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Dashboard Forums Game Design Is my theme problematic?

  • Is my theme problematic?

     John Costello updated 1 year, 10 months ago 6 Members · 9 Posts
  • Victor Dominguez

    July 10, 2021 at 7:53 am

    I don’t know a one-word phrase for what to call the theme but my game is about being mischievous monsters using fireworks as weapons to wipe the other teams out. Last team standing wins. My game involves having a diverse team of fictional and cartoony monsters of all kinds but the fireworks are all based off of real world firecrackers (not by name like “Black Cat”, only by type like “Roman Candle”). This is a strategy game in which every monster has its own unique ability to give you an edge, and each firework type is played a specific way that is supposed to resemble it’s real-world action. Its quite a simple fast paced game and supposed to be just goofy, fun, and colorful so the age demographic I am aiming for is about 10/13 yrs and up. My concern is that I might be giving kids in that younger age group the idea to play with fireworks irresponsibly and dangerously when that is far from my intention. This should be a fantasy kind-of substitute for that sort of recklessness, hence why all the characters are cartoonish monsters. The game’s uses the keyword “BURN” as a main ability some fireworks have to essentially Burn a monster and eliminate it. And I thought using that word in itself might be important to reminding anyone of the real life danger fireworks are.

    I don’t know how many games are out there that use fireworks the way I am – I can’t think of any but if you know please tell me. Anyway, thank you and please let me know your thoughts.

  • Grant Kerwood

    July 10, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    That is a valid concern.

    It is a tough line to draw with the realistic of fireworks and the cartoon-ish nature of monsters

    I think if you are continuing exactly with your theme you may want to add a short “Be responsible when playing with fireworks, and get parental permission”

    Another alternative is to instead of eliminating opponents by hitting them with fireworks, you can instead of “health” you can have “spectators” and the goal is to attract everyone else’s spectators.

    • Adam Michaud

      July 12, 2021 at 6:54 pm

      This is a great solution. I like the idea of it being spectator based.

  • Adam Michaud

    July 12, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    Unfortunately I think it might be at least for your target audience. If were adult game.that had fireworks as a weapon I don’t see it as a problem. For middle grade kids I can see this theme being a hard sell for parents and therefore potential publishers.
    I like the idea of making it a fireworks show that wins spectators away from opponents, but if you want to keep it more of an attack thing maybe it could be a food fight? All the different fireworks could be different food that gets thrown so that you still have the unique attack effects.

    • Emily Bekius

      July 12, 2021 at 10:41 pm

      I like the spectator idea – the monsters could be trying to create either the most beautiful, biggest, craziest, brightest, etc. show than the others. I also REALLY like the food fight idea! That seems very much like what mischievous monsters would do! Lots of options with that too.

    • Victor Dominguez

      July 17, 2021 at 6:33 pm

      I like your idea for a food fight. I also like the spectator idea although I think that it would require a complete rework. But it’s not impossible. I’ll have to think this over some. Thanks for the help everyone.

  • James Baldwin

    July 15, 2021 at 12:53 am

    It sounds fun but yes, I think if aimed at children, it’s definitely problematic.

    You could fall back on generic “magic” instead of fireworks? Monster sorcerers and wizards? It’s not as uniquely themed as fireworks, I agree, but it takes it out of the real world and firmly into fantasy land where parents will not have any worries that dangerous behaviour is being encouraged.

  • Victor Dominguez

    July 18, 2021 at 7:30 am

    Thanks for your input everyone. I think the reason that my target demographic is younger is because I’m not so confident that adults would be interested in it as much as a younger audience would be. But maybe I am over thinking this

  • John Costello

    July 18, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    Why don’t you keep the real world firework names, i.e. Roman Candle, but instead of cartoony monsters aiming/harming/killing each other with fireworks, also change the projectile from ‘fireworks’ to something also cartoony and less real-world? For example, the monsters shoot ‘Star Bursts’ at each other, or ‘Sparkling Dust’, ‘Fire Light’, ‘Cluster Rocket’, ‘Bangers’.

    That way you can keep it fun, maintain your intention but it is disguised for a younger audience.

    This could also enhance an earlier suggestion of winning spectators.

    Good luck.

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