Romancelvania writer on her approach to romance genre tropes
Love is a battlefield
Romancelvania is a hybrid dating sim/Metroidvania game that’s making its way to Switch (hopefully soon!). In a new developer blog, the game’s writer Amanda Gardner gives some insight into her writing process and what her goals were for the game’s narrative. In the below quote, Gardner discusses how she applied classic romance novel tropes to the world of monsters.
Next up was examining something that was near and dear to my heart—the different types of frame-stories in romance novels. There’s “enemies to lovers,” which pits the couple against each other; witty banter nearly always ensues, and there’s always tons of delicious unresolved sexual tension here. A big fan favorite is also “friends to lovers,” where the characters have known each other platonically, and then “something” starts to happen between them that leaves the audience swooning. Taking a look at what’s keeping the characters apart here is what is key. Ask: why aren’t they together yet? Then, boom, there’s your trope. Are you dealing with a broody hero that can’t be hurt again? A heroine with a flighty attitude because she doesn’t want to settle down? One of the characters of Romancelvania who highlights a well-chosen trope is Van Helsing, who is the typical “enemies to lovers” choice. Van Helsing is the reason Drac is in this rut! Why on earth would Drac want to date a mortal enemy? UNRESOLVED SEXUAL TENSION. They threaten. They banter. They tease. And it’s hot. Eventually, depending on the player’s choices, Van Helsing opens up, and we see a whole new side to the monster hunter. This is what’s exciting about this trope—the progress you see!
Gardner goes into further detail on how she used reality shows such as The Bachelor for inspiration in making clashing personality types work together. She also explains the ways in which certain characters such as Medusa and P.S. Elle (pictured above) manage to both embrace and subvert tropes.
Click here to read the full post, and stay tuned to hear about an official release date for Romancelvania on Switch.