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Panty Explosion actual play
edited August 2006
Hi. I posted an actual play report for Panty explosion over on the Forge. Here's a link for anyone who is interested.
It seems to go both ways. Some women really dig the name. Of our 18 playtested 15 of them were women, and mmostt of them volenteers who I never actually met. At Gencon we also had a number of women walk over and pick up the game, where a lot of guys looked wayt to nervous to even come close. Of course the name isn't going to work for everyone, but we knew that. We're okay with that. The people who do "get" the name are our real audience, and they seem to really dig it.
Anyway, let me know what ou think once you get a chance to try it.
Re: the name
It's Trollbabe and Macho Women with Guns all over again...
Why don't *I* play with women who are attracted to games with names like those?
Who are these people who "get it", Jake? What are they like? I remember you saying that before at the Forge when the name thing came up.
It's hard to... quantify... I think. The people who get it are never who I expect them to be. Anime and Manga fans tend to be open to it, but not all of them. Traditional RPG players (D&D players I mean) seem to be afraid of it. But in both cases there are people who have take the opposite reaction. At Gencon I had a guy wearing a 4chan t-shirt tell me that he would never play a game called Panty Explosion because of the name (4chan is a fairly notorious manga porn board). I also met several men and womenwho I would have never guessed would be interested in the game who spent a long time talking about it with me. Of course I should know by now that you can't tell your customer just by looking at them, but its still jaring to have the guy in the porn shirt tell you he won't play yopur game because the names too dirty.
The name itself is the test of course. The real audience, the people who the game is geared towards, are the people who won't even flinch at the name. Who see the name and immediatly know what the game is about.We didn't actually know if those people exsisted, but we figured it was worth a shot. The opposite end of that is the people who are insulted and offended by the name and because of that won't even look at the book. We decided early on that this game wasn't for them, no matterwhat we called it. There is of course a large group in between, people that don't get, or don't like the name but are still willing to try the game, or hear about the game, or are open minded enough that they won't write a game off just because of its name. This is definetly a larger group then our target audience, and I hope its a larger group then the 2nd group. These are the people that we actually have to sell to, and thank god the game sems to be interesting enough that after explaining it to them they actually want to buy it. That was another fear, that nobody but people who "get it" would buy it. Of course the name is not the game. The name is geared toward the 1st audience, but the game itself is maybe geared more toward the 3rd. That was intentional and how we wanted it.
I don't know if that answered your question. i don't know if I really have an answer. We were less interested in who the game would be sold to then making it the way we wanted (which I imagine is the case with everyone here). But we were pretty sure if we liked it then people "like us" would like it.
No doubt about it.
I gotta get me some new friends.
No, I understand what your saying Jason. In deciding to stay close to the psychic schoolgirl genere we knew we would be limiting the games appeal. We could have come up with a more acceptable name or some different cover art (or just made it a schoolgirl game), but because we wanted to do a game that was true to the genere we went with the name and art as you see it. I really feel like both the name and the cover art are perfect for the game, and anything else would have been a betrayal of what Matt and I wanted to do. When the name was first suggested to us we both knew that it was the only name for the game. Nothing else would do. I also know that there are a huge number of people who will never pick the game up because of that choice, and an even larger number of people who I'll have to work very hard to sell the game to. Thats fine. I'm okay with that. Theres a nice sized group of people that "get it". That are familiar with the genere and understand at a glance what we're doing. Or who arn't familiar with it but something about it appeals to them. Thats the target audience. Theres more then enough of them to sell the game to.
Panty Explosion is an extreme example, but almost every game is going to have people who will never pick it up because they don't like what its about or are offended by it or because it dosent interest them. I think almost everyone of us on this board has a game that falls under that catagory. You can't please everyone, right? So we alienate a number of people with the name, but we produce the game we want. As a business move it may fail, but I only have to please myself (and we've already sold out and paid back our costs) so I'm okay with it.
Thanks for that! And really, if you're paying back your costs, that's a win no matter what anybody else thinks.
hey, thank you Jason. I get all tingly when someone asks difficult questions (or questions that have difficult answers, i guess)about the game.
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