Rethinking the Unfun

August 18, 2009 at 9:46 am (Games, MetaBlog) (, , )

I apologize to all of you who read my blog and may have noticed my prolonged absence. As some of you who follow me on twitter may already know I was digging in deep into writing for my supernatural highschool game. A few weeks ago I ran into a wall as far as the design went. I had the basics of what I wanted for the structure of the game to give the game a feeling of being in highschool with relationships and deadlines and drama but I didn’t have a good idea for conflict mechanics or how the systems I already had would interact with each other.

I did a bit of whining over on twitter and some really great folks were kind enough to kick my butt and tell me to stop whining and really dig in and do the design. So I did and when I looked at my first draft it really was the game I had envisioned and it sucked. It didn’t suck in the good way that ment that it was rough and could be worked through and be made into a game I could be proud of. Rather it sucked in the way that the game was unfun.

Their were two main problems with the game as it was and they were both sacred cows. The first was the relationship map which had turned into its own seporate game which was mostly tedious. The second was the timeing method that drove the games scene economy and powered characters. It came down to players having to choose between playing the game of succeding at school with lame characters or succeding at the mystery of the game while failing out of school or giving the players enough points to succed at both and removing all challange from the game.

I have decided to put that game down for a while and focus on making The Gods Must be Crazy a fully playable game rather than a half baked playtest document. I hope to return to the supernatural highshool one day but it won’t be soon.

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