Needs Help: The Problem With Licensed Games

Total posts: [76]
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1 Spark920th Aug 2012 06:33:28 AM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
The trope page for The Problem with Licensed Games is currently sorted by "console generation" (with a separate folder for "specific companies" that are somehow independent of generation). While technically correct, the problem with this way of sorting is that (1) not every game is for a console, and (2) most people don't know by heart which generation is which.

I'd say it would make more sense to sort this by genre. Pretty much every other page I've seen is sorted by genre. A penny for your thoughts please?

edited 20th Aug '12 6:34:10 AM by Spark9

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2 AnotherDuck20th Aug 2012 08:14:09 AM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
Well, sorting by genre is more intuitive.

The page could also use some trimming on the complaining bits. Though it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it'd be.
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I changed it from how it used to be sorted, by the medium of the source material. Licensed Game is still mostly sorted that way, though it doesn't make much sense.
4 Spark920th Aug 2012 01:51:32 PM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
That's a good example. Licensed Game is much clearer, less cluttered, and makes it easier to find things on the page and to add to it. We should definitely change the sorting The Problem with Licensed Games to match that page.
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[up]I disagree strongly. Licensed Game is mostly a list of works that have had licensed games made out of them, which isn't really helpful at all. And putting that aside, the problem in The Problem with Licensed Games is generally the same, whether the game was based on a comic book, a movie or an animated series.
6 Spark920th Aug 2012 03:53:08 PM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
... so why exactly should it be sorted according to "generation" (with one generation missing) and with a separate category for "specific companies" and with PC games just thrown in wherever since they don't have a generation?
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The general argument I've made is that, even more than most video games, the typical Licensed Game is a product of its time, expected to sell less on its own merits than by tying in with something currently popular, often based on limited-term contracts.

As for the categories for generations and separate section for companies, that template was already in use on Horrible.Video Games.
8 burnpsy20th Aug 2012 08:02:10 PM , Relationship Status: Abstaining
I'd think that how the years are explicitly labelled on the folders kills most of your point.

Most the rest is ruined by the "product of its time" comment above, which is completely true. Licensed games changed a lot with time (though they're generally all bad for similar reasons - the lack of time to polish).

edited 20th Aug '12 8:29:59 PM by burnpsy

Right. Licensed games tend to be shoehorned into whatever genre is popular at the time and the specific nature of the problem vary by generation. For instance, second generation games were too abstract to carry a license well. Third generation games tended to suffer from being generic platformers with a license slapped on while maintaining the nonsensical story logic typical for games of the era. Fourth generation games were largely beat-em-ups without a lot of though given to source material, so we get situations like Superman being in danger from legions of street punks with pipes and molotov cocktails.
10 Spark921st Aug 2012 01:13:19 AM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
Everything is a product of its time.
Special trousers. Very heroic.
If these examples fall into neat categories separate from plain genres, might this benefit from a hard split? Like Licensed Platform Clone and Licensed Beat Em Up Clone as subtropes of Licensed Game Clone (or whatever we end up renaming The Problem with Licensed Games).
12 Spark921st Aug 2012 02:02:28 AM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
Hm, that's a good idea (although a soft split would also work): don't sort by the genre of the source material (book, movie, whatever) but by the genre of the video game (platform, RPG, beat-em-up, etc).

At least that way any arcade games, handheld games, and PC games aren't shoehorned in an unrelated "console generation".
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[up]PC games follow a related set of trends. The lines between them just aren't as hard. Handhelds are normally put into the same generational system as consoles.
14 Spark921st Aug 2012 12:12:11 PM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
[up] Really? That's odd because they have widely different release dates. Furthermore, That Other Wiki disagrees with the "generation ranges" listed in this article, and has them overlap (for instance, it lists the 4th generation as ending in 1999, and the 3rd generation as starting six years before that).

...looks like the categorization system isn't nearly as robust as you seem to think. Merely sorting by release date would already be clearer.
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Wikipedia's years are based on the time the consoles were actively manufactured, not the time they were trend-drivers.
I've seen some year-numbering issues on the folder names. I agree that it would be better to put them on Genres rather than Console Generations.

edited 4th Sep '12 1:13:41 PM by SamMax

17 Spark96th Sep 2012 01:02:16 PM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
Well, the current folders are non-standard (I don't think I've seen them anywhere else, on one of our many video game tropes) and this change was made recently without any discussion. No consensus has been demonstrated for this layout, and judging by this thread there's not a whole lot of people who favor it.

I think we should sort it by video game genre, because that's what other video game tropes use and it's not nearly as ambivalent as sorting by generation. Consistency is good.
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[up]There was some discussion (in the Repair Shop), the folder format is also used on the So Bad, It's Horrible video game page, and you can't really judge level of approval just by looking over the previous posts. Nevertheless, I think splitting by video game genre would be at least more consistent than the current format, even considering that licensed games are more prone to Gameplay Roulette (though it's actually not too common).

I can't agree with Routerie's rename proposal, which was more than a bit out of the blue.
19 Spark97th Sep 2012 02:16:25 PM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
Link please?
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I suggested a rename because right now, the name says nothing. "The problem with licensed games." Is? Is what, what's the problem with them?

The laconic offers no help in that regard. It simply says that the problem is that "most of them suck." That is nothing close to a trope. If we want to list works that suck, we should do so on Dath Wiki's So Bat Its Horrible page - in fact, the laconic even potholes to that page, even though we aren't supposed to from the main wiki.

I suggest redefining this and reorganizing this to be about awkward video game clones, which is what Ace Of Sevens said this page was really about. Or, really, defiining this trope as anything but how it currently is - because Done Badly is not a valid trope definition.

edited 7th Sep '12 3:18:14 PM by Routerie

21 SeptimusHeap7th Sep 2012 03:20:53 PM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
I think The Problem with Licensed Games is intended to be a name that makes you curious, makes you want know more (and thus read the page).

And it's not just Done Badly, either. The description has a long list of reasons and it basically boils down to "for various reasons, licensed games tend to have a lesser quality than other videogames".

I notice that there is very little natter on the page.
It is an intriguing name, but I believe "clear" is the first requirement when naming. We don't call it "The Problem With Myth Arcs" (not all myth arcs have a problem) - we call it Arc Fatigue. We don't call it "The Problem With Serious Stories" (not all serious stories have problems) - we call it Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy.

And maybe I'm misunderstanding your second paragraph, but it seems to be that "for various reasons, licensed games tend to have a lesser quality than other videogames" is exactly equivalent to "licensed games tend to suck compared to other videogames." Far more tropeworthy was Ace's assessment that adaptations tend to be shoddy clones of the most popular current genre.
23 SeptimusHeap7th Sep 2012 04:41:20 PM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
The main issue with Ace's assessment is that it picks out only one reason.

As for a rename, the 600+ inbounds are pretty clearly a no in a thread which was started about the formatting of the example section.
[up][up] That's just one of several problems. The others, in no particular order, are:
  • Publishers count on a popular license to sell the game, meaning they can get away with low quality.
  • Licensed games are frequently tied to the schedule of another project, which means they get rushed out the door before they are ready.
  • Licensed games are based on ideas that weren't developed with games in mind and may not be suitable for a game.

These tend to be closely connected, so you can't split them into separate tropes.

edited 7th Sep '12 4:44:13 PM by AceOfSevens

25 SeptimusHeap7th Sep 2012 04:52:58 PM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
^These problems are what the current page lists or should list.

Page Action: Problem With Licensed Games
9th Sep '12 3:23:35 AM
What would be the best way to fix the page?
At issue:
How should The Problem With Licensed Games be sorted?

Total posts: 76
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