Identifying types of players and what they want from a game is a great way to improve your design skills. in this article we will take a look at what I think are the different types of players that exist and how you can make sure that each type of player gets rewarded in your game.
The first type of players are the achievers. Achievers want a list of things to do. They want special challenges that award bragging rights like titles or achievement points. Special challenges and achievements should be optional in your game, they should not give rewards that give you power like gold, equipment, upgrade points. The only reward it should give is optional stuff like achievement points and titles.
How do we create designs that appeal to the Achiever type of player?
– Have a statistics page that includes total number of kills, double kills, gold collected, deaths, gold medals acquired, time played to reach max level, total playtime etc…
– Have numbers for everything, like total achievement points earned so they can brag how much they achieved.
– Progress bars with percentage or x/150 displays so they can brag how far they progressed.
The collectors are the pokémon card players among gamers. That’s the best way I can compare it. Collectors want visual progression of things to collect. Like a greyed out template of all things to collect, and when they collect something it will be in color. Collectors don’t only focus on things to collect, but also on things to complete, much like achievers but they want it presented differently. Where achievers want numbers for bragging rights, collectors want visual progression for own satisfaction. The way to achieve great designs to appeal to both collectors and achievers is to create both visual progression like progress bars or greyed out templates and add numbers of total things earned.
How do we create designs that appeal to the Collector type of player?
– Visual progression! Greyed out templates of what to collect, progress bars, visual representation of stars to earn, etc…
– Visual customisation. For example in RPG games the ability to change cloths to custom cloths or colors, different equipment to collect that changes appearance of your character. Haircuts to collect that you can use at a barber shop, custom weapon skins to collect, etc…
Explorers want to see as much content in the game as possible. Therefore it is important to have a lot of levels, a lot of play fields. What’s important to satisfy explorers is to reward them for doing so. Add experience gains, collectibles or gold rewards for exploring every inch of the game world. Find out which is the usual route players take when playing the regular game objectives, then find out the places that players usual don’t go and add in rewards for going there anyway. Special points of interest like they say. It is important though that the regular game objectives are more rewarding than exploring, else exploring is not optional. Other types of players usually don’t want to spend time exploring.
How do we create designs that appeal to Explorer type of players?
– Add rewards for exploring special points of interest.
– Add achievements for exploring.
Grinders are the players who like to find the most efficient part of the game and keep repeatedly playing that one part of the game, because it is the most rewarding. While your game should in the first place be balanced so that every piece of content is more or less the same in terms of rewards for the amount of time spent. It is a good idea to have a few spots that are more rewarding for a particular type of reward. For example, spot one could be more rewarding for gold coins, spot two could be more rewarding for badges, spot three could could be more rewarding for experience points, etc… This way the grinders have something to “grind out”.
How do we create designs that appeal to Grinder type of players?
– Add spots that are more rewarding for a particular type of reward.
– These spots of interest should be the most fun parts in your game to play.
– You could add achievements for completing these spots multiple times in a set amount of time.
Crafters are the people that like to create their own things. Breathing animals so they become a pet or a mount, collecting materials to create your own weapons, or to create a custom skin for your weapon, creating own clothes or a custom clothing skin, buying upgrades for your racing car, building houses, etc… Here again, you want crafting to be optional. Not every player likes to spent a lot of time to farm for materials, or spent time to optimize the looks of a weapon. Some players just want to start racing or start shooting stuff as soon as possible.
How do we create designs that appeal to Crafter type of players?
– Add stuff that can be created by the player
– Add stuff that can be customized in looks (even something as simple as a color change can be enough)
As you can see there are a lot of different types of players. Most players can be categorized in 2 or 3 of these categories. Therefore it is of great importance that you try to create your game so that it appeals to as much of these player types as possible. If one of the categories a player fits in is left out of the game, the player might quit the game before you know it.
I hope this overview gave you some great insight in how to improve your game designs. You really have to consider every type of player when designing a particular system so it fits multiple categories.
See ya in the next blog post! 🙂