thread: 2014-07-19 : Aside: Designing a Bell Curve

On 2014-07-21, Vincent wrote:

Moreno: As you say on G+, a player's point of view vs a designer's. When someone tells me they had a bad time playing my game, I want to know what happened because I want to improve my work as a game designer.

If it turns out that they didn't play my game correctly, I have nothing to learn from them.

Everybody: "If you didn't have fun, you played the game wrong" is a problem in indie RPGs right now. It's actively holding people back, both players and designers. I don't usually call for cultural change, but here, I guess I kind of am!

It's antithetical to the important idea of the good game with a small audience. If you create a good game with a small audience, you should expect many of the people who play it, even play it correctly, to not enjoy it. That's part of what it means to have a small audience.

It mysticizes the idea of playing a game "right." Playing a game right should just mean following its procedures. Currently, unfortunately, it doesn't just mean that, it means following its procedures with somehow the attitude that the designer intended, or something.

Finally, it blocks and baffles the honest feedback that's possible from a player to a creator. If you play a game and don't enjoy it, and the people around you shout you down with "you must have played wrong," the creator loses the opportunity to learn.


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