I’m playing Undermine and I really am enjoying the simplicity. It takes very little time to get to the action. Since, I’m a father and my gaming windows are much shorter than they used to be. I just want to be entertained sometimes.
As an indie game developer, I often think about what gamers want and how to fulfill that want. I’m exploring this idea using a few different player profiles.
- Myself – An arcade, twin stick shooter, random generated dungeon, FPS etc. Someone who played a ton of games and never specialized.
- Brother – Speed Runner and very deep dive in games.
- Wife – Choose your own adventure story games.
Entertainment is different for each gamer
To approach game development as a profit seeking endeavor, you need to understand the profile of the gamer you are marketing for. Knowing your target gamer profile is half the battle. Now you have to know your game, do you have a document supporting the idea that your game is for the given gamer profile?
Speed Runner Profile
Meanwhile, this type of player enjoys playing a game so much that they will play it over and over again for months on end just to beat it faster than before. They love the game so much that they will keep wanting to play it. The game has enough aspects to it that you can keep sharpening the saw and getting better.
Twin Stick Arcade Type
Conversely, this type wants to feel like he is in a casino making big bucks while he smashes the enemies. To motivate this profile you have to mimic the casino. There has to be a leaderboard. There has to be aspects that are repetitive and your score reflects the efficiency and the time surviving. This is at opposition to the speed runner profile in that the player wants rank not speed.
Choose your own adventure story time
These players want a good story and to feel like what they have done had an impact. They don’t want the game to feel linear they want the game to feel like it has branches. They also want to get the right outcome to their story. This means that they will replay the game multiple times to get the ending that they wanted. Just to see it play out. Even though they could watch the alternate ending on YouTube.
Tying things together
Some gamers just want to be entertained sounds nice, but the reality is they all want to be entertained and they have a different profile they are working with depending on their situation. It seems worth it to know who you are targeting with your game and have that profile test it and enjoy it.
This could be the reason creators don’t play your game: Getting creators to play your game.
How have you considered your target audience in your game? https://www.gamedesigning.org/gaming/gamer-types/