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Thread: Make your own (sub-)genre!

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland

    Make your own (sub-)genre!

    What kind of game types, genres and subgenres would you like to see that either don't exist yet or haven't really been done nearly enough?

    I'm thinking that I would like to see the immersive walking sim. I like exploring virtual spaces, I like environmental storytelling, but I don't always want antagonists, fail states or overt challenge - so I'm thinking e.g. of a game based on urban exploration of deserted spaces where... stuff happened. Gone Home mixed with Deus Ex and Mirror's Edge. There don't need to be monsters, zombies, security guards or other explorers waiting to whack you over the head with their flashlights. Bring more interesting traversal options to the walking sim and let us find various ways to get into that building or that room. You might find a key or a brick or something you can use as a makeshift crowbar, though you may prefer to leave these spaces undamaged in their state of ruin.

  2. #2
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Okay, let's get the most ambitious and unreachable out of the way first: I want a sumo wrestling sim with the limb manipulation mechanics of Trespasser and DoA's bouncy jugs technology.

  3. #3
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    I'm thinking that I would like to see the immersive walking sim. I like exploring virtual spaces, I like environmental storytelling, but I don't always want antagonists, fail states or overt challenge - so I'm thinking e.g. of a game based on urban exploration of deserted spaces where... stuff happened.
    Buddy, do I have a game for you!

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Sounds good - and it's in my Steam library! Definitely bumping it up on my playlist. :-)

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    Okay, let's get the most ambitious and unreachable out of the way first: I want a sumo wrestling sim with the limb manipulation mechanics of Trespasser and DoA's bouncy jugs technology.
    I like it. QWOP meets DOA, just with big, sweaty guys.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Immersive horror 2 hour bus ride simulator.

  7. #7
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I've scripted a couple of games with the explicit idea of making a genre of it...

    A couple of them could fairly be called immersive walking sims, but the particular mechanic I liked is making the storyline more like a web than linear. So there were a couple of concepts for this. The basic idea was based off of the old game LSD, where interacting with certain objects would warp you to a different space. In LSD it was basically at random (0dN0dE also does this). But in my vision there's logic to it. One concept was gamifying Benji's chapter in Faulkner's Sound & the Fury. In the book he's mentally retarded, but the chapter is from his perspective as he mis-understands what's happening around him. When he interacts with certain things, it brings him back to the memory of that event like it's happening right then, and his disposition shifts.

    Another concept was memory-reading. Turned out not-unlike Obra Dinn. You're a scifi future police agent that can wire yourself into the memories of a murder victim. You can travel through his memory space trying to solve his murder. But you can only trigger a memory when you have a cue from other information you've learned. So much of the game is finding the cues to open up new memories, which give you hints about finding new cues to open up new memories.

    Then the third concept was just a flat out surreal concept like a Lynch movie, based loosely around the idea of a video game AI suddenly achieving consciousness and walking around his world trying to make sense of it, but the game itself was left unfinished and the author abandoned it. So it's glitchy and it's not clear what the objectives are; there are things you can do to meet half-baked objectives, but it wasn't expected players would be playing it... much less an Ai becoming conscious in its world. It's kind of a commentary on modern life.

    Ok, then the second sub-genre I made I'd describe as a grand strategy game, but at the level of a city. And the vehicle for this game was French Revolution Paris. Basically it's a simulation of the French Revolution happening in Paris, or more like 19th Century Paris simulator since the game is more about the aftermath of the revolution. You can select to be any kind of character in the city living through the revolution and afterwards.. It's kind of a sandbox, but basically you want to climb the ranks of whatever your position is... If you're a priest, you want to become Bishop (and stay alive), if you're a merchant/farmer you want to become the largest property/landholder (and stay alive), if you're just some street urchin, then you want to either build a criminal enterprise or be a revolutionary leader of some san culottes gang. But the best game to play is of course vying to be the leader of a new regime, either leader of a commune, or king in a restoration, or you're military and you politic your way to be emperor (Napoleon like; by the way England and Austria have a good chance of invading the city, so military has something to do, like Paris is a microcosm of all of France), or you're a Robespierre like character trying to be de facto leader of the revolution (and stay alive)... Most of the population are spawned pawns (like GTA), but about 100 or 200 characters are more like NPCs that are competing for the same positions you are (like Crusader Kings), and I like the idea of making it multiplayer too, so you can compete with other humans as well as NPCs to be the next ruler (Bishop, biggest landowner, etc, etc) of France. You can get yourself elected to one of the three estates by getting majority support within your district's respective estate. And then it uses the famous 1739 map of Paris, where literally every building is hand drawn in. You could also just explore the city doing little side quests or random goals (make a living as a barber or winery in some random neighborhood) too.
    Last edited by demagogue; 31st Jan 2019 at 09:42.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    One concept was gamifying Benji's chapter in Faulkner's Sound & the Fury.
    Okay, I flat-out love you for this.

  9. #9
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    Okay, let's get the most ambitious and unreachable out of the way first: I want a sumo wrestling sim with the limb manipulation mechanics of Trespasser and DoA's bouncy jugs technology.
    Sumotori Dreams may not be exactly this, but you may be laughing too hard to care.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    If you had a game that evolved based on player actions into a genre specific to that, that'd be cool. Be dream-like if anything.


  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    Buddy, do I have a game for you!
    My first thought on reading Thirith's post was "Infra". My first thought on seeing henke post a game link was "that better be Infra".
    I was not disappointed. It was Infra.

  12. #12
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Kind of piggy backing on what Thirith said in the OP, but I always wanted an open world walking sim. Something as big as Skyrim or one of the Far Crys. I really want vast distances to travel but where the pace is casual and you can explore at your leisure and go whatever direction you choose. That said, it would have to possess some other characteristic to provide at least a minimal challenge - I'm not really interested in a Dear Esther type thing. Some possibilities:

    Stealth (ala Miasmata). I like the idea of a AI that occasionally shows up and that you can only avoid and not defeat, at least not until later in the game).
    Puzzles (something like Infra or Obduction).
    Mapping/Cartography (again, Miasmata).
    Crafting (Like in Solus Project or Subnautica, but without the survival aspect, which intoduces a level of urgency that I'd want to avoid).

    At one point, I hoped Frontiers was the game I was looking for, but it died for some reason.

    Anyway, I doubt a game like this would ever get made. It would require extensive resources and budget to make an open world game, and I don't this type of open world would appeal to enough gamers.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Landahn
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    What kind of game types, genres and subgenres would you like to see that either don't exist yet or haven't really been done nearly enough?

    I'm thinking that I would like to see the immersive walking sim. I like exploring virtual spaces, I like environmental storytelling, but I don't always want antagonists, fail states or overt challenge - so I'm thinking e.g. of a game based on urban exploration of deserted spaces where... stuff happened. Gone Home mixed with Deus Ex and Mirror's Edge. There don't need to be monsters, zombies, security guards or other explorers waiting to whack you over the head with their flashlights. Bring more interesting traversal options to the walking sim and let us find various ways to get into that building or that room. You might find a key or a brick or something you can use as a makeshift crowbar, though you may prefer to leave these spaces undamaged in their state of ruin.
    Let me flip this round; an im sim where your primary mode of locomotion is NOT on foot. Where it's all about a car*, a sub, a space cruiser. Where you're a worm, a bird, a plant, a planet, I dunno.



    *Just remake Quarantine as an im sim, thnx.

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    Ok, then the second sub-genre I made I'd describe as a grand strategy game, but at the level of a city. And the vehicle for this game was French Revolution Paris. Basically it's a simulation of the French Revolution happening in Paris, or more like 19th Century Paris simulator since the game is more about the aftermath of the revolution. You can select to be any kind of character in the city living through the revolution and afterwards.. It's kind of a sandbox, but basically you want to climb the ranks of whatever your position is... If you're a priest, you want to become Bishop (and stay alive), if you're a merchant/farmer you want to become the largest property/landholder (and stay alive), if you're just some street urchin, then you want to either build a criminal enterprise or be a revolutionary leader of some san culottes gang. But the best game to play is of course vying to be the leader of a new regime, either leader of a commune, or king in a restoration, or you're military and you politic your way to be emperor (Napoleon like; by the way England and Austria have a good chance of invading the city, so military has something to do, like Paris is a microcosm of all of France), or you're a Robespierre like character trying to be de facto leader of the revolution (and stay alive)... Most of the population are spawned pawns (like GTA), but about 100 or 200 characters are more like NPCs that are competing for the same positions you are (like Crusader Kings), and I like the idea of making it multiplayer too, so you can compete with other humans as well as NPCs to be the next ruler (Bishop, biggest landowner, etc, etc) of France. You can get yourself elected to one of the three estates by getting majority support within your district's respective estate. And then it uses the famous 1739 map of Paris, where literally every building is hand drawn in. You could also just explore the city doing little side quests or random goals (make a living as a barber or winery in some random neighborhood) too.
    It's not grand strategy and there's no huge open world, but Europa 1400: The Guild basically does the advancing in your profession thing.


    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    Kind of piggy backing on what Thirith said in the OP, but I always wanted an open world walking sim. Something as big as Skyrim or one of the Far Crys. I really want vast distances to travel but where the pace is casual and you can explore at your leisure and go whatever direction you choose. That said, it would have to possess some other characteristic to provide at least a minimal challenge - I'm not really interested in a Dear Esther type thing. Some possibilities:

    Stealth (ala Miasmata). I like the idea of a AI that occasionally shows up and that you can only avoid and not defeat, at least not until later in the game).
    Puzzles (something like Infra or Obduction).
    Mapping/Cartography (again, Miasmata).
    Crafting (Like in Solus Project or Subnautica, but without the survival aspect, which intoduces a level of urgency that I'd want to avoid).

    At one point, I hoped Frontiers was the game I was looking for, but it died for some reason.

    Anyway, I doubt a game like this would ever get made. It would require extensive resources and budget to make an open world game, and I don't this type of open world would appeal to enough gamers.
    So... No Man's Sky with hand-crafted content?

    Also, a shame about Frontiers, I was looking forward to that one as well.
    Last edited by Starker; 31st Jan 2019 at 16:14.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    There's one I've been thinking about: a real-time tactical stealth-RPG.
    A top down view in the vein of games like Commandos / Desperados / Shadow Tactics, except that you have full RPG stats.
    You can take down enemies by stealth, or fight them directly in real-time combat. You can level your characters with skills to complement stealth and misdirection, with combat skills, or with a combination of both.
    The combat in the game would be very challenging, forcing you to sneak past foes until you can face them in combat, take out enemies from stealth, or luring enemies away to kill them one at a time.

    Yes, this is based on my favourite obscure Russian game, Evil Islands, but I don't know of any other games like it.
    It's a game that I've been toying with the idea of making myself, and I've written down some notes on the concept, but it's not something I'm currently working on.

  16. #16
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    What Brethern mentioned is a similar thinking I've had as well... Probably a lot of people of our ilk would like that kind of game.

    I've mentioned Empyrion before as the open world alien planet sim... It's technically survival but it's relatively low key & forgiving survival, so you're relatively free to just explore & build for the most part. It's still a bit awkward and unpolished, but it's doing better than the major alternatives.

    One of my ideas would be basically a Minecraft variant with a Skyrim-like world, voxelized so it's deformable and you can craft & build openly on it, and then fans could build adventure maps out of it, like Minecraft adventures but a bit more mature, so you can have story and open world coming together.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    demagogue is brilliant. I wish all those games existed.

  18. #18
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    Sumotori Dreams may not be exactly this, but you may be laughing too hard to care.
    I remember it. It's a good first step, and Human Fall Flat's co-op showed how far the idea could go.

    RE: the storyline more of a web than linear concept, what would you do to implement narrative pacing? Create an act structure, say phased hub-and-spoke design with logically blocked-off points that await progression from the central hub (that is, the core story)? Or would it be more free-form and up to the player to find their own pace?

  19. #19
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    First, I tried to write a tutorial on plot design for TDM FMs with some of these ideas, and it answers some of your question. (I should really get around to finishing it up.) It says it's for TDM FMs, but it's basically applicable to immersive sims generally.

    To summarize, there are different options. A hub-and-spoke model is definitely one option. Another one I mentioned was a spider web; you're on the edge and need to make your way to the center. But there are a number of different independent routes you can take freely, paths down one link open up links to new nodes on other sides, and you can go in any order at your own pace. I think those were the two basic models I talked about. (Practically they're both variations on the same basic idea, and you can apply it at different levels of scale, for a corridor, a building, a level, or across the whole game.)

    What I like is the idea you can tell a story in different orders, and the full plot emerges by the time you reach the center. But you can get big revelations in different orders, and they may have different impacts depending on if you knew A before B or B before A. But everybody gets A & B by the end (and possibly some really minor elements are hidden about as optional flavor some players find and other players miss to reward exploration). Obra Dinn had that potential, but it didn't execute it as well as it could as the release of information & revelations was still railroaded into a sequence for the most part (even if the sequence wasn't temporally linear; the sequence of revelations was still linear-ish in practice just by its design).
    Last edited by demagogue; 1st Feb 2019 at 06:44.

  20. #20
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Nice! I read through that and I agree, you should finish it. Some good explanations of the fundamental nature of mission design in there.

    I can see both models working, though my preference is for a more modulated approach in terms of naturally blocking off progress until the player moves the story forward. The spiderweb design would seem more organic, but I'd be slightly constrained by the design being predicated on the fact that wherever you start from the outside, that individual thread will need to move you towards the same central outcome. It would take some talent (and the right kind of story/setting) to make each individual strand seamless and non-contrived to the player; which is to say, a fair bit of work, and I'm a lazy git.

  21. #21
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    For example, in the memory-reading police investigation idea, each node or strand is a memory that contributes clues to solving the crime (the center). You can read the memories in basically any order, many freely from the start and some after you can open them up. But you'll have to go through all of them at some point to get the core clues that open up the end-game. So it might not actually be that different than the hub-and-spokes model the way I'm thinking about it. It's just instead of one hub, there are lots of mini-hubs with their own spokes. You still need to go through all of the spokes one way or another to open the end game.

    Edit: The image of a spider web might be misleading, since when I was making these, I was thinking about the LSD model where you instantly warp to different parts (like Obra Dinn's ship or book). So you don't have to literally meander all the way strand to strand to the center. It's more like ... I don't even know the best image for it. More like there's a ball hanging by threads, and you can cut the threads in any order until the ball drops, but some are tangled or knotted up and require you to have cut previous threads (not necessarily nearby) before you can cut them. Maybe that's a better image.
    Last edited by demagogue; 1st Feb 2019 at 14:40.

  22. #22
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Aye, I get it now. We're working with slightly different perspectives on the same problem that... wind back to a core solution. Pretty meta of us; I think that was probably one degree of separation? Take that, Inception!

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