Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Writing for Action-Adventure
John Feil
4.1 Introduction: “Hey, You Put Some Adventure in
My Action!”
The action genre of games is very wide. Basically, any game that focuses on sim-
ulating physical movement can be placed in it. One genre that can't be placed in
the action bucket is the adventure game. Adventure games, focusing on puzzles and
story, rarely use action to entertain their audiences.
Action-adventure games thus combine elements of both genres into one. While
generally focusing on physical movement, they steal gameplay from the adventure
genre to serve the needs of the story of the game. For instance, though a Spider-Man
game is generally about web-swinging through the streets of Manhattan, there are
also adventure game elements in that Spidey gets to stop and talk to people, parts of
the game only open themselves up after certain conversations, and there is usually a
heavy story element involved in driving the player from the beginning of the game
to the end.
Generally, action-adventure games tend to identify themselves by their story-
driven nature. Most games based on a license, like comic books or movies, fall
into this genre, as do most games that have a very strong narrative element. Games
focusing on characters such as Indiana Jones, Spider-Man, and Shrek are generally
lumped into the action-adventure pile. Games that aren't action-adventure but share
a lot of the gameplay of the genre can include role-playing games like Fallout 3 ,
MMORPGs like World of Warcraft , survival horror games like Resident Evil ,and
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