So there’s this conversation I keep seeing on game design forums:
Enthusiastic_Newbie “I’ve come up with a great new mechanic for my game!”
Old_Hand “There are no such thing as new mechanics, what is it?”
OH “That’s been done before in (Game) (Game) and (Game). Perhaps once in a generation someone comes up with a new mechanic, the odds that it’s you are millions to one.”
OH “Don’t try to invent new mechanics.”
Unenthusiastic_Newbie “Oh, okay. Thanks I guess.”
I’m planning on launching Wizard’s Academy around March 16th and so have been soliciting reviews to help gamers decide if it’s the right game for them. There should be half a dozen previews going live on the day of the launch, Ricky (who is generally excellent) has half of his preview live here and will launch a second video during the campaign. Generally feedback has been positive, but not every reviewer has liked the game. That’s fine by me, I don’t expect that every person will like every game, but doing this preview/kickstarter model does afford me an option that would not be available to a designer working in the traditional way: I could change the game based on the reviewer’s opinion.
The guys at islaythedragon have an interesting idea, they’ve asked a handful of questions in the hopes of starting a conversation between players and designers on that topic. I like talking to people who play and design games, if I didn’t then it’d be indicative of having made some shockingly bad choices in my life. Let’s give it a whirl.
I was playtesting with a couple of other games designers last week, this is always a good experience since you tend to get a different kind of feedback from other designers compared to regular players. It’s not better or worse, but it’s another perspective and if you want a game to be as good as possible you can never have too many points of view. In keeping with the ancient traditions of gamers at some point we wound up talking about every other game and I was surprised by the depth of emotion one of the other designers had in response to Cards against Humanity. A designer against cards against humanity if you will.
Let me start the week with a few housekeeping announcements:
1) I’m intending to have a look at how this blog works and see what could be updated. I’d love to combine the 3dtotalgames site and BGG site into one blog, but there are features of both I don’t want to give up. It’d also be good to have a bit more functionality (comment notifications etc.) if there’s anything you want please shout up this week.
2) Gamergate is still going on. It occurs me to that I hadn’t stated this formally before but, in the most diplomatic tone that seems appropriate to the issue: Fuck That Shit. Props to my brothers and sisters in the computer game design world fighting the good fight. It’s also a reminder to watch the culture that we encourage through our creations.
3) The first copy of my first game arrived recently and it looks amazing! It’s so exciting to see it rolling off the production line, there’s an unboxing video here, but for those of you who don’t like clicking on links left by strange people on the internet, here’s how it looks: