Audience Targeting

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by Helladen, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. Helladen

    Helladen Deviant Designer Veteran

    Messages:
    635
    Likes Received:
    184
    Location:
    United States of America
    First Language:
    English
    This is a quick debate thread about how to properly target your said audience.

    I believe a few things that some people said aren't entirely true. Even though it is the right thing to be done in a certain circumstance, it is not always the case to do it.

    A few things I would like to address in this thread are how to properly target your said audience, and I believe great targeting is reaching beyond what your game originally was supposed to target. Let me explain my reasoning behind this, if you look at DotA the game was designed for hardcore gamers, but if you look at LoL the game is designed for a casual MOBA audience and is much more successful. This shows that you should never target the hardcore audience, and if you do add in things for them - don't make the entire game completely designed for them. World of Warcraft has completely catered to casual for this very reason.

    Most people that play game nowadays are casual gamers, so you need to take this into consideration when designing your game, and just because your game may be designed for a specific audience doesn't mean you should only target the game around the people in your community or obtained from people around several communities - like here for instance. Just because a specific audience likes something more, doesn't mean it isn't possible to make the casual audience more attracted to it.

    You should research game design and try to make mechanisms easy to understand and figure it out on your own, because feedback can be bad in certain circumstances, and you should still listen to feedback but look at both sides in order to clearly know how you want to design your game. Although, this doesn't mean your game has to be dull and boring, but it is good to make the game as easy to learn as possible.

    Let me know how you all feel about this. :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2012
    #1
  2. Necromus

    Necromus Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    490
    Likes Received:
    61
    Location:
    Germany
    First Language:
    German
    The internet definition is completely screwed right now.

    Casual means not playing a lot, internet sees it as beeing a bad player.

    Just because you don't have the time to play a lot, or simply just don't do it (in terms of MMO's) doesn't mean you're bad, or need everything dumbed down for you.

    It's not like really good LoL players are any less skilled than good DotA players, it has nothing to do with beeing casual, not at all.

    You will always need a certain dedication to get good in something, no matter how much time you actually spend.

    Creating a game that appeals to all kinds of people, would mean having a rather shallow learning curve, but a lot of optional challenges.

    If you don't have a lot of time to play, you will still enjoy the game, if you want a challenge (as in something like optional bosses, complex puzzles and the like) you will also have something.

    WoW is pretty much the best example of both worlds. Quite a lot of things you c an do if you don't have a lot time on your hands, challenging heroic raiding if you want a challange.

    However casual has nothing to do with beeing unable to complete heroic raids (challenges). I for example did nothing else than raiding in WoW, having a playtime of nothing more than 9 hours a week.

    My playtime is casual, that doesn't mean i'm bad tho.
     
    #2
  3. Helladen

    Helladen Deviant Designer Veteran

    Messages:
    635
    Likes Received:
    184
    Location:
    United States of America
    First Language:
    English
    Yes, I was saying casual as not much time to learn the game - not being bad.

    If you look at DotA it has a huge learning curve compared to LoL, and it is a huge turn off for a lot of people that don't want to put the time and effort to learn the game inside out.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2012
    #3
  4. Necromus

    Necromus Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    490
    Likes Received:
    61
    Location:
    Germany
    First Language:
    German
    Well like i said, you need to have elements to appeal both sides in your game.

    Tho "hardcore" in terms of normal RPG's doesn't really exist. Compared to good selling RPG's nowadays, everything would be hardcore, since most of them hardly offer any real challenge.

    Older RPG's were much harder, hardest recent games would SMT or Persona games.

    Start your difficulty low, raise it to mid-high until the end of the story, offer high-really high through optional content and give the player things to do aside from the story.

    No minigames or a story on rails aren't what you should aim for imo.
     
    #4
  5. OceansDream

    OceansDream Resident foodmonster Restaff

    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    203
    Location:
    NY
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RM2k3
    Most of us are making free games, we don't necessarily need to reach "The most players possible". If you want to make a really hardcore game that appeals to a few hardcore players, well why not? You aren't getting profits off of it. I suppose if you really want to learn how to commercialize it you can probably think in that way. Sometimes you can do things that won't harm or change your design (Like if your game is generally easy but you have some tough optional encounters around), but there's a whole world of things we can do with our games and we don't need to follow in the footsteps of professional games. We can make a totally weird game that maybe most people will scratch their heads but a few will love it. I actually think this is sort of a failing of RPG Maker VX/Ace games nowadays. We're just trying to play catch up with Professional games (oh I need FF13 menu script with FFX battle system script and Persona dating sim script) that we aren't using our creative drive! Make weird games if you want, make games that you think are fun without having to sacrifice your design or "make it easy" for the masses. If you don't have to sacrifice your design, simply make additions, then that would be ok. It's not so much bad to learn about (I'm totally for learning new things) but trying to make your game appeal to EVERYONE is likely just gonna water it down too much for anyone to actually really enjoy.

    There are articles on this that I can post when I'm not in a rush that are actually fairly good and it IS good to think about, but I always wanted to bring the counter argument as well. For example, some people like to explore, some people like story, some people are grind happy and number lovers, some people are big collectors, some people love to prove themselves, some people don't have free time, some people have too much free time, blah blah. If I find what I'm looking for later on it I'll post it. Remember, we're making mostly making free games here, there is no extra profit to be made if 3000 people download or if 4000 do. I am totally for quality games, I'm not saying every game should be an acid trip either. I just don't think a person should make all of their design decisions around "must get everyone in the world to play this".
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2012
    #5
    Knightmare, Helladen, Onkei69 and 2 others like this.
  6. Levi

    Levi Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    798
    Likes Received:
    143
    First Language:
    English
    @OceansDream

    *Slow Clap*

    Haha, well put.

    Yeah... really... don't even worry about demographics or anything like that. Big AAA publishers, with tens of millions of dollars on the line, worry about stuff like that. Indie Developer's shouldn't, in my opinion. I feel that you should let the audience find you, not the other way around. If you don't start a game with that mindset it'll hurt you in the long-run.

    It's like artists who just make music that sells. It can be trite, and have no real personal significance.... but they don't care because it's a product to them. Don't think of your game as products... even if they'll be a product. Of course you don't want to go all out crazy, and throw quality aside... but what I'm saying is that you shouldn't worry too much about it. Hardcore, casual... who cares? Just make a super sweet game.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2012
    #6
    Helladen likes this.
  7. Helladen

    Helladen Deviant Designer Veteran

    Messages:
    635
    Likes Received:
    184
    Location:
    United States of America
    First Language:
    English
    Thanks, that was great information.

    I think I am only going to make the tutorials to suite as many people as possible, but keep the game how I want it. At-least then you can get them interested in how you designed the game slowly, instead of giving it to them all at once and overwhelming them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2012
    #7
    Levi likes this.
  8. llraven

    llraven Villager Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    First Language:
    Filipino
    I believe that having a target audience is important in making video games. Having a target will allow you to limit or expand your features depending on the target's learning curve and capability to adapt to game mechanics. If you're having a tough time figuring that out then it is good to target an audience that is close to you or your friends.

    I think it is best to assess what kind of gamer you are and start listing the games that you have played so far, list down the features that you like in each of those games, assess those features that you think would appeal not only to you but to others as well and if it could work well with other game players of your category. If there is uncertainty about those features then collaborate on them, do brainstorming if you are working on a team, and if there is still uncertainty after all that then the best thing that you can do is to test that feature on a live audience with a play-test of the feature. This will make things easy but does not necessarily mean that it will sell like hotcakes as the video game market is huge and diverse.

    I think it is commercially sound to target a bigger audience like in the current trend, the casual gaming market. It is a huge market and there is also diversity in these audience that even if you tap into a margin of 6-10% of this market, it would still be profitable if you are an indie developer. What made this decade so different from the last decades of the video game industry is that the market is huge unlike before where the developers only had the hardcore players to target.

    I also believe that timing is also important when targeting the audience. Let's move out of RPG Maker for a bit and look into the video game industry. There are instances where they target the hardcore gamers and the target the casual audience at certain times of the year. Now ask yourself when does this happen? Well, I'll leave that for the developers to answer. :D
     
    #8

Share This Page