In today's main Gamasutra feature, Pocketwatch Games founder Andy Schatz (Wildlife Tycoon
) and Reflexive producer James C. Smith (Wik
) discuss how game designers should do a better job of overtly identifying and designing around a target demographic for your game, building it to focus on that market.
In their introduction, Schatz and Smith suggest:
"Have you ever tried to design a video game while wearing a suit? Doesn't work. The moment you don that matching slate Armani you become a "suit"– your imagination is instantly limited to sequels of licensed '70s TV shows and clones of titles that were popular and groundbreaking two years hence.
The problem is that there's always a "suit" with an eye on the bottom line that will want to muck with your design. Armed with sales figures and focus tests, he threatens to steal the soul of your game. His intentions are good – he wants to make sure the game sees financial success – but his relationship to the game design is antagonistic rather than collaborative.
Here's a suggestion: do his job for him. As a game designer or artist, you are in the best position to architect your game's marketing effort. If "marketing" refers to the entire process of creating a product with respect to the eventual consumer, game design is the seed of that process."
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject
, including many other details and suggestions on better reaching the target market through design (no registration required, please feel free to link to the article from external websites).