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Gabe Hawkins
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This question was inspired by a conversation I had with a coworker regarding iRacing and sim racing in general. He has dabbled in both, but just can't seem to get into them like he wishes he could. That prompted me to think about my own tastes as well.

Is there a genre of games that you want to like, but you just can't get into?
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MOBAs come to mind. I think they look really cool, but any time I've tried to play one, the learning curve and often toxic community turns me off. They seem likes games you could have a ton of fun with once you learned the ropes and got competitive, but these days, I just don't really feel like devoting the necessary time to get good at them. That's time I could have spent iRacing.
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There are a number of activities that I want to want to do (Hell, having trouble motivating myself to go out and be social this evening), but playing a certain genre of videogame has never fallen in that category for me.
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4X strategies, for the most part. I like the idea of them, and I've played two of them for many hours (Civ5 and Endless Legend), but I'm usually kind of bored of them as I reach the conclusion of the first map that I play on. I usually play on easier difficulties to get a feel for the game and see what's what, but then whenever I switch to a higher difficulty, I immediately feel like I just don't really know what the game expects of me. I'm kind of terrible at optimizing, apparently.

Conversely, I find real-time 4X-like games, like Stellaris or Crusader Kings 2, to be extremely overwhelming even though I technically really like what they're promising.

I also feel a bit alienated by games such as Ziggurat or City of Brass, as they fall into the habit of being quite difficult (especially true of City of Brass!), and while I really like the gameplay in general, I struggle to get very far and become discouraged quickly.
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Osirus wrote:
There are a number of activities that I want to want to do (Hell, having trouble motivating myself to go out and be social this evening), but playing a certain genre of videogame has never fallen in that category for me.

Yeah. I have enough trouble figuring out what I want. It'd be really tough to have to figure out what I want to want.

But I've taken my share of detours, I guess. I got into submarine sims and thought, Wow, I love this; I want to keep at it and get good at it. And then, for some reason, I'd drift away from it and get rusty and not want to have to start over again. Or I'd get enthused about an RPG and buy the whole series, then have to force myself to play through it; or I'd realize I didn't want to spend my time that way.

Lately, I want to get back into Darkest Dungeon (in fact I just bought the DLC for it, since it's on sale) and into Invisible, Inc. But all my gaming time goes into Age of Wonders III instead.

It's more a limited-time thing than conflicting desires or inability to motivate myself.
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Lord_Kristof wrote:
4X strategies, for the most part. I like the idea of them, and I've played two of them for many hours (Civ5 and Endless Legend), but I'm usually kind of bored of them as I reach the conclusion of the first map that I play on. I usually play on easier difficulties to get a feel for the game and see what's what, but then whenever I switch to a higher difficulty, I immediately feel like I just don't really know what the game expects of me. I'm kind of terrible at optimizing, apparently.

Conversely, I find real-time 4X-like games, like Stellaris or Crusader Kings 2, to be extremely overwhelming even though I technically really like what they're promising.

I also feel a bit alienated by games such as Ziggurat or City of Brass, as they fall into the habit of being quite difficult (especially true of City of Brass!), and while I really like the gameplay in general, I struggle to get very far and become discouraged quickly.


Crusader Kings 2 a 4x?! I consider it an Eugenics simulator where you are trying to breed the Kwisatz Haderach... actually that might make a good mod.


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I'm with Krzysztof on 4X games.

They are my husband's favorite genre, so I feel a little bad that I don't like them more. I like 2 of the 4 X's (Expand, Explore) and depending on if Exploiting is just using resources, then I like 3 of them... it's the Exterminate part I fail miserably at - and thus make the games not fun once the initial exploration phase has been dealt with.

I get around this in some games by choosing the largest possible size galaxy map, so I can explore for a really long time before I have to start building my war machine.
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adularia25 wrote:
I'm with Krzysztof on 4X games.

They are my husband's favorite genre, so I feel a little bad that I don't like them more. I like 2 of the 4 X's (Expand, Explore) and depending on if Exploiting is just using resources, then I like 3 of them... it's the Exterminate part I fail miserably at - and thus make the games not fun once the initial exploration phase has been dealt with.

The fourth X in many games of that genre is Excel or Exceed. That is, you can win a cultural victory, a diplomatic victory, a science/tech victory, or something else; you don't have to Exterminate your rival(s). I usually prefer not to wage war if I can avoid it. I only react militarily if somebody attacks me (unfortunately someone often does).

Quote:
I get around this in some games by choosing the largest possible size galaxy map, so I can explore for a really long time before I have to start building my war machine.

To me, that just makes the situation worse. When you do finally encounter your enemies, they're big and strong too, and it takes that much longer to conquer them (if you can do it at all). I always choose a standard-size map or smaller in order to avoid the worst part of 4X games--the protracted game play that transpires after the tipping point where you know who's going to win.
 
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Patrick Carroll wrote:
adularia25 wrote:
I'm with Krzysztof on 4X games.

They are my husband's favorite genre, so I feel a little bad that I don't like them more. I like 2 of the 4 X's (Expand, Explore) and depending on if Exploiting is just using resources, then I like 3 of them... it's the Exterminate part I fail miserably at - and thus make the games not fun once the initial exploration phase has been dealt with.

The fourth X in many games of that genre is Excel or Exceed. That is, you can win a cultural victory, a diplomatic victory, a science/tech victory, or something else; you don't have to Exterminate your rival(s). I usually prefer not to wage war if I can avoid it. I only react militarily if somebody attacks me (unfortunately someone often does).

You mean 5th X? Because Exceed is not one of the words that makes up the 4X definition.

My husband usually goes for cultural or diplomatic victories, so I know they exist. However, they are just as bad as war. See, I don't want to conquer any civilization through war or ideals. I'd much rather we do our own things our own way. If anything, I'd rather be isolationist.

Patrick Carroll wrote:
adularia25 wrote:
I get around this in some games by choosing the largest possible size galaxy map, so I can explore for a really long time before I have to start building my war machine.

To me, that just makes the situation worse. When you do finally encounter your enemies, they're big and strong too, and it takes that much longer to conquer them (if you can do it at all). I always choose a standard-size map or smaller in order to avoid the worst part of 4X games--the protracted game play that transpires after the tipping point where you know who's going to win.

Ah, but since I don't like the genre, I'm likely not going to make it through a game long enough for those other races to reach me, so I might as well play what I like to play - as a solo empire exploring the vast reaches of space.

Which is why I'm working on making a 3X game where you play as a survey company sent to explore planets to determine if they are inhabited or have viable minerals to exploit. It completely cuts out the final X whether diplomatic or war driven.

The real issue I have with 4X games are that I want them to be lifestyle games - where I spend the rest of my life playing a little at a time to see how my empire turns out. I don't play to win. I don't want a win condition. I just want endless exploration and expansion into space.
 
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Wish I could get into platformers. There are some really cool looking ones but all my experiences have been too hard/too boring.
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manukajoe wrote:
Wish I could get into platformers. There are some really cool looking ones but all my experiences have been too hard/too boring.

I can recommend Headlander - it should be neither too hard nor too boring!
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Osirus wrote:
manukajoe wrote:
Wish I could get into platformers. There are some really cool looking ones but all my experiences have been too hard/too boring.

I can recommend Headlander - it should be neither too hard nor too boring!
It does look cool! Is it a platformer though? I have liked other 2D games like The Swapper and Muramasa The Demon Blade, but they are not platformers. It's games like Mario and Rayman and Donkey Kong and Kirby and Sonic that stump me.
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adularia25 wrote:
Patrick Carroll wrote:
The fourth X in many games of that genre is Excel or Exceed. That is, you can win a cultural victory, a diplomatic victory, a science/tech victory, or something else; you don't have to Exterminate your rival(s). I usually prefer not to wage war if I can avoid it. I only react militarily if somebody attacks me (unfortunately someone often does).

You mean 5th X? Because Exceed is not one of the words that makes up the 4X definition.

I meant it's possible to replace Exterminate with some other E-word. If you don't want war, you can get around it.

Quote:
My husband usually goes for cultural or diplomatic victories, so I know they exist. However, they are just as bad as war. See, I don't want to conquer any civilization through war or ideals. I'd much rather we do our own things our own way. If anything, I'd rather be isolationist.

Up to a point, so do I. I often play Civ against just one opponent and arrange it so we each have our own continent. If that opponent turns out to be especially aggressive, I might have to build a navy to fend him off, but otherwise it's usually a peaceful game.

adularia25 wrote:
The real issue I have with 4X games are that I want them to be lifestyle games - where I spend the rest of my life playing a little at a time to see how my empire turns out. I don't play to win. I don't want a win condition. I just want endless exploration and expansion into space.

There we differ. I do want to win any game I play--or lose and learn more about how to win. I don't want the process to be overly tense or chaotic; I'd rather it be nice and smooth and easy. But I don't know how to enjoy an open sandbox with no clear-cut victory conditions and no end in sight.
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I like the open sandbox idea sometimes. In Minecraft I have built in the low damage survival seed a castle, keep overlooking a farmland, sitting on top of a dungeon. Its compeletly pointless (in that theres no objective) but relaxing... especially the digging.

I want to like JRPG's, older JRPG's specifically. I love the older art styles from the 90's, I like the tone of the stories from that time, I like the style of games the genre evolved from, I just dont enjoy them that much. SMT not included.
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manukajoe wrote:
Osirus wrote:
manukajoe wrote:
Wish I could get into platformers. There are some really cool looking ones but all my experiences have been too hard/too boring.

I can recommend Headlander - it should be neither too hard nor too boring!
It does look cool! Is it a platformer though? I have liked other 2D games like The Swapper and Muramasa The Demon Blade, but they are not platformers. It's games like Mario and Rayman and Donkey Kong and Kirby and Sonic that stump me.

Ahhh, gotcha. Yeah, Headlander is more of a metroidvania. Still fun though.

Actually, for something more halfway between metroidvania and platformer, I can recommend Super Panda Adventures.
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An overall genre? Not really.

Maybe a subgenre? There is this niche of super-complicated (mostly Japanese) games that are sRPGs at their core. Some examples would be:

The Guided Fate Paradox
Knights in the Nightmare
NAtURAL DOCtRINE

I'll give these a try occasionally, and I'm always like, "Jesus, WTF devs?"

But in my head I think they might click for some reason.
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JohnRayJr wrote:
An overall genre? Not really.

Maybe a subgenre? There is this niche of super-complicated (mostly Japanese) games that are sRPGs at their core. Some examples would be:

The Guided Fate Paradox
Knights in the Nightmare
NAtURAL DOCtRINE

I'll give these a try occasionally, and I'm always like, "Jesus, WTF devs?"

But in my head I think they might click for some reason.


NIS is king of 'needlessly complicated bling resting on a flawed base design'. For how often they are willing to experiment with the genre you think they would hit gold more than once.
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MeteorBear wrote:
JohnRayJr wrote:
An overall genre? Not really.

Maybe a subgenre? There is this niche of super-complicated (mostly Japanese) games that are sRPGs at their core. Some examples would be:

The Guided Fate Paradox
Knights in the Nightmare
NAtURAL DOCtRINE

I'll give these a try occasionally, and I'm always like, "Jesus, WTF devs?"

But in my head I think they might click for some reason.


NIS is king of 'needlessly complicated bling resting on a flawed base design'. For how often they are willing to experiment with the genre you think they would hit gold more than once.

I've loved almost all the NIS/Atlus stuff I've tried (SMT, Persona, etc.), and although admittedly I haven't tried any of the above titles, Guided Fate Paradox looks cool.
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Two genres come to my mind.

Racing games like the F1 games or the Codemaster rally games. I like the idea but getting good at them is too much work.

Paradox grand strategy games. Crusader Kings 2 is on my list of games to learn for years but I shy away from making the big step and the huge invest to climb up the learning curve.

In both cases it's the difficulty of learning to play well that keeps me from games in these genres.
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