Steve Bannon on RPG design:
"[D]on’t invent shit. Take something that works and make it better."
Having a journal practice is good for self awareness of the best of what's in you. You can know in dark and uncertain times that the jittery, anxious, stressed, flailing failure isn't who you really are. That there's another you you can recapture.
This afternoon I went back into an old journal looking for something, and cripes it's like I was totally a different person in the late summer of 2015. I'd been let go from a longtime wearying job in March and was living off severance from it. And I was on fire! I'd come up with #Threeforged and was running it. I was playtesting Traverser, had gutted out the core system and designed its current fantastic core system as a replacement. And I see now notes on another game idea with good potential.
Have you seen me talking about Traverser, my current project? It’s an RPG like The Clay That Woke, with fiction that reflects its mechanics and conveys its genre and themes. If you’re curious to see an excerpt of the fiction, and about the mechanics it reflects, check out the One-time Journal of Findings in RPG Design:
I am seriously not that controversial.
Yeah, for me abandoning a game is very different from and independent of finishing it. Abandoning a finished game means stuff like letting it go out of print, stopping playing it at cons, stopping entering into conversations about it, pulling it from PDF sales, stuff like that.
How often do I crack open the game to look something up? Do I think and feel about the game in present tense, past tense, or future tense?
Before that you just don’t know. The odds are, no matter how accomplished you are as a designer, it’s going to come apart on you, in some way you never expected, and never be a game. More games come apart like this than get to the point where you know you can make them a game. After getting to that point, finishing one is still work, but it’s a different kind of work with a different kind of energy. (2/2)
There’s a point you hit in an RPG design project when you know if you just do the work, you’ll have a game at the end. It can come pretty early—if you’re working from someone else’s game engine it can come before you’ve hardly written a word. If not though, you have to solve your game’s whole chain of problems, see it function in playtesting, and write enough of it to create your confidence you can convey all of what’s needed as a game text. (1/2)
Writing a game or novel set in the future means being able to slip in subtle, oblique references to yourself, as if you had historic significance.
The authorial tradition of game design is about the creation of published games. The bardic tradition is about local and situational purposes in designing mostly unpublished games (some of which may later be published).
Space exploration via one gram spacecrafts? Fascinating to think about.
$40 to park in downtown Detroit for the parade. No thanks.