1. #1

    If your gaming tastes are niche rather than mainstream where does it come from?

    Lately while grinding crap in Destiny my group of friends turned to the topic of whats not 'mainstream' and for the most part the agreed upon idea was 'niche genres'. With the most entry level being survival horror and the more 'core' stuff being things like farming sims, cooking games, realistic survival, train sim and the like. Things that never sell more than 250k as a big milestone and mainstream sites rarely cover.

    This raised the question where do people get these tastes from?

    Looking back myself the honest reason i think i got into more niche genres was being a kid and wanting "more games like pokemon" which meant that top down grid based movement gameplay. Luckily lots of games existed and while some were super well known like the superb Link's Awakening others were more obscure. One i picked up from Another World -that became Forbidden Planet- was "Legend of the River King 2" on Gameboy Colour. A fishing RPG spin off from Harvest Moon by Natsume. Looking back i can say its a charming blend of Pokemon, Earthbound and Harvest Moon with some elements that may have influenced Animal Crossing but as a kid it took something real and in my opinion boring and made it a fun adventure that i remember fondly to this day.

    Looking back that was my trigger to try genres that sounded wierd because often this meant it was a passion project and had more time and thought put into it even though it would never be that popular. The game was different but for all my friends it was a similar story, 'my dad let me try Koudelka' or 'I borrowed my older cousins copy of Harvest Moon' and today we all love our mainstream garbage like everyone else but are super excited for Stardew Valleys Switch release with multiplayer and thats not something i imagine most consumers will be as excited about as the next big first person shooter release. But i know i played the shit out of Harvest Moon on my PSP and i have an itch that needs scratchin'!

    What about you? do you have any standout games from the past that lead you to liking super niche genres you would probably have never looked into otherwise?
    http://theeorzeanfrontier.blogspot.co.uk/ Neckbeard rambling about this weeaboo trash

  2. #2
    I bought a game called Dear Esther on steam some years ago simply because I thought the name was strange and it was off for like 3 euro. The storytelling techniques in that game along with plot info that changes everytime you play it intruiged me, and opened up for a string of other "walking simulator" games. It made me buy games such as Gone Home, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter and eventually also led me to try out a bunch of visual novels which I also dig from time to time.

    They are games where the story is everything, which I have found is just my thing.
    All who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand

  3. #3
    I mean, I'm not too sure about games from the past because most of what I thought was niche was really just games I didn't hear of, and are actually pretty well known it seems (Like Golden Sun).

    More currently though, I impulse buy sometimes based on just hearing by word of mouth, or seeing the game pop up here and there, usually more of a cult hit at that point though.

    Like, The Stanley Parable for example. Or Owlboy. Granted, these are still games that are very well loved, but not as well known as other games like Undertale to compare to another indie title.

  4. #4
    I think it's pretty simple. Big-budget "mainstream" games appeal to a broader audience who generally want the same thing. Niche games can explore specific mechanics or modes of gameplay that only a particular set of people will like or appreciate, who will go out of their way to find it and play it.

    Because they don't take millions to make like the bigger games, they don't need to make millions back from millions of players to be worth producing for the developers. I don't think it's like people acquire a niche. We play games but we always have specific tastes for what they like in our games, and making games has become more accessible. There's so many studios, games, demos, projects and mods floating about right now that there's something for everyone.

    To be honest, we take that for granted. I was pretty happy with my 5 or so Sega Megadrive games. Now I look at my pretty modest Steam library of a few hundred games and the many others outside it, and feel like I have nothing I want to play sometimes. There's a constant need for something new and fun and little niche indie games are perfect fertile ground for testing experimental ideas.

    Though the only one of these games I think I've ever really gotten into was Banished, which actually became pretty popular. I just wanted to play a relaxing little village-building game one day, and coincidentally after booting up Steam that same day I see it on the news and decide to give it a whirl. Invested many hours into it.
    "We are the Light's crushing hammer, not its protective shield." - Daragan

  5. #5
    Usually, the games I buy are JRPG in genre: linearish stories in a hand crafted setting and strategic combat. Games like The Legend of Heroes, Pokemon, The Banner Saga (made by western developers but a JRPG in genre), Fire Emblem, Shadowrun, Valkyria Chronicles, etc. I am not fond of games like The Elder Scrolls or Mass Effect which go for "CINEMATIC DEPTH!", shallow sandboxes or uninteresting stories. The other type of game I buy are of the fighting variety: Ultimate Ninja Storm, Bushido Blade, Mount & Blade, and Overwatch.

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  6. #6
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    I started loving Cyberpunk games because of the original Deus Ex. Nowadays, anything with a Cyberpunk theme has my attention. Dex, Cyberpunk Bartender Action: VA-11 Hall-A, ShadowRun: Dragonfall, etc.

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