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From the prow of your ship you see the island come into view. At first it is nothing but a glint on the horizon, then a shining sphere.. a ...

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A new Method.

A new method, for me any way.

My method for  working on Shards of Timbral has been altogether different from how I have approached past projects. Usually I have a strong goal concerning how the game should play. I think to myself "What kind of experience at the table will best support the concept I'm currently working with". For example when I'm working on Loot Box, I know the game has to move quickly, but have enough tactical weight that it would be critical to know what each player did and when. Once I had that in mind I designed towards that set of criteria. And by design I mean a very deliberate process.

This time what I am trying is to be less deliberate.
I have a big spiral notebook and every day if I have an idea that relates to the game, no matter how far fetched, I write it down.
So the notebook has scrawlings all over it now that say things like  "Hit points in three section... level up gets 1d6 each section..." Interspersed with  descriptive notes like "sail snails" and "Saber-dancing ritualists."
Not to mention little doodles of things that come to my mind. (Me, always with the  doodles)
I'm not going to put anything down on my computer until I fill that notebook and  go back and forth over it a few times.

The things I am trying to avoid are brian fatigue and  tunnel vision.
With AAIE it happened to me when I started working on the setting bits for the game which I tentatively called "The Town." I had (have) plenty of good ideas for it, but executing them has become fatiguing. I just got tired of thinking about that part of the game, and had trouble bringing myself to organize it all.
Loot box is a good example of  Tunnel vision. Each part of that game took up a lot of my time from the skills to the burn chains. As an effect I'm not satisfied with how they all work together, and never even got to the loot system proper.

What I hope is that having a big old messy idea book will when I start to write the game give me the raw inspirational material I need to stay interested while moving focus from on design task to another.

Let's see how it goes.