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Article - 'Creating an Rm2k(3) game' by Craze

An item about Game Design posted on Apr 8, 2004

Blurb

Craze's first article of a planned series. This article focuses on genres, types, and styles of games.

Body

This is the first installment in a (hopefully) useful set of articles. It will help you design your game, and make it appeal to wide group of people. This first issue will tell about the different types of games, the genres, and styles.

Just for kicks, if you like this article, this is my plan.

1. Genre/Type/Style
2. Story/Characters/Title
3. Graphics part 1-Intro, End, Titles, etc.
4. Graphics part 2-Sprites and Chipsets
5. Graphics part 3-Parallax, Pictures, Background
6. Paths (By this I mean having your hero change his path, like in side-quests, making huge decisions, etc.)
7. Finishing Your Game
8. Advertising, when to make demos, etc.

Now, lets get right into the tutorial, shall we?

First, let me define Genre, Type and Style.

A Genre is the setting of a game, such as Fantasy, sci-fi, and Real Life.

A Type is a sub-Genre, such as Humor, Epic, Heroic, etc. Also helps determine the main evil.

A Style is actually more like the graphics, such as the Classic Zelda games, where it is simplistic, somewhat repetitive, but works amazingly well.

Before you even start your game, you need to choose what the game is going to be like. Use the list below as a guide, and you can probably make a great idea, that isn't cliche!

There are many different Genres when you mix them with Types. Below is a list of some of them.

Fantasy: A Fantasy Genre is set in a world with dragons, myth, monsters, magic, and other things. Usually a country, county, or province is controlled by a King in a capital castle, and several other towns, with one or two hamlets and villages.

- Humor Fantasy: This is a game full of puns, silly things, and among others, really bad jokes. For a great example, read some of the Xanth novels by Piers Anthony (aka Hi Pier or Pier Xanthony). This genre/type mix can be overused in stereotypical situations, such as a fair maiden who is a total Bizatch Master, a hero that always stumbles, and some talking dog. Bad. Very bad. Be inventive! (The Making Realistic Characters articles series, which is great by the way ;), goes over that in greater detail.)

-Anthropomorphic/Furry Fantasy: 'Furry/Anthropomorphic' fantasy means it has furry animals as characters, and is usually mixed with humor. A good example of 'Furry' is the webcomic Suburban Jungle (Suburbanjungle.com). Furry, though, is surprisingly not overused. But they can also can make bad games, because people don't put into effect the actual size of a squirrel or chipmunk. When you make a furry game, especially Fantasy, you need to make it believable. A wonderful series is Redwall, a series of novels about mice, hedgehogs, and other creatures against rats, foxes and more. Another important thing to remember with Anthropomorphic Fantasy that magic can make even a mouse more powerful then a badger, though not as wise.

-Epic Fantasy: Epic Fantasy is NOT the same as Heroic Fantasy. Epic Fantasy is like The Lord of the Rings, and usually has many, many characters, plot changes, and things to deal with. If you want to make an Epic Fantasy, be prepared to spend a long while on it. Bluntly put, Epic Fantasy just might be the hardest game to make, if you want it to be good.

-Heroic Fantasy: Heroic Fantasy, as said above, is NOT like Epic Fantasy. The main character in a Heroic Fantasy is a demigod, a thief lord, exiled prince, whatever. Someone strong, intelligent, and with some really cool stuff. This is another overused Genre/Type mix. Some guy, standing in the rain, gets struck by lightning and gets superpowers. STAY AWAY FROM THAT STEREOTYPE! Also, is you are good at making characters, this can be a great genre/type to choose.


Realistic: The Realistic Genre is set in the real world, with earth and it's inhabitants. A good example of this is Channel Changer, the first episode. You go around the town, pick up Esther, and meet Solda.

- Humor Realistic: Pretty much self-explanatory. Real life, with funnies. Thrilling.

- Thug Realistic: This is actually something I would like to see. Thug Realistic is basically taking control of a thug or team of thugs. A game like this would usually have an ABS or CBS. A good example of what this type is like is Westside Story, two groups of thugs (the Jets and the Sharks) are fighting in Manhattan, with a love story embedded. A great story, and great music. If you haven't seen it, see it and then you can get an idea about what this Genre/Type mix is.

-Life Realistic: The Sims: Busting Out for gameboy advance is this type. Find love, build a house, and just live on minigames. One of my favorite Genre/Type mixes, I have noticed a few games like this, but didn't download them (yet...). To make this type of game, be sure to know how to make items well, make chipsets, switches, variables, and more...;cause you will need to have the person choose their character, make minigames, and stuff to build houses. A CSS (Custom Shop System) would almost definitely be needed.

-Past Realistic: Like fantasy, but without magic and such. Set in Mayan, Boring if you ask me.

Sci-Fi: Almost exactly like Fantasy, but also very different. Mecha, bodysuits, scientists and more are very popular.

-Mecha Sci-Fi: Mecha sci-fi is giant robots fighting other robots, and badguys with long hair. (not really, but what the heck.) If you choose this type of game, beware. You will need to make many charsets, and be able to make a CBS if you want the game to be good.

-Furry/Anthropomorphic Sci-Fi: Same as Fantasy, but also included are aliens, robots, minibots, and other things. See above for more detail.

-Space Wars Sci-Fi: A cliche, mixed with Heroic and Epic, but very good if made right. There is a bad guy, and he wants to control the universe. The hero rises up to the challenge. Then he gets a group of followers, gets a spaceship, and goes boom-boom-boom. Star Wars is a good example (no, really?). Classic characters in a Space Wars are a hot, sexy princess, a cool weapon wielding hero, and an alien.

-2012: In the Mayan Calendar, the world is going to end on December 23, 2012. 'Nuff said.(That's true, by the way. I studied it ;)..wait..thats 8 years...)


Styles, as I said, are the type of graphics.

Low Detail, Focus on Character is not that widely used, but is famous in the Zelda Games.

Low Detail Everything: DO NOT USE! Looks very bad.

Medium Detail: This is the most used style. The RTP sets, most charsets and chipsets, and other things have medium detail.

High Detail: If you spend enough time on your project, you probably will have great graphics. Look around, because everyone has a different idea of great graphics.


I hope I covered everything. I think that these are the three basic genres, their sub-types, and styles. See ya when it's time to create a story!