Poll: Preferences for romance-switch availability til end

A place to discuss things that aren't specific to any one creator or game.
Forum rules
Ren'Py specific questions should be posted in the Ren'Py Questions and Annoucements forum, not here.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
Kate
Regular
Posts: 197
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:10 pm
Projects: Blackout
Organization: Moonlight Otome
Location: United States
Contact:

Poll: Preferences for romance-switch availability til end

#1 Post by Kate » Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:32 am

Alright. I have a question that I'd like some feedback to, about your preferences for romance elements within games.
(This has to do with my game, blackout- link is in my signature or here if you want the context:
http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... t=blackout)

Do you prefer:

A) Locked-in routes that are easier to reach full romance (i.e., Voltage style: there is a plot prompt, something like "Who do you sit by at the campfire?" and shows the profiles of characters, it's supposed to make it apparent that you're locking into a specific potential romance route. But you won't get to know the others QUITE as well, and
-Why do you prefer this? Any comments?

B) Flexible choice, where you'll see all characters a set amount of times til, say, 50% progress through game, then a points-check will switch a flag that chooses which character appears in certain situations, based upon whom you have the most points with. In this case, you'll have a slightly easier time with romance (but not easiest), and get to see a bit more of the characters' personalities, but you still can't switch later based upon certain actions that the men might do that you may/may not like. Slight chance you won't get to full romance if you're not careful. Does not allow for characters to be aware that they might be competing with other characters (say, points gap within 10 of each other). Will minimally push back game release, if at all.
-Why do you prefer this? Any comments?

or

C) You can romance whoever the most and switch up til the very last moment, but run huge risk of not getting full romance points with a given character. This will push the game release, however, back quite a bit (majorly) with the coding and writing workload. (This include potential scenarios, which some might love, where characters are aware they are competing with others if their points are within 10 of the other and might lead to some satisfying drama and/or interesting results.)
-Why do you prefer this? Any comments?
Last edited by Kate on Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
Current Project:
Blackout [VN][Romance][GxB][Mystery][Suspense] http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 43&t=34118
"It is the duty of authors to make the fantastic seem ordinary and the ordinary seem fantastic." - K. Auer

User avatar
trooper6
Lemma-Class Veteran
Posts: 3712
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:33 pm
Projects: A Close Shave
Location: Medford, MA
Contact:

Re: Poll: Preferences for romance-switch availability til en

#2 Post by trooper6 » Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:48 am

I prefer my romances to be realistic. In real life I can change my mind and pursue person a and b, or a then b, I can do all sorts of things. Now, just because I pursue someone doesn't guarantee that my pursuit will be successful.

That is what I like.
A Close Shave:
*Last Thing Done (Aug 17): Finished coding emotions and camera for 4/10 main labels.
*Currently Doing: Coding of emotions and camera for the labels--On 5/10
*First Next thing to do: Code in all CG and special animation stuff
*Next Next thing to do: Set up film animation
*Other Thing to Do: Do SFX and Score (maybe think about eye blinks?)
Check out My Clock Cookbook Recipe: http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 51&t=21978

User avatar
Kate
Regular
Posts: 197
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:10 pm
Projects: Blackout
Organization: Moonlight Otome
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: Poll: Preferences for romance-switch availability til en

#3 Post by Kate » Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:50 am

So you value lifelike change, opportunity, and drama over guarantee of success? Ok, thanks for the feedback!
Current Project:
Blackout [VN][Romance][GxB][Mystery][Suspense] http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 43&t=34118
"It is the duty of authors to make the fantastic seem ordinary and the ordinary seem fantastic." - K. Auer

User avatar
trooper6
Lemma-Class Veteran
Posts: 3712
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:33 pm
Projects: A Close Shave
Location: Medford, MA
Contact:

Re: Poll: Preferences for romance-switch availability til en

#4 Post by trooper6 » Tue Oct 20, 2015 2:05 am

Kate wrote:So you value lifelike change, opportunity, and drama over guarantee of success? Ok, thanks for the feedback!
Yes, but I am not the typical romance gamer. I think a lot of romance gamers prefer more wish fulfillment. If you want typical gamers you might be better off doing a voltage type thing. Those games are very popular.

But let me give you my standard answer when people ask, "what should I do?" This is your art. Do what you want to do. Do what falls into your artistic vision. Don't write by committee. Don't pander. Do what you want to do.
A Close Shave:
*Last Thing Done (Aug 17): Finished coding emotions and camera for 4/10 main labels.
*Currently Doing: Coding of emotions and camera for the labels--On 5/10
*First Next thing to do: Code in all CG and special animation stuff
*Next Next thing to do: Set up film animation
*Other Thing to Do: Do SFX and Score (maybe think about eye blinks?)
Check out My Clock Cookbook Recipe: http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 51&t=21978

User avatar
inkbrush
Regular
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:28 am
Contact:

Re: Poll: Preferences for romance-switch availability til en

#5 Post by inkbrush » Tue Oct 20, 2015 3:19 am

I like all of these equally, but I think the important factor in what works WELL and makes it ENJOYABLE is what kind of a game it is. For example, a romance-orientated game I personally believe works best with either a voltage-style game. A story-orientated game I believe works best with "B". And a relationship-orientated game (not just romantic, but friendship and possibly family too) I think works best with "C". Of course, these aren't strict thoughts of mine. If a game is designed well, no matter what the focus is, it can work well with any of these types. These are just the patterns I've noticed throughout my romance and otome gaming experiences.


I'll go into a little bit more detail for each type, I guess??
A) Locked-in routes that are easier to reach full romance (i.e., Voltage style: there is a plot prompt, something like "Who do you sit by at the campfire?" and shows the profiles of characters, it's supposed to make it apparent that you're locking into a specific potential romance route. But you won't get to know the others QUITE as well, and
-Why do you prefer this? Any comments?
I personally am a complete-ist when it comes to otome games. I like to go through every route and find all the endings and such. With this type, that makes it rather easy for me to accomplish. Especially because these types typically have individual routes for each character and each story is different, and lord knows I hate repetitiveness. The less of the skip button I have the use, the better.

B) Flexible choice, where you'll see all characters a set amount of times til, say, 50% progress through game, then a points-check will switch a flag that chooses which character appears in certain situations, based upon whom you have the most points with. In this case, you'll have a slightly easier time with romance (but not easiest), and get to see a bit more of the characters' personalities, but you still can't switch later based upon certain actions that the men might do that you may/may not like. Slight chance you won't get to full romance if you're not careful. Does not allow for characters to be aware that they might be competing with other characters (say, points gap within 10 of each other). Will minimally push back game release, if at all.
-Why do you prefer this? Any comments?
I love, love, love this type as long as there is a strong story. With these types, I don't think it works very well with a romance-orientated game. With a romance-orientated game, the focus is typically on the characters--and although characters drive plot, when you have a set of romantic interests, you have to break the attention down with all of them and that can be difficult without a plot of some sort. The only other thing I really have to say about this is that you don't necessarily NEED to make it where the player can't switch between routes while on one. Though, it's definitely a lot easier on the creator's part. My advice if you do decide to make the player stuck on that one route is to give an option as to what route they want to be on. For example, in the game I'm working on, it's very plot driven but at the halfway point in the story, you'll get an option that will let you pursue a love interest as a sort of sub-plot. But there's still an option to not have any love interest and continue on with the story as it is. I personally added that element into my game because there's so much going on with the plot that I feel like a player may want to have their first play through with just the story. Or, at least, I know I would, lol.

C) You can romance whoever the most and switch up til the very last moment, but run huge risk of not getting full romance points with a given character. This will push the game release, however, back quite a bit (majorly) with the coding and writing workload. (This include potential scenarios, which some might love, where characters are aware they are competing with others if their points are within 10 of the other and might lead to some satisfying drama and/or interesting results.)
-Why do you prefer this? Any comments?
I personally love to see drama arise between two love interests, lol. But, of course, this requires a lot of work. Another game idea I have takes this approach. It's largely influenced by the online game My Candy Love, though more out of frustration for how they messed up a lot of potentially juicy parts of gameplay, rather than my love for it. xD But, with this type of game, you definitely don't want to bring all the focus in on one character--and adding a strong plot wouldn't hurt. Not really anything else to add!


And bringing up a point that trooper6 brought up:
Now, just because I pursue someone doesn't guarantee that my pursuit will be successful.
I definitely agree with this. One thing that's important to bring up is that the type you choose isn't as important as how you execute the type and write the story. One thing I personally like in all these types is making it where your pursuit isn't always guaranteed. I love bad endings just as much as I love perfect endings! If anything, sometimes I like them more, lol. I also like an aspect of consequences(good and bad). Say, if you have two love interests fighting over you, something I would like to see is them reacting to if you decide to choose one of them or if you let them keep going. In real life, these two people would eventually grow tired of the person they like not choosing one of them--either making for one of them leaving and the other getting the person of interest, or both of them leaving (and possibly getting together themselves if you want to take that turn c; ).


That's all I have to say!

philat
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1763
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:33 pm
Contact:

Re: Poll: Preferences for romance-switch availability til en

#6 Post by philat » Tue Oct 20, 2015 3:31 am

I will say that I feel like I've never seen a (well-done) C-type game in a closed setting -- I glanced quickly over the thread on your game, and it seems like a closed setting game, where romance is largely optional and the focus will be on solving a mystery. The degree of player choice in the crime part of the story may be difficult to balance with a super flexible romance storyline. Bonus difficulty points if the details of the crime/puzzle are randomly generated. (Although Black Closet handled it quite well. Then again, Hanako Games is old pro in this area.)

That said, my favorite romance games/romance subplots have generally been of the C-type variety. Take that as you will.

Lastly, as others have said, the question isn't what you do, it's how you do it, so follow your artistic dream and all that.

User avatar
Sysen
Newbie
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 10:49 am
IRC Nick: Discord: Sysen#6844
Deviantart: sysen
Contact:

Re: Poll: Preferences for romance-switch availability til en

#7 Post by Sysen » Tue Oct 20, 2015 4:26 am

My favourite is B type game from all of three choices, since it makes me think, not just clicking on character's name or face, and more event oriented.
(the downside is there will be many branching events)

User avatar
papillon
Arbiter of the Internets
Posts: 4053
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 4:37 am
Completed: lots; see website!
Projects: something mysterious involving yuri, usually
Organization: Hanako Games
Tumblr: hanakogames
Contact:

Re: Poll: Preferences for romance-switch availability til en

#8 Post by papillon » Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:15 am

As usual, they're all fine in the right situation. :)

I don't generally like the Voltage-style approach, but that has to do with my personal tastes in romance. I don't really like having to make a binding decision based on only someone's name, appearance, and some suggestive personality quotes.

I don't have a smartphone so I've never played these games myself, but I've read a lot of let's plays of them, and occasionally been burned when a character turned out to be not as nice or as interesting as the character-card intro suggested. I also feel like it makes things too predictable when you're locked into a route and guaranteed a relationship instead of having to get to know the person and connect with them first.

(I don't see any reason why a B-style approach couldn't have people aware they were competing with each other, up until the final route lock at least. It may not be what you're planning for your game but as a general question...)

User avatar
Kate
Regular
Posts: 197
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:10 pm
Projects: Blackout
Organization: Moonlight Otome
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: Poll: Preferences for romance-switch availability til en

#9 Post by Kate » Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:48 pm

Well, this is where I thought that might be too tricky: I would only track character points up til the decision on choice B, say, at 50% of the game progress. Then it would frequently put the guy the mc chooses somewhere they can talk/run into each other, and it sets which romance events are available when. The guys all have very different times and events planned. I thought it would be difficult because, when you're no longer tracking points, unless I cause drama at the 50% mark where two guys might be close with points, that's too early in a relationship and a game to have that sort of drama, right? Maybe I'm wrong there. There will be plenty between the mc and other girls if she gets into any triangles up to that point; but I don't think the guys are going to get hot and bothered about the points amount that early. I'll keep that in mind as I write though...
Current Project:
Blackout [VN][Romance][GxB][Mystery][Suspense] http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 43&t=34118
"It is the duty of authors to make the fantastic seem ordinary and the ordinary seem fantastic." - K. Auer

User avatar
Katta
Veteran
Posts: 499
Joined: Sat May 04, 2013 11:18 am
Tumblr: gamesbykatta
Deviantart: katjama
Contact:

Re: Poll: Preferences for romance-switch availability til en

#10 Post by Katta » Tue Oct 20, 2015 3:55 pm

I hate Voltage type, it's like a group of KNs - boring and I want to know the characters more than just see their face before making any choices, I don't mind getting "bad" endings as long as they're also interesting, not the common "You haven't managed to get any guy, loser, you'll die alone" type.

User avatar
YonYonYon
Veteran
Posts: 371
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2010 9:25 am
Projects: Nightflower(Frozen), Reach the Starlight(WIP)
Contact:

Re: Poll: Preferences for romance-switch availability til en

#11 Post by YonYonYon » Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:08 pm

While I can play type A games, I really dislike them, because their Choose the Character screens break my immersion. Like, it's more like "BUY THIS HORSE IT'S A HEALTHY HORSE! LOOK AT ITS TEETH!" instead of more smooth "I went outside and met these guys"

The only game where I kinda liked it was Men of Yoshiwara, where you literally buy services of sex workers.

This kind of games are good with smartphones, because they're made for smartphones. They have to be small in size and relatively cheap, so "Buy only the routes you want to play" is a good idea with mobiles' restrictions. But with "big" PC games I want to buy a whole package at once because they don't have any restictions mobile games have.

So, yeah, I like type B games more, even if I pursue one guy from the beginning.

I don't really care about type C, since I don't usually change my mind at the end of the game. Also, what's the point of changing my mind and getting unfullfilling non-complete romance when I can just restart and get the full version?
ImageImage

User avatar
Kate
Regular
Posts: 197
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:10 pm
Projects: Blackout
Organization: Moonlight Otome
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: Poll: Preferences for romance-switch availability til en

#12 Post by Kate » Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:32 pm

Thanks for the feedback! I'm likely going to go with Type B instead of Type A like I originally thought when I came up with the game idea. It won't be that hard to do, and I think it will make the game better.
Current Project:
Blackout [VN][Romance][GxB][Mystery][Suspense] http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 43&t=34118
"It is the duty of authors to make the fantastic seem ordinary and the ordinary seem fantastic." - K. Auer

User avatar
Jae
Regular
Posts: 192
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 5:41 pm
Projects: Pokémon Academy Life
Location: New York, NY
Contact:

Re: Poll: Preferences for romance-switch availability til en

#13 Post by Jae » Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:14 pm

I prefer somewhat locked in, as in if you consciously put a ton of effort into pursuing one character, you're responsible for your actions.

So if you end up changing your mind later on, you can, but you'd miss out on previous character-building content. You can still get the ending for the new character you chose... if you: 1. invest adequate time and 2. have enough time remaining in the game.

Granted what I'm working on, time is limited (school environment), so there's some management required. Can't just pursue one character, ditch them at the end, and try a new character on the second-to-last day before the game ends and expect to get the route's ending. I find this to be a little more realistic. Sure, you romance someone and invest the time, but end up realizing this someone isn't for you, so you chase someone else. In the real world, you're not locked in, but you still have to go through your checklist in reasonable time or you lose the opportunity.

I plan on having a safety net where if the player ends up being indecisive (or just dumb) and romances no one, there's still a feel-good "friends with everyone!" type ending focused specifically on camaraderie. Hopefully it'll trigger some kind of, "Oh, yeah... I definitely planned that out. Yep, I purposely went after this ending" response.

User avatar
Kate
Regular
Posts: 197
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:10 pm
Projects: Blackout
Organization: Moonlight Otome
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: Poll: Preferences for romance-switch availability til en

#14 Post by Kate » Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:44 pm

Actually, yes- there's the option to ignore romance and just chat with everyone. I'm going to have it trigger messages to the player where it's a choice of whom they could pursue, something like this:

"I didn't expect to fall for someone on a short trip. It seems like wishful thinking to me... but it might be worth it to get closer to him."
Menu: (if only one guy has more than, say, 30 points:)
Do you want to get closer to (His name here)? y/n
(No = a few more in-game days to switch romance or just focus on the mystery.)

or
"Both of them caught my eye. I didn't expect to fit in here, or to like anyone that would hang out with my shallow cousin. Maybe something good will come of this..."
Menu: (if two guys have more than 30 points:)
Do you want to romance (guy 1) or (guy 2)? //choice.

I plan on having an ending without the romance-y stuff. It's where the MC is successful stopping the person who is doing the stuff (hard to say that without giving something away, so, people and stuff!) and she feels her self-esteem, confidence, and her desire to explore life more comes out. She's not quite the gloomy girl she was when she arrived at the property, though there won't be some of the happiness-expressing lines that there will be in the romance ends.
Current Project:
Blackout [VN][Romance][GxB][Mystery][Suspense] http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 43&t=34118
"It is the duty of authors to make the fantastic seem ordinary and the ordinary seem fantastic." - K. Auer

User avatar
endless_67
Newbie
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:55 pm
Contact:

Re: Poll: Preferences for romance-switch availability til en

#15 Post by endless_67 » Wed Oct 28, 2015 1:11 pm

I like both A and B, depending on the story and how you're going to sell it (unless it's free).

I like type-b games like Hakuouki, except I would definitely make the time choosing a romantic interest...not so long. If you think in terms of replay value, then think about adding a skip button or "skip to next choice." Or maybe even do a Code: Realize and allow the player to choose a character after doing one playthrough (Common Route+Guy's Route). Starry Sky's choosing period, to me, was way too long. I wanted more romance and less common route. I also really like the idea of making dialogue or action choices instead of "spending time with him" or going to specific places to trigger scenarios, but maybe that's just me.

I like type-a, too. If you're making a computer game to sell as a whole and not individual routes, I think type-a is just as good as type-b, because I'll usually try to play all of the characters if the writing is good. Like Amnesia: I didn't know a thing about the guys when I first played, but I think that the style suited the game. I also understand what people are saying about being too "locked in," but in all honesty, if I really don't like a character I won't play their route. Provided that I paid for the game as a whole and not individual routes. I also think that type-a works for purchasing individual routes like Voltage games, if your project isn't that big. I would definitely do what Voltage does and have a free prologue + first chapter.

C would be hard to write, but I wouldn't want this kind of route for a pure otome game. It takes away from the romance and adds too much common-route or stat-building (see: Storm Lover Kai). If the romance is on the side and you have a strong plot, then this method is fine, but then I wouldn't feel like it's really an otome...

Hope this helps! Good luck with your game!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: WillandBran