"Girlfriend Material" [GxG Romance/Fantasy]

Ideas and games that are not yet publicly in production. This forum also contains the pre-2012 archives of the Works in Progress forum.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
Hazel
Regular
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:10 am
Projects: Wreath of Roses, BookSLEEPer, mystery project
Tumblr: zincalloygames
itch: zincalloy
Contact:

"Girlfriend Material" [GxG Romance/Fantasy]

#1 Post by Hazel » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:04 am

Girlfriend Material

Note: I am hoping to develop this game for Yuri Game Jam '17, which starts next month.

Premise

The story of a mad scientist, and her struggles to find love.

Our setting: a normal-looking house in a normal-looking neighborhood. In its basement lies a very abnormal laboratory, where Lavinia von Adeline concocts her scientific experiments and devises her strange patented technologies. Her latest experiment? An artificial intelligence. But not just any AI. Lavinia is finally sick of being alone, and decided to put her formidable mind to the task of building herself the perfect girlfriend.

You, the player, will aid her in this task.

Plot

We follow Lavinia through her days and nights as she tries to balance life and work, spending her nights in the laboratory with her experiments, and her days trying to appear as normal as possible. Along the way we meet some of her friends and neighbors, friendly or obstructive. Success will allow Lavinia to create the girlfriend of her dreams, but first she needs to figure out what it is that she actually wants from her.

On her side is her own formidable intelligence, a loyal hardware store employee, and a very friendly barista at her favorite coffee shop. Opposing her are her nosy next-door neighbor, her overbearing mother, and an ex-girlfriend whom she never quite got over.

Characters

Lavinia von Adeline - main character

Lavinia is brilliant but socially awkward. Lavinia is confident in her scientific abilities, but as soon as she steps outside of her lab she is plagued by insecurities, and her discomfort makes her lash out in anger. Naturally this has done wonders for her social and love life.

Jenny Jones - mythological ex

An old ex-girlfriend from their shared university days. Jenny has found a more traditionally successful career path in the sciences, but her love life is plagued by poor decisions. She last saw Lavinia during their final break-up, when she told her that she's "just not girlfriend material, I guess".

Désirée - friendly barista

Désirée works at Lavinia's favorite bakery/coffee shop, where she often escapes to self-medicate with heavily-frosted cupcakes. She works in the service industry, so she's friendly to everyone, even Lavinia.

Professor Eugenia - overbearing mother

A world-renowned researcher in her field, Eugenia had always held high hopes for her brilliant only daughter. She doesn't mean to meddle, but she can't help but worry. Above all, she just wants her daughter to be happy, in love, and tenured.

Ms. Margaret a.k.a. Peggy - nosy neighbor

Peggy lives in the house next-door to Lavinia. She is retired, and either a widow or a divorcee, and at any rate has plenty of time to snoop into her neighbors' personal affairs.

Kasper - hardware store employee

Kasper is the cashier and clerk of his father's hardware store, where Lavinia frequently shops for parts for her many inventions. Mercifully, he had the good sense to stop hitting on her every time she came to the shop, when he found out she just doesn't lean that way. He does know his way around the shop, though, and will never hesitate to special order anything for Lavinia, provided it doesn't land him and his dad on some sort of watch list.

Girlfriend Models

Model 1 - Blueberry

Made of sugar and spice and other nursery rhymes, Blueberry is sweet, gentle and adoring. Her model is defined by fawning devotion to her creator and girlfriend.

Model 2 - Georgiana

A highly polished model built to keep up with her creator's intellectual whims, she has a voracious curiosity for all things scientific. Defined by her refined taste and build around a sophisticated, perfectly logical mind.

Model 3 - Raven

Mysterious and slightly ethereal, she was pieced together from out of context quotes taken from works of classic literature and mythology. Her main motif is her independence and changeability, and she is designed to maintain her creator's high level of interest by her unpredictable nature.

Gameplay

The course of the story is determined by the player's choices. As Lavinia, you can respond to events however you see fit, building some relationships and tearing down others, all while working on your experiment as well. Building your model girlfriend will take up most of the course of the game, and the final result will depend entirely on your choices as a player.

Each day is divided into a number of time slots, where different activities will be available to you based on the time of day, as well as other factors. Building your robot goes through several phases, interspersed with the need to interact with your fellow humans. These human interactions can serve to build your external relationships, if you wish to do so. Alternatively, you can use them to refine the design of your experiment.

Now and then, your schedule will be interrupted by an unexpected event. How you respond to these interruptions can affect the course of your experiment, but the final outcome is up to you, the player.

Questions
  1. What do you think of the basic premise of the game? Do you find it interesting, funny, romantic?
  2. How do you feel about Lavinia as an MC? Is she likable, relatable, interesting?
  3. Would you be happy to see her succeed in her experiment?
  4. Which of the regular NPCs do you find most interesting? Which do you like best and least?
  5. Do any of the Girlfriend models appeal to you as love interests?
  6. Would you be interested in pursuing the Girlfriend models as love interests, or do you prefer one or more of the regular NPCs to also be romance options?
  7. What would you consider a good end to the game? How about a bad end?
  8. Do you prefer to be absolutely sure which Girlfriend model you're building from the start, or to discover it through various choices throughout the game?
  9. What do you think of the gameplay aspect? Does it sound interesting, or like it would get in the way of the story?
  10. Any other questions or comments?
Image

BookSLEEPer - NaNoRenO 2017 - writer

traineroflegend
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:21 pm
Contact:

Re: "Girlfriend Material" [GxG Romance/Fantasy]

#2 Post by traineroflegend » Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:15 am

1. It can be a funny premise, but nothing I read really strikes me as funny. Or romantic for that matter. It sounds like a more lighthearted Chobits. Definitely interesting though.

2. She sounds great! If you can make her anxiety really pop I think you'll have an interesting character in your hands.

3. Honestly, not really. You can either play the build-your-girlfriend angle straight or try to subvert it. Try to subvert it. Make having a girlfriend something Lavinia wants, only to later discover it's not something that would make her happy.

4. I like coffee shops so Desiree, but Jenny Jones seems to have the most room to make an impact on Lavinia's life.

5. Georgiana.

6. I definitely think having a love interest outside of the three models would be a good idea.

7. Like I mentioned before, a bad end could be that Lavinia focuses on creating her model and ignores all her real life relationships. She ends up with a model that can't bring her happiness. A good end could be that she creates a model with the intention of loving it, but later learns to find love outside of her creations (with one of the side characters). So the good end would see Lavinia fall for someone else while the model gets to be a part of society.

8. Don't set the mode from the beginning. That would enhance replayability and keep people guessing.

9. Not much gameplay to talk about given what you've outlined so far. Picking and choosing what to do sounds neat.

User avatar
Antaille
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:11 pm
Tumblr: sweetantaille
Deviantart: antaillle
Contact:

Re: "Girlfriend Material" [GxG Romance/Fantasy]

#3 Post by Antaille » Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:07 pm

1- The basic premise seems very interesting! I really like the idea of building an IA. For the funny part, I think it will work for a sort of "absurd" universe but we will see that when the game will be out!
2- Lavinia is a really interessant character and I think it will be nice to play her, mainly because of her anxiety. It might give a really good evolution of the character so that's perfect!
3- Yes but not if she doesn't evolve on her side. Realising that perfection is not the best thing that can happend.
4- Désirée is my nunber one right now. I guess that the one that I found the least interesting is Ms. Margaret but again, i think she can be a good "antagonist" for Lavinia.
5 -Georgiana BUT Raven can be "fun" do see too.
6- Having an NPC as a romance option would be great tbh
7 -The best end that we could have is maybe having Lavinia succed but realizing that building a girlfriend is not a good option. A bad one would be her being totally obsesed with her creation and not even realized that people care for her outside.
8- It's better if we discover it through various choice. The game will be more fun and there will be exitment to see which girlfriend you have build.
9-The gameplay sound interesting. I'm exited to see how the "antagonist" will interact in the game!
10 - Good luck! I hope would will make it!

User avatar
Hazel
Regular
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:10 am
Projects: Wreath of Roses, BookSLEEPer, mystery project
Tumblr: zincalloygames
itch: zincalloy
Contact:

Re: "Girlfriend Material" [GxG Romance/Fantasy]

#4 Post by Hazel » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:00 am

Really great responses! Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
Image

BookSLEEPer - NaNoRenO 2017 - writer

User avatar
sqbr
Regular
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:48 am
Completed: SOON, Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came
Projects: Copper Rose, SOON, Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: "Girlfriend Material" [GxG Romance/Fantasy]

#5 Post by sqbr » Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:13 am

HMM. A lot of this sounds interesting, but regardless of where the plot goes, I would find someone who was ok with creating a sentient being in order to date them unplayably unlikeable. How would the created girlfriend have the ability to consent, or have agency in her life in general?

Two approaches I'd enjoy: (a) Lavinia isn't intending on making a girlfriend, just an AI she will be able to talk to and understand, and is fine with the AI having her own life and maybe not wanting to even be friends, with any romance being something of a surprise (b) Lavinia doesn't intend to robot to be sentient, just a sex/comfort toy with a veneer of personality, and has to decide what to do when she realises the robot is a true AI with her own wants and needs.

And then there's a continuum where Lavinia's original goal is a bit hinky and the player has the option to make her give the robot more agency (good end) or double down on the hinkiness (bad end), I would personally enjoy that less but am a bit pickier about consent in fiction than a lot of people. Also I'm very prone to projecting onto robots :)

...also, I would want to date Peggy, haha. I guess overall, given the premise, I'd want the non-robots to feel like complex people with their own sometimes inconvenient needs. Also could be interesting if a bit uncomfortable to contrast overbearing mother vs AI creator.

With the gameplay, I'd not want to feel like the game was punishing shyness, but it could be an interesting challenge if socialising had downsides, not just taking up time but...mental energy or something? As well as the obvious upsides of making friends etc.

User avatar
Hazel
Regular
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:10 am
Projects: Wreath of Roses, BookSLEEPer, mystery project
Tumblr: zincalloygames
itch: zincalloy
Contact:

Re: "Girlfriend Material" [GxG Romance/Fantasy]

#6 Post by Hazel » Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:02 pm

I'm trying to be flexible on the endings, but what I had planned from the start (and the plan I'm sticking to, for now) is that each of the three robot girlfriends has the option to walk away at the end of the game, and that's an option the player can't (directly) control. It doesn't eliminate all the sketchiness from the scenario, but I do want there to be an easily noticeable difference between romance and non-romance endings. How that plays out in terms of the choices given throughout the game, and the relationship meters, is something I'm still working on.

Thanks for the feedback!
Image

BookSLEEPer - NaNoRenO 2017 - writer

User avatar
crouchingbacon
Newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:16 am
Deviantart: fightingham
Contact:

Re: "Girlfriend Material" [GxG Romance/Fantasy]

#7 Post by crouchingbacon » Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:44 am

Saw this from the discord chat. Hi!

Questions

What do you think of the basic premise of the game? Do you find it interesting, funny, romantic?

It's pretty interesting. There could be funny situations, probably those that involve the neighbors' snooping, but without dialogue, I can't say much yet. Same for romance, but right now, I feel like it's kind of sad that she has to actually create a girlfriend instead of finding one out there. The moral dilemma kind of reminds me of the movie Passengers, where the guy chose to wake a girl up because he was getting too lonely. If Lavinia creates the girlfriend, does she code in their consent/ability to say no to her, or remove that entirely? Just something I'm curious about.

How do you feel about Lavinia as an MC? Is she likable, relatable, interesting?

She's interesting, since she's an unusual character. Also pretty relatable, since I bet everyone gets those forever alone feels from time to time. Not too sure about likable yet, will have to see character design and dialogue to have an informed opinion.

Would you be happy to see her succeed in her experiment?

Sure, why not. But I'd actually prefer it if she had a crisis about giving her creation some ability of consent.
Or in the end, if she fails, maybe she realizes that the NPCs are viable people to have relationships with?

Which of the regular NPCs do you find most interesting? Which do you like best and least?
It's a tie between Desiree and Kasper for the likeable ones. The nosy neighbor might be funny, but maybe it's too early to tell.
Not really liking the ex, but I understand that she does flesh out the cast and adds some flesh to Lavinia's backstory/insight into why she seems to be a recluse.

Do any of the Girlfriend models appeal to you as love interests?

Georgiana could be interesting, and while I'm not loving the name, I think Blueberry could be a refreshing character if her dialogue is written well. Raven feels a bit vague to me at the moment, kind of like a wild card.

Would you be interested in pursuing the Girlfriend models as love interests, or do you prefer one or more of the regular NPCs to also be romance options?

I'm biased for Desiree, haha, her being a barista and all. But I think out of the three Girlfriend models, Blueberry might seem like the best match for Lavinia, at least for her emotional health. Someone to balance her weaknesses.

What would you consider a good end to the game? How about a bad end?

A good end would definitely mean Lavinia finding success somehow, or at least finding resolution with her failed/somewhat compromised relationships (platonic or romantic). Maybe her Girlfriend might actually make her even more successful in the scientific community than Jenny.

A really bad end would be her creation killing her (though I'm not sure if that goes with the tone of this VN?).
Another one could be her Girlfriend choosing to leave her. Or being arrested because the neighbors/the community couldn't stand her weirdness?

Do you prefer to be absolutely sure which Girlfriend model you're building from the start, or to discover it through various choices throughout the game?

Various choices, since a scientist finds things out through experiments.

What do you think of the gameplay aspect? Does it sound interesting, or like it would get in the way of the story?

It sounds interesting, but I wonder how Lavinia would benefit from "tearing down" some of her relationships? It seems like she doesn't have enough people on her side already, what would she gain by losing the few friends and acquaintances she has? Just my two cents on her character. Though I suppose cutting off unhealthy ties could help her.

Any other questions or comments?

Looking forward to seeing the art for this. Also a suggestion, what if Ms. Margaret was a man instead? Kind of tired seeing the trope of matronly gossipers, but that's just me.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users