Creation is Evolution

Hello good people! We’ve reached the end of the week and, this being Good Friday and all, many folks are not working. As for myself, I’ve been keeping it a bit breezy, catching up with some of my peeps, and getting a bit of work done. Writing and creating is not all writing. Having a good conversation with colleagues, whether about your own things or their things, can really energize you.

Some folks aren’t big on sharing their secrets or talking about stuff they’re working on. I can appreciate where they’re coming from, and it’s not necessarily a good idea to let all cats out of bags (especially if some of the said cats are still kittens). ¬†In fact, some writing books I’ve read state you can lose your creative impetus to take a project to completion if you start blabbing about your work. I say to you if your idea cannot withstand you talking about it, is it really such a good idea in the first place? Remember, this idea you’ve got, you have to love. The idea doesn’t have to be complete original at the beginning either. As you work with it, research and ideas will start crossing in your brain and start suggesting completing different things to you. Creation is evolution. An idea swimming around in the chemical soup of your head space needs to slither onto the ancient, damp ground, and learn to walk. Sometimes you have to kick it or coax it or even trick and cajole it, but if it’s got the backbone it will take a few shambling steps, find its balance, and eventually learn to run (or gallop, if it’s one of those really odd ideas).

Today, I got the opportunity to speak with Norm Hensley about some Agents of Oblivion stuff and various directions we plan on taking the line. It’s always great speaking with him. He’s pleasant, affable, and accessible. After we chatted, I received a call from Ron Blessing. I’ve known Ron for a good, long time now, and he exudes excitement and passion. I imagine his dreams are utterly and completely AWESOME. We talked about a bit about game design philosophy, and even a bit about offering games in multiple systems. I’m curious to hear what you have to say about having games presented to you in different iterations, like we’ve done with a lot of things. We’ve always gotten good feedback on it and folks seem to like having the choice of getting it for their preserved system. The key is to not just dual-stat something out, but to carefully craft things to work within a particular rules set. For example, Fantasy Craft and Savage Worlds both offer robust and fun systems, but are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to approach. Writing for both takes time and effort, but having a solid setting from which to base the work on radically reduces development time. While Iron Dynasty took years to bring to life for Savage Worlds as we had to build and thoughtfully balance a number of new elements not present in the base system, Fantasy Craft has a huge number of elements built in and we simply fine tuned them to complement the setting we’ll be offering up. We’ve discussed the possibility of doing a FATE version as well (since last year), but it’s because FATE has become a system I deeply enjoy to play and run and something new can be brought to the table as well. This is the evolution of creation, finding the harmony and balance of system and setting where, in the best case, they intermingle so well that it’s hard to tell something was not designed for a particular system from the outset. Despite the tremendous number of edges offered up for Iron Dynasty in Savage Worlds, the setting is not dependent upon them. Konoyo is a robust¬†milieu people enjoy apart from the rules. The rules are there to help tell the story, to allow the players to create the characters the designers had in mind, and to propel things forward. RunePunk offers up ScatterPoint with countless possibility. From a designer’s perspective, I want to get it out to you, the audience, and let you approach it from different angles as I have done. What do you think?

Until next time, I bid you, dear reader, adieu!



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