Discussion: Game Genres

In this day and age you could say first person shooters and online role playing games have pretty much dominated the market for a good few years now. On the other hand, there are many games of different genres that have also become very successful.

  1. Do you think there is any particular genre that has an obvious advantage over others (i.e. can become popular very quickly not because of the game play or the quality, but rather the type of game it is)?
  2. In contrast, do you think any game despite it’s genre has a good chance of becoming popular and widespread so long as it is entertaining and has a good solid game play / decent quality?
  3. As a developer, when you decide to make a game, do you try to focus on making it part of a particular genre rather than follow your original idea? Do you ever mix Genres and be creative?

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6 Responses

  1. For me, it’s number 2. I think that any genre can become popular. However, there is a limit, One of the reasons why FPS and MMORPGs are so popular is because their have the unique dual quality of being playable for an extended period of time or a short time without ruining the game.
    This makes the game extremely popular with the people who love in depth fun games that really take a while to master; However, these games can also be picked up and played at any time and drop at any time by those who either lack the time to play or the patience.
    For that simple reason games that take on a long time. (RTS, TBS, City-building, ect…) will never become as popular.
    I know many friends who love to sit down and play a quick game of Halo, but they would never take the time to play Red Alert 2.
    Just my two cents.

  2. Maybe you should make a separate section for these discussions. You call yourself “GMNews”, so when I come here I expect to see news instead of discussions that are not related to any news.

  3. You could make a separate page or something rather then have this on the main news.

    I myself don’t think that any genre has an advantage over the others, each genre has different areas that make it successful. Like Elmernite pointed out FPS’ and MMORPG’s can be played and picked up at any time for any amount of time. This is what makes them successful. For RTS its making the game as fun as possible so people WANT to come back and play it more. City building games, I think ,would be more successful if they did not take so long to start up. I would want to start playing and see results almost immediately. That probably scares off a large audience.

    I myself, as a developer, like to make arcade style games. The arcade genre is my favorite kind. Short but addictive games. I really don’t like to play long platform games on the computer.

    Lego Tech

  4. I think, as you mentioned, in the commercial market some game genres are destined to be more popular and sell a lot of games. Look at the Madden franchise: every year millions of copies of that game are sold, even though the core gameplay remains exactly the same. A few features might be added, and the rosters might change, but sports games are usually perennial best sellers.

    However, in the indie game community, any genre really has a chance to shine. It’s not so much a specific genre, but the package as a whole. I am attracted to games that blend all elements of game design brilliantly. If you (an indie developer) design a game with tight gameplay, inspiring music, and beautiful graphics, I’m probably not going to care what genre it is. Something about an indie game being the vision of one or two people is intriguing.

    There are many commercial games that do the above, but I have to pay for those, so I’m more likely to buy genres I enjoy =)

  5. For number 3, i just say screw genres. I do whatever I can to make my games fun to play. So I end up with mutant versions of several genres that I always need to label “other.”
    For number 1, I think the RTS genre has an advantage over the other styles. Because there is nothing more satisfying then crushing your enemies with overwhelmingly huge armies that only need to be half the size. We’ve all done it, your enemy has about 20 decent troops left, so you spend hours making an army of hundreds to obliderate your opponents. RTS style games also easliy allow for good multiplayer online matches. Humans are cruel, so we enjoy hearing our opponents screaming into their headsets as they get destroyed. 😉

    Heres the link to one of my genreless games if you want to see what I’m talking about. Please rate and comment!


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