Copyright by Brenda Brathwaite, Ian Schreiber

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Chapter 12. Learning an Unfamiliar Genre

Most of the time, a publisher approaches a developer with a request for a proposal (RFP) with a specific genre in mind. “Give us an MMO targeted at kids,” they’ll say. “That market’s growing more every year.”

In a way, this is somewhere between making a sequel and targeting a market. You are, technically, targeting the market of people who like games of a particular genre, and it’s expected that the game will conform to that genre in the same (if less restrictive) way that a sequel will conform to its predecessors.

If you’ve designed dozens of RPGs and played hundreds more, and you’re asked to create an RPG, this is not a problem. If you’re asked to create a social simulation or a sports game, and you’ve ...

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