Chapter 2.28. Emotioneering Techniques Category #28: Cross-Demographic Techniques
What teens and adults have in common: Hopefully, your game.
focuses on techniques to make games appeal to both kids (or young teens) and adults.
At one of the game conventions I attended, a talk on how to make a hit game really caught my attention.
The speaker was the president of one of the most successful game development studios in the world, specializing in platformers. His company had just released a high-budget platformer whose sales, while significant, hadn't measured up to the very high expectations that had been set for it.
The company head's postmortem was that his game needed more violence. He pointed out that Grand Theft Auto III, which had debuted four months earlier to massive numbers, had a lot of violence and was selling quite well. He said that his next game would have more violence, so that his games once again would be in sync with popular tastes.
I thought there was one thing right with his analysis, and three things wrong.
The right item is that, as this book is being written, platformers are indeed not performing well. Whether this will change in the future is hard to predict.
But I also had a couple problems with his analysis:
Yes, there are trends, and it's great when you can ride one. But these magic pills rarely work. It turns out that films also need (what do you know) good writing. This lesson applies to games as well, in that a search for a single formula to make a great game won't work.