Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
13 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Board Game Design

Subject: To pursue or not to pursue? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
nat tact
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So I made a game with the goal of making a gateway game that takes just 30 minutes to play and doesn't require any knowledge of modern games.

I goal of the game really was to share my hobby with my non hobby friends and family and some have gone on to become board gamers.

Here is the issue. The blind testing feed back is as follows,

Non-Gamers - I like this I would play it/buy it
Gamers 1 - I'd play this with my SO/non-gamer friends
Gamers 2 - Not enough depth for me. Have enough filler games.

So the questions is, is there an audience for this? Because non-gamers while having fun with it won't learn about it. Its too light for me or other hobbyist to really want to play.

That leaves the main audience of hobbyists who want to have an easy game to play with their friends, family or SO. Is that large enough or is it just another filler game?

In my opinion and what I put into the game were simplified mechanism that one could pick out and find games with a similar mechanism so it makes it less than a basic filler game but not quite an anytime game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dimitri Sirenko
Canada
Vancouver
BC
flag msg tools
The SO demographic is HUGE
however, from what I observed, the games that become the most popular with them are usually games that involve words or puzzles or something crude like drinking games. For example, cards against humanity. Every non gamer friend of mine knows that game and has played it at least once. I personally hate that game as the replayability is very low on it. But it is definitely enjoyed by the masses. So I might be wrong, but from my personal experience the non-gamers like very simplistic games that are hilarious or just really fun/funny. They don't really go for too much depth. Going back to your question, I do believe that the demographic amount of non-gamers far exceeds the more seasoned players, but i can definitely see how hard it would be to market such game to such a global scale.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken Lewis
United States
Cumming
Georgia
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
The market is there if the game is unique and enjoyable.

You shouldn't worry about making the game for a specific audience, you should just worry about making a fun game. If you try to appease a specific audience, you may wind up making design choices that don't suit the game which will make players question your design choices as they play.

I think a lot of games that are labled "gateway" games, weren't designed to be gateway games, they just happen to be games that work well in that role.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
matt tweedt
United States
flag msg tools
mbmb
I second what Ken said. You almost cannot truly intend to design a gateway game; it has to 'become' one by accident just like Rocky Horror 'became' a cult movie over time.

Stick to the basics and focus on a UNIQUE game that is simple and FUN. Ticket to Ride and Settlers both fall into this category but for different reasons. Fun is obvious, but simple is key. For every detail you add, you will lose another player, but that is fine. Thin out the heard just enough to make an interesting but fun game.

One of my favorite games for non-gamers is Guillotine because it is uber simple to learn, fun and funny and has lots of replay value. The card art doesn't hurt but the key is simple.

I honestly believe that with millennial's 8-second attention spans, simpler shorter games are going to make a bigger impact. Playing 2-3 short fun games in an evening has far more appeal than a longer one.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex Houghton
United States
Platteville
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
vwoommmmmm
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Pretty much agreed with the above posters. Don't worry too much about a certain demographic if it means making a game you won't like.

Regardless, if it helps give you ideas, Shut Up And Sit Down have a series of videos focused on reviewing games that hit that "sweet-spot" demographic you're talking about called The Opener.
Some examples from there are Love Letter, Gravwell, and Ultimate Werewolf.

https://www.shutupandsitdown.com/videos-page/

Click the "The Opener" tab to filter to just those videos.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
nat tact
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Tipple thanks for all the words! I'll watch that video!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeremy Lennert
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Giant_Monster wrote:
You shouldn't worry about making the game for a specific audience, you should just worry about making a fun game. If you try to appease a specific audience, you may wind up making design choices that don't suit the game which will make players question your design choices as they play.

I think a lot of games that are labled "gateway" games, weren't designed to be gateway games, they just happen to be games that work well in that role.

Judging from your number of thumbs, this is clearly popular advice. However, I'm not convinced.

A lot of people get into game design because they want to make games for themselves, and I think that's a fine thing for people to do.

But there are games on the market that were clearly designed for young children (think Candyland)--I have a hard time believing those were made by designers who were targeting themselves. And video games are often made by huge teams of people--it would be pretty startling if every person on a 100-man team was making the exact game they wanted to make.

Making something for yourself is a nice motivator, but I really don't think it's the only path to success. In fact, I suspect it's not even the best one.


I aim for my own preferences a lot, but I also worry that by doing so I'm being lazy. If I put in the time and effort to deeply understand a specific market segment, I suspect that would make me a better designer, not a worse one.

Partly because my own preferences might be idiosyncratic; some are likely common, but a few might be really rare, and maybe I shouldn't focus on those if I want my game to sell?

But also because people are surprisingly bad at describing what they want, and why should I be an exception to that rule? I've been designing games as long as I can remember, and I am still sometimes surprised at what games or game elements I do or don't enjoy. Looking back, at most points in my past, I haven't understood my own preferences as well as I thought I did, so odds are that I still don't.

I find it entirely plausible that thorough market research might allow me to design a game that I enjoy more. (Not that I've tried it to confirm...)


Part of what makes a game a "gateway" game is simply the fact that it's very popular, and I still think that extreme popularity has a lot to do with luck. But another part of being a "gateway" game is the target audience, and that part I suspect is absolutely intentional.
6 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dimitri Sirenko
Canada
Vancouver
BC
flag msg tools
Antistone wrote:
Giant_Monster wrote:
You shouldn't worry about making the game for a specific audience, you should just worry about making a fun game. If you try to appease a specific audience, you may wind up making design choices that don't suit the game which will make players question your design choices as they play.

I think a lot of games that are labled "gateway" games, weren't designed to be gateway games, they just happen to be games that work well in that role.

Judging from your number of thumbs, this is clearly popular advice. However, I'm not convinced.

A lot of people get into game design because they want to make games for themselves, and I think that's a fine thing for people to do.

But there are games on the market that were clearly designed for young children (think Candyland)--I have a hard time believing those were made by designers who were targeting themselves. And video games are often made by huge teams of people--it would be pretty startling if every person on a 100-man team was making the exact game they wanted to make.

Making something for yourself is a nice motivator, but I really don't think it's the only path to success. In fact, I suspect it's not even the best one.


I aim for my own preferences a lot, but I also worry that by doing so I'm being lazy. If I put in the time and effort to deeply understand a specific market segment, I suspect that would make me a better designer, not a worse one.

Partly because my own preferences might be idiosyncratic; some are likely common, but a few might be really rare, and maybe I shouldn't focus on those if I want my game to sell?

But also because people are surprisingly bad at describing what they want, and why should I be an exception to that rule? I've been designing games as long as I can remember, and I am still sometimes surprised at what games or game elements I do or don't enjoy. Looking back, at most points in my past, I haven't understood my own preferences as well as I thought I did, so odds are that I still don't.

I find it entirely plausible that thorough market research might allow me to design a game that I enjoy more. (Not that I've tried it to confirm...)


Part of what makes a game a "gateway" game is simply the fact that it's very popular, and I still think that extreme popularity has a lot to do with luck. But another part of being a "gateway" game is the target audience, and that part I suspect is absolutely intentional.



yeah i was gonna say that too. I think demographics are important in any game production, be it video or board games. Demographics allow you to make good choices concerning every detail of your game including but not limited to game design, complexity of mechanics, artwork style theme and subject matter, and game theme overall. Also it's important to recognize what kind of people your game will appeal to most even if you did not take demographics into account when finalizing your project. If you are into fantasy battle games and your game ends up having a lot of those elements then you should be aware that the people that will enjoy your game will most likely be people like you who are of similar background, age, sex, gaming experience, etc. Also knowing your customer allows you to market the game more efficiently. So i do not completely agree that "make a fun game and don't worry about anything else" is always the best approach.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken Lewis
United States
Cumming
Georgia
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
Antistone wrote:
Giant_Monster wrote:
You shouldn't worry about making the game for a specific audience, you should just worry about making a fun game. If you try to appease a specific audience, you may wind up making design choices that don't suit the game which will make players question your design choices as they play.

I think a lot of games that are labled "gateway" games, weren't designed to be gateway games, they just happen to be games that work well in that role.

Judging from your number of thumbs, this is clearly popular advice. However, I'm not convinced.

A lot of people get into game design because they want to make games for themselves, and I think that's a fine thing for people to do.

But there are games on the market that were clearly designed for young children (think Candyland)--I have a hard time believing those were made by designers who were targeting themselves. And video games are often made by huge teams of people--it would be pretty startling if every person on a 100-man team was making the exact game they wanted to make.

Making something for yourself is a nice motivator, but I really don't think it's the only path to success. In fact, I suspect it's not even the best one.


I aim for my own preferences a lot, but I also worry that by doing so I'm being lazy. If I put in the time and effort to deeply understand a specific market segment, I suspect that would make me a better designer, not a worse one.

Partly because my own preferences might be idiosyncratic; some are likely common, but a few might be really rare, and maybe I shouldn't focus on those if I want my game to sell?

But also because people are surprisingly bad at describing what they want, and why should I be an exception to that rule? I've been designing games as long as I can remember, and I am still sometimes surprised at what games or game elements I do or don't enjoy. Looking back, at most points in my past, I haven't understood my own preferences as well as I thought I did, so odds are that I still don't.

I find it entirely plausible that thorough market research might allow me to design a game that I enjoy more. (Not that I've tried it to confirm...)


Part of what makes a game a "gateway" game is simply the fact that it's very popular, and I still think that extreme popularity has a lot to do with luck. But another part of being a "gateway" game is the target audience, and that part I suspect is absolutely intentional.


I didn't say the game should be designed for oneself. I was implying that you should do what is best for the design of the game and not worry about the role it will fill, at least not until it is finished.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dimitri Sirenko
Canada
Vancouver
BC
flag msg tools
Giant_Monster wrote:
Antistone wrote:
Giant_Monster wrote:
You shouldn't worry about making the game for a specific audience, you should just worry about making a fun game. If you try to appease a specific audience, you may wind up making design choices that don't suit the game which will make players question your design choices as they play.

I think a lot of games that are labled "gateway" games, weren't designed to be gateway games, they just happen to be games that work well in that role.

Judging from your number of thumbs, this is clearly popular advice. However, I'm not convinced.

A lot of people get into game design because they want to make games for themselves, and I think that's a fine thing for people to do.

But there are games on the market that were clearly designed for young children (think Candyland)--I have a hard time believing those were made by designers who were targeting themselves. And video games are often made by huge teams of people--it would be pretty startling if every person on a 100-man team was making the exact game they wanted to make.

Making something for yourself is a nice motivator, but I really don't think it's the only path to success. In fact, I suspect it's not even the best one.


I aim for my own preferences a lot, but I also worry that by doing so I'm being lazy. If I put in the time and effort to deeply understand a specific market segment, I suspect that would make me a better designer, not a worse one.

Partly because my own preferences might be idiosyncratic; some are likely common, but a few might be really rare, and maybe I shouldn't focus on those if I want my game to sell?

But also because people are surprisingly bad at describing what they want, and why should I be an exception to that rule? I've been designing games as long as I can remember, and I am still sometimes surprised at what games or game elements I do or don't enjoy. Looking back, at most points in my past, I haven't understood my own preferences as well as I thought I did, so odds are that I still don't.

I find it entirely plausible that thorough market research might allow me to design a game that I enjoy more. (Not that I've tried it to confirm...)


Part of what makes a game a "gateway" game is simply the fact that it's very popular, and I still think that extreme popularity has a lot to do with luck. But another part of being a "gateway" game is the target audience, and that part I suspect is absolutely intentional.


I didn't say the game should be designed for oneself. I was implying that you should do what is best for the design of the game and not worry about the role it will fill, at least not until it is finished.



i think that depends.. i dont think either way is wrong. I just know it's good to keep demographics in mind at all times but of course not make it thee most important thing about your game you know
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeremy Lennert
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Giant_Monster wrote:
I didn't say the game should be designed for oneself. I was implying that you should do what is best for the design of the game and not worry about the role it will fill, at least not until it is finished.

How does that work? If you have specific design goals, then you can say that a particular design does a better or worse job of meeting those goals. I'm not sure what it means for something to be "best for the design" if you don't have any goals at all.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
nat tact
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the feed back everyone! I guess since I've been working on the game for a little over a year I'm just kind of sick of it. It's kind of like telling the same joke over and over.

For what it is the game does what I want, it is easy to learn, fast but not too fast, light but not too light, and offers enough space for not worthless expansions.

But I guess I disagree with the idea that game design should be made for your entertainment. I know a lot of people who are working on games that are outside their design abilities so it never gets done or the game is broken.

When I started designing the game I wanted to simply make a game that fit our design skills. The reason why I am thinking about pursuing it is because people enjoy it enough to want to play it, which is cool.

Now I have more design experience and have a near finished game that is right up my ally but it is missing something...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken Lewis
United States
Cumming
Georgia
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
Antistone wrote:
Giant_Monster wrote:
I didn't say the game should be designed for oneself. I was implying that you should do what is best for the design of the game and not worry about the role it will fill, at least not until it is finished.

How does that work? If you have specific design goals, then you can say that a particular design does a better or worse job of meeting those goals. I'm not sure what it means for something to be "best for the design" if you don't have any goals at all.


I didn't say don't have goals, I am trying to say don't have rigid goals that can't be changed.

In other words, if you decided you wanted to create a kid's game, but while you were developing it, you got some ideas that makes the game come together really well, but those ideas make the game too complex to be a kids game. Do you toss the ideas aside for the rigid goal of creating a kid's game, or do you just wait and see what possibilities the new direction opens up?

I will always choose to see where the design process takes me instead of trying to stick to a rigid set of goals. That is what I mean by "best for the design".

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.