Too many games with established superhero world?


#1

I have played all cog and hosted games except maybe 3 or 4 games… I bought my first game 2 years ago that being hero prodigy…I am an avid superhero comic book reader and love all cogs games in this genre (all cog and hosted games for that matter)
But when I was done with all the games I started to notice a theme…that all superhero game had an already established superhero world before mc starts to become a super hero.
I don’t want to sound like an entitlist…but reading all the superhero games here have given me a craving for good old superhero stories…that being no superhero other then the mc existing ,you know the old fashioned spiderman or batman story.

So, I just want to ask all of you that is it just me or are more people interested in this concept? Is there a market for old fashioned superhero stories with three act structure of : 1 origin story
2 public questions the hero and enter the bad guy
3 climactic battle with the baddy


#2

I don’t doubt there is a market for a game where you’re the only and/or first superhero though I, personally, prefer a world where superheroes are already established.

The old-fashioned origin story is, in my opinion, just that: old-fashioned. It’s been done to death in comic books, so the idea of a world already filled with superheroes comes off as a bit fresher and not so run of the mill, you know? Stories about superheroes is currently the most pervading subject in (American) media, so if you’re going to write a superhero story, there has to be some unique element to it that at least sets it apart from the well-known stories. For many, that’s a world where superheroes are commonplace.

I think another reason why in modern superhero fiction (interactive or otherwise) there’s a trend of the main character not being the first/only/one of the few hero(es) is that it keeps the character from falling into a whole “chosen one” trope. While there has to be a reason why the main character is the main character, the consensus lately is that it’s annoying when the main character is a “special snowflake.” I think people find it more interesting when the main character is set apart by their actions throughout the story rather than their origins (or unique powers that no one else has).

But, again, I don’t doubt there is a market for an old-fashioned superhero story. It’s a tried and true concept, after all.


#3

I agree with Fawkes here, the reason I don’t like one superhero is because it makes the MC a bit too special to begin with and then it sets up the whole sympathetic stuff up where the MC would be sad cause there’s no one else like them and they don’t know where they came from or how they got powers.

In my opinion though I don’t like stories where there’s ton of superheroes, I like them to still be a bit rare but the common people have gotten used to them and so it’s not too rare to see one flying overhead.


#4

Superhero universes have broken from the comic-book world into the mainstream with the ownership of the ip going to these huge multi-corps. We’re going to see a lot more with the success of “Dead Pool” where the old standard is ignored for artistic reasons.

Sooner or later there will be a “going back to the roots” cycle and if you get your story out before the others then you will be in position to profit from it.

The movies and game properties are still going through the “silver-age” (60’s Americana) rage-against-the-machine material. Batman v Superman, Wonder Woman, etc.

As long as a story is done well, I enjoy all the paces and themes advanced. So far, no CoG has been a copy of another in format and intent so this is a good sign there is more room in the superhero genre for more projects.


#5

You know, that’s a darned good point, and probably a big part of why I was never particularly enthusiastic about any of those superhero games, despite being a moderate fan of Superman myself. At its heart, the superhero is a figure of uniqueness, a fantasy about having abilities that set you fundamentally apart from those around you. It massively cheapens that if you’re just one of a large crowd with such abilities, and still more if the game world has a whole industry about it - what was the deal in that heroes rise game, something about a superhero reality show? Absurd.

Basically, takes what’s compelling (at least to me) about the idea, and corporatizes it.


#6

There are room for both styles (unique and common) in the genre, surely. X-Men would be a good example of an older, popular superpowers series which has a fairly large number of people with powers. As @Zolataya mentioned, there’s a silver-age vibe of fighting the establishment from the 60’s works, and X-Men fits that category well. X-Men was written thirty years after the first Superman came out, in the 60s - closer in inception to Superman than to our present time.

Thirty years isn’t necessarily an eternity in the genre, either, especially if we count superheroes without powers (Batman and Iron Man types) - at least, not considering the genre’s roots with Spring Heeled Jack in the 1860s, the works of Baroness Orczy around the turn of that century, and so on.


#7

I’d go even further with that. When the game has a romance (and I think most CoG and Hosted Games do), I don’t really like the power dynamics when one person is a superhero and the other is a ‘norm.’ It’s that Chosen One trope you mentioned, where the hero is the ‘HERO!’ and everyone else is just a lower-case ‘person’. Romances in that scenario tend to feel incredibly unbalanced to me.


#8

I agree with each one of you…as I already stated that I love super heroes…so what’s better than a single hero (city full of super heroes).
But my main point is that marvel and DC turned to their respected cinematic universe after their solo movies started to loose their charm and public wanted something different.
But as you can see every novel on cog or hosted have established universe…even like 10 wip I saw pertaining to superheroes.
There is not a single game of the solo nature…and I just wanted to know that a solo game is a lost cause…or is there any demand for it?
I fear that this theme is slowly loosing it’s uniqueness. But I maybe the only one thinking this way…


#9

It’s not really about the question if the theme is unique, but if the execution is…though even here it’s not the question if it’s really unique but appealing for the greatest number of people. Superhero stories itself are not a really unique or even original thing…
As long as people jump at stories like that we can’t really talk about “too much” as the market for games with that kind of world is quite big.


#10

I’m with you, @Kartikey_Sharma. I much prefer games where you’re the only one with the super power. Especially when that power has super drawbacks and the story has high tension, that because that tension just disappears if you can just waltz on over to your neighbor and say “Hey, Colossus! How did you manage not to accidentally crush the ones you love with your super strength?” or “Hey, Scarlet Witch! I need you to alter the fabric of reality again so that I didn’t just break Mary Jane!”…

“Hey, Bruce. I’ve got three SHIELD heli-carriers about to kill half the super hero population. I’m here with Natasha and a potental new guy, none of us have real superpowers, and my best friend wants to kill me. Can you, like hulk out, or call the other Avengers or something? Code Green? What? You’re listening to Tony talk about the Mandarin again? That’s okay, that’s obviously more important.”


#11

Ultimately any answer to your question depends heavily on how you define an established superhero world.

You can have an established superhero world with just one hero. We see that in The Phantom, for example, or other very early superhero comics. A shared universe with other equally powerful or skilled people also started very early.
Batman had his Robin, Green Hornet had his Kato, Superman had his Superboy, Supergirl, Krypto, etc.
Then there were the X-Men and Fantastic Four, which ushered in an age of Avengers and the Justice League.

The concept of a world populated by superheroes is as ancient as the genre itself. With the growing popularity of tie-ins and greater scale of storyarcs, this has expanded and now it’s very common to find multiple superheroes in any one comic book, even if it is a single page appearance.

There are two ways to go about creating a superhero story. The ways they are written and the details of the world vary highly, but they can be boiled down into two extremely oversimplified core tropes:

  • The Superhero is literally Jesus, come to save the world.
  • The Superhero is just another person, and isn’t that special even in being special.

Now, the stories that are built on those two concepts make them what they are. Whether it’s a story where the hero is on their own, or picking up the pieces from other heroes, or even working as a group.
Heroes Rise, if you play it in that way, is a solo experience. The other heroes just kind of flit around in the background, giving agency for the MC’s actions.


#12

To me, a universe of different folks with different abilities (and different motivations) is more interesting than just one person, typically the MC, being the sun around which everything else orbits.

I mean, how interesting would it be to just fight thugs (picture them with shirts saying Thug #1, Thug #2, etc) and non-powered people, even in an origin story? Kung fu movie heroes have to fight other kung fu folks. Spy heroes try to outwit other spies. Why wouldn’t superheroes interact with other heroes and fight super villains?


#13

First I want to say that I loved your book…eagerly waiting for the next part

Now coming to the point of spy against spy…kung fu dude against kung fu dude…spy and kung fu dude have to go through training in which they actually do battle generic thug #1 and so on.
It’s not like a guy wakes the other day and suddenly becomes a spy… Same with the kung fu dude…they do go through rigorous training.
But you can be a normal person one day and become a superhero the other…case and point being spiderman and more. It’s not to say that no superhero is born with power…as you know that many are.
But showing training of a spy or a kung fu man is not entertaining but inverse don’t apply…many people do enjoy origin stories ala batman begins or spiderman 1 or iron man 1.


#14

I would love to play my own origin story, being the first of my kind. For better and worse set an example for all that will follow. Behave well? What if the next one abuses this? Will you then have a new arch enemy, be blamed for it or what will happen? Misbehave? The next in line will have a hard time if they aren’t into misbehaving as well - and if they are, let the hunt for you begin, be it official or not.

There is potential there I have yet to see realised in any computer game, quite honestly. Partly because it might require more work in order for it to be believable and make sense in its own universe.

That said, I quite enjoy most super hero games here and elsewhere, but oh how I would enjoy to play my own origin story as the first ever, well, whatever - mutant, accident or something else. Nudge nudge, wink wink. :wink:


#15

Guys let’s just bring this topic to basic…shall we?

I am just saying that there is no cog or hosted games with a single superhero…not a single one.
Movies were solo ones and then went to universe.

I do enjoy a universe of heroes…I very much love such concepts.
But every writer in this community is going universe and no one is going solo.
I don’t want to sound like a entitlist ( because I think I maybe sounding like one) but does no writer here wants to take a chance on solo hero? That’s why I am asking that is this concept done?
Surely I might not be the only one thinking this way…( or I might be )


#16

A batman type could work, as he doesn’t have actual supernatural powers, just wealth, gadgets and his intellect.
If I had to play the type with powers though, I’d never try to become a superhero for fear of ending up on the dissection table in some government lab eventually. An established superhero world neatly sidesteps these issues, including that in the eyes of most governments and criminal justice systems vigilantism itself and many of the actions a vigilante takes are crimes and in worlds where superheroes are not commonplace you’d inevitably end up with one of the longest rap-sheets in history.


#17

But this is how many super-heroes started - being the only one in their world. Superman, when all he could do was jump over tall buildings, Spiderman and others alike, before the merging of DC/Marvel heroes into their respective shared worlds.

Take a similar approach to these and not the mutant-hunt of later X-men, as an example.

Batman in the early days was quite different, though, both killing and using guns freely - even with Robin at his side - so he if anyone would be hunted as a vigilante if you take the more modern, grittier approach.

It is more in the attitude and approach of the author than anything, I believe, in how this fictional universe is created. It has been done in the comics, after all, so it is possible here too. :relaxed:


#18

One other thing to consider is that today’s corporations are overly protective of their IP (intellectual property). It is hard to come up with a purely unique hero which has no similarity or likeness of another.


#19

There’s a reason people rail at the “billionaire class” a clever application of wealth, power and connections enable one to get away with a great many things, including being a vigilante, should one so desire.

Sure, it all hinges on what the author feels is an appropriate level of suspension of disbelief and what I’ve said about the dissection table likely only goes for some of the more realistic, grittier settings in combination with having actual powers.


#20

Ah, but you do not need to clone character ideas like those two dummies do all the time, from one another. There are plenty of original ideas out there still, I know that from playing super games sitting around the table (and over the net too).

Sure, simplify enough and you got the same basic things - there’s only so many ways to walk or fly,for instance. But that is over-simplifying thing, like the claim that there’s no new stories to be told under the sun. Totally untrue. What might be true there are very few story elements that are unique, but again, cut everything down to atoms, periodic table elements or molecules and, pfft, look at that, it’s all the same, how dreadfully dull. Yet, you would not compare apples and oranges, would you? It is all how it is put together - and there are many unique approached yet thought of there.

Many people want to play their favourite hero, and if you look at it that way, sure DC and Marvel would stomp on you if they found out. Heck, if they wanted they’d probably try to do so with all CoG games mentioning super and hero in the same sentence. Don’t let their greed and stereotyping get you down. :relaxed:

Not saying ‘put stickers on their backs that reads “Kick me!” and then kick them’ either, mind you. :expressionless:

…or because that is how the author created the world around Batman. :relaxed:

That is what it comes down to, and to come up with something that is not a clone of Hero Generic, but to put these molecules together to something new. Yes, The Goldfish can climb walls and have a shout that can blow your socks off, but that does not mean Spiderman and Black Canary had a secret love child. Dare to dream.