Introducing love interests late in the story?

Questions, skill improvement, and respectful critique involving game writing.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
Impulse
Regular
Posts: 139
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:44 pm
Projects: Tears of Glass [Romance VN, Supernatural, School, GxB]
Deviantart: mariscribbles
Contact:

Introducing love interests late in the story?

#1 Post by Impulse » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:24 pm

So here's the thing; I'm currently at the beginning stages of making my VN and have written about 12 000 words so far. The story is based on a book I've written and it's main genres are thriller, action and supernatural, but I also want the player to be able to romance 4 different characters even if this isn't the main plot of the story. One of them is the MCs work partner so he's introduced immediately. The second one is introduced about 40 minutes in, and the last two will be introduced about 1,5 hours into the game (assuming you read about 15 000 words/hour). If I introduce them earlier the story will suffer because it just won't make sense to the plot.

So, assuming you're someone who's playing the game after release, would you be annoyed if you didn't get to meet all the potential love interests right away? Or would you think it's fine to introduce them later if it benefits the story? Even if they're introduced late, the player will still know all love interests for the majority of the game and will have plenty of time to choose which one they want to pursue. I also won't add any choices that affect romance for any of the unintroduced characters until their introduction, so the player won't be able to "screw up" a romance before having the chance to meet them.

Thoughts? Also, if you know of any games where love interests are introduced late then I would love it if you let me know!
Current project (on hold):
Tears of Glass - [Romance otome, Supernatural, School, GxB] - http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 43&t=37523
Demo for Tears of Glass - viewtopic.php?f=45&t=38285

User avatar
Selidor
Regular
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:42 pm
Tumblr: gateofselidor
Location: Sussex, UK
Contact:

Re: Introducing love interests late in the story?

#2 Post by Selidor » Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:28 am

As long as there’s plenty of time to get to know the character, I don’t see why you couldn’t introduce them a bit later. It’s only really important to introduce them early where you have a short common route and much longer character routes. As long as the writing is engaging and the players know there’s more to the story than the romance, it shouldn’t be an issue.

Hashihime of the Old Book Town introduces love interests at varying points in the story, including quite late, although the route order is locked so you can’t actually pursue the later characters until you’ve already done the earlier characters’ routes. If there’s a secret route in a game, it’s not uncommon for the character to be introduced a bit later than the others.

User avatar
Impulse
Regular
Posts: 139
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:44 pm
Projects: Tears of Glass [Romance VN, Supernatural, School, GxB]
Deviantart: mariscribbles
Contact:

Re: Introducing love interests late in the story?

#3 Post by Impulse » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:58 am

Selidor wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:28 am
As long as there’s plenty of time to get to know the character, I don’t see why you couldn’t introduce them a bit later. It’s only really important to introduce them early where you have a short common route and much longer character routes. As long as the writing is engaging and the players know there’s more to the story than the romance, it shouldn’t be an issue.

Hashihime of the Old Book Town introduces love interests at varying points in the story, including quite late, although the route order is locked so you can’t actually pursue the later characters until you’ve already done the earlier characters’ routes. If there’s a secret route in a game, it’s not uncommon for the character to be introduced a bit later than the others.
Thank you for replying. You've eased my nerves a bit. I'm going to stick with my idea then and see what happens :D
Current project (on hold):
Tears of Glass - [Romance otome, Supernatural, School, GxB] - http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 43&t=37523
Demo for Tears of Glass - viewtopic.php?f=45&t=38285

Mutive
Veteran
Posts: 218
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:23 am
Completed: Eidolon, Minion!, Love Furever
Contact:

Re: Introducing love interests late in the story?

#4 Post by Mutive » Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:20 pm

I have no problem with later love interests (unless, of course, the game is a romance). Stories are best, IMO, when they progress naturally. (And, arguably, stories don't need love interest at all, so there's that, too.)
Enjoy Eidolon, my free to play game at: https://mutive.itch.io/eidolon or Minion! at: https://mutive.itch.io/minion

User avatar
Katy133
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 678
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 1:21 pm
Completed: Eight Sweets, The Heart of Tales, [redacted] Life, Must Love Jaws, A Tune at the End of the World, Three Guys That Paint, The Journey of Ignorance, Portal 2.5.
Projects: The Butler Detective
Tumblr: katy-133
Deviantart: Katy133
Soundcloud: Katy133
itch: katy133
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Introducing love interests late in the story?

#5 Post by Katy133 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:27 pm

Looking at books/films that do that (main characters being introduced late into the story) may help you see what methods work and what the possible pitfalls are. For example, the first Dirk Gently novel has Dirk first appears about halfway through the novel.
ImageImage

My Website, which lists my visual novels.
Become a patron on my Patreon!

User avatar
Impulse
Regular
Posts: 139
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:44 pm
Projects: Tears of Glass [Romance VN, Supernatural, School, GxB]
Deviantart: mariscribbles
Contact:

Re: Introducing love interests late in the story?

#6 Post by Impulse » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:33 pm

Mutive wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:20 pm
I have no problem with later love interests (unless, of course, the game is a romance). Stories are best, IMO, when they progress naturally. (And, arguably, stories don't need love interest at all, so there's that, too.)
Thank you for replying. I agree, but I was unsure of what people generally thought about this :) No, they don't need love interests but I'm a sucker for a good romance sub-plot so I like to inklude them anyways :)
Katy133 wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:27 pm
Looking at books/films that do that (main characters being introduced late into the story) may help you see what methods work and what the possible pitfalls are. For example, the first Dirk Gently novel has Dirk first appears about halfway through the novel.
I've noticed that late introduction is fairly common in books, movies, and especially TV series. Visual novels are a medium to tell stories just like any other medium, but I've noticed a common structure in VNs where most of the characters are introduced in the prologue. But then again, most VNs I've read are fairly short with about 2-5 hours of gameplay for one route. I've read a few longer ones, but they didn't include any romance options so there might be plenty out there that introduce love interests' late and I just don't know about them.
Current project (on hold):
Tears of Glass - [Romance otome, Supernatural, School, GxB] - http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 43&t=37523
Demo for Tears of Glass - viewtopic.php?f=45&t=38285

User avatar
Ayael
Regular
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:17 pm
Projects: Anoldor, medieval fantasy otome game.
Contact:

Re: Introducing love interests late in the story?

#7 Post by Ayael » Thu May 23, 2019 12:52 pm

Hi !
I think nothing should get on the way of your story, so if you really don't have any other choice, it's ok. Nonetheless, you have to be aware that introducing late romance character can be frustrating. First of all, because if you were hyped on some bachelor before you play the game, the player will keep wandering when it is going to appear, and it may unfocused him on the story. The other side effect is, you will have more time to know the other two, so you are more likely to choose them to romance, even before meeting the other one.
I think, maybe, a solution could be to block the romance with the two late protagonist at the first playthrough. It's pretty common to unlock romance after ending the game once, and, in a second playthrough, the player will know he just has to wait for them, so it won't be perpetual frustration.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users