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Default Gamasutra - Clone vs. Genre

September 23rd, 2009, 18:31
This article at Gamasutra looks at the line between games that are simply clones of a seminal classic - or part of a valid genre. While RPGs aren't mentioned at all, I thought the place of "Diablo clones" might be worth discussing:
We often talk about “clones” of games, or copies of ideas — but at a certain point, if an idea is copied, expanded, and massaged enough times, nobody says "clone" anymore.

When does an idea become large enough to lose its identity and flourish into a full-blown genre? Perhaps it’s better said that the idea gains a new identity, one that’s more generally applicable.

Most recently, we stopped referring to "Tower Defense clones," and began discussing tower defense games as an entire genre, which has since been expanded to include a number of variations by companies as diverse as Square Enix and PopCap.

"Doom clones" stopped appearing around the time Quake came out, and we started to deal with the first-person shooter as a genre.
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September 23rd, 2009, 18:31
It applies. Diablo clones became 'Action/RPG' genre
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September 23rd, 2009, 21:34
Well, the imho bad thing is that no press release nowadays writes "RPG", they all write "Action/RPG", even if there is little actual fast-paced action involved like in Blizzards Action-RPGs (and like in Sacred, too) … I think even Drakensang was labelled like that …

This is like Wizards of the coast - once a daughter company - finally buying the mother company …

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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September 24th, 2009, 08:59
Originally Posted by wolfing View Post
It applies. Diablo clones became 'Action/RPG' genre
Wha? Diablo-style games do fall under Action/RPG, but they're a subset. The point is that they're a very specific and delineated subset. Before Diablo, there was really (really) nothing like Diablo.

I'll take this opportunity to attack the equally silly notion that Diablo is somehow a <bleeping> roguelike by presenting this simple piece of evidence: Diablo and D2 do indeed have random play areas. But most so called "Diablo clones" (Titan Quest, Sacred) do not. And even without the randomly generated dungeons, they are obviously part of the same genre (and same specific sub-genre) as Diablo. And I say now that this illustrates the fact that what makes Diablo Diablo has nothing to do with randomly generated dungeons, and everything to do with real-time 3rd-person isometric hack-n-slash. Which is to say, Diablo is not a roguelike.

But what to call the Diablo genre, I don't know. "Diablo clone", however, is just lazy. I actually WISH more of these games ripped off Diablo 2 LOD a little more closely…
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September 24th, 2009, 09:06
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Well, the imho bad thing is that no press release nowadays writes "RPG", they all write "Action/RPG", even if there is little actual fast-paced action involved like in Blizzards Action-RPGs (and like in Sacred, too) … I think even Drakensang was labelled like that …
I think the rest of the world just sees "action" as a positive word, and so they're going to shoehorn it in wherever they can. And also I guess it means the opposite of turn-based, and TB is about as popular with the masses as tuberculosis. Which makes me sad.
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September 24th, 2009, 10:46
I try to call then hack'n'slash in the news…that's the term I used to specify the particular subset of the action/RPG genre.

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September 24th, 2009, 11:20
I think that's okay.

I think it describes what's going on in such games quite good.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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