Do you like love and Romance in video games?

B-Cell_v1legacy

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Hello,

So my dear friends, I have seen plenty of games that are heavily rely on love and romance. it make me think is it really needed in games at all?

well I dont think so. I dont see the point of Love and Romance in video games. it may work in shitty 80s romantic movies but not work in video games unless its final fantasy or some JRPGs.

When developers heavily rely on love and romance. it means they are wasting their resources that can help them to use to create a great level design, deep combat and great graphics/visuals. and thus ruined an entire game at all.

I Have never played any game that heavily rely on love/romance yet have Good gameplay and level design.

so what do you think? do you like love interest and having romance in games? or is it waste of time and resources?

Lets discuss.
 

someguy1231

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In its current state? No, not at all. Video games, to put it plainly, just suck at romance. Even if you got the best romance writers in the world working on a game, I think the nature of video games themselves ensures that it won't be well-received by most players. This is because, when it all comes down to it, there are really only two ways to depict romance in a video game:

1. The first is what I call the "cinematic" method. Here, romance is essentially forced on the player. The story dictates that the protagonist falls in love with their love interest, and there's nothing they can do about it. Examples include most Final Fantasy games with romance in them. The obvious drawback to this is that player agency is removed and the whole romance can appear tacked-on and unnecessary.

2. The second is what I call the "Bioware" method. Here, romance is essentially something the player can "win" from certain NPCs if they say the "right" things or make the "right" choices. This often comes across as a shallow multiple-choice test with some cheesy dialogue or a cutscene of dry-humping as a reward. It also often involves NPCs the player has only recently met and yet somehow fall head-over-heels for them, which feels incredibly immersion-breaking and too player-centric to me. Sometimes, this whole mechanic can create some really galling gameplay-story segregation. In Dragon Age: Origins, you can increase NPC's "approval" by buying them gifts. And yes, if their "approval" gets high enough, you can romance them. I found this whole mechanic eerily similar to prostitution. Not saying that prostitution itself is a bad thing, but for a game that wanted me to believe that this was "true wuv", that whole thing seriously undermined it.

I can honestly say that I wouldn't mind if no video game ever tried to depict romance ever again. Games just aren't the right medium for it.
 

Hawki

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Sigh...

I really can't be arsed to go through this post in detail, but let's just focus on this one part:

B-Cell said:
When developers heavily rely on love and romance. it means they are wasting their resources that can help them to use to create a great level design, deep combat and great graphics/visuals. and thus ruined an entire game at all.
This is a very weak argument, because:

a) You're assuming that any time spent on narrative is inherently less time spent on "great level design, deep combat and great graphics/visuals." It's an assumption that's dubious as it's not unheard of for narrative and gameplay to be developed separately, and that it's simply listing a preference for certain elements over others. One's entitled to prefer these elements, but the claim of "ruined an entire game"...no. Just no.

b) What's even more silly is the idea that love/romance is inherently detrimental. I could just as well rephrase this as comedy, or theme, or commentary, or any other fragment of narrative and say "x is ruined!" because of it.

But to answer the main question, "Do you like love and Romance in video games?", I'm indifferent. If it's done well, I'll like it. If it's done poorly, I won't like it. Same as anything else. But on the premise that most works of fiction deal with humans, and that humans are capable of love and compassion, both platonic and romantic, I hardly see anything eroneous with it.

Or maybe it's not 'manly' to have romance, I dunno. 0_0

MrBoBo said:
Already answered on Gamespot.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUoiy22Q_lw
 

Zhukov

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Everyone knows that icky love and romance stuff stops games from being manly enough.
 

Aerosteam

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I think there's a place for it. Not a huge market for good gameplay + good romance, usually someone prefers focus on one of them and doesn't think the other is all that important but no one's really tried.

Personally, if there's a massive romance aspect to the video game, the worst thing it can do is force a romantic interest on the player character which the player themselves won't like. I mean, they might, but that's not a guarantee so I think a much better approach is having multiple options or choosing none at all.

Even though it won't really make it a "romance game/story" or something, what I'd like to see is a game where the player chooses their romantic interest after the main story, it could introduce multiple endings/epilogues etc. but it also makes sure that the player has gotten to know the characters for an appropriate amount of time to make their choice. Plus, it makes much more sense to form a relationship with someone after the great threat to all life or whatever has been dealt with, not while it's still a problem.
 

Elijin

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Bro, that stuff is for losers and geeks. I like to smash down 3 dews then wreck some shit with my wikid fps skills. Who has time for sissy things like love and romance when I'm riding the mountain dew high showing noobs who's boss (hint, its me).
 

CaitSeith

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First, I don't remember many games relying heavily in love and romance. They include them in the story, and they may take the spotlight in a couple of scenes; but still the games don't rely on them in 90% of the time (specially during gameplay).So, right now love and romance are merely a part of the icing in most games (and not that good on it)
 
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I think it's a great thing to include in games. As humans, we are interested in all facets of the human condition. While "conflict" is of course the heart of drama, I am also interested in more than that. I like mystery, I like art, I like debate, I like romance and love, I like action, I like comedy, I like new ideas and surprises, and of course, conflict. Obviously putting many of these into something playable isn't particularly easy but I believe everything, with the possible exception of contemporary politics and religion, should be explored in games.

I wouldn't play a game solely about romance (unless one counts Leisure Suit Larry), but having a love interest or potential romantic characters/encounters is cool.
 

jademunky

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I really think it depends on the writing and storytelling of them game and also the style of narrative you are going for. If the protagonist is supposed to be 'you,' that is to say that their choices are supposed to represent your own (like in a bioware game) then it never seems appropriate.

If, on the other hand, the story itself is out of the player's hands then a romantic subplot can work to establish motivation if it is written well. (Which it almost never is)
 

Izanagi009_v1legacy

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If I am permitted to have some level of pretension, I find that preventing the use of love and romance in games won't work for the advancement of game narratives in an artistic sense. However, the current state of games make it such that it's a very uphill climb to make a well done romance in games

Most of the critically acknowledged romance focused VNs from Japan have very minimal gameplay interaction and I find that the lack of gameplay helps it as it allows devotion of resources on making the story flow and the characters connect. Once you introduce traditional gameplay mechanics, I find that you "gameify" romance via the use of dialogue chains and object interactions. This generates the effect of making the romance seem tactless as it devolves the complex emotional interaction of real life into a "make right choices" game play loop.

Alternatively, most games that don't do that gameplay loop and develop through cutscenes suffer from lack of prior character development. The games that do cutscene based development only have the cutscene to convey the emotions of the characters and the camera work, coloring and body language of games hasn't quite reached the point you could convey attraction easily in the length of a standard cutscene without overexposition.

In my opinion, I believe that evolution of the language of game mechancis in relation to story, improvement of craft elements and screenplay quality will help with making romance/love in games be better
 

Dreiko_v1legacy

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Love is just like any component. If done well it's good, if not it sucks. My personal feelings are just that. If love is done well in a game, I'll enjoy it, and just merely hearing that a game contains romance won't affect me one way or another.


I think the aversion to romance is rooted in either the old-timey notion that romance is somehow "girly" or in people having only ever played games with bad romance in them which makes them jaded forever more.


Most of the critically acknowledged romance focused VNs from Japan have very minimal gameplay interaction and I find that the lack of gameplay helps it as it allows devotion of resources on making the story flow and the characters connect. Once you introduce traditional gameplay mechanics, I find that you "gameify" romance via the use of dialogue chains and object interactions. This generates the effect of making the romance seem tactless as it devolves the complex emotional interaction of real life into a "make right choices" game play loop.

Alternatively, most games that don't do that gameplay loop and develop through cutscenes suffer from lack of prior character development. The games that do cutscene based development only have the cutscene to convey the emotions of the characters and the camera work, coloring and body language of games hasn't quite reached the point you could convey attraction easily in the length of a standard cutscene without overexposition.


See, I think those two things are actually one thing and looking them as though they are two distinct components critically misses the point.


Unless you have some 4th wall breaking type game or VN, the multiple choices the player makes are not ACTUAL multiple choice questions that the in-game character chooses from. When you pick a choice, usually, you will see the character reason himself around to eventually (sometimes an hour later) enacting the act you chose but it isn't just like ticking points off a puzzle and then suddenly you have love. No. What you do in picking choices is simply freeze time and push the mind of the character one way or another. It's kinda like in a turn based game where as far as the characters are concerned, the time we spend issuing commands is instant and from their perspective they wouldn't be sitting there looking at each-other waiting for the commands to go in (unless again it's some 4th wall breaking game like southpark stick of truth).

So all in all, I think VNs with choices do not at all gamefy romance. If you have something that, say, fills a love bar every time you do an action and suddenly people are in love like in Fire Emblem, sure, that is indeed gamefied and those little cutscenes at each love checkpoin fail at delivering the deep romance experience found in VNs or games like Persona 5, but a good VN usually will only have a couple of not directly romance-related multiple choices to choose from and then will sprout into romance in unique and interesting ways, which is what makes good romance worthwhile.
 

TheMigrantSoldier

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Um, yes? No? I guess? It's a pretty broad question so I'm not sure how well it can be answered.

If we are talking about canon, in-story romance then sure, as long as none of the people involved are supposed to represent the player; it just comes down to how well it's written. If we are talking about RPG, Bioware-esque romance then it depends. I dislike how artificial the "pick everything she wants to hear to claim your waifu" system feels in Mass Effect, but that's not my only problem with the dialogue system in that game. Dragon Age handles it a bit better, since it doesn't feel so rigid and it doesn't exist in a vacuum (you will be forced to end your relationship with Alistair under certain circumstances, for instance). The needs of the story should outweigh the player's desire for wish fulfillment.

I liked how the earlier Fire Emblem games handled it. You can have characters interact with each other and, in some cases, start relationships through pre-written cutscenes (supports). They're not completely developed most of the time but they fit in well with the rest of the game and flesh out the characters and world.
 

Neurotic Void Melody

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Never really see romance as a "game" so it doesn't seem like a good fit, unless a well established arc of a character's story. Games are predictable rulesets that you learn to trick and overcome. People are people that you learn about, can surprise you and teach you more about yourself as well as them as you both learn together through the struggles and wonder of life. Not somebody else's idea of a prize "waifu" the bows to the code applied to them.

I dunno, am very particular with how romance is done, and films have a hard enough time convincing me as it is, with all the tripe written by a 12 year old's idea of love. Very few hit the sweet spot with an entire 2 hours dedicated to exploring the interactions and flaws they try to overcome. In games it always feels like token pandering and inevitably (for me at least) rather patronising.
 

B-Cell_v1legacy

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It depends on the game of course. If the aim of the gameplay revolves around a love interest plot point then yeah it can work, like any other story would move a game along. In fact, I'd say there haven't really been many good examples of this is in the first place.

Imagine a more mature take on the ages-old "saving the princess" routine; it could make for a pretty powerful setup, especially when compare to the typically generic "save the world" / "country" / "human race" etc. make the stakes more personal like The Last of Us.
 

happyninja42

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B-Cell said:
Hello,

So my dear friends, I have seen plenty of games that are heavily rely on love and romance. it make me think is it really needed in games at all?
Well no it's not "needed" in games, but you can say that about every other aspect in a game. Do they NEED combat? Nope. Do they NEED driving sequences? Newp. Do they NEED QTE's and cinematics? Nope. What you are actually saying is you don't like them being in there, which is different from them needing to be in there.

B-Cell said:
well I dont think so. I dont see the point of Love and Romance in video games.
And I don't see the point in having pointless easter egg fetch quest stuff in video games, and yet they make hundreds of them every year, stuffed to the gills with pointless filler stuff. But hey, some people like that type of game, I'm just not one of them.

B-Cell said:
it may work in shitty 80s romantic movies but not work in video games unless its final fantasy or some JRPGs.
So then you do think they have a place in video games, as long as it's the kind of video game you personally like having romance content in them? That seems fairly exclusionary, and doesn't make a lot of sense honestly. What's so special about Final Fantasy or JRPGs that makes romance suddenly viable and appropriate to you? Because I can think of some terrible fucking romance plots in those examples you gave.

B-Cell said:
When developers heavily rely on love and romance. it means they are wasting their resources that can help them to use to create a great level design, deep combat and great graphics/visuals. and thus ruined an entire game at all.
You know we can easily say this about level design, deep combat (which makes me laugh as a concept), etc etc. A company can spend too much time/resources on making a pretty game, with lots of flash and polish, and it's got a shit story that I don't give a flying fuck about, like say...oh...Final Fantasy 13. And I refuse to accept that a game like that is somehow better because they put a lot of effort into making it look pretty, at the expense of the more narrative aspects of the game

B-Cell said:
I Have never played any game that heavily rely on love/romance yet have Good gameplay and level design.
Well of course not, because obviously games that rely heavily on love/romance, aren't focusing on the other aspects of games. That's like complaining that a romance novel, or romance movie, didn't have enough jet fighter combat for your tatses. You're at the wrong movie if you are looking for stuff like the storming of the beach at Normandy, when you go see "The Notebook" :p
Not all games are trying to tell the same story, or utilize the same tools to do so. To require they all use the same tools that you personally want in the games YOU like, excludes what other people want out of their gaming experience, which I'm sure you realize, can be different from your own personal tastes.

B-Cell said:
so what do you think? do you like love interest and having romance in games? or is it waste of time and resources?

Lets discuss.
I don't have a preference either way, my only requirement from a game is that it use the elements it does decide to use, in a good way, that enhances the story/gaming experience, or at the very least, doesn't detract from it.
 

the December King

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If it serves to tell a story, or makes sense in context, then human relationships can be more important that combat in a game. It's all in the story that the game is following/the developer is telling. That's pretty much how I feel about it.
 

Nature Guardian

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I like it when romance is just a little extra that adds ulterior depth to the narrative.
This is why romance works well in RPG, which are about narrative.

I do not like it when romance is a "chat me up and pick the correct answer" thing, and I don't like when it's one of the main selling points of the game.

To my memory, the one videogame romance I really enjoyed was in Neverwinter Nights 2. It was so good. It was a little optional side extra to the narrative but it was so well-done it got you more invested in the characters and it got you to personalize your own character. And no silly awkward sex scenes.