What is a Successful Game to You?
My post from ‘What stops you from running a game’ thread got me thinking about this more in dept. And that’s the question of this thread; what do you define as success in a game, how do you define it, and are the metrics or aspects of that give value to whether or not it is a success.
Sure, a lot of this can be a matter of perspective. Is a game with a high number of people and custom build code a prerequisite of what most players would classify as a success. Is the amount of theme and lore that’s been written is engrossing to encourage people to want to play in it? Is the people who staff the game itself, are they well-liked, or if not that, are they at least highly trustred? The presentation and appearance of their website. Or is it some kind of combination of all of these things spun up together?
I’ve seen and played on a number of games that I always wondered had such low playerbases because, to me, I thought they were amazing and it was a shame that they closed down. And it’s almost always due to one of two reasons; not having enough people play on them or the game-runners themselves not having the time to devote. I can remember having so many mid-range mushes about ten to fifteen years ago. Countless games that had between 20-50 players. These type of games, as the years of passed, appear to of died out, leaving a smaller number of massive games with expansive player bases.
I’d like to collect some thoughts on this, not only because I think it would be useful for game-runners to have an idea on what not to do. Unless of course, every situation is different. And speaking for no one else, I know I could certainly use more perspective on it.
Tat last edited by
When I run a game, what I want is:
Enough enjoyable people to RP with that I can find a scene several times a week at some point during the day.
Specifics: A good sense of community and comradery and creativity and cooperation. People I like to hang out with and chat with because they are cool and kind. Story that engages and surprises me. People who are into the story and love telling it.
I find this most often when my game is 15-30 players, but the exact number can vary depending on how much time people want to devote and lots of other criteria.
The quality of the people - not in terms of ‘can write nice poses’, but in terms of feeling like a community that’s doing a cool thing together - matters a lot. And I feel REAL good when it’s clear that people are really into what I’m providing.
I’ve run games with tons of custom code I slaved over and games with absolutely none where we GMed every mutant power you can imagine. The code can add cool stuff, but it’s not, for me, what makes or breaks a game. It’s window dressing that MIGHT make it easier to get to your number of quality players - but some of my favorite memories involved no code at all and very little ‘world lore’ beyond what we wrote in plots.
L. B. Heuschkel last edited by
I measure success in how much I enjoy it.
I don’t need hundreds of players and rooms. I don’t need a detailed metaplot and dedicated storytellers.
All I need is a good little group of people who enjoy writing stuff with me. We’ll make things happen. We’ll have fun. We’ll make our own fun.
So I guess that to me, a good game is one that supplies a setting that leaves room for interpretation and exploration; staff that doesn’t micromanage everything but aren’t entirely absent either; and finally, 5-10 decent people who are more interested in writing a good story than they are in stirring up drama.
Mourne last edited by
For me, it’s a game that people can enjoy at any time they choose to log on.
Admittedly, a lot harder to do these days as it requires a pretty high player base count in order to assure that there’s enough RP going on at all hours in public that is open for people to join.
On a more reasonable level…
If a game is fun, it is successful.
I agree with @Mourne that at its most basic, a successful game is an enjoyable one.
Getting into more detail, I like a lot of what @Tat and @Pyrephox and @L-B-Heuschkel said. To me, a successful game is one with a cohesive theme and setting, where I can get enjoyable RP 1-3 times per week and can have an impact on the setting (even if it’s tiny).
I want the enjoyable RP because, well, that’s why we do this, right? I want to be able to have an impact on the setting because that’s what I find most enjoyable. I want a cohesive theme and setting because I like a game that makes sense, and without that cohesion, I get stuck putting in inputs and getting outputs that don’t make sense to me.