Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Unavoidable Niche Market

Games, movies, television programs, music, and even websites, are all designed to be seen or heard by us; The Target Customer. What kind of music do you like? Rock, Hip Hop, D&B? Any music that fits into those categories was designed to be in that category. Although artists don't always like the idea of being "pigeonholed" into one category, it is unavoidably necessary to decide beforehand what that category is going to be.

Gamers are seperated into three categories; "Objective based", "Competition based", "Personal Challenge" (i.e. breaking your previous high score). Gamers have been even further divided into "hardcore" gamers and "casual" gamers.

Objective based gamers like to see progression. They will often try to complete every achievment in a game even after they have played through the storyline. Or they might try to "max out" their characters by leveling up. These players tend to like open world, sandbox, and RPG style games, in which a certain amount of choice is given to the player to complete those objectives in their desired order.

Competition based gamers love to go head to head with other players. Often the only reason they will play through the storyline is to get "good enough" at the game to feel confident going up against other players. Multiplayer capabilities are a must for this demographic. They want to see public leaderboards and killboards with their names on them, and might set their sights on knocking the person off the top.

Personal Challenge based gamers like to best their own high scores. They like to challenge themselves rather than other people. Arcade games and Strategy games are popular amongst these gamers.

Even if you feel like you may enjoy a little from all three columns, as I do, there is still one group to which, you predominantly belong.

Why does this matter?

If you are designing a game, you have to consider the possibility that the ONLY ones who will buy it, are the ones you designed it for. Which also means; if you designed a game for yourself, you might be the only one who buys it. :)

Decide who your target customer is before you ever start brainstorming an idea, and your pre-production phase will go a lot easier. :)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

What Happened to Storefronts?

Recently I started a modest BPO store on mygamescribe blog. I'm excited about having it open, even if it is only a couple of items.

This got me thinking about one of the things I don't like about selling on the open market in EVE. There's no real way to know what corporations built and/or created the sell order, outside of creating a private buyer/seller relationship with another corporation.

The ability to develop a public image is essential to a corporation. A corporation's public image determines its life or death.

There was talk of the implementation of "Storefronts" in EVE. In the end it wasn't fleshed out enough to put it in-game. While a full on "Storefront" sounds nice on a lot of levels, I would at least like to see a simple way to show the public what your corp provides.

A market order tab on a corporation's info menu would provide an easy way for a potential buyer to see what your corporation has on the open market. It would also provide better opportunities for corporations who want to create an identity for themselves as a supplier of a particular constellation or region.

The current system relies largely on the market hubs that exist in a handful of Empire systems. A market order tab would spread the economy out, even allowing corporations to establish small hubs in low sec.

Was anyone else really looking forward to the Storefront feature?