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MagmaDragoon

Queen's Wish - Romance

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Hello everyone!

 

Feel free to use this thread for salutations as well, I am somewhat also passing by just to say hi to some of the oldies community member here - you know who you are. Feel free to message me privately if you wanna catch up!

 

Moving to the actual content: I have tried to catch Jeff's attention on Kickstarter by proposing a romancing option for the upcoming game, Queen's Wish. I always liked how "personal" you can get with NPCs in RPG game nowadays, if done well it really a nice touch to the game's flavour in my opinion. This is what I wrote:

 

Quote

Hello Jeff! Reading this update got me thinking about dialogue and NPC interactions - one thing that I always liked in RPGs are the "romantic options" where you can pursue intimate relationship with certain character. Are you by any chance thinking about implementing something similar in this game?

 

What are your views on this? Would you like to have the option to seduce the local innkeeper? :)

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Well, since you asked...

I've no more interest in seducing the local innkeeper in a video game than in real life. Moreover, it seems completely unnecessary - it's never been why I play Spiderweb Software's games. Now, if Jeff wants to include that sort of thing, that's his business. But after seeing how the romance in Avadon 2 turned out, I'm can't say I'm champing at the bit for him to write more PC-NPC romances.

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Oh... wow.  MagmaDragoon?  Seriously?  It's been... um, what, 12 years?  Hope you're doing well! -- Slarty

 

On topic: There were parts of the Avadon 2 romance option that were done well, and certainly other parts that weren't.  I don't personally think that first-person pick-your-line-of-dialogue systems are ideally suited to romance.  Love is too dynamic, too interactive, too all-encompassing to reach with choose-your-own-adventure dialogue.

 

No! in the fairy-tale

when she has breathed ‘I love,’ the prince,

all pale,

feels his own ugliness pour up in flame—

but I, beloved, you see am still the same

-- Cyrano de Bergerac, perhaps while playing Avadon 2

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Cultivating political alliances by marrying could be kind of neat, but I assume that as a member of the royal household, you would require the queen's approval. Unless there is the option to rebel, in which case forging a strong alliance with a local dynasty through marriage would be a good way to consolidate your overseas power base.

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I do not think that it would be necessary or wise to include that feature unless it advances a lot point (which tends to eliminate a lot of the spontaneity, much is already lost by the pick your dialog system).  The romance in Avadon 2 met that goal and was kept within reasonable bounds, but was not all that interesting other than "hey, Jeff did something different, lets see how it works out, plus I want to get the medal".  I am not sure that pursuing a romance with an NPC to earn a medal is a great thing.  

 

Adding a romance option to multiple characters would really turn this option from a side line to a main part of the game which I think is not keeping with the reason that most of us play Jeff's games.

 

While I agree with Minion's statement, the system that he describes seems far removed from the type of RPG that Jeff normally writes.

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Hi, MagmaDragoon! It's been a long time. Over a decade!

 

Romance in video games was interesting when they first appeared because they were something new to games. Then they became an expected Bioware game element, just another design box to tick off. I would rather not have perfunctory romance put into a game unless it serves a storytelling purpose. A well-told romance can be its own purposes, to be sure, but I don't think that's where Jeff Vogel's inclinations or writing talents lie.

 

—Alorael, who also thinks doing this well requires a lot of words and a lot of contextual changes. That's the kind of thing that's much easier to pull off when you have a stable of full-time writers for your game rather than a one or two person operation putting everything together. Just like Spiderweb can't compete in the pretty graphics space, it probably for surprisingly similar reasons can't compete in the romance space without substantially giving up on the parts of the games that have been the main draw to its games for twice as long as MagmaDragoon has been gone.

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NOT to denigrate Jeff, really, but do you really want a romance written by a self described nerd/geek, one who has spent the past couple of decades + shut away in solitary confinement while producing the games that delight us so?  True he did manage to woo his wife & continue that long enough to produce his daughters so he's not completely incompetent in that area.  But a master Don Juan I'd hazard a guess he isn't....

 

Seriously though, Avadon 2 was mentioned earlier. I just found that whole romance side story really awkward.  Stuck together out in the woods for a few weeks in isolation (start of the game description), relatively young healthy people (assumption, but given all the fighting/walking around they must do, not outrageous), chances of hooking up - fairly high.  But hardly the basis for eventual risking your life over/being a traitor to all you've known over the years, that's a pretty big jump (& Jeff did it about as well as it could be done).  And as mentioned it wasn't really part of the main story line.

 

Could it be done, sure.  Should it be done, probably not.  Especially in a brand new style of game.  Jeff needs to churn out a game that's new (the universe, objectives, interaction, etc), but familiar enough that his well developed niche market doesn't rebel & say "what's this shiat?  No more for me going forward...".  I'm sure that there are games out there with romance as a part of the main story (Sid Meier's Pirates springs to mind), but games don't & there's a reason for that.

(I suppose we could also add the Leisure Suit Larry series to the list as well...)

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