Settings - interestingly unusual or overly niche?

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Nisa-chan666
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Settings - interestingly unusual or overly niche?

#1 Post by Nisa-chan666 » Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:01 am

As my current project is looking to be set in a fantasy version of 18th century/pre-revolutionary Europe, I decided to make a quick check of the internet as market research of a sort. As I haven't found much in the way of games in that historical period, let alone with the fantasy element, I was wondering if it might be too niche. Is there a point at which you look at a game's setting or characters and find them to have gone past the point of being unusual and intriguing, to simply being too niche to find an audience?

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Re: Settings - interestingly unusual or overly niche?

#2 Post by Mutive » Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:04 pm

I think it would be a great time period, TBH. Also, while there may not be a lot of games focusing on that time period, there is a fair amount of media (books and TV shows come to mind). So it's probably of some interest to a number of people.
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Re: Settings - interestingly unusual or overly niche?

#3 Post by Katy133 » Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:47 pm

I feel like Google has failed us if searching for "video games set in fantasy 17th century" yielded little to no results.

Here are several fantasy stories set around that era, or includes that aesthetic:

Visual Novel Games:
-Cinders
-Cinderella Phenomenon
-A Knight's Devotion

Other Video Games:
-The Entire Monkey Island series
-The Europa Universalis series.
-Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword.
-Sid Meier's Pirates! is based in this era as well.
-All the fantasy games listed here: Wikipedia article

Tabletop Games:
-7th Sea
-All For One: Regime Diabolique
-Blue Rose
-Lace and Steel
-Swashbucklers
-(The Empire in) Warhammer Fantasy
-All the fantasy games mentioned in this thread

Musicals and Theatre:
-Hamilton(there have been entire academic thesis essays written arguing that Hamiltion is a fantasy AU of historic events, given the diverse casting of historic figures)
-The Dancing Cavalier
-Cyrano de Bergerac
-Epic Rap Battles of History

Television:
-Glass Fleet (anime series)
-Good Omens, episode 3
-Blackadder, season 3
-Casanova (wherein David Tennant plays a very Unreliable Narrator, bringing the events--such as the chase scenes and narrow escapes--to a comically unbelievable level)
-Help Im A Teenage Outlaw
-Doctor Who (several episodes set in the 17th century: The Church and the Crown, The Visitation, etc)

Films:
-Pirates: A Band of Misfits
-The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
-Carry On Dick (as well as every other film about Dick Turpin)
-The Dueling Cavalier
-Queen Christina
-Pirates of the Caribbean 1
-Pirates of the Caribbean 2
-Pirates of the Caribbean 3
-Pirates of the Caribbean 4
-Pirates of the Caribbean 5

Books:
-Treasure Island
-Robinson Crusoe
-The Scarlet Pimpernel
-Don Quixtoe
-The Baroque Cycle
-A Midsummer Tempest
-1632
-The Pyrates
-Isaac Asimov Presents The Great Science Fiction Stories Volume 231961
-Moll Flanders
-Simplicissimus
All of the books listed in this Reddit thread.

Comic books and graphic novels:
-De cape et de crocs
-Abrafaxe (first arc, among others)
-Suske and Wiske

There's a bunch more other examples (TV Tropes org has a whole article about it titled The Cavalier Years), but I don't what this list to be super-long to read through, so these are some off the top of my head, plus some Ask Jeeves-ing. Hopefully, you recognise some of these titles, whether they're examples of classic fiction, or mainstream pop culture.

If there is one thing I want you to take away from my post, it is this: Absolutely DO NOT believe that a time period is "too niche" or "too far back in time" to be used.

There is a huge amount of fantasy set in medieval times (13th-14th century), and that's several centuries further back than the 17th century. And you know what? Before the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, people said that medieval fantasy didn't sell. It was only after the LotR films were financially-successful that other medieval fantasy books and television became seen as mainstream. Eragon, Robin Hood, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, the Narnia films, Galavant, Game of Thrones. It doesn't matter here what the production quality was for these works, or how successful they: They wouldn't have been made, funded, or greenlit without the success of LotR's film adaptations. Same with Harry Potter: The entire "main character goes to a magical school" subgenre in YA novels becoming as popular as it is now is thanks to Harry Potter. And now tabletop RPGs are going through a resurgence with the success of Critical Role, The Adventure Zone, and Stranger Things. Trends come and go, and trends cannot predict writing quality. Don't let the feeling of "I don't see a lot of games with X setting" scare you or stop you from creating something. If anything, that just makes your game stand out more--and that's a massive asset for an indie game.

Hope this helps! :D
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