Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November 2010: Designing for Demographics

Apologies for the late start!

What's the best way to tackle designing a game for a specific audience? That audience could be segmented by age, gender, or even location. Some designers feel that a great game appeals to everyone while others go fishing for specific likes or dislikes of a targeted audience. For instance, if 50-year-old women are known to like gardening, then games about gardening might be a clear direction for that audience.

Or how about when a game is successful in one country, how will it be received in another? Are there specific steps to be taken when localizing?

Can any game mechanic be successfully copied and marketed to different demographics? Are there differences in design or is it just in the marketing?

So what's your methodology and the reasoning behind it?


Jack at Fork and Bottle said...

That's a huge variety of questions for one blog post! ;)

Q1. Can there be a best way to do this?

My philosophy is to come up with a cool game design concept and develop it into the coolest, best game I can make. If I was to focus on making it into something that will appeal to some age, gender or location, I then have to be either very lucky or very diligent to get it right...it's easier (for me) to just make what I think is great rather than guessing at what others might think is great.

So, rather than, for example, making a game that tries to appeal to 50-year-old women who garden, I would try to make a very cool gardening game that wasn't kid-oriented. (Disturbingly, it seems Zynga has somehow done this...conquering the "50-year-old women who garden" market.)

Localizing - getting feedback/collaboration from a game designer already living in that special locality (country).

Next two questions: Depends. Depends.

The final question I'll leave for others to answer.

My question for you: Why haven't you allowed the Comment as: Select Profile option of Name/URL - so that I can input my name and URL when I make a comment?

My other question for you: Why don't you have your email address someplace here so that I didn't have to post the above paragraph - but instead could have sent it privately?

Sande said...

I believe you can input your name and URL if you do not login using Blogger or some other Gmail identifier.

If you are interested in submitting an article or topic rather than a comment, the information is up there under Submission Guidelines.

Topic announcements are typically calls for articles.

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