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Fear of Change

I have worked with dozens of designers and one thing we all have in common is we want are games to be as envisioned. Often I have seen, especially with newer designer, a reluctance to make changes to a game when the need arises. This has gone as far as individuals abandoning perfectly good core systems because they don’t work perfectly rather than making a change that will improve the game.

I myself struggled with this when I first submitted gamed to publishers and they requested changes be made before they would consider it further.

What? “Nothing wrong with this game, they just don’t understand it.”

Well they do understand it, or at least they understand their business plan which is driving what games they publish and how refined the design need to be. Because of this publishers will either make changes on their own or ask you to change the design. I prefer to still hold the reins even if someone else is telling me which direction to go. Your option is to work with them or look for another publisher.

Any number of things could get changed; Number of players, Length, Complexity, Theme, etc… So having got over the (MY GAME IS PERFECT) syndrome years ago I was taken aback by a publisher’s suggestion. I have been doing quite a few family games and have a simple 20 min card game being looked at. After a rework to increase the player interaction my publisher said they liked the game but was wondering what I thought of turning it into a speed game using a timer. My gut reaction was they wanted an entirely different game and I was going to have to do a complete redesign from the ground up if a timer was added. This didn’t turn out to be the case. After running a few mind experiments on the game it was apparent that the original game would be intact. I was able to borrow a copy of Pass the Bomb, which has a variable timer, from a member of my gaming group. (Note: Collectively my group has nearly 10% of all the games listed on BGG.) Getting together with another local designer I ran an initial test and the speed game not only worked on the first try, it was fun.

I know neither version of the game is going to win an award or get any buzz at BGG but I still would be happy if either version gets published.

Comments

Good luck Dralius ....

Good luck Dralius ....

Fun Indeed

It was a fun game, and in fact it's a game that I've been thinking more about since we played it. It's a game I'd buy.

worth the effort

Making the changes was worth it. The Contract is in the mail

congrats

well done! Is there a link to the game you can share with us? Sorry if it's already on here i'm new around here.

Nothing yet.

Its going to sometime before this game is shown to the public. The publisher wants to keep things under wraps until they are ready and it's not likly to come out until 2010. There is a custom timer involved. I have never dealt with electronics in games before so i don't know how much more time this will add to the development time.

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blog | by Dr. Radut