Game Design- Month One


Feeling you Skeletor …


It’s been over a month since I had my eureka moment and started the scary process of actually putting my thoughts down and beginning a journey. I honestly think that’s the scariest thing you can do, and you can only go upwards from there.

So far my game has had a a few major design tweaks and a full redesign that I am currently working on now. I play tested it a few times and thought I  loved my idea. But when I started playing it I realised it wasn’t flowing and I was actually only finding one aspect of it enjoyable. So I went back to the drawing board to figure out why this was. Then a week of total blankness where nothing was happening and my brain had definitely melted. Now I think i’ve got it, and I know where I’m going with it, but it’s going to be a hard road ahead. I could find that the same thing happens a few times before I achieve a truly good game. So this brought me to my first major lesson; have patience and don’t lose heart. When I have an idea and start creating something I am so gung-ho about it, and if I don’t meet my own expectations quickly enough I feel impatient and frustrated. In short I start fighting with myself. My original estimate of having something ready in a year or even 18 months was a stretch. I’ve had to reign myself in a bit and think ‘ok, this is going to take a while, it’s going to take a lot of hard work and patience but stick with it’ and I’ve got to give myself a break here and there for not meeting my own self imposed deadlines. I’d rather have something amazing and well thought out than rushed and not ready. Also the more times that passes the more games I’ll play, the more research I’ll do and hopefully the better product I’ll have.

I can’t wait to start sharing what it’s all about but it’s still so early on so I don’t want to jump the gun, but the theme is based on my other favourite topic; I am a self confessed horror, paranormal and supernatural junkie. I had a few ideas about themes and this is definitely the one I knew most about that somehow fitted in with the mechanics I had in mind. It’s also going to be a card game. Because as you know from reading my blog or seeing my Instagram I am pretty obsessed with cards.

Also i’ve had to look on the positive side of things, because I can get quite down on myself. I was worrying that my ‘failures’ in the past (not getting the job I sought after my degree, opening and closing an online shop etc etc) would mean that this might end up being something which fails epically. But I was thinking maybe all those things that have happened in the past have actually paved way for making a success of something now, because all of those things I didn’t succeed at I did learn things from, I did acquire skills I didn’t have before. And hey, i’ve created a life and have a amazing baby who I have been responsible for and nurtured for almost a year, and made it through one of the hardest times i’ve ever had, so that’s pretty damn special.  I really need to re-read this when I have a down moment!

So it’s going to be another week and another balancing act of working, looking after my daughter (who is an almost 11 month old bundle of joy and destruction) playing games and designing my own. Who knows where i’ll be by the end of it, but everyday i’m always one step closer to where I was yesterday.


Board Game Design- My new journey

I am designing my own game! I spoke with Jon a couple of years ago about us designing a game together, but we both kind of forgot about the idea, shrugging it off as a nice thought but something we could never do. Recently it’s been in the back of my mind to really actually give it a go. And once I get an idea in my head, that’s it, i’m doing it! Or going to damn well try.

I had some initial ideas but there’s one I’m running with that’s also themed around a topic i’m passionate and knowledgable about which helps! Although i’ve shared my ideas and discuss them with Jon, i’m on my own with this (although will definitely need some advice with certain areas i’m not so confident in). Jon is working on his own game too, and they are both very different! It’s hard for me in a way because he works differently from me and it’s hard not to look at what he’s done and feel like i’m lagging behind or need to do something different. But left to my own devices and with my own headspace things start to make sense, and my way of working suits me. I must be mad because I am pretty time poor, what with having a baby and back to part time working, but i’m finding spare moments here and there to work on it, and i’m really enjoying it so far.

I have had a few banging my head against the wall moments and i’m sure they’ll be plenty more of those to come! But I’m happy to be doing this. I’m not going to write about it too much in this early development stage, I genuinely find if i’m writing about a project then i’m probably spending less time doing it! Also reluctant to speak too much about it, because if it all falls apart i’ll feel like a real idiot! But if the process gets further along i’ll definitely be sharing some ideas and looking for options, feedback, play testers etc. It may be at an early play testing stage next week so I can give it some solo plays and two player run throughs.

I’m very excited, I do love to dream big, and you never know, watch this space, maybe in a year or 18 months you could have my game in your hands. Or maybe not….here’s to hoping!