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Necrothatcher
Mar 26, 2005






I liked that Disco Elysium calls you out for being an incredibly hungover alcoholic smoker who nonetheless runs everywhere.

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Neddy Seagoon
Oct 12, 2012

Hi, Everybody!


christmas boots posted:

I will admit that I didn't know what the term meant when I first played the game and I picked it for the damage without thinking* but then I was just "oh, so that's what meant. guess i'm gay now"

Although I only had 2 INT so that made it weird again.





*Yes, the existence of Black Widow/Ladykiller should have clued me in.

"I was too dumb to realize I was gay" sounds pretty in-character for your build to me.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




Necrothatcher posted:

I liked that Disco Elysium calls you out for being an incredibly hungover alcoholic smoker who nonetheless runs everywhere.

IIRC, Electrochemistry can chime in to say the leftover speed in your system contributes.

There's also a few perks in FNV for being really stupid (or really drunk) like guessing a password based on pure luck (another way to guess it is literally by having high enough Luck) and Arcade Gannon being more willing to accompany you because he thinks you're unlikely to survive on your own.

bony tony
Aug 9, 2013



Arcade also follows you if you have the gay dude perk and flirt with him.

I think the sexuality perks would work better if they didn't give you increased damage, but only unlocked dialogue options.

RareAcumen
Dec 28, 2012






bony tony posted:

Arcade also follows you if you have the gay dude perk and flirt with him.

I think the sexuality perks would work better if they didn't give you increased damage, but only unlocked dialogue options.

Mechanical benefits aside, they should've been unlockable as you're making a character.

bony tony
Aug 9, 2013



Make them traits! God is that obvious

Hattie Masters
Aug 29, 2012

COMICS CRIMINAL


Grimey Drawer

bony tony posted:

Make them traits! God is that obvious

The problem there is that then you make it a zero sum game. Do you wanna be gay, bi, or better at fighting (the main mechanic by which you interact with the world)

Giving it a mechanical benefit serves to make it more than JUST a role-playing thing that you might not trigger bc you talk to the wrong people. It's a dumb one with a bad reasoning, but attaching a benefit to the choice is a good addition to the mechanic as it is.

The best way to handle it would be to have it as a separate section of character generation, but making it a trait would not be a good step forward.


As for actual thread content:

I could say every thing in Disco Elysium, but for me it's the character who talks pretty much entirely in Scooter references, including a veiled one to their Magnum opus "How Much Is The Fish."

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

I'm just gonna stand here like this, and if I get hit, it's your own fault.


Hattie Masters posted:

The problem there is that then you make it a zero sum game. Do you wanna be gay, bi, or better at fighting (the main mechanic by which you interact with the world)

Giving it a mechanical benefit serves to make it more than JUST a role-playing thing that you might not trigger bc you talk to the wrong people. It's a dumb one with a bad reasoning, but attaching a benefit to the choice is a good addition to the mechanic as it is.

The best way to handle it would be to have it as a separate section of character generation, but making it a trait would not be a good step forward.

And even the 'best' way to handle that isn't the best way, because it creates the problem that, mechanically speaking, there's no reason not to be bisexual. If the main thing it does is open dialog options, you want it to open the most dialog options, surely.

bony tony
Aug 9, 2013



HARDCORE! MEGA! TO ZE MAX!

Danger - Octopus!
Apr 20, 2008




Nap Ghost

Hattie Masters posted:


I could say every thing in Disco Elysium, but for me it's the character who talks pretty much entirely in Scooter references, including a veiled one to their Magnum opus "How Much Is The Fish."

This was the best thing and meant I was immediately dedicated to their cause.

John Murdoch
May 19, 2009

I have special eyes.

Just think of all the cool stuff I can see.


Hattie Masters posted:

The problem there is that then you make it a zero sum game. Do you wanna be gay, bi, or better at fighting (the main mechanic by which you interact with the world)

Giving it a mechanical benefit serves to make it more than JUST a role-playing thing that you might not trigger bc you talk to the wrong people. It's a dumb one with a bad reasoning, but attaching a benefit to the choice is a good addition to the mechanic as it is.

The best way to handle it would be to have it as a separate section of character generation, but making it a trait would not be a good step forward.

I'd argue the mechanical benefit remains weird because while New Vegas is certainly more egalitarian than a lot of games you're still probably gonna be killing men a fair bit more than women. Especially when there's a whole faction that doesn't allow women to fight.

The whole thing comes off as a dated RPG affectation, maybe filtered through Fallout's irreverent 50s pastiche, and then Obsidian showed up at the end and said "well we're at least gonna be smart enough to include gay stuff too" but ultimately I think the real answer is that perks just don't need to exist.

Edit: Oh, and circling back to the bisexual angle, it's even worse because you apparently need to be separately trained (and thus waste 2 perks instead of just 1) in flirting with men and women. That's really crap.

John Murdoch has a new favorite as of 08:58 on May 5, 2021

small ghost
Jan 30, 2013



hold up are you saying you guys didn't have to level up 4 times and forgo comprehension to spec into bisexuality irl?

Lunchmeat Larry
Nov 3, 2012

IF I COULD BE ANY KIND OF FLOWER I'D BE A BIG ANGRY COCK

Gay people know how to hurt their own gender more because they're familiar with the anatomy, due to loving, sucking etc. It reflects their advanced study.

Casnorf
Jun 14, 2002

Never drive a car when you're a fish

small ghost posted:

hold up are you saying you guys didn't have to level up 4 times and forgo comprehension to spec into bisexuality irl?

That does explain "disaster bi."

Vic
Nov 26, 2009



Gay traits/perks are a very boomer way of thinking. Just give the player option to romance/gently caress any gender of 3D models.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




The damage bonus isn't that great, and iirc it only covers human(oid)s of one gender so it's not any use against mutated wildlife, robots, etc. And given there's exclusive content for either gender if you're covering the dialogue bonuses, it's not like you should be expected to see everything in one go. Besides, a lot of the options just add flavour, like when talking to the Lonesome Drifter you can briefly question him over whether you might be his long-absent father. (who is a different Mysterious Stranger)

Also, you can gently caress the guy who shot you in the head. Optional to kill him in his sleep after.

If you do Old World Blues after doing that, your brain brings it up.

Aithon
Jan 3, 2014

Every puzzle has an answer.


Cleretic posted:

And even the 'best' way to handle that isn't the best way, because it creates the problem that, mechanically speaking, there's no reason not to be bisexual. If the main thing it does is open dialog options, you want it to open the most dialog options, surely.

Hey, it worked pretty well for the Sims. Though that's obviously not a plot-based game so the cultural implications of being LGBT don't come up at all.

So maybe it's not directly relevant but still a cool thing about that series.

small ghost
Jan 30, 2013



Aithon posted:

Hey, it worked pretty well for the Sims. Though that's obviously not a plot-based game so the cultural implications of being LGBT don't come up at all.

So maybe it's not directly relevant but still a cool thing about that series.

The Sims unlinking gender, body type and fashion choice for 4 blew my mind slightly when I first opened it up - not cos that's a crazy idea but because I fully was not expecting any game to get that granular and free form with it. 4 is the worst Sims but that is a genius design choice.


Vic posted:

Gay traits/perks are a very boomer way of thinking. Just give the player option to romance/gently caress any gender of 3D models.

This is sort of what made me bring it up in the first place: in a game with actual romance options I agree, go full player-sexual unless you're gonna do something very very interesting with it. And the perk system is goofy as hell, no argument.

But given that NV doesn't really have "romance" mechanics - you can flirt with people, pay sex workers and there are a couple of NPCs who are DTF and that's about it, there's no loyalty quest/companion romance, anything like that - the fact that they went above and beyond to not just throw in a gay counterpoint to Black Widow/Ladykiller or w/e, but to actually work the concept of being gay into the social fabric of the world whether or not you take those perks is kinda...idk, it's just cool to me. It's more about the writing around it than the dumb mechanics of it.

Like, one thing that's interesting is that a lot of NCR will repeat homophobic propaganda about the Legion, even tho technically the NCR outlaws homophobia - though as Major Knight says, things are different out in the Mojave - but then you find out that being gay is actually technically outlawed in the Legion, but also they are massive rapists, and that homophobic conflation of consensual gay relationships to predatory sexual behaviour is incredibly true to how this stuff goes IRL. And you'll find this all out faster if you do have the perks but also it does come up/is background even if you don't.

Or like, because there isn't an obligation to be player-sexual, Veronica and Arcade are able to be fully gay characters, and have that affect who they are. The Brotherhood don't technically not allow being gay iirc but they're also not very ok with it and it's a big part of why Veronica has a difficult relationship with them. The Followers seem to be absolutely cool about it, seeing as they're the cool chill helpful faction, and Arcade is neither closeted nor wary about bringing it up (also extremely weak to being flirted with lol) but there's a sense that it miiight also slightly be another thing on the pile of his conflicted relationship with his father's legacy.

Sorry, I'll stop banging on about it now - it is such a minor part of the game and if they'd just gone for a post-homophobia world it would have been fine, and if they'd just banged in the flirty dialogue options that would also have been fine, I do not require thoughtful deconstructions of homophobia in my goofy apocalypse game, but I'm also glad it's in there.

bony tony
Aug 9, 2013



Good points, all

What's your take on the newer AssCreed games letting your PC be fully bisexual? I think that's kinda neat (even though it's lazy coding to not check for player gender in romance options, it's also pretty cool to let Kassandra be as lesbiab as you want).

Len
Jan 21, 2008

Pouches, bandages, shoulderpad, cyber-eye...

Bitchin'!



I'm a dead person inside that doesn't like videogame romance plots and think they detract from the experience 90% of the time

That said gently caress it let people get their bone on with whoever because it never hurts to have more representation

Ariza
Feb 7, 2006


I find any sort of love mechanic in any game to be skeezy. I just think of the 22 year olds furiously typing about how many times you need to talk to this person before there's a poorly directed lovemaking scene. Maybe I'm just getting old, but it's never been done well and I have doubts that it ever will.

Sandwich Anarchist
Sep 12, 2008









Ariza posted:

I find any sort of love mechanic in any game to be skeezy. I just think of the 22 year olds furiously typing about how many times you need to talk to this person before there's a poorly directed lovemaking scene. Maybe I'm just getting old, but it's never been done well and I have doubts that it ever will.

I see you and raise you Yennefer and Geralt which is cheating because they already have history

RetroEnbyRobot
May 5, 2021


Whenever games have enemies that laugh after killing you, like the Sligs in Oddworld

Necrothatcher
Mar 26, 2005






Ariza posted:

I find any sort of love mechanic in any game to be skeezy. I just think of the 22 year olds furiously typing about how many times you need to talk to this person before there's a poorly directed lovemaking scene. Maybe I'm just getting old, but it's never been done well and I have doubts that it ever will.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey's love mechanic is basically "wanna gently caress?", which is much less creepy than having to bring them 10 wolf fangs or whatever.

Perestroika
Apr 8, 2010



Ariza posted:

I find any sort of love mechanic in any game to be skeezy. I just think of the 22 year olds furiously typing about how many times you need to talk to this person before there's a poorly directed lovemaking scene. Maybe I'm just getting old, but it's never been done well and I have doubts that it ever will.

One high point about (the otherwise fairly mediocre) The Outer Worlds was that they did away with PC-centric romances, and instead had the PC help one of the party members into a romance with another NPC. I found it surprising just how much better that worked. You still get the "upsides" of romance sequences (getting a closer look at certain characters in a new context), but without the cringy fan-service aspect of making it revolve around the player character. It also helped that Parvati was just adorable as hell

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



bony tony posted:

Good points, all

What's your take on the newer AssCreed games letting your PC be fully bisexual? I think that's kinda neat (even though it's lazy coding to not check for player gender in romance options, it's also pretty cool to let Kassandra be as lesbiab as you want).

As long as you never buy the DLC. In which case you have two choices: either she's not gay, or she's down for heterosexuality in the name of magic eugenics, which you might recognize as the motives of the bad guys of the game.

bony tony
Aug 9, 2013



Cythereal posted:

As long as you never buy the DLC. In which case you have two choices: either she's not gay, or she's down for heterosexuality in the name of magic eugenics, which you might recognize as the motives of the bad guys of the game.

AC Odyssey had two DLCs: one pack of minor missions (one of which is relighting a lost love, which has very little combat and is Very Cute), and one DLC where you go to the Underworld. No other DLC exists.

flatluigi
Apr 22, 2008

here come the planes


i don't think there's anything particularly with games as a medium that'd make them be unable to tell a story about a relationship, but i do think there's a bunch of simple ways for it to gently caress up mechanically and structurally + a lot of games treat their narrative/writing in general as an afterthought, let alone specifically relationships

i'd recommend two games specifically that came out in the last several years that i think do it well: disco elysium doesn't get into a romantic relationship between harry and kim, but boy does it do a real good job of showing off their dynamic and (without spoiling anything) it's not really off the table. florence is specifically about a romantic relationship, and it illustrates the way things progress mechanically in a way you could only do with videogames + it's all the stronger for it

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




FNV apparently had companion romances be a thing planned (and the one with Cass would be a blackout bender across New Vegas ending with getting married by The King) but they got cut for time, and as said the game is better for it. Also gets interesting since Cass doesn't take any of a Lady Killer male Courier's poo poo, but is a little flustered by a Cherchez La Femme female Courier. And the NCR victory good ending has Cass intend to gently caress a male Courier in celebration, but his bedroom's occupied by a NCR trooper whose quarters were destroyed... who's cute, so she fucks him instead.


Perestroika posted:

One high point about (the otherwise fairly mediocre) The Outer Worlds was that they did away with PC-centric romances, and instead had the PC help one of the party members into a romance with another NPC. I found it surprising just how much better that worked. You still get the "upsides" of romance sequences (getting a closer look at certain characters in a new context), but without the cringy fan-service aspect of making it revolve around the player character. It also helped that Parvati was just adorable as hell

Sounds like they learned a lesson from FNV, that's far more interesting than a dating sim minigame.

Of course, way back in the day, Planescape: Torment instead has you facilitate a break-up.

flatluigi
Apr 22, 2008

here come the planes


Cythereal posted:

As long as you never buy the DLC. In which case you have two choices: either she's not gay, or she's down for heterosexuality in the name of magic eugenics, which you might recognize as the motives of the bad guys of the game.

i think 'kassandra supports eugenics' is probably the worst take i've ever seen anyone have on that dlc, and i'm a gay person who wasn't fond of that dlc's fuckup in the first place

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

I'm just gonna stand here like this, and if I get hit, it's your own fault.


Ariza posted:

I find any sort of love mechanic in any game to be skeezy. I just think of the 22 year olds furiously typing about how many times you need to talk to this person before there's a poorly directed lovemaking scene. Maybe I'm just getting old, but it's never been done well and I have doubts that it ever will.

I still put forward Personas 3 and 4 as good examples. Not because they don't avoid some of the pitfalls of video game romance writing, but because they do at least give the relationships time to cook and show their worth, as well as because the relationships are between teenagers. Of course they're stilted, a little weird, and feel a bit unnatural and artificial, teenagers don't know what they're doing!

Persona 5 squandered that by having the romantic relationships with adults. Even if you aren't pursuing them, the knowledge that they're there means you can't digest the others as 'realistically awkward teenager-ness', you know exactly how the writers are approaching it now.

flatluigi
Apr 22, 2008

here come the planes


Cleretic posted:

I still put forward Personas 3 and 4 as good examples. Not because they don't avoid some of the pitfalls of video game romance writing, but because they do at least give the relationships time to cook and show their worth, as well as because the relationships are between teenagers. Of course they're stilted, a little weird, and feel a bit unnatural and artificial, teenagers don't know what they're doing!

Persona 5 squandered that by having the romantic relationships with adults. Even if you aren't pursuing them, the knowledge that they're there means you can't digest the others as 'realistically awkward teenager-ness', you know exactly how the writers are approaching it now.

persona 4 is a terrible example for a lot of reasons (particularly because it backpedals from resolving any sort of actual textual queer relationships in favor of Supporting The Status Quo), but most fundamentally because it's the same old dating sim "do a bunch of quests for this person and tick all the checkboxes until they like you" structure

i haven't played 5 and haven't touched 3 recently enough to say anything about it

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



flatluigi posted:

i think 'kassandra supports eugenics' is probably the worst take i've ever seen anyone have on that dlc, and i'm a gay person who wasn't fond of that dlc's fuckup in the first place

The justification is explicitly "I want to pass on my magic super genes with another person who has magic super genes because these genes are so important the bloodline must continue."

It is textbook eugenics.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




flatluigi posted:

persona 4 is a terrible example for a lot of reasons (particularly because it backpedals from resolving any sort of actual textual queer relationships in favor of Supporting The Status Quo), but most fundamentally because it's the same old dating sim "do a bunch of quests for this person and tick all the checkboxes until they like you" structure

i haven't played 5 and haven't touched 3 recently enough to say anything about it

Yeah, it kinda goes in with the 'relationships as fulfilment of story arc' structure that is really loving unhealthy and omnipresent in pretty much all media that kids and teenagers grow up with. The idea that you can just ask someone out and see how it goes is fringe as far as pop culture is concerned.

small ghost
Jan 30, 2013



I think the only time I've ever truly enjoyed a romance quest in a game is romancing Garrus in ME2, and that was 100% entirely because it's hilariously awkward throughout.

Cleretic
Feb 3, 2010

I'm just gonna stand here like this, and if I get hit, it's your own fault.


flatluigi posted:

persona 4 is a terrible example for a lot of reasons (particularly because it backpedals from resolving any sort of actual textual queer relationships in favor of Supporting The Status Quo), but most fundamentally because it's the same old dating sim "do a bunch of quests for this person and tick all the checkboxes until they like you" structure

i haven't played 5 and haven't touched 3 recently enough to say anything about it

All three games do that, but are slightly different in how involved their mechanics are about it.

Persona 3 is the most transparent about it; every romanceable girl enters a relationship with you at rank 7, means you can go on a date with them at Christmas. Super rudimentary, and I can agree with problems about it, but I admit I kinda softball a lot of P3's fumbles in this regard because Atlus had no idea what they were doing with the whole 'social sim/day management' thing and it's a miracle it turned out well at all. I also give it points for adding some complexity that suggests these girls are real people, too: there are legitimate consequences for cheating on a partner, and one girl has different requirements (romance starts at rank 5 instead of 7) because of her personality (EXTREMELY clingy, and not treated positively).

Persona 4 has a lot of variation between the romanceable characters; when it comes up is different, how it comes up is different, and with some characters it's actually fairly complicated and in most cases probably won't even happen (one girl tries to enter a completely superficial relationship with you early on, and you can't 'really' romance her without saying no to that, another girl will only consider it if you pick several just OBJECTIVELY bad dialog choices, and that relationship doesn't always portray the protagonist positively). I agree it's got problems about queer issues and I will never deny that, but taking it as its word, its romance mechanics and writing are about the best they can get. However it does lose points for, in the original release, having no negative consequences for cheating. Which is just wrong; the game's set in a podunk nowhere country town, word gets around, payback for that should be inevitable.

Persona 5 I never interrogated super hard about its romance mechanics, but it seems to be about the same as Persona 4 Golden on its face; the circumstances and times around entering a relationship all vary, and in some cases won't happen, although in P5's I think those cases are more obvious. It came with cheating consequences, but... well, maybe it's more because of how the community treats it than the game's fault itself, but it always felt like the 'got caught cheating' part in 5 was more meant as a cheeky easter egg reward for doing it than 'you hosed up'.

Cleretic has a new favorite as of 13:01 on May 5, 2021

SimonChris
Apr 24, 2008

The Baron's daughter is missing, and you are the man to find her. No problem. With your inexhaustible arsenal of hard-boiled similes, there is nothing you can't handle.

Grimey Drawer

Necrothatcher posted:

I liked that Disco Elysium calls you out for being an incredibly hungover alcoholic smoker who nonetheless runs everywhere.

The problem is that it still does that if you make sure to walk everywhere, which is a bit disappointing. I don't know if they fixed that in the new edition.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




SimonChris posted:

The problem is that it still does that if you make sure to walk everywhere, which is a bit disappointing. I don't know if they fixed that in the new edition.

I still get an issue late in the game where the protagonist runs everywhere on one click.

John Murdoch
May 19, 2009

I have special eyes.

Just think of all the cool stuff I can see.


I'm being slow today but I'm realizing part of the problem is that Lady Killer and Black Widow carry much more clear cut connotations about the purpose of those perks - using your sexuality as a weapon or to otherwise gain an advantage. And I guess that's what the name Cherchez La Femme is playing at. But then you get to Confirmed Bachelor and it's like, wait, what?

And then in practice the actual perks give you a weird mix of "sure Benny let's gently caress, I'm totally into men who shoot me in the head " creative problem solving options, some "no really let's just bang just to bang" options, and then some benign "yup, I sure am gay/straight" or "sorry, you're barking up the wrong tree" type dialogue choices. These things should not be all lumped together.

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Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

The cries of the dead are terrible indeed; you should try not to hear them.


Sandwich Anarchist posted:

I see you and raise you Yennefer and Geralt which is cheating because they already have history

Yeah, it's probably the only halfway believable romance in a game I've played. Witcher 3 gets touted for being amazing for a lot of reasons, but the transcreation/adaptation writing teams (at least for English, no idea elsewhere) did an incredible job. You'd never know it wasn't written from the ground up in English, honestly. And the voicework helps to nail it, too.

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