So its time to market this game. To take a chance and just go for it. I’ve been thinking a lot about what that means, and how me and Rebecka can do that (hopefully with great help), since its not really a natural talent for us. Listening to a good pod about this (tim ferris/seth godin) I realized I really need to answer this question:
Who is it for?
For who are we creating Skyturns? Its absolutely for us, both a game we want, and an income we would like to have. But thats not enough. We do it as a service to the people who would love to have this game as a part of their lives. No one will die if they don’t play Skyturns, but some peoples lives will actually improve by finding this game. Especially the game in its final form as I visualise it. This game did not already exist. It adds something completely unique to the world.
The greatest mistake described in the pod, is the horrible horrible mantra that the game needs to be good for everyone. I heard variations of this so many times while making the game. Dumb it down so that everyone likes it, make the next candy crush, maybe its too hard, maybe its not fluffy enough, add more juice. I mean, if I had listened to everything people told me the game would have lost its soul. My reply (internally) was something like, “dude, I’m making this game for myself, the perfect game, I don’t care!”
But that was a lie - we really do care. We want a sizeable portion of people to play our game. But, lets say we need 10 000 active players to actually make some small amount of money. With like 6 billion (6 000 000 000) people in the world, we need to make a game thats really really good for 0.00017% of the population. And we have to find those people of course. And well this is stupid logic. Another way would be to say, that if every 10 000 person is like me, wants a game like this, thats 600 000 people. We want to make a game for them. There is a middle ground. There is a game no one plays, there is candy crush, and then there is a game like Skyturns that is solid gold for the right person.
Who is this person?
- If we take the population, and divide it in half, maybe half are playing games now.
- If we take the game players and divide it in half, Skyturns belong to those who like a challenge
- If we take the players who like a challenge and divide it in half, Skyturns belong to those who like mastery
- If we take the players who like mastery and divide it in half, Skyturns belong to those who like simplicity
- If we take the players who like mastery and simplicity and divide them in half, Skyturns belong to those who like dexterity
- … something more
- … something more
- At level 8 we have something like 2^8 = 256. To get to 10 000 we need more like 13 levels :)
But! What I have found is that players even on the 2nd split, challenge, do enjoy Skyturns. They dont love it, but they actually play it and enjoy it. I was surprised to find this out! The puzzle nature of the game, and I would like to think the ambience and simplicity, attracts some of those players. Its simply a pretty good game. So, is this the largest audience, should we make it for them? Isn’t that where the money is at?
I think no - we should not. Then we would be competing with so many other games out there, and those games are also good. Where is the audience that loves what only Skyturns can offer? Where can we make the real impact? Maybe its split 8 or 13.. somewhere down there. We need to stay cool, to really try to make it for them. The split 2-3-4-5 people can come along for the ride, of course. They are important too, they will enjoy the game, they will help spread it. But they will never have the game as a major part of their life, a chapter that they will remember. Where they learned about mastery, community, creativity, and simplicity. It will just be a game they played that was pretty good.
I think we want to be of service, we want to give something to people. Lets do it for them! Lets always keep these splits in mind - are we building a feature to try to capture split 1-2 people? Stop immediately! Are we building a feature for split 3-4 people? Well, if it doesnt take too long, and does not compromise the experience at split 6-13 in any way (I really mean that), then we should probably build it. Are we building a feature for split 9-13 people? Good, this is Skyturns!