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seanmusgrave

Played out concepts, playa.

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I'd be interested in people listing game concepts that they feel are over-used. I'll start. - Zombies - WWII - Medieval Europe - The Chtulu Mythos - Rome - Galactic Empires - MMOGs where you fight people, trade things, make stuff, join guilds and have houses.

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Cool thread! ummmmmmmmmm.... OH OH

Games where you have to use an obserd amount of stealth. When the alarm gets pulled... you die for some reason

EDIT: uhhh, maybe a better way to go is to have people list those things, or just things that are in games too much that people hate... I can't even think of any more themes. I think you got most of em.

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Definitely agree on the ww2. Also have to add mutants to the list. Its one step less worse than zombies, but still always has that "We don't have an idea, lets just throw [insert overused monster] in and call it a day!" feeling to it.

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Though not really a theme, I would have to include special powers or the light effects melee weapons cast like in Ninja Gaiden, Soul Calibur, Dynasty Warriors or Jade Empire. I wish for once we could just stick to reality. I mean sure its good to have it in some games, I just get sick of it once I start to see it in so many games.

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Community games too, you know which ones I mean, where the main features are "dressing your avatar and making friends in a virtual world".

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Earth, Air, Fire, Water.
The exact same MMO mechanics as all the others.

Genre Stereotypes:
Fantasy: Orcs, Elves, Swords, Medieval Europe, DRAGONS, and the same blasted magic system... Basically Tolkien rips.
Sci-Fi: Lazers, Space, SPACE PIRATES, Aliens, Ancient Race... Basically Star Wars rips.
Both: Evil Empires and the Hero Journey plot structure.

Big companies claiming their game is shockingly innovative when it is no such thing.
People claiming they have created a new genre by combining Fantasy and Sci-Fi.

Indie companies living in the Big Company's shadow.

Will Wright taking his sweet time on Spore.

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I'm going to venture a counter-argument here, that being the cliché nature of story elements doesn't make a game necessarily BAD, rather the implementation of those elements. The Hero Journey plot structure, for example, is perfect for making a game, and if you design a game that's fun to play, with exciting meta-game elements (platformers, for example, inject fun into the "walking" meta-game by letting you jump, swing, flip, and otherwise play around your environment like a jungle-gym) then the story itself is simply a vehicle for gameplay, not the "be-all, end-all" of the game itself. I would think anyone sitting down to an adventure game WANTS to be the Hero, on said Journey.

This could be a personal preference, of course, but I've been killing mutants, zombies, and aliens in all kinds of genres since Wolfenstein 3d, and those particular elements don't bother me in a good game. It's when the entire package feels stale or uninspired that I'll just pass on a title.

(Example: how many resident evil games have been released? They keep sticking with their "zombie" enemies, just spicing them up a little with location or language, yet the games continue to be fun. (IMHO) )

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Oh yeah, there's lots of fun games I've played that were cliched as all hell. But I didn't get into Resident Evil 4 because it happened to be a game with Zombies, I got into Resident Evil 4 because it had an excellent camera, control, gameplay and a huge freaking crocidile.

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When you get right down to it, there's no such thing as a new idea or story, so if you start removing things from consideration just because you think they're cliche, eventually you'll be left with nothing. Come up with a fresh spin on an old story; that's what all story tellers and writers have been doing ever since writing and storytelling were invented.

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Original post by JTippetts
When you get right down to it, there's no such thing as a new idea or story, so if you start removing things from consideration just because you think they're cliche, eventually you'll be left with nothing. Come up with a fresh spin on an old story; that's what all story tellers and writers have been doing ever since writing and storytelling were invented.


I'd agree with you, except I had this argument before and amazingly won it. I wrote a story about a boy opening a soda bottle. That was it, that was all. It was about three paragraphs long and told entirely in metaphor, but it was an original piece not based on something that had been done before, and one would be extremely hard pressed to find something at all similar (besides diction or syntax, which was mine anyway).

You can make a simple concept into something complex and thus have something new, but you can't do the same to an already complex idea because everything you add to the story is something that another story might have, and even with just raw statistics, that means a greater chance of being similar to something else.

So, a new game idea is actually fairly easy to do, but you really have to think outside of the grand-box that encapsulates even the out-of-the-box minds, which is extremely hard to do.

Here's an untried idea: You are a falling grain of dust that must alternate it's charge to attract, be attracted to, repel, or be repelled by objects to aim yourself in someone's eye. To get there, you have to avoid massive staticy objects like floating hair or computer screens or vortexes like those caused by fans. Never heard of a game about falling dust... but I could be wrong :)

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There's been a few threads about this but...

Stopping gameplay mid-quest to loot crates, barrels, chests and/or corpses. Compounded by restrictive inventory systems!

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Quote:
Original post by JTippetts
When you get right down to it, there's no such thing as a new idea or story, so if you start removing things from consideration just because you think they're cliche, eventually you'll be left with nothing. Come up with a fresh spin on an old story; that's what all story tellers and writers have been doing ever since writing and storytelling were invented.


Well, it's not the usage of preexisting idea's that is the problem, it's the over-usage of some of them.

Ideas are cliche not because they've just been used before, but because they've been used over and over again with little change, like the "Orcs and Elves" dynamic -Orcs are primitive and strong, Elves are highly advanced and have ancient knowledge, etc. Dragons that all look pretty much the same, down to the point where there's a detailed anatomical standard for them (my sister has lectured me on how Dragons should look).

I think it is a good idea to avoid something if you do think it is cliche.
It's perfectly fine to use things like distinct races or dragons in your fantasy game, but I think it's much better for you to ignore the standard elements and come up with something more original.

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Quote:
Original post by Zouflain
Quote:
Original post by JTippetts
When you get right down to it, there's no such thing as a new idea or story, so if you start removing things from consideration just because you think they're cliche, eventually you'll be left with nothing. Come up with a fresh spin on an old story; that's what all story tellers and writers have been doing ever since writing and storytelling were invented.


I'd agree with you, except I had this argument before and amazingly won it. I wrote a story about a boy opening a soda bottle. That was it, that was all. It was about three paragraphs long and told entirely in metaphor, but it was an original piece not based on something that had been done before, and one would be extremely hard pressed to find something at all similar (besides diction or syntax, which was mine anyway).

You can make a simple concept into something complex and thus have something new, but you can't do the same to an already complex idea because everything you add to the story is something that another story might have, and even with just raw statistics, that means a greater chance of being similar to something else.

So, a new game idea is actually fairly easy to do, but you really have to think outside of the grand-box that encapsulates even the out-of-the-box minds, which is extremely hard to do.

Here's an untried idea: You are a falling grain of dust that must alternate it's charge to attract, be attracted to, repel, or be repelled by objects to aim yourself in someone's eye. To get there, you have to avoid massive staticy objects like floating hair or computer screens or vortexes like those caused by fans. Never heard of a game about falling dust... but I could be wrong :)


Actually I've seen a game like this. I remember seeing a link to a youtube video about it a while ago. You weren't aiming for the eye but you were pollen and had to get to flowers or something of the sort.

But seriously, all you described was a schmup without the shooting. You took a pre-existing concept and added a new context. I mean you can make a game about opening a bottle of pop (which would probably follow very similar game play that you'd find in a bunch of flash games) if that floats your boat but I'll stick to spilling zombie guts all over the place :P

I'll have to stick with BCullis here and say that it's all about the execution.

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Original post by sanch3x

Actually I've seen a game like this. I remember seeing a link to a youtube video about it a while ago. You weren't aiming for the eye but you were pollen and had to get to flowers or something of the sort.

But seriously, all you described was a schmup without the shooting. You took a pre-existing concept and added a new context. I mean you can make a game about opening a bottle of pop (which would probably follow very similar game play that you'd find in a bunch of flash games) if that floats your boat but I'll stick to spilling zombie guts all over the place :P

I'll have to stick with BCullis here and say that it's all about the execution.


Actually the idea was set as three dimensional (I never said that programming it would be at all easy) and obstacles were supposed to move. It's a puzzle game, not a schmup. Also, when you consider something so broad as "schmup" as being unoriginal, then I suppose it is impossible to make something new. Just being able to classify something into an extremely broad pre-existing group does not make it something unoriginal, or more to fit within the context of this thread, played out.

Might as well say a religion about worshiping popcorn by sexual means is "unoriginal" because it falls under the category of "worship."

I do have to agree with BCullis, though; a game does not have to be original so long as it's good. From a developers perspective, WoW is a fantastic success, and how many gamers do you know that will cry "WoW iz r teh gre4t3st RGP EV4R"? Nothing original in that game... So yeah, focusing on what's new and what's not is actually pointless. Having new elements might attract a crowd of the curious, but plenty of people will tell you (I'm paraphrasing an article on gamasutra here) that sticking with what the industry already knows is actually better.

Spore is also nothing new. It's SimEarth Advanced.

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I wrote a story about a boy opening a soda bottle. That was it, that was all. It was about three paragraphs long and told entirely in metaphor, but it was an original piece not based on something that had been done before, and one would be extremely hard pressed to find something at all similar (besides diction or syntax, which was mine anyway).


Nope. Looks like the boy getting soda market has already been flooded with screenplays. http://www.channel101.com/articles/article.php?article_id=29

Quote:
Once upon a time, there was a thirsty man on a couch. He got up off the couch, went to his kitchen, searched through his refrigerator, found a soda, drank it, and returned to his couch, thirst quenched.


Quote:
I do have to agree with BCullis, though; a game does not have to be original so long as it's good. From a developers perspective, WoW is a fantastic success, and how many gamers do you know that will cry "WoW iz r teh gre4t3st RGP EV4R"? Nothing original in that game... So yeah, focusing on what's new and what's not is actually pointless. Having new elements might attract a crowd of the curious, but plenty of people will tell you (I'm paraphrasing an article on gamasutra here) that sticking with what the industry already knows is actually better.


This whole line of arguement could be said about having a quality story - Wow doesn't have a good story, is making lots of money, and thus a quality story isn't nessecary for making loads of money. Besides, what makes a good story is debatable.

But I like good stories. And therefore there's a point to it.

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And that's the thing, isn't it?

Games are notorious for not needing a story to be good. In film, we demand a good story, but in games it's more about gameplay (especially in today's market).

Even then, the gameplay hasn't changed much in a while.

I keep asking myself: Why is this so hard to do? Why is no one doing anything new? Are we just going to depend on Will Wright every 4 years for our source of mild originality?

But to get back to the original topic:
-Food you find on the ground is always OK for you to eat
-Alien Invasions of earth
-Portals, Space Gateways, and Instant Transport Devices are always circular and upright.
-Fireball: THE most unoriginal spell of all time (but still appealing for some reason).

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Quote:
Original post by seanmusgrave
Nope. Looks like the boy getting soda market has already been flooded with screenplays. http://www.channel101.com/articles/article.php?article_id=29

Nothing listed here was anything like the story. I don't feel like finding the forum where I posted it again, but essentially all the action took place in less than a second.
Quote:
Once upon a time, there was a thirsty man on a couch. He got up off the couch, went to his kitchen, searched through his refrigerator, found a soda, drank it, and returned to his couch, thirst quenched.

This is an entirely different story. I don't see any battles going on here (the metaphor for struggling to open the can), nor is the basic premise the same - this wasn't a resolution of a problem (thirst), it was just a simple sequence. Man vs Man (Kid vs Can) as apposed to Man vs Nature (Man vs Need to drink).
Quote:
Original post by seanmusgrave
This whole line of arguement could be said about having a quality story - Wow doesn't have a good story, is making lots of money, and thus a quality story isn't nessecary for making loads of money. Besides, what makes a good story is debatable.

But I like good stories. And therefore there's a point to it.

Warcraft (RTS) has a good story, though it borrows heavily from Warhammer Fantasy. WoW on the other hand, is a bastardization of that story. And yes, using that word "good" makes anything debatable. Good has no solid definition, nor does bad - it's all relative. Beauty in the eye of the beholder and all that. Still, you're going way off on a tangent.

Another tried and tired concept: Fly a realistic airplane... again!

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Masked Dave said A torch with batteries that run down really fast, but charge up again if you give them a minute.
RanmaruX said Stopping gameplay mid-quest to loot crates, barrels, chests and/or corpses. Compounded by restrictive inventory systems!

qfe

Walking over/using boxes with red cross makes you feel good
healing factor that outclass wolverine
having 1% of the optimal health and still fight as good as 100%

zombies, ww2, galactic empires etc is only skin over the same game.
btw, zombies are cool and my game will incorporate them :)

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