Part 1 of 3, by Patrick Weekes
I should note, as we get going, that I’m uncertain as I write this how much of this is supposed to be words of wisdom, and how much of this is supposed to be an actual blog, which would look less like what I’m going to write and more like:
“Got into work late OMGPARKING!!! Horrible programmer took last cinnamon bagel I NEED BAGELZ 2 WORK 4 SRS!@!
Some gamers hate romances. Some gamers love them. They are an enormous and complicated bunch of conversation files that a lot of gamers will never bother to see. They are a true attempt to create a real emotional connection with the player. They are cutscenes that cost a ton of money and create public relations hassles. They are a chance to see side-boob on a blue cutie. They are an annoying distraction from the main game and a breath of fresh air between long combat sections.
Personally, I think romances are badass. As a gamer, I’d love to see a game whose main story was a love story (and which did not involve a tentacle-based minigame). The argument for awhile was that not enough gamers cared about these simulated relationships to have that be the main focus of the game, and that it would largely be a long bunch of conversations instead of a game. On the other hand, the new influx of story-focused gamers, combined with new advances in digital acting, make it entirely possible that a love story could succeed with modern fans.
(And as every gamer who has never picked up Nora Roberts gives me the look of death, imagine this done with some level of choice in the matter. You decide whether you want the story of your love to be The Princess Bride, Shakespeare in Love, or House of Flying Daggers. Do you want to live happily ever, watch them leave while knowing that it was the right decision, or die in each other’s arms? Tell me that wouldn’t be sweet.
Also, I could be all alone on this. I’m at peace with that.)
Part 2 takes a look at diffeent facets of what romance adds to the game mix such as the implications, utility, game effect and the fun-factor
Patrick Weekes has been gaming since he saw some cool kid flipping through the AD&D Monster Manual on the bus in fourth grade, and he is all about the d20s (with no disrespect intended to the White Wolf d10 or Steve Jackson d6 folks). He’s been working at BioWare since 2005 and was a writer on Mass Effect. Both of his sons have their own large and non-swallowable dice, so that they will stop trying to steal his pretty sparkly ones.