Greg's Design Blog

A collection of posts by game designer Gregory Carslaw, including mirrors of all of his blogs maintained for particular projects. A complete index of posts can be found here:
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Context: Dauntless Hunters

I've put a lot of thought into the fate of Dauntless Hunters over the past couple of weeks and come to the conclusion that it's not my best work. I still really like it and think that it does a lot of things very well, but the reality of the situation is that I don't have people asking to play it and if it's not resonating with players it's not doing its job as a game. I may come back to it with fresh ideas down the line, but at the moment I don't think that putting more time into it will get it to the state that I'd be happy asking people to pay for it.

That leaves me with the issue of what to do next. The experiment was to spend 12 months on a project to have something worthwhile to show and then to try to ask for subscribers to the project in order to see it become reality. I'm a little over 9 months into that process and now don't have a game. Right back in 2013 I wrote an article about the dangers of designing this way and how tunnel vision can under mine a project. Perhaps I should take my own advice.

So I'm going to spend a couple of months each on some new projects. I'm sure I won't get them to the state I'm happy with by the end of this experiment, but we'll see where it takes us. I resolved at the turn of the year to spend a day a week this year on these projects and I'd like to meet that commitment.I also had an interesting conversation recently about the nature of games I've been working on. That I occasionally have ideas that are too experimental for the publishers I've worked with before and they'll never see the light of day with my traditional work.

Well this isn't traditional so I'm going to spend a couple of months each on projects that aren't traditional. The first of these is an attempt to create a true sandbox board game. No stated victory condition - but the tools to create and express - as things like Minecraft offer to computer gamers.

I've spent today working on creating the first playable prototype of that game and the act of putting it together has already suggested a dozen changes to me. Next week I'll try to have something playable so that I can show a photo of it in action with a more complete description.

Wish me luck.
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