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What makes a good dating sims

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So call this a poll or what ever but what do you all think makes a good dating sim? Minni games? Odd over all theme? (like sci-fi stuff) In depth stories of your potential dates. I mean aside form the obvious like the need for nice art, well designed characters and background music that wont drive you insane, what makes a 5 star dating sim?

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If you make it too interesting, then it won't be a dating sim. IE, The Sims.

What is the end goal of the game?

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The same as most dating sims, hook up with one of the 6-8 people you can interact with in the game

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I've not playied many "dateing sims". Most of them seem targeted at pre-teens with very idealistic and nieve understanding of dateing. They are certainly not something I'd consider a SIMulation of a real world dateing experience.

Anyway. A lot of human communication is through body language and vocal inflection. There are millions of ways to say the word "Hello" giveing it different contexual meaning. Just as your body language/posture can change the meaning of the words you say. Just make sure your artist and voice actors do it right.

And make sure your writers are capable of giveing the characters REAL personnality...An average(or even below) looking person with a friendly confident flirty outgoing personnality always gets more dates then the hottie with the personality of a brick...That is true for both guys and girls.

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Original post by Jacent
The same as most dating sims, hook up with one of the 6-8 people you can interact with in the game

Hook up as in score, or hook up as in love? Because if you're dating, you've essentially already hooked up.

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You may want to look at some japanese games. Apparently they hold sway on the dating sim market. Only problem is you need an english version or need to be able to understand japanese.

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Original post by MSW
An average(or even below) looking person with a friendly confident flirty outgoing personnality always gets more dates then the hottie with the personality of a brick...That is true for both guys and girls.


Reality must have missed this fact.

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Original post by c-Row
Quote:
Original post by MSW
An average(or even below) looking person with a friendly confident flirty outgoing personnality always gets more dates then the hottie with the personality of a brick...That is true for both guys and girls.


Reality must have missed this fact.

Actually, it's generally true. I've seen below average looking males with nothing but a superior ego lead extremely hot females around by a leash. It's like a jedi mind trick. If you truly believe you look really good, fully enough, other people start assuming their own impression was wrong.

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Original post by Kest
Quote:
Original post by c-Row
Quote:
Original post by MSW
An average(or even below) looking person with a friendly confident flirty outgoing personnality always gets more dates then the hottie with the personality of a brick...That is true for both guys and girls.


Reality must have missed this fact.

Actually, it's generally true. I've seen below average looking males with nothing but a superior ego lead extremely hot females around by a leash. It's like a jedi mind trick. If you truly believe you look really good, fully enough, other people start assuming their own impression was wrong.


But if it's true, then shouldn't those men instead be dating average or below looking girls with a friendly confident flirty outgoing personality? Paradox!

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I played a couple flash games on Newgrounds that were called dating sims. It seemed pretty bland. Mostly you just write down the target's birthday, favorite food, etc. and regurgitate that data in a series of quizzes. Some have porn at the end, others don't, but I've never seen anything classed as a "dating sim" that I'd describe as "good".

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Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
I played a couple flash games on Newgrounds that were called dating sims. It seemed pretty bland. Mostly you just write down the target's birthday, favorite food, etc. and regurgitate that data in a series of quizzes. Some have porn at the end, others don't, but I've never seen anything classed as a "dating sim" that I'd describe as "good".


See I think thats the problem its a good idea it just needs some working out to make it a better game that isnt action oriented. There are alot of people that are looking for a game with a in depth story line and some romance in it that isnt smashed into the ground by alot of action or what not. I've got a great writer, published several times over for his "slice of life" work (aka romance novels) and Im not worried about the art, thats covered, but what else should go into a game like this?

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Original post by makeshiftwings
Quote:
Original post by Kest
Quote:
Original post by c-Row
Quote:
Original post by MSW
An average(or even below) looking person with a friendly confident flirty outgoing personnality always gets more dates then the hottie with the personality of a brick...That is true for both guys and girls.


Reality must have missed this fact.

Actually, it's generally true. I've seen below average looking males with nothing but a superior ego lead extremely hot females around by a leash. It's like a jedi mind trick. If you truly believe you look really good, fully enough, other people start assuming their own impression was wrong.


But if it's true, then shouldn't those men instead be dating average or below looking girls with a friendly confident flirty outgoing personality? Paradox!

Not a paradox. To put it simply, you can make up for below average beauty with a shining and charming personality. But above average beauty doesn't mean a dull personality. It just means you don't need to work as hard at perfecting it.

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Original post by makeshiftwings
But if it's true, then shouldn't those men instead be dating average or below looking girls with a friendly confident flirty outgoing personality? Paradox!


Not a paradox, just a difference. In general, men are primarily attracted to looks, whereas women are primarily attracted to personality. Look at any woman -- within a split second, you can say "yes" or "no". Either you're attracted to her or not. There's a relatively small "maybe" grey area. Women can make a similar judgment in the first few seconds of an interaction. Looks (which does NOT include dress, grooming, etc) are secondary.

It sort of sucks for women, who can't significantly change their physical appearance. But that's just biology.

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Original post by drakostar
Women can make a similar judgment in the first few seconds of an interaction. Looks (which does NOT include dress, grooming, etc) are secondary.

That's a good point. Things that are within the person's control are in a different category. Clothing, hair, facial hair, smell, body language, etc. These things are extremely important when dating far outside of your league. Probably just as important as personality.

It would be difficult for a dating simulation to deal with it, since everyone's preferences are different. And in a few years, many of those preferences will change as different styles and concepts become ideal.

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It’s important to incorporate as much of variables as possible in this kind of systems. Personality system in The Sims is quite advanced, but after few hours of playing you can still make up most of the patterns governing your characters behavior. The more variables are taken into account the harder it becomes to find patterns and I think it makes the game more challenging and interesting.

Unfortunately you cannot also make too much of them because gameplay will seem random and it will make players upset.

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My game design approach on dating games are like this.

0) Definition of 'Dating'
Find someone new, and establish your own Platonic love or a simple good shag'o'matic.
All the fun should be in the PROCESS, not in the end.
There should be multiple choices. (since that's what date is all about)
The choices should not be clustered. (1 lolita, 1 glamorous, 1 sensitive, 1 histeric, 1 athletic lineup is far better than just 10 plain glamorous girls)

1) Challenge
You find (or choose) your ideal partner.
During the numerous events, you begin to understand his/her backgrounds, personalities, tastes, etc, and make emotional interaction.
Whether it's a simple shag conquest or a true love story, there must be certain give and takes, obstacles, or even challenger other than you, to achieve most of the funology in this stage.

2) Emotional Feedback
Whether it's sympathy, anger, or whatever, there should be plenty of those feedbacks out of the dating game. (Even if it's for a simple shag)
Various emotional components should be arranged in hands with the appearance of the dates.
When a person observes a thing, the information from sight first goes to Limbic System, then Cortex, meaning that, whether the player is man or woman, it's always 'instincts and emotions' first. 'Reasoning' is the next step. Visual novel is best amongst all form since it's both cost effective and efficient. If you are going 3D, you'd have to hire a good 3D modeler and a good animator (and a good rendering engine with good motion blend func) obviously.

3) Conquest and/or Conclusion
It's either you find your true love or you finally shag :)
If it's a true love story with all those romantic moments, I suggest 'happily everafter' ending. No possible replayability.
If it's shag your way, I suggest multi endings, each from different dates.

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Original post by Limdul
My game design approach on dating games are like this....


Thanks that probably the best reply yet ^_^

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I guess one of the traps people fall into is the difference between a dating sim and a visual novel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_novels).

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I think the best dating sims are the ones that have a larger and hopefully more philosophical plot goal which runs parallel to the courtship goal. In Harvest Moon you rehabilitate a decrepit farm into a farming empire, and some editions of the game add a secondary element like saving the town from real estate developers. In Azure Dreams you likewise rehabilitate a decrepit town. In True Love you have to balance your monetary, academic, and athletic achievements. In both cases this includes subgoals of solving NPCs' psychological and other problems. Other dating sims have been based around solving a mystery, or the more typical hero plot of defeating a villain and/or invading army (FF7 was initially designed to be part dating-sim but most of the design was canceled in development).

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You should put in emotions. If you want it to be realistic then you should watch some of the reality shows on MTV and see what happens in their and put that "drama" into your SIM. This can help your game by gaining the gamers interest.

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