Feature: 'Tomb Raider and the Genre of Stealth'

In today's Gamasutra feature, the UK's Strange Agency explains, with an in-depth research...
In today's Gamasutra feature, the UK's Strange Agency explains, with an in-depth research paper, its proprietary software to analyze the Tomb Raider series and empirically compare it to other games with 'stealth' elements, with thought-provoking results. In their introduction, Strange Agency explains how they 'calculate' their genre breakdowns: "Activity is at the heart of gameplay. Activity defines game genres. Our in-house software, Strange Analyst, and the database it feeds, contains gameplay activity data on just over 10,500 distinct games. We currently use 48 distinct activity groups in order to analyse games. Of course, we can’t tell you how we do this but the weightings for each activity we attribute to each game are calculated by in-depth, lexical analysis of game review data derived from the World Wide Web. We use this data to form activity profiles for each game. We can then profile games against each other, select a number of similar games and calculate an average profile for them and also calculate a whole genre and see how individual games in that genre compare with the norm. By way of illustration we will undertake a brief analysis of a franchise, ‘Tomb Raider’, and compare this against a series of ‘stealth’ games: Splinter Cell, Deus Ex, Metal Gear (Solid and Acid) and Thief. Our principle aim in this report is to demonstrate how not only individual games but also genres can be measured and quantified and thus become a practical and valuable working tool for games designers." You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the topic, including more on how Tomb Raider's stealth breakdown compares to others in the genre (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).

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