The number of video game genres is huge, but I think the most important group of games released in each generation are the games that are hard to describe, but maybe the best. The word to describe them is "weird games".
As you probably guessed from the name, weird games are games that are unique, don't fit neatly into any genre, constantly go against our expectations, and They deconstruct existing stereotypes. These games are usually made with low budgets and few production members, and there is not much pressure on them to achieve financial success. Because of these weird games, they are allowed to get weird! Katamari Damacy (pronounced damashi in Japanese) is such a game.
In this game you are in control of the prince of the entire universe. Using a katamari - which is a Japanese word for "mass" - he pokes at a series of objects and attracts them into the mass to finally make a star, as his father asked him to do so.
Does what I said make sense? No! But this is part of the charm of the game. Katamari prides herself on her sense of whimsy. Because you eat inside someone's house, you absorb all their food and then their cat!
What has always drawn me to Katamari Damasi is how it deliberately and actively rejects the idea of "having depth". A lot of games try their best to squeeze as much gameplay out of their central idea or give you an infinite, grind-driven gameplay cycle, but Katamari doesn't do that. The game is perfectly content to drop you in the middle of a stage and let you do whatever you want on your own. The plot of the game only provides a superficial excuse and behind the game stages there is a simple purpose to guide you. Either telling a story or leaving behind is not a special challenge. This game is about playing. This game revolves around interactive feedback; An experience that only games can provide us. This is all the more surprising when you consider that this game was released in the mid-2000s, as this was the era of the "Are games art?" debate. It was at its peak.
Katamari was only committed to being fun and entertaining, and this commitment even affected its control system. Instead of controlling the prince with one analog stick and the camera with another the standard since Super Mario 64 in Katamari, each analog stick acts as one of the prince's hands, and each of these The hands are also involved in throwing the katamari.
The result is that the control of the game is very difficult and imprecise. This control style would have ended in disaster in any other game, but it's oddly suited to this game and enhances the experience. The bigger Katamari gets, the harder it is to control, and this difficulty conveys the feeling of "bigness" very well.
At a time when big games were getting darker and more serious, Katamari dared to be fresh. By breaking the established rules and expectations of a game, quirky games not only offer a fresh perspective on contemporary game design trends, but also help us understand the value of what lies within these trends.
Let me use a more modern example. Grow Up is an open-world platform game that has redefined platforming style by abandoning some of the platforming style principles that have accompanied the genre since Super Mario for the NES.
The control of the game is loose and floating, forcing you to rely on the cool climbing mechanism.
The game is based on vertical movement. Built, not horizontal. This game is clearly a platform game, but there is no trace of the evolutionary path and ideas that the genre has experienced over the decades. In this sense, the game had an unexpected effect on me. It's true that Grow Up was a new and interesting experience, and I'd like to see the idea behind it expanded further in another game, but the experience made me appreciate more the value of more traditional platform games.
Mario's movement in Super Mario 64 is precise and responsive, but there's a lot of acceleration behind his jumps, providing a very pleasing sense of "speed". The gravity of the game world is adjusted so that you stay in the air for the right amount of time and can make long jumps, while still being in control of your character.
Also during a smart decision The game rarely expects you to move along all three axes of length, width, and height at the same time. In some parts, the challenge of platforming only happens on a straight line. and its gameplay is based on floating gravity and complex movement maneuvers in a 3D world, made me understand a little more the value of a series of Mario's game design ideas. There are so many games that borrow these ideas that it's hard to tell which is part of Mario and which is part of the basic principles of the platforming genre. It was only through the grow-up experience that I could tell the difference between the two.
I had a similar experience with Multiwinnia. Multivinia is a strategy game where almost all of the standard ways the player controls the battlefield are taken away.
Most of the time only one force is available and that force is created automatically. The only command you can give to this force is to tell it where to go. In this game, all the minor decisions that you make in other strategy games are removed, so you are forced to look at the concept of strategy with a holistic and abstract view. mine and these little bastards are more than willing to blindly shoot anything in their path to their painful deaths you've got plenty of time and space to think about long-term deceptive strategies and political maneuvering between other players. .
In a more traditional tactical game like Northgard, you have to think about factors such as the right mix of troops, upgrades, and small decisions on the battlefield to win battles.
This game rewards thinking on a small scale. The way to victory lies in the small skirmishes that help win the bigger war. But considering that Multivinia takes control completely from you, it forces you to think like a real commander. The outcome of the skirmishes is largely out of your hands, but by arranging the right skirmishes at the right time, or simply by summoning a series of crazy monsters, you will gradually achieve victory. Our expectations of the genres we know become a valuable educational resource to transform the way we look at games. However, this is not their only strength. Some of the most adventurous and crazy games are basically the founders of what we consider to be saturated and repetitive styles today.
I want to take you to a forgotten era, a mythical and legendary era: 2012! In that year, one of the hottest games of the day was a game called Day Z. DZ was basically a material for Arma 3, which added a number of new elements, such as:
- Survival-oriented mechanisms
- Unstructured combat where everyone They would also die
- And of course zombies!
Before the game came out, many people probably thought to themselves: what about zombies in a tactical shooter? What were the creators of the mod really thinking? The strange combination provided a unique experience where everyone had to either kill each other or be killed in complete brutality and sloppiness. This experience was completely new.
This mod was unique for its time and hundreds of thousands of gamers tried it, despite the fact that the game controls were awful and had a lot of bugs.
It didn't take long for the game developers to realize that the DZ formula would be much better if they removed the zombies from the game, pitted the players against each other, and didn't touch the strictly survival-oriented elements that were at the core of the game. Realizing this, a new style called Battle Royale was born. Now this style is so popular and so many games have been made based on it that people are getting tired of it.
A similar trend can be observed in Yume Nikki. Yume Niki is a great open-ended surrealist game where your job is to walk around. The main character of the game is a little girl in whose role you experience strange and disturbing dreams.
This game does not have a specific story, nor lively gameplay. You simply walk through a series of rooms and experience a series of predetermined events. This game was an underground work for years, and its creator was spreading it anonymously on sites like 2Chan. But in the end, the game found a lot of fans. Yume Niki's fangames also repeat the annoying atmosphere Suffocating continued the game and addressed similar themes such as existential crisis and loneliness. These fangames eventually directly and indirectly inspired the creation of mumbling role-playing games such as Undertale, Lisa Collection and OneShot.
The starting point of most genres we know today is a small and ambitious game whose creators dared to do something unique and special. The origins of the first first-person action game go back to Battlezone. The first simultaneous strategy game was also a crazy mecha building game called Herzog Zwei, which today can be seen as a direct result in Aimech, which is a kind of spiritual sequel to it.
Maybe Here you may have this question: so what? We have a lot of weird games that have either changed the way we look at video games, inspired a series of classics, or are great games in their own right. Why should we care about making more weird games?
The reason is that these games aren't going to stay weird forever.
The Nice Day was republished in 2018, and the new version has clearer guidelines, It added puzzle solving mechanisms and even ways to fail some challenges. This new version is closer to the ideals of a standard game and easier to understand; But on the other hand, it destroyed the whole ambiguity and scary atmosphere of the original game, which was the main reason for people's interest in it. That's why I personally don't like it.
Katamari Damasi was initially a surreal and crazy game with a very clear anti-consumerist message at its heart. But as the series became more profitable, more sequels were released for it. Keita Takahashi, the creator of Katamari, realized that his game was becoming exactly what he was mocking in the beginning: an entertainment product that was made to be consumed and then thrown away, and not a special experience at all.
That's why he left Namco and started working on smaller games that were more meaningful to him. Weirdness is vital to the continued growth of video games, but it's fundamentally at odds with the capitalist nature of the gaming industry.
The fact that Battle Royale, a digital card game, and the next Dark Souls aren't going to be breakthroughs doesn't mean they are. They're supposed to be badin fact, two of the three genres above are pretty goodbut when there's nothing to push the game industry forward, video games will stagnate. These days, big publishers have turned from making a small and risky game world to making big and safe games based on live service. In this sense, weird games are in an awkward position. So the onus is on us - the players - to find these games and play them.
The next big weird game that's supposed to be the foundation of a great genre may now be a humble mod that few people know about. They are aware of its existence. MOBA and Tower Defense games were originally user-made mods for popular games like StarCraft and Warcraft. This trend continues to this day.
Autochess is a game that caused a stir in the modding scene for Dota 2. The game combined the chance mechanics commonly found in board games with the battles of simultaneous strategy games. In this game you have to form small teams of two heroes and then watch them fight against your enemies.
The game is a bit clunky and overly luck-y - and has nothing to do with chess - but succeeds in combining gambling, strategy and beautiful visuals. It was shown to Valve how much better Artifact is than its weak game. Automated chess will be the starting point of a large genre.
Independent games are also a fertile ground for capturing innovative and unique ideas, because they have a more specific audience and can deal with more unique concepts. White Laboratory was a game that changed the formula of strategy games. In what way, you ask? In this game, all forces and buildings are Lego structures whose physical mechanisms determine their power. In this game, instead of ordering your workers to build a certain building, you have to do the work yourself and attach the spinners to the blocks and the propellers to the propellers. The result will be a series of strange and unusual structures that will defend your headquarters against artificial intelligence and have strange and unique interactions.
As another example, BABA is YOU is a cool language-based puzzle game that fills the chest of the genre. It crumbles and reveals the heart that beats behind it. As Katamari is based on pleasure It was built on arcade games, You're Daddy also provides a pure and clear vision of the nature of puzzle games, as you can manipulate the basic rules of the genre.
In this game, you are "Daddy". But with a few changes, you will become a "rock". With a little manipulation, the "wall" will become a "key". ">
The basis of puzzle games is to manipulate the rules and their effects. Baba Tu Hasti merely puts this principle under the microscope. Baba Tu Hasti is honest about the nature of puzzle games and how they work, so it opens up a lot of new possibilities for the player. For example, one of the stages of the game is a poem, and in another stage you have to make a double negative grammatical structure from the instructions in order to pass a certain limit.
I could go on and on about all the weird games that have to be played. Allow me to continue, but I think recommending a specific game series is not in line with the purpose of the article. There is no problem playing safe, blockbuster and big games; Anyone who tells you that you should only play indie games is a fool.
But we need to understand that big, AAA titles exist because a smaller, sloppier, weirder game makes way for made them smooth. In addition to mainstream games, we should also value exotic games; Games that may not have dozens of hours of content or are not polished to the point of shining, but they have a special spark of innovation, creativity and intelligence that pushes the game industry forward and paves the way for the creation of great games of future generations. /p>
So the next time you want to spend a few bucks on an in-app payment or pre-order the Digital Deluxe Edition of the latest game in a popular series, consider that you could spend that money on a weird game. what does anyone know Maybe you will contribute to the recognition of Mario, Minecraft or the next Ninjabread of the gaming industry.