Friday, March 10, 2006

What's Your Problem?

In other words, what are your gaming needs? If you're a designer, what are your players' gaming needs? What should games provide that they don't already? I think most people would answer "Nothing, I love the games I play now."

That answer is why so many new games fail, particularly high investement trading games. If a new game doesn't solve customers' problems, they have no reason to be interested. In fact, new trading games introduce the potential for new problems, which really raise the barrier to entry. Will I have opponents, will the game be supported, will it still be fun in six months after I've spent all this money, will it be worth anything when I want to sell it? The list goes on. It's no wonder so many gamers are wary of new trading games.

Magic originally solved the problem of quick portable game play with hobby game depth. Now that there's hundreds of trading games, that's not a problem anymore.

At this point, publishers need to solve problems that gamers don't even know they have, or don't know can be solved by a new product. Example: Allowing players to directly contribute to the creation of new expansions. That solves the problem of having no input into the success of your game.

What's your problem?



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Anonymous said...

The problem with gaming right now is that there are too many games.

I'm in a very active group and if we play the same game twice...that's an accomplishment and a credit to the game.

With the recent flood of euros, ccgs, wargames and non-collectible card games, there really is a flavor for everyone.

Sometimes I reminisce about the times when there was only D&D or Squad Leader or Magic.

Back then, you never had to learn a new set of rules, you never had to play like a beginner and you never felt like you didn't explore a game enough.

YOu could say we're in a golden age...but don't forget how Rome fell.


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