Innovation in Video Game Romance

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Innovation in Video Game Romance

#1 Post by HiddenCreature » Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:11 pm

I'd delete this because the conversation is already getting off topic from what I wanted. But somehow, there's no option to do that, so I'm asking the mods to do it for me. Thank you,

[ Blanking a post when people have replied to it is somewhat rude. - PyTom ]
Last edited by HiddenCreature on Thu Nov 26, 2015 7:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Innovation in Video Game Romance

#2 Post by papillon » Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:22 pm

HiddenCreature wrote: A common request many people share is realism, and immersion.
Is it actually, though?

Games are games for a reason. 'Realism' is not usually the goal, 'believability' is.

Look at RPGs. There's an endless debate over things like hunger, thirst, and sleep. People keep adding them for 'realism' reasons, and then they often get patched out for being not fun. At best, they end up optional. And even with that, nobody wants the 'realism' of having to make their characters relieve themselves, or of having to change all their clothing in detail every day, or all sorts of other things.

That doesn't mean people should never experiment with realism, of course, but it is not a universal goal. Plumbers jumping on mushrooms are not realistic and are not meant to be.
Dates in games usually feel one-sided to me. I wish you could ask more about their fears and ambitions. I wish they could ask you about yours more often.
This can be difficult in games where the MC is meant to be more of a blank slate for the player to project onto. Since the player can only say things that are prewritten, their only options for what their fears and ambitions are are whatever the writer came up with beforehand, which can feel offputting if it's not what the player wants. It's easier to make the player more reactive to the NPC's issues, because the range of options is more clear then.

However, considering some games give the MC big serious backstory issues to wrestle with, they SHOULD be able to come up with reasonable ways to feel about it and give the character more options to talk about themselves. I remember being frustrated in my first Dragon Age playthrough that my LIs didn't ask about my tragic backstory more, since I certainly had one to deliver!

Anyway, I'm not trying to shoot down all your ideas, I'm in favor of people experimenting with approaches. It is important to remember, though, that you are making a piece of entertainment for others to interact with, and if they can't understand how to interact with the game they are likely to reject it.

The more difficult a game is, the more feedback it needs in terms of meters and displays and so on. If you absolutely have to get all your romancey questions correct in order to progress, you need feedback to know whether you've done it or not, or you're just going to be frustrated. If the game is more forgiving and your relationship will continue anyway but only take different forms depending on your interactions, you don't need a meter.

If you made a game that was entirely about your relationship with a person, and you started out in that relationship and it developed as you went along, you'd have a lot more freedom for them to interact and disagree and make up again. There have been some requests for games that are about developing relationships rather than getting-together-for-the-first-time, so this could be a worthwhile place to experiment.

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Re: Innovation in Video Game Romance

#3 Post by Zetsubou » Thu Nov 26, 2015 5:45 pm

papillon wrote:Games are games for a reason. 'Realism' is not usually the goal, 'believability' is.
Indeed, I'll take believability over realism in VNs (and video games in general) any day.
I play games to enjoy myself and be entertained, not to emulate real life.
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