The Continual Quest
In any pursuit, there is an end goal.
This is no different in storytelling games. While each of us takes on one or more roles in the story, the most successful play sessions are those with some sort of overarching goal. While there are certainly moments of outstanding roleplaying, each gamer contributes to the story–the session–in their own way (and hopefully move the story forward).
I recall sessions in the early days of roleplaying when one player might wish to engage in haggling with the GM in an imaginary bazaar and play out an entire shopping session. Such actions are largely frowned upon in polite company when there are larger groups. In one-on-one sessions, the GM might indulge a player in such manner or accept it as part and parcel of a play session if they make negotiations a key part of a play session (and this is not a bad thing).
If we’re merchants traveling across the lands in search of trade goods, I expect my compatriots to strike the best bargains for our caravan as can be conceived (even if I must remain with the wagons). Huzzah!
As a designer, the challenge is to present something something interesting and innovative while not altogether alien to the base. This necessitates research and writing and immersion in a given topic and familiarity with various bits and pieces of associated media (movies, books, and so on) to ascertain the tropes and conceits of any given topic and then reinterpret it in a manner most fitting towards telling particular types of stories without necessarily constraining it from other types of stories.
My goal is always to bring something new to the table. While I may reach for somewhat familiar topics, you can be assured there are always some sort of unexpected permutations within the pages stained by the inky blackness of the Blur.
My head is always so full of questions and considerations that I must establish parameters and boundaries to keep myself from straying too terribly far afield. Sometimes I fail and fall down a hole of perpetual research. I enjoy the research. I enjoy the design process from the writing, the critical analysis of character types and tropes, on down to the choice of titles and font types and images and indexes (or indices, if you prefer the Latin). I get excited and nervous when it makes its way out into the wild, even after all these years.
Until next time, I bid you, dear reader, adieu.
P.S. I was pleasantly surprised to find a multitude of messages in my inbox from a number of folks who kept a weather eye upon the site as I have not made any mention of my return on any social media fronts. If you reached out to me privately, thank you. Habits take some time to reestablish, so I wanted to get this one to properly stick before I waved my hands about. That being said, we’ve gone two days in a row, so by all means sound the clarion!