What this means is that, rather than just doing good things to your potential romance interest to make them fall in love with you, you might choose to go against their wishes at times in order to later gain their respect through your decisions. This also provides the opportunity for insulting and taking cheap shots at your potential love interest as, rather than putting them off as in most games, you end up stoking the rivalry and it may pay off in the long run. "You can't just have a love interest who is always, 'Oh my god you are the greatest,'" reasons Dahlen. "So one slider doesn't seem to do it." Story elements that revolve around themes like teamwork, surprise and choice can help to push characters towards varying conclusions, he reasoned. And Dahlen also discussed character creation as a way to push video game romances forward. Usually we're able to create our own character, but rarely can be choose what the NPCs look like. Dahlen argued that allowing players to choose what your romantic interests look like may well lead to better story arcs in game, if we find ourselves caring about them more. "Let people choose what the person looks like through character creation," he said. "Let them pick it out."
"You can't just have a love interest who is always, 'Oh my god you are the greatest.'"
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Using rivalry and respect to push video game romances forward
For Chris Dahlen of Mad*Pow, romances in video games are great and all... but what if we explored relationships that didn't exist within a single integer?