I too was fooled by the slash in Medieval / Fantasy genre, suggesting it contains both, while the description says it's only about swords&sorcery.
Where do we put games like XIII Century or 1066 which do not contain magic etc. and have firm historical setting?
This goes beyond requesting a huge group Setting: Medieval Europe (and I know some people will object as it spans approx. 10 centuries and it's boundaries aren't set in stone). What's worse, "Medieval / Fantasy" now lists over 4000 games, at least hundreds of them should be removed and put into that new group (eg: Castles II).
There's "historical battle (specific/exact)" for a very restricted number of games. Those that have no fantasy elements but aren't based on specific moments in history (or can't exactly be said to focus on battles)... good point.
My understanding was that medieval / fantasy includes either too.
Edit: Hm, looking at the genre description again, my understanding's still the same. Where did you see that it must include fantasy?
Says "Supernatural elements (e.g. wizards, monsters, demons, etc.) are very frequently represented in games with this setting. Many such games treat their European medieval roots very loosely, and may include steampunk, modern-day, or even light sci-fi elements, mostly focusing on the "fantasy" part of the setting."
That's "frequently", "many" and "mostly", hardly always. Mount&Blade is listed as medieval/fantasy and I don't think it's fantasy (or is it?).
"Drawing inspiration from the Middle Ages in Europe", not "it's set roughly during the Middle Ages in Europe". But let us not argue about the wording. One way or another, it would be bad to throw in together both fantasy and history-based material. We use groups for wars/settings, so this genre should be like sci-fi - solely about fantasy stuff.
Not every single game set during a historical period deals with exact battle.
Historyline wargame is firmly set during the World War 1 (equipment, war timeline etc.), yet "Historical Battle (specific/exact)" should be removed, as no particular historical battle (map, order of battle) is presented. See the difference? "Wolfenstein 3D" is set during the World War 2, but it's pure fiction. Compare to V for Victory: Market-Garden.
Same goes for other games. There can be a generic game with Euro-medieval setting (and no "sorcery" or steampunk), but not tied to particular battle. So neither "medieval/fantasy", nor "historical battle" but only "game group: medieval Europe". Say, Defender of the Crown?
Now that you mentioned sci-fi, was wondering where futuristic fantasy (say, any Star Wars) would fit.
We could also argue where is the border between regular sci-fi and "dark" one (cyberpunk). Or about any other non-medieval fantasy. But we don't want to derail this thread, do we?
Bottom line: putting "sword&sorcery" with "euro-medieval" in one bag is bad idea, adding them to "historical battle" doesn't solve the issue either. We need another option. What's the problem with my solution (adding a group)?
A group is the way to go. Look at how many "Genre" and "Setting" groups we already have, which are a necessity as long as the genre system doesn't get some sort of overhaul. Leaving non-fantasy games in the Medieval/Fantasy genre would just clutter it.
But Star Wars takes place a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away 8)
Science fiction = Futuristic fantasy. Though if you were to google futuristic fantasy, I'm pretty sure many results will refer to sci-fi based porn. :p
Tentacle prophets. Now there's an idea. Ewww.
Medieval with no fantasy, nor is it a historical battle (fiction). Vanilla version apparently isn't really worth playing after I tried the Prophesy of Pendor mod.
Middle Ages (or pejoratively: Dark Ages) was a period of European history spanning from Vth to XVth century AD/CE (roughly from the fall of the Western Roman Empire till the beginning of the Renaissance and the age of exploration). Feudal lords with their retainers and serfs, knights dueling in tournaments, birth of heraldry, dominance of the Christian faith, military religious orders, holy crusades and crusader states in the Middle East, Reconquista, Black Death pandemic, the Viking menace, Romanesque architecture and later gothic - with its impressive cathedrals ornamented with stained glass and frescos, tapestries and illuminated manuscripts, monumental castles and siege warfare, introduction of gunpowder.
For other other parts of the world during this period, use the following groups:
See also: English Wikipedia article
Now, it's easy to pick out those Middle-Earth and Warhammer stuff - fictional worlds. What about history+fantasy? My favorite example would be Darklands. Nobody can disprove that it's set in medieval Europe - heck, I can even visit the city I live! But it also features mythical creatures, alchemy etc. I'd say it should be both in "medieval Europe" group and in "medieval fantasy" genre.
I think most of the other historical groups have games with fantasy elements. No reason why this one should be handled differently.
True, but it would be still nice to have a medieval Europe group without any fictional element.
(Edited by Giu's Brain (468), Nov 01, 2012)Re: Setting: Medieval Europe
Giu's Brain (468), Nov 01, 2012
Not that my opinion is going to make a difference, but I can't understand for the life of me why one would put a fantasy game in a 'medieval' setting in the same category with a game that's placed in the historical Middle Ages.
I know that for some people the distinction may be blurry and that when you say "medieval" you might think of dragons and sorcerers, but in literature you would hardly place a historical novel like The Pillars of the Earth in the same category as George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novels. Nor in film would you create a category for both The Lord of the Rings or Eragon and Braveheart or The Story of Joan of Arc.
A game that is placed in a fictional realm like Tamriel or Middle-Earth is quite obviously in a 'medieval' style setting or at least incorporates some common elements from Medieval Europe and it's folklore; but that's strictly fantasy. A game that is placed in a real-world location, during the Middle Ages, and clearly incorporates no fantasy elements should belong to a "Setting: Medieval Europe" group, but not to a fantasy group. Something like Darklands, which takes place in the Holy Roman Empire, but also has fantasy elements, should belong to both groups.
You might also have games that are placed in a fictional location, which is supposed to be part of 'the real world' during the Middle Ages; I'd say that still classifies as "Setting: Medieval Europe". I can't think of a game right now, but a good example would be the film 'The Princess Bride': it takes place in the fictional kingdoms of Florin and Guilder, but it references many real world locations (you've got characters that are Spanish, Sicilian and Turkish, for example) and is clearly supposed to be somewhere in Medieval Europe. Oh, while I was writing this I found out that they actually made a game out of this film.
That's it, these are more or less independent criteria. Which is why I agree that the situation is a prime example on why the genre system would need to be overhauled... the game groups solution will just explode exponentially.
For what it's worth, in my own database I have "game world qualifiers" that describe such things. There is one set of qualifiers that determine more or less if, how truly, and in what way a game is based on reality: historic, alternate history, fictional history, future fiction; and then more or less independently: realistic, pseudo-realistic, naturalistic fantasy, or all-out fantasy. Games that are at least somewhat based on the real world and real-world history can then be further qualified with specific time periods (or even years/events). I must say that so far I found it a very flexible and encompassing system.
The system you're describing is pretty much what I'd envisage as an adequate (actually pretty much ideal) method of categorizing the various settings you encounter in games; this is also, in my opinion, very important when you describe a game as a whole. It would make searching for games set in specific types of settings a hell of a lot easier that it is today.
Unfortunately, while I haven't been on this site that long, I realize it's something that's unlikely to happen due to the limited, nearly non-existing backing this site 'enjoys' from its owner. Probably game categories is the only halfway decent compromise that the approvers have at their disposal... and I won't say anything more since this subject has most likely already been discussed to death on the forum and between the approvers themselves.
The bottom line, as far as I'm concerned, when it comes to the medieval/fantasy discussion is that they're two 'independent criteria', as you've called them. You can use one or both to describe a game, but they don't imply each other. It's not medieval therefore fantasy, or vice-versa :P
Thanks to indefatigable Sciere the group is online:
Setting: Medieval Europe
I went thorugh those 4000 fantasy games, corrections pending. To my surprise I've overestimated the number of medieval games, my first batch of obvious titles is ~50. Year range and maps of Europe are a dead giveaway. There are two dozens of titles I'm not sure of, sometimes because we lack screens/covers, sometimes because some magic may be at play. Anyone who knows these games is free to add them to this group provided they meet the criteria:
Murder in the Abbey / The Abbey (Director's Cut)
Anno 1404 series
The Guild series
FireFly Studios' Stronghold 3
Medieval Lords: Build, Defend, Expand
The First Templar
What about Defender of the Crown?
(Edited by Giu's Brain (468), Nov 02, 2012)Re: Medieval Europe group: online
Giu's Brain (468), Nov 02, 2012
So games which are set in Medieval Europe, but aren't "realistic" (they feature magic, monsters) won't be included here?
I ask because I see Bladestorm: The Hundred Years' War has been submitted to the group despite the fact I'm pretty sure it features magicians as units in the game.
Oh, I missed it, as we don't have screenshots for this game.
That was supposed to be my next post: what about games which have historical setting, with a touch of magic?
Conqueror: A.D. 1086 -- map of England, XIth century, yet... there's a dragon quest!
Polanie - "Warcraft" in VIIth century Poland, warlocks included
King Arthur & Camelot have their own group and rightly so, as they can't be traced to a place or decade.
I've checked Bladestorm and apparently the magicians are supposed to be alchemists, but since they have attacks like Lightning Strike or Fireball... that's magic any day of the week. :)
Also some of the non-magical units can still have special attacks that are basically err... magical. So magic isn't an important aspect of the game, but it's there.
Personally I'd include games that have some 'magic' as long the setting is clearly Medieval Europe.
Robin Hood? Best to leave his group as a subset of this one, methinks.
La Abadía del Crimen?
Although Sherwood Forest & Nottingham exist and crusades timeline is perfectly fine, I too wondered if Robin should be confined to his own group.
Still, he's only a guest star in Defender of the Crown, which has a whole map of England?
I'd make a few exceptions allowing Medieval Europe AND fantasy genre.
There is also a short mention of King Richard being the last king (murdered) in DotC. The setting is more like the Ivanhoe story I think.
Problem is the criteria of which medieval includes. In my head, any bloke in knight armor wielding a 2 handed sword would qualify. Historians would probably roll their eyes in disgust. Though I suspect on a historically ignorant level, the prior assumption would suffice. Medieval Europe would probably be around 12th-16th century or any time before and the early stages of the Renaissance.
Should also consider the content of medieval: does a single scenario of fantasy qualify or disqualify inclusion/exclusion. Etc.
Indra was here Wrote:
Isn't the general consensus that in Europe the Classical era ended and the Medieval era began when Odoacer forced Romulus Augustulus to abdicate and became King of Italy, thus ending hundreds of years of empire. I'd say 476 is a good guideline for the start of the Middle Ages, though the end is harder to define, seeing as the Renaissance spread more as a wave through Europe.
*reading Middle Ages on wikipedia*
Most likely my bad in confusing medieval with the idea of knighthood chivalry. This would mean several games that include late forms of a declining Roman civilization to be included. My idea of medieval is Sword of Aragon and anything from J.R.R. Tolkien so what do I know? :p
I know that at least some historians use the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, marking the demise of the last surviving remnant of the (Eastern) Roman Empire, as the end of the Middle Ages. It does strike me as rather arbitrary, but at least it's a clear cut date as opposed to saying that the Middle Ages ended when the Renaissance began, since there's no exact date to mark the beginning of the Renaissance.
By that time, though, we were nearing the end of the Middle Ages in the West. The Eastern Roman Empire never really experienced the Middle Ages in the "castles and feudalism" way it's remembered in the West.