Almost as much as I hate broccoli, but I still stuff my face with those miniature trees because it’s meant to be good for your health and sex life, apparently. I write because I found that the task of transcribing thoughts into legible words not only helps with the improvement of speech, but it also helps in the refining of ideas – an important tool to any designer.
Like my biceps, lats, and many other external muscle groups, the lack of training my brain muscles have caused it to transmogrify into a huge blob, lacking the stern definition that my youth had once gifted me. Despite comforting myself with mantras like “it’s not what’s outside that’s important, it’s what’s on the inside”, deep down, I knew that my brain was probably as smooth as a pebble that has been shaped by the torrential forces of speech to text, Siri, and Uber/Grabfood deliveries. Anyhow, I needed a noggin workout.
As a game designer, we all yearn to create the best experiences and challenges for our audience, and much like music, complexity is not represented by the song with the most notes or the most complex chord structures, but rather; the ability to effectively deliver the intended emotions within its genre. I would much rather be able to create timeless masterpieces like Doom (1993), than Doom 3 (Disclaimer: Doom 3 to me is an ok game, that tried to impress with its graphics and atmosphere. Which is usually something I look forward to in a once of experience, but not a game). So the ability to articulate ones vision is paramount to any undertaking, regardless of its nature.
If recent experience in game design has been any indication, the impressiveness of one’s artistic output is almost always directly correlated to its designer’s ability to articulate the high and low level details of its game, and how they all interact with each other. I guess this has something to do with being clear with what your visions are. The clearer the vision, the harder it is to detract or be vied away from it, and the better you will be at building upon it. This epic level of dedication is all attributed to having clear goals, rather than having general “sort of” “kind of” goals: The output from a “I want a competitive game, with an emphasis on momentum and short player turns”; compared to a “I want a game that’s sort of like Pandemic, with abit of Brass feel, with deck building elements”, is almost always a better game. Not to say you can’t start at the later, but one’s ability to get to the former is greatly aided from ability to dissect and discern elements, which (to me) uses the same mental facilities as articulation and understanding.
All of this is really just to say, this blog is intended for me to diarise processes, articulate thoughts, and to archive any game design related exercises. Hopefully this will result in sharper rule sets, more interesting concepts, but overall, better games. If the content proves helpful to others, then it is a great bonus, but it is mainly for myself. (even writing this introduction initially felt meaningless, but the process of doing so had forced me to do some introspection, checked the spelling of a word or two, and now I’m a better man for it).
Cheers, and unless I get a visit from procrastination, I’ll see you in the next blog post.