As you can tell from the title, this week I have been looking at targeting a market. Targeting a market is very important in order to make sure our game is profitable.
A good way to look at it is from a play-centric approach where you are always thinking of the player and are advocating for that player. Who is the player? What do they like? What don’t they like and why? It is important to always research your audience and make sure you are making something that they will want to play.
Another important factor is the abilities of your target audience. As the game isn’t about your abilities, you have to make sure the learning curve and abilities are mapped to that of your desired audience. This allows your target audience to get the most enjoyment out of your game.
The Games Design Document
This week I have focused more on the narrative side of the game. This gives my game a lot more structure and allows me to write about it more easily in the design document itself.
So, what is the narrative of the game?
The game starts in an empty room with just a desk and a button. Here the player simply has to push the button. The player meets Larry the Lever who helps them in their task and eventually the walls fall down, revealing a larger, slightly greyer, room.
Here, the player meets Diana the Dial who is having a tea party with Larry the Lever. The player is tasked with pouring out tea for each of the characters but if they spill any the walls get soggy and then collapse revealing an even larger, even darker, room.
In this third room, there is a Pull Cord called Paula the Pulley. Paul the Pulley announces that the button has been murdered to which Darren the Desk responds, “Let the murder mystery begin!”. In this scene the player must try to solve the murder of the button but ends up being accused themselves of pushing the button at the beginning despite it telling them not to. This scene ends with all of the characters shouting “guilty!” and “murderer!” at the player as the walls disintegrate around them revealing the fourth room., even bigger, even darker than the previous.
Here the player finds themselves in chains and behind bars. Peter the plug and the room itself convince the player that they have to break out using the desk to break the walls. Once they have done so the walls come crashing down around them.
This reveals the final scene which is just empty space. The room is so big and so dark that it seems never ending. Then a light appears, revealing that the player has completed their objective and slowly fades away before the game quits itself.
I love the chaotic nature of this story, how it very strongly resembles that of a dream. Every scene works in isolation but draws on elements from the previous. The idea was that the game slowly got weirder as it went on and I think that this achieves that with the final act of breaking the walls themselves symbolising that the player is breaking the cycle. This game is very metaphorical and would be more of an experience than a game.
I think the symbolism can be linked to numerous areas ranging from depression to a coma. From life and death to the nature of our universe. The game is more of an artwork where the meaning is up to the eye of the beholder. I think this would work brilliantly in virtual reality as it grapples with our grip on reality itself.
Next week I want to work more on the actual document itself. Now that I have a structure for the game, I can start getting my thoughts down on the document itself. I hope to achieve at least 3 pages if not more by next week.