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Different Genres of Game

All the games which we develop come under one of the various predefined categories, these categories are also called Genre of Game. Before developing a game, the game engineer or project leader has to decide what type of game he wants to develop for his audience. So in this chapter you will be learning about the types of games and their characteristics as well.

Genre of a game defines the exact category of the game and can be relayed through the similar gameplay characteristics, like - the type of objectives and storyline, the levels and camera point (i.e. FPS, TPS), the features and the storyline that the game is showcasing. Genre of a game is not defined by the content or the playing mode, but by the common challenges and characteristicss, that the game is having. For example, FIFA and PES - Pro Evolution Soccer have similar properties and objectives as both of them are soccer games and the player's get points or the levels of difficulty raises as the team wins the matches by scoring goals, like a real life football match. Genre of a game is decided by the resemblance found and listed under a common heading, here, FIFA and PES will come under Sports-Genre Game.

Lists of all Game Genres

Here we have listed the main genres when it comes to categorising games.

Game Genre: Action

The action category has some sub-categories and they are listed below:

  • Stealth Game: These games lean towards emphasizing trick and precision in striking over the more obvious and unconcealed shooters. Examples are: Metal Gear series, IGI series etc.
  • Survival Games: These games start with a minimal resource with the player, in a hostile condition, along with open world situation with the objective to collect resources, craft tools, artilleries and arms & protection, in order for the survival of the player as the game proceeds.
  • Shooter Games: In these games, players draw on a range of weapons for contributing in the action that takes place at a distance.
  • Platform Games: These games are set in three-dimensional (3D) environment where the player guides the character through the obstructions for advancement in game.

Game Genre: Adventure

Just like adventure movies, games with the storyline of adventure are full of fictional landscapes, characters etc. These games portray a different way of gameplay without excessive reflex, hard core challenges or actions. The focus lies on the player in solving puzzles or mysteries by interacting with the environment. Mario, Tin-Tin are examples of adventure games. Some categories of adventure games are:

  • Graphic Adventures
  • Visual Novels (based on novels and stories) - Harry Potter (played using PlayStations, X Box and other gaming consoles)
  • Interactive Adventures (based on movies) - Tin-Tin, Batman etc
  • Real-time 3D Adventures - Shadow of Memories

Game Genre: Role-Playing Games

In such games, a player is chosen who plays the major role in the storyline full of numerous adventurers and specializes in particular skill sets and that player progress in the storyline incrementing his skills and powers. This category is one of the most famous genres and is played by gamers worldwide. Here's a list of some sub-categories of role-playing games:

  • The roguelike Game: It is a sub genre and its name comes from the gameplay elements of 1980 computer game Rogue. Nethack is another example of roguelike game.
  • Fantasy Games: Games such as Diablo, Final Fantasy, Prince of Persia have a world full of unusual characters and villains and the player has to complete the levels full of challenges and mysteries and there lies some hidden routes which needs to be unlocked to proceed with the game.
  • Sandbox RPG (Open World RPG): These are modern games where the player is given full freedom and can freely roam around and do anything (i.e. the player is not restricted to a single path by rocks & fences, single objective etc). Examples of such games are the famous Grand Theft Auto (GTA) series, Watch Dogs Series etc. These games provide a large geographic area to explore along with the primary objectives and tasks of the game.
  • Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG): This term came into existence commercially in the year 1990s and had existed since 1978. This involve more than hundreds of players interacting and cooperating with each other on the same platform in real-time.

Game Genre: Simulation Games

These are primarily designed and developed to closely simulate(replicate) all the aspects of our real life or a fictional setup. The various sub-categories of simulation games are: -

  • Farming Simulation
  • Vehicle Simulation
  • Life Simulation
  • Management Simulation

Game Genre: Strategy Games

Here the main focus lies on the gameplay which require a cautious and skilled mindset and a good plan for being victorious. In majority of the strategy games, Andrew Rollings, famous game engineer said that, "the player is given a god-like vision of a game and the world exists with respect to it, and in some way controlling the units under his command."

  • 4X Game: 4X games refer to a genre of a specific form of strategy video games having four primary goals which are-
    1. eXplore
    2. eXpand
    3. eXploit
    4. eXterminate
  • Real-time strategy (RTT) and War Games: The real-time strategy games are characterized by acquiring resources, building bases and other assets within the game, and the player has to make specific decisions and perform certain actions constantly in order to cope up with the changing game state. For example: Age of Empires etc.
  • Tower Defence: Tower defence games have a very simple format and gameplay. Make your tower strong by deploying suitable defene system to demolish the enemy troops.
  • Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA): MOBA games are also called the action real-time strategy (ARTS) games, which is a sub-genre of strategy games which was originated as a real-time strategy game wherein a player takes control over a single character in one of two teams.

Game Genre: Sports Games

These games emulate the gameplay of any traditional physical sports to be played on a device. The real-world sports like baseball, basketball, soccer, and more are available in the form of PC games. As you grow your skill levels, your game will also engage in mimicking real professional athletes and the way they move and play. Its sub-types are:

  • Racing
  • Indoor Sports
  • Outdoor Sports
  • Fighting
  • Competitive and Misc

Scientific and Educational Games

There are several cases where many parents and teachers complain about children playing video games, but there are a handful of great educational games out there which can actually help children and kids and even grown ups to learn new things and gather knowledge.

Other Misc Game Genres

The various other categories of games are:

  • Casual Game
  • Programming Game
  • Logic Game
  • Music Game
  • Party Game
  • Trivia Game
  • Board Game/Card Game

Benefits of Understanding the Genre of Game

It is very crucial to understand the genre of the game before starting with game development. If you are working for some client for Game development project, try to understand the genre of the game that your client has in mind, it will help you with following:

  1. Design the theme of your Game. An adventure game may look good with a forest backdrop, while a game being designed for school kids would look good with colorful backdrop etc.
  2. Game sounds also depends upon the genre of the game.
  3. Use of blood and violence in the game is only adviced for Action games for 18+ age group players.

Hence, you get a lot of ideas once the genre of the game is defined.