As I have more and more conversations on forums, Reddit, Twitter, and other places, it is becoming increasing clear to me that people have no idea how to articulate what it is that they love about games.
I have been writing my book about making better games and learning how to polish them. In it, I talk about learning to focus on the mechanics that support fun gameplay in each genre. There are a large number of people who I have talked to that “know” that they love RPGs, but after having long conversations with them and asking the right questions, they really don’t care about it being an RPG, or even being narrative. They crave a puzzle game, with some secondary genre mixed in. This could be a really big reason why people are disappointed with games when they buy them. If we did a better job understanding what we like, and what to look for, we could easily play more projects we like. Developers could make better projects because the understand what to focus on, and how to really describe their game.
I spent a LOT of time in the restaurant industry, especially in fine dining. I did wine tastings, and wine pairings all the time. You learn to identify flavors that make up varietals of grapes, and what they pair well with. Then, you learn more about the regions that they are grown, and you get a better idea of how they will taste and common characteristics. I can tell you now, after many years of doing so, I love Carneros region Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. I prefer unoaked Chardonnays during the summer months, because I’m looking for something more refreshing and tart, not held down by the tannic or vanilla nature of the oaked Chardonnays. Great Tony – who cares what wine you like?
The point is this. If you really paid attention to what you REALLY liked about a game, and what mechanics they execute well, you could find games that fit your taste better. If you are a developer, you would make games with that are better executed, instead of distracting from your main genre. You might decide to make a whole new game altogether, based on identifying what you are good at making!
Maybe it is just my past, maybe it is putting the laser-like focus on what goes into games from writing my book, but it is really crazy to me that people really don’t know what they like. I’ll do a couple of guest posts on indiewatch.net again and do some dives into genre types. Please follow along or sign up for my newsletter, because I am giving away sections from my book on genres to my subscribers. Learn what you really like, and then go find some of those projects.
Thanks for reading,