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Subject: How many game designs do you usually work on? rss

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Jay Sears
Wales
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I know some people prefer to work just on one until its finished, but for me I just keep on coming up with idea after idea and want to just create new after new. I am listing all my current projects in my next newsletter (which if your interested you can sign up to receive it).

What I do is:

1. Quickly write down my ideas on paper
2. Start to write the rules for it to give me a better understanding

I then leave it for a few weeks then go back to re-look at the rules or stage 1. If the rules haven't been written yet I will do that 2nd time round. If the rules have been written, I will review them. I will then enter stage 3:

3. Create a prototype. Usually I have come up with another idea by the time I reach this stage.

For me I can play test games in my head and they always play in my head how they would playtest in reality. I can easily work out the mechanical game play and mathematics of how it will work in my head which relays perfectly in practical playtime.

At the moment I am working on 7 games and 4 have designs for them. 1 of which I am looking to release next year. If I don't keep taking down notes and writing the rules early I miss the whole concept of the idea and I don;t want to do that unless I end up losing a good game idea.
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Craig Stockwell
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JayProducer wrote:
At the moment I am working on 7 games and 4 have designs for them. 1 of which I am looking to release next year. If I don't keep taking down notes and writing the rules early I miss the whole concept of the idea and I don;t want to do that unless I end up losing a good game idea.

Gets me thinking about a thread from last year : https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1312075/too-many-projec...

For me, it's much the same -- I have many pokers in my creative fire. I'm always outlining ideas, adding to them as more inspiration hits, and when there's enough to put ink to paper, I made a rough prototype. If it can play through at home, it goes to a design night (or more home play).

Protos out with publishers for consideration (after successful pitches) generally go "on hold" (unless I have a revelation). Most of the time, I'd say I'm 'actively' working on four to seven games (i.e.: prototype being played outside of my home).
 
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Carl Qwerty
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I'm working on 2 right now. A vanilla fantasy game and a WW2 game. The vanilla fantasy game is close to being blind playtested.
 
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Geoffrey Burrell
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
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As a tween the neighborhood kids and I made a knock off of Monopoly that never made it past the neighbor's house we created it at. But it was fun and we had a great time playing it.
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James Arias
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I always have several ideas but usually only 1 at a time for design, prototyping, playtesting, balancing (we must have time to play other people's games too!). Right now focusing on my dungeon crawler, then will return to my sci-fi dudes on a map.
 
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Greg
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JayProducer wrote:
I know some people prefer to work just on one until its finished, but for me I just keep on coming up with idea after idea and want to just create new after new. I am listing all my current projects in my next newsletter (which if your interested you can sign up to receive it).

What I do is:

1. Quickly write down my ideas on paper
2. Start to write the rules for it to give me a better understanding

I then leave it for a few weeks then go back to re-look at the rules or stage 1. If the rules haven't been written yet I will do that 2nd time round. If the rules have been written, I will review them. I will then enter stage 3:

3. Create a prototype. Usually I have come up with another idea by the time I reach this stage.

For me I can play test games in my head and they always play in my head how they would playtest in reality. I can easily work out the mechanical game play and mathematics of how it will work in my head which relays perfectly in practical playtime.

At the moment I am working on 7 games and 4 have designs for them. 1 of which I am looking to release next year. If I don't keep taking down notes and writing the rules early I miss the whole concept of the idea and I don;t want to do that unless I end up losing a good game idea.

I think for me something like this is not able to be maintained for long, and no game would ever become polished enough. But for a person at your level of the game, it may be doable. I'm the type of person that needs to stay super focused and committed to one endeavor or I will eventually lose the inspiration to finish the race.

Of course I'm doing all the art on top of the design for my game so I have a lot more to focus on and can switch it up a bit; do art for a while and switch back to design for a while, to keep things fresh. Similar to playing games and painting mini's for a nice break here and there.

But another thing that drives me to stick with 1 design is that I want my product to be the best thing out there. I am not just designing it because it is a cool idea. I want it to transcend everything that came before it and to become a game that I would play forever, expanding it every so often. As such, all the focus and effort goes into this thing.

If some good idea comes to me I purposely forget it if it does not have to do with this design because I only have enough processing power, and time, for one masterpiece and the past has shown me that these other ideas can lead me to lose momentum for what I already have going. And that's not just in game design but in any project I start.
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Sturv Tafvherd
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North Carolina
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Do we count the help we're giving on games in these designer forums?

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Charles Ward
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3. Last year's game, this year's game, next year's game.
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Michael Knight
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I usually have 3 to 4 ideas I am actively working on with at least 1 or 2 in late Alpha Early Beta stage. Anymore and I feel that am not giving enough attention to them and things can get missed or not end up as good as I wanted.
 
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Jay Sears
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Phate999 wrote:
JayProducer wrote:
I know some people prefer to work just on one until its finished, but for me I just keep on coming up with idea after idea and want to just create new after new. I am listing all my current projects in my next newsletter (which if your interested you can sign up to receive it).

What I do is:

1. Quickly write down my ideas on paper
2. Start to write the rules for it to give me a better understanding

I then leave it for a few weeks then go back to re-look at the rules or stage 1. If the rules haven't been written yet I will do that 2nd time round. If the rules have been written, I will review them. I will then enter stage 3:

3. Create a prototype. Usually I have come up with another idea by the time I reach this stage.

For me I can play test games in my head and they always play in my head how they would playtest in reality. I can easily work out the mechanical game play and mathematics of how it will work in my head which relays perfectly in practical playtime.

At the moment I am working on 7 games and 4 have designs for them. 1 of which I am looking to release next year. If I don't keep taking down notes and writing the rules early I miss the whole concept of the idea and I don;t want to do that unless I end up losing a good game idea.

I think for me something like this is not able to be maintained for long, and no game would ever become polished enough. But for a person at your level of the game, it may be doable. I'm the type of person that needs to stay super focused and committed to one endeavor or I will eventually lose the inspiration to finish the race.

Of course I'm doing all the art on top of the design for my game so I have a lot more to focus on and can switch it up a bit; do art for a while and switch back to design for a while, to keep things fresh. Similar to playing games and painting mini's for a nice break here and there.

But another thing that drives me to stick with 1 design is that I want my product to be the best thing out there. I am not just designing it because it is a cool idea. I want it to transcend everything that came before it and to become a game that I would play forever, expanding it every so often. As such, all the focus and effort goes into this thing.

If some good idea comes to me I purposely forget it if it does not have to do with this design because I only have enough processing power, and time, for one masterpiece and the past has shown me that these other ideas can lead me to lose momentum for what I already have going. And that's not just in game design but in any project I start.


I will always finish my games for sure. When I choose a game to go on Kickstarter, like Destruction, I will pay a lot of attention to it and also still develop other games. I am very capable of doing lots of game designs together and ensuring the rules for my board games are written really well.

I will never give up in releasing all my games, but I will first ensure they are play tested before I will consider releasing them, and ensuring they flow really well. I appreciate what I do is not everyone's cup of tea and we all do things different.
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Jay Sears
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Stormtower wrote:
Do we count the help we're giving on games in these designer forums?


I suppose that would depend on how much input you give to games in development here. The more input on its mechanical game play and suggestions that are implemented in the game could go into an argument to say yes. But what I was really interested in knowing was your own games you are working on.
 
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JP Ginley
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I have just finished my first and LAST game after three years.
In retirement that has been given a huge amount of time and I could
never have been able to focus on more than one game. In hindsight, if
I had known in the beginning the work it would entail I would never
have started the project. That being said, completion has given immense
satisfaction, regardless of it's success or failure.

I envy those of you that can work on two, three or four games at the
same time...it must be my age !
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Terry Kirk
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I'm completely new to this but I'm working on one idea alone and in discussions about another with a friend.

The one I'm working on is a card game called 'Factions' and the initial release will be called 'initiation'. I think it's a pretty good title :-)
 
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Ben Pinchback
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I would pick a couple and concentrate on playtesting them as much as possible. And try to get some outside voices to test maybe through an Unpub or Unpub mini type scenario if you can.
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Kai Herbertz
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If I remember correctly, I worked on 4 board games so far, but not at the same time. The last 2 were done at the same time, if an overlap counts: I worked on a bigger game for a while and then had an idea for a shorter game, so I started working on that too.

The latter (game number 4) actually survived the rigoros playtest and after finishing the card layout yesterday, I'm currently producing it

As for parallel designs - that happened by accident and not by choice. I do have a document for assorted game mechanic ideas where I jot down stuff that doesn't fit the game I am currently working on, but might be used in another.
 
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Nick Halper
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JayProducer wrote:
If I don't keep taking down notes and writing the rules early I miss the whole concept of the idea and I don;t want to do that unless I end up losing a good game idea.


Ah! I know that feeling! I don't want to know how many great game ideas were flushed because I didn't have my notebook on me. I keep it around at all times now to hopefully never have this happen again.

As far as the queue goes, we usually probably have 5-6 ideas floating around at once (for boardgames, we also make video games, and those are more numerous but less attainable). Usually 2-3 of these are just in queue to be thought about more, they are just concepts on paper, no rules, no specifics, so to me they hardly count.

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Ben Pinchback
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Nickolaix wrote:
JayProducer wrote:
If I don't keep taking down notes and writing the rules early I miss the whole concept of the idea and I don;t want to do that unless I end up losing a good game idea.


Ah! I know that feeling! I don't want to know how many great game ideas were flushed because I didn't have my notebook on me. I keep it around at all times now to hopefully never have this happen again.

As far as the queue goes, we usually probably have 5-6 ideas floating around at once (for boardgames, we also make video games, and those are more numerous but less attainable). Usually 2-3 of these are just in queue to be thought about more, they are just concepts on paper, no rules, no specifics, so to me they hardly count.


Yes. A good trusty notebook is a best friend. You're almost always going to have more ideas than time. Prioritizing and finishing projects is what separates many successful designers from the also rans.
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