# There will be no kissing in the Matrix! And no guns!

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Wavinator    2017
"Look, just stick to the martial arts. That's what people want. This love story jazz and gunplay-- that belongs to a different genre." -Executive Producer from a parallel universe What would our movies look like if we applied genre restrictions to them as narrow as we apply to our games? The Matrix features scenes of martial arts fighting, hovercraft chases, gunplay, intrigue and double dealing and a rising love affair opposed by jealousy. Yet the single moment you propose to translate that-- in gameplay, not just as some plot point-- publishers, game creators and players alike will be up in arms. Why do you suppose that is? Are gamers more strictly segregated into genre camps than movie goers? Is it the case that the average player really only plays one type of game? If so, why? Or is the fact that you have to learn controls and the system behind the game? (IOW, skill building takes time, and so most people don't have the time to get into a lot of different games) Or is it the traditional focus on the need to win, which puts a layer of stress on the player that makes learning the controls and system even more vital (because if you don't, you'll fail and thus not be able to play the game anymore-- or be doomed to repeat it)?
As an aside, I realize genre helps focus people into the material they like. They who like Seabiscuit probably don't want to go see The Shining, and probably wouldn't like them combined... so I'm not asking why genre exists, I'm asking what defines its boundaries in games and why they're so narrow.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Well, my guess would be that the more narrow the focus, the easier it is to program. I think this is a bad way to go in a MMORPG though. They are already aimed at a pretty small minority of the gaming population, & by eliminating other aspects that draw people to a MMORPG they are shrinking their customer base even more.

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superpig    1825
Quote:
 Original post by Anonymous PosterWell, my guess would be that the more narrow the focus, the easier it is to program.
I agree, sadly. It's much easier to design and create one gameplay style that you then stretch into 10 hours of repetition, than it is to create varying styles (each of which is fully developed) that you switch between. The closest we come to that is 'minigames,' but such things are usually very simple and small scale, and do not deviate too much from the main genre though.

That said, I disagree with your assertion that "publishers, game creators and players alike will be up in arms." It's already been done, a lot. I spent a few hours today watching my brother play through Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis - most of the game is point-and-click puzzling, but occasionally Indy gets into a fight and you have to tap keys to punch and block like any other fighting game. That was 1992.

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Inmate2993    222
The thing about gaming is that the games have to implicitly teach you how to play. You never start out an RPG with a full team and facing a dozen enemies each fight, its always the one versus a rodent, and then a healer shows up, and then a second enemy starts appearing. When you have two systems of gameplay, then you have to have two implicit tutorials. And if the parts are just that one time, then its explicit tutorials. This starts to confuse players.

I'm not advocating one style of gameplay, I totally encourage multi-genre crossovers (that are within reason, I never want to play blitzball again). Just that it really has to be part of the game, and not just a tack-on.

Suikoden, PS1, had several combat systems actually, although I like Suikoden2's army battles better.

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Nathan Baum    1027
I think there are two important reasons why cross-genre games aren't particularly successful.

The first is the sheer technical difficulty of integrating genres into a game. The more genres you have, the most possible ways you have of solving puzzles. If that's not the case, then you have a rubbish game.

Suppose you had a martial arts/gun fighting/vehicle piloting/computer hacking cross-genre game. You need to get past a heavily guarded door. Realistically, what could a protagonist do? He could use his martial skills to take down the guards with stealth, he could use a sniper rifle to pick the guards off at a distance, he could use an armored car to run over the guards and smash the door down, he could hack the comms network to give them a priority order to go elsewhere. If the game allowed the player to be particularly sneaky, he might even hack the schedule to make sure that no guards were on duty at that door at a particular time tomorrow.

How easy would it be to make sure that such a game was fun to play, whilst keeping to some kind of theme and storyline? With so many ways to play the game, and so many combinations of these ways -- shoot your way into the computer room (or you could have snuck in through the air ducts), hack the hanger doors to release the groundcars (or you could have used explosives to break the locking mechanism in the hangar itself) and drive one to safety (or you could have disguise yourself and gotten on the enemy's next transport out of there) -- it would be very difficult for the programmer to know how you would have gotten to a particular place in the game. This favours a more freeform style of gameplay, where there is little contextual dependency.

In a film, it is a different matter. The players in a film don't have choices as to how they resolve a problem. In true Matrix style, the choice has already been made: by the scriptwriters. They don't have to worry about what might happen if Neo decides to take the other pill, or the other door, or let Smith have the Matrix: because that doesn't happen.

The second difference between cross-genre games and cross-genre films is how people deal with seeing things they aren't interested in.

When I'm watching a Matrix film and a love scene comes on I immediately stop paying attention. The scenes are devoid of emotional content, for me. If I'm watching it by myself, I'll skip the DVD forward. Sometimes, I'm in the mood for Smith's philosophical musings. Sometimes he bores me and drift off until he's stopped.

Most cross-genre games don't afford one this luxury.

If you're watching a film about a racing driver who streetfights in his spare time, and you don't like racing or street fighting, you can just ignore those parts.

But if you're playing a game about a racing driver who streetfights in his spare time, you can't just ignore the aspect you don't like, because the game won't play it for you.

Of course this doesn't apply to those games that will. Some shoot-em-ups have vehicles in them. I personally enjoy driving around in a shoot-em-up, so it doesn't bother me. But you're likely to please more people more of the time if you can get in the weapons seat of the vehicle and one of your buddies gets in the driving seat. Then, people who don't like driving can keep on shooting. It's also good if you don't have to use a vehicle (at least, not all the time), or if you can pick and choose your vehicles -- in Farcry, for example, you can go on foot, drive a jeep or, if you're near the shore, pilot a boat.

To summarise: Cross-genre games are more difficult to implement than cross-genre films because you have to plan for every possible action rather than just the scripted one. Cross-genre games may make it difficult for the player to concentrate upon the aspects he finds enjoyable because the player can't just tune out when he's not enjoying it.

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TechnoGoth    2937
I think the problem is that while in movies a genre has come to mean a style of movie in games they have instead become tied to a particular game. When people buy an rpg they know exactly what to expect. They want to play a game that follows a well established formula that they have come to enjoy. They want to experince the content that this version has and see how they've tweeked the formula in the game mechanics. To be honest most genres have changed very little since the intial game that started them.

Gamers have just become to so used to this they find it difficult to think outside of those genres. There is something to be said about safety in all of this. A Gamer who enjoys rpgs knows that can almost always be gaurenteed some enjoy out of game they've never played if they see that knows its an rpg.

Its like football the rules are always the same in every match but you watch/play it because you want to see how the match plays out how the other team will approach the situation.

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Wavinator    2017
Great insight. I just thought of a follow-up question: What genre is the Sims, or Grand Theft Auto?

What makes something its own genre?

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MSW    151
Quote:
 Are gamers more strictly segregated into genre camps than movie goers?

gamers?...um how about game developers? have a look around this very message board...lots and lots of disscussion concerning RPGs...combat, economy, how to make NPCs more real, etc....and 99% of the time the dissucssion revolves around the cliched D&D inspired RPG game worlds of elves, orks, magic and dragons...not a whole lot of "thinking outside the box" among the developers here.

Quote:
 Is it the case that the average player really only plays one type of game? If so, why?

The market for video games is still largely juvinile male driven. And its an easy marketing segment to exploit...and it should come as no suprise that some of the targeted audiance feels compelled to become game developers themselves...so many developers seem to have such a small shared set of inspirations, that its little wonder games seem so limited...you reap what you sow, as is said.

And that is the main problem...you have video game developers useing pulp action movies as a model for how to shape thier stories...You have developers whom seem oblivious to novelised fiction outside of the sci-fi/fantasy bookstore section...And as insulting as this sounds, you have developers pushing for complexity in games as they lack it in thier own lives.

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The Sims is a Sim game, in the tradition of Sim City, Sim Ant, or Sim Earth. It's a process of balancing various properties that have complex relationships to one another.

GTA is a hodge-podge of third-person action, driving, flying, and objective-based missions. The most recent installment includes some prosthetic Sim and RPG traits as well. It's a great example of a very loose cross-genre system being effective by prioritizing its structure and knowing its audience. I'll explain. You may want to skip the rest of my post.

When you combine genres in a movie (love/shooting/kung-fu/races/philosophy) in a movie, an audience member can easily "tune out" the bits he isn't interested in, like Nathan does. You close your eyes, go get a drink or fast forward, and when you return to the story something better is happening.

Not so with games. If you're enjoying your butt-kicking action sequence and a tricky dialogue puzzle comes up where you have to woo a chick or convince a potential ally to join you, you can't just sit it out and wait for the kung-fu to come back. You have to engage yourself in the chit-chat and get through it. It hurts your mood, so that even when you get back to punching zombies to death, you're a notch lower than you were last time. Less fun, less enjoyment.

GTA escapes this by softening the requirements. The gunfights that you have to get through to win are among the simplest and least dangerous in the game. The races you have to win are slow and easy, with good vehicles available. The girlfriend you need to progress is not the toughest to impress (that rhymed!). The Sim elements are almost irrelevant.

Most thrid-person shooters are far tougher than the required fights in GTA. Racing games are more sophisticated and difficult than the racing in GTA. Sim games are more complex and stressful than the sim elements in GTA. Every aspect of the game is "dumbed down" so that people who wouldn't ordinarily choose to play such games won't be stuck with it.

And it profits from its legacy and fan base, as well. If GTA: San Andreas was released a month before GTA III came out, players would have been overwhelmed. The car customization, the interpersonal relationships, the branching mission structure, the skill levels, the map, everything would be too much. GTA3 had the basic driving and shooting, and we got used to that. Vice City added property ownership and other features. San Andreas came along and added still more. Familiarity with old games made the new ones tolerable.

It was observed on a different thread that when you combine genres, you don't get the union of the fanbases; you get the intersection. A racing strategy game won't get racers and strategists; it'll get racing strategists. Movies, with the "tune out" option, can attract the union. A chick flick with a few really bitchin' car chases will get sappy weepers and action fans, and the snack booth will benefit because they'll be leaving the theatre in turns. Games don't have that luxury. Unless you build it in.

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Wavinator    2017
Quote:
 Original post by Iron Chef CarnageYou may want to skip the rest of my post.

Are you crazy? Wouldn't miss it for the world! [lol]

Quote:
 When you combine genres in a movie (love/shooting/kung-fu/races/philosophy) in a movie, an audience member can easily "tune out" the bits he isn't interested in, like Nathan does. You close your eyes, go get a drink or fast forward, and when you return to the story something better is happening.

Wow. This to me is AMAZING. I simply never would have imagined that people do this. I can't remember ever doing this, but maybe it explains the rise in people text messaging, cell phone calling or making loud jokes in a theatre.

If this is the widespread response, it certainly explains one major limitation between these two forms of media.

Quote:
 GTA escapes this by softening the requirements. The gunfights that you have to get through to win are among the simplest and least dangerous in the game. The races you have to win are slow and easy, with good vehicles available. The girlfriend you need to progress is not the toughest to impress (that rhymed!). The Sim elements are almost irrelevant.Most thrid-person shooters are far tougher than the required fights in GTA. Racing games are more sophisticated and difficult than the racing in GTA. Sim games are more complex and stressful than the sim elements in GTA. Every aspect of the game is "dumbed down" so that people who wouldn't ordinarily choose to play such games won't be stuck with it.

I had thought this was for mass market appeal, but from this perspective it does make sense. This would key in not only with the learning curve idea, but with people's preferences.

Quote:
 And it profits from its legacy and fan base, as well.

Yes, this I guess is what I find most frustrating. We can only relate to something if we've seen it before, and I imagine that, on the whole, few of us are xenophilic enough to try something totally new that we can't relate to. Yet there are the Parappa the Rappas and Katamai Damacy type-games, which are totally new.

However, thinking about it, the problem stems probably from seeing something you've played and wanting more of the same. So I'd conclude that when most of us say we want something new, we're lying. [lol] What we want is a variation on something we've already played.

Quote:
 It was observed on a different thread that when you combine genres, you don't get the union of the fanbases; you get the intersection. A racing strategy game won't get racers and strategists; it'll get racing strategists. Movies, with the "tune out" option, can attract the union. A chick flick with a few really bitchin' car chases will get sappy weepers and action fans, and the snack booth will benefit because they'll be leaving the theatre in turns. Games don't have that luxury. Unless you build it in.

This is a good, if damnably annoying [smile], point. Technology limits and development budget wastage aside, if you build something that has depth in multiple genres, you'll need the "skip this, I'm bored, I don't like this stuff" button.

Hmmm...

Here's a side question: Indie developers will increasingly not be able to keep up with the graphics firepower of mainstream games. So if genre is so strictly segregated among players, how will indies distinguish themselves. I can't imagine a doomed future of making nothing but Bejeweled clones (not knocking those, they make money, but does this mean that the window for complex games is closing?)

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Another difficulty that I don't think was mentioned is the UI. The UI for an FPS, RPG, RTS, and any other given TLA are quite different. Not to say that it is impossible to work around this. GTA is a decent example, even if it only has "watered down" aspects of the various genres. Adding RPG aspects to an FPS (e.g. levelling weapon skills to increase character accuracy) seems to work pretty well.

I think having multiple solutions to each problem is a good solution. If the script is written such that only the end is important, not the means, it can work fairly well. This, perhaps with some way of choosing your character's skills, can allow people to choose their genre.

And I think that's the greatest problem. When I or my friends pick up a game, we are usually looking for a particular experience roughly defined by a genre. When I pick up an FPS, I don't necessarily want to be bothered with cultivating my character; I just want to shoot things. When I pick up an RPG, I want to raise my character and not be bothered with the actual fighting myself.

Another thing to think about: Movies are fairly genre tied. You can tell a romantic comedy from a thriller from an action movie from a mystery just from the trailer. For example, I have a problem with Steven King movies. If I don't know they're based on a King novel, I get watching them and see that they're in a realistic setting. Then, a third of the way through, he brings in spiritual aspects. Throws off my groove. They tend to be good, but they aren't what I expect so I tend not to fully enjoy them the first time.

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Wavinator    2017
Quote:
 Original post by MSWgamers?...um how about game developers? have a look around this very message board...lots and lots of disscussion concerning RPGs...combat, economy, how to make NPCs more real, etc....and 99% of the time the dissucssion revolves around the cliched D&D inspired RPG game worlds of elves, orks, magic and dragons...not a whole lot of "thinking outside the box" among the developers here.

You have a point, but I think GameDev is a small cross-section (gamers who want to make games, for the most part, and a few artsy folks who want to make something beyond games).

Having said that, though, if I had a dime for every time I talked with people outside of gamedev, or looked at conversations in other newsgroups and gaming magazines, I'd probably be able to buy out Bill Gates. [lol]

Maybe my premise is incorrect, but if gamers were rebelling we should see the industry suffering financially. I don't see this.

Quote:
 The market for video games is still largely juvinile male driven. And its an easy marketing segment to exploit...and it should come as no suprise that some of the targeted audiance feels compelled to become game developers themselves...so many developers seem to have such a small shared set of inspirations, that its little wonder games seem so limited...you reap what you sow, as is said.

There's merit to expanding the audience, but only a fraction of that audience makes it into game developing. You're ignoring the fact that, as games become more corporate, developers are increasingly saddled with control of content going to marketing. You don't blow $30 million on a guess or fanboy's fantasy. Quote:  And that is the main problem...you have video game developers useing pulp action movies as a model for how to shape thier stories...You have developers whom seem oblivious to novelised fiction outside of the sci-fi/fantasy bookstore section...And as insulting as this sounds, you have developers pushing for complexity in games as they lack it in thier own lives. Let me challenge this loner geek stereotype, because it's garbage: From my perspective inside the game industry several years ago, the average game developer was married or getting married, many were buying homes and not a few had complicated lives. I think you're insulting a fasionable straw man. I see such a complex picture here: Clearly there's a massive audience for games like Sims and Whatever Tycoon, yet adventure games, with a much more diverse subject matter, are still a niche. Women will play Warcraft because they like the building, yet Settlers is still a niche product. Maybe it all comes down to marketing, I'm not sure. Most casual gamers I know of play simple, free card games; those that branch out were often introduced by a spouse or friend. I'm straying from the topic a bit, but it does come down to whether or not we get what we see because of developers or because the market is the way it is. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Wavinator 2017 Quote:  Original post by Anonymous PosterAnother difficulty that I don't think was mentioned is the UI. Agreed, big point here. Without a uniform UI, you've upped the learning curve dramatically. Yet a lot of these genre intensive games resist having a generic UI because UI is so closely tied to gameplay-- what you click or see controls what you can or cannot do. Quote:  And I think that's the greatest problem. When I or my friends pick up a game, we are usually looking for a particular experience roughly defined by a genre. When I pick up an FPS, I don't necessarily want to be bothered with cultivating my character; I just want to shoot things. When I pick up an RPG, I want to raise my character and not be bothered with the actual fighting myself. There's still the standing problem of how these games distinguish themselves in a crowded market. A friend who reads the industry mags rampantly was observing an increasing trend of adding stats / character development to games that traditionally don't have it: Boxing games, racing games, or thief/sneaker games are all starting to get RPG-style stats for some reason. Quote:  Movies are fairly genre tied. You can tell a romantic comedy from a thriller from an action movie from a mystery just from the trailer. Yes, point taken, and I don't see genre going away, it's incredibly useful. My point was more about broadening. It seems that in an increasingly competitive marketplace both movies and games need to diversify appeal, and that movies have been doing this (think Spiderman as the latest example). Quote:  For example, I have a problem with Steven King movies. If I don't know they're based on a King novel, I get watching them and see that they're in a realistic setting. Then, a third of the way through, he brings in spiritual aspects. Throws off my groove. They tend to be good, but they aren't what I expect so I tend not to fully enjoy them the first time. I think the M. Knight Shalayman movies are like this, as well, which is why people seem to love or hate them. Funny enough, the Matrix was like this for me, because I don't watch TV-- so I never saw an add, and thought it was going to be some Hackers-style movie. I was very pleasantly surprised to get a SF movie. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites TechnoGoth 2937 Quote:  Original post by WavinatorGreat insight. I just thought of a follow-up question: What genre is the Sims, or Grand Theft Auto?What makes something its own genre? Well, I would say that something becomes its own genre once the games imitating it achive wide market appeal. The Sims, was a sim game but it has been so succesful that its becoming its own genre or sub-genre if you like. This can be seen with the appearence of imitations, there a already a handful games that are varations of the sims two that I've head of are "singles", and "living in new york" and the number sims will only grow. To be honest I'm surpised that there are more out yet. Now that I think about I'd be really curious to find out why the big publishers haven't back more sims projects. If anyone knows any insider information on this I'd love to hear it. Quote:  There's still the standing problem of how these games distinguish themselves in a crowded market. A friend who reads the industry mags rampantly was observing an increasing trend of adding stats / character development to games that traditionally don't have it: Boxing games, racing games, or thief/sneaker games are all starting to get RPG-style stats for some reason. I think this because developers are realizing how much tailoring the game experince appeals to players. Being able to adjust the gameplay to your game style makes that game that much more enjoyable, as is the ability customize the appearence of your avatar. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites MSW 151 Quote:  There's merit to expanding the audience, but only a fraction of that audience makes it into game developing. You're ignoring the fact that, as games become more corporate, developers are increasingly saddled with control of content going to marketing. You don't blow$30 million on a guess or fanboy's fantasy.

Now wait a second...you started this thread suggesting that gamers were the reason games are so genre tied as they likely would not accept the introduction of new and/or different gameplay concepts to thier choice form of gameing genre.

So obviously expanding the gameing audiance is an issue of merit.

But then you go on to say that only a fraction of those casual gamers makes it into the industry...

Now isn't that ignoreing the fact that the remaining majority of developers are/were typicaly hardcore gamers, pooled from the very same audiance you earlier suggested were the problem to begin with?

I'm not ignoreing the well established influance of marketing...but I just don't see what marketing has to do with long established game developer hireing practices.

Quote:
 Let me challenge this loner geek stereotype, because it's garbage: From my perspective inside the game industry several years ago, the average game developer was married or getting married, many were buying homes and not a few had complicated lives. I think you're insulting a fasionable straw man.

Um...I never brought up marrage or owning a home...And sense when does that have anything to do with your film choices of inspiration or the fiction you read...or even how complicated your life is?

As I said before...you reap what you sow.

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Wavinator    2017
Quote:
 Original post by MSWI'm not ignoreing the well established influance of marketing...but I just don't see what marketing has to do with long established game developer hireing practices.

Marketers survey what gamers say they want, then, through control of the purse strings, direct developers to create one thing or another. Game designers, in my experience, want to be creative and want to try innovative things. But they often don't get the greenlight from the people with money, especially if the budget is huge.

Quote:
 Um...I never brought up marrage or owning a home...And sense when does that have anything to do with your film choices of inspiration or the fiction you read...or even how complicated your life is?

This was in response to this statement:

Quote:
 And that is the main problem...you have video game developers useing pulp action movies as a model for how to shape thier stories...You have developers whom seem oblivious to novelised fiction outside of the sci-fi/fantasy bookstore section...And as insulting as this sounds, you have developers pushing for complexity in games as they lack it in thier own lives.

Did you mean something else, because by your recent response I now don't know where you were going with this.

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superpig    1825
Quote:
Original post by Wavinator
Quote:
 It was observed on a different thread that when you combine genres, you don't get the union of the fanbases; you get the intersection. A racing strategy game won't get racers and strategists; it'll get racing strategists. Movies, with the "tune out" option, can attract the union. A chick flick with a few really bitchin' car chases will get sappy weepers and action fans, and the snack booth will benefit because they'll be leaving the theatre in turns. Games don't have that luxury. Unless you build it in.

This is a good, if damnably annoying [smile], point. Technology limits and development budget wastage aside, if you build something that has depth in multiple genres, you'll need the "skip this, I'm bored, I don't like this stuff" button.

I think that's key - embed multiple genres, but let the player pick how they want to play. In Natural Selection, a mod for Half-Life which combines FPS action with RTS team command, a player can opt out of being a commander if they don't want to play the RTS stuff. They simply turn down the offer.

The trick is providing both styles of gameplay, letting the player switch between them at will, and keeping both challenging. For example, an empire-building game in which you both control troop movements and command individual battles could easily have a system of AI "generals" who can execute your battles or move your troops for you. Could the player automate the whole game? Sure, but then they wasted \$40 on a movie.

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Ketchaval    186
This quote looks at it from another perspective (it talks about adventure games / puzzles)

Quote:
 From http://www.ministryofpeace.com/if-review/reviews/20010518.htmlIn the spirit of time travel, let's jump back about 400 years, to the time of Shakespeare. But not our Shakespeare -- this Shakespeare lives in an England where theater audiences are mad about juggling acts. Day after day, the Globe is witness to trio after trio of balls, pins and torches being flung into the air. But the audiences didn't want to see just juggling; they wanted the juggling folded into a little story. Enter Shakespeare, who soars to fame on the strength of "Romeo and Juliet", in which a pair of young people fall in love at a masked ball (the chief entertainment there: juggling), but then the boy's friend and the girl's cousin get into a ill-fated juggling contest and it all goes downhill from there. Now Shakespeare decides he might like to try writing a history, perhaps something involving King Henry V... yes, a piece tracing his evolution from carousing prince to the inspirational leader of his countrymen in a great victory over the French. But he can't just tell that story -- where's the juggling? If there's no juggling, it's not a real play! So the first act ends up foregrounding a bunch of jugglers at the bar while Falstaff and Prince Hal talk in the background, and proceeds to the point where the jugglers accompanying the army are told that the English have won the battle... and the audience response is tepid because while the historical stuff is interesting, the juggling isn't as accomplished as that in in RITO AND IMITA. Shakespeare is left to mutter to himself about the constraints of the medium. Similarly, it's clear that in LOST NEW YORK, deMause's heart is in the geographical and historical material. Virtually all the prose is extremely deft, but never is the writing more alive, more joyous, than when you die and the author gets to tell you another wacky story about a long-dead mayor; never are the quips funnier than when they're playing off the geography of the city (try going east from the City Hall area in 1880, or north into Hell's Kitchen later on.) The fact that the game begins with a slideshow and ends with a bibliography is another indication of where the author's interests lie. Hint: it's not in fiddling around with hairpins and stopwatches. But because this was written in 1996, the author felt obliged to fill it with juggl-- I mean, puzzles. And these are mostly not very good, being chiefly of the type where you're wandering around and find a fishing pole, which you take because, well, it's implemented; later on you find a stream, and go fishing because, well, that must be what the pole's for; you catch a fish and, when you cut it open to cook it, a key falls out. What was the key doing in the fish? Well, one of the conventions of the genre at the time was that you weren't supposed to ask questions like that. That's not actually a puzzle from LOST NEW YORK, but many similar ones abound.

substitute juggling for combat oriented gameplay.. and you have the Final Fantasy games.
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Not only that, but how do you make a "love affair" part of the gameplay? Is it a matter of selecting the right things to say? Is it choosing when to kiss the girl? (If so, then the player could just keep trying to kiss them and then reload). Is it a matter of increasing your character's self-confidence and making them more interesting by not sitting in their room all the time? Is it about raising a baby, sex before marriage OR marriage-before-sex?, making compromises and taking turns, choosing the wall-paper and decorations. Getting on well with your parents-in-law?

Ie. I think it might be easier (AI issues aside) to do a game about a relationship than it would be to do a game about "the chase".

[Edited by - Ketchaval on June 6, 2005 8:51:46 AM]

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EMidget    122
I've also wondered why the genre's were so narrow and stuck to their guns so tightly. Once a nice feature was designed, it seemed that if it fit into the genre, everyone would keep using it with a different name, basically meaning genre's and games can only get better; or so one would think. I, somehow am beginning to become bored of gaming as I've yet to see something new. I could go buy a new FPS, but I've already played 10 other ones with 1-10 less features.

I realize it is more difficult for a developer to make multiple genres on the game because it makes many more things to focus on. I certainly wouldn't mind waiting the few extra months to get out a great game, because that's what developers should be there for, to get out a game people will enjoy, not to get it out without truly putting thought into it.

I find that before I begin writing any sort of design idea, I'll think about it at least a week. Do I want to waste my time by writing this down? Is it worth it? Once started, is this interesting and different enough to keep me pursuing this? I'm not saying my ways are perfect, but I really wish developers would put more ideas into their games, instead of sticking to that genre.

In reference to the Matrix, I'd be rather bored just having the martial arts, I'd need the story, not necissarily love, as well as the gunplay. I recently just beat Jade Empire for XBox. I found myself a little bored with the fighting styles because it was about 5 attacks per style and I got tired of seeing these animations over and over. But what kept me playing was to see how it ended. I think many people can fight through boredness to achieve a goal, such as seeing the ending. Hopefully, more developers can place many of these goals in their game to keep people interested.

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 Original post by superpigThe trick is providing both styles of gameplay, letting the player switch between them at will, and keeping both challenging. For example, an empire-building game in which you both control troop movements and command individual battles could easily have a system of AI "generals" who can execute your battles or move your troops for you.

Behold the Total War series. It has a turn-based strategic section, and when a battle begins you're taken to a real time tactical section.

You can, at the beginning of the game, choose to let an AI take over your strategy, while you just fight out the battles. You can also choose to let the battles be resolved numerically, thus sticking to the board strategy. Of course, you can also play both. This appeals to the union of the genre fanbases.

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dipperdan    122
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 Are gamers more strictly segregated into genre camps than movie goers? Is it the case that the average player really only plays one type of game? If so, why?

Yeep, just look at sports games/genres: football, soccer, basketball, how much more narrow can ya get and these games cost the same price as GTA. Although don't get me wrong, sports games obviously have high replayability and then there are the multiplayer aspects too.
I think the consumer actually demands such narrowness tho(sometimes), Madden sales might(would) slip if you had to pick/create a player and keep track of his needs/wants a la The Sims, drive to the stadium and finally play football.

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kburkhart84    3187
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 Here's a side question: Indie developers will increasingly not be able to keep up with the graphics firepower of mainstream games. So if genre is so strictly segregated among players, how will indies distinguish themselves. I can't imagine a doomed future of making nothing but Bejeweled clones (not knocking those, they make money, but does this mean that the window for complex games is closing?)

Not at all. Indie developers make themselves known by making FUN games and by getting into a uncommon NICHE. As in, we make games that are so fun that the graphics don't have to be as top notch as the big guys. If I make a 3d shooter that is actually really fun, has an awesome multiplayer, good gameplay overall, it won't matter too much if the lighting is dynamic or if the models are 10000 tris each. Rather I want to say that there are still many gamers that base what they like on what is fun. About the NICHE, if an indie game is of a genre that there are very fiew of, or is put where there are very few games, it very well could be successful. For example, edu-tainment and gambing games are far and few. If one was made that served well its purpose, it could be successful. Also, putting games where games usually don't belong but there are gamers also works. I read an article of Diana Gruber's that said She had her games playing on airplane seats. If her game is the only one there, and we know there are people on planes who want to play games, then her game will get played.

Point is, Indie developers as far as I know will always have an audience, as long as they do the right things to get it.