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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » BioWare - David Gaider on Romances

Default BioWare - David Gaider on Romances

January 15th, 2013, 12:57
David Gaider has penned a blog post on game romances, responding to a discussion arguing that all party members should be romanceable:
Actually, I would not.
Surprising? Perhaps. If we had more resources, I suppose I wouldn’t mind allowing the player to try romancing every follower, but to allow them to successfully do so? No, I can’t say that appeals to me very much for two main reasons:

1) Romances are a side show, not the main game. Yes, some people like them a lot, and I have absolutely no beef with them doing so. In fact, it’s very gratifying. While I suppose a game could be made where the romantic plot takes a level of importance equal to that of the critical path, that has never been the case with the games BioWare makes. These plots are tertiary, optional content… something to add to your enjoyment, and add to your level of emotional investment in the characters… and that seems to get forgotten when people discuss it at length.
Such is the case whenever any piece of content gets discussed online. Under a microscope, whatever you’re discussing seems like all there is… and thus is clearly the most important thing ever. I cannot do that. I always have to keep my eye on the bigger picture, and there is an entire rest of the game that needs to be contended with… which includes a lot of elements that have much more pertinence to the game than who someone does or doesn’t get to have sex with. Romances are a nice extra, and naturally we’re always going to struggle with how to do them right, but they’re well down the list on things I need to concern myself with. I could, in fact, happily have a game without any romances at all… or spend an equal amount of time developing relationships with followers that are non-romantic.
Occasionally the focus on romances reaches such a fever pitch that idea seems rather attractive, actually. But only occasionally. […]
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January 15th, 2013, 12:57
I would be ok with no party members being romanceable
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January 15th, 2013, 13:48
If romance is a side show, could they be avoidable please? The second thing Anders ask you after you have done his introduction quest in DA2 is if you want to get on with him. *sigh*

To me, the idea that a player should get their followers and then simply select one or more companions to be their romance, and that romance is their cuddly bunny for the entirety of the game and plays out exactly as they wish, would be the worst of both worlds.
huh? Isn't this what happen with most of their romance? At least for most of the game (usually get shattered upon the ending or in the sequel so they can introduce more romances).
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January 15th, 2013, 14:41
Ugh. What is Gaider an authority on, again? How did his opinion on writing ever become worthy of wide consideration? (this isn't a criticism of RPGWatch, which is the bee's pajamas!)

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January 15th, 2013, 14:43
Why would he be an authority? Isn't it just a blog about his opinions? He probably enjoys the attention.

Take them for what they're worth.
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January 15th, 2013, 14:56
Well for me I liked how the romances were introduced in Bioware's Dragon Age, unlike how Dragon age 2 content was just so one dimensional and limited. And Yes the Anders relationship thing wasn't done right.

Enabling an option to choose (On/Off) to have relationships in your RPG game I guess would appease both types of players. Also the Dragon Age fan based community was huge and great for adding and tweaking the game which extended the life of this game. Something that RPG Dev's should consider as I believe it helped with the success that DA had and shows what fans prefer their game has.

Relationships, crafting, quests and free roam I believe are all fundamental parts of a full and balanced roll playing game. Not having relationships in a RPG's just limits the depth of the character's creation and journey throughout the game.
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January 15th, 2013, 16:14
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
Ugh. What is Gaider an authority on, again? How did his opinion on writing ever become worthy of wide consideration? (this isn't a criticism of RPGWatch, which is the bee's pajamas!)
He's just posting his opinion on work-related material to people asking him questions and/or making demands for the next BioWare games. Sometimes it's hard to differentiate with the BSN crowd, questions usually mean they are demanding something. See Cullens's fangirls asking if Cullen is a companion in every thread they post in regardless if it's off-topic or not…
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January 15th, 2013, 16:16


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January 15th, 2013, 16:33
Ah I see someone else unlocked the secret Nordom romance in PS:T too.
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January 15th, 2013, 18:06
And I see ppl talk about DA2 romances. Probably Gaider too. Meh… Nothing to see here.
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January 15th, 2013, 18:41
If the game is going to allow player homes, it seems incongruous not to allow some type of romantic activity. Or at least a social element associated with the home's purchase and furnishing. The homes in Oblivion and Fallout 3 just felt like empty boxes. At least the player home in DA2 had some inhabitants.
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January 15th, 2013, 19:21
In The SIms, Romance is the main show ! - part from the socializing aspect.

I guess, that there won't be much "romancing" in games as long as their desired target group are men, not women.

And I'm sure that this will change within the next 10 years or so.

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January 15th, 2013, 19:56
It is another pipedream as provided by video game developpers.

The current status is that they struggle with delivering on some basic interactions between humans.

Why go for something subtle as romancing when you can not do even the most gross human interaction?

Okay, it might hide for some time you can not deliver on the other departments.
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January 15th, 2013, 20:08
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
In The SIms, Romance is the main show ! - part from the socializing aspect.

I guess, that there won't be much "romancing" in games as long as their desired target group are men, not women.

And I'm sure that this will change within the next 10 years or so.
And you assume that all women want to see romances in their games?

I mean most female gamers i know like same games as guys.

Some like strategy, some like rpgs/adventure games. Heck few gals I know are only playing beat'em ups like tekken or virtua fighter.
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January 15th, 2013, 20:13
Bioware has become very silly
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January 15th, 2013, 20:20
The only problem I have with Gaider's argument is that the character interactions -including but not limited to romances - are far more engaging than the actual plot in most RPGs in general and Bioware games in particular. Dragon Age: Origins is a veritable infodump of tedious exposition and pointless text-based lore…except for the bit where it's actually about interacting with reasonably well-realized characters, as in the romances and similar relationship-oriented bits of storytelling.

That being said, I completely agree with Gaider on the problem of objectification which arises from an increase in romantic options (and especially from the somewhat perverse idea that everyone wants to sleep with the player character, provided that you play your cards right).
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January 15th, 2013, 21:48
Originally Posted by Demiath View Post
The only problem I have with Gaider's argument is that the character interactions -including but not limited to romances - are far more engaging than the actual plot in most RPGs in general and Bioware games in particular. Dragon Age: Origins is a veritable infodump of tedious exposition and pointless text-based lore…except for the bit where it's actually about interacting with reasonably well-realized characters, as in the romances and similar relationship-oriented bits of storytelling.
Character interactions, yes. Romances not so much.

For me, constantly talking to the same characters multiple times and/or fetching them "gifts" to get different dialogue options is the epitome of tedium.
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January 15th, 2013, 22:00
Not this argument again. This has been debated plenty of times on the watch. People either like them or hate them.

There not going anywhere as there the biggest draw in Bioware games. Just visit there toxic forums and you will see things that can't be unseen.

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January 15th, 2013, 22:01
I there's some knee-jerking here. Regardless of how well he has actually implemented romances in the past, I find his comments in this blog quite reasonable.

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January 15th, 2013, 22:49
I actually don't mind in game romance as long as they are done subtle enough - for me BG2 romance was a pleasant surprise. I was hating Anomen's as$ until this subtle hint of "hey, I'm actually attracted to you" then slowly building up to real in-game commitment. What I hate about romance nowadays is typical Anders romance from DA2. It's screaming "HEY I'M A ROMANCE OPTION AND I WANT US TO MAKE SWEET LOVE NOW NOW NOW". That was a real turn off. And I also don't like how they try to make everyone satisfied by making Anders into gay depending on player's gender. Feels really forced.

I admit I'm more interested in Cullen romance myself - not that I will be crying over it if it doesn't happen (hell, I'm not even sure if I will even get DA3). I think Bioware is lost on what fans really want. In my opinion a lot of girls are drooling over Cullen because DA1 indicates that he *could* have been a romance option. Subtlety is the key here, Bioware, don't force it on us. In game romance should be something that is available only if player wants to pursue it.

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