Game Writing

Posted: November 4, 2013 by Kane Blaireau in Board games, Kane, Life in a Box, Minatures, Role Playing Games

I am a bit of an amateur game-writer. I have a series of unfinished tabletop games ranging from board games, skirmishes, wargames to RPGs. I say amateur because none of them have ever been fully finished or published yet. I am hoping to change this soon, but let me just tell you about my process.

First, inspiration hits me from somewhere. This can be a song, movie, video game or another tabletop game. I usually make some mental notes of mechanics I would like to emulate from that source. When I feel like I have a complete idea, I will start writing down the core mechanics. After this point things start to fall apart.

My next step is trying to get friends and family to test it. This generally involves weeks of pestering to get a single play session done. Take notes and hope for feedback here and don’t get discouraged when their isn’t any. Update the rules as needed. After so many attempts and no further feedback, the game usually stagnates here.

How I have gotten around the stagnation recently is by seeking out another game writer locally who can help focus test the game. This is not always an option and only one that has happened with me recently. The other option is to test by yourself in between those few and far between sessions with your friends and family. Always ask questions of anyone who is playing or even ask yourself.

So then, is everything working as intended? If not, how do I fix that? Then fix it and test again. If something else breaks, tweak it and push it until something else breaks. Once everything is either working as intended and/or breaking where intended, it is ready! That is easier said than done, but game design is a series of iterations (or irritations) rather than one big inspirational leap. Sometimes that does happen, but not to me or anyone I know! I am at the last part on my current board game project, Gate Siege. If you would like more information, find me at Crushed Earth Productions on Facebook. I’d be more than happy to have more play testers since we are in the final stages of design of the core game and have begun discussing what to save for the expansion.

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