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To combine game genre's or not.

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by dreamlarp, Nov 1, 2014.

  1. dreamlarp

    dreamlarp

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    An interesting question has popped up in another thread.

    What types of games should be combined?
    The MOBA genre itself came from combining many game types into one. The genre took off and is now one of the most copied in the business.

    But when have you gone too far and when are you a genius?
    I have seen a side scroller 2d mmo. Now this would not be my thing but I see it has many playing it.

    Many of us have elements of other game types within our main games but lets explore combining game types.
     
  2. JoeStrout

    JoeStrout

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    I don't think there's any pat answer to this. You're a genius if the result is fun; if people hate it, then you're not a genius. :)

    Not very helpful, I know, but I think that's maybe all that can be said in general... beyond that, we'd have to get into specifics.

    I guess when I think about it, High Frontier combines elements of the city sim with elements of economic development (like the Tycoon games) and elements of whatever you would call KSP (a CAD game?). I think that works for us. But I wouldn't throw a FPS or MMO into the mix.
     
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  3. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    A sandbox? Because clearly the entire point of Kerbal Space Program is to do really absurd things with rockets.
     
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  4. JoeStrout

    JoeStrout

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    Well, yeah, KSP's (partly) a sandbox game, but that's a really generic term — I mean, so are pretty much all the Sim games (and so is High Frontier, for that matter). AFAIK, sandbox could apply to any game where there isn't a clearly defined objective, but instead you have the freedom to just noodle around and create whatever you want.
     
  5. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    First person shooter / massive multiplayer online card capture game.

    Real time strategy / Restaurant simulation / time management game

    Turn based platformer

    Stealth based tactical espionage music/rhythm game.

    Flight simulation / crisis management / counter terrorism ( you fly the plane during a hostage situation)
     
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  6. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Real time roguelikes, both first person and third person, are very popular as well.
     
  7. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    In all seriousness, no. Even the most basic genre is still full of possibility, combining them is ok sometimes, but like Avril said it's all been done before.
     
  8. RockoDyne

    RockoDyne

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    Well, the only thing the game does is hand you several tons of rocket parts and vaguely points upward, as if that might be the direction you want to go in, so I would mostly call it sandbox until they really ramp up the tycoon elements.

    Back to the topic... kinda. Here's the negative side to crossing genres without actually understanding them.
     
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  9. RockoDyne

    RockoDyne

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    I think japan already made this. Couldn't be any worse than recettear.
    I could have swore I've played something like this.
    Metal Gear Samba
     
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  10. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    The horror the horror
     
  11. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    I have thought for a long time my ultimate game to make one day will combine many different genres. You'd begin perhaps in a top down view driving game rushing to reach a certaind destination within a time limit. Once there you'd enter a building or so forth and when you popped out you'd be in a platform game. At the end of the long level you'd get in a chopper and end up in a side scrolling shooter with emphasis on rescuing people (kinda like chop lifter actually). Complete that and you'll go back in top down mode in a stealth strategy game to get the team (you and rescued scientists or whatever) through the area collecting something. Then you'd reach an underground dock and enter a sub. Now you are in the ocean depths exploring. And so on. I think such a multi genre experience would excel at story telling.
     
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  12. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    Like an epic movie.

    My fantasy game is huge like this, too.

    Square Enix says that they'll never make a Final Fantasy 7 remake by today's standards because there's no way they could afford it. That's why we've got these linear tiny scope RPGs these days.

    I remember reading in a Stephen King book that he thought Apocalypse Now would it go down in history as a big mistake because of the size of the budget and that movie makers would probably never go for budgets like that again. Now we see movies with a hundred times that budget.

    One day man one day
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014
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  13. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    Meh. I guess I tire of YouTube douchery. Make a game or shut it. That's what I think about so-called experts like Extra Credits and this guy. Presents opinion as fact.

    I mean, if there was no upgrading what would people say? Yep. So and so game has upgrading, so this game has a lack of depth, etc. Ultimately I think the AAA developers with their assembly line of virtually indistinguishable games have painted themselves into a bit of a corner.

    And I don't understand why intelligent adults can't understand that stats are not a role-playing element... otherwise NBA JAM was an RPG.
     
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  14. RockoDyne

    RockoDyne

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    One thing I noticed the last time I played FF7, It was really ambitious. Just the materia system and the arena that can just rip out whole chunks of it is more complicated than just about all of 13 (okay, I'm probably being mean to it, but I'm only 5 hours in and it's just ulcer inducing). Who knows what Squenix is thinking though, they already ported DQ8 to unity, but clearly no one told management that they could just port it to every platform known to man in a week. /rant


    I wouldn't say you shouldn't combine genres, but that's not what you're doing. What you are really doing is combining mechanics and elements that usually aren't thought of as typically associated. Even saying MOBA's are a genrebender (try to get that image out of your head) is a bit of a misnomer. DotA could just as easily have used diablo as a base instead of warcraft and it wouldn't have been that different. Hell, turning warcraft into diablo was probably the point of DotA.
     
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  15. dreamlarp

    dreamlarp

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    All good points guys. I was thinking more along the lines on idea's like a wizard 101. I am not the big fan since it's for kids but still it combines sandbox RPG with card game.
     
  16. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

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    Mixing genres is a very useful thing, actually.

    I recommend reading this article, on a dissection of Super Mario World for the SNES. What you'll find is that the Mario series was among the first games to realize that you could use mechanics from another genre, to solve another genres problems. It's worth reading.

    Also, genres are subjective. You could argue Terraria isn't a 'Minecraft-like' at all, but that it's a sidescrolling action platformer with Metroidvania and RPG elements, but that sure is a mouthful.
     
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  17. RJ-MacReady

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    I'll read it. Later. Genres, if I may be so bold... genres are kind of b.s. I mean, who the hell really cares? I'm not trying to start an argument. It's not the genre that defines what we as designers attempt to do, at all. Genre be damned. There are certain gameplay elements that simply do not work together, or that do. Comedy and horror can be combined in a movie... yet some would attempt to place them into a genre. Comedy/Horror. Okay, so I think we spend entirely too much time worrying about what are essentially tools for organizing videos at Blockbuster in the 90's or today on Netflix so people can search by section, if they're too dull-witted to find another way of learning about new films to watch. It's no different with games. I think as an Indie developer you don't even have to concern yourself with genre definitions because for someone to hear about your game at all is marvelous, and it's going to be by an article or word of mouth not by searching "FPS/RPG" and then looking at page 7 on the results where they will click on your game for some unknown reason.

    </ramble>

    Yes, I ramble. But if you don't read it... your loss.
     
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  18. eelstork

    eelstork

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    Searching by section isn't what designers are worrying about.

    Players have expectations and (usually) a very short attention span. Most players I know will give less than a minute to a game. After they (think they) have identified what genre the game belongs to, they will decide whether to push further (or hit the home button).

    The trouble starts when they push a little further and start using their mental frame to play your game. A game borrowing features from another genre (than what the player identifies the game with, never mind what the designer intended) is asking the player to think out of the box (or hit the home button).

    I might describe my first game as a kind of 3D visual novel with adventure (aka 'puzzle') elements. Now, because it had dpad controls a lot of players thought it was something else, so they skipped all the dialogs and got stuck 20% in. Too bad for them and getting stuck early on doesn't necessarily yield bad reviews but not a result I'm especially proud of.

    And the worse is? Popular games set standards for what players will expect in a game. If a game doesn't fit, players are much less likely to engage with it and give it a decent try. A couple years back I would go around demoing my game and people would stare at me blankly and ask "Do you have Temple Run?". So, in 2012 lots of casual players would think about games in terms of how they compare with Temple Run.

    I'd like to tell you that indies don't need to worry about genres since we're making games for... for whom? "super-educated gamers"? game critiques? Honestly I feel happy when my family and friends (of friends) even bother trying out my games. The next game jam isn't one hour drive away.

    I'm 100% for combining genres - even better, trying to escape categorisations and cherry-picking features. However it needs to be done with a lot of care. Not just making sure that the design actually works, but understanding (through testing and re-designing, mostly) how players will engage with your design.

    More like a patchwork of genres than a smooth blend, but for this reason it can work very nicely.
     
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  19. eelstork

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    Sorry, didn't mean to derail this thread.
    Meta: wrote this upon reading a comment that later was deleted by a mod, or by its author(?). Not being apologetic about my contribution to this thread.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
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  20. RJ-MacReady

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    This is what stood out to me. That's what I'm responding to, in large part. If you're having that much trouble getting and keeping player's attention, you simply must rethink your strategy.

    Here, you call (inadvertently) most gamers uneducated. It's not the consumer's job to research which games are worth playing. It's your job to tell them. People do judge books by the cover. This won't ever change.

    No point in looking down your nose at them. They're just going to find someone who will gladly cater to them.

    ...

    Does this have anything to do with genres?

    Sure. K.I.S.S. They expect action games to have action, Puzzle games to have puzzles. I think it's ironic that you lament people not responding to your games how you desire, while advocating the cause of your troubles.
     
  21. eelstork

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    No. This is more than a crude extrapolation of what I wrote.
    Don't put words in my mouth.
     
  22. RJ-MacReady

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    Putting something in quotes would indicate a note of cyncicism in this instance. You're saying that such a thing does not really exist, except in hyperbolic argument. It's like saying "healthy morbidly obese people".

    You can say what you like, now, after the fact. You've made your opinion clear. I'm sorry if you feel I'm just going around "crudely extrapolating" what people mean by words they write. I've got quite a bit of practice with "talking" and "reading", though so I'm gonna go ahead and go with my gut on this one.
     
  23. JoeStrout

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    Everybody please chill out. We've got a great community here, and I respect both of you as game designers, and you both have some valid points to make. Let's not get mean about it.
     
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  24. Aiursrage2k

    Aiursrage2k

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    I guess it would depend on what genres you combine. The problem is you might mix the genres in a way that neither of the groups like the result. I think mixing them up you could get an interesting result.

    Just thinking of some wacky mix ups.

    Survival Horror + Golf
    Zombie Golf. Avoid getting eaten by the zombies, while getting the lowest score on the golf course.

    Racing + Hacking.
    Drone Wars.
    You play as a pizza boy with an old car, but now your competing against drones -- using your hacking skills. You have to blow those suckers out of the air and get your pizza delivered on time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2014
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  25. Ryiah

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    Someone apparently had the same idea. A search for "Zombie Golf" turns up a flash game. :p
     
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  26. RJ-MacReady

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    I think you're wall of text, lengthy diatribe of me could have been 2 or 3 times longer. Frankly I'm disappointed.
     
  27. BeefSupreme

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    Calling dibs on guitar controlled cooking sims.
     
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  28. JoeStrout

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    Oh gods yes. Done poorly, attempts at genre-mixing can result in abominations like this one. If the goal of literature is to evoke a reaction in the reader, he succeeded — I have never been so pissed off at a book before, and I'll never read another David Weber work again.

    (Not that "vampires vs. aliens" couldn't be a fun mix, but you have to be up front about it, not spring it on the reader/player in the last couple of chapters/levels.)
     
  29. RJ-MacReady

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    The zombies wouldn't be allowed on the course without membership, that idea is ludicrous.

    And if you were a hacker, why not hack the drones to deliver your pizzas for you...
     
  30. RJ-MacReady

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    Well, if they can make a movie about Dracula: Untold as though he were an actual historical figure with backstory "they" haven't been telling us... he could technically save the day in the far future. Modern writers seem to be following the South Park mantra of, "Whatever. **** you."
     
  31. Gigiwoo

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    ^ This. When in doubt, I close my browser and come back the next day. Feeding the trolls only makes things worse.

    Gigi
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2014
  32. Aiursrage2k

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    Maybe to rebel against his dad who owns the biggest drone delivery pizza company, and he wants to show him that humanity is better machines.
     
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  33. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    A modern Paul Bunyan vs. The Lumber Machine.
     
  34. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    Now, now... there's no need for name calling. Do I live under a bridge? Sure. Have I on more than one occasion charged a toll to pass... I'm legally not allowed to discuss that pending the ruling.

    But if you cut me with a light elemental blade, do I not bleed green ichor (and sustain 13 damage and 3 seconds of mana burn)?

    Can't we all just get along (except those who are clearly wrong)?
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2014