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Thread: Genre 2.0

  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Genre 2.0

    Genre 2.0
    The old genres have gotten bloated and undescripive, a gamer has no idea what to expect from an RPG even if they have already played a dozen. No, they must investigate reviews just to figure out what its about, without even considering if its any good. Is mirrors edge really a first person shooter?

    Genre 2.0 will focus on how games are actually played, genres cover specific subcomponents of games by order of mental priority. Essentially, the more of your focus is spent doing something the more dominant that is.

    This is obviously is an early draft but should be a template to build on.

    Clicking on stuff:
    In this genre, you spend time trying to line up a cursor or cross hair, or other pointing device (even a stylus or finger) with a target, this Target might move or be hidden but must offer some challenge to click on/point at. Examples: Audiosurf, counterstrike, diablo, elite beat agents.

    Precognitive: This genre revolves around learning a pattern, rhythm or behavior and them remembering or guessing the right next step. The pattern may involve any manner of interface and the pattern may have any number of helpers such as audio cues, lights and indicators or even be designed to be memorable. Correctly apply the "precognition" or adjusting to inaccuracies between your model and the actuality.
    Examples include: Audiosurf, counterstrike, diablo, elite beat agents.

    Collection:
    This game revolves upon having complete sets of things, often the game will reward like grouped things with improved scores or performance in other aspects of the game, if the game is competitive or not you'll be inclined to compare your collections with others. The things you are collecting may not be objects but kills, knowledge or some other intangible.
    Examples: Audiosurf, counterstrike, diablo, elite beat agents.

    I hope these examples serve as a suitable template for future endevours.

    Additions:
    icupnimpn2 adds Unlocking:
    Interactive art experiences in this genre lead the
    audience forward with tantalizing bits of content
    carrots. Not all possibilities are available at the
    start. Completing a level could open up one or
    more levels for play, or may turn on a new
    optional feature. Anything from weapons to
    clothing to music or whole other creative works
    can be enabled, whether through success,
    unintentional achievements, or entered codes.
    Choice of what to unlock may or may not be
    allowed to the player. Content may have costs
    as conditions, met by virtual currencies such as
    Zenny or experience points. As the genre is
    streamlined, all unlocking will occur through the
    spending of real-world pounds and dollars.
    Examples: Audiosurf, counterstrike, diablo, elite
    beat agents.

    Heliocentric adds Patience:
    It's not just about waiting, its about about being
    attentive. Games which imploy patience as a
    mechanic will have dead space lulls where the
    player is literally left with nothing to do but
    await action, but were the player to go and
    build a tractor with lego and play lego arma with
    the neighbours sleeping cat being an aircraft
    carrier in the sea* you'd come back and find
    you had failed at the game. The game may
    employ music, story elements or a punitive
    aspects to help prompt the player to pay
    attention. Failure in some other core action will
    usually result in additional tests of patience. The
    most dynamic of games will have a final boss
    patience test in the form of credits which may
    or may not be skipped and may or may not
    have additional content after this final challenge.
    However at any time the player will be free to
    quit this final challenge and play lego arma,
    indeed some games expect this and loop the
    credits infinitely.
    Examples: Audiosurf, counterstrike,
    diablo, elite beat agents .
    *your garden

    Lambchops adds Journeying:
    Games in this genre offer a journey. This may
    be physical movement from A to B, either on a
    set linear path or through a sprawling open
    space. This may be a metaphorical journey
    (from Y to Z perhaps) where ones hope and
    fears are laid out on screen or reinforced
    through the repitition of certain actions. The
    journey may have an end or may be essentially
    infinite. It may be taken with a destination in
    mind or be utterey aimless. The pathways taken
    may be entirely up to the player or influenced
    by other agents within the game. The journey's
    end may be associated with success or equally
    well may be associated with abject failure.
    Examples: Audiosurf, counterstrike, diablo, elite
    beat agents.

    Goldenworm adds Defining / Redefining:
    The player is given the definitions of certain
    objects, ideas or creatures and has to a)
    correctly define them or b)redefine them
    according to instructions, or to follow the
    ongoing story or by the player´s own choice
    (open world). For example defining the npc as
    enemy and redefining him as dead, or defining
    the a block as L shaped and redefining it by
    rotation as 7 shaped. Or defining a location as
    enemy base and redefining its flag as captured.
    Examples: Audiosurf, counterstrike, diablo, elite
    beat agents.

    Heliocentric adds Customization:
    You can organise elements of the character,
    world or interface. You may be swapping out
    elements for others, changing values, vectors or
    actual entities. These customizations do not
    constitute as the main gameplay but have an
    everpresent influence.
    Examples: Audiosurf, counterstrike,
    diablo, elite beat agents .
    Last edited by Heliocentric; 07-08-2014 at 11:57 PM.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    I feel like I should add something to this great work, but all I can really say is that it will revolution ALL of my future endeavors.

  3. #3
    Network Hub Liqourish's Avatar
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    Or, we could just use tropes if we want to be specific.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    The only reason genres are hard to define right now is because we have two mutually incomprehensible metrics with which to define them and only use one of them at any one time. Your system won't work because it merely adds a third instead of resolving the first two.

    To me, those two metrics are intent and mechanics.

    FPS is a mechanic. Horror is an intent. A Horror FPS is a genre.
    TPS is a mechanic. Stealth is an intent. A Stealth TPS is a genre.
    RT Isometric is a mechanic. Roguelike is an intent. You get the idea.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
    Director of the Friends of Nalano PAC
    Attorney at Lawl
    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  5. #5
    Network Hub Liqourish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    RT Isometric is a mechanic. Roguelike is an intent.
    What.
    12345

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liqourish View Post
    What.
    Intent: What you do.
    Mechanic: How you do it.

    Mechanic: TB Isometric. Intent: RPG. Result = Wizardry is happy.
    Mechanic: TPS. Intent: RPG. Result = Wizardry is not happy.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
    Director of the Friends of Nalano PAC
    Attorney at Lawl
    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liqourish View Post
    What.
    12345
    you only needed up to 4

    Match 3:Greek epic
    Survival horror:romantic comedy

  8. #8
    Lesser Hivemind Node TillEulenspiegel's Avatar
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    Real-time isometric roguelike...? Oh, Diablo the First.

    "Roguelike" is arguably an umbrella term for a collection of mechanics. So's "stealth", in a certain context. "What kind of choices can the player make?" is probably a good question when determining the type of game.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TillEulenspiegel View Post
    Real-time isometric roguelike...? Oh, Diablo the First.

    "Roguelike" is arguably an umbrella term for a collection of mechanics. So's "stealth", in a certain context. "What kind of choices can the player make?" is probably a good question when determining the type of game.
    Well, yeah, Roguelike is a collection of mechanics: Permadeath dungeon crawl, etc. RPG has NPC conversations, multiple ways of solving the same issue, character progression, etc. But they're all pointing in one direction, and can yet be presented in a variety of ways. I'm just saying I see two layers to it. Infrastructure/superstructure, if you wish.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  10. #10
    Network Hub Liqourish's Avatar
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    Horror is a thematic element, whereas Stealth has mechanical implications - you actually have to try not to be seen by the game. There's no way for the game to "know" if it scares/unsettles you, the only thing that can be done is to combine different mechanics and designs and hope for the best.

    Isometric is not a mechanic in the same sense that first and third person shooting is. Isometric is an art style that is well suited for specific mechanics, but isn't a mechanic in and of itself.

    Roguelike is not thematic, nor "intent" - it is a collection of various game mechanics (all of which may or may not be present.) You don't use mechanics to create a roguelike, the mechanics are what define a game as roguelike.

  11. #11
    Network Hub Liqourish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Well, yeah, Roguelike is a collection of mechanics: Permadeath dungeon crawl, etc. RPG has NPC conversations, multiple ways of solving the same issue, character progression, etc. But they're all pointing in one direction, and can yet be presented in a variety of ways. I'm just saying I see two layers to it. Infrastructure/superstructure, if you wish.
    Actually, roguelike is a subgenre of RPG, and an RPG doesn't necessarily contain those elements.

    Generalizing games as having "two layers" is a bit rash. Every part of a game contributes in some way to the player reaction.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "pointing in one direction."

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liqourish View Post
    -snip-
    Horror games have an intent: To scare you. They have mechanics to foster this: Unlimited, difficult enemies; limited weaponry/ammunition. Slow reflexes. Doom 3 had the flashlight/weapon, etc.

    Stealth games have an intent: Frontal combat is not what they want you to do, and the mechanics strive to put you at a sore disadvantage should you be forced into combat.

    Roguelikes have an intent: See how far you get into the dungeon crawl, without worrying how to give you an "out."

    RPGs have an intent: To predict ways to 'think outside the box' and allow you multiple solutions to that problem. To present a story through which the player has some modicum of control.

    You could say Roguelikes and other dungeon crawls are a subgenre, except they don't bother themselves with the 'diplomatic' solution, a world more complex than "bad guys down there," nor objectives that involve more than "more loot."
    Last edited by Nalano; 03-09-2011 at 11:50 PM.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
    Director of the Friends of Nalano PAC
    Attorney at Lawl
    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lambchops's Avatar
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    Tired sarcasm:Illuminating wit

    Also I don't know why you guys are still discussing genre. Helio' just rendered all further points moot with his wonderful opening gambit!
    Last edited by Lambchops; 03-09-2011 at 11:56 PM.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambchops View Post
    Helio' just rendered all further points moot with his wonderful opening gambit!
    Yes, his mention of "future endeavors" was just a cruel allusion to the fact that he has made future endeavors meaningless. :(
    We have beaten the game.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Malawi Frontier Guard's Avatar
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    Is fun a genre? Add that to the list.

  16. #16
    Lesser Hivemind Node icupnimpn2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berzee View Post
    Yes, his mention of "future endeavors" was just a cruel allusion to the fact that he has made future endeavors meaningless. :(
    We have beaten the game.
    There is still room to add. Heliocentric could have defined all of genre 2.0 in the OP, but thought to give us the chance to participate for our own good and development. You know, like when a parent points to a picture of a pig and asks their 2-year-old what sound it makes. Let me fill in one that he must have intentionally left out.

    Unlocking:
    Interactive art experiences in this genre lead the audience forward with tantalizing bits of content carrots. Not all possibilities are available at the start. Completing a level could open up one or more levels for play, or may turn on a new optional feature. Anything from weapons to clothing to music or whole other creative works can be enabled, whether through success, unintentional achievements, or entered codes. Choice of what to unlock may or may not be allowed to the player. Content may have costs as conditions, met by virtual currencies such as Zenny or experience points. As the genre is streamlined, all unlocking will occur through the spending of real-world pounds and dollars.
    Examples: Audiosurf, counterstrike, diablo, elite beat agents.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    TPS is a mechanic. Stealth is an intent. A Stealth TPS is a genre.
    No. Stealth can also be a mechanic. Or multiple mechanics. Building a game around stealth mechanics is a stealth intent. Dark places, low lights, plenty of places to hide, well designed levels etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    RT Isometric is a mechanic. Roguelike is an intent. You get the idea.
    How is "real-time" a mechanic as such? It can encompass almost limitless mechanics. How is isometric a mechanic? It's a type of orthographic projection.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    RPG has NPC conversations, multiple ways of solving the same issue...
    Far less than half of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    RPGs have an intent: To predict ways to 'think outside the box' and allow you multiple solutions to that problem. To present a story through which the player has some modicum of control.
    The intent isn't either of those. You don't have to think outside the box when it comes to using the skills you've specialised your character in because you are used to using those skills and looking for opportunities to use those skills. Thinking outside the box goes more with puzzle games and perhaps even some adventure games. Presenting a story while giving player some control over it is the nature of visual novels and interactive fiction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    You could say Roguelikes and other dungeon crawls are a subgenre, except they don't bother themselves with the 'diplomatic' solution, a world more complex than "bad guys down there," nor objectives that involve more than "more loot."
    What? There are quite a few dungeon crawlers with multiple factions and diplomatic solutions. What dungeon crawlers have you played?

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizardry View Post
    No.
    Yes.

    :D

    10char
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  19. #19
    Network Hub Liqourish's Avatar
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    Wizardy is right. That is something I never thought I would say.

    Separating things into "intent" and "mechanics" is one thing, but you're example have been all over the place, and have failed to give any proper definition into what you mean by both of those terms. You say that stealth is "intent" (in the same group as horror?) when most people would say that it's a mechanic. You're also oversimplifying genres like roguelikes, dungeon crawlers, etc.

    Genres are not categories. Genres are complex. Games in the same genre don't only share mechanics and themes, they share underlying philosophies.

    edit: please don't just say "yes," it's useless and contributes nothing other than setting a childish mood for an intellectual discussion. He made a valid point, make a proper argument as to why you disagree, or don't say anything. It's only fair.
    Last edited by Liqourish; 04-09-2011 at 04:12 AM.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liqourish View Post
    Games in the same genre don't only share mechanics and themes, they share underlying philosophies.

    [...]

    edit: please don't just say "yes,"
    Three things.

    One, that was what I meant by "intent." Stealth has a set of mechanics directly in application to the intent of the game, which is to have you sneaking around, checking patrol patterns, and getting out without being seen. Thief. NOLF.

    Two, to have a "intelligent" argument about genre is silly to begin with, and genres will always be somewhat slapdash, because categories are arbitrary over-simplifications by definition. You are always being reductionist when you apply genres. They are mere shorthand.

    Three, I pretty much know what Wizardry has to say. He says the same thing all the time. Hence.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
    Director of the Friends of Nalano PAC
    Attorney at Lawl
    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

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