The Offer

The Offer

Improvisers have a wonderful term called ‘The Offer’.  Essentially it is any content that informs the audience and other improvisers about the scene, its characters and environment.  Offers are treated like a precious treasure, a tiny delicate baby, a new lover and all efforts are made to maintain and develop that offer.  And those efforts in turn become offers themselves.

A good improvised scene contains offers that are clear and connected.  One of the many sins an improviser can indulge in is to ignore an offer.  Doing so confuses the action, stops the flow of the scene and enrages the improv gods.

This “lens” of the offer, as Jesse Schell might call it, is useful to whip out to examine game design.  What offers in the game narrative are not developed or never used?  Is there something tantalizing that is offered that players can never interact with? How are offers emphasized in game content?

And offers are not just limited to game content. Look at your game packaging and marketing materials.  What do they offer the users?  Is there sufficient support for these offers in the game? Or does your game, Age of Zombies, only show the living undead in a cut-scene at the beginning and then one in a dungeon 5 hours later?


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