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Can we work together?

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Yort Watson
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Hi,
My name is Yort Watson. I’ve been in BGDF before, but haven’t been active on it in years, and it looks like my account is disabled. I have been designing prototypes since 2005 when I sent my first one “Megalopolis” to the Hippodice Game Competition in Germany. I got an honorable mention and the write-up for it was very enthusiastic (sounds like they had a lot of fun). My next submission got 2nd place with “Mdgard Marauders” and my latest submission about 3 years ago got in the top ten (the chairman said it was his 5th favorite). Fun and exciting stuff; but the publishers who judged my games and took them to their company always just sat on them until a long time had passed and then returned them without explanation. I currently have all three of my games sitting with a Dutch company for the last 2 and a half years. Just found out the fellow hasn’t even tried them yet. I guess that’s still better than having them sit in a box under my bed, but frustrating none-the-less. I would like to continue designing games, but I think I need some encouraging company. I would like to go beyond posting and reading posts to maybe a skype group or something where the rapid firing of ideas and the nuances of spoken language could help convey ideas. Please let me know if we have similar interests and if you also are a doer:
I like Euros the best, but not the overly complicated ones; I think the best ideas can be streamlined in to something elegant. In my opinion, those games are also the ones with the most staying power and the widest appeal. I love working with new concepts and ideas; I don’t want to create my version of anyone else’s game. I have a lot ideas that might seem pretty unusual. They may work and they may not, but I’d sure like to find out. I would love to have some people to kick some ideas around with in real-time (I think of them as exercises). Hopefully the internet will allow me to cast a wide enough net to find some good collaborators. Let me know if this sounds like you, and we can get in contact with each other.
I am also on https://tabletopgeneration.com as Hjort.
Thanks,
Yort Watson

questccg
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Not a typical way of designing...

Most people agree that "Designing by Committee" is generally a counter-productive effort. Now I won't say IF I agree or disagree... I believe that it matters greatly on the members of the team.

I for one would hate this form of designing. When I design it's based on an idea and then I let the idea "grow" or "transform" by taking notes of how I feel inspired... And I schedule regular "downtime" just to THINK or the absence of thinking... Maybe some clearness.

I don't do well for "rapid-fire" designing. But that's just me.

Secondly I dislike "Contests" with pre-set rules. My games come from thought and revision, so limiting HOW a game may play with artificial constraints is really not good either.

And many Game Designers prefer working alone too. Sure they might seek out help in forums for different aspects of the game. But for the most part they are NOT collaborating.

So I think you may have some hurdles with your "committee", seeing as many designer don't enjoy working in that kind of environment. I'm not saying a team with DIVERSE members like a Graphic Artist, Illustrator, Game Designer, Product Manager, Marketing Expert, etc. That is more realistic than a TEAM of "Game Designers".

While each member has a FOCUS as part of the team, they also can get the opinion of other members too.

But finding a "DESIGN-PARTNER" is sufficiently HARD enough - because often designers DISAGREE on how a design should move forwards. So it's a tough venture to try and ... it may not work out either.

Best of luck(?!) with your team efforts...

questccg
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And I've TRIED it in the past...

What I had was an IDEA I wanted to help "grow"... So I opened up a FORUM of my own with various categories similar to BGDF and asked BGDF members to see if what I working was interesting to them.

Out of all the members on BGDF, I got 4 or 5 designers. And let me tell you the design effort went really south, when I could not pitch my vision of the game.

So I got a few designers to log in and post/share their thoughts... But I rapidly lost control of where the IP was going because the other designers had different idea about the initiative.

And that means I am talking from experience...

But you are welcome to TRY and see where it leads. Designers are also very secretive about their ideas too. You don't find too many designers just putting their "efforts" out-there...

let-off studios
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Fantastic Intro!

Hello Yort, and welcome (back?) to BGDF!

I'm pretty keen on strategic partnerships, and have heard a fair amount about successful ones - even in game design. A designer friend of mine and his partner just had a big-box game released by a well-known publisher, and they have more designs in the works and in deliberation with other publishers. It was a major step forward for him in the industry, and I expect nothing but more (eventual) success from those two.

A key component of how they two of them work together so well would be communication. They have the advantage of being able to work in the same room together, the same time, every week, without fail or interruption. Maybe Skype is going to be your key communication tool. If you and your potential partners are willing to persevere through the virtual face-time, then it can work.

Do you know anyone else who's been able to develop a successful designer partnerships? What kind of advice can they offer you? What would you say is the main strength you have to offer the partnership? Any conception of a framework or structure for the "exercises" you mention in your intro?

In any case Yort, best of success to you! :)

Yort Watson
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I didn't say anything about a

I didn't say anything about a committee. I'm glad you have your way of doing things, but a positive approach and an open mind are what I'm looking for.

Yort Watson
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I used to pretty jealously

I used to pretty jealously guard my ideas, but a decade and a half later it hasn't helped me. I'm no fool, but I know a small number of people with the right attitude can do amazing things. I would obviously take the lead on my own project, and be happy to offer my insights on other people's projects.

Yort Watson
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I seem to be the only one I

I seem to be the only one I know serious about game design. I had a monthly meeting last year for game design. The meetings were between 3 and 5 people and only one other person put anything testable forward. I respected that about him, and I had some suggestions he used, but we definitely had different ideas about what a good game was. I'm very easy to get along with. I'm a smart and industrious guy. I have had some objective success in game design. That should be enough to make anything work with a similar person. If you want to meet/talk I'd be happy to.

questccg
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Partners are better

Yort Watson wrote:
I didn't say anything about a committee.

Well when you have a GROUP of "Game Designers" is sort of "becomes" a committee. It's more of a democratic type of process where voting on issues is the most FAIR way of doing things. So even if you would lead the committee, you don't have the right of Veto. Having everyone participating in the process - which is GROUP-CENTRIC - requires voting on ideas and how the progress of any game goes.

You may want your game to go in direction "X" but if six (6) out of seven (7) Game Designers think it should go in direction "Y"... You can't just ignore that the GROUPs collective thinking is to go with "Y" not your own "X" EVEN if it is YOUR game...

Maybe because I've been down this road before and ideas could possibly get derailed from your ORIGINAL DESIGN.

Yort Watson wrote:
I'm glad you have your way of doing things, but a positive approach and an open mind are what I'm looking for.

No worries - I was just trying to shed some light on the topic of GROUP "Game Design". I've done it and from my experience, it's not as fruitful as you would think it is...

Personally my suggestion is to:

A> Find a Game Designer that works differently than you. This will bring out different ideas than you would normally get.

B> OR find a Game Designer that works similarly like you. This will allow for more synergy between the two of you - and could yield faster development cycles.

I've done group design and have had the experience... So I know what issues you will be facing. It may sound good... But I would suggest finding a "partner" instead of a "group".

That's just my advice based on my experiences with "group" design.

Cheers.

questccg
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I think I understand

Your idea about a "Group" is more for "feedback" than collaborative design.

Is this more in the direction of "group designing" you have???

From your example of game designers skyping together and sharing their thoughts or impressions about each members design.

Like each Game Designer would present his or her own design... And then people would give feedback, things to do differently, idea paths to follow, etc.

What I was talking about "Group Design" was everyone WORKS ON THE SAME DESIGN. (Don't mind my shouting - it's enthusiasm not anger! LOL) I had a collaborative forum where everyone could share ideas about a SINGLE design. That design, because of the direction chosen by the group, sort of derailed.

In my mind it was supposed to be about a "Car Racing CCG". And how it got derailed is that the contributing designers felt that a more "Twisted Metal Combat Car Game CCG" was a better direction. I still would have preferred the ORIGINAL idea - but everyone wanted to go in the COMBAT direction...

As an example...

Yort Watson
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Yes, I'm thinking more of a

Yes, I'm thinking more of a casual human interaction of enthusiasts, not some Robert's Rules of Order method. You are proving my point about communicating with Skype or even phone, since our understanding would have happened no doubt instantly in a real conversation. I found my best ideas have always come after a play test with positive-attitude gamers. No "yes men" mind you, but people who can see the potential, see the flaws and point them out too.

polyobsessive
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Hello

Hi Yort,

Welcome to BGDF! Earlier this year I started a couple of collaborative projects with other designers who I very rarely see in person. At the moment these projects are still in very early stages of development and none of us have made them high priorities, so we are moving with them slowly, but the discussions and interactions with the other designers is great. Hopefully at least one of these projects will take off at some point, but I'm finding the occasional discussions useful and enjoyable anyway.

My interests as a player probably lean mostly towards light-to-middle-weight Euro games, though my designs are all over the place at the moment -- I am learning the craft, exploring the design space and finding my personal style, I guess. I have a couple of lightweight card games due for publication in 2018, and am really exited about that.

I would be more than happy to at least exchange some emails and see if we can find some sort of project we are both interested in enough to work on. PM me if you'd like to chat more.

Good luck with your game designs!

Rob

gxnpt
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https://tabletopgeneration.com

Since I have one game looking for a publisher and another looking for a design partner I just finished placing myself and those games at https://tabletopgeneration.com

It looks interesting. I am Wayne Mathias, by the way.

Yort Watson
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Cool, I'll check it out.

Cool, I'll check it out.

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