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The terrible tangent...

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Tbone
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Joined: 02/18/2013

I am deathly afraid of game design. When I have an idea that is super cool and proves to be exceptional, I get anxious even adding things to it (even though there are things that need fixed!). I think this is healthy (lol), it creates the balance of "I don't want to add things that will ruin the design" and "I need to rework this because it just isn't right". I have gotten better at noticing the terrible tangent, the incredible urge to keep adding things and end up getting far away from the original design and direction. I think sometimes though, I get so afraid of adding things that I actually miss out on cool aspects of the game that could be better!

Do you struggle with this? What ways do you curb the sensation of adding "just one more thing"? How do you know when adding something is needed?

questccg
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I personally suffer from...

The "This seems so freaken AMAZING..." Until I playtest it and I think: "This is freaken CRAP!!!" Lot of ideas sound GREAT until you playtest them and then you're all freaked out because it doesn't work in practice...

I get that a lot. That's why I don't care about sharing ideas. The idea may sound GOOD (maybe even GREAT) but you'll only know how good (or great) it really is once you have made a prototype and playtested the ideas and SEE if there really is a good (less likely great) game...

But I guess we all have our idiosyncrasies... No one is perfect! LOL

X3M
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Joined: 10/28/2013
Rinse and Repeat

By now I know that 99% of my idea's turn out to be either crap, broken, imbalanced or just plain stupid. After a nice comfy play test.

But to find that 1%. Keep trying. Rinse and Repeat.

I only add something though, if there is a need for it. But I certainly take long, finding the right ingredient. And when I am done. Another ingredient needs improvement. The whole circus starts again.

jonathanflike
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Joined: 03/09/2016
Exactly

X3M wrote:
By now I know that 99% of my idea's turn out to be either crap, broken, imbalanced or just plain stupid. After a nice comfy play test.

But to find that 1%. Keep trying. Rinse and Repeat.

I only add something though, if there is a need for it. But I certainly take long, finding the right ingredient. And when I am done. Another ingredient needs improvement. The whole circus starts again.

I was just about to say something along those lines. I feel it's natural to want to add because you want your game to be good, so there is this doubt that the game isn't innovative enough, or fun enough, or whatever enough. That leads to doubt and the obsession over the mechanic or whatever it is you're trying to implement. Like X3M said, I would just add it, playtest it, and see if it works. It's much easier to ditch a mechanic that fundamentally doesn't work, at least this way the failed play test allows you to emotionally disassociate yourself from it. There have been plenty of mechanics I've tried in my own game and have scraped along the way with each play test and iteration. Find the core of your game, introduce mechanics that help push that core concept forward, and if it doesn't add to that core of the game, ditch it. Don;t worry, you're not alone with this feeling.

krone9
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Joined: 01/28/2017
I'd say that all my games

I'd say that all my games start out crap - they tend towards the functional (with holes) that need work to make them "fun"

But they're all workable games and turning them into fun, playable games is the challenge. I don't think I'd write off any of my ideas as a waste of time yet.

I guess its like writing a book - when you start out your work will be awful, guaranteed - even if you have a good idea. You need to practice to refine your craft and I'm finding as a fledgling designer it probably takes me 100x as long to do things that an experience designer would likely have right from the off.

In terms of adding things - I tend to start with a theme, principles of the game to guide design decisions and then rough out the core mechanics. Once thats in place, I like to then add features to add interest, choices and flavour to the game. I find I reach a point where I realise that its a balance between theme and over complication - and thats when I usually start to playtest. I also have an ideal game length in mind, and I'm starting to get a pretty good feel for things which will affect that.

Just my way - very much finding my own path so there may well be better ways! Fortunately the journey itself is my hobby - the end destination is only part of the reward.

X3M
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krone9 wrote:Just my way -

krone9 wrote:
Just my way - very much finding my own path so there may well be better ways! Fortunately the journey itself is my hobby - the end destination is only part of the reward.

This! This proves that we are not alone in our journey. This description perfectly fits me.

And I think that if it is a hobby. You don't even need the end destination. At least, I don't aim for one. No matter how much others complain about my decision. I am playing my game over 5 years already. A lot has changed. And every change asks for a game. We keep on playing like this. Simply modifying "our" game.

So keep your face up. And if you are stuck somewhere. This is a place to share your (game related) problems.

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