Monday, April 16, 2018

Sunday, April 15, 2018 #AprilTTRPGMaker 15: Do You Design in Private or Public?

April 15, 2018
#15: Do You Design in Private or Public?

When designing games, I focus on designing privately for the first phase. I try to find that specific unique experience or selling point I want to accomplish, then work on finding ways on making that experience more tangible for the player. I only start bringing in other people in when I start doing two things: blind playtesting (where I have people read what I've written and see if they grasped it on their own) and actual playtesting (when I have other people try the game).

More often than not, when people playtest, they are under the assumption that I'm looking for advice on how to make it better. What they don't realize is I'm more looking to see if they grasped certain things, or if they felt a certain way towards certain design choices I made. I'm not asking for people to co-write the game. I'm asking for people to share what they felt or experienced while trying it, and from there, discern what I need to fix to better hit what I would have preferred.

And that's why I don't open design choices too early. I don't like shooting other people's ideas down, but at the same time a playtest is not about asking for fixes. It is about identifying problem areas. If I anted a brainstorm, I could have asked for that instead directly.

They say good designers know when to edit. When to cut off something they love to make the design work better.  I say, in addition to that good designers know also when to edit who gets to respond to their work. Not everyone's input is useful at the time it is given. But the reasons behind their input are always worth investigating.


I challenge ye, my dear fellow game makers, to answer my questions, on the corresponding day, this burgeoning April, and verily it shall be that ye shall be inspired by all makers around you and in this beautiful world henceforth. #AprilTTRPGMaker

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