Getting Your Values Straight
To follow-up on my previous posting, it’s important to remember that a game with mass-market appeal, can still be a great game. An important part of what I do as a game designer, is the ability to not just know what is fun for myself, but to know what is fun for other people. Can you create a game that you don’t find challenging, but your target market will? Can you create a game that provides a playing experience that your grandmother would rather have, than yourself? In my opinion, you need to be able to answer ‘Yes’ to these questions in order to be a versatile designer.
As I had mentioned in my previous posting, there are several types of games I would absolutely love to see designed and created. With that said, I’m completely aware that the feasibility of these products simply are not there. I may love my baseball GM simulator, business sims, and point n click adventures, but the fact is that consumers (including even myself) seem to love their sports games, first person shooters, and party games. If I were designing a baseball game for myself, I would love to see the ability to demote and promote prospects through various levels (careful not to run out of options!) and participate in the rule 5 draft. The fact is though, you don’t always get to design games for yourself. Sometimes, you design games for people who want to take their Wii Remote, swing for the fences, and hit a home run that causes the scoreboard to explode.
It’s important to know your market and be aware that you’re not the only one who plays games. Always be aware of your market and, most importantly, make a game that’s fun. Just because you don’t always like what your market likes, doesn’t mean you can’t understand them and give them what they want. To the ‘hardcore gamer’, grab a copy of that ‘casual game’ that’s been dominating the sales charts and give it a play. You’ll better understand the direction that games are heading, and who knows, you may even have fun.