How to Market a Game with Weird Gameplay

Discussion in 'Commercial Games Discussion' started by Pierman Walter, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. Pierman Walter

    Pierman Walter Chunk Monster Veteran

    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    228
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
    I sometimes run into issues explaining to other people exactly what my game IS. After losing a ton of work after the laptop with RPGM VX Ace died, my programmer now wants to port everything into JavaScript. Because of this, the normal RPG Maker battle system has slowly morphed into an Educational Turn-based FPS thing that is impossible to describe without sounding like something no sane person would play. Any advice on how to make it appear more appealing?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2016
    #1
    Canini likes this.
  2. taarna23

    taarna23 Marshmallow Princess Global Mod

    Messages:
    2,349
    Likes Received:
    4,630
    Location:
    Saskatoon, SK, Canada
    First Language:
    English
    Well, if you can't describe it to us, we surely can't describe it to you. In this case, screenshots and videos are your friends. Make 'em good, and not "look at this field I'm standing in" kind of screenies.
     
    #2
    Alexander Amnell likes this.
  3. Tsukihime

    Tsukihime Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    8,230
    Likes Received:
    3,067
    Location:
    Toronto
    First Language:
    English
    W



    Well, is it fun? Or interesting?


    Cause if your statement is accurate, then what you're asking is how to make something that is unappealing, more appealing.
     
    #3
  4. chungsie

    chungsie Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    645
    Likes Received:
    845
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
    ummm. I am not sane, and I don't mind playing many types of games... I mean, something like what you're describing is easily changed with Ace to my knowledge, just would require some more resources such as graphics. I don't really understand by how you mean that Ace's combat system is educational.... like in testing and learning strategy? because a lot of battle engines for games are that way, you can't just decide to play every battle the same everytime, or it would not be fun in the end.


    but seriously, I am legally not sane, and what you said insulted me a little.... there is a lot of stigma with mental handicaps.


    I recommend learning to apply words to what you mean about your game. perhaps some reading would improve your grammar and word knowledge enough to know how to describe it. Even my game was difficult for me to describe, but with enough patience, I was able to give a decent representative description to it.
     
    #4
  5. Pierman Walter

    Pierman Walter Chunk Monster Veteran

    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    228
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
    To be honest, the game right now is totally terrible, with most of the sprites and menus being placeholders, most things glitching like mad, and the rest of it still conceptual. Although that needs to be dealt with, it is not my most pressing issue, though. Even if every element is implemented perfectly, I still can't explain the combat system without making it sound super geeky and weird. I'm pretty sure there is no audience for this type of game at all. 


    There are several characters who are capable of using explosives. In order to do so, select the option from the battle menu. A pregenerated fill in the blanks stoichiochemistry equation like this covers the screen: 


    4.03 MJ =(         ) g  x (        )mol (         )/(         )g. x  (         )kJ/(         )mol


    To successfully explode an enemy, each blank must be filled in correctly to balance the equation. If the explosion is too weak, it has little effect. If it is too strong, you risk hurting yourself and also waste precious explosives. The equation varies depending on enemy type, type of explosive, and conditions of battlefield. Necessary information, such as molar mass of explosives, can be gathered from instruction books given to you or scattered around the map. You still have to do the math by yourself. However, there is one character who fills out every blank instantly when selected, due to his extreme fondness of math and explosions. Currently, this barely functions, due to a glitch that sometimes generates an equation with a negative outcome, causing the enemy to die instantly. Still working on that. 


    Combined with other things, such as stats like Electrical Resistance, Temperature, Ignition/Melting Point, Density, Viral Immunity, Radiation Resistance, etc., the game is shaping up to be an incomprehensible nerd wall. I could always change it, but we were somehow able to make body temperature an actual game mechanic, dammit, and I'm too stubborn to throw all that work away.


    Also @chungsie I didn't intend to insult you, and I am sorry. I'll try to pay attention to what I write from now on.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2016
    #5
    kaukusaki likes this.
  6. chungsie

    chungsie Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    645
    Likes Received:
    845
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
    why not add an auto feature to the formula answers? like auto-max/auto-safe/auto-min? that way even if the player forgets the proper entries, they can still use it reasonably to their desired effect.


    It sounds like you are playing into a personal knowledge. Honestly, I took chemistry and was never able to balance an equation, no matter what youtube lecture I saw or how my friends would explain it.


    This does remind me of an attempt I had once to make an OS that replaced binary expressions with genetic code gathered from Pub Med directory of genome sequences :p  but in that case the user was not expected to know chemistry, the OS did all the hard work for the user.


    There is always a market for any idea. 


    I think you have a nice idea for a game, i would describe it as a user-interfacing adjustable combat system.
     
    #6
    kaukusaki and Pierman Walter like this.
  7. Pierman Walter

    Pierman Walter Chunk Monster Veteran

    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    228
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
    I like your idea of an auto feature, and an attack that still might hit if some parts are missing or wrong. However, my main issue still isn't solved. "User-interfacing adjustable combat system" is even harder to explain than "Educational turn-based FPS".
     
    #7
  8. chungsie

    chungsie Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    645
    Likes Received:
    845
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
    it means: the User inputs information into a predetermined formula (user-interface) which can be determined using information collected in game (adjustable) for the use of implementing explosives onto the field of combat (combat system).


    whereas: the player learns from information gathered throughout the game world (educational) and makes combative decisions in sequence with enemies (turned-based) through the immediate PoV of the party or player-character (FPS).
     
    #8
  9. Tsukihime

    Tsukihime Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    8,230
    Likes Received:
    3,067
    Location:
    Toronto
    First Language:
    English


    Rather than trying to find a term to categorize your battle system, you can simply opt for a "unique battle system" where you need to apply you knowledge of making explosives.


    People can watch the video and then decide for themselves what they want to call it.


    You do not have to focus on education unless that is what your intention is. Just be wary that some people will see "education game" and move on.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2016
    #9
  10. Canini

    Canini Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    980
    Likes Received:
    651
    First Language:
    Swedish
    If you could get a short video in this thread to show us it would be great. I have quite a hard time visualising how all this works. But it sounds interesting and could have potential, I thinnk.
     
    #10
  11. RishigangiX

    RishigangiX Professional Procrastinator Veteran

    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    116
    First Language:
    English
    Don't worry, majority of the people on the steam gaming community are not sane, myself included.


    Instead of worrying too much on taglines, I would suggest that if you want your game to get more attention on these commercial platforms, your main focus should be the trailer video and the primary icon.


    The trailer of your game is your main marketting tool, and it should be well utilized to show the "weird" gameplay that you are talking about. Many people on steam make whimsical decisions based only on your trailer and screenshots, especially when it comes to greenlighting.
     
    #11
  12. Wookiee420

    Wookiee420 Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    131
    Location:
    Colorado
    First Language:
    English
    IMO this sounds super interesting but also super alienating (for lack of better word, brain doesnt always work). Would someone not into chemistry/math even want to figure out formulas? What if you replaced it with text when applicable? Rather than asking for weights and numbers for different types of explosives you do it where its something like (i'm no expert though) TNT/C4/Plastic/Boom Juice; high power, med power, low power; lot of it, less, even less; material the casing made out of (pipe, plastic, metal, etc); type of ignition...etc that type of thing......i think numbers would alienate a large number of people...It sounds interesting to me but I personally don't think I would want to be so concerned with numbers for however many hours i play the game, thats why we have healthbars, and limit bars, and graphical representations of everything.


    Just my opinion
     
    #12
  13. chalkdust

    chalkdust Resource Staff Restaff

    Messages:
    343
    Likes Received:
    517
    First Language:
    English
    "An academically challenging aptitude-based combat system designed to reward intellectually engaged nerds and penalize lazy button-smashing jocks!"

    Or maybe just the first half of that.
     
    #13
    kaukusaki and LordDrake like this.
  14. Saboera

    Saboera Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    66
    Location:
    Canada
    First Language:
    French
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
    How to do your marketing depends on who your marketing to.


    First thing first should be figuring out who your target audience is gonna be.


    .


    From the description it doesn't sound like anything your average gamer would be interested into unless there was a heavy focus on teaching and filling out those formulas. By heavy focus, I mean like your entire game being based around that idea of teaching how to interact with those formulas. That could be somewhat interesting depending how you pull it off. Otherwise, if it's just used here and there, it should probably be dumped as a mechanic because it crosses straight in bad design territory by being way over-complicated. If you end up with people never actually interacting or caring about the special mechanics you created, something is horribly wrong and no amount of marketing is gonna help.


    Either way, I like chalkdust line but would use this cut "An academically challenging aptitude-based combat system designed to reward intellectually engaged nerds"


    Not only because I find it rather amusing and true but it has a edgy vibe to it without being condescending.
     
    #14
    kaukusaki likes this.
  15. Pierman Walter

    Pierman Walter Chunk Monster Veteran

    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    228
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
    To put the action stoichiometry into context, within the gameplay, with the exception of the math loving artillery guy whose entire fighting style is based on explosions, for the other characters, setting off a controlled explosion is like a super move. It deals high damage over a large area, comparable to real life explosions. It is meant to be challenging, because otherwise the game would just be a load of 1-round fights that end in explosions. Information on explosives can be common or rare, depending on the map, but explosives themselves are always rare, expensive, and/or difficult to maintain. A majority of the combat consists of a normal turn-based RPG for melee at close range and a turn-based shooting gallery FPS for all distances. Ridiculous math is for those who want to completely obliterate an assault mech in three turns. 


    @Saboera In early development, I had the same idea as you, but the people I asked generally held the opposite opinion. Most people are pretty repelled by the idea, "This game is about math. Almost all of the gameplay is based on doing super hard math that few are familiar with. To fight, you have to do super hard math correctly, or else you die."  Also, you and @chalkdust's awesome tag team tag line "An academically challenging aptitude-based combat system designed to reward intellectually engaged nerds" works here, too, since the game is still playable without use of explosives, but you will never be able to do cool things like breaking into secret areas or killing a boss within seconds without it.
     
    #15
  16. wintyrbarnes

    wintyrbarnes Jack of a Few Trades Veteran

    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    62
    Location:
    Neverwhere
    First Language:
    English
    Maybe something along the lines of showing off the explosives system as a "bonus feature"? Like "Bonus Battle Feature: Use your knowledge of chemical reactions to solve stoichiometric equations for extra damage! This may also open up new paths you wouldn't otherwise see." Mention that you need it for 100% completion? If the rest of the game is fun and you market it well, people will be all over stoichiometry to unlock new stuff or get 100%.


    Make it more of a reward/challenge than a task, if that makes sense? "If you can do this, you get something special." Mention that it's not necessary but it enhances the gameplay. Stuff that sounds like that. To make it work in-game, establish the benefits early on and consistently reward them to reinforce that this decision = certain outcome. 
     
    #16
    kaukusaki likes this.
  17. taarna23

    taarna23 Marshmallow Princess Global Mod

    Messages:
    2,349
    Likes Received:
    4,630
    Location:
    Saskatoon, SK, Canada
    First Language:
    English
    Oh, goodness. Don't use big words. "Stoichiometric equations?" I'm a nerd and I'd be outta there. "A little bit of math; a lot of kaboom." Now that I could get behind.
     
    #17
    kaukusaki and wintyrbarnes like this.
  18. Saboera

    Saboera Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    66
    Location:
    Canada
    First Language:
    French
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A


    Well technically speaking, if you do mention maths, you'll lose people immediately. The best way to really know if people are interested in the mechanic would be a playtest focused on that part with the proper tutorials. You should try asking the question differently however, you could be surprised. Something like: ''Would you be interested in a game where you blow stuff up, but got to scientifically figure how? We'll teach you, everything is gonna be fine... probably... or not.'' Curiosity would bring me to try the hell out of that, with proper explanations and tutorials I could see that being a blast (no pun intended). Sometime hilarious failure can be as fun as getting it right if your game allows that.


    I'll use an example, there's a game called Duskers, graphics are basic but it has a certain vibe to it. If I pitch that game as: It's a game where you have to manually type commands for everything. (That's what you actually do) Are you interested? I wouldn't be interested. But if you pitch it as: It's a game where you are alone in the universe and explore derelict spaceships with scavenged drones by typing commands to control them. It's suddenly a lot more of a weird curiosity. Btw Duskers is a blast, it sits at 92% positive reviews and there's 534 reviews on steam, 82% from metacritic.


    I'd say there's a lot of potential in your game if you play your cards right and I don't even like maths but I can see the big picture.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2016
    #18
    kaukusaki and EternalShadow like this.
  19. IamGilgamesh

    IamGilgamesh Game Developer - Rapper Veteran

    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    31
    First Language:
    English
    Name it, say its new and experimental, so you'd love to get their take on it.
     
    #19
  20. Reese

    Reese Wretched Art Prince Veteran

    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    49
    First Language:
    English
    A weird game could or should just be advertised weirdly xD Or at least that's what I think lol
     
    #20
    kaukusaki and IamGilgamesh like this.

Share This Page