BioWare - David Gaider on Romances
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. [...]