thread: 2011-01-25 : Social Context and Design Scales

On 2011-01-26, Vincent wrote:

Marco: (a) Sure! Drop a link here, if that's what you decide to do.

(b) Oh, sure, go ahead.

But, without having seen your points, I bet I'm not even saying what you'd object to.

Here's what I'm saying, for instance: some people want a tightly-focused game with clear boundaries and mission statement; some don't. If you design a tightly-focused game with clear boundaries and mission statement, but expect people who don't want that to seize upon it, you've misjudged your target audience. (Same for every other possible design variable.)

If I hope to reach a million typical gamers with my game, I'd BETTER design a game that (a) fits into their lives, and (b) gives them something (or somethings) that they want and respond to. I can't expect to reach them by giving them what, like, I WISH they wanted, or what I think they SHOULD want, or a game that they don't recognize as a game, or can't figure out how to play, or don't WANT to play, or can't find friends to play with.

So that's all I'm saying about target audiences. I'm pretty sure it's well-founded! I think the idea of "I want everybody everywhere to like this game!" vs "I want Meg and people like her to like this game!" vs "I want people who had my same love-hate relationship with Shadowrun to like this game!" vs "I want to steal D&D's entire audience!" is a legit one.

I'm pretty sure that the idea of "if you really hope to reach the audience you hope to reach, you'd better start by designing a game they'll want and play" holds more-or-less universally across rpg designs too. The exceptions would be games that can reach people without fitting into those people's lives or giving them any of the things they want. I can't see there being many!

I may be pre-misguessing your objections, though, so I'm going to stop now.


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