Friday, June 30, 2006

Rip. Mix. Burn. The Vast Untapped Potential of Mixing Gaming Genres

Game designers and game "futurists" must start broadening their worldview by looking at all aspects of gaming, indeed at all aspects of life.

I've said this before, but it bears repeating: don't be myopic. There is a vast shared commonality between Eurogames, RPGs, CCGs, and even computer games. They all provide an entertainment value to the user. You could even add in movies and television, books, and so on that do the same.

There is still a vast richness to be tapped from one industry to another. Right now we are so excited about just being able to DO crosssovers, that we don't think much about how to do it well. Everywhere you look, you will find crossover material: books that are also games, board games that are also movies, movies that are also computer games. We can play a board game on a DVD. We can play a board game on a computer. Wow. Shiny.

That is just the scratching of the surface, my friends. Start reading computer game design blogs or RPG design blogs, or even entertainment industry news and absorb the way that each one is trying to tap the interest of their users. Admittedly, the entertainment industry news sources are the least helpful, since they generally treat their users like crap, but aside from that, there are whole other languages to discover.

RPGers talk about experiences, worlds, metaphors, characters, player to player relationships. Computer gamers talk about player contacts, social experience, immersion, context, massive scale, details. Board gamers talk about strategy, mechanics, analysis time, theme. All of these subjects are relevant to all game disciplines.

Even on the subjects where we overlap, such as theme or world, we talk about them differently. Reading the subject from another perspective can be refreshing.

I hope I am not alone here. I see computer game enthusiasts that write about computer games. I see ex-computer gamers who write about board games. RPGers who write about RPGs. Board gamers who write about board games.

Who writes about all games? Who takes gaming, all gaming, to be one great mix up of an experience? Is our audience so fragmented that you risk losing them when you talk about more than one genre? If so, this is a strange commentary on game players and readers.

Game genres have incubated in their own gene pools enough. They are strong enough now to start interbreeding with other species.



Guy said...

I agree wholly. You should even take the various game-types and fuse them, taking competitive from board/card games and story from RPGs is what my CSI Games project is all about.

RPGs sprang from war-games, card games(ala Magic) came to be in order to finance a board game, the connections are all there.

Yehuda Berlinger said...

Guy - By the way, I looked at your material, and it looks interesting. I can't see myself playing that type of game right now, but my personal gaming (as opposed to my blogging) interests are very narrow right now.

The rules were very long, however. I would suggest working on simplifying them, if you can.

Thanks for the comments.


Guy said...

Well, it's still more of an RPG than board game.

I plan to release online my first board game-CSI Game tonight, Israel time.

Also, what do you think of the blog content, rather than the specific game?

About the specific game(Cranium Rats here), I am wondering what Board-gamers think of it, now that I know what role-players do.

Yehuda Berlinger said...

Guy- You've just started the blog, but so far it has some interesting content.

If you want full criticism, goods and bads, you will have to email me directly. Not that I'm any expert.

shadejon on gmail

Guy said...

Well, I've now uploaded the alpha iteration of my Board-Game, rough, somewhat underdevelopped, but should be functional, though I did miss some rule, and now I forgot it again..

Slime Octopi and Coral, available on Cranium Rats Central.