As I move forward in designing my final game, I keep thinking of games that I would like to imitate. Ideally, I want this game to be enjoyable for older teens and adults, so I don’t care much about making it kid friendly. I also looked over comments from last week and got some input on making the game more user-friendly for people who don’t know anything about band/drum corps. While I completely understand this comment, it brings me to the overall question of whether or not it is okay to create a game for a specific group of people. If the goal is to design a game that anyone and everyone can enjoy on the same level, then of course I will make a game that has much less of an “insider” feel. However, I feel like in order for me to design a well rounded, relevant, and enjoyable game with this theme (Drum Corps summer tour), it is important that I create a world that uses real experiences, lingo, and events that some people will not completely understand. HOWEVER AGAIN, the motions of the game will still be understandable for everyone. There may be inside jokes about marching, but a direction such as, “move 5 spaces” is universal.

I do not in any way mean to call out that one comment in any bad way. I just thought it was a question that I could expand on. I would also appreciate other classmates’ thoughts on how strong themes should be within a game and how much of the audience should fully understand it.

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2 thoughts on “Themes

  1. In my opinion, I don’t think you need to sacrifice your jokes because it thematically is part of the soul of the experience. Speaking from my high school marching experience as a bass drummer, I can say that some of my fondest memories were the jokes we made and family-like bonds we formed on hot, seven hour summer days. I sympathize with those unfamiliar with the technicalities of drum core and marching band performances, yet I don’t think the thematic elements need to suffer if the gameplay is intuitive and fun to pick up. If there is any doubt about whether lingo will be confusing, I suggest discussing and elaborating on it in the rules or in a note section. Is your core audience going to be all teens and adults, or is it teens and adults who have some connection to drum corps? A game tailored for a specific audience can still be welcoming to a new audience. Hopefully this is something useful to reflect on and I wish you good luck.

  2. Hi Emma, I think this is a really interesting question that doesn’t really have the best answer but rather you can try to consider several factors in order to make your game the most enjoyable and understandable for your players. I think it is generally absolutely okay to create the game for a specific group of audience, knowing those outside of the group might not enjoy it at the same level. If the audience group is too small, however, like for example a game containing detailed technical knowledge and lingo that few people are specialized in, that’s generally a bad idea. For band/drum corps, as I think there’s quite an audience for this area, and even for those outside of this audience group the “insider” aspect to it isn’t too strong, people who aren’t experienced with it can still follow the game with its universal rules and they might still enjoy it, depending on how your game plays out and how much of the “insider” factor you put into it.

    Overall I guess I would say it really depends on the theme and audience you’re aiming for, and also very importantly how the game actually works when it’s played out. If you make a game full of insider jokes but the gameplay itself is so interesting that many people like it, you may be able to spread the “jokes” and knowledge on the band/drum world and that’s probably very ideal. Otherwise I think the idea of dedicating your game to a specific audience is great and wouldn’t want to see you sacrificing it to something more generic and universal. I hope this can help you in some way and I look forward to seeing what you come up with next!

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