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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: Romances?

  1. #1

    Romances?

    So I can't remember whether this has been answered somewhere already, but I was just wondering if there will be one or more romances available with characters?
    I usually enjoy them in games like Dragon Age, but it would be kinda nice to see something a bit different, wouldn't you say?

  2. #2
    Is it even established that we will play as a character instead of, for example, a caravan ? One of the clans, perhaps ?
    Well, probably not, i imagine that would be difficult to make player influence things in a meaningful way. How would you resolve an issue (e.g. romances) in a family if you do not directly control one of it's members, but family as a whole ?
    But i think it would be cool to make you feel for the whole group instead of one character. Players would be less biased and decisions would be harder.
    Last edited by belamoor; 05-01-2012 at 05:50 AM.

  3. #3
    Backer balnoisi's Avatar
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    i hope not. as an example: in the mass effect trilogy there are one or maybe two romance options that work throughout the game, all the others feel ridiculous and rushed. a bit of chat and they get on to it, the lizard, the blue, the thin, you can make your choice in a pokemon get'em all kind of way. i didn't like it.
    i wouldn't like "love express" simulator to be a feature in this game, or any game... except maybe a love express simulator game. a good love story should be part of the main script. just my two cents.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by balnoisi View Post
    i hope not. as an example: in the mass effect trilogy there are one or maybe two romance options that work throughout the game, all the others feel ridiculous and rushed. a bit of chat and they get on to it, the lizard, the blue, the thin, you can make your choice in a pokemon get'em all kind of way. i didn't like it.
    i wouldn't like "love express" simulator to be a feature in this game, or any game... except maybe a love express simulator game. a good love story should be part of the main script. just my two cents.
    Yeah, I would also like it to be woven into the story itself if it's to feature at all. I can also agree with you to a degree on the Mass Effect romances, it ends up feeling kinda awkward. So I suppose I'd rather there wasn't any romance if it wasn't done in a good way in the Banner Saga...

  5. #5
    I hope not, too. No need for dating sim.
    "Romances" that I've seen in videogames were there as a feature, to cater to a young crowd,fulfilling social and sexual needs with half-backed virtual relationships, not to explain a character's action or personality, or to be a pillar, a pivotal moment of the story.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ninnisinni View Post
    Yeah, I would also like it to be woven into the story itself if it's to feature at all. I can also agree with you to a degree on the Mass Effect romances, it ends up feeling kinda awkward. So I suppose I'd rather there wasn't any romance if it wasn't done in a good way in the Banner Saga...
    I disagree! I think the Banner Saga should be a pile of poorly-handled cliches with only the barest of narratives holding them together, and flat romances are conducive to that goal.

    Of course any hypothetical romance needs to be handled well. This game has more than the average potential for making it well-handled, too: as some kind of political leader, a lot hinges on your credibility, so randomly deciding to bang the blue chick could have disastrous consequences in that area (or highly positive consequences, or a mix depending on the faction), and since you're a father there's going to be at least one other person who feels entitled to some input in your love life. Just those two things alone would let the Banner Saga have more interesting romances than Mass Effect.
    Writing is 5% talent and 95% not being distracted by the internet.

  7. #7
    Backer Kaffo's Avatar
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    Exactly, I agree there should be romance options if possible, but it may not be the best route. After all, I'm sure there was a certain way of doing these things in Viking culture, not just going ahead and getting busy. If there are any romances, maybe they should be stretched out over the course of all 3 chapters, rather than rushed to fit a conclusion in the first one.

  8. #8
    I personally think interpersonal relationships of all kinds will be explored in the Banner Saga, up to and including romantic ones, but how it's handled is another matter entirely. I have a feeling it'll be something akin to slice of life or Harvest Moon games, where you choose a wife/partner and maybe who you choose effects the parameter of your caravan in some way (depending on the partner), with the dramatic approach to romance that we see in Bioware games maybe being more low-key.

  9. #9
    The Banner Saga is inspired in part by King of Dragon Pass. In King of Dragon Pass, you don't play a particular character; you lead the tribe. Romance events are common and allow you to make a decision. For example, one of your warriors may want to marry a girl from the tribe you are feuding with. You can forbid the marriage, allow the marriage, outlaw the warrior, or allow the marriage and send gifts to the feuding tribe. Your choice in the matter can affect future events: if you forbid the marriage, the warrior may steal some of your goods and join the other tribe, instead. Allowing the marriage might lead to an offer of peace from the other clan.

    I think that's the sort of thing that would work perfectly in The Banner Saga. Romance plays an important part in people's lives, and has a lot of cultural impact. Managing romance in the tribe properly is a challenge that's part of being a good leader.

    As for a main character getting in relationships with others, I'm not so sure about that. It always ends up being written for you, rather than allowing for a lot of choice on your part, and it sometimes feels a little restricting. (Why can I have a relationship with X, but not Y?)

  10. #10
    Backer CottonWolf's Avatar
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    So you're essentially arranging political marriages? That would be a pretty interesting dynamic, balancing whether or not a character (ideally an important one, so you care about them) wants to marry and whether or not it would benefit the tribe.

    With the main character, I don't really mind either way. If the team think that it helps the story, then sure, but if not, no. I trust that they'll do what's best for the game.

  11. #11
    I think it would be cool to have one of the events be an ongoing romance saga, i.e. a heroic young lad of your tribe/group wants to make woo to the daughter of a rival clan, and basically you can make decisions that alter the course of the romance, for good or for ill.

    Maybe the disgruntled father wants the lad to perform some heroic tasks (some would say cynically, impossible tasks) before he would even countenance letting him have the hand of his daughter, which could lead to fights! (TM) against mythical beasts and suchlike. That would be in keeping with heroic sagas if I'm not wrong?

    On the subject of main character romances, I must admit to having a soft spot for them, as Bioware has spoilt me so. Maybe make it a choice, to gain the aid of one of two factions? I know that sounds slightly, well, done, but it could work so well, if the guys at Stoic can make it sing (and I know they can, as aren't they ex-Bioware themselves?)

    But I do agree, don't force it.

    prototype00

  12. #12
    Backer Neveryield's Avatar
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    Kimberly hit it out of the park. Pretty much what i was about to add, and this is what i assume any "romances" will be like in The Banner Saga. Like everything, it will likely be from a management point-of-view.

    As for the main character, there may come events that suggest the option of "political" marriages, or the wedding of one clan to another for some reason or another. I could see that providing a significant amount of difficult choices later on down the road, but as for traditional video game romances, i don't mind so long as it's well done... which, really, goes for anything Stoic decides they want to include.

  13. #13
    Emotionnaly engaging cinematic : Shepardson meets Bannerdotir.

    Dialogue :

    Bannerdottir : Hi, I'm Bannerdottir, I have personal problems that you must resolve, and I
    love you, Shepardson !

    Shepardson -> dialogue wheel :
    Engage in torrid romance with Bannerdottir.
    I want to be a viking !
    Extreme collar-grabbing time !

  14. #14
    Backer Blistig's Avatar
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    I especially agree with Kimberly on the following point:
    Quote Originally Posted by Kimberly View Post
    As for a main character getting in relationships with others, I'm not so sure about that. It always ends up being written for you, rather than allowing for a lot of choice on your part, and it sometimes feels a little restricting.
    It is hardly possible to create romance options that would satisfy each and every player, considering the (I assume) vast amount of different, interesting characters the protagonist will come in contact with.
    I personally would be completely OK with the protagonist not having any romance "options" at all. In fact I'd rather have him/her already have a family with relationships that have to be managed and nurtured, instead of some casanova who simply has to find a way to get it on with some more or less random character.

    In that regard I also do agree with Kimberly and CottonWolf on the aspect of political marriages arranged and guided by the player. The idea of not only basic and material, but also deeply personal matters being a huge issue in the context of the story (moving towards an unpredictable future/the tenseness and distress of everyone involved) fits right into the overarching atmosphere of the game.

  15. #15
    Kimberly, your description is just what I understood the game to be all about. Choices which affect the survival of the tribe. And yes, I would expect that the norm would be arranged marriages, and I would expect that all parties affected would firmly believe That Is The Way Things Are, and so it would be very abnormal for any two individuals to insist on the right to choose a mate. Any viking who did so insist would probably be viewed as insane, and treated accordingly. But the scenario of tribe A wanting to arrange a marriage between one of its own and a viking from tribe B is very realistic, and would lead to lots of choices with lots of possible outcomes, both good and bad, and mostly unpredictable. I'm all for that! Not at all in favor of any role-playing of romance as one main character.

  16. #16
    Backer Kaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blistig View Post
    I personally would be completely OK with the protagonist not having any romance "options" at all. In fact I'd rather have him/her already have a family with relationships that have to be managed and nurtured, instead of some casanova who simply has to find a way to get it on with some more or less random character.

    In that regard I also do agree with Kimberly and CottonWolf on the aspect of political marriages arranged and guided by the player. The idea of not only basic and material, but also deeply personal matters being a huge issue in the context of the story (moving towards an unpredictable future/the tenseness and distress of everyone involved) fits right into the overarching atmosphere of the game.
    These are the lines I was assuming (and am hoping) the game would approach such matters. Marriage and family as matters of duty are a pretty mature theme, especially in contrast to the Bioware formula of "game the right dialogue options to get the suggestive cutscene!" romance, which is "mature" in only an ESRB sense of the word.

    In fact, some of the footage from the Kickstarter video seemed to imply that the character identified as Rook has at least one child as the Stoic team was showing him faced with how to explain the answer to those difficult philosophical questions children seem so adept at raising innocently. I could be wrong, here, but it would surprise me if the scope of the game is intended to cover several years for the player to build a family from the ground up.

    So, yes. I'd like to see relationships such as marriages approached from setting-appropriate themes of political considerations moreso than a shallow courting standpoint.

    Finally, I also suspect that Stoic intends to deliver a vast spectrum of relationships of many different types that are equally important to familial and/or romantic ones. I wish them luck in accomplishing the subtlety in treating them that they appear to be striving for.

  17. #17
    Moderator stelly's Avatar
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    Political marriages, I like it, maybe it would merge 2 tribes together, more powa!

    Stelly

  18. #18
    Backer Kaffo's Avatar
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    I know everybody might disagree and bludgeon me to death with sticks...but maybe Rook is in a political marriage of his own? I dunno...I kind of like the idea of working through a romance plot which has already been ongoing for years, between two middle aged (or at least not youths) who have a life/children etc. Could be that all these disasters are putting the marriage under strain? Idk..might be an interesting change of pace, and if the game decides your character and children for you, why not your wife ( I am assuming here that Rook is always male)? However, how you resolve the marriage issues might lead to different things, and you could maybe be unfaithful, though of course that could have dire consequences.

  19. #19
    Working through a romance plot, as Kaffo suggests, is the only current way I see to have such a story arc in the saga successfully. If there has to be a romantic element then I'd rather it was fixed and crafted than optional and poorly implemented (ala Mass Effect). Of course optional and well made is the best scenario- but the gaming industry has shown time and again that it's not so good at that.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by JokerAR View Post
    Of course optional and well made is the best scenario- but the gaming industry has shown time and again that it's not so good at that.
    Fortunately, this isn't made by the game industry.

    I think that, potential preexisting spouses aside, it should be optional, but not in the way that most games make it optional. There should be consequences for staying single beyond not experiencing the additional storyline. Clans whose proposals you've turned down start spreading the idea that you're not fit to be running things, the warriors start wondering what kind of guy they're following if he can't get laid every now and then, the people more involved with supplies appreciate that there's no apparent conflict of interest, you're more energetic in the morning than you would be otherwise, stuff like that. Treating the chastity path as if it's either impossible or the default would be disappointing.
    Writing is 5% talent and 95% not being distracted by the internet.

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