not that great at handling details specific to one particular system.

Believable relationships in fiction are all about the little specific details that only happen between those two people. In D:OS, you've got a companion with a fixed personality and origin, and a player, with a fixed origin, but a completely variable personality.

Each player origin will presumably interact with each companion origin in different ways, and the temptation will be there to try and simplify things down to systemics. And I can't blame the writers for wanting to do that. There might be eight of them, but they have an entire game to write outside of the love-hate stuff.


Stabbey #571641 14/10/15 11:19 PM
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You had me at "And then, the fireballs start."
*swoon*

Azirahael #571740 18/10/15 06:04 AM
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Liara (from Mass Effect) and Morrigan (from Dragon Age), and most other companions in Bioware games are important characters to the plot, and so the player character could react to the unfolding plot when it affects a companion. That said, the romance was still optional, and that limited the implications.

I feel that romance works better in games that are more linear. When I played Final Fantasy VIII, I really enjoyed watching the romance unfold between Squall and Rinoa. They both influenced each other as characters, and Squall didn't even realise how much she meant to him until she was abducted and he realised he wanted to save her more than anything. Rinoa essentially had to convince Squall (the player character!) to date her. Once he accepted it, the romance really meant something to Squall, and it completely changed his outlook.

In Divinity: Original Sin, you choose to let a companion join your party, or you don't. If you don't invite them to your party, then they just stand around doing nothing. If they join you, then they will talk sometimes and maybe disagree with you (and maybe leave the party if you make them too unhappy), but they never do anything particularly meaningful to the plot.

The problem I have with Bioware romance is that they had to keep a lot of stuff generic. Commander Shepherd never has a chance to be introspective about his romance with Liara. He never thinks about how strange it is to fall in love with an alien. I make the dialogue choice, romance ensues, and then Shepherd mostly forgets about it when he's going about his business with saving the world. Shepherd is surrounded by characters with feelings and motivations, but for the most part Shepherd is a blank slate. I rarely hear him express his feelings. I tell him what to feel.

Companions in D:OS are even less important to the story than in Bioware games. It's hard to design significant plot events based on particular romances in the story when it's possible that character might not even be in your party.

I think the best we can hope for is something similar to Bioware style romance, but without the awkward implication of "sex as reward". However, I think even asking for that is asking for a lot. With the "love and rivalry" thing, it really sounds like there will be a broad range of romantic interests, so I expect we'll be getting something between Bioware and Bethesda (eg Skyrim) style romance. This is what you tend to get when the game is too open-ended.

Azirahael #571920 23/10/15 10:44 AM
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Hmm, if you really want a adult romance it should be one of the main-foci of the game. Nothing you do as a side-quest ("By the way Grey Warden, I'm really in love with you since you gave me three plushed bunnies and a pint of beer"), but a really integral part of the story.

Game stories are purely egoistical, which I mean FOCUSED on the actions of the player. With a real love-story you have to share your experience with another being, that you hopefully like and do not regret to have rescued at one point in the game. You have to simulate LOVE, which is very difficult, that's why it needs this focus. And I don't have on my mind which game ever produced this feeling of love, besides the occasional Flashback with pleasant memories ... oh wait, I have an example.

Silent Hill 2. But it wasn't a very pleasant game^^.

Edit: And The Witcher Series. But only, because they knew how to show much affection between Triss and Geralt, without Triss constanly talking about how wonderful her Witcher is. Insteed she shows it with little gestures. Like hugging him. An affectionate hug can say so much more than every one-sided monologue.

Last edited by Zelon; 23/10/15 10:53 AM.

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