Saturday, May 05, 2007

"Excess" of ideas

I seem to be suffering from an "excess" of ideas. This isn't surprising: I've read of full-time novelists who say they can't possibly write all the books they have in mind. And I am not a full-time designer by any means.

Time available makes a big difference. I sometimes feel obsessed with designing games, but don't spend so much time on it lately (perhaps because local playtesting is much harder to arrange than in the past). F&SF novelist Glenn Cook had a prolific output when he had a long (train) commute to his work at a GM assembly plant. When he moved, his production plummeted to about one novel a year.

At any rate, I have eight or less complete prototypes ready to be played for the first time, but I just don't seem to take time to play them. And while it is more important to complete a game than to start a new one, the most interesting time in design is the first few games I play (solo), and the first few times the game is played by other people. Because I develop my own games, I spend a lot of time toward the end fine-tuning rules and playtesting over and over. This is not great fun, far from it.

Even after a game has been published, there's time spent monitoring discussion groups and even slightly revising the rules. It all takes away from doing new games.

Recently I've not been helped by news that a man we occasionally playtest with, a graduate of my college, died of a heart attack at age 36. He had some health problems, but seemed to be doing well, this was a complete surprise.

My brother's big-deal retirement party is at the same time as WBC, so I may not be at WBC as long as usual.

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