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Subject: How to start a game design group? rss

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Carl Frodge
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I recently met someone in person who is interested in designing games.

I have been coming up with ideas and mechanics and things for game design for a long time, but I'm never able to finalize anything, so a group of people bouncing ideas off each other would be great for me.

What's a good way to go about starting a game design group?
 
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Robert Beachler
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I know that around here there is a local Meetup group that gets together every other week to bounce off ideas, playtest, etc. Perhaps look into that or if you have board game Meetups already in your area you can contact the Meetup organizer for those groups and see if you can add an event in for it.
 
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Mark McGee
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The way our group started was one guy who wanted to start it posted here on BGG and got a list of interested people. Then he talked with a local game store about letting us meet there, and then we just made it into a regular event where we talk about design topics and playtest our games to get past design barriers. We have a BGG guild where we have reminders of upcoming meetings and events, etc.

But the crux is having someone who wants it to happen take the burden of doing legwork to get it started, then there being a committed group of people supporting those efforts.
 
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Emma Bulajewski
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I'm curious. Do most game designers collaborate on a game and create design groups? What is the benefit to designing in a group over designing independently?
 
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Mario Lanza
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I, like you, have ideas bouncing around in my head from time to time. That's not going to cut it. You have to work an idea enough to render some playable prototype before collaboration can begin.

I say this having attended a couple game design cons just to take part in the process. If you're serious, attend a game design con -- there are a few. You don't have to come with anything to participate in the process. This experience will set you on good footing.
 
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Mario Lanza
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If you do start a group, it's just finding enough folks who are committed enough to meet on a regular schedule and in the gaps, to develop their prototypes. It's all about the prototypes, even if they just offer the core and not the frills. I think if you could find 2 or 3 others, this could work. I all depends everyone's level of commitment. If all of you were highly committed, a small group could work. If you expect to have folks make it some times and other times not then you might want a few more folks, like 5 or 6. Consider that most games can work well enough with 3 the idea is to have enough folks to guarantee at least 3 each meeting. If you're designing two-player games, 2 would do.

I guess you'd expect a meeting once a month. Two would be ambitious.
 
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Carl Frodge
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Emmylala wrote:
I'm curious. Do most game designers collaborate on a game and create design groups? What is the benefit to designing in a group over designing independently?
Probably not. For me, the benefit would be the following:
•Get a different perspective on my ideas (maybe they're not as great as I think they are and the like)
•Hopefully get help with the design aspects I'm bad at (coming up with theme, using theme to drive mechanics, and so on).
•Getting new ideas when I get stuck.

I think there's a lot of benefits to working in a group, or even just 2 people. I think there are also benefits to working alone, but so far I haven't been able to do well enough with my designs that I was ready to even prototype them.
 
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