Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Simplicity (and family-appeal)

So I think I was on to something when I was talking about simplicity (here). I was, of course, on the topic of designing and making the process a whole lot easier. But now I think it is more important. I got an email from Phil at Covenant Communications today and he said the following: "Right now they seem to be looking for games that aren't too complex and that appeal to the whole family."

A few things I want to say about this.

First, this came regarding the Armor of God that I submitted. I thought that the Armor of God was a pretty simple design. Like I said, it was the easiest time I've had writing the instruction/rulebook and it has been fairly easy to teach others to play. I just don't understand why it would be viewed as confusing or difficult to understand and play. Maybe my instruction/rulebook is confusing (I've had a few friends look it over and help me revise it).

Second, I guess this is why I don't like a lot of the currently available LDS/Mormon themed games. I try not to be too judgmental, but a lot of times it seems like they have pretty simple design and gameplay. Now, I'm sure they know a whole lot more about these things than I do, after all they are the ones actually producing and selling games. They are able to look at what has sold in the past and attempt to make predictions about future sales. Can this attitude ever be changed? Will LDS/Mormon people buy and play games that are a little more complex? Will they buy and play games that aren't as "party"-ish? Of course, I don't have the answers to these questions, but I think Settlers of Zarahemla is a good example. It is a little more complex and probably wouldn't be consider a "party" game. It's also a difficult comparison to make because it is a remake of Settlers of Catan. So it was able to sort of ride the coat tails of that game. People already kind of knew what they were getting.

Lastly, I'm sure it is important to market games to families, as many LDS/Mormons are in bigger families, but what about single LDS/Mormon people who get together to play games? Or how about newly-weds or those without children? Do they just not make up enough of the population of potential LDS/Mormon gamers?

With this, I'm not trying to tell the publishers and marketers that they don't know what they are doing. I mean, I've got no experience with that sort of thing at all. But I am a member of the church. I play games. My wife plays games. I have friends who play games. So, in my little experience in that realm, I would say that other type games would appeal to "us."

How do I get my games out for others to know about?

How do I get this blog out for others to hear about and read (if there are some who may be interested)?

This would be extremely important if I would like to publish them myself.


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