I heard so many exciting little bits of stuff at GenCon. One that stuck with me was someone (I forget who) complimenting Luke on how good Dictionary of Mu looks. Luke’s response was something like this: “I didn’t do anything. All I did was send Judd an e-mail every week asking how it was going. Eventually, he started sending me the e-mail about how it was going.” That’s it. A little nag about a little progress. Those small measures of progress add up.
I thought to myself “I could do that. I don’t even have to single out one of my friends to nag me about it. I can just use my blog.” So that’s what I’m going to do. Every Sunday, I’ll be posting what progress I’ve made in the previous week on Foresworn, my game-in-development. It’s not as big and involved as John Wick’s excellent Game Designer’s Journal from the days when he was developing Orkworld. However, I hope it can generate some of the same enthusiasm that column did. It will also keep me moving. It’s one thing to let yourself down. It’s another to let yourself down and tell all your friends about it.
That said, I’m sure that there will be weeks when my only report will be: “Worked an insane number of hours this week. Didn’t work on the game at all.” I hope those weeks will be at a minimum and that I’ve left enough room in my schedule for them.
Let me fill you in on some of my goals for Foresworn. I want this game to create and play out multi-player, conflict-ridden situations. In watching my wife write her Everway LARP, in playing Luke’s BW convention games, in watching a lot of Shakespeare, I’ve found that I like the excitement that comes from everyone having their own agenda and pushing hard to achieve it. I also know that setting up such conflict-intense situations is a skill. I want to make a game out of it. I see the game working in two phases. The Setup Phase is where you create the characters, their interrelationships, their resources, and their agendas. By the end of Setup Phase, you’ll have a situation primed to blow with juicy conflict. Then, in Resolution Phase you play out the results of that setup.
Since Resolution Phase will play more like a traditional RPG/resource management game, I’m going to playtest that part first. Once that is pretty well set, then I’ll move into the relatively-uncharted territory of the situation Setup Phase.
Oh, and I’d like to have it out by Origins. Why? Less new hotness hits the shelves at Origins, so my game would get more notice. It would have a few weeks to get played and discussed before GenCon. Plus, if I do end up missing my deadlines, I can still make a GenCon release.
Foresworn Tentative Schedule:
June 26, 2007: Finished books due back from printer
May 28, 2007: Complete interior & cover due to printer
May 1, 2007: Complete text & art due to layout
April 15, 2007: Final draft text due to editing
April 15, 2007: Final art due
March 31, 2007: Complete external playtesting feedback due
February 15, 2007: Complete external playtesting document out to playtesters
February 1, 2007: Complete internal playtesting feedback due
January 1, 2007: Begin Complete internal playtesting
November 15, 2006: Begin Setup Phase internal playtesting-Setup Phase first draft due
November 1, 2006: Complete Resolution Phase internal playtesting
September 15, 2006: Begin Resolution Phase internal playtesting-Resolution Phase first draft due