Game Mechanics Question about the Stealth Genre

KPJ

Member
Hey all. So, I've been thinking about developing a game, a 2D side view Stealth game, inspired a bit by Gunpoint and Mark of the Ninja, along with it's own unique mechanics/twist. I'm planning to sell it on Steam, so I've been thinking about some things. After some research, I learned that Stealth games aren't that popular of a genre anymore. I noticed that most of the popular 2D Stealth games have been released years ago. Gunpoint, was released in 2013, 7 years ago, Mark of the Ninja was released in 2012, Monaco: What's Yours is Mine was released in 2013 as well, and Stealth Bastard Deluxe in 2011. Any articles about Stealth games/design I've read, whether it be game design sites such as Gamasutra, even Reddit, have been posted years ago (usually around 5-6 years ago).

I've looked on Steam as well, there are barely any stealth games in recent time.

So, is the Stealth genre "dead"?

I know that to have a successful game, you need to market a lot, and obviously, your game needs to be fun. But, does an unpopular hold these two factors back? Let's say that both these factors are done extremely well (marketing, and the game being fun). Will the genre affect the success?

Should I just go ahead and develop the game? Or should I develop a genre that is more successful, and popular?

What are your thoughts on this?

Thanks!
 

zendraw

Member
with that attitude no game you make will be succesful. you are sayng you have no vision for a game, and that is the first thing publishers ask you. stealth games are aways popular, theyr just not that epic or sensational.
 

KPJ

Member
with that attitude no game you make will be succesful. you are sayng you have no vision for a game, and that is the first thing publishers ask you. stealth games are aways popular, theyr just not that epic or sensational.
Thanks for the reply! I actually do have a vision, and a lot of ideas for the game, just wanted to make sure I wasn't developing for a "dead" genre (the main reason of this post). I completely agree with you.
 

zendraw

Member
i dont think there is a dead genre, genres are just labels, if stealth fits your game then it is stealth to a degree. just work on your game, on your vision. you cant know if its gona be success or not, and success is mostly or entirely marketing.just make your game.
 

KPJ

Member
i dont think there is a dead genre, genres are just labels, if stealth fits your game then it is stealth to a degree. just work on your game, on your vision. you cant know if its gona be success or not, and success is mostly or entirely marketing.just make your game.
I agree, I think I'll just start making the game. Even before posting this I was pretty set on developing the game, just posted this for clarification/better understanding (if you could call it that). Thanks for the advice!
 

Mk.2

Member
It seems the alternative you've considered is to pick one of the genres that's trendy right now, and might not be by the time your game releases. I'd go with the one you feel more passionate about and has more chance of becoming a quality product.
 
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KPJ

Member
It seems the alternative you've considered is to pick one of the genres that's trendy right now, and might not be by the time your game releases. I'd go with the one you feel more passionate about and has more chance of becoming a quality product.
Thanks for the advice! What you mentioned is also something I've been thinking. I've decided to continue with my Stealth game, as that it what I'm more passionate about, instead of developing what's popular.

My "alternative", was an action platformer, and considering how populated that genre is, it's probably best for me to not develop the genre, as it is more likely to get lost among the other games!
 

Bearman_18

Member
"Creating a 2D platformer is a nearly suicidal endeavor. You're coming up against some of the greatest games of all time and saying, 'Hey guys! Look at me! This is worth playing!'"
-Videogamedunkey
 
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KPJ

Member
Couldn't agree more. Sometimes it's probably best to not go with the trend/what's popular, considering how much games you are going to be competing with!
 

Bearman_18

Member
The best thing to do is to recognize a trend early in its life, then take advantage of it. Fortnite would be a good example.
 
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Yal

šŸ§ *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
I'd guess stealth games got a bad reputation because so many games shoehorn in stealth sections without having proper stealth mechanics, making players instinctively loathe them, and as a result nobody wants to make them.

Here's a video series you should give a watch to stop yourself from making the most common mistakes:

Some of the main points are:
  • Good stealth is based on mechanics that can be intuited and manipulated (e.g. making a guard suspicious to lure them away) instead of on scripted events
  • In particular, good stealth lets you do things, not just wait for guards to move.
  • Having a gradual failure state (aka, you don't instantly fail if you make one mistake) feels better overall and also adds additional gameplay opportunities where the player tries to deal with the consequences of their failure
  • If combat is too developed, it might feel less like a last resort and more like a valid option. This is okay, but only if you intend it to be. One of Dishonored's big issues was that most of the cool abilities were combat-oriented, so doing a stealth / good ending run would remove 90% of the cool toys from your arsenal and result in less fun gameplay. You shouldn't punish players for doing the right thing, you should reward them for it.
 
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KPJ

Member
Thanks for the reply! I'll definitely take a look at that video. I've always loved watching Game Maker's Toolkit. Some really great points you mentioned as well. I'll keep them in mind!
 
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