Friday, March 31, 2017

Romance Gaming

Posted by: Joely Sue Burkhart
I was going to call this "Top Three Romance Games" but I couldn't even name three!  Which makes me sad, because they're really fun.

I never really was a big gamer - until I stumbled across Big Fish Games in 2007/2008.  I'd never played a hidden object or time management game before - and I was instantly hooked.  (I'm ashamed to admit how much I've spent there over the years!!)

They have such beautiful, incredible games with fantastic worlds and fun puzzles.  Love spooky cemeteries?  Old castles? Insane asylums? New planets? Murder mysteries? Edgar Allen Poe?  You name it - there's probably a game for it.  I like this style of game because they're compact and contained.  I'm pretty compulsive/obsessive and if I start a game (or book), I want to play (or read) straight through to the end.  So huge worlds like Dragon Age are terrifying to me.  I'm literally afraid I would not be able to stop playing.

However, over the years, I've turned into a brooding duke staring morosely into the fire and declaring that he's suffering from ennui because I haven't played a really new and different game in a long time.  My favorite game dev teams haven't been wowing me quite as much.  The favorite worlds or themes are overdone.  Kind of like when you glut on your favorite author's series and the little writer tics like overusing certain words suddenly becomes glaringly obvious.

I didn't want the same-old story line.  "You're a a). detective b). reporter c). long lost family member and you've been sent to find the missing person in a town where all the people are mysteriously a). turned into statues b). disappearing c). plain old dead. As you enter the town, an ominous specter or shadow startles you and a). your horse runs away b). your car runs off a cliff c). you see your sister/brother/father/client taken by the mysterious villain a). who's always one step ahead of you b). in a cloud of smoke c). in a huge flash of blue or purple flame."

Then I heard someone talking about a ROMANCE choose-your-own-adventure game called Regency Love. It was so fun, so charming, and while the graphics were lovely, it wasn't over-the-top loaded with complicated graphics like the HO/TM games I'd been playing.  In fact, I started to think....

Hey.  Maybe.  I could possibly. Write one.

Because I love the style and fun.  It's a game - plus a story.  Add in romance, and I'm all in.

I'm still hoping to develop my own romance game and have bought some software to try out.  It's just making sure I set aside some time to do it (and it's going to take a year or more to even get up to speed in the coding arena).  

In the meantime, have you played any romance games like Regency Love?  The only other game I've played was Speakeasy Tonight (which I didn't like quite as well as RL).  If you have any recommendations PLEASE shout them out!

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