“I want to design a game…where do I start?”
I see this question come up frequently in gaming spaces—Discord, Twitter, forums—so in this post I want to give three different answers.
Why three different answers?
Every project and every creative process is different. I’ve used all of these techniques when starting a game design. Part of the design process is figuring out what approach works for you.
Because Forged in the Dark is a popular first-hack system, I’ll use it as my example. These techniques can be used for most projects that adapt an existing system. If you want to create your own system that’s a more complex topic for another day.
CW: Discussion of abuse, harassment, and mention of intimate partner violence
I read two sides to the backlash against the announcement (and resulting interactions) of Ooblets being exclusive to the Epic Store.
Side 1: Wow gamers are super toxic and entitled.
Side 2: Wow the Ooblets developers were really antagonistic and deserve to be called out.
After reading through multiple twitter threads, blog posts, Discord chat, and seeing screenshots (some allegedly doctored) my take away has six points I want to explore at length.
Before that exploration, however, I want to make one thing clear: racist, violent threats are never justified. Harassment is not justified. Literally everything I write here must rest on that foundation or it’s pointless.
While I am going to use Ooblets as an example, these dynamics are not unique to their case. Much of what I want to explore occurs frequently, which is why it seems worth taking a closer look.
This blog is a mix of game design analysis, commentary on issues affecting indie dev spaces, and some personal reflections.