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The ten game design tags you should never use!

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The ten game design tags you should never use: Not in any real order, just as I can remember them. (Do realise, that if you post back saying one of the them is wrong, then you always fail in everything you do. Nah, I'm only joshing ya... Almost everything thing!) 10. Elves, Eleven Kingdom, Ancient Elves 9. Gnomes as inventors and scientist in both high and low fantasy lands and realms (Last I checked, science and magic don't go hand in hand. Much like Evolution and Creationism). 8. Special Forces, Black Ops, Spec Ops 7. Human race's extinction or near extinction because of a silly little cataclysmic event 6. Mutants, Mutated Animals 5. George's Romero style Zombies (Left 4 Dead included; that game gets really boring after the first play, don't you agree?) 4. You are a Mercenay, Freelancer etc... 3. Ancient Races, period 2. Amnesia 1. You have no moral compass or ethics, choose your path: Good, Neutral or Evil.

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Can you give a reason why they shouldn't be included; other than they are clichés? What if you think of a new and dynamic way to include one? What if the story is not at all important and calling it a black-op just gives it a little context?

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8. Special Forces, Black Ops, Spec Ops

Yeah, who would use that in a game? Surely, a game with that idea won't sell. Oh wait, maybe it will. Just like games with mutants, mercenaries, or catastrophic events (Far Cry 2, Doom 3, ...).

I think John Carmack is right when he says:
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A story in a game is like a story in a porn movie. It's expected to be there, but it's not that important.

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I always vomit when I hear...

"A hero with a troubled past *vomit* meets a mysterious stranger with a mysterious past *vomit again*." Blah blah blah ancient relic *vomit* blah blah something about destiny *dry heaving* ... ya...

There are so many alternate stories out there but people who make the games just cant get out of the box and think of them.

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Being a mercenary/freelancer is the only way to be independent.
A special corps is another: you're not as independent, but you still get special treatment.

Do you really want to be just a marine among thousands on the battlefield, your life being unimportant and thus making you expandable?

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You have no moral compass or ethics, choose your path: Good, Neutral or Evil.

How are you supposed to play a role if you cannot choose anything?

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Original post by Chrono1081

There are so many alternate stories out there but people who make the games just cant get out of the box and think of them.


I bet if you post up any story, someone here will find a game that comes fairly close to it, provided your story has a chance in hell of actually working in a game.

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Original post by Talroth
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Original post by Chrono1081

There are so many alternate stories out there but people who make the games just cant get out of the box and think of them.


I bet if you post up any story, someone here will find a game that comes fairly close to it, provided your story has a chance in hell of actually working in a game.


Good point, it is very easy to say "game stories are unimaginative" but unless you can think of a story that would translate well in to a game that hasn't been done before, you can't really comment.

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Do you really want to be just a marine among thousands on the battlefield, your life being unimportant and thus making you expandable?


I think the word you want is expendable; expandable is a whole different ballpark....

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Original post by electricdragon
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Do you really want to be just a marine among thousands on the battlefield, your life being unimportant and thus making you expandable?


I think the word you want is expendable; expandable is a whole different ballpark....


High explosives will make both work...

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Original post by Dex Jackson
Last I checked, science and magic don't go hand in hand.


Science is a language for describing the world. If magic exists in the world, Science can describe it. There will be mathematical models for mana flow, equipments and techniques for manipulating magical energy etc.

Scientists specializing in magic would be wizards basically.


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Original post by Dex Jackson
Much like Evolution and Creationism.



One could hypothesize that a magical being put forth the process of Evolution and created man. (i could link u to the PhD Biology who said that)

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Original post by beun
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8. Special Forces, Black Ops, Spec Ops

Yeah, who would use that in a game? Surely, a game with that idea won't sell. Oh wait, maybe it will. Just like games with mutants, mercenaries, or catastrophic events (Far Cry 2, Doom 3, ...).

I think John Carmack is right when he says:
Quote:
A story in a game is like a story in a porn movie. It's expected to be there, but it's not that important.



Which is why Id Software is known for making game engines that everybody else uses and not actual games...

Clearly his philosophy shows in what they produce.

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Original post by Megahertz
Which is why Id Software is known for making game engines that everybody else uses and not actual games...

Yeah, I mean who's ever heard of Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, or Quake? I mean, it's not like they practically invented the FPS genre or anything...

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Wow, you just eliminated every possible story arc for every game ever made. Yea, the stories are cliched, but you have to remember that most of man-kind's stories stem from very primative archtypes, and those that DON'T stem from those lack an emotional hook and won't capture the attention of the player.

So why do developers use the same storylines/plots?

Simple: because they work.

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Horribly overused cliches to be avoided at all costs:

* Male characters. It seems like every damn RPG these days uses a bunch of male characters.

* Female characters. It seems like every damn RPG these days uses a bunch of female characters.

* Characters which are neither male nor female. It seems like every damn RPG these days uses a bunch of characters which are neither male nor female.

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Original post by NickGravelyn
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Original post by Megahertz
Which is why Id Software is known for making game engines that everybody else uses and not actual games...

Yeah, I mean who's ever heard of Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, or Quake? I mean, it's not like they practically invented the FPS genre or anything...


Never said they didn't. Nor will I refute the fact.

However, it still doesn't change the fact that Id Software's games are typically devoid of any story. I've played through Doom I,II,II,Quake 1,2,3 and about the only story I can remember from any of them is that in Quake 2 you were a Marine that crash landed on an alien planet and I think that's about as far as the story went.

I really hate analogies but would Terminator be as enjoyable if there wasn't the whole story of John and Sarah Connor and the impending rise of the machines that will ultimately wipe out the earth. Guess that fits #7 in the OP's post.

The difference is the story didn't just say that machines are taking over the world and it's up to one man to stop them all, and then the rest of the movie is just John running around shooting up robots for the next 2hrs.

They fleshed out the story way beyond that, spanning multiple generations, from before John Connor was born to when he's the one that ends the war with the machines. (Granted I've not seen T4 yet, but I'm guessing that's how it goes)

Compare that to the new Friday the 13th movie comming out. Uhh lemme guess, Jason is back, goes on a hacking spree on college kids and then somebody finally kills him in the end, or do they?? Dah dah dunnn!

Thanks, but no thanks, wouldn't waste my money considering it offers nothing new over the last how many ever movies they've made.

Id Software's games are nothing more than the Friday the 13th's of the genre. Over glorified tech demos. Which, amazingly they seem to sell a lot of. =)



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Original post by Sneftel
Horribly overused cliches to be avoided at all costs:

* Male characters. It seems like every damn RPG these days uses a bunch of male characters.

* Female characters. It seems like every damn RPG these days uses a bunch of female characters.

* Characters which are neither male nor female. It seems like every damn RPG these days uses a bunch of characters which are neither male nor female.


What about RPG's where the characters are both male and female?

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Original post by loufoque
Being a mercenary/freelancer is the only way to be independent.
A special corps is another: you're not as independent, but you still get special treatment.


What about being a PhD tromping around in an oversized hazardous environment suit?

One point about following cliche is that a story universe creates gameplay. If you go mining in a creative field that's been picked to death, you're not likely to come up with something as wacky as the premise that endows Gordon Freeman. It's then far easier to be forgotten. Does anyone even remember the characters and names of the inhabitants of Quake 2?

Now, of course, an obvious counter to this is to create a game that survives on certain pure gameplay elements, like multiplayer. Then people don't care about your universe.

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I think the OP's point he was trying to make is "Try to stay away from directly following one of these stereotypes"

A lot of his points really don't make sense, like the elves/gnomes one, but with the "hero with amensia" and "apocalyptic save the world" plots, they are a crutch that provides an easy way to fill in story details.

Why is <insert plot hole here>? The hero couldn't remember what happened/who that guy was!

What isn't <insert plot hole here>? Because the <thing> that killed everything caused it!

On one hand, its possible to create a story that uses it in a different way.
Ex. FF7 where Cloud believes that he did things that another character did.
Ex. Fallout, where it is a unique engrossing setting as opposed to a wasteland.

On the other hand, you can use them in a way that makes your story seem boring.

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Original post by Dex Jackson
Left 4 Dead included; that game gets really boring after the first play, don't you agree?


Nope, the Director feature that changes zombie location and quantity as well as the constant interaction with other players keep things fresh for me.

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Also, in relation to the amnesia thing, unless you want to spend hours explaining the characters back story, the player won't know their characters history - amnesia levels the playing field. It means that the character won't have things that he should otherwise know, explained to him for the benefit of the player. This helps to maintain immersion.

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Original post by Megahertz
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Original post by NickGravelyn
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Original post by Megahertz
Which is why Id Software is known for making game engines that everybody else uses and not actual games...

Yeah, I mean who's ever heard of Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, or Quake? I mean, it's not like they practically invented the FPS genre or anything...


Never said they didn't. Nor will I refute the fact.
Well, you kind of did. Your sentence, at least to me, implied that they were more known for their engine and not their games. While their games aren't the epic narratives some people want, id is still much more widely known for the games they've created than their engines. Almost anyone (gamer or non gamer) will know what Doom is.

But moving past that now...

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The difference is the story didn't just say that machines are taking over the world and it's up to one man to stop them all, and then the rest of the movie is just John running around shooting up robots for the next 2hrs.
But the difference between that and video games is that I get to run around shooting up robots for the next two hours. I'd be bored to tears watching such a movie, but as a game I find it quite enjoyable most of the time as long as the AI and my interactions with the world are interesting enough.

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Id Software's games are nothing more than the Friday the 13th's of the genre. Over glorified tech demos. Which, amazingly they seem to sell a lot of. =)
Perhaps that's just a sign of what the average gamer wants. A lot of developers like to preach that games need more stories, character development, and so on. But when it comes to sales figures, it would seem that most gamers are content playing mediocre sports games and shooting random aliens as Space Marine #293.

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To the OP: could you post exactly why you think these are the top ten? Some of them are staples I've seen people grumble about constantly, but others are a bit off the wall. I've never played a game and thought "Gee, not another game with gnomes!". And your number three (no ancient races - period) eliminates huge swathes of fiction; no Shakespeare's Anthony and Cleopatra or Julius Caesar for example, or more worryingly, no fantasy worlds with any extended world history whatsoever.

Frankly I don't mind any elements*, as long as the game or story isn't by-the-numbers. Include at least one thing that makes your game stand out head and shoulders above the rest and I'll be happy.

*With the exception of realistic shooters and tactical games set in World War II. Just stop it already! There's plenty of other historical eras out there.

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Original post by NickGravelyn
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Original post by Megahertz
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Original post by NickGravelyn
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Original post by Megahertz
Which is why Id Software is known for making game engines that everybody else uses and not actual games...

Yeah, I mean who's ever heard of Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, or Quake? I mean, it's not like they practically invented the FPS genre or anything...

Never said they didn't. Nor will I refute the fact.
Well, you kind of did. Your sentence, at least to me, implied that they were more known for their engine and not their games.

Well to be fair, id software kind of did fall into being more of an engine maker. Wolfenstein 3D and Doom were great games, but Quake IMO really was just a glorified tech demo. Since most people seem to equate id more to Quake than Doom, the engine maker label isn't that unjustified.

I'd also be wary of labelling the "average gamer" as wanting id's FPSes, because that's not been strictly true for a long time. Doom was once in the top ten PC game sellers list of all time (note: of all time, not for a week or month), but I don't think Quake made it and I'm pretty sure the sequels did worse. Even back in Quake's day, people bought more games like Myst, Rollercoaster Tycoon and Lego Island. These days most gamers are into casual games and games like The Sims. FPSes were always for the hardcore segment, one which is now fairly niche.

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I guess my upcoming game about a amnesiac half-elf half-gnome mercenary out to stop an ancient race of George Romero-esque mutant zombies and government spec-ops troops from unleashing a cataclysmic event that would cause human extinction to occur isn't a good idea then?

The main gameplay hook is that you have no moral compass and your actions, be they neutral, good or evil will drive the story.

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Original post by Megahertz
What about RPG's where the characters are both male and female?

Ugh, double cliche.

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Original post by Dex Jackson
I'm just going to list games that used those and sold.

10. Elves, Eleven Kingdom, Ancient Elves
*World of Warcraft*

9. Gnomes as inventors and scientist in both high and low fantasy lands and realms (Last I checked, science and magic don't go hand in hand. Much like Evolution and Creationism).
*World of Warcraft*

8. Special Forces, Black Ops, Spec Ops
*Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon*

7. Human race's extinction or near extinction because of a silly little cataclysmic event
*Fallout 1/2/3*

6. Mutants, Mutated Animals
*Fallout 1/2/3*

5. George's Romero style Zombies (Left 4 Dead included; that game gets really boring after the first play, don't you agree?)
*LEFT 4 DEAD* (bought it about a month ago.. play it at least an hour a day)

4. You are a Mercenay, Freelancer etc...
*Hitman*

3. Ancient Races, period
*age of mythology*

2. Amnesia
*XIII*

1. You have no moral compass or ethics, choose your path: Good, Neutral or Evil.
*Fable 1/2*



some of the games may not be GOOD.. but they SOLD.

kost.

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