Disclaimer: No gamers were harmed during the writing of this blog post.
So, you’ve designed a game, you spent many hours, days, weeks even designing and/or finalising the artwork and writing the rule book, you successfully fund on Kickstarter and your game goes out into the wilds.
You start to see photos of people not only playing, but enjoying your game on social media and you feel great. Those hours, days, weeks were worth it. Your creation is bringing joy to other people’s lives. And then you see a photo where someone isn’t playing your game quite right.
I mean, it’s not like I’ve played this game hundreds and hundreds of times and the gameplay is now muscle memory and ingrained into me on how it should, MUST be played. But you look at the photo and all you can see is THEY ARE PLAYING IT WRONG!
You want to reach into the photo and correct it. But they are having fun. What they are doing wrong doesn’t actually affect gameplay. In fact, it has exactly zero impact on their enjoyment of the game but it’s wrong. Wrong, wrong, WRONG!
@Nerdling_mum and @gamerbeng playing Assembly slightly wrong.
You try to resist saying anything. But fail miserably; you spent hours/days/weeks getting that art work and rule book just right and they are ignoring it!
Your inner voice gets the better of you but at least you are able to politely point out that they are playing it wrong and reply: “You forgot to flip the cards/tokens”. Maybe with an emoticon or two to soften it up compared to what your inner voice would have had you say: “Didn’t you READ the rules?! Flip BOTH the card AND the token!!” I mean, I wrote that rule in the rule book for a very specific reason.
At least at cons you can politely reach out and flip the cards or tokens that they have obviously forgotten to flip. Eventually they get the message: play MY game at MY stand, you play it correctly!
But in reality, it really doesn’t matter. It doesn’t affect the gameplay or their enjoyment – in fact them playing to my rules might indeed affect their enjoyment as it’s a little extra admin which they may have deemed unnecessary.
So, what’s the lesson in all of this? When you release something to the public you have to learn to let go. You have done your best to teach people how to play, but if they are enjoying playing it in a certain way because it suits them, who are you to say it’s wrong? Games are meant to be fun, and anything that makes our game more fun for someone is alright with me. Well, the logical side of me. I’m still getting my emotional side under control but I’m getting there. Feel free to play Assembly wrong and post pics of it being played wrong. I’ll try not to bite and just be polite* J
*This is wholly dependent on how much sleep I’ve had the night(s) before, mostly as a result of interruptions from little people, so no guarantees!