I've published no games the last years. This has made me think that my creative spirit has been in decline ...
- but then I got the idea to count the publications in the "5-minute challenge"-thread, and by doing that conceiving the idea to count my own designs the last years too ...
- it helped.
I've designed a total of 63 games the last five years. Most of them are insignificant trifles, but there are some small jewels amongst them, in my view. Amongst them is my discovery of role-playing poems.
The sheer amount of games made me think, once I counted them; maybe such an approach towards game-design is a road towards excellence? I've made some pretty good games already, from first to last:
- by opening up for total intuitive design: Muu (published 1989, classical rpg, GM and players)
- by simple and intelligent experimentation: Pervo (published 1996, classical rpg, GM and players)
- by hard work: Fabula (1995-2012, published 1999, classical rpg, GM and players)
- and by applying methods discovered by others: Livets Høst (2006, modern rpg, players).
The last one is a bit back in time now; Livets Høst was designed in 2006, and is still not published. It actually signaled something new in my game-design; a serious intent to change/help humans. I want to try help people become better versions of themselves, by playing games. I want my games to have this quality; this potential, in the hands of average people.
It's a tall order! Some will say it's an absurd goal, or totally un-realistic for a game-designer. I do not know.
I am ready to give it a try, though, on behalf of my game Livets Høst. That game seems to have this quality. But it lacks a functional framework to be published in. It lacks an established "field of operation", both in terms of where it fits into society, and in terms of where it fits into game-design and publishing.
So what I've done since 2006 has been to bide my time, in a way. Initially it was very frustrating to have a game like Livets Høst, and nowhere to go with it. I tried making more games of the same sort, and succeeded partially. I tried to gather funding to design and publish a series of games like this, actually planning two series of 18 games in total, but failed to get any funding for them. It was frustrating, and in the end I gave up on it. Kind of ...
What I did do, after a while, was starting to design a lot of games. 63 games in total the last five years. It's not been a conscious choice. It just happened, maybe due to the frustration; I just needed to went my creativity. Still; now I believe it has been necessary, not only as a went, but as a way forward. It has certainly been very fruitful. And more important: I have learned a lot by designing all these games. It's been like soaking my brain in a design cauldron.
It's made me a more experienced and mindful designer, and a much more efficient one. I'm more efficient now, both in terms of finishing games, and in terms of making my methods work in liege with the vision of the games I design. If I want my players to cry, I'm better equipped to make them, by game-design. If I want them to laugh, I'm better at that too.
And when I think back; it is not all that hard doing it. 63 games has been easy to make, actually. The key is not to be too concerned about the spelling, the methodic qualities, or if someone is going to play it. Design in itself is the road forward. Here is how YOU may do it:
- Give yourself a narrow framework to work in; a time-limit or a certain field of design you want to explore, and DO it!
Don't hold back; DO it, and file the game as finished. Finishing a game has its own reward. You will be surprised by the ease it may be done, and the experience that may be had by doing it.
You should really try it!
And me; where will I go from here?
- I'm convinced now, that to design a lot of games really is a road towards excellence. And I certainly need excellence to have a go at my tall design goal; to make games that may change humans. I want to do it, and I believe this is the year I will start working towards it, in an organized and directed way. I believe the world is ready for such games now. I hope I've got the excellence to make it happen ...
Wish me luck!