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Session Name:

Game Narrative Summit: Kindness Coins, or Chemistry Casino? A New Take On Romantic/Sexual Narrative Design


The popular term "kindness coins" describes the transactional nature of many romantic or sexual relationships in games: do enough "nice things" for an NPC until they "reward" the PC with love or sex. But what if there was an approach that allowed for more narrative flexibility, more opportunity for player role play, more agency and character development for NPCs, and most importantly, more meaningful or erotic relationship arcs? What if core loops and narrative arcs weren't based on generic "kindness" or "flirts" but on character-specific chemistry? What if romance and attraction can be triggered in EVERY game system, not just dialogue? And to make it really spicy, how can writers and designers incorporate a little romantic random chance into the mix? This talk will explore these questions and more while presenting two useful new models for moving beyond kindness coins: the chemistry card tower, and the chemistry casino.

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