Also, 'romance' is pretty open ended. Would friendship of two close friends be counted as romance (we're not doing the fruits again, don't worry!)? We have a dynamic story where we try to capture relationships (friendship, enmity/antagonism, self actualization) on a backdop of an action filled mythical story line. Adding a love interest just to fit criteria will be jarring to the reader (I know I hate when stories throw in token love interest and/or token minority characters for no other purpose than to cover their a**es).
I'd guess that no, that wouldn't count as romance. But I'm not sure how many of the NaNoRenO2 games will be romantic, especially compared to the NaNoRenO games. I think that what you're doing is might be in the spirit, however, even if you focus on non-ren'ai storylines.
One of the interesting things about VNs is that they're one of the few visual media where you can really get into characters heads. You very rarely see manga, anime, or TV have first-person bits... and the thought boxes in American Comics tend to be relatively short, when present at all. The reason Ren'Ai games are such a large fraction of VNs is that the topic is a match for the medium. But, of course, there might be other stories that can benefit from being told from a first-person perspective... is yours one of them?
Another Old-Fashioned Bishoujo Gamer
Supporting creators since 2004; Code > Drama
(When was the last time you backed up your game?)
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face in marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming" - Theodore Roosevelt