I found the variety of romantic activities in the game to be quite unsatisfying! The brevity of it currently has the weird effect that every long-term couple ends up with the same short list of interests. Fitness Lifestyle in particular seems to show up every time without fail.
Is this part of the game’s disempowerment theme? Does it imply a claim that there is no deep variety of relationships to be found in an internet romance? If so, disregard this entire post. Otherwise, I would like to suggest a specific remedy. I believe Redshirt would benefit from having a one-off inventory item in the shop that would serve as the requirement for further romantic VA activities. By making the item costly, the addition of new activities feels less like an opening of freedom, and more like just another moneydrain. (Are you really committed enough to slap down the karmacreds for romance?) Besides, nothing saps a VA-Tech quite like debugging someone else’s romantic fantasies. Any of them would defend that pricetag.
Pass for Romantic VA
It’s humiliating that they make you pay for this.
+Interest (Virtuo-Augmento Simulations)
+Skill (Romantic Maneuvers)
Some ideas for the specific activities it could unlock:
(Safer) Romantic Theme Park Trip
Romantic Venlithian Beach Holiday
“Star in an Old Romance Movie!” - Terran Holonostalgia
Work-Life Balance Workshop - Corporate Training
Half-Finished Romance Program - Creative Pursuits, Unsolicited Tinkering
Future Simulation for Couples - Delusions of Stardom, Self-Indulgence
“Realistic” Future Simulation for Couples - Delusions of Stardom, Self-Improvement
These are just brainstorming ideas. Any of them could be used or discarded. I could give snarky descriptions for any of them. Quite possibly, there shouldn’t be this many of them. The core suggestion is the pass itself.
Bias disclosure: I see the idea of the VA deck as being the least appalling aspect of the game’s entire setting. In order to prevent VAS obsession from creeping into too many of the player’s romantic interactions, I will admit it is possible only some of these should increase the Virtuo-Augmento Simulations interest. Although I would point out that this potential ‘interest fixation’ only really opens up as a meaningful possibility if the player buys the Pass for Romantic VA, so they’re kind of asking for it. (It’s like buying that mandolin, paying its repair cost constantly, and then complaining that Music became your primary interest.)
Is anyone eyeing the “Work-Life Balance Workshop” inclusion? Doesn’t sound very romantic? Megalodon-9 is a dystopia! All the VIPs on the station find your little-person romances quaint at best. Attending should reduce Happiness, but it should increase Adequate Scheduling and Fooling your Boss (Pandering to Authority?) skill. I’d say the important part is that it qualifies well enough as a date for jealousy purposes: “Why are you attending work-life balance workshops WITH SOMEONE ELSE? Just whose life are you balancing with your work?”