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Skyrim Spouses


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#1 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 5059

Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:01 PM

I'm interested in systems where players can build up relationships with NPCs, and one recent example of this is the ability to marry some of the NPCs in Skyrim.  So what I'd like to know (assuming you played the game) is, which one(s) did you marry, and more importantly what made you choose that one?  If there was one you wanted to marry but couldn't I'd like to know that too.  What made you want to marry a specific NPC instead of the many others available?

 

Personally I found the voice-actor to play a big role in which NPCs seemed attractive to me, which I probably wouldn't have noticed except for the fact that there are about 5 male voice actors for the whole game, and it's easy to recognize which one did which characters.


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#2 Bacterius   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 9282

Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:03 PM

Well, I didn't play Skyrim that much, but I ended up marrying the archer girl with tattoos and stuff. Forgot her name, but she was in the companions guild I believe. I wanted to marry Lydia first, but it wasn't possible if I recall correctly. For me, I think it's because I was playing an archer, so it just made more sense to have a ranged companion, otherwise she'd be in my line of sight all the time. And she was more or less the first "available" (for lack of a better term) spouse so I just went through with it. Plus she had good artwork, and that counts too.

 

But I didn't feel emotionally involved at all, if that's what you're asking. She was just another companion to me, perhaps prettier to look at, but that's about it really. The extra bonuses were nice, but the game was so easy already. Frankly, I didn't pay too much attention. I never found very attractive the concept of interactively involving the player's romantic feelings in a video game. Just like the whole phone dating thing in GTA IV, I never really caught on. Feel free to disagree, though!

 

My spouse met her fate a few days after the wedding to one of those rotating spikes, regardless. She will be missed. Sort of.


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#3 Krohm   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3251

Posted 09 January 2013 - 02:02 AM

I find that a bit disturbing.



#4 L. Spiro   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 14267

Posted 09 January 2013 - 04:48 AM

Would you be a bit disturbed to later find out that one of those attractive male voices was a member of GameDev.net? Especially if it was one you wanted to (or did) marry?

Would you then not find it hard not to give said individual special privileges?

Do people take those marriages seriously?
I mean do people start taking these marriages as part of their real lives and start to dismiss other parts of their real lives?

Of course that might be a good thing if “part of your real life” means beating the kids, but for normal humans?

I am not asking out of jest. I have heard of people in South Korea who really get into this kind of thing to the point where they shut out their real families.
I am asking because…is this happening to the Western civilization?


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#5 shadowomf   Members   -  Reputation: 323

Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:06 AM

I don't really remember, it's quite a long time since I played Skyrim. Some developers want to provide you a world where you can be anything, well most of them still force you to be the lone hero.

While I didn't find their implementation great it was okay, I guess. It was better than some of the "romance" options that are provided by other games.

It's the same with the player characters friends, they could be so much more, but often they are just there making an occasional appearance or dying whenever the developers needed some extra dragic moment.

 

I did like what Valve was doing in Half-Life 2. While Alyx is cute'n all she seemed more like a good friend. They didn't try to force something.

Okay she could be a bit more involved, besides some passages here and there and some sniper cover, but overall they did a great job.

 

I found the voice-actor to play a big role

Yes, most people underestimate the audio part of games, but it's just an important part of games as it's of movies.

That's why I like to play the games in english and not german, sometimes they just choose the wrong voice and the whole expirience is ruined. Not often, generally the synchronization quality in germany s quite high, but it does happen.

 

I am asking because…is this happening to the Western civilization?

I guess you can find all kind of crazy stuff all over the world. But I wouldn't say it's common, probably not even in korea.

For most people it's just part of the game. Just like some people play to collect all archievments, while I don't really give a... thought.

 

I liked the movie "Lars and the Real Girl" which is a kind of funny view on the whole subject (not video game related).



#6 TheChubu   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4766

Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:12 AM

I think you picked up one of the dullest relationship systems around as example. It's just a "wanna marry me?" "k thx bai" *adds "stay in players house" AI package*

 

Skyrim characterization is null for NPCs except for *very* hand picked examples related to the main quest (Ulfrik, Phaarthumax, and thats it pretty much).

 

You should inspect games where those things are a more prominent feature like Dragon Age Origins, Mass Effect, maybe the whole Triss or Shani issue in The Witcher 1.

 

Skyrim's solution to in game relationships is very weak, not what I'd pick as a reference.

 

I mean, your question is, what did you make marry that NPC? Well, how many things Skyrim offers me to like that NPC? Their voice, their appareance, maybe what they do, and thats it. There are very few examples of NPCs you can have a conversation with, or that you may get to know better. Stuff like where did you grew up, how you enjoy yourself in this forsaken place, do you like where you're living, why did you move to Skyrim, what do you think about Skyrim, do you like me, do you like what I do, etc. Basically, things that get you to know someone, are non existant in Skryim, it offers players very little hooks for making them like a particular NPC.


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#7 ranakor   Members   -  Reputation: 439

Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:19 PM

Haven't (had time yet) played skyrim but i liked the companion/wife system in the king's bounties, gets something (additional armor slots) even for non RPing but stat fanatics like me!



#8 Net Gnome   Members   -  Reputation: 773

Posted 09 January 2013 - 01:16 PM

never did get involved with that system, mainly because there was no incentive or reason to do it. -IF- a game wants to create a "meaningful" relationship between the player and an NPC, it has to work at it. It has to create it "the old fashioned way" via involvement over time with the player in their exploits. The NPC cant be weak, nor needy, nor overtly forward, etc. It has to come-about as normally as possible and even then, the player themselves should be the initiator not a overt dialog box. The NPC shouldnt be standoffish either. Any working relationship, platonic or otherwise, involves give and take, ribbing and rejoicing, good times and bad times. If you setup the framework to allow these things in a non-awkward fashion, you can develop at least a mild caring for your fellow NPCs. Sure, they are just bits of code, but you have actual experiences with those bits of code in a workable way that allows you a glimpse of empathy toward that bit of code. THAT can be something to work with as a player and as a human. Currently, except for a few games which just had a very good story to allow similar types of character growth between the player and the NPC, there isn't much out there that "goes the distance" of actually attempting to build on human psychological factors to establish an actual relationship. Also, given the current sophomoric state of the games industry, I don't expect this to happen from -any- major studio.



#9 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 5059

Posted 09 January 2013 - 02:12 PM

Would you be a bit disturbed to later find out that one of those attractive male voices was a member of GameDev.net? Especially if it was one you wanted to (or did) marry?

Would you then not find it hard not to give said individual special privileges?

Do people take those marriages seriously?

Wouldn't bother me, I don't think I'd feel any compulsion to give that person special privileges in an online situation like this, though face-to-face I'd react to them the same way I would anyone with an attractive voice (that I didn't have some other reason to dislike).  I don't take marriages in games seriously because I have yet to see one where an NPC manages to be convincingly like a person.  However I do know people who take in-game marriage to another player as seriously as any other long-distance relationship, and get really upset if they think that person is cheating on them with someone at their location, etc.  Are you sure the ones you heard about weren't between two players?


Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


#10 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 5059

Posted 09 January 2013 - 02:17 PM

I think you picked up one of the dullest relationship systems around as example. It's just a "wanna marry me?" "k thx bai" *adds "stay in players house" AI package*

 

Skyrim characterization is null for NPCs except for *very* hand picked examples related to the main quest (Ulfrik, Phaarthumax, and thats it pretty much).

 

You should inspect games where those things are a more prominent feature like Dragon Age Origins, Mass Effect, maybe the whole Triss or Shani issue in The Witcher 1.

Thank you for the recommendations. :)  I'm definitely interested in looking at other games that have made some attempt at having romanceable NPCs.  Though, I think because of the very basicness of Skyrim's system it makes a good test for those few elements it does provide that might make the player prefer one NPC over another (voice, appearance, maybe social role in their town.  I know that I am actively repelled by a character being a beggar or a drunk, for example.)


Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


#11 ShadowValence   Members   -  Reputation: 380

Posted 09 January 2013 - 02:38 PM

Would you then not find it hard not to give said individual special privileges?

In Mass Effect 1, I found I was treating Ashley quite differently than the rest of the characters. She would always be with me when I went out on missions & I made more attempts to talk to her.

Spoiler
I even went as far as starting Mass Effect 2 over when I realized that Ashley was still alive. But then that's me. I'm very monogamous. When I play, I view the characters as an extension of myself. And I found her back story quite interesting. I WANTED to learn more.

Do people take those marriages seriously?
I mean do people start taking these marriages as part of their real lives and start to dismiss other parts of their real lives?

I wouldn't say that I began to dismiss the other parts of my life (but I did spend a large portion of each evening playing the game).

...but for normal humans?

HAHA!

Another game [series] you may want to check out (for reference purposes) is FABLE 2. You could woo almost any character. It even had some interesting statistics (# of STD's contracted, # of people slept with, etc.). There were even funny 'cut scenes' where the woman (I was a man) would say, "OH! Is that it?!" or , "That's how I like it - short and sweet".

Personally, I am a fan of relationships in games. I like to know [and to get know] the people I travel with. Just like in my real life. I like to know the people I work with. I talk with them, laugh with them, empathize with them, etc. But that could just be me.


Edited by ShadowValence, 09 January 2013 - 02:41 PM.


#12 BCullis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1813

Posted 09 January 2013 - 03:00 PM

Another game [series] you may want to check out (for reference purposes) is FABLE 2. You could woo almost any character.

 

This is hardly a good option for research into in-game romance, except maybe as an example of how little it takes to include a "romance" option on the box.  All the woo-able NPCs were cardboard cutout characters: their "personality" ammounted to three randomized stats determining things like what gifts would impress them and if they'd gladly sleep with a complete stranger.  No seriously, at one point my wife and I ran our hero around the pirate town propositioning every NPC we could find to see how big of a group we could take back to the inn.  I think we rounded up 60% or more, roughly everyone with a "promiscuous" stat.  What can I say, it was a seedy place.

 

Hilarious, but hardly something fans of dating/romance sim interactions would consider part of that genre.

 

Any storyline to a particular player-npc romance would have to be invented by the player: there wasn't so much "romance" as a collection of facts and stats.  Yes, we are married now.  I place the collected spouse NPC in one of my collected purchased homes.  I choose to add collected offspring to the inventory by selecting the "have children" lever.  But at no point did you have any kind of interaction with an assembled personality.


Edited by BCullis, 09 January 2013 - 03:05 PM.

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#13 L. Spiro   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 14267

Posted 09 January 2013 - 05:04 PM

Are you sure the ones you heard about weren't between two players?
I would have to say that I am sure it was between 2 humans since that is the only thing of which I have heard until now.

 
Personally, I am a fan of relationships in games. I like to know [and to get know] the people I travel with. Just like in my real life. I like to know the people I work with. I talk with them, laugh with them, empathize with them, etc. But that could just be me.

But…
I understand building a strong bond with characters in a game to intentionally heighten the experience. Same reason I suspend disbelief to enjoy movies such as The Smurfs.
In fact those bonds are exactly what makes Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VII so great.


But taking it to the “relationship” level is a bit far.
If it is nothing more than an in-game mechanic then fine, I guess, but I easily see people getting way too carried away with the whole idea.
Besides, even as a game mechanic it would bother me to consider my spouse to be nothing more than a fat sweaty guy’s programming.


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Edited by L. Spiro, 09 January 2013 - 09:26 PM.

It is amazing how often people try to be unique, and yet they are always trying to make others be like them. - L. Spiro 2011
I spent most of my life learning the courage it takes to go out and get what I want. Now that I have it, I am not sure exactly what it is that I want. - L. Spiro 2013
I went to my local Subway once to find some guy yelling at the staff. When someone finally came to take my order and asked, “May I help you?”, I replied, “Yeah, I’ll have one asshole to go.”
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#14 ShadowValence   Members   -  Reputation: 380

Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:04 PM

But taking it to the “relationship” level is a bit far.
If it is nothing more than an in-game mechanic then fine, I guess, but I easily see people getting way too carried away with the whole idea.

 

Agreed!  It's not MY relationship.  It is my CHARACTERS relationship.  I simply find it difficult to respond in any way other than the way that I would in real life.  

 

 

Besides, even as a game mechanic it would bother me to consider my spouse to be nothing more than a fat sweaty guy’s programming.

 

HAHA - God forbid we end up being nothing but a program in something similar to 'The Matrix'.  j/k

 


#15 TheChubu   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4766

Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:26 PM

I think you picked up one of the dullest relationship systems around as example. It's just a "wanna marry me?" "k thx bai" *adds "stay in players house" AI package*

 

Skyrim characterization is null for NPCs except for *very* hand picked examples related to the main quest (Ulfrik, Phaarthumax, and thats it pretty much).

 

You should inspect games where those things are a more prominent feature like Dragon Age Origins, Mass Effect, maybe the whole Triss or Shani issue in The Witcher 1.

Thank you for the recommendations. smile.png  I'm definitely interested in looking at other games that have made some attempt at having romanceable NPCs.  Though, I think because of the very basicness of Skyrim's system it makes a good test for those few elements it does provide that might make the player prefer one NPC over another (voice, appearance, maybe social role in their town.  I know that I am actively repelled by a character being a beggar or a drunk, for example.)

 

I see. Well... I think Aela the Huntress is a favorite among most Skyrim players (male and female) for some reason :D


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#16 Krohm   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3251

Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:06 AM

  1. Would you be a bit disturbed to later find out that one of those attractive male voices was a member of GameDev.net?

  2. Especially if it was one you wanted to (or did) marry?

  3. Would you then not find it hard not to give said individual special privileges?

  4. Do people take those marriages seriously? I mean do people start taking these marriages as part of their real lives and start to dismiss other parts of their real lives?

  1. Maybe I don't understand the question but I cannot see how this could be a problem at all.

  2. Marry... in a video game. I rarely get emotionally attached to my data sets. Those which do something to me, are generally spectacular architectures.

  3. I'll admit I'd likely gave them an extra chance to prove their worth in real life. Or two. Yes, that would be an extra privilege.

  4. I seriously hope not!






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