Alternative Genre Discussion


#1

So officially speaking, I’m very new to the CoG community. In reality, I’ve lurked on the games and forums as a guest for a handful of years now and throughout that time, I’ve noticed that 99% of both Choice of Games and Hosted Games fall into the Fantasy, Supernatural, and Scifi genres. I’m quite a fan of all three myself, but I’ve been wanting to write my own game for a long time now and I’d like to try something a little different from the norm, so as not to accidentally write something similar to stories that have been published already or are in the works as we speak. Which tempts the question I’m most curious about…

Seeing as the CoG community is very dedicated to stories that focus on fantastical elements, how would a realistic story fare in the grand scheme of things??? Mind you, I haven’t even started brainstorming yet. I just want to know if there’s any interest in a story set around realistic characters in a contemporary setting that perhaps isn’t solely focused on romance. :slight_smile:


#2

We’re greatly lacking in realistic stories. There’s other companies that sell more realistic interactive fiction, to much success. Whenever I’m on my tablet I keep getting advertisements for slice of life stuff, all about dating boys at your job/school/whatnot.

I’d say it’s likely going to be more popular if it does focus on the romance, or at least has a strong romantic thread along with the plot.


#3

I’ve seen those kinds of advertisements as well! But my favorite thing about CoG is that it’s text-based and even if you’re not familiar with coding, plenty of people with perhaps even less knowledge of it seem capable of picking it up. Not to mention, from what I’ve seen, just about everyone on here is talented and welcoming and the feedback is almost always helpful. I could definitely use that sense of community to better my writing and, with any luck, help bring new stories to the table.

As for the romance, I don’t want to cut it out altogether, but I’d rather it be more of a subplot than the main focus of the overarching plot - if only for my own inexperience in writing it. I wouldn’t want to promise everyone a mountain, only to end up delivering a molehill. But I understand the need for a strong romantic thread (or two) along with the plot since I’m a sucker for romance as a reader too!

Thank you so much for the feedback!


#4

I liked how Slammed did romance. It was a normalish, setting. There were three very solid, interesting romances, that all played a part in the plot, and while they weren’t the main focus, and you could skip them, they were still a significant part of the fun.

Most movies have got romance in them too. Not just romance films.

Incidentally you’re a new user. I’d suggest doing the following which will bump you up to a basic user

  • entering at least 5 topics
  • reading at least 30 posts
  • spend a total of 10 minutes reading posts

Congrats on your basic user status! :slight_smile:


#5

I remember Slammed! That’s essentially what I have in mind; romantic options that aren’t there only for the sake of being romantic options, with more opportunities to tie them to the overarching plot. Mainly because secondary characters tend to make or break most stories for me, and Slammed was one of the stories that have awesome secondary characters! I don’t even watch wrestling anymore, but that story pumped me up about it so much haha.

Movies are always a good parallel to consider, especially when it comes to romance serving as a subplot and fuel for character development in films that don’t fall within the romance genre!

Aww, thank you! I’m stoked! :smiley:


#6

I don’t even like wrestling, but Slammed made me enjoy it. It was the game with the premise I thought I was least likely to enjoy, but I absolutely loved it. That shows that good writing and great characters is everything.

SO! I think that means you should do it!


#7

I’m trying to think of all the CoGs/HGs that don’t fall into the genres you mentioned … Tin Star to some extent? I know it gets a little silly if you get struck by lightening, but it’s pretty realistic for the most part.

Part of the issue I think is that there does need to be a plot. I think a lot of slice of life type stories tend to be somewhat romance heavy because that’s something that’s fairly universal (of course nothing is completely universal, but it’s something fairly common) that lends itself fairly easily to conflict. Not that the relationship has to be unhealthy of course, but things like how friends react, how they adjust to a new dynamic, even just the thrill of the chase through the story. And I’m definitely not going to say that you should change your mind about keeping romance secondary, but I do think that means you need to decide what’s primary.

Big, fantastical elements lend themselves well to a narrative that the player can get invested in, they’re easy to give a goal to. Slice of life can absolutely be that way, but it might be a harder fight to make the player feel compelled to follow the direction you’re going in. Superhero story–MC has powers, MC wants to be a hero, it’s got a path there. Slammed is realistic, but still has a sort of lofty goal. Pro wrestler is something we can buy as a childhood dream, it isn’t superhero but it’s highly motivated and lends itself well to character struggles and a plot.

I would absolutely love to read a story based on just realism, and I think there are a lot of good ways to do that, but I do think before anything else you need to figure out what the push of the story is going to be. I’ve been thinking about it as a sort of slice of life venture just because that’s what I think of first when I think of realistic character driven story, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be, and I think once you do have a more set direction you want to go in it’ll be easier for forumfolk to give advise and whatnot.

Sorry if any of this sounds discouraging, that’s really not my intent. I’d absolutely love to have more realistically set CoGs and I’m all for you taking a whack at it!


#8

There are a few games here that qualify as being in a realistic setting. Even if there may be some overlap into the Fantasy, Supernatural or SciFi areas as well.

A prime example here would be the Infinity series by Cataphrak - the world in which the story is built is very realistic and the political and military aspects of the game are from the school of Realism and is based on real-life historical and current societies and history. Are there some fantastical elements, yes but it is not like Lucid’s awesome Lost Heir series.

Speaking of Lucid, the “Life of a Mobster” seems to be a realistic based story.

Nevertheless, one of my favorite stories on the Hosted side is purely historical based on the Spanish Civil War in the 1930’s called: “Divided We Fall”. There is also “Somme Trench” a story about WW1 and “Marine Raider” about WW2/ Ya, you can chose to be female in Marine Raider but that kind of deviance from history can be tolerated.

Another great “historical” type of game is Lord of Aswick - very much a slice-of-medieval life. Goshman is working on two more titles which should fit the bill too.

On the CoG side: “Hollywood Visionary” is very much about making a movie during the “Red Scare” days and it is based on life in the 1950’s. Besides Slammed there is also Choice of the Broadside and Choice of the Rock Star (although many people thought the Rock Star story was flawed.)

My point here is this: This community will embrace your story as long as it is written well. The super-hero genre and the zombie fans will always have a built-in audience, whether they are written realistically (see Zombie Exodus) or not (see Zombien) but the type of story you are angling to write will find many fans as well.

One more slice of life title I almost forgot about: Volunteer Firefighter, a story about being a firefighter…

So please go for your vision and bring your story to life - lots of us will enjoy it.


#9

Lords of Aswick is a great example in my opinion. You watch your character grow up, his accomplishments, his mistakes, make friends and enemies all up til the end.

Growing old in that game made me terribly emotional which is a hard feat to do. Romance takes a backseat in this story because its your story. Its still there but there is so much else going on and its a small piece of the pie that is your characters life. I consider it one of my better COG experiences


#10

All good games listed, but some not mentioned which I loved-alter ego, for rent haunted house(mostly realistic, and the haunting has real life equivalent reported events) and the morality game(forgot what it’s called as since it’s not that popular doesn’t work on my phone anymore :’( but the one where you choose the most moral thing to do) also loved the yp an average day, which sadly didn’t get finished :’( . So there are a fair few out there, just not many relative to the other genres on offer. So would love a realistic game, but I think it’s important(for me at least :stuck_out_tongue: ) to do something a bit different. There are so many wizarding games for example that I think it’s hard to make your game unique, to make it stand out.

Whilst this is less true of the realistic genre, I still find it important. So another ww1/2 game, another mafia game etc would still be good, and quite unique etc, I think it’d be nice to have something completely different, that hasn’t been done at all before. But if someone were to take on an idea that’s been done, but not too much like a war game for me it’d need to stand out still,there’s loads of ways to do that though. Sticking with that example maybe you could set it in a not yet done war/conflict such as the crusades, the Russian revolution(would love to see this one :stuck_out_tongue: ) etc.


#11

I made a thread about this recently, more to find what kind of settings people enjoyed. Predictably, there was no clear preference at all because different people like different things.

I think the general agreement was that, if you have a really good story, it doesn’t matter where the game is set, people will play it anyway. (Which is apparent since according to the poll, not many people like Westerns, yet Tin Star is regarded by many as being one of the best games the site has to offer.) :blush:


#12

As long as your story has a good conflict, I don’t think the setting it’s too important. And, to be fair… I think it’s important to have some variety, more games centered on everyday issues would be great. Also, there are a lot of genres that can fit in a realistic setting, mystery for example would be nice to explore.

And I think it’s a good idea to not make it only focused in romance, romance usually works better as a subplot. I mean, it could work, but there needs to be some kind of conflict within the romantic relationship to create an engaging story and some elements of challenge in order to make it work as a game.


#13

I agree with @FairyGodfeather because I myself, despise with a capitol D realistic stuff, unless it is about an interest of mine, science, or romance. I am a hopeless romantic. Suddenly, the closer my18th birthday and legal age to date all the daddies and do mommies I want, my romance(aka my hoe) has spiraled out of control. I’ve read more romance novels and fan fictions in the past year than I have in my life I think.

Everybody loves romance. So if you make it based on that, I feel it will be immensely popular. Heck, even if it’s like the winter wolves game where you dig up damn rocks in the ground(C14 is great tbh) I will play it for the romance. Idk what’s up, but if no one else is in, atleast you got some audience, mwah, the most fabulous person that ever did walk this planet(jk I don’t even sparkle, I cri)


#14

I absolutely ADORE the idea of a realistic game! Any genre will do. Ideally, it would include lots of character customization too. I love playing as a realistic myself in realistic sitiations that I am simply unlikely to find myself in in real life.


#15

I find that I enjoy stepping outside my favorite genres far more for interactive fiction than in novels. For instance, I generally won’t touch westerns or zombies in fiction, but Tin Star and Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven are two of my favorite games on the site. And I’ve avoided games within my favorite genres.

There are three things that matter in a story (to me) and none of them are exclusive to genre fiction: Writing, immersion, and setup. I can’t play stories that are riddled with errors, and I can get addicted to stories with fun writing, be it funny or emotional. And any good interactive fiction needs immersion. I have a lot of fun in any setting where I can react to the plot as it comes. I’ll accept any scenario, as long as my character can react to it how I think would be appropriate (or at least close to within the limits of coding).

You’ll need a good plot, of course, and an interesting conflict. It doesn’t need to be a world-changing grand quest or anything, just some setup that makes me want to be in this world in the first place and care what happens. If it is just straight-up slice-of-life, what life am I living? And what kind of goals can I pursue? What can I want? If it’s not slice of life, what is the actual conflict?

And romance helps too-- although I understand writing within your comfort zone on that. I actually prefer romance as a subplot, in any event. Let me pursue a character I like, but let me see him/her/them as a character first and a significant other second.