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Crossed Genres of Games


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#1 Paul Cunningham   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 18 June 2000 - 07:55 PM

It appears to me that most gamers give little care whether or not a game genre has been crossed with another. And for that, why would a gamer care. If a games good then a games good, right? But at course there will be people who prefer games to stick to one or two genres. For hardcore gamers crossing the genres of games is like losing the horror section from the video shop. How would you feel if there was no more comedy movies. ie they were all crossed with other classes of movies just so the makers could sell their product to more people. So is it a good thing, or bad... booo hisss? Hmmmm - the question awaits you!

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#2 Kylotan   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3338

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Posted 20 June 2000 - 12:20 AM

I think a lot of people make ''genre'' out to be some sort of evil thing. There''s no such thing as a universally ''good'' game, as everyone has different tastes. So saying a game is simply good, regardless of genre, is not going to apply to all players.

The genre plays a vital role in letting a gamer know in advance whether they are likely to enjoy the game. I doubt that more than 1% of computer gamers have the money (never mind the time) to play every game that comes onto the market to see how good they are. Instead, they cull the massive selection down on the basis of a few criteria. Genre is possibly the biggest of those criteria. The development team responsible for the game is another one. Quality of screenshots on the packaging is another. Or reviews in magazines. Etc. Personally I like to head for the ''strategy'' section in my local game store, and bypass the ''flight sim'' section. This is an example of where the genre makes it physically easier for me to find what I like.

If you can''t classify your game, then a lot of people won''t have any idea whether they''ll like it or not. And therefore will be hesitant to spend money on it. So if your game crosses too many genres, it risks being unclassifiable, as well as running the risk that you include a genre that someone hates ("Well, it looks like a good shooter, but all that puzzle crap is boring"). and alienating people. It''s a shame to lose a large proportion of your audience just because 10% of your game is based on something that they hate. As an example, I liked Doom, but not Duke Nukem 3D, largely because Doom had a more scary atmosphere whereas Duke was childish humour. The gameplay seems the same though. A slight change to incorporate someone''s idea of comedy made the game not fun enough to bother with, for me.

#3 Paul Cunningham   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 21 June 2000 - 03:23 AM

Where are the example of losing customers. Are we just scared to cross these genres together or do we have so strong ration proof that problems will occur?

Besides, when a genre is crossed the people lost could equal the people gained by the inclusion of the extra genre.

Also most people that i know don''t care too much about the genre, they just read the reviews/previews and then see what''s worth buying. By crossing genres sucessfully you might be adding excitment to the delivery of your product to the market as well.

Food for thought ;-)

The measure of intelligence is in the question not the answer.

#4 Kylotan   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3338

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Posted 23 June 2000 - 03:46 AM

quote:
Original post by Paul Cunningham

Where are the example of losing customers. Are we just scared to cross these genres together or do we have so strong ration proof that problems will occur?


One assumption is that publishers fund that which is successful, and since publishers seem to be funding a lot of generic first-person shooters, real-time strategy, and role-playing games right now, it would seem that single-genre games are in fashion. Look at the most popular games: almost all of them have been ''pure'': Quake, Command and Conquer, Tetris etc. This isn''t hard data, but it''s a strong implication.

quote:

Besides, when a genre is crossed the people lost could equal the people gained by the inclusion of the extra genre.


Of course, it -could-. But I think that most people like less than half the genres available. If that is the case, adding a genre reduces a game''s appeal. It would also tend to increase the proficiency level required to play.

quote:

Also most people that i know don''t care too much about the genre, they just read the reviews/previews and then see what''s worth buying.


Not everyone reads magazines. Especially children who might just hear about what game is cool at school or something. Personally, I don''t have time to read every review in a magazine so I skip to the reviews of games I think I will like. Which are usually determined by developer and genre.


#5 Paul Cunningham   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 23 June 2000 - 08:45 PM

quote:
Original post by Kylotan

One assumption is that publishers fund that which is successful, and since publishers seem to be funding a lot of generic first-person shooters, real-time strategy, and role-playing games right now, it would seem that single-genre games are in fashion. Look at the most popular games: almost all of them have been ''pure'': Quake, Command and Conquer, Tetris etc. This isn''t hard data, but it''s a strong implication.


You can''t say that because a company goes bankrupt that its because they try to do something completely new. I understand that a lot of companies produce numerous crap titles first for many reason''s like getting titles under their belt in order to gain publisher confidence.

It''s said that sometime the biggest risk in life is not taking a risk. I say that most of the large companies in the CG Industry got the by taking the industies games in new and revolutionary direction. Which companies have made it anywhere in the industry by replicating everone elses idea''s? Bah, not many!

quote:

Not everyone reads magazines. Especially children who might just hear about what game is cool at school or something. Personally, I don''t have time to read every review in a magazine so I skip to the reviews of games I think I will like. Which are usually determined by developer and genre.



That''s a fare answer but it doesn''t offer much. Is there a argument here?

That was to easy :-)




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#6 Kylotan   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3338

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Posted 27 June 2000 - 03:38 AM

quote:
Original post by Paul Cunningham

You can''t say that because a company goes bankrupt that its because they try to do something completely new. I understand that a lot of companies produce numerous crap titles first for many reason''s like getting titles under their belt in order to gain publisher confidence.


I never said what you imply in the first sentence. However, most companies are in the habit of making money, so the choice between something that will pay and something that might pay is a fairly clear one for all but the most well-established development teams.

You are also equating ''unoriginal'' with ''crap'' which I do not think is a fair comparison. But that is a point for another thread.

quote:

It''s said that sometime the biggest risk in life is not taking a risk. I say that most of the large companies in the CG Industry got the by taking the industies games in new and revolutionary direction. Which companies have made it anywhere in the industry by replicating everone elses idea''s? Bah, not many!


You''re only looking at the results, and ignoring the process. For each of these companies who got to be massive by doing something different, there are 5 others who went under trying something different, that you probably never heard of. And 10 more who are doing quite well emulating everyone else.

Not everyone wants to be the best, at the risk of losing their jobs. Hell, some people mortgage their homes to set up a new development company. They probably just want to work doing the things they love, not risk it all to compete to try and beat everyone else. You don''t -have- to try and win. They''ll be happy if they can collect their paycheck on time, and there are a lot of ''unoriginal'' developers doing that. And why not.

quote:

That''s a fare answer but it doesn''t offer much. Is there a argument here?



The argument is that genres sell games. A lot of people claim to not care about the genre (just as they do with music) but marketing people do, and retailers do, and magazines do. It all counts.



#7 Paul Cunningham   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 28 June 2000 - 04:22 PM

Yeah, this may go off the topic a bit but who cares, no else is contributing...

quote:
Original post by Kylotan
I never said what you imply in the first sentence. However, most companies are in the habit of making money, so the choice between something that will pay and something that might pay is a fairly clear one for all but the most well-established development teams.


My apologies Kylotan, you did not say that at all. The biggest problem with trying to emulate and improve other peoples games is that by the time you''ve finished it its quite likely you''ve been beaten to the mark. Unlike doing original games where this risk is reduced significantly. Thus less risk. It''s also a fact that original titles sell the best and more money is made from them than do emulations as you/we put them. I can''t quote you resources to check this so if you wish to doubt me thats your call :-) (until i can check back with this, i''ll see what i can do)
quote:

You are also equating ''unoriginal'' with ''crap'' which I do not think is a fair comparison. But that is a point for another thread.


Ok, i should have said "churn outs" instead of unoriginal. That very sharp of you :-). and thankyou for correcting me, much appreicated.
quote:

You''re only looking at the results, and ignoring the process. For each of these companies who got to be massive by doing something different, there are 5 others who went under trying something different, that you probably never heard of. And 10 more who are doing quite well emulating everyone else.


True to an extent but i think you are placing artifical numbers in to twist the argument in your favour unnaturally here.

Those who failed fall into 2 categories in my book:
1. Lack of Game Development skills (internal)
2. Lack of money or marketing knowhow (external)

I don''t see any excuses for unoriginal titles do you?
quote:

Not everyone wants to be the best, at the risk of losing their jobs. Hell, some people mortgage their homes to set up a new development company. They probably just want to work doing the things they love, not risk it all to compete to try and beat everyone else. You don''t -have- to try and win. They''ll be happy if they can collect their paycheck on time, and there are a lot of ''unoriginal'' developers doing that. And why not.
[quote]
Well why not indeed but where is this going to get them. If you don''t compete you die, these are the market forces. You must be aggresive and you must be smart. I feel sorry for people who do what you just said.

You have to run just to keep up in todays world or you are already dead.
[quote]
The argument is that genres sell games. A lot of people claim to not care about the genre (just as they do with music) but marketing people do, and retailers do, and magazines do. It all counts.



Most magazines that i''ve read are quite happy with cross genre games. It only take a few extra dabs of ink to splat an extra genre onto a title. I don''t think i said anything about removing genres did i?


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#8 Kylotan   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3338

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Posted 30 June 2000 - 03:36 AM

quote:
Original post by Paul Cunningham

The biggest problem with trying to emulate and improve other peoples games is that by the time you''ve finished it its quite likely you''ve been beaten to the mark. Unlike doing original games where this risk is reduced significantly. Thus less risk. It''s also a fact that original titles sell the best and more money is made from them than do emulations as you/we put them. I can''t quote you resources to check this so if you wish to doubt me thats your call :-) (until i can check back with this, i''ll see what i can do)



I think it would be more true to say that good original titles sell well. Better than good unoriginal titles, I''m sure. But bad original titles sink without a trace. Whereas FPS-by-numbers or YetAnotherRTS are guaranteed a certain amount of sales merely by being part of the genre - they have 1 redeeming feature (familiarity).

Many development houses will prefer to know they can shift 20,000 units, than to have a 50% chance of shifting 200,000 and a 50% chance of only shifting 21,000. Only really confident developers with a lot of tested talent, or those with unwavering publisher backing (these 2 are usually 1 and the same) would want to take the gamble, because once your funding reaches zero, it''s quite literally game over. Doesn''t matter if your 80% finished game was going to revolutionize the market - if you can''t afford to pay the electricity bill for the office, you can''t write the thing. Getting the game on the shelves is the most important thing for a developer.

quote:

Those who failed fall into 2 categories in my book:
1. Lack of Game Development skills (internal)
2. Lack of money or marketing knowhow (external)

I don''t see any excuses for unoriginal titles do you?


You''re not born with game development skills, and few companies start off with a lot of money or indeed get any significant marketing behind them. So, by your model, there is no room for any new companies.

I bet most artists started with Join The Dots or Colour-By-Numbers And the best writers probably ended their childhood stories with "and then I went home" Remember Commander Keen? The people who went on to revolutionise the first person shooter genre with Doom and Quake, used to churn out quite standard 2d platform games. You start as below-average, and work your way up. You acquire the skills, and hence publisher confidence, to be able to turn these exotic ideas into reality.

The moral here is that a lot of companies have to start somewhere. They have to do whatever is within their ability, and they have to ensure they can keep the paychecks coming.

quote:

If you don''t compete you die, these are the market forces. You must be aggresive and you must be smart. I feel sorry for people who do what you just said.


I don''t. Programming and designing games is fun. Who cares if it''s not the best game? If 5000 people play one of my games, it might be one of the worst sellers in history, but hell, there are 5000 people having fun with something I made. Wouldn''t you feel good? Wouldn''t you prefer to be making a not-so-amazing game to stacking beans in a grocery store, or telesales? I know I would. I feel envious of those people.

quote:

You have to run just to keep up in todays world or you are already dead.



I don''t think that is true. In fact I think it''s a common misconception. For every Wal-Mart there are a lot of happy shopkeepers who just owns their own shop. You don''t always need to be expansionistic and aggressive to get anywhere. There is room for the little guys too.

quote:

Most magazines that i''ve read are quite happy with cross genre games. It only take a few extra dabs of ink to splat an extra genre onto a title.


Some mags group the games by genre. And I don''t bother reading certain sections because I don''t like 90% of that type of game Obviously not all people are as lazy as me. But even so, when you''re in the store with your cash in hand, and can''t decide between Game A and Game B, you''re more likely to go with what you -know- you enjoy.

#9 Paul Cunningham   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 30 June 2000 - 08:08 PM

I think everyone has their own ways of buying games and its hard for us to argue this one out so i'll have to avoid it for now :-).

I'll refrase what i said earlier about expanding ones bussiness and aggresivness. I think stability comes from expanding one's business and to expand you have to be aggressive. I agree with you about the wal-mart comment but i don't believe such versions of these companies in the computer games industry will be helpful to anyone (you or i).

The one thing i love about the industry today is the healthy competition (on the software level anyhow). We need the strong aggresive companies to get the industry heard and to make it grow.

I'll admit that at course there's room for the little guy's and if i get employment in the industry it'll probably be with one. But my personal opinion is that the industry today is such a inhospitable place due to the rapids of development that you can't ride through it in a "wooden canoe like company" hoping for a fun ride :-)


WE are their,
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Edited by - Paul Cunningham on July 1, 2000 3:48:15 AM




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