We ran workshops on genre bending on Thursday, January 15, 2015, thinking about how genres operate broadly as well as in videogames. After a rich discussion about genres in film and other media, we shifted to thinking about what kind of information genre labels are and what they communicate to developers and players of videogames. This led to an examination of the core features of the role-playing game (RPG), as a focused example, and why it may be less suitable as a genre for development in the context of a game jam. We then presented some suggested genres that are often represented in game jams (platformer, puzzle, shooter) and covered their central characteristics.
The second part of the workshop tasked participants to play a dice game within their groups to mash up and bend two different genres together with another randomly determined theme in several short iterations. This required participants to think quickly and come up with many ideas that might serve as the germ for a videogame. After several rounds of this, we then asked the groups to pick a game idea that emerged from the dice game and flesh it out into a more developed game concept.
The workshop instructions and other materials will appear on the site soon!
See the gallery below for some photos of the workshops.