Re: Do all stories read like games on this site?

#7
The "looks like a game" thing is, basically, a way of leveraging a common set of concepts that readers are already familiar with, to establish a set of expectations about the way the world will behave, which is particularly helpful in getting past or avoiding questions of "why" which the author and reader don't actually care about.

There will probably be abilities which are specific, discrete, and well-defined; characters will have some set of these abilities.  They will get additional abilities over time, which will compliment a general kind of set of powers, leading towards a particular kind of archetype.  These abilities have limitations in the way they are used.  The constraints may be related to internal resources, or they may be linked to some kind of reset mechanic; maybe a character can fly for ten seconds, but has to stand on the ground in order to fly again.  There will likely be a concept of "health" which is independent of strict biological function.  The natural state of affairs in the world is a kind of fundamental balance between different things, and it is a noteworthy aberration if there's something which is strictly better than the alternatives.

Relating to this, the mechanics of the world are likely to operate on entirely different paradigms than those of physics.

These various things add up to a kind of world-building template with a lot of shared concepts, which make it relatively easy to write in / for, and makes it easy for readers to pick up stories set in universes with radically different rules from our own and immediately understand what is going on.  If I say a character is 25% fire resistant, the reader knows what that means, and it isn't something that needs to be questioned; it makes sense in the context of the template.

There's lots of options in the template; health-as-finite-immunity-to-damage, for example.  Now characters can take broadsword blows to the face, or get hit with massive fireballs, and keep fighting - and still be in danger from the next broadsword strike or fireball.

Re: Do all stories read like games on this site?

#8
Gamelit is a popular genre to write on this site, but it's far from universal. Personally, I write one litrpg and one standard fantasy story; much as I enjoy to read both genres I enjoy writing both.

I also believe that a lot of gamelit has been very badly underutilized, and that there are a lot of things which are just 'fantasy with numbers slapped on because it's cool' instead of truly exploring ways life would be different in a truly gamelike world, or a post-mortality virtual existence.

Re: Do all stories read like games on this site?

#9

aleksandergoski Wrote: Why does every story I try to read here sounds like it's about a character in a game? Is this whole website made for stories which read as RPG games? I just wanted to check, and sorry for sounding ignorant. I thought it was a website for writing in general, on any topic.
LitRpg has a surprising amount of people writing/reading it when I really went down into it in Royal Road. Don't worry about it too much, there are stories that aren't LitRPG (Like Descent, cough) and some of those are rather good too, namely Mother of Learning or For Irison.

Re: Do all stories read like games on this site?

#10

aleksandergoski Wrote: Why does every story I try to read here sounds like it's about a character in a game? Is this whole website made for stories which read as RPG games? I just wanted to check, and sorry for sounding ignorant. I thought it was a website for writing in general, on any topic.


Like others have mentioned, it's a particular style of book and one that, apparently, is rather popular on RR. However, it's not the only type of story on the site. Try using filter tags in the fiction search to find the type of stories that are more to your liking. If you still have trouble finding what you're looking for, try posting under the Recommendations area of the forum about what you're looking for and ask for suggestions. 

Re: Do all stories read like games on this site?

#11
Since others have already answered the question of why and what litRPG is, I will contribute by reaffirming that non-litRPG stories exist in pretty good numbers (my own included, in fact). Though I honestly agree with the sentiment that a lot of litRPG just applies numbers to fantasy without doing a whole lot else with it, my book club friends and I jumped into a published book of the genre and were actually quite interested in checking it out, but we were all pretty universally disappointed that the game aspect of the story ultimately didn't feel like it contributed much of anything.

That said, I have nothing against the genre overall aside from it just not being my thing, so it might be worth checking out more in-depth if you haven't already. And if you don't like it, I imagine the recommendations forum will be glad to point you in the right direction for other content as well as generally searching by genre.

Re: Do all stories read like games on this site?

#17

BridgerCampbellCannon Wrote: If you want the honest truth, I’ll probably end up removing my own story at some point because I just don’t think its genre will thrive in the demographics I’ve seen here.
If that happens, this site would have lost an amazing story. I am sorry to hear you're so discouraged. But whatever you think is best, all my best wishes to you and your stories regardless of your choice.

Re: Do all stories read like games on this site?

#18
I wonder how modern Isekai tropes compare to older escapist stories. The idea of a person from the 'real' world falling into some unexplored fantasy land has been around for a while now. Chronicles of Narnia and Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever both come to mind, but you could make an argument that most chosen one fantasy stories hinge on the same tropes too. 

I'd be willing to bet that the growth of LitRPG has a lot to do with the growth of video games in general. For a lot of authors, games and RPGs are one of their primary sources of entertainment, so it's natural to bring elements from those games into their stories. Only, instead of falling into a religious allegory, or an epic fantasy world, or finding the goblin around the corner, they're falling into a game. 

If I was still in school I'd seriously consider doing some analysis and research on this. Build a list of fall-into-fantasy stories, identify common tropes, maybe even timeline them out to compare to what other properties are popular at the time. Really give it a full Campbell treatment. 

Personally I've noticed that my reading and video game consumption tends to parallels itself. I went on a Louis L'Amour binge while playing Red Dead Redemption, and I find myself wanting to play Black Flag or Napoleon total war when reading Patrick O'Brian and CS Forester.