Who's your game for?

That’s the first question I ask folks who are just starting out making a brand new educational game.

“Who’s going to play this game?”

If you’re an organization, the answer is usually obvious: our existing donors, people who are coming to our next event, kids at our after-school workshops, etc. Your audience is specific and real, and that’s great!

Having a specific audience in mind for your game is incredibly helpful.

It’s also so easy to overlook when you’re just getting started and dreaming big. But once you’ve got your big, blockbuster, “this is going to help every single child, parent, and dog” dreams articulated somehow, it’s helpful to focus.

Because those dreams are wonderful thing and helpful to keep as a vision, but they’re also full of assumptions.

Designing for and showing your ideas to real people helps disprove your assumptions. So ask yourself, “Who is this game for?”

What specific person do you envision hearing your game idea and saying, “Yes! I need that in my life right now! TAKE MY MONEY!”

If your answer is “Everyone!” try to think of the first person you’d imagine buying your game.

Or failing that, try and round up 10 people for a super-early focus group. You don’t need a game to do this. You’re just going to pitch some ideas around and see what they think.

Where would you go to round up these 10 people?

That’s who your game is for. It’s not for everyone. It’s for these 10 people.

For now, at least.

So lemme know in reply to this email, who’s your game for?

-Sam