Create new genres (and stop wasting your life in the clone factories)

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Davaris, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. Davaris

    Original Member

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    http://www.gdconf.com/news/gdc_vault/gdc_vault_video_create_new_gen.html

    I thought this was an interesting video, since people were discussing something similar in this thread:

    http://forums.indiegamer.com/showthread.php?30600-12-Lessons-for-New-Game-Developers

    I think there is something to creating original gameplay, since every major development house I can think of, is known for a stand out game that broke new ground. One that immediately comes to mind is Rockstar Games and their GTA. So what do you think? Is the guy in this video right or wrong?

    This one goes into the creativity side:

    Why Being Poor and Having No Budget is Good For Making Games
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwXFOgNVMww
     
    #1 Davaris, Aug 13, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  2. Roman Budzowski

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    Creating new genres or new game play types can be very rewarding... but not necessarily financially. Somehow my most financially successful games are clones. And somehow I don't think I wasted my life creating them.
     
  3. Octopod

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    Depends on your goal. If it is money making, the clone (realized with quality) is more profitable. For having fun, no required ROI surely gives you more room for creativity.

    I don't think that there is a good or a wrong. Isn't the act of creation redoing something that exists, while adding modulations that come from our mind ? I think there is a wide range between a CityVille and a Minecraft. Puts the cursor where it's comfortable.
     
  4. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    What's bizarre to me is that DanC (who has a killer website, btw) just had a bunch of success with Tripletown, a Match-3 variant.
     
  5. Davaris

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    He talks about Tripletown in the video, but didn't indicate it was a clone. And I liked the question at the very end, where the kid points out that without cloners, there would be no genres. I thought it heavily damaged his "cloners are evil" argument.
     
    #5 Davaris, Aug 16, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  6. Desktop Gaming

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Experimenting with a new idea is always going to be a massive gamble. You only need to look at Minecraft (which is crap, in my opinion) to see that.

    Tried-and-tested genres are a much safer financial bet.
     
  7. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Can we get some terms together here? Much like "indie", "clone" seems to mean different things to different people.

    To me a clone is a more or less exact copy of something else and should be frowned on. Ideally made illegal. See various open law suits.

    However if you mean taking an established game type and expanding it and putting your own spin on it? That's what happens in every single other field of endeavour. so why would this be bad in games? Personally that's how I prefer it. When I want a good RTS game, I can look for new RTS games.

    The odd time I've downloaded something that genuinely didn't fit an established genre, it was usually pants.
     
  8. Octopod

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    From what I've understood from of the video of Daniel Cook, the definition of a clone is the one you define Paul.

    I like his method : instead of doing a clone (that is, an exact copy with as little change as possible) we'd better to create an original concept by "branching" on existing ones, as soon as possible in concept rules, and iterate into many branches until we find a great one. No arts or design until the game mechanic is found so that it won't block/influence the iteration. To me, it seems to be a good recipe.

    About the video on youtube, imo, taking into account that a clone needs an effective marketing to spread over, being poor leads to try to have a much more original concept in order to raise itself above the others.
     
  9. TylerBetable

    TylerBetable New Member

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    I agree with Octopod, it's typically a much better idea to take a concept and "branch" off of it. This also gives you ground to stand on when people ask you what your game is about. You can say "it's an RTS with a twist" instead of trying to explain an entirely new concept

    Really, 99% of game design is iterative. Minecraft is simply an open world with building mechanics. Braid is a platformer but with time manipulation. Even the most "innovative" games have their roots somewhere in the game design tree
     
  10. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Minecraft is an infiniminer clone...
     
  11. iGame Omaha

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    I think that cloning a genre really means just repeating the same genre and all the stereotypes involved with it. That shouldn't be illegal, and indeed if we couldn't "clone" genres, we'd end up with one RTS game, one FPS game, one hidden object game, etc, etc. But the evils of cloning the same genre and all the stereotypes means that you get another hidden object game that does the same thing, albeit with different graphics, a different story that probably has many of the same tropes as all previous HO game stories, etc.

    Branching off from those genres means coming up with a hidden object game on iOS, for example, where you move about the room you are searching for by literally moving about the space you are physically standing in (using accelerometer/gyroscope). The same concepts of hidden object apply, but you still have something really significantly different enough to capture gamer attention.

    Just my 2 pennies worth. ;)
     

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