Recca Phoenix wrote:
A major complaint about many of the fan-made games out there is that they have too much visual novel and not enough game (i.e. few choices, little freedom to develop your character.) I personally enjoy games with more choices, even if some of the writing quality has to be sacrificed.
Oh, I don't think 'character' and 'choices' are at all mutually exclusive! It's possible to have lots of choices and lots of character -- it's all in how the choices are presented. I agree, though, I really don't care for 'games' that are one step away from a novel with pictures.
As far as the cheesiness goes, well, I'm wondering if that might be helped with lots of build-up? Give the player the chance to define herself a lot in some early scenes, and then maybe it won't seem so odd when you enter into the romantic stuff?
For example, the player has the option to go to the sports store or to the flower store early on, and make a purchase. Later, when she runs into one of the love interests, he remarks on her purchase and it becomes a way for them to bond. If you're really playing 'you', you'll have made purchases that reflect what you like, so it'll seem natural when the LI expresses interest in it.
Are you using second person, by the way, or the more standard first for POV? Might be worthwhile to try a scene from the opposite POV and see if it makes it feel more natural.
(And I usually lie, by the way, when I'm asked to enter 'my name' -- I always give a fake one and pretend I'm someone else anyway. Is that weird?)