December 9, 2009

Losing Track of the Game for Want of Reseach

Filed under: Games — Tags: , — bilbo @ 10:06 am

When writing games, I need to do a lot of research. People often raise their eyebrows at that then question how much research do games based on squirrels need? A lot (how much to you know about squirrels? nuts?), but really, it has more to do with how I view RPGs. To me, you (the GM and player) should have a game book that helps you take a short cut to playing. In essence, yes, I am writing a game but also a piece of condensed reference material. Sometimes though, as I am writing the game up I loose track of the game portion and just get into a spin cycle on the research part. Paralysis by Analysis is what they call it in IT. I end up forgetting that the reader most likely (I say “most likely” since some will) does not want a historical account of numerology in late third century Imperial Rome.

The root of it comes down to (and I have been told many times I am quite good at this) making the game drip with adventure and character hooks and giving just enough or research to make it come alive. A tricky proposition to say the least but with great rewards if it succeeds.


  1. Well said. I agree that you do have a great mix of background info as a base, and story hooks to drive the imagination. You are among the few writers that achieves this on a consistantly high level. Wow! I sound like your publisist, or something. 🙂

    Comment by scott — December 9, 2009 @ 11:46 am

  2. I will take it. 😉

    Comment by bilbo — December 9, 2009 @ 2:13 pm

  3. Heh,heh

    you know the man talks sense:.)

    Comment by Alan Hume — December 10, 2009 @ 2:31 am

  4. You done with that numerology essay yet? I’m waiting to read it! 😀


    Comment by clash bowley — December 10, 2009 @ 8:51 am

  5. On a more serious note, this happens to me, too! I just re-wrote the vehicles section of IHW:SC for the third time. I was spiraling so fast I could see the back of my own head.



    Comment by clash bowley — December 10, 2009 @ 8:53 am

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