Romance, do it right

I mean, it’s 100% fair to say that there’s a crowd who wants romance in RPGs and is very vehement about what they want and how they want it, I think there’s a larger section that just finds romances to be something that, like anything in an RPG, can enhance it when done well. I think what developers need to know is that there isn’t actually one right way to implement romance, and they should just focus on making a good faith effort. And there will probably be people telling them how to do it better because those people exist for all sorts of things when it comes to RPGs. Just look at the thread in the forum about timers for proof of that. I don’t think including romance isn’t worth it at all, it absolutely is, but they should approach it like any other aspect of the game; something they should pursue because they genuinely think it has something to offer their game and not as a lazy inclusion because “it’s something games have to have.”

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Ehh, awkward virtual shipping mechanics aside the studio did say there was more focus on dialogue and less on kingdom management which is good. Maybe make the choices clear like what was done (according to my friend who didn’t let Ash die in me1) where you can test the characters, try to roleplay what your character might like, and have a clear choice and stuff.

Would be pretty funny imo now that I am thinking about it, if everyone who was flagged as shipped with (charname) showed up halfway and demanded your character make up their damn mind. As for its inclusions, I think it is a good mechanic for players who like to roleplay characters and stuff, even if it does draw in the weebs as a side effect.

And based on the updates on kickstarter I will be taking all bets that it will happen.

Animations, be they sex or spell ones, are the same to me. I look at them the first time, or maybe the first couple of times if they are well-made, and then they are just part of the background. and I focus on the action if there is some (combat), or I look for a way to end them (cinematics, like sex animations usually are).

So, even though it’s very nice the first time, it gets old very quick and I can understand the argument that it’s a lot of work (= time and money) for little gain. At least, spells animations are used a lot in this kind of game, and their absence would make the world less live-like, less real. Sex animations, would not be missed as much.
That said, if they have the time to make them well, I’ll be happy. It’s just far from a priority, even in regard to romances.

We already had something like that (married/lover) in KM. In one KM playthrough i had Valerie as main romance but had Kanerah as a hidden affair too :grinning:

I also think that while some light hearted quarrel between lovers might be good fun, divorce/alimony is too much…

I´d buy a DLC with extra romance as focus, but i´d expect a few quests on it too.

:rofl: Great ! Now, I imagine myself marrying the queen in WotR, than divorcing her and having alimony…

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My main issues for the romance in Kingmaker was that you almost needed a full guide to succeed as it was very easy to mess up or even end on the wrong path due to how certain triggers were, in my opinion, timed poorly. Overal I did like the romance options with one big exception which was the ‘True’ or ‘Secret’ ending romance option.

Not sure how to do spoilers or if it is even neccessary here considering that most users will have finished Kingmaker but nevertheless:

Kingmaker SPOILERS!

Nyrissa’s romance annoyed me immensely because I wanted to get what I considered the best ending (due to the fact you could royally screw over the Lantern King) but did not like her character as much and didn’t feel as much as a connection with her due to the fact she kept killing all my subjects. I feel there needed to be more content that made me like her more but at least there was those few extra scenes to add something…

My main point is that I do not want to feel forced to romance someone just to get an ending that changes the whole endgame!

With that I meant that the romance should continue after that scene as it naturally doesn’t end after you have sex. Games tend to leave that scene to the very end of the game, usually because there’s some dangerous confrontation coming with the last boss and that could be their last moment together, it’s very cliche. Why not place it in the middle of the game? Also despite that you romanced someone it’s usually left out in the summary/credits or just said that you lived happily ever after or went your own ways, which is annoying, like what you just did didn’t really matter. This rabbit hole leads to the other topic that “your choices in video game don’t matter”, which is the case in linear games with single endings…

Happy to see this many comments on the topic!

so this is also in spoiler territory so beware (also don’t know how to do spoiler tags)

you can do all the steps to romance nyrissa and still reject her love AND fight the lantern king and still be offered the alliance + immortality. Hell I got that option for an ending without romance (because I married tristian).

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True but at that point it is like kicking a puppy :dog: and I believe that it may still mess up the twins since they tell you at the house at the end of time that you should go be with her and not pursue them anymore :sob: Also I believe that ending is where you are both still cursed no? I wanted the ending where you practically ‘kill’ the lantern king with his own curse and kind mask which I was under the impression is only if you fully romance her?

One thing that I’ve disliked regarding romances in most isometric CRPGs I’ve played, is that they just happen in dialogue, often out of nowhere. Like I had an intimate moment with a female party member in Pillars 2 in the middle of a deadly dungeon.

A game I recently played was the JRPG Growlanser Wayfarer of Time. It’s interesting because it’s like a Japanese take on a RTwP RPG. One of the nice things about that game is that it sets time and events aside specifically for social interaction. At set intervals in the story, your party has a rest day back at home town. During this day, you can talk to everyone and get unique dialogues, plus meet with romantic partners and take them out on dates, like a restaurant dinner, the theater, etc. This is where most of the romance dialogue and choices occur, and you get specific artwork for these events.

I really like how some JRPGs make romances (and social contact in general) a specific feature, with its own mechanics, locations, events and artwork. Rather than just a shoehorned conversation tree that can occur anywhere.

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in my opinion for romance to be improved in a top-down isometric game would be having a change in 3rd person view dialogues or conversation. it’s not limited to just romance, i think it would be more immersive to have dialogues and conversations that are up-close like dragon age origins or baldur’s gate 3.

obviously all these are really expensive. if anything i would really see a new engine for that. larian engine that was used for DOS2 and BG3 was really great as it introduces verticality as well as 3rd person dialogue/conversation.

i’m not in alpha. i doubt we already have that in WoTR? owlcat may still be a small company but i really wish they could actually invest in a new engine which may perhaps even support multiplayer co-op? otherwise to only see that will only be after WoTR.

Well, some people like to have intercourse in all kinds of places… :smile:

Well, western RPGs are a bit trapped by the expectations of players…

Personally, if we’re going to have drawn portraits for companions, I’d much rather the JRPG route of having different portrait images with different facial expressions, and then drawn images for special events etc.

3D models can’t really compare unless it’s Black Desert Online level artistry.

But, I’ve never seen a CRPG with a lot of hand drawn art. It seems mostly a literary genre rather than a visual one.

Also, PLEASE add LGBT Romance options. We need love too and I just don’t want to romance the ladies :see_no_evil: :speak_no_evil:

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2D portraits can still be used. i recall Dragon Age Inquisition albeit having detailed 3D characters, they have stylized 2D portraits. but i get what you are getting into. actually if you are making comparisons, even PKM has a big difference in regards to the 2D portraits and the 3D ones.

that being said… 2D portraits can still be use and i really hope owlcat make enough money so they could invest a next generation engine. even solasta looks great too.

SO. MUCH. THIS.

The worst possible thing in gamified romances… you finally get the person of your dreams, whom you might have been chasing and wooing for tens of hours, only to have it all taken away after a seriously insufficient dialogue, or at “best” one singular short cutscene… and after that, the entire rest of the game goes on as if none of that relationship-building and then active relation had ever taken place.

In the context of Kingmaker for example, there should’ve been an entire questline after entering into a serious relationship, with said questline culminating in your spouse becoming your official Royal Spouse, i.e. the Queen to your King or vice versa.

Also one more thing I find really important and almost always utterly missing:

Have the spouse initiate dialogue on their own as well, have them come to you with topics they’d like to discuss or even re-visit, now that you’re together/engaged/etc, have them ask you for advice, to help them out with something, whatever… but don’t just park 'em next to a bed and pretend that “Click here for sex” is a proper romance/relationship.

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There is a genre that only focuses on romance it’s called dating simulator…
Seriously some people here have absurd expectations, I like romance in RPGs but it’s not something devs should invest too much time into.

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