Options to be alone in an otome game

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K_Tate
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Options to be alone in an otome game

#1 Post by K_Tate » Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:07 pm

I'm working on writing an otome game right now and I'm wondering how much I should let the player choose to be alone. I already plan on there being an ending to cut the game short if the player doesn't have enough of a relationship with any of the guys to proceed, but I'll give an example of what I'm talking about:

Player character decides to go out to eat. She sees Love Interest 1 and Love Interest 2 there. Currently the options are to:

A. Eat with LI 1 (only if she came there with LI 1)
B. Eat with LI 2 (only if she came there with LI 2)
C. Eat with both LI 1 and LI 2

But I'm wondering if I should give another option like:

D. Eat alone (only if she came there alone)

But if I did that, I'd also feel compelled to ALWAYS give an option to just sit at home doing nothing instead of going out and romancing the Love Interests. I figure there are some people who might get a kick out of forcing the main character to be alone as much as possible, but would it be worth it? And if I do, should I make a special "super duper alone" ending for people who bother forcing the main character to be alone all the time?

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Re: Options to be alone in an otome game

#2 Post by Imperf3kt » Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:19 pm

Why not?
I see no reason not to include a 'bad end'
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Re: Options to be alone in an otome game

#3 Post by Tyrantauranox » Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:35 pm

Girl realizes that she's not really interested in relationships. She goes on to study science and engineering, developing an "Iron Man" like suit. Unwilling to trust anyone with the tremendous power of the suit, she wears it herself, single-handedly destroying warlords and dictators across the globe.

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Re: Options to be alone in an otome game

#4 Post by K_Tate » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:05 pm

Tyrantauranox wrote:Girl realizes that she's not really interested in relationships. She goes on to study science and engineering, developing an "Iron Man" like suit. Unwilling to trust anyone with the tremendous power of the suit, she wears it herself, single-handedly destroying warlords and dictators across the globe.
I was thinking more along the lines of, "Girl realizes she's not really interested in relationships. She finds a nice cat though. Years down the road, she is a full-blown 'Cat Lady.'"

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Re: Options to be alone in an otome game

#5 Post by Sonomi » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:58 pm

Maybe you could explore friendships or other non romantic things if you don't really want to do the alone option each time. It could make for an interesting route, in my opinion.
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Re: Options to be alone in an otome game

#6 Post by Zelan » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:02 pm

Sonomi wrote:Maybe you could explore friendships or other non romantic things if you don't really want to do the alone option each time. It could make for an interesting route, in my opinion.
Seconding this. "Alone" endings don't always have to be "bad" endings.

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Re: Options to be alone in an otome game

#7 Post by K_Tate » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:13 pm

Zelan wrote:
Sonomi wrote:Maybe you could explore friendships or other non romantic things if you don't really want to do the alone option each time. It could make for an interesting route, in my opinion.
Seconding this. "Alone" endings don't always have to be "bad" endings.
I do have "friendship" endings with each of the guys planned, so there will definitely be ways to end up "alone" at the end of the game without it being considered a bad end.

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Re: Options to be alone in an otome game

#8 Post by Tyrantauranox » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:28 pm

Cats are nice, but my ending has TIGERS!

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Re: Options to be alone in an otome game

#9 Post by YonYonYon » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:03 am

I'm not sure. If it's a romance game about romance, your audience is the crowd that likes romance. Including alone option just for kicks is pointless then, since the crowd that dislikes romance most likely won't play the game.

If the romance isn't the main focus, the alone option is pretty good, especially for the peeps who hate romance subplots. But if it is a romance game about romance and romancing pretty people, the point of the game is romance. Thus "she didn't romance anyone and became a cat lady" will be perceived as a bad end regardless of your intentions, and to be honest it's not a good message to sent. Stop stereotyping old cat ladies as sad and pointless! /I'm half joking

So, the ridiculous ending is better than "cat lady" ending. At least it's entertaining. It's like game giving up, like, "why are you playing romance game if you want to be alone, you bucko? Rules be damned, take this ending then!"

Friendship ends are more like neutral ends and still explore relationships, so they're still good.
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Re: Options to be alone in an otome game

#10 Post by Mammon » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:50 am

From what you're saying, I can tell you're not to enthusiastic about an Alone/bad end and won't see it as one that can be neutral or good. So I'd say, if you don't want to make it or have no inspiration for it, don't. You shouldn't force yourself doing things you don't want to do just to pamper to an audience. However, I too say that an alone ending is usually nice to have. Especially if there's a plot going on and that alone ending will be the most objective and rational answer to the story's mystery, where the LI routes are either him appearing out of nowhere to save you or not based upon relationship point.
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Re: Options to be alone in an otome game

#11 Post by Sleepy » Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:10 am

I love alone endings, even when I play otomes, especially if they're done well. One of my fav ones, in Arcana Famigilia (VN version only), was a very rewarding alone ending because, rather than punishing you for not hooking up with anyone, it emphasized things like your familial and relationships with others on a whole to save the day. Which is a nice change compared to other otome games, since it says you don't need one intense relationship to have meaningful connections.

That said, if the game is only about romance/the relationships with the love interests, I think it doesn't hurt not to have a fully fleshed out alone ending. If that's the core part of your game, I'd say it probably does more good to flesh out their routes - both the romantic and friendship ones - than include a forever alone one for sake of it. If an alone one gives you something else to flesh out and explore, though, it might be an interesting inclusion.
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Re: Options to be alone in an otome game

#12 Post by gekiganwing » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:30 am

If the protagonist doesn't care about the heroes / heroines, then that could be a way of saying, "They chose to spend time with friends / family / coworkers instead." It does not have to be equated with failure.
Mammon wrote:However, I too say that an alone ending is usually nice to have. Especially if there's a plot going on and that alone ending will be the most objective and rational answer to the story's mystery...
Agreed. If the protag doesn't pursue the love interests, that could be a way of saying "They decided to focus on solving the story's crisis instead."

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Re: Options to be alone in an otome game

#13 Post by K_Tate » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:27 pm

Thanks for all the feedback! Right now the story doesn't really have a plot outside of befriending/romancing the Love Interests,(which I know might seem like a problem in itself to people who don't enjoy romance-centered games) so I don't think I'll have a dedicated "alone" path besides a neutral ending that exists if you didn't befriend at least one of the LIs.

However, I'm going to preserve the individual "alone" options as in my original example, just in case a player arrives at the restaurant with LI 1 and LI 2 but would rather not "cheat" since they're planning on romancing LI 3 or LI 4.

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Re: Options to be alone in an otome game

#14 Post by pyopyon » Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:08 am

I'm working on a stat-raising otome where there is an "alone" ending but the alone ending is actually a friendship ending with a fourth character that gets neglected otherwise.

Usually, for example, the main character will have a best friend non-romanceable-- this is the person an alone ending is best for! Like if you wanted to do that, perhaps the MC can be interrupted by their best friend who happened to just be by and the MC can use that time to talk to the best friend. It's a good opportunity for character development too! (For the friend, the MC, or both!)

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