Posts Tagged ‘ design ’

Inspiration and Perspective

Jan 15th, 2015 | By | Category: The Razorwise Report

Much like a fish unaware of the water in which it swims, I posit you are adrift in an ocean of ideas at any given moment. It all depends on how you choose to look at things, how you contextualize them. Look at things through a macabre lens and those scissors resting on the edge of the night table take on a different aspect than they might otherwise. What you have to do is exercise your imagination. What are the extremes you can take a concept, how far are you willing to go. Once you know the outer boundaries of […]



Absorption Rates

Jan 14th, 2015 | By | Category: The Razorwise Report

You should read voraciously within and without the genre you’ve chosen to focus your works. You can learn as much from bad stuff (if not more) from not good. Check out reviews of said material as well and compare how it stacks up to your own impressions. Often, you’ll find people fault the execution far more than an idea, and this is the thing we keep coming back to–the importance of execution. If we all awaited on complete originality to strike us, the world would be an emptier place for it. So many things build upon other things. Artists and […]



Understatement and the Lost Art of Subtlety

Jan 12th, 2015 | By | Category: The Razorwise Report

With the short attention spans so many people seem to have these days (what with bursts of information and communication–I’m looking at you Twitter, Youtube, et. al), everything seems to be quite IN YOUR FACE.  And with that, I wonder what things will look like in fifty years, a hundred. My daughter and I were talking shop today and we discussed how social media impacted society and how things have changed in the relatively short span of time since they’ve gone wide, and I pondered what things might’ve been like if these technologies were wide spread shortly after the advent […]



Inversion and the Beauty of Tropes

Jan 9th, 2015 | By | Category: The Razorwise Report

Today, I’ll challenge you to look at things differently the next time you sit down to write an adventure, story, campaign, what have you. Take expectations, turn them. Invert tropes and see where things take you. Writers often talk about tropes and themes and people sometimes equate them with laziness, banality, and/or lack of general experience with concepts. As with most creative works, it boils down to their execution. Knowing tropes and managing the audience’s expectation(s) and perception of them grants the writer a powerful tool in their arsenal. You can use them to make a fine point, cast a long […]



Winter and the Wondering

Jan 8th, 2015 | By | Category: The Razorwise Report

The cold makes me want to curl up and sleep, but that is hardly productive, so I pull myself off the couch and the warm nest of blankets to sit before the keyboard and muse a bit. I think about the evolution of game design. I think about the cycles of design, and how some things are being reintroduced as new and I wonder how new they really are. Where does a design move from what some folks call a hack to its own place and space?  As far as the term “hack” goes, I’m not a huge fan of […]



Concentrated Effort and the Illusion of Traditional Workflow

Jan 6th, 2015 | By | Category: The Razorwise Report

So many of us who work our own hours feel compelled to keep the same shifts as our friends, family, and loved ones. Whether it’s the echoing work ethic of another era, feelings of guilt (internal or external), or advice from others (given as a mantra or maxim), the illusion that being glued in front of a computer equates to work is not necessarily true for all of us. While sitting down and recording one’s words in some form or fashion are necessary and important for a project to go from concept to finished, all work isn’t required to be done […]



Shine On, You Crazy Diamond: High Concepts and Commitment

Jan 2nd, 2015 | By | Category: The Razorwise Report

I’m going to dive right into talking about design without much overture. If I ramble blame the movie I stayed up (and, surprisingly, awake through last night) watching: Europa Report. Who knows? I may well use it as an example. If I do, I’ll steer clear of spoilers and warn you if I enter any such territory in advance. (Okay, there was a little overture, but it’s purposely placed to contextualize things.) You get a HIGH CONCEPT. You pull it from the air, a synopsis of a show, the muse you keep locked up in your basement, or somewhere else. […]



Fingers on Keyboards as the World Whips By

Jul 1st, 2013 | By | Category: The Razorwise Report

The summer heat threatens to swallow us whole, promising only to spit out baked, blackened bones at some future date. This year, I am ready. I am lost in other worlds, wrapped in distant vistas, and faraway places, caught up in my own thoughts and those ephemeral, transcendent transmissions of imagination. It’s a good place to be. The flurry of the physical fulfillment of the tremulus KS is well in hand. We still have deliverables to complete, and get to our backers, but things are moving on at a good clip. I have been busy, despite the quietude of the […]



Concrete Details and Other Grey Spaces

Jun 6th, 2013 | By | Category: The Razorwise Report

People’s sensibilities differ. Some like sweet. Some savory. Others a mixture of the two. As with food, so it goes with detail. A question every writer faces (be they a creator of comic scripts, technical manuals, books, stories, or RPGs) is “how much is enough?” We’re going to focus strictly on how to handle this with RPGs. I’ve struggled with it from time to time and the truth of the matter is it differs depending upon what you’re trying to accomplish, though there are a few general rules to keep in mind. 1. Make easily digestible chunks. Within each chunk: […]



A Marathon, Not a Sprint

Jun 5th, 2013 | By | Category: The Razorwise Report

Writing takes imagination, organization, and determination to do it well. There is the initial rush of an idea, a concept, and then there is the deliberate execution, and then there is the polishing the requisite number of times to make it shine. If you write cleanly, and have honed your craft, the rewrites are not insufferable. In fact, they’re that one last opportunity to make good better. Some folks are happy with good enough, however, and that’s not where you want to be. While I, for one, appreciate the economic pressures of the real world, things take time, and it […]