How this Metaphor Relates to the "Industry" Cannot Be Ignored

edited August 2011 in Story Games
It should come as no shock that I'm a wrestling fan. Having watched it for over two decades, I can see patterns that apparently the people who put it on cannot. Nevertheless, the irony makes me thirsty.

Wrestling

Comments

  • What parts did you find ironic?
  • Man who heads largest Wrestling company in the world is out of touch with Wrestling and thus cannot see the patterns of being unable to promote his own wrestlers because cash-cow is right there.

    In Industry terms, I own a game company, I don't know how to design, but I like games. I have a product that sells well, but I don't know why it sells well. In turn, I am unable to figure out how to make my other products sell well.

    Pull back further. Why aren't my d20 supplements selling anymore?
  • I remember reading some old Dragon Magazine articles a few years ago. The articles were from the late 70's, during the first hey day of D+D. I was struck by how amatuerish they were. It made me realize that in the 70's TSR had a major hit and were trying to exploit it but really didn't know what they were doing. The cash kept coming though so I suspect they thought they were geniuses. It is clear that they weren't.

    This is not to say they they did everything wrong. D+D had that second burst of activity in the 1980's and then under different management a third burst with D20. It's just impossible to understand why a evergreen hit is what it is. There have been lots of other games - many much more beautiful and elegant than D+D but they are not hits. I know there is a high threshold of beauty to having a product sell and that good design really matters but that translating into an evergreen is I think an intangible quality.

    I do know that hits aren't derivative. Iphone knock offs aren't Iphones. They also can't be too original. They have to be just ahead of the zeitgheist. They never come from big established companies. Once you have a hit it seems to calcify originality.

    Chris Engle
  • RyRy
    edited August 2011

    MatrixGamer said...

    Once you have a hit it seems to calcify originality.

    True, but it also depends on whether you focus on the 'hit machine' or the 'hit'. Pixar, for example, saw its hit as "we applied engineering principles to how we managed the delivery of this movie, and we hit."

    So yeah, they stopped being original in terms of how they generated hits, but they did generate more hit because their "big idea" wasn't "Let's make a movie about talking toys" but rather that process management idea.

    I suspect the same thing with the iPad and the iPhone. A certain focus on the user experience generated the hit, keeping that going came up with an unoriginal user experience -> hit combination. So yeah, you get calcification, but at least you're calcifying around "how to generate hits" rather than calcifying around your hit.

  • Well... hrm. I mean, they're doing something right over there. Profits of $14.2 million in the second quarter of 2011.

    So, yeah, if the metaphor is "consumers of a product have no idea about the profitability of the producing corporation, but are always eager to offer uninformed financial advice", I think that totally applies.


    Cheers,
    Roger
  • I'm never too keen on following "the industry". As long as individual designers can manage to find enough of an audience to make it worth their while (on their terms) to design and publish games, I am content.
  • Posted By: Zac in VirginiaI'm never too keen on following "the industry". As long as individual designers can manage to find enough of an audience to make it worth their while (on their terms) to design and publish games, I am content.
    I need to find a better day job so I can agree with you, Zac. :)
  • I'll be rooting for you! :)
  • "don't surround yourself with yourself"
    I don't believe I'm quoting Yes, but there ya have it.
    The buffer of yes men is what kills any insight that creative people might have had.
  • Posted By: Nathan H."don't surround yourself with yourself"
    I don't believe I'm quoting Yes, but there ya have it.
    The buffer of yes men is what kills any insight that creative people might have had.
    what does it mean if i agree with you?
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