Game of Cults: Designing an Endgame Strategy That Satisfies Your Readers

The dual endgame

Think of your endgame from your perspective and that of your readers.

Can you get the two into perfect alignment?

If you follow my other material, you know that the purpose of any business is cash flow production. So we are looking to design this game and your company to sync up. One perpetuates the other.

How can you extract the most cash flow as efficiently as possible?

There’s a conflict.

Your cash flow isn’t the endgame for your reader. They need something else from the exchange of cash.

There may be multiple endgames where readers get to navigate to various roles and responsibilities in your community. Some fans want to take ownership and help you succeed.

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“Ownership” can be a touchy subject. The story world is theirs, and they are unwilling to share “ownership,” but when people care enough about your characters and lore that they will fight about it, they take ownership.

If we are deliberate in our construction of the game, there is a real possibility that the game becomes just as important as the stories you tell. Sure, there is the experience of reading or listening to a good book, which has its reward, but what if your marketing is more about helping re-trigger the sentiment they experienced while reading?

The last piece of your endgame is helping readers realize their human givens. In the following articles, we will revisit these Human Givens and align them with essential ideas in game design.

Much of what drives reading is the riskless experience of having an experience where I don’t have to take emotional or personal risks.

This leads to the idea that some—if not many—of our readers get their human givens met through the book experience, and learn how to fulfill those needs through observing your characters go on that journey.

What if readers could relive and reenact those journeys by engaging in your community, which is designed to get them to those human givens as the endgame?

Think that’s too big? Just look at the human given of feeling part of a wider community. Or having status in that community.

It isn’t that big of a leap. Instead, it should be a deliberate set of small steps in the scaffolding that carries them through to that result.

When your endgame delivers on human givens, the fact that they paid along the way was insignificant and aligned with our end game of increasing cash flow.

One more thing…

Analyze satisfying endings.

What shows ended well? What books do you feel left you in just the right emotional state?

Think through the best experiences you’ve had with brands that delivered you to a good place.

What was the emotion they left you with?

Can you plot out how they got you there and what work you did to get yourself there?

Read: The Role of People and Perception in Your Career Growth