, Moreno asks the quote below. So, I started this thread to avoid thread-jacking there.
Posted By: Moreno R.But... how much of this depends on the changes on the feedback circle? From "the players" to "the people on storygames"?
People who design for themselves and their play group don't make what they do public on the net. Whose who do, search for feedback, for encouragement, for something from other people.
But what people? For a while it seemed like the objective was a kind of outreach, to people even outside the "gamers" circle. Lately, it seems like the gauge of "success" isn't the sales, the money, and not even the fun of people playing the game: it's the lenght of the threads about the game on story-games.
[edit: I was answering to Matt's postTHERE]
Moreno's asking fair and interesting questions.
First, I agree that the "what people?" question hasn't always been the same over time, generally. It hasn't even been the same for me, specifically, as a publisher or as a hobbyist.
Second, people who design for themselves and don't share it? We don't know about them. We can't really have anything to say about them at all. They're irrelevant for this thread, probably for this forum entirely.
The much tougher question is whether we're perceiving some kind of false popularity or success based largely on reaction on specific forums, like this one. That's a potentially thorny question.
Let me first say, I think John considers Lady Blackbird a homerun at this point already. And, I think he's got good reason to say as much. I don't speak for John. But, the several replies of praise coupled with the multiple reports of fun actual play are probably enough to make him smile all year long.
So, with that in mind, I think it's a bit snarky to say that the popularity of things is less genuine because it's "just" posts on Story Games.
HOWEVER! I do think you have a valuable point.
What is the purpose of publishing something (by which I mean making it available to others, usually online)?
Well, in the indie scene, there have traditionally been several goals. Some said it was to change the way the hobby was. Some said it was pure creative release. Some said they wanted to make a professional go of it by publishing. Some said they wanted other people to actually play the games. Etc.
When I published my games -- that is, sold them -- I would have agreed with a couple of those. I wanted other people to enjoy actual play of my games, and I wanted to change in some small contribution the way the hobby works.
Here's the thing I realized more recently. I realized very recently that I sought attention from others.
Now, that sounds very selfish and childish to many. I have no doubt that had someone suggested this was what I was after a couple years ago, I would have argued angrily with them. I would have claimed I was seeking something more "pure."
Bullshit. I wanted people to think I made cool stuff, and I wanted them to communicate that to me.
I actually don't think it's childish or selfish or "unpure." I probably could still say I wanted actual play to happen. But, if I didn't know about it, I still felt bad about my publishing.
It is among the handful of major reasons I ceased publishing. I'm not ashamed of that. I realized that the way in which I created cool stuff to share with others for recognition wasn't worth the effort for me. I think I simply worked way to hard for too little recognition.
I'll go out on a limb and say damn near everyone who publishes wants recognition like this. Might there be some pure soul out there seekign truly to "change things" or whatever? Maybe. But, I don't know anyone who doesn't love the idea of someone commenting on their games, or handing over $20 to say it's cool, or whatever other recognition.
So, honestly? Yep. Long posts on Story Games thrill creators. I see no problem. If someone seeks out recognition on SG (or somewhere else), especially by making something that's cool and playable, great! More power to them. I think the benefits for everyone outweigh any worries about doing something more sincere or whatever.
The problem I see is whether the social reward that creators receive actually leads them do something "wrong" FOR THEM AS CREATORS. That's possible. Maybe those SG threads encourage someone to sell games on Lulu and it turns out that's a disaster for them (for whatever reason -- doing taxes next year, let's say). But, I'm not willing to leap to the notion that it's somehow false praise or some such.