Punter Hunter

Let’s pretend Interactive Fiction is Software. And you are an author. How would you describe your user community?

Or perhaps IF is the next evolution of Literature. And you are an author. Who then are your readership?

This topic sprang from another which discusses potential future enabling technologies for Interactive Fiction.
In support of that, here is a place to describe the potential future Audiences of Interactive Fiction.

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What does “punter hunter” mean?

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Well, it’s the first question anyone from marketing asks;

Who is your target audience?

Scarily, i never really have an answer for this. Is it classic IF fans, teenagers, casual gamers, bored housewives or fringe lunatic masochists.

So i say; it’s just anyone really!

But of course, the general public (ie anyone) doesn’t want to read much and they definitely don’t want to type much. Instead, they want to press play and be entertained!

And that brings me back to square 1.

Your (better) answers welcome!


In an ideal situation, your target audience is the group of people who enjoy the stories you like to tell.

If the audience is identified, the author can compromise to a certain extent to pick up more of that demographic, hopefully also remaining mostly true to “what they want to write.”

The potential audience for IF is anyone with a computer who buys/downloads (depending on price point) software with interactive narrative of any description. Getting it down to an actionable size of audience means a lot of decisions about the IF (probably enough to have a playable demo already in existence and play-tested with some potential audiences) have to already by known. Marketing never wants to wait that long.

This is why I don’t like this sort of marketing question - it’s nowhere near as helpful as the people who ask it think it is, even if one is considering IF with a specified narrative and gameplay mechanic.

Punter is UK slang for customer or client.

As @jkj_yuio says, knowing your audience is a basic goal for anyone creating a product.
I thought I’d make a thread which might reveal user groups of IF we’d otherwise be unaware of.

Markets to focus on perhaps, or which might be expanding or contracting in the future.

Sorry :laughing:

I’m struggling a little at the moment personally to picture my audience, and it’s impacting my motivation to write anything new.

If anyone has success stories of writing IF for particular constituencies, or groups of clients I’d love to hear them.

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In that case, the solution is more “write the game you want to play” and trust that there are people with the same taste as you!


Can’t really go wrong with being your own audience.

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