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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jockie's Avatar
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    Gaming subcultures

    I was trying to write something recently and question arose that I don't have any real answer to, so I thought the clever peoples of RPS might be able to give me a hand.

    Essentially, there are a lot of gamers out there playing extremely niche games, be they undiscovered or too hardcore for the mainstream (like a traditional no graphics rogue-like), or containing game-play that is unpalatable for the masses (like roleplaying persistent worlds on Nwn, or the time-heavy games like Mortal Online).

    Maybe these games are heavy mods or contain a lot of user-made content (like clans of Arma 2 where members script and design their own missions and play them for absolute realism) and the average player might lack the technical nous to get involved. Maybe it's just a game that for most is considered an outmoded relic, propped up by a loving fanbase ( Freelancer for instance still has quite a strong multiplayer component from what I gather)

    In the topic title I use the term 'sub-cultures' but that's not entirely accurate, I'm just looking for some really unique experiences, where hardcore groups of players gather together around a single title and have experiences that can't really be found elsewhere and was wondering if you folks had any good examples?

    Edit: Please bear in mind, I'm not really talking about E-sports and it's hardcore fanatics, or well known games like Eve.
    Last edited by Jockie; 15-08-2011 at 07:37 PM.
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  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    I don't know for sure, but I feel certain Sleep Is Death must have developed into this kind of thing by now. (An elite group of people who love improv and have a strong stomach for clunky GUIs!).

  3. #3
    Project Reality mod for BF2 is a good thing to check out. I've been playing it for about 8 months now and am only now "getting it". The culture surrounding the game tends to swing between telling awesome stories about good matches that were played or bitching about pubbies who aren't living the game every day. I would recommend anyone who owns it to download the mod and jump in. It requires some reading and a mic with their custom Mumble installed (but that comes with the download so no biggie). But once you get past the learning cliff it really is a blast.

    I will say though I've had more good times on that mod than in BF2 or BC2. It remains to be seen if BF3 can provide some awesome matches since I haven't seen much of the multiplayer aside from the alpha map.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jockie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berzee View Post
    I don't know for sure, but I feel certain Sleep Is Death must have developed into this kind of thing by now. (An elite group of people who love improv and have a strong stomach for clunky GUIs!).
    Good shout, exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for, Project Reality I'm a little ignorant of, it's essentially turning BF2 into a Arma-like game?
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  5. #5
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    I would say Morrowind and its Tamriel Rebuilt (http://tamriel-rebuilt.org/) and all other mods. The game itself is pretty old but community is still alive and working! There are many more project aside Tamriel rebuilt that are HUGE and AWESOME.

  6. #6
    Moderator Anthile's Avatar
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    Milsimmers. That is all.
    to wound the autumnal city.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthile View Post
    Milsimmers. That is all.
    On that note, but larger and older: wargamers. Wargaming's a big enough subculture, in fact, to have its own sub-subcultures.

  8. #8
    Activated Node BathroomCitizen's Avatar
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    I think that Dominions 3 is a very niche game that requires quite a bit of learning: none of my gaming friends have ever wanted to even look at it!

    It has an healthy modding community too that adds many new factions everyday.

  9. #9
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    Muds are probably very underground, also players of obscure games like BZFlag or Continuum.
    Last edited by Tei; 16-08-2011 at 10:32 AM.

  10. #10
    Lesser Hivemind Node westyfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jockie View Post
    Good shout, exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for, Project Reality I'm a little ignorant of, it's essentially turning BF2 into a Arma-like game?
    No. It's still the BF2 formula of two teams of 32 duking it out with infantry and vehicles, but the maps are much bigger than vBF2 ('vanilla' is what PR players call BF2 - the standard, plain experience). It's not a whole lot like ArmA, other than that it aims for realism. A better comparison would perhaps be Bad Company 2's hardcore mode - it's still the same game, but with increased lethality and most of the HUD elements gone. It's a little hard to describe, but I'd recommend it - playing PR was one of the best times in gaming I've ever had.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    The X series has a relatively small but very dedicated community. There's people who don't really play a lot else, and spend hundreds and thousands of hours with it, something I find doesn't usually happen outside of sims and multiplayer games. I think it has a lot in common with indie game communities like Dwarf Fortress because the developers play an active role in the community and encourage modding and suggestions. http://forum.egosoft.com/

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lambchops's Avatar
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    I guess something like the Adventure Game Studio community would fit what you are describing. I've never really dived into it myself, despite being a big adventure game fan. Largely I'm a bit wary of quality control (or indeed getting excited about projects which may never get finished) and so only tend to play games which have had their genesis in that communtiy when they have become recognised by the likes of RPS or gone commercial indie. Definitely a niche game interest with an active community though I got the feeling that you were more looking for things centred around a game rather than a genre/design tool from your initial post.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jockie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambchops View Post
    I guess something like the Adventure Game Studio community would fit what you are describing. I've never really dived into it myself, despite being a big adventure game fan. Largely I'm a bit wary of quality control (or indeed getting excited about projects which may never get finished) and so only tend to play games which have had their genesis in that communtiy when they have become recognised by the likes of RPS or gone commercial indie. Definitely a niche game interest with an active community though I got the feeling that you were more looking for things centred around a game rather than a genre/design tool from your initial post.
    Well the thread has given me quite a bit of food for thought, I think I'm being drawn more towards multi-player games though and the sort of more unique interactions you find in the communities. Milsimmers who assign themselves ranks and form squads, where they try to use real life maneuvers. Sleep is Death where people are inventing interactive stories on the fly. MUDs are kind of the same thing as the persistent world scene for me, but generally with more flexible systems and less frills, but still rather interesting.

    Basically now I'm looking at unique, niche online experiences and the communities surrounding them, where the player interactions are key to the experience and can't be replicated without other players (ie no games where mp aspects are largely optional - theme park MMO's to a degree, or can be replicated by AI - any mp game where you can replace humans with bots )
    Last edited by Jockie; 16-08-2011 at 12:02 AM. Reason: nooking isnt a word.
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  14. #14
    Lesser Hivemind Node Keep's Avatar
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    Interactive fiction? Or I guess if you're saying "must be MP", Sleep Is Death or MUDs fit your requirements to a tee.

  15. #15
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    The Racing sim community, and one title: Grand Prix Legends

    It dosn't get more hardcore than driving 60's F1 cars. Ridiculously low weight, high horsepower, no traction control or seatbelts, only drum brakes, and tires narrower than on a mountainbike. The only way to get around the corner was drifting. And GPL is a proper simulator, with accurate physics and everything.

    If you think what modders have done with Tamriel Rebuilt and all is impressive, check out what they've done with that game.

    Not only have they updated the 1998 graphics of the original game, last I heard they were working on adding aerodynamics. They've even modified it to an extent that you can race the full 1967 closed wheel sportscar season.

    And most harcore of all, they've recreated the 1967 edition Targa Florio - a race track where a single lap is 72km long (44 miles), with 567 corners!!!: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0Dlj6EbfWM

    Plus there are often online competitions for it still. But the skills you need to master the game are ridiculous.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    I was active in the Freelancer online community for quite a while, played several mods on a few different servers. Given the engine limitations there was a lot of maintenance work involved with playing the game; new mod releases to patch in new events or equipment based on player interactions, new systems for factions, that sort of thing. The majority of the political part of the game took place on forums and the entire game was changed by the various rules and social norms that were instituted by the players. The servers only had very basic rules (like no hacks) while the rest of it was entirely player driven, and the mod devs would change the mod and re-release it based on what the players were doing. Got ridiculously complex at times (lots and lots of reading of posts!) but I think because it was carried by such a limited game in terms of dynamic gameplay, it seemed to be a lot more interesting and fun than games purpose built for the job (like EVE).


    Actually I don't really know what you're asking, just wanted to claim that I'm still cool because I played Freelancer online. That makes me cool, right?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    On that note, but larger and older: wargamers. Wargaming's a big enough subculture, in fact, to have its own sub-subcultures.
    Matrix and HPS and Battlefront sims have a huge proportion of white ex-military types with hard conservative streaks. Their own lingo, too.

  18. #18
    Lesser Hivemind Node icupnimpn2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jockie View Post
    Basically now I'm looking at unique, niche online experiences and the communities surrounding them, where the player interactions are key to the experience and can't be replicated without other players (ie no games where mp aspects are largely optional - theme park MMO's to a degree, or can be replicated by AI - any mp game where you can replace humans with bots )
    How about BYOND platform games. You've got the excellent-looking Nestalgia... and the wacko Space Station 13, to start. Pretty niche MMO experiences, with some of the old MUD spirit.

    Also, there's still an online Neverwinter Nights community running what amount to independent persistent worlds.

  19. #19
    Why this bizarre need to categorize people into cultures and sub-cultures and sub-sub-cultures?

    People enjoy what they enjoy - leave it at that.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jockie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobsLawnService View Post
    Why this bizarre need to categorize people into cultures and sub-cultures and sub-sub-cultures?

    People enjoy what they enjoy - leave it at that.
    What's with the bizarre need to comment on forum topics without having read any of the content?

    I'm not trying to categorise anyone, I'm looking for some unique experiences in gaming and the communities that build around them, because I'm interested in writing an articule about (and experiencing) some of the more extreme niche gaming practises.
    Last edited by Jockie; 16-08-2011 at 08:12 AM.
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