53: Mass Market

53: Mass Market

What do you see as the main challenges in designing a game for the mass market? What are the common mistakes you feel designers make in developing such games?

 

 

Your game is always more complex than you think. I hit the same problems time and again. Even my most basic designs are too complex. I have pitched games which have massive replayability (different game modes, and changing rules). These have been dismissed as having too many rules. Games which require a lot of creative thinking have been dismissed. Mass market companies prioritise a good product over a good game. The initial sale is key, rather than sustained repeated gameplay. The game must be extremely easy to learn and teach.

Adam Porter

Creating games with low thresholds for entry. It’s hard to strip away the advanced mechanics that hobby games cultivate and thrive upon to get to a simpler, but still fun mass appeal game.

Adrienne Ezell

Based on the success of games like Jaws, Villainous, and Horrified, maybe the challenge is we’re underestimating the audience! For me personally, however, the challenge has not been in design as much as in licensing. Mass publishers are not as accessible as hobby publishers, and many don’t attend the hobby conventions.

Isaac Shalev

Mass market companies prioritise a good product over a good game. The initial sale is key, rather than sustained repeated gameplay. The game must be extremely easy to learn and teach. — Adam Porter

I think the biggest problem in making a game for the mass market is in trying to please everyone, rather than picking an audience and focussing on them.

Sam Illingworth

Designing for mass market can be HARD. So often in game design we think of a design in terms of what new synergy it’s offering; how we can take X and Y and put them together to make something new that builds on existing games. In mass market you almost have to work in reverse and figure out what you can remove from X to make it even more pure and distilled; drilling down to the heart of what makes something fun and figuring out how to make it as accessible as possible for a wide audience.

Alex Cutler

Your game needs to be absurdly simple. Cut every ‘clever’ rule, every rule exception, and don’t assume ANY prior knowledge of mechanisms that gamers don’t even have to think about.

Peter C. Hayward

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