Sunday, June 26, 2011

Genre: Can We Really Apply This?

Hack 'n slash adventure sandbox... not something you want to write out every time you define Assassins' Creed; however useful, it may be it may be too cumbersome of a title to be used for a categorizing term like a genre. But is it really without merit? Have we been talking about genre all this time only to create something that we can't use? In short, no; this new genre system is still useful even if you can't use it as a genre, it creates a vocabulary for gaming,  something important for any medium, especially a growing one like gaming. But even then, can't we use it for genre at all?

Our current genre system is not terrible (save for the vague action-adventure genre that needs to be redefined to maintain usefulness) and it does fulfill it's purpose as a way to group like games together, but to go back to our reoccurring example there needs to be a differentiation between Creed and Red Dead. Is it possible to use the specific system as sub-genres?

What if we could say that both games were adventure sandboxes but retain that one is a hack 'n slash but one is a shooter, however this is what we already do most of the time so where does the change have to take place, well first we need to find the places where genre is most important, at least to consumers. The answer is surprisingly obvious, game reviews.

The only reason anyone would need to know the difference between Creed and Red Dead is if they plan on buying it (with exceptions, like if you wanted to write a blog detailing the differences between the games), so the only place it really matters that you differentiate is on game review sights. So a couple thousand words and 5 blog posts latter we've come to the conclusion that game reviews need to be more specific... anti-climactic. Don't worry though, we will review game genre again in the future, but we finished this first shot at it.

Tomorrow will be my weekly non-game (sort of) rant, as will every Monday to try to break up the blog arcs a little bit, then we'll talk some basic game design pit-falls that a lot of developers fall into.

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