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robinventa
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Joined: 12/31/1969

Hi

I just like designing games – I don’t really have a clue how to categorise them. Can somebody tell me, or direct me to a place where I can find the answers to three questions –

1) What is the difference between a ‘tactic’ and a ‘strategy’? Both are loosely dictionary defined as ‘plans’. People talk of ‘tactical’ games and ‘strategy’ games – what’s the difference?
2) What is a game ‘system’?
3) What is the difference between ‘type’ and ‘genre’?

Robin

zaiga
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Re: Definitions

robinventa wrote:
1) What is the difference between a ‘tactic’ and a ‘strategy’? Both are loosely dictionary defined as ‘plans’. People talk of ‘tactical’ games and ‘strategy’ games – what’s the difference?

Tactical -> short timespan, narrow scope.
Strategy -> longer timespan, broader scope.

For example, in some games it is hard to look ahead, when your turn comes around you just have to make the best move and optimize your current position.

In a strategic game, it is a not as much about finding the best move for this turn, but rather finding the move that will yield the best results over a couple of turns or even the complete game.

In many games you need to have some longterm plan (=strategy), but to get there you need good tactical play. A good example would be Puerto Rico. The role choices are often very tactical, but these choices are always part of a broader scope (strategy).

Quote:

2) What is a game ‘system’?

Depends a bit on the context in which the term is used, but usually this has to do with the different game mechanics and the manner in which they interact.

Quote:

3) What is the difference between ‘type’ and ‘genre’?

I haven't got a clue either. :wink:

- Rene Wiersma

hpox
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Definitions

I thought I knew the difference between type and genre but when I went to type it... I don't! :cry:

Best shot: Type have to do with mechanics while genre is about the themes. Or vice-versa?

phpbbadmin
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Joined: 04/23/2013
Type Vs. Genre

It's all a matter of context really. In relation to board games, a genre is a group of things linked together by some common trait. So you could have a train genre, or a fantasy genre, or even a bidding genre. I don't think the word was really intended to be used in the context that the gaming community uses it. Of course type just means category, and you can categorize in any number of ways. Yes I'd say their synonymous depending upon the context in which they are used.

-Darke

IngredientX
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Re: Definitions

robinventa wrote:

3) What is the difference between ‘type’ and ‘genre’?
Robin

I don't think type and genre are synonymous at all. To me, the Genre of a game refers to its theme. The type refers to its mechanic. The games Ra and Cairo are both Egyptian-genred games, but one has a bidding mechanic and the other involves physical dexterity.

Of course, there's no official convention for this, so people often interchange the two terms. But in 2038, when I complete my coup and become Grand Poobah of the entire world, I can force my definition on everyone else. :twisted:

setarcos
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Joined: 07/31/2008
Definitions

Mechanic is to theme as type is to genre makes sense on one level, but then would “German” games be a genre or a type? (Or “Euro” games, “Designer” games, “Social Strategy”, or “Family Strategy”, or what ever else you want to call them.) I usually refer to the German genre of games, but they’re not just distinct because of theme or mechanic or even both for that matter. Maybe this is all just a matter of semantics and context.

robinventa
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Definitions

Thanks everybody. I think I've got that. Perhaps it'll be even clearer when I've had a couple of drinks :)

Regards

Robin

Anonymous
Definitions

[edit: gah! Grammar. - oo lazy, just ignore it please]

genre vs. type

well, one more post to keep the thread on life support:
[you knew _somebody_ was going to pull out the dictionary]

Genre: A class of artistic endeavor having a characteristic form or technique.

Type: A number of people or things having in common traits or characteristics that distinguish them as a group or class.

The words "form" and "technique" lend the word genre to being very specific. It implies that there is some mechanic (=technique, kinda) that is similar. Type really only refers to something in the broadest sense, as in "Boardgames are a TYPE of game". The clue words are group and class. It just sounds akward to say that racing games are an entire class of boardgame. Type doesn't allow for two classes to be so similar - they must be completely distinguishable.

:roll: oh my. I went a little beyond myself there. It's a ramble, but hey, you get the point :)

- Silverdragon0

Anonymous
Definitions

Hey, all, :)

This might be a-propos... These articles were written with RPGs in mind, but they apply strongly to board games, imho.

Elements of Tactics

Elements of Strategy

Cheers,

J.

Torrent
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Joined: 08/03/2008
Definitions

On the same site there is a set of articles by Shannon Appelcline explicitly about Boardgames.
http://www.rpg.net/news+reviews/collists/virtually.html Look at #56 through about #66. Sometimes they get really deep for me almost academic, but as for definitions of all the bits and such of Boardgames there is not much not covered.

Andy

JPOG
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Definitions

Come on now - no one is even bringing up "Style"? Heh. Great little discussion and definitions by the way, everyone. I still tend to agree about Genre being mostly theme, since thats really the original use, relating to books and movies, etc - Comedy, Horror, Action, etc, so I think "Egyptian" would make more sense as genre, than say "Bidding", though I understand the tendancy to want to classify it that way as well; I helped develop a division of wrestling simulators, and routinely refer to them as "genres" (career, promoter, normal, booker, etc) but probably they're more categories. And btw, applause for RPG net's brain-nerds and their far-too-in-depth explanations. =)

Anonymous
Definitions

I want to put in my own analogy, although it has already been explained here.

In the Lord of the Rings books/movies:

Victory Condition: Defeat Sauron
Strategy: Throw the One Ring into Mount Whatsitcalled, give One Ring to a hobbit and have him sneak there undetected (hopefully)
Tactics: Whenever he sees a Nazgul, goblin, or orc, he hides or runs.

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