Random thoughts on sub-categories/tags (again)

Discussion in 'All Things LitRPG' started by Windfall, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Yes, please do! I'm super busy this week -- kinda on the road on a laptop with a broken trackpad. But I'd really love to read this discussion on reddit or elsewhere (because I'm afraid we have scared away most of the people -- it must be because of your German! :p)


    Ooooh, I love VideospielGefühl! <3

    And you're right. German does lend itself to stringing words together to make longer words. My SO does German philosophy, so I totally understand. It's one of the language's strengths, methinks!

    But... but... but... do you mean your VideospielGefühl is different from my VideospielGefühl? *shock*

    Serious question: you really don't think it 'feels like a video game' when you see a long list of items? I know it kinda does for me, and I think that's what a lot of authors try to emulate (but which I don't think works that well in books -- and doesn't work at all when it comes to audiobooks)

    That said, anything 'world-changing' doesn't feel like a video game to me, like the moment unique quests pop up for the MC, it kinda ceases to be an MMORPG, and at that point there's something wrong with the 'videogame-ness' -- and it's now more a 'Chosen One fantasy' -- if that makes sense. And if it's supposed to have a single-player aesthetic, it should be more... problem-solving, and there can't be other players, because not everyone can be the Chosen One...

    I guess that's what I'm referring to. If you go WoW-style, it has to be decently balanced. If you go Elder Scrolls-style, everyone else has to be NPCs (I have no idea how Elder Scrolls Online works), if you go tabletop style, you be super creative and have fun and go as a party... I'm not saying you have to stick to these, but if you go against this too much, the world, to me, feels like 'fantasy with stats', rather than 'a game' -- does that make sense?


    Yeah... that one was a long shot. I kinda like the idea of categories and perfect grading scales. When we did semantics in linguistics there was this exercise where you try to come up with the minimum 'rules' to distinguish between the meanings of different words, like "cup" "glass" "dish" "bottle", etc., or this 'action set', like "walk", "run", "stroll", "wander", "jog", "prance" -- that was one of the funnest things I've ever done.

    I'll think more about flavors...

    Dang... gotta run again. Will come back soon.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
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  2. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    I haven't read a lot either, but I feel like the flavors are like the ice cream you pick... then things topped up over that are just toppings. For example, a LitRPG can be defined by the same 'base' feeling of a MMORPG, and then you add 'different kinds of things the characters will be doing in the story' on top, and you have your ice cream order... I mean, LitRPG.

    So... let's try to clarify this a bit better (for my own sake as well, since life has been hectic and my thoughts are in a jumble)

    1) Do you feel that there's a real difference in 'flavor' when comparing, say, Tower of Gates to Awaken Online? For example, I feel that one gives readers 'tabletop aesthetics', and the other one 'MMORPG aesthetics'. (Or feel free to pick any other example) I have a feeling that the kind of game the story is mainly based on does have a huge impact on the kind of story that can be told. So I'm wondering if it's just me.

    2) In the case of "fantasy with stats" vs "VideospielGefühl" -- clarification questions:
    - For you, is there a difference between playing and being? In portal fantasy, you are the character. In commercial games, you play a character. Personally, for me, this feels rather different, but I'm aware it also depends on how much the author lets the character maintain 'self-awareness' ("I'm playing a game" thoughts), and not just going "full RP".
    - To recap my point again so that it's all in one place: for me, 'fantasy with stats' happens when there aren't universal rules that govern all things that should technically be in the same category. For example, even in 'emergent' gameplay, there are set rules. And this is very apparent when we look at basic questions like -- do characters need to sleep/eat/go to the bathroom/shower. The more you have to do this, the less it feels like a video game. But, if you put in arbitrary rules, like how hunger works in The Way of the Shaman, and how '1 cup of water' = 'x amount of energy' or something like that, it feels much more like a video game than 'fantasy with stats'. For example, if "1 hour of sleep" gives you "1 mana x ManaRegenRate", and it works consistently through the story, it feels more like a video game and less like real life, but if a character "had a rough night's sleep and hardly recovered any mana" -- it feels more like something from standard fantasy. If a tailor can wave their hand over a robe and it goes "Your gear is now at 100% durability!", it's more like a video game than 'fantasy with stats'. If they have to actually go get a needle, and sew, it feels more like real life. The feeling of 'fantasy with stats' also happens when things kinda work like real life politically and economically, while video game economy will be... video game economy (like with inexplicable unlimited resources and 'gold dumps' to take care of the problems, etc.) Does that make sense? [So, yes, for me 'fantasy with stats' means 'this reads like a standard fantasy but with more explicit numbers']

    Thanks! I guess that makes sense. I'm not sure if these can be in the same category, but just to be safe I'll keep both.

    Completely agree!

    But.. it might not be that difficult. When the SIMS came out a long time ago, my friend created her family members in the game by attributing points to them based on her impression of their personalities, and she let the game run on auto... and then after a while she was like "OMG! This is exactly like my family!" And it was very dysfunctional. It was pretty uncanny :p

    :p :p



    Yeah. You're exactly right! These are all beyond the LitRPG universe. :D

    I'm trying to do a few things:
    1) Understand/define LitRPG better (which is what we're doing -- so thank you again for all your thoughtful input! <3)
    2) Decide on a system of 'tags' that will help readers filter through a LitRPG database. I hope to do this by identifying major elements that affect reader enjoyment. It will never be complete and it will never be perfect, but it will help readers filter stuff better according to their taste. There will be LitRPG-specific elements, like the "commercial game" to "portal fantasy" tags under SETTING. And all sorts of tags, like 'questing', or 'dungeon', or 'PVP' under MAIN ACTIVITIES. And maybe even 'magic', 'healer', 'tank', 'sword(wo)man', or 'multiclass' under MC'S CLASS. But there will also be other things that are not LitRPG-specific but that seem to be 'biggies' for readers: like 'grimdark' under TONE, or 'first-person', 'third-person', 'single', 'multiple' under POV. And I think there really needs to be one for 'harem'.

    So, technically, readers can pull up a whole 'filter' page, and they can click on these tag buttons to 'select' or 'exclude' stories with certain elements. It should be easy enough to do, with a... MySQL database, and then a simple PHP script to query stories that match all the conditions specified by the reader. So, every tag shows up 'neutral' -- and every LitRPG story in the database shows up in a long list. You click on "first-person", the tag gets highlighted, and every story that is tagged with 'first-person' shows up in the list. You can narrow it down by going "first-person" AND "female MC", and it shows only the handful of stories that match. OR, if you go and click on 'harem' twice, it X's out the tag, and now the list shows all stories that are not harem.

    The end goal is to have a workable number of tags that really help questions like:
    "Recommend me a story where the MC is not human!"
    "Looking for more town-building!"
    "I want a VR story with permadeath"
    (all real examples of requests)
    And so... hopefully if someone comes along and asks "I'm in the mood for a military sci-fi with a lot of group play and preferably a harem", they will be able to locate that exact story with only a few clicks on these tag buttons.

    I'm avoiding making this website if I can, but it's something I really want to exist, so if anyone wants to pick it up, PLEASE DO!
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018
  3. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Oooh, found another thread on reddit asking for 'simplistic' LitRPG:



    I'm very interested in the choice of words here. Here's the poster's criteria:

    1. Vanilla MC (No Unique Race or OP/snowflake skill received)

    2. MC is an adventurer not a hero (No chosen one hero bullshit)

    3. No Harems. (Some Romance okay)

    4. None of that Gods/Gamemakers interested in MC.

    I don't think 'simplistic' accurately describes what the poster is looking for, but I understand why they chose that word, and there's indeed some element of "simplistic" in "stories where people are just playing a game". Basically they are looking for -- "an MC who is not special" And someone else presented a term that I find very interesting (linguistics being the love of my life and all :p)

    So, to shamelessly rip-off the wonderful contributions on reddit, I will present this scale:


    <--- "Street Level" -------------------------------------- "Super Hero" --->


    And "street level" is exactly what I like.

    But, to make it more complicated, most of the people don't even agree on what stories fit these criteria. So, if we unpack it... I wonder if it's just a feeling of "MC is just another player" vs "MC is a super hero"? Is this just a 'special-ness' scale? Then there's this whole nuance of "unique" vs "balanced" (so the MC can be 'unique' but not OP)

    Or maybe it's just a feeling of OP/non-OP, which is also captured somewhat (but not totally) in what the poster was looking for.

    Now in standard scifi/fantasy there's loads of stories that fit these criteria of the MC being "just another person in the world and making the best out of what happens to them". I think this definitely should be one of the 'flavors' we can tag, and I'm super glad someone else is looking for it. The interesting thing is -- someone actually asked why the poster even want to read this kind of story, and the response is something like "It feels like the beginning of an MMO where everything is feels important and special". It's the wonderfulness of the common things.

    (Still not perfectly happy with 'street level', since it's not very clear from the get-go what it means and might confuse people)

    And to expand on examples a bit -- The Lord of the Rings actually kinda has this feeling, even when they're trying to save the world. Because there's nothing inherently special about the characters. They're put in their situation, and they go and do what they can. And... when I think about it even in The Wheel of Time, where one character is a 'chosen one' in a way, they don't feel that special. Yes, you might be 'unique', but you're pretty much stuck doing politics and navigating a treacherous world like everybody else.

    Ascend Online also kinda has that feeling, even with unique quests and special circumstances, but that's because the game is intentionally unbalanced and gives special things to some players so that interesting things can happen in the game.

    In a way... I kinda suspect it has to do with the feeling of "how much of the world revolves around the MC"? But I don't think we can have a reliable scale for that.

    Thoughts greatly welcome!
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  4. Herko Kerghans

    Herko Kerghans Random Hurler of 2-Cents LitRPG Author Citizen

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    (Ain't that the Mary Sue scale, basically? =)

    (And my hunch is, it's compound with the "World needs Saving", so to speak. Mary Sues live in World that both need saving, and revolve around them; Frodo Baggins & His Hobbits live a World in needs of saving but that does not revolve around them, probably making FBHH the archetypal "ordinary persons in extraordinary times")
     
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  5. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Ooohhh, I really like this!

    There's something that I really can't get to that has to do with stakes/scope/tone/specialness/'camera focus' and all that. I just don't know what it is. I'm hoping terms like 'grimdark' vs 'noblebright' will sort of differentiate the two polars a bit, but I don't think they're that either.

    So then I'm kinda thinking of having a quadrant chart: one axis for "hostility level of the environment" and one axis for "character's power" ('power' as in 'I can take control of my own life and affect desired changes' -- or, to put it simply, if the characters are empowered or depowered)

    Hostile environment + depowered characters = grimdark (not sure if this is the common understanding)
    Hostile environment + empowered characters = underdog stories / heroic struggles
    Friendly environment + depowered characters = ??
    Friendly environment + empowered characters = fun adventures! (lends itself towards 'feel good')

    *Note: the environment is "hostile" when it's unfair, dangerous, and stressful. It's "friendly" when it's relatively 'lawful', like when it's decently predictable, when its main aim is not out to get the MC. The environment doesn't only imply the game world in general, but other characters around the MC and the way they treat the MC, as well as the situation the MC finds himself or herself in.

    *Note: characters are empowered when they can actually do things, when things happen in the world because of their actions, when they are in control of their own fate.
    Characters are depowered when they are unable to affect changes in the world. Sometimes it's because if their own character flaws, but mostly it's because of external factors. Mary Sues are actually depowered, because external forces (luck, gods, being the 'chosen one', being a genius, etc.) make (good) things happen to them.

    This quadrant chart will take care of the 'tone' and allows for rather detailed plotting. I doubt it will be practical, though :p

    So maybe if I can come up with a representative term for each of the quadrant and just have something like "mild grimdark" / "grimdark" / "extreme grimdark" as tags.
     
  6. Herko Kerghans

    Herko Kerghans Random Hurler of 2-Cents LitRPG Author Citizen

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    I think (not sure) that "grimdark" comes from Warhammer 40K's setting (it's taglike being "In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war"); and for what I understand, "grimdark" is usually just the setting, not the characters (and I would further argue, at least from my W40K experience, that grimdark sort of needs powered characters, in a sense: the setting is way too ruthless of non-powered characters to survive! =)

    Not sure what "noblebright" is, I gotta confess (even though it's something along heroic fantasy?); first time I encounter the term! =)
     
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  7. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Thanks! Hmmmm... this means 'grimdark' isn't the term I should be using (although I really like the sound of it).

    I think there are two kinds of 'dark': let's call them the 'evil-dark' and the 'noble-dark' for now? Game of Thrones is kinda evil-dark: characters are tossed around, killed off, put into situations where they're presented as weak, flawed and foolish. The anime short Voices of a Distant Star is also kinda like that, despite being very poetic and beautiful and emotional -- it's a hostile world, and humans are powerless, fated to suffer loss, they can only feel and mourn, but then 'evil-dark' doesn't sound right in that context.

    Maybe... it's 'fatalism' (where you are powerless) vs 'humanism' (where you celebrate the greatness of the human spirit)?

    I just encountered "noblebright" recently as well and I don't think it's very well-defined -- it's a reaction to the "grimdark" trend, I guess. The world is nice and prosperous, and people are moral, and all is fine and dandy -- the good guys win in the end (?)
     
  8. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    What we have so far:


    TAGS (version 1.0)

    LitRPG-specific tags
    World type: [COMMERCIAL GAME] [COMMERCIAL GAME GONE WRONG] [DIGITAL REALM] [WORLD WITH GAME RULES]
    Trappings: [FANTASY] [MEDIEVAL] [SCI-FI] [MILITARY] [CYBERPUNK] [STEAMPUNK] [HISTORICAL] [OTHER CULTURES] [ZOMBIES] [MULTI-WORLD]
    Core activities: [OPEN-WORLD PVE] [OPEN-WORLD PVP] [ARENA/TOURNAMENT] [QUESTING] [DUNGEON] [CRAFTING] [GEAR-CRAFTING] [SPELL-CRAFTING] [SETTLEMENT-BUILDING] [TOWER DEFENSE] [GROUP-BUILDING] [PUZZLES]
    MC class/role: [MAGIC] [UNARMED COMBAT]
    [SWORD] [SPELLSWORD] [GUN] [ARCHER] [BARD] [ROGUE] [MULTI-CLASS] [DAMAGE] [MELEE] [HEALER] [SUPPORT] [TANK] [CRAFTER]
    Story elements: [TRAPPED] [SENTIENT AI] [NO LOG-OUT] [PERMADEATH] [HAREM] [ROMANCE] [EROTICA] [SOLO PLAY] [GROUP PLAY] [UNIQUE CLASS/ABILITIES] [REALISTIC COMBAT] [REAL LIFE SECTIONS] [YOUNG ADULT]
    Game type: [MMORPG] [OPEN-WORLD RPG] [TABLETOP] [ROGUELIKE] [RESOURCE-MANAGEMENT] [MOBA] [OTHER]
    Game text: [NONE] [LIGHT] [MEDIUM] [HEAVY]


    Literature & book tags
    POV: [MALE] [FEMALE] [SINGLE] [MULTIPLE] [1st PERSON] [3rd PERSON]
    Theme: [EXPLORATION] [HERO'S JOURNEY] [COMING-OF-AGE] [SLICE-OF-LIFE] [INTRIGUE] [MYSTERY] [CONSPIRACY] [POST-APOCALYPSE]
    Series status: [STAND-ALONE] [ONGOING] [COMPLETE] [SIDE STORY]
    Availability: [WEB SERIAL] [KU] [PRINT] [AUDIO]


    Cut & Paste definitions for the tags, so we'll have everything in one place:
    World type:
    • Commercial game
      Includes games that are 'seemingly' commercial at first, even when there's actually some secret evil intent behind them that characters discover as the plot progresses, and also includes games where only the MC is trapped (like they die when they're connected to the VR and now their consciousness is trapped). The premise of this category is that the game still functions like a commercial game.
    • Commercial game gone wrong
      AI-gone-rogue, or glitch-kills-people, or hacker-traps-everybody. The premise is that there's something seriously wrong with the core game code that puts the characters in that situation.
    • Digital realm that exists for some other purpose
      Gamified digital realms that exist for... military training, prison, education, be an afterlife, etc.
    • Real world with game rules
      Includes all portal fantasy, or when the world suddenly gains stats for any reason, or when the MC dies and is reincarnated as a character in a world just like the game he happens to be playing before death (but which is no longer a 'videogame')

    Trappings:
    • Fantasy
    • Sci-fi
    • Military
    • Cyberpunk
    • Steampunk
    • Historical (Regency LitRPG? Victorian LitRPG?)
    • Other cultures
    • Multi-world

    Core Activities: (Can pick more than one)
    • Open-world PVE
      Wandering around killing monsters, saving villages, fetching stuff for NPCs, etc.
    • Open-world PVP
      Faction politics, clan wars
    • Arena/tournament
      Basically PVP games
    • Questing
      Quest-driven plot, where people get quests, complete quests, leading to quests getting more and more complicated and difficult
    • Dungeon
      Find cave, enter cave, kill trash mobs, kill boss, loot!
    • Crafting
      Gathering stuff, making stuff
    • Equipment-crafting
      Lots of focus given to upgrading sword/magic armor/etc.
    • Settlement-building
      Here's your village/city/town/castle -- develop it
    • Dungeon design
      This is pretty much self-explanatory
    • Tower defense
      Stop waves of NPCs from invading your home
    • Group-building
      Main character(s) meet(s) and collect(s) group members and they go adventuring. Technically, harem-building will kinda fall into this category?

    All tags can be clicked on to filter only stories tagged with those tags, or clicked on twice to exclude stories tagged with those tags.

    Suggestions/additions/amendments welcome :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  9. Herko Kerghans

    Herko Kerghans Random Hurler of 2-Cents LitRPG Author Citizen

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    (I guess I may be having a grimdark day and that's why that definition sounds a bit too close to, well, boring? Then again as said above new term, so prolly getting it wrong myself!! =)

    On grimdark: aye, the term itself sounds cool (if ominously so), but as far as I can tell it's not well defined other than by some similarity to Warhammer. Game of Thrones' universe seems to be more neutral than grimdark, but i wouldn't know why.

    Amazing job!! (
    As in "super cool", not as in "having an Amazon-like will-strip-all-your-pages quality"!! :p)
     
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  10. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Are you going to open source all this work? Heh. I'd love to throw together a website searchable by all these things...
     
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  11. Herko Kerghans

    Herko Kerghans Random Hurler of 2-Cents LitRPG Author Citizen

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    I emphatically endorse the above product or service! =)

    Two minor comments/nitpicks:
    > Trapped seems the same as No Log-Out (as in, both meaning "can't get out of the game"). Unless "Trapped" is specific for Portal-likes? (as in, no way to come back?)
    > Methinks that "Permadeath" should be broken down to in-game effect and out-of-game effects (the game may have permadeath while nobody dies outside of it, pretty much like how we nowdays die over and over and over in roguelikes). I guess one tag would be "Out-of-Game Death", while "Permadeath" should specifically be what happens in-game (which can have any number of out of game effects).

    Maybe add "RTS" and "FPS", as they are two very popular genres currently? I know we may be being too optimistic, but well, I do hope we see all videogames genres having their GameLit counterpart some day soon!! =)

    (And, case in point, at least two memebers of this forum have stated intentions to explore the RTS angle if I'm not mistaken)
     
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  12. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Thanks. With everything mapped out, it shouldn't be too hard to do. I've been thinking about it a while...
     
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  13. Jay

    Jay Hiatus. LitRPG Author Beta Reader Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    This is awesome. Thank you for doing all this work!

    I wish I had a bit more to offer, but I'm seriously bad at tagging normally. I'm better at chatting about the various ideas, but I'm craptastic at labels. This looks great so far though!
     
  14. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Nooooo! I'm trademarking the word "TAG"!!!!!!

    JK :p

    Yes, please, please, please make this website! I can't wait for something like this to exist. It will give us some very interesting data as well, like "how much of the LitRPG universe is harem?"

    And... authors can search for 'unexplored niches' for ideas -- like FPS with a female lead, etc.
     
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  15. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    You're right. Thanks for pointing this out. I think...

    "Trapped" = can't log out
    "No Log-Out" = I've seen it used as in "no log-out scenes" -- so players do not need to be trapped, but you don't show the time when they're not playing the game, or maybe it's one long play-through -- so maybe I'll change to "No Log-Out Scenes" to make it clearer? Personally I don't think it's a good term, since it's rather confusing, but I've seen it used by a few people.

    Now I know there's overlap with "real life sections", but I think:

    "Real Life Sections" = meaning 'features a significant real life story line'?

    Technically, Ascend Online has a real life section right at the beginning, so it will be tagged for "No Log-Out Scenes" but not "Real Life Sections"

    OR...

    Just use "Log-out Scenes" as a tag and users can filter Y/N. Okay... I think I'm going with this for now!

    How about we have two tags:
    "Permadeath" = your in-game character dies
    "Death game" = die in game, die in real life
    To capture different stake levels?

    Not sure if we need to capture "limited lives" as well -- since it's 'permadeath with leeway'?

    Done! :)
     
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  16. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Update notes:
    Removed tags: [Real Life Section] / [No Log-Out]
    Added tags: [Log-Out Scenes] / [Death Game] / [FPS] / [RTS] / [DUNGEON CORE] / [NPC] / [MONSTER] / [NON-HUMAN MC]
    Added category: Content warning: [EXPLICIT SEXUAL CONTENT] [SUGGESTIVE SEXUAL CONTENT] [NUDITY] [STRONG LANGUAGE] [MILD LANGUAGE] [GRAPHIC VIOLENCE]
    Added some more definitions as well :)



    TAGS (version 1.1)

    LitRPG-specific tags
    World type: [COMMERCIAL GAME] [COMMERCIAL GAME GONE WRONG] [DIGITAL REALM] [WORLD WITH GAME RULES]
    Trappings: [FANTASY] [MEDIEVAL] [SCI-FI] [MILITARY] [CYBERPUNK] [STEAMPUNK] [HISTORICAL] [OTHER CULTURES] [ZOMBIES] [MULTI-WORLD]
    Core activities:
    [OPEN-WORLD PVE] [OPEN-WORLD PVP] [ARENA/TOURNAMENT] [QUESTING] [DUNGEON] [CRAFTING] [GEAR-CRAFTING] [SPELL-CRAFTING] [SETTLEMENT-BUILDING] [DUNGEON DESIGN] [TOWER DEFENSE] [GROUP-BUILDING] [PUZZLES]
    MC class/role: [MAGIC] [UNARMED COMBAT] [SWORD] [SPELLSWORD] [GUN] [ARCHER] [BARD] [ROGUE] [MULTI-CLASS] [DAMAGE] [MELEE] [HEALER] [SUPPORT] [TANK] [CRAFTER] [DUNGEON CORE] [NPC] [MONSTER]
    Story elements: [TRAPPED] [SENTIENT AI] [LOG-OUT SCENES] [PERMADEATH] [DEATH GAME] [HAREM] [ROMANCE] [EROTICA] [SOLO PLAY] [GROUP PLAY] [UNIQUE CLASS/ABILITIES] [REALISTIC COMBAT] [YOUNG ADULT]
    Game type: [MMORPG] [OPEN-WORLD RPG] [TABLETOP] [ROGUELIKE] [RESOURCE-MANAGEMENT] [MOBA] [FPS] [RTS] [OTHER]
    Game text: [NONE] [LIGHT] [MEDIUM] [HEAVY]

    Literature & book tags
    POV: [MALE] [FEMALE] [SINGLE] [MULTIPLE] [1st PERSON] [3rd PERSON] [NON-HUMAN MC]
    Theme: [EXPLORATION] [HERO'S JOURNEY] [COMING-OF-AGE] [SLICE-OF-LIFE] [INTRIGUE] [MYSTERY] [CONSPIRACY] [POST-APOCALYPSE]
    Series status: [STAND-ALONE] [ONGOING] [COMPLETE] [SIDE STORY]
    Availability: [WEB SERIAL] [KU] [PRINT] [AUDIO]
    Content warning: [EXPLICIT SEXUAL CONTENT] [SUGGESTIVE SEXUAL CONTENT] [NUDITY] [STRONG LANGUAGE] [MILD LANGUAGE] [GRAPHIC VIOLENCE]

    World type:
    • Commercial game
      Includes games that are 'seemingly' commercial at first, even when there's actually some secret evil intent behind them that characters discover as the plot progresses, and also includes games where only the MC is trapped (like they die when they're connected to the VR and now their consciousness is trapped). The premise of this category is that the game still functions like a commercial game.
    • Commercial game gone wrong
      AI-gone-rogue, or glitch-kills-people, or hacker-traps-everybody. The premise is that there's something seriously wrong with the core game code that puts the characters in that situation.
    • Digital realm that exists for some other purpose
      Gamified digital realms that exist for... military training, prison, education, be an afterlife, etc.
    • Real world with game rules
      Includes all portal fantasy, or when the world suddenly gains stats for any reason, or when the MC dies and is reincarnated as a character in a world just like the game he happens to be playing before death (but which is no longer a 'videogame')
    Trappings:
    • Fantasy
    • Sci-fi
    • Military
    • Cyberpunk
    • Steampunk
    • Historical (Regency LitRPG? Victorian LitRPG?)
    • Other cultures
    • Zombies!
    • Multi-world
    Core Activities: (Can pick more than one)
    • Open-world PVE
      Wandering around killing monsters, saving villages, fetching stuff for NPCs, etc.
    • Open-world PVP
      Faction politics, clan wars
    • Arena/tournament
      Basically PVP games
    • Questing
      Quest-driven plot, where people get quests, complete quests, leading to quests getting more and more complicated and difficult
    • Dungeon
      Find cave, enter cave, kill trash mobs, kill boss, loot!
    • Crafting
      Gathering stuff, making stuff
    • Equipment-crafting
      Lots of focus given to upgrading sword/magic armor/etc.
    • Settlement-building
      Here's your village/city/town/castle -- develop it
    • Dungeon design
      This is pretty much self-explanatory
    • Tower defense
      Stop waves of NPCs from invading your home
    • Group-building
      Main character(s) meet(s) and collect(s) group members and they go adventuring. Technically, harem-building will kinda fall into this category?
    Story elements: (Can pick more than one)
    • Trapped
      Players cannot leave game / playing against their will
    • Sentient AI
      Self-explanatory, I think
    • Log-out Scenes
      'Y' when a story features a significant real life story line, 'N' when offline scenes are not shown, are only alluded to, or if it's just one long play-through
    • Permadeath
      In-game character can die permanently
    • Death Game
      Die in-game, die in real life, or if the penalty for losing results in real-life death
    • Harem
      MC is disproportionately surrounded by side characters who are attracted to them
    • Romance
      Significant focus on love/relationship
    • Erotica
      Significant focus on sexual encounters
    • Solo Play
      MC is solo most of the time
    • Group Play
      Focus on group dynamics
    • Unique Class/Abilities
      MC gets a rare/hidden/unique build
    • Realistic Combat
      Laws of physics apply as in real life, no HP system
    • Young Adult
      (Not sure what qualifies...)

    All tags can be clicked on to filter only stories tagged with those tags, or clicked on twice to exclude stories tagged with those tags.


    I realize some tags are redundant... so we'll slowly clean up the list :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
    Paul Bellow and Jay like this.
  17. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Since I'm procrastinating...

    (Please don't pay any real attention to this, because it's just a lot of me talking to myself)

    - I'm not sure once we have a database, if we should do it by book or by series. I'm leaning toward series, actually, but then some series morph into something else as they go along... And some books in a series might be from a different POV... So... maybe both? Or maybe [FIRST BOOK] should be a tag?
    - I'm not very happy with 'Theme' yet, since it's kinda really sloppy -- and should it be 'genre' or something else, and I'm sure almost every LitRPG will be tagged for [ACTION] and [ADVENTURE].
    - I still want somewhere for 'tone', since I think it factors in a great deal when you're looking for something: [HUMOR] [HIGH-STAKES] [LIGHT] [EMOTIONAL] [HEAVY] ???
    - Or maybe just combine 'genre' and 'theme' and 'tone' and call them... 'style'? (no idea)
     
  18. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    More thoughts on general themes/tone/story elements:
    • Action
      Fights & combat feature heavily
    • Adventure
      Go places, do things, or set out on a huge quest
    • Slice-of-life
      Just living my life, day-to-day activities, no real overarching plot
    • Experiment
      Crafting, dungeon-design
    • Mystery
      Figuring out what's gone wrong with the game world
    • Survival
      Someone, something, or a hostile world is out to get you
    • Intrigue
      Politics, faction wars
    • Conspiracy
      Characters stumble upon some conspiracy/hacking and have to navigate stuff
    • Odd jobs
      Bounty hunters, assassins-for-hire, detectives, carry-runs
    • Humor
      Mainly for the laughs
    • Light
      Light-hearted fun, generally low-stakes
    • Heavy
      Deals with mature themes, like depression, loss, death of loved ones
    • High-stakes
      The world needs saving
    • Feel-y
      Emphasis given to emotions
    • Think-y
      Lots of careful logic, strategizing
    • Horror
      Scary
    • Wish-fulfillment
      (I really think this should be a tag)
    • Moral MC
      MC will always try to do good. They might be conflicted, they might make mistakes, but overall 'good'
    • Self-serving MC
      MC doing stuff for selfish aims
     
  19. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Sorry for the endless posts...

    Updated once again (moved things around a bit):


    TAGS (version 1.2)

    LitRPG-specific tags
    World type: [COMMERCIAL GAME] [COMMERCIAL GAME GONE WRONG] [DIGITAL REALM] [REAL WORLD WITH GAME RULES]
    Trappings: [FANTASY] [MEDIEVAL] [SCI-FI] [SPACE] [MILITARY] [MODERN DAY] [CYBERPUNK] [STEAMPUNK] [HISTORICAL] [OTHER CULTURES] [POST-APOCALYPSE] [ZOMBIES] [MULTI-WORLD]
    Core activities:
    [OPEN-WORLD PVE] [OPEN-WORLD PVP] [ARENA/TOURNAMENT] [QUESTING] [DUNGEON] [RAID] [WAR] [CRAFTING] [GEAR-CRAFTING] [SPELL-CRAFTING] [SETTLEMENT-BUILDING] [DUNGEON DESIGN] [TOWER DEFENSE] [GROUP-BUILDING] [PUZZLES]
    MC class/role: [MAGIC] [UNARMED COMBAT] [SWORD] [SPELLSWORD] [GUN] [ARCHER] [BARD] [ROGUE] [PET MASTER] [SUMMONER] [DARK MAGIC] [MULTI-CLASS] [DAMAGE] [MELEE] [HEALER] [SUPPORT] [TANK] [CRAFTER] [DUNGEON CORE] [NPC] [MONSTER]
    Story elements: [TRAPPED] [SENTIENT AI] [LOG-OUT SCENES] [LOW-STAKE DEATH] [PERMADEATH] [DEATH GAME] [FAMILIAR] [HAREM] [SOLO PLAY] [GROUP PLAY] [UNIQUE CLASS/ABILITIES] [REALISTIC COMBAT] [MORAL MC] [TEENAGE MC]
    Game type: [MMORPG] [OPEN-WORLD RPG] [TABLETOP] [ROGUELIKE] [RESOURCE-MANAGEMENT] [MOBA] [FPS] [RTS] [OTHER]
    Game text: [NONE] [LIGHT] [MEDIUM] [HEAVY]

    Literature & book tags
    POV: [MALE] [FEMALE] [OTHER GENDER] [SINGLE] [MULTIPLE] [1st PERSON] [3rd PERSON] [NON-HUMAN MC]
    Tone, themes and genres: [ACTION] [ADVENTURE] [EXPERIMENT] [COMEDY] [HORROR] [HERO'S JOURNEY] [COMING-OF-AGE] [SLICE-OF-LIFE] [INTRIGUE] [MYSTERY] [CONSPIRACY] [ROMANCE] [EROTICA] [WISH-FULFILLMENT] [LIGHT] [HEAVY] [EMOTIONAL] [STRATEGY] [YOUNG ADULT]
    Series status: [SERIES] [ONGOING] [COMPLETE] [FIRST BOOK] [BOOK IN A SERIES] [STAND-ALONE] [SIDE STORY]
    Availability: [WEB SERIAL] [E-BOOK] [KU] [PRINT] [AUDIO]
    Content warning: [EXPLICIT SEXUAL CONTENT] [SUGGESTIVE SEXUAL CONTENT] [NUDITY] [STRONG LANGUAGE] [MILD LANGUAGE] [GRAPHIC VIOLENCE] [AMORAL TONE]

    World type:
    • Commercial game
      Includes games that are 'seemingly' commercial at first, even when there's actually some secret evil intent behind them that characters discover as the plot progresses, and also includes games where only the MC is trapped (like they die when they're connected to the VR and now their consciousness is trapped). The premise of this category is that the game still functions like a commercial game.
    • Commercial game gone wrong
      AI-gone-rogue, or glitch-kills-people, or hacker-traps-everybody. The premise is that there's something seriously wrong with the core game code that puts the characters in that situation.
    • Digital realm that exists for some other purpose
      Gamified digital realms that exist for... military training, prison, education, be an afterlife, etc.
    • Real world with game rules
      Includes all portal fantasy, or when the world suddenly gains stats for any reason, or when the MC dies and is reincarnated as a character in a world just like the game he happens to be playing before death (but which is no longer a 'videogame')
    Trappings:
    • Fantasy
    • Medieval (to differentiate between finer shades of fantasy)
    • Sci-fi (laser guns, scanning goggles and stuff)
    • Space (spaceships, different planets!)
    • Military
    • Cyberpunk
    • Steampunk
    • Modern Day (real world gains game stats)
    • Historical (Regency LitRPG? Victorian LitRPG?)
    • Other cultures
    • Post-apocalypse (something bad has happened to the world)
    • Zombies!
    • Multi-world
    Core Activities: (Can pick more than one)
    • Open-world PVE
      Wandering around killing monsters, saving villages, fetching stuff for NPCs, etc.
    • Open-world PVP
      Faction politics, clan wars
    • Arena/tournament
      Basically PVP games
    • Questing
      Quest-driven plot, where people get quests, complete quests, leading to quests getting more and more complicated and difficult
    • Dungeon
      Find cave, enter cave, kill trash mobs, kill boss, loot!
    • Crafting
      Gathering stuff, making stuff
    • Equipment-crafting
      Lots of focus given to upgrading sword/magic armor/etc.
    • Settlement-building
      Here's your village/city/town/castle -- develop it
    • Dungeon design
      This is pretty much self-explanatory
    • Tower defense
      Stop waves of NPCs from invading your home
    • Group-building
      Main character(s) meet(s) and collect(s) group members and they go adventuring. Technically, harem-building will kinda fall into this category?
    Story elements: (Can pick more than one)
    • Trapped
      Players cannot leave game / playing against their will
    • Sentient AI
      Self-explanatory, I think
    • Log-out Scenes
      'Y' when a story features a significant real life story line, 'N' when offline scenes are not shown, are only alluded to, or if it's just one long play-through
    • Permadeath
      In-game character can die permanently
    • Death Game
      Die in-game, die in real life, or if the penalty for losing results in real-life death
    • Harem
      MC is disproportionately surrounded by side characters who are attracted to them
    • Romance
      Significant focus on love/relationship
    • Erotica
      Significant focus on sexual encounters
    • Solo Play
      MC is solo most of the time
    • Group Play
      Focus on group dynamics
    • Unique Class/Abilities
      MC gets a rare/hidden/unique build
    • Realistic Combat
      Laws of physics apply as in real life, no HP system
    • Young Adult
      (Not sure what qualifies...)

    All tags can be clicked on to filter only stories tagged with those tags, or clicked on twice to exclude stories tagged with those tags.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  20. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Testing out these tags:

    SICORA ONLINE (BOOK 1)

    LitRPG-specific tags
    World type: [COMMERCIAL GAME] [COMMERCIAL GAME GONE WRONG] [DIGITAL REALM] [REAL WORLD WITH GAME RULES]
    Trappings: [FANTASY] [MEDIEVAL] [SCI-FI] [SPACE] [MILITARY] [MODERN DAY] [CYBERPUNK] [STEAMPUNK] [HISTORICAL] [OTHER CULTURES] [POST-APOCALYPSE] [ZOMBIES] [MULTI-WORLD]
    Core activities:
    [OPEN-WORLD PVE] [OPEN-WORLD PVP] [ARENA/TOURNAMENT] [QUESTING] [DUNGEON] [RAID] [WAR] [CRAFTING] [GEAR-CRAFTING] [SPELL-CRAFTING] [SETTLEMENT-BUILDING] [DUNGEON DESIGN] [TOWER DEFENSE] [GROUP-BUILDING] [PUZZLES]
    MC class/role: [MAGIC] [UNARMED COMBAT] [SWORD] [SPELLSWORD] [GUN] [ARCHER] [BARD] [ROGUE] [PET MASTER] [SUMMONER] [DARK MAGIC] [MULTI-CLASS] [DAMAGE] [MELEE] [HEALER] [SUPPORT] [TANK] [CRAFTER] [DUNGEON CORE] [NPC] [MONSTER]
    Story elements: [TRAPPED] [SENTIENT AI] [LOG-OUT SCENES] [LOW-STAKE DEATH] [PERMADEATH] [DEATH GAME] [FAMILIAR] [HAREM] [SOLO PLAY] [GROUP PLAY] [UNIQUE CLASS/ABILITIES] [REALISTIC COMBAT] [MORAL MC] [TEENAGE MC]
    Game type: [MMORPG] [OPEN-WORLD RPG] [TABLETOP] [ROGUELIKE] [RESOURCE-MANAGEMENT] [MOBA] [FPS] [RTS] [OTHER]
    Game text: [NONE] [LIGHT] [MEDIUM] [HEAVY]

    Literature & book tags
    POV: [MALE] [FEMALE] [OTHER GENDER] [SINGLE] [MULTIPLE] [1st PERSON] [3rd PERSON] [NON-HUMAN MC]
    Tone, themes and genres: [ACTION] [ADVENTURE] [EXPERIMENT] [COMEDY] [HORROR] [HERO'S JOURNEY] [COMING-OF-AGE] [SLICE-OF-LIFE] [INTRIGUE] [MYSTERY] [CONSPIRACY] [ROMANCE] [EROTICA] [WISH-FULFILLMENT] [LIGHT] [HEAVY] [EMOTIONAL] [STRATEGY] [YOUNG ADULT]
    Series status: [SERIES] [ONGOING] [COMPLETE] [FIRST BOOK] [BOOK IN A SERIES] [STAND-ALONE] [SIDE STORY]
    Availability: [WEB SERIAL] [E-BOOK] [KU] [PRINT] [AUDIO]
    Content warning: [EXPLICIT SEXUAL CONTENT] [SUGGESTIVE SEXUAL CONTENT] [NUDITY] [STRONG LANGUAGE] [MILD LANGUAGE] [GRAPHIC VIOLENCE] [AMORAL TONE]






    World type:
    • Commercial game
      Includes games that are 'seemingly' commercial at first, even when there's actually some secret evil intent behind them that characters discover as the plot progresses, and also includes games where only the MC is trapped (like they die when they're connected to the VR and now their consciousness is trapped). The premise of this category is that the game still functions like a commercial game.
    • Commercial game gone wrong
      AI-gone-rogue, or glitch-kills-people, or hacker-traps-everybody. The premise is that there's something seriously wrong with the core game code that puts the characters in that situation.
    • Digital realm that exists for some other purpose
      Gamified digital realms that exist for... military training, prison, education, be an afterlife, etc.
    • Real world with game rules
      Includes all portal fantasy, or when the world suddenly gains stats for any reason, or when the MC dies and is reincarnated as a character in a world just like the game he happens to be playing before death (but which is no longer a 'videogame')
    Trappings:
    • Fantasy
    • Medieval (to differentiate between finer shades of fantasy)
    • Sci-fi (laser guns, scanning goggles and stuff)
    • Space (spaceships, different planets!)
    • Military
    • Cyberpunk
    • Steampunk
    • Modern Day (real world gains game stats)
    • Historical (Regency LitRPG? Victorian LitRPG?)
    • Other cultures
    • Post-apocalypse (something bad has happened to the world)
    • Zombies!
    • Multi-world
    Core Activities: (Can pick more than one)
    • Open-world PVE
      Wandering around killing monsters, saving villages, fetching stuff for NPCs, etc.
    • Open-world PVP
      Faction politics, clan wars
    • Arena/tournament
      Basically PVP games
    • Questing
      Quest-driven plot, where people get quests, complete quests, leading to quests getting more and more complicated and difficult
    • Dungeon
      Find cave, enter cave, kill trash mobs, kill boss, loot!
    • Crafting
      Gathering stuff, making stuff
    • Equipment-crafting
      Lots of focus given to upgrading sword/magic armor/etc.
    • Settlement-building
      Here's your village/city/town/castle -- develop it
    • Dungeon design
      This is pretty much self-explanatory
    • Tower defense
      Stop waves of NPCs from invading your home
    • Group-building
      Main character(s) meet(s) and collect(s) group members and they go adventuring. Technically, harem-building will kinda fall into this category?
    Story elements: (Can pick more than one)
    • Trapped
      Players cannot leave game / playing against their will
    • Sentient AI
      Self-explanatory, I think
    • Log-out Scenes
      'Y' when a story features a significant real life story line, 'N' when offline scenes are not shown, are only alluded to, or if it's just one long play-through
    • Permadeath
      In-game character can die permanently
    • Death Game
      Die in-game, die in real life, or if the penalty for losing results in real-life death
    • Harem
      MC is disproportionately surrounded by side characters who are attracted to them
    • Romance
      Significant focus on love/relationship
    • Erotica
      Significant focus on sexual encounters
    • Solo Play
      MC is solo most of the time
    • Group Play
      Focus on group dynamics
    • Unique Class/Abilities
      MC gets a rare/hidden/unique build
    • Realistic Combat
      Laws of physics apply as in real life, no HP system
    • Young Adult
      (Not sure what qualifies...)
     
    Paul Bellow likes this.




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