Mammas, don't let your babies grow up to be game designers
Mike Compton
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...don't let 'em play-test games or try to write rules
Make 'em be doctors and lawyers at school...

...Mammas, don't let your babies grow up to be game designers,
They'll always be trying some new thought or quirk,
Only to find out it simply won't work...


This geeklist is a humanitarian attempt on my part to save anyone out there from seriously contemplating the idea of trying to design a game. There is simply too much heartache and pain that comes from the process and my hope is that this geeklist might save some poor soul from walking down the sorrow-laden path that many have walked down before.
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1. Board Game: Time's Up! [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:381]
Mike Compton
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The Time

You will spend hours and hours and hours and hours playtesting, tweaking, rewriting, and re-prototyping only to find out after all your efforts that you're simply going to have to go back to the drawing board and do it all over again. It's an exhausting process that is emotionally draining and time consuming.

Back away from the idea now and run while you still can.

 
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2. Board Game: Dead Money [Average Rating:5.49 Overall Rank:13004]
Mike Compton
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The Money

Even if you are okay with the time commitment, there's money and resources you will inevitably commit to the process. Even if you're only making a basic prototype, you will probably encounter more printing costs or materials cost than you bargained for. Even if you are just using your home computer printer or even just hand writing/drawing the prototype, game design will consume your resources and cost you money.

Trust me, flee into the woods now and abandon this notion of designing games.
 
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3. Board Game: Bury Your Faults [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Mike Compton
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The Feedback

Even if you're okay with the time and money commitments, you will have to endure the process of listening to playtesters take your precious little game idea and completely rip it to shreads. Don't they know how much you've invested in this game? Don't they know how precious and important this game is to you?! Well, the playtesters honestly don't care. They are like the bullies and you are like the mother watching them beat up your favorite child - and then you're supposed to thank them for it and schedule a time when they can do it all over again!

Save yourself the heartache. Turn back now!!
 
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4. Board Game: 1914 Revision Kit [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Mike Compton
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The Revisions

Not only will you have to spend lots of time and money, not only will you have to endure cutting criticism, you'll also have to make revisions in the game that you simply won't want to make. Perhaps the theme just isn't right. Perhaps that one mechanic (which was the whole reason you started designing the game in the first place) is the very thing that is the core problem with the game. Perhaps the look of the board or the layout that you became so emotionally attached to is the very thing now that has to be changed or removed for the game to become better. You will have to brace yourself for what many movie directors have to face: that of cutting one's "favorite scene".

You have to ask yourself, "Is it really worth it to go through all this?!!"
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5. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:2240]
Mike Compton
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Getting Noticed

After you finally have a game you feel is ready or "worthy" of publication, then you will have to start hitting the trail and find a publisher who may see your game as being one that they might want to pick up.

Do you really want to face the rejection that will inevitably come? Run! Flee now before it's too late!
 
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6. Board Game: Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot [Average Rating:5.49 Overall Rank:15085] [Average Rating:5.49 Unranked]
Mike Compton
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Sigh....shake...

If it's already too late, if you've already let game design get "into your blood" then I'm sorry. There's no hope for you. As Yoda said:

"..once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.."

The most you can do now is make a geeklist trying to warn others about the dangers of the road ahead and tell them that the game design process is like the rabbit:



And, if you're like me, you'll endure through all this and still come back for more - because, to you, it's all worth it.
 
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