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What's the hardest genre of game to make? The Easiest?

A topic by rickEofC created Aug 27, 2017 Views: 1,531 Replies: 12
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I've looked this up before and it's not going to have any influence on my game design in the near future, but maybe some people can share their experience with different genres and help newer game devs such as myself with ideas and planning later on. 

So I guess my question is: What is the hardest genre of game to make (design, art, or programming)?

With a follow up question: What genre of game is the easiest to make?

I've only ever made 3 games, with 1 launching. An arcade style shooter, a platformer, and now I'm building a roguelike. From what I've read and agree with, I would say fighting games are the hardest to make. First, they're a bit harder to put story into, but then also the hitboxes and combinations of buttons you'd have to keep track of would be nuts to make let alone test. I don't think there are as many indie fighting games either, which again makes me think it may either be difficult, or the market is small, though I would definitely buy a good fighting game. As for the easiest genre I would say most arcade games (Not Street Fighter lol) but things like pong, space invaders, etc are some of the easiest to make just because the genres were usually made based off technological limitations. 

What are your thoughts, my dudes?

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MMORPGs are definitely the toughest to make. AAA developers struggle with this and often fail, not to mention the poor indies. If you, you who is reading this now, are an indie dev making an MMO, I tip my hat to you. Anyway, as soon as you introduce online multiplayer for 2 players to your game, the production gets increasingly more difficult. And then add the prefix "massive".

The easiest games are naturally the simplest. But in the end it all depends on the scope of your project. 

I completely forgot about MMOs and you're right. I think anything with multiplayer and class balancing is up there on the hard scale haha.


In my experience, shoot'em-ups are easy to make, but hard to get right. Same with text adventures, only more so: while it's trivial to make a bad one, by the time you're done with testing, bug-fixing and polishing you'll have spent months -- longer than you would on some graphical games. Speaking of which: it's definitely easier to script a visual novel, but then you need to make or acquire all that graphics and audio.

At the other end of the spectrum, it took me several tries to even end up with a complete, playable roguelike. It's easy to get a little @ tromping around a grid bumping into walls; after that, difficulty spikes. And it's all programming -- no shortcuts to take! But it's very satisfying when it finally works.

I think that's the real measure of hardness. How hard it is to get the elegance and immersion to represent your genre and still stand out, you know? Like you said a Visual Novel is hard because it requires great story, art, and music, but a roguelike can generally  be forgiven on story and sometimes even art and music if the programming and behaviors are unique enough. So I think it's also subjective I guess lol.


I don't know about the hardest or easiest, but a hard one to mention would be Real Time Strategy.

Programming is not simple, because you have to manage AI and path-finding of sometimes thousands of instances. But the true challenge is balancing it for online play when you have to  try to account for every single possible combination of units and strategies to work against every other one. Especially if you use multiple playable teams that play uniquely different.


Especially when it needs to be so responsive being able to communicate hundreds of moves a minute and syncing them from at least 2 servers, possible 3 with 2 clients and one central server. Maybe that's why we haven't seen many great RTS games, or at least I think, lately. 


Yes. I am very fond of Starcraft II and Brood War, but even SC2 is like, 10 years old now. They just remastered Brood War with HD graphics though, which is pretty awesome. Same terrible pathfinding and unit control though. But it's one of my favorite games so I'm actually glad it's still the same really.


I must say I disagree with this. I don't know if it's because of differing opinion, experience or game engine/language, but with Unity navigation it's quite easy.

You mean with the enemy path finding? Yeah it can be easy but I think part of the challenge is making it look like the enemies aren't just following A* algorithm paths or whatever, plus custom behavior. I will say it is much easier to design any genre today than it was 10 years ago, that's for sure.


It's not an easy question to answer, but I shall try... to me the hardest one to make would be an MMO like someone up there said.

The easiest one to make hmmm... maybe a 2d puzzle platformer?

I was thinking a puzzler or similar for easiest as well just because generally you know straight off the bat that you don't need to be realistic and that definitely helps. Especially if you pick like a game targeted for little children, "Add the number!", you know, that's obviously easy. But in terms of real games targeted to general audiences you may be right with the puzzle platformer!

That's definitely one of the easier ones. Ironically, I've personally always had a very hard time getting platformer mechanics to work right...