Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ideas into Objects

The real world always causes such problems.  I regularly come up with crazy ideas for FMB and then am forced to chop them because they don't work well with the physical limitations of the implementation I have chosen.  I have scrapped more than one great artifact idea simply because the text required to explain the way that it works was so large that it would not fit reasonably onto a single card.  You might suggest that the idea was too complicated to be good anyway, which is fair, but in most cases the mass of text was simply because I needed to cover edge cases and make sure that foolish people could not badly misinterpret how things were supposed to work.

I am often pinned by ideas that work well in abstraction or in a computer game but do not function well in a board game or ideas that I could easily work into a final version but don't mesh well with my current implementation.  For example, I have gone through several different kinds of tokens to represent units in the game.  I know how I want them to look at publishing time (if that time ever arrives!) but in the meantime I have to deal with making sure that my hacked together pieces adequately reflect the units properties so I can test the game.  Having ideas that are good when I have a factory cranking out bits isn't much good if I can't convince people to play the test version because it is too complicated or ugly or the learning curve too steep.  It is a very tricky tightrope to walk to make sure that at every stage the game is fun, understandable and as pretty I can make it and yet not lose anything that I want to include in the final version.

I think this whole process has really made it clear how being an iNtuitive (Myers-Briggs personality type) can be challenging.  I find it so hard to give up on my ideas and my grand scheme and get down to the nitty gritty details.  It takes me forever to get to actually building something physical whereas becoming completely absorbed in the ideas and theories behind the game is so easy.  I want to just sit back and discuss the best ways to build things and the optimal modelling of complicated abilities and not so much to actually hold something complete in my hands.  A ditchdigger I am not.

The pictures to the side here are of the new game board after I got my stuff printed out today.  I have a big chunk of foam board that I am going to stick all the paper cutouts on to give them some thickness and stiffness and then commence to mad testing.  I also went back and updated the rules so they would be a lot clearer and added rules for 3 and 4 player versions.  The pictures, rules and information are all posted ->Here<- if you want to take a look.  Obviously feel free to read, play and print out, but no publishing without paying me!  (I am involved in some kind of delusion that people would actually pay me for what I have done so far... I might need professional help.)

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