(Poll) Pushing a Canon Couple in a Sim Dating Game? Yay or Nay?

So... Yay or Nay or...

  • Yes. It kinda ruins the game for me...

    Votes: 1 11.1%
  • No. It doesn't bother me at all.

    Votes: 4 44.4%
  • As long as its pivotal to the plot it doesn't bother me.

    Votes: 3 33.3%
  • Depends if I want to marry either of the characters :/

    Votes: 5 55.6%

  • Total voters
    9

mavins16

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So... I'm developing a game where the marriage mechanic is like any fire emblem game lol.
If you don't know the fire emblem marriage mechanic. It's basically like you developing a relationship with the chosen character and marrying them. You just need to earn enough support points and go through the four conversations to get hitched. Another awesome thing about is that you can pair the different characters you want together and make them married as well (if you can grant them supports with each other lol).
Another example is here:

So, I was thinking about the plot of the game I'm making and, basically, Character A and Character B, kinda have a thing together. So, like, the bad things in the future could've have been avoided if Character B married Character A. But since Character B was engaged to another at the time, they didn't get married. And bomb, bada-bing, the future became bad.
And, in addition to that, throughout the game (before the time skip), the two characters have interactions where they have moments where they do like each other as more than just friends. The player could take them as being very friendly or them having a crush on each other.
You could also pair them up together so that you can read the 'ending' card for their pairing.

How much would that canon 'romance' irk or lessen the enjoyment of you, the player? Just wanted to ask for me
 

Finnuval

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It really depends on what you want your game to be and what feeling you want the player to have.
Do you want the player to feel like a true matchmaker and a bit god-mode where they have the final say in everything? Then definetly no. It Will irk the player.

However do you want to be your game more of an interactive story where player decision has an impact but is not necceserally the be-all, end-all of it then a canon for characters should be there. For every character really, including some couple forming etc.

Personally I like the second approach more but it Also needs more work and much more and better planning and executions then the first option of a free-for-all system.

Which ever you chose however do make a choice and stick to that or you'll frustrate yourself and the player xD

Anyway, that's my two cents
 

Former_Sky

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Mmmm, I lean towards bothering me. Just because you want character A and B to get together, doesn't mean I would like it. What about poor character C?

I think a good compromise would be to give the canon pairing more relationship points, or subtly nudge the player in that direction (notice how Sumia is introduced helping Chrom in Fire Emblem Awakening). That way if I want to match B and C together, I just need to work at it a little harder to get what I want.
 

Chroma-Creative-Solutions

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For me it depends on how forced it is. I have had games where when doing the romance options, its clear that one is way too easy to progress with, or you will options to progress forward with them that are nowhere near realistic. Think you just meet someone and they seem important to the main character right off the back, they barely spend anytime together, but you can already romance them and take them to "bed" or an equivalent level even though you spent no time together. As long as there is lore and character development that are driving the relationship I dont mind being able to tell that there is almost a "pre-determined" pair so long as I can still romance whoever I want.
 

Elissiaro

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I feel like it would need a lot of foreshadowing if it's gonna lead to a bad ending.

Like, if the characters are royalty from different nations that are considering a marriage alliance. (and a lot of people worry about a war if it doesn't happen)
Or there's a prophesy or something.
Or one (or both) is clearly literally crazy for the other and the player directly interferes, turning the person into the secret final boss due to a mental break.
Or i dunno, theres a character from the future and if the player starts interfering with the couple s/he starts flickering worse and worse the more they interfere.

Basically... give lots of hints before it's too late.

Also make it hard to avert the romance.
Like, it's already at full points at the beginning of the story, it happens automatically, unless the player specifically chooses to break them up, by sabotaging varios scenes.
And, even if the player romances one of them, they still have to do something to interfere, or the player will get friendzoned.
 

mavins16

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It really depends on what you want your game to be and what feeling you want the player to have.
Do you want the player to feel like a true matchmaker and a bit god-mode where they have the final say in everything? Then definetly no. It Will irk the player.

However do you want to be your game more of an interactive story where player decision has an impact but is not necceserally the be-all, end-all of it then a canon for characters should be there. For every character really, including some couple forming etc.

Personally I like the second approach more but it Also needs more work and much more and better planning and executions then the first option of a free-for-all system.

Which ever you chose however do make a choice and stick to that or you'll frustrate yourself and the player xD

Anyway, that's my two cents
Thank you putting your two cents in, @Finnuval! :)

Yea. I think the second one is what I want instead of the first idea.
Like, I was planning for Character A and B to share a duet. But it's not romantic in any way. It's because they're in the same vocal class.
Also, there's this scene where character A proposes to character B because Character B chose to marry for necessity instead of love and character A would much rather want character B to marry him out of their friendship AND necessity.

Lmao I don't wanna frustrate my precious player XD

I guess I'll just wait for the responses until I'm finished with the demo of my game.
Thank you once again :)

Mmmm, I lean towards bothering me. Just because you want character A and B to get together, doesn't mean I would like it. What about poor character C?

I think a good compromise would be to give the canon pairing more relationship points, or subtly nudge the player in that direction (notice how Sumia is introduced helping Chrom in Fire Emblem Awakening). That way if I want to match B and C together, I just need to work at it a little harder to get what I want.
@Former_Sky, thank you for the input :)

Yea. I think that works really well for my relationship idea. Yea. Unfortunately, as of now, I'm kinda doing the whole me wanting to get character A and B together and neglecting character C thing... :/

But I'll wait until I finish the demo of my game to see what the players think of the whole character A and B need to be canon schtick.

Ty for the reply :)

For me it depends on how forced it is. I have had games where when doing the romance options, its clear that one is way too easy to progress with, or you will options to progress forward with them that are nowhere near realistic. Think you just meet someone and they seem important to the main character right off the back, they barely spend anytime together, but you can already romance them and take them to "bed" or an equivalent level even though you spent no time together. As long as there is lore and character development that are driving the relationship I dont mind being able to tell that there is almost a "pre-determined" pair so long as I can still romance whoever I want.
@Chroma-Creative-Solutions, thank you for your opinion :)

Yea. I'm working on the lore behind character A and B and a tiny bit of C. But I don't want the player to have a and time playing the game so long as they can date or marry whoever they want...
This kinda reminds me of Rune Factory 4's lore and how the plot doesn't push any couple as canon but rather focus on the plot instead of the 'canon' couple stuff.

Lol. You'll get to romance a lot of characters during the pre and post time-skip :)
So, you'll have plenty of options. I'm thinking I'm gonna cap it at 13-ish characters maybe? So like 6 can get together and you can get with who you want lol.

Thanks for the reply :)

I feel like it would need a lot of foreshadowing if it's gonna lead to a bad ending.

Like, if the characters are royalty from different nations that are considering a marriage alliance. (and a lot of people worry about a war if it doesn't happen)
Or there's a prophesy or something.
Or one (or both) is clearly literally crazy for the other and the player directly interferes, turning the person into the secret final boss due to a mental break.
Or i dunno, theres a character from the future and if the player starts interfering with the couple s/he starts flickering worse and worse the more they interfere.

Basically... give lots of hints before it's too late.

Also make it hard to avert the romance.
Like, it's already at full points at the beginning of the story, it happens automatically, unless the player specifically chooses to break them up, by sabotaging varios scenes.
And, even if the player romances one of them, they still have to do something to interfere, or the player will get friendzoned.
Thank you for the idea about foreshadowing why the couple should or should not work. I also want the other characters to put their two cents in about the 'couple'. Say a character tells the player this:

Post time-skip.
Character: I can't help but think that if Character B accepted Character A's proposal then we wouldn't be suffering as we are now...
What do you think?

Player: (2 choices)
Choice 1 dialogue: Nod your head.
If there were a better future had they married I would've preferred that one.

Character: (+ relationship variable with the MC) Yes. Some things may still remain the same, however... I would've preferred them to be partners instead of enemies.
I'm tired of fighting two sides instead of one.
If that were the case, this war would have been over by now...

Choice 2 dialogue: Shake your head.
I think things would've stayed the same if they did wed. And who's to say that their partnership could withstand against the king's wrath?

Character: I... (- relationship variable with the MC)

MC: We must deal with the cards we are dealt with. We can't think of better days while others suffer for our daydreaming. The smarter we are to end this war, the better future others will have.

Character : Yes. You're absolutely right...

...

Yea. the romance between the two characters wouldn't happen automatically.
I was thinking of offering the player three paths to choose from. But then I thought of the fourth path where if you did hook up Character A and Character B, the timeline would be differently but slightly not...
And then there's the fifth path which is the true path where they work together (as alias) to take down the terrible tyrant of a king.

Thanks for your input :)
 

YoraeRasante

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For me, if you add relationships they have to really matter. As in, Final Fantasy 7 and 10, there is a relationship system that only affects a couple of scenes, the Golden Saucer date in 7 is the best known, the scenes in 10 are so few most don't even know the system is there.

For things like couples, if they do affect the story there must be multiple routes. Visual novels are the main example here, you may start being just as nice to everyone but eventually you'll have to focus on one or try the harder endings with more than one. Either way the story is complete and, while may not be as satisfying as the canon ending (most of the time the one with the whole harem but not always, sometimes may be just one of them) they all have a complete story and the player would not be really punished because they liked one pairing over the one the developer wanted them to.
 

Tai_MT

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I hate shipping. I hate "ship teases". I hate the inevitable fans wanting to ship pairings of characters because they read "too much" into their relationships or "not enough" into existing relationships.

I very much enjoy canon relationships as a result. Honestly, you can do more with canon relationships from a storytelling perspective anyway.

If you have no "canon" coupling, then you can't do much with it. That love will always feel superficial. After all, you'll never know who the couple are together, you'll only ever know who the love interests are (because you're catering to personal preference, and need to get players to choose a particular love interest).

You can have an amazing and epic love story with a canon relationship... Or, you can have "the home shopping network" and just pick whichever character strikes you as most attractive.

Though, to be honest, Clannad does "canon relationships" the best. Nagisa is the canon girl. To be with most of the other girls, you have to ignore Nagisa exists entirely. That is, she isn't a part of your life at all. I really enjoyed the subtext with that. Nagisa is such an amazing and influential person on your very existence that some girls don't even stand a chance with you unless Nagisa is never in your life.
 

mlogan

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I've moved this thread to Game Ideas & Prototypes. Please be sure to post your threads in the correct forum next time. Thank you.

 

YoraeRasante

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Ok, reading Tai's answer I get what your question really was.

So you want a canon pairing, but you want the option to go for other pairings.

That is very doable. As long as you don't end the other pairings mid-way because they did not go with your canon one, but give them their own story and proper ending. That would just be punishing the player for liking the other characters more.

One option is to make the canon pairing hard to not be the one to go for.
I did not play Clannad, but that seems a lot like in Tsukihime, from the same creator of Fate/Stay Night.
The canon pairing is Arcueid, as you can see by her being the one in the manga, the one in the anime people dislike so much they insist it doesn't exist like some do with The Last Airbender...
and in the fact that just like Tai said Clannad does you have to avoid Arcueid as much as you can to be able to go with Ciel instead (and it is really hard to get out of Arcueid without going for Ciel's route, I only found out there was a way when I saw a flowchart of bad endings and even the post-ending scene says the testers needed one too to find it or something like that).

Another option is to make other pairings only possible after finishing the canon one or others, used in both Tsukihime and in the best known Fate/Stay Night.
Tsukihime: After finishing the routes of Arcueid and Ciel you unlock the "Far Side of the Moon", where you have two more routes unrelated to those two girls save that Ciel is there in the background. And in finishing those two you unlock the last route. While that last route is the final destination, finishing it you get the epilogue, Arcueid is still the canon one.
F/SN: The main route is clearly Fate. It is the one referenced in later works on the world, and is the one the epilogue added in the ps2 version is about. But not that well-known because the first anime, focused on it, wasn't very well-liked compared to the others, and tried to add things of the other routes in a mess. Finishing it you unlock Unlimited Blade Works, the one with a movie and later a proper anime. And finishing UBW you unlock Heavens Feel, the one that was released recently on a few movies because the route may not be the canon one but it is certainly big in story.
 

Wavelength

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I am unsure which of two concepts you are referring to when you describe this "canon" couple:

If you mean that the player will get a "bad" ending for pairing characters in a way that the canon couple isn't together, then I think it is a terrible idea, and it would enrage me as a player. After all, if I think that Character A and Character C really make the better couple, and you are giving me the tools to make this happen, then why in the world are you punishing me for living out what I feel is the coolest pairing?! Either allow the player to see a good ending using any pairings (perhaps with a different good ending based on which pairings were made), or just don't give the player this flexibility to influence/decide pairings.

However, if you just mean that there are certain events in the game that will feature Character A and Character B together regardless of which characters actually get married, or if you simply mean the author choosing a canon couple for the purposes of fan discussions and follow-up works, and the player's experience with the game won't change much based on who they coupled, then that's fine. Essentially, it's a necessary compromise required by the medium, and you can see it in great properties from Tales of Symphonia to Clannad.
 

WaywardMartian

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Is the entire point of the game to hook up your canon couple, trying to get them together so they can do whatever it is that prevents the world from ending? Sure, sounds great, got sort of a Groundhog Day vibe.

Is it being sold to me like it's a regular dating sim, then I find out after I've become invested in the Wrong Couple that the world ends and that's it? And that there is a Right Answer? Then I will want to know what the point of the red herring couples was.

Be up-front about the player's agency. If I am given options but no 'you have to ship my endgame couple or everybody dies' plot points, I am going to feel cheated and annoyed when everybody dies just because I don't ship it.
 

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