Recently, we talked about themes in games; this is an integral part of your game to create a focal point. They allow you to have something to refer to when working on your game’s music, level design, or any other aspect. That’s great, but how do you get that across to your audience? Your audience may be able to glean what your game’s about from a couple of screenshots or a trailer, but that may not be enough. How do we convey it in words that provides clarity to all the people involved? Well, I have a secret to share with you on that idea.
Fitting The Message On An Index Card
Imagine, you have a huge story that encompasses the whole world of your game. You have interweaving stories, deep gritty themes. Awesome right? You have content to share with your players for days.
Now imagine this question coming from the publisher of your game.
What Is Your Game About?
That question can be the killer; can you sum up your game with a simple one-liner? This is where the tip comes in handy; write your core message on an index card and use your theme to solidify that message.
For example, if your theme is a gritty coming of age tale about becoming the best version of yourself through combat, most of your work is done for you to create your message. Let’s talk about that.
The theme above highlights the coming of age story, combat, and becoming your best self. We could sum up our game as a coming of age story where the player becomes a better version of themselves through trial by fire. Simple and concise with points for inquiry from the publisher or anyone listening; this gives us room to list benefits afterward as well if that’s not enough of a hook for the people listening.
Now, you might have a question about the above. How do you craft the same kind of message yourself?
Here are some guidelines to help you craft your own message:
- Use emotion in your words; you want to invoke feelings for your game’s message!
- Less is more; use simple words that get the point across.
- Reflect on your theme and story; your theme will solidify the point of your message.
- Thinking about your ideal player; use words that resonate with your ideal player. It does not need to sound overly professional.
- Show others; let people give you feedback to improve your message.
These are my main tips for improving your message. Use them to really get your point across quickly.
That’s all for now and good luck game making!