Fiction Genres: (Poll) What genres do you look for in CoG/HG?

I was curious about the genre spread of published works and WiPs, as well as the general preferences of forum-goers. So here is 30 seconds of market research material.

Question 1: If you have written a CoG/HG, or if you are currently writing a WiP which might become a CoG/HG, which conventional genre would you place the story in?

  • Romance
  • Thriller/Action
  • Sci-Fi
  • Horror
  • Western
  • Young Adult
  • Children’s
  • Fantasy
  • Literary
  • Mystery

0 voters

Question 2: When reading CoGs/HGs, which conventional genre interests you the most?

  • Romance
  • Thriller/Action
  • Sci-Fi
  • Horror
  • Western
  • Young Adult
  • Children’s
  • Fantasy
  • Literary
  • Mystery

0 voters

Question 3: Which genre do you wish was better represented, either with better quality releases or simply greater quantity, with CoGs/HGs?

  • Romance
  • Thriller/Action
  • Sci-Fi
  • Horror
  • Western
  • Young Adult
  • Children’s
  • Fantasy
  • Literary
  • Mystery

0 voters

Question 4: Which genre do you think is over-represented in CoGs/HGs, meaning you’d like to see fewer releases in this genre?

  • Romance
  • Thriller/Action
  • Sci-Fi
  • Horror
  • Western
  • Young Adult
  • Children’s
  • Fantasy
  • Literary
  • Mystery

0 voters

11 Likes

Although The Magician’s Task is in the high fantasy genre, I’d also consider it a romance story. It would be nice if we could choose multiple options but I know from experience that those polls can never be edited anyways.

3 Likes

Yeah I can’t edit them, and frankly I prefer making people decide “What shelf would my story be on if it was stocked in a bookstore?” Because unless you’re a huge name and get placed on that front table by the entrance, you’re only getting on one shelf!

Or “What shelf do I race for first when entering a bookstore?”

I’m currently reading a thriller about a sketchy private investigator and then next on my nightstand is a sci-fi novel about a woman who teleports.

5 Likes

When you vote “fantasy” for each poll…
:smiley:

3 Likes

So you want to see both more and less fantasy titles? Intriguing.

7 Likes

For me, Fantasy will always be bae.

As for that Romance vote…come on, it’s getting an entire section all to itself. Besides, while it is greatly appreciated and is a big part of the CoG games, I generally fail to find interest in games that focus solely on that. To me, it’s more of a side thing than anything; really nice to have, but I can live without it if the story is good enough.

4 Likes

No, I just speedrunned this without reading…
:smiley:

1 Like

I want to add that when I say sci-fi, I particularly mean ‘Space Opera’. Grand drama IN SPACE is my weakness :smiley:

6 Likes

Thinking on it, I’m so much less reliant on genre here than I am with novels. Most of my favorites would not be on the same shelf, and I would avoid that shelf like the plague if they were, because I avoid the crap out of zombies and Westerns and high fantasy (urban fantasy is the best. High fantasy is dull to me). I look more at the mechanics and scope of the game, as well as the ability for character interactions.

This is me (although I’m less likely to go without some form of romance). I really can’t do romance as the core concept though. Probably because I find most conflicts associated with romance genre to be either annoying or too weak to hold my attention. “Oh no, your love life is bad? Well at least your house wasn’t crushed by aliens.

6 Likes

I have always been a fan of mystery genres and I think that Highlands, Deep Waters did well in making it an enthralling piece to wade through (obviously a given, because it was explicitly stated, even with the smooth integration of Lovercraftian elements). This will obviously be personal preferences, but I think that CoG and HG will benefit tremendously if there was a rapid increase in publications of interactive fiction that focuses more on crime and the survival aspect of horror elements.

Focusing solely on crime is a plus too, as does game ideas that centre around the exploration of the legal system. I would also like to highlight the potential benefit of implementing more sandbox features in future publications, as opposed to just merely adding more player choices that only ever amount to altering the percentages of stats and character trait percentages, at best. Zombie Exodus: Safe Haven did this well (and I am referencing this game because I still have not played its predecessor). While frankly it might be more tedious to implement code-wise, I think the potential enhancement to player experience far outweighs the “tediousness” factor that we always use as the metric for making decisions with our coding.

Just my thoughts, coming from someone that likes open world, single player RPGs.

2 Likes

Buh. This is why I dread having to pick a single genre, especially when it comes to our game. Hard to sum up an “urban fantasy about young adults with humor, action, and also maybe some mystery and some mythical elements” type series in one or two words. :sweat_smile:

Can’t think of any one I would discourage, though. Sometimes I’m surprised by what catches my interest and what doesn’t on here.

12 Likes

Yep that’s why my vote went there in the last poll. I know I’m in the minority in thinking that way, but there seems to be a convention that games have to have romance regardless of the story type and even if they’d be better without it. (There’s a few games that have obviously thrown in a scene or two because they felt they have to and it makes the game worse not better if it’s not well intergrated into the story).

9 Likes

@MizArtist33, I thought SYP! was a classic example of urban fantasy! Don’t those stories usually have young protagonists, humor, with some mystery and ‘strangeness’ tossed in? Sounds like you check off most of those boxes!

@Jacic, I also agree that many CoGs/HGs are ill-served by their attempts at romance. It almost always feels tacked on. I’d love to see more stories that ignore romance entirely and focus on platonic relationships, family relationships, even professional relationships. Or ‘birds of a feather’ relationships! Talon City!

And looking at the data, I haven’t checked to see who selected what, but the results so far look like, “We write fantasy! We read fantasy! But wait, there’s too much fantasy! Less fantasy!” I wonder if all the people who didn’t vote fantasy as their favorite in question 1 ganged up and voted against fantasy in question 4? That would be like a little nerdy civil war.

6 Likes

@Eric_Moser What happened to the ‘legal thriller’ category?

More seriously, I wish there had been a general ‘Historical’ category. We’ve had a few of those and I would love some more.

And I do write fantasy, and I read fantasy (but I read sci fi and ‘literature’ and mystery and stories translated from cuneiform and basically anything that’s not romance or slice of life)…but I voted ‘less fantasy’. More Slammed! and Divided We Fall and even Vampire (history, if somewhat adjusted!).

…In my own defence, I do write historical fantasy so I’m halfway to filling out the genre I’d most like to see more of? I’ve been toying with Scottish Highlands 1886 or Paris 1910, not fantasy, but for later. Much later.

The book I’m working on now (is fantasy) is set in 550 BCE. Although I struggle to do it well in a ChoiceScript game, I’ve found, because people don’t expect or want too much exposition of the setting too quickly; it gets in the way of the choices and the action and the game-ness of it all. But in a completely different era, in a completely different culture, particularly one not very thoroughly studied by most of the English-speaking world…

It can be quite maddening to try to figure out how to explain a totally foreign world that doesn’t have the advantage of much genre-convention without going over 200 words or so before the next interesting choice. At least, I struggle.

I also wonder if English or English-translation games in general tend to lean heavily towards fantasy, science fiction, and maybe thriller/horror? Even the point-and-clicks, to some degree. Maybe that has something to do with it?

9 Likes

Honestly, it really surprises me how little sci-fi tends to be represented in the COG/HG lineup. There aren’t very many, and even fewer that I genuinely enjoyed (not to insult other people’s work, of course.)

So yeah, I wouldn’t mind sci-fi getting a little more spotlight.

… Yeah, that’s pretty much my thoughts, too. I tend to like romance in IF when it’s an optional sub-plot. If the entire story is based around romance, though? Eh… Pass.

2 Likes

To be fair, not everyone voted on every poll. I know I didn’t mostly because while I’d love to see a good science fiction Choicescript story I neither dislike or prefer a certain genre. I prefer good stories and resent bad ones. Like I don’t really care for Westerns or the Napoleonic era, but I enjoy both Tin Star and Sabres/Guns of Infinity. And a dozen or so people seem to be the same way (or their preferences plain aren’t represented of course; I can’t actually speak for them).

4 Likes

Right now I don’t really have a favorite genre, provided they come with a good story and / or elements I find interesting they are all more or less equal. The only two genres I’m not a fan of are those related to the 18th century, aka Napoleonic area, and the Roman Empire. I also don’t like games and books that have a strong emphasis on military themes, though I am ok with war elements (might sound contradictory but it really ins’t).

There’s an over-abundance of fantasy games around here as well, wouldn’t mind seeing something different for while or at least fantasy with some kind of twist in it. Sci-Fi, Horror or even Survival themes would hit the spot right about now.

3 Likes

Haha, you may be right. Like everything else in my life, I’m probably overthinking it. Though I think the “young protagnoists” is where the lines starts to blur a little for me, since I don’t think that’s necessarily a hallmark of urban fantasy (though it can be), but starts to overlap with YA in some ways. My favorite urban fantasy author, Christopher Moore, almost always has his main character as an older or middle aged adult, though sometimes a support character or two can be younger.

Perhaps my broader point is how many subgenres of “Fantasy” there are, which may be why you got such a glut of votes for it across the board. Yet, if you look at some of the CoG/HG games, they aren’t 100% comparable. There are many high fantasy stories, it’s true. But again, having to include stuff like SYP in it will still inflate your numbers.

2 Likes

I love romance in Choice of Games, yet I avoid romance novels/things labeled as romance. Why?

Maybe prejudice?

5 Likes

I’ve never read a conventional romance novel and I don’t plan to, but I’m kinda the same way. When it comes to Interactive fiction, I enjoy reading and writing romance elements. I suppose I like romance subplots in non-interactive stories, too.

1 Like