Game Design: Iteration

By 19/05/2017Game Design

OK, funny thing happened yesterday.

I came back from a print shop with an 300 gr A3 board full of cards. And, just to disappoint you as much as I did my wife, these were not my game’s card.

Yesterday I discovered the worst feeling in the world. Disappointing my wife. Holy shit, I had never been on that particular stool and I don’t care to ever sit on it again.

But it came from the most unexpected angle. See, I’m developing this game quite under wraps. I tell very little people about it yet, because I don’t want to make too much of a fuss about it, considering I have some other issues to attend to that make game development seem like the stupidest possible endeavour.

Certainly, I hoped my wife wouldn’t think too much of it, because she’s dealing with these other issues as much as I am and sometimes a lot more. I felt that letting her know I was devoting my time to developing a game was not only a dumb thing to do but a complete waste of time. She knows I’m passionate about them. Hell, she even plays quite a few games herself. But I always felt like we’re talking about F-level priorities when game development is concerned.

Well, apparently, not so. Of late I had to put it a few extra hours to make a few things of this project come together. She, being my wife, of course noticed and asked me about what I was doing. My shush job is not my strongest suit, so I answered vaguely with some Illustrator/Photoshop mumbojumbo.

Imagine your wife’s face. If you don’t have a wife, imagine your girlfriend’s face. Now imagine it sad. Sadder. Take all the wind out of her. That’s the face she presented.

“Oh, I thought you had finally made a game!”

Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has just left the building.

Anyway, about iteration. The thing I realised is that I’ve been jumping the gun. Everything I have had until now are just ideas. The vampire game. The fire game. And a billion others that popped into my mind as I crunched through Schell’s book. They aren’t games, and ideas are a dime a dozen. Really.

So I decided to record every single game idea I’ve had so far that I can remember since I started reading this book. I just dumped them on an Excel spreadsheet. If I get a good riff on one of them going, I just jot down additional notes for them. Still, just ideas. Not games, ideas.

The first thing I have to do is choose the idea that I think has the best chances of surviving the gauntlet.

Right off the bat? I’ve got like 18 game ideas. Not 300, or 3,000, certainly not 30,000. Just 18. Ranging from pretty good to absolutely bland. I like “very low-level D&D”, think a “duelists” game has potential, think a game about an “auction of ridiculous opulence and competitiveness” sounds stupid but fun and that a game about creating a “spaceship engine by adding tiles and distributing power” might be really cool.

I’ll put each idea quickly through a condensed ringer and see what comes out. I’ll give myself a little while to mull things over before picking a finalist. I can already kind of tell that the fire game is out or will change dramatically before even coming out of the gauntlet.

#15 Eight Filters

#16 Risk Mitigation

#17 Toy

#18 Passion

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