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ragonastick

A mainstream game...

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quote:
A good rule of thumb for what is not mainstream is basically anything that would make a girl think you were a dork if she saw you with it
From this page of an article at GameSpot. He makes some good points, and I agree with him for a lot of it. He thinks that elves have to go for "mainstream" games, and I agree. What do you think makes a mainstream game, and what makes not a mainstream game? Trying is the first step towards failure.

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games that are not mainstream:

dreamcast-
samba de amigo
seaman
jet grind radio
space channel 5

playstation2-
the adventures of cookie and cream

get the picture?

~SuperRoy

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Actually I think that guy is just taking the piss.

Mainstreamness (!) isnt so much about content, it is more about accessibility. It has nothing to do with impressing girls either.

Zelda has elves. It has relatively simple game rules but good enough gameplay to appeal to all ages. Anyone can learn to play it, anyone can enjoy it. It is a mainstream game.

Baldurs Gate also has elves. The game rules (AD&D) are very complex (although you dont NEED to learn them, there is a lot of piffling around with spells and inventory and stuff like that. It is a semi hardcore game.

Severence: Blade of Darkness (not actually sure if it has elves, but it definitely has orcs and dwarves) has a complex control mechanism which many players would not be prepared to learn. It has a lot of gore that will put off many players. I reckon this is a hardcore game.

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This guy must be smoking something. First of all, how is impressing girls related to games at ALL? Games are not a new car, or an expensive suit, or watch. A game is a product that is targeted toward a certain audience which is known to buy games of this genre. If you want mainstream, make a game like Deer Hunter or Roller Coaster Tycoon. Otherwise a game is always targeted toward a certain group of people.

If your target audience is people who play RPGs, then make a game with lots of elves and magic wands. If your target audience is people who like space shooters, make a game with space ships. Again, whether your game will impress girls or not doesn''t make a difference to you. The idea is to sell as many units as you can. This guy doesn''t base his statements on anything except his own opinion.

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Oh please. The biggest sign that you''re not cool?


You''re trying to figure out how to be cool.

You are MOST CERTAINLY not cool if who you are comes from what other people think. The writer''s litmus test is pretty brainless when you consider that there are many different types of women, and some of them are most certainly girl geeks who could slap you upside the head with their knowledge of Linux (trust me, personal experience here. )


Now, as to mainstream.

The author''s idea of chucking the elves is barking up the wrong tree.

Lets look at this like fiction. In fiction, while there might be best sellers, there is no real "mainstream." Are you talking about the folks that read Chicken Soup For The Soul ? Greatest Generation? Murder mysteries? Tom Clancy fans?


I used to be able to say that the mainstream eschews anything fantastical, but then X-Files came along and the popularity blew me out of the water. (Lots of women want to see David Duchovney in a speedo, so don''t tell me it''s just a geek guy thing.)

You can sell a game that has elves or spaceships (hey! those can be in RPGs too, ya know!! ). If the "mainstream" once dumped quarters into Mrs. Pacman at the local 7-11 or Laundromat, I''m sure they''re still open to the possibilities of electronic entertainment.

But the one thing you can not do is drown your audience in complexity. Your typical game, including backstory and subject matter, is awash in so much complexity that it''s inaccessible to the average person. This is fine for us, because it''s our hobby and we find it fun. But not for the casual gamer.


Look at a competing hobby to put this in focus. How much do you know about boating? Bird watching? Genealogy? Woodworking?

How would you make those hobbies open to a person like yourself? They have to be more simple, right? Same with games.

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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Oops, ranted before I read Sandman.

Yeah, what he said.

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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quote:
Original post by Wavinator

Look at a competing hobby to put this in focus. How much do you know about boating? Bird watching? Genealogy? Woodworking?


More bang for your buck. By buck, I mean, what do I have to put into this to get entertainment?

This is why movies work. You buy your ticket or plop the tape into the machine and sit down and let yourself be entertained.

However, the ELF factor does play a role too, and a pretty important one too. Elves do not enchant the mainstream as much as they might enchant the fantasy fan. This is because the fantasy fan has immersed their mind into this world, and embraced it. The mainstream person has not done that.

Regarding elves, I might embrace them, or reject them based on which side of the fence I am on. Sometimes I am on the mainstream side, and sometimes I am not. We can explore each side of this fence.

The mainstream side:

I want to see people, their emotions, situations which are real or can be real, and this makes them all the more powerful as entertainment. I want to revel in life, our world, and experience vicariously its tragedies, wonders, horrors, romances, grand views, and mysteries. I do NOT want to put forth effort to become a part of the story, to understand it''s locale, to believe what I am seeing. I expect it to be firmly grounded in reality. I want to see movies which are thrillers, romances, dramas, and I want to see fine acting, and good directorship. I want to read books about adventure, homicide detectives, doctors, pilots, students, journalists, or any other type of person who is real.

The non mainstream side:

I want to be taken on a journey, into the realm of the fantastic. I''m willing to work a little harder to understand this new world, or this potential future. But it had better be good. I still expect real emotions, predictable behavior, and parallels to our mainstream world.

An alternative viewpoint

Games are so pathetic at modeling the subtle aspects that we expect in mainstream entertainment (i.e emotions, believable behavior, etc.) that they substitute the fantastical for it in hopes to compensate for their inability to entertain on a higher level.



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