Types of Romance

   Game Design   |   Programming   |   Narrative Design & Writing   

A retro shoujo-manga inspired typing-game dating sim hybrid.

Type out the proffered poem before the time runs out.
Be careful of mistakes - you'll leave your partner in tears and will have to start the line all over!

Over the course of the poem, you may forget what you want to convey. When this happens, either pull out your notebook (and face their disapproval) or try powering through the given options!

Design Process

We were tasked with creating 2 prototypes using a typing mechanic.

My partner and I wanted to integrate typing with narrative, taking inspiration from educational typing games. Subsequently, we created 2 prototypes:

- A prototype which prioritizes speed

- A prototype which prioritizes accuracy 

Conception

After initial development, we decided to prioritize the prototype which focused on speed as its main attribute.

 

Developing our prototype further, we began to balance the game; the overall poem, complexity of each line and the text legibility / UI was overhauled to facilitate a better play experience.

After playtesting and showcasing, we learned we severely overestimated the populace's ability to type. Several factors were at work:

- Players must read / interpret the text on the fly

- Players must be adept at scanning texts

- Players must be familiar with typing on the given keyboard

- People prioritized speed, when they needed to prioritize accuracy

As a result, the win-rate was extremely low. We attempted to balance

the dialogue and speed to create an easier experience, but found we missed the difficulty of our initial design.

Development

Creating solid design pillars early within the design process would have helped us throughout development; our team tended balance the game differently among different crowds, to the point where we lost the core intrigue of the game.

Envisioning player personas and remembering our ideal method of play (designing for home is different than designing for showcase) would have saved us time and effort. In turn, we learned a lot about balancing the player's cognitive load when creating a game.

 

Nevertheless, iterating and playtesting this game among such a diverse number of people taught me many design lessons to carry forward to other projects.

Design Lessons             

Result                 

Types of Romance received generally positive reviews, though initial interest varied greatly depending on the core demographic of each event.

 

People enjoyed the genre-mashup, several returning to attempt the demo as they became heavily invested in the premise. We received donations from players who also expressed the desire to buy the game on Steam.