Such a blogging newb. A bunch of posts? That’s nothin’. Yeah, I know. Just do it! Well, we did. Last week, our not-so-secret League of Gamemakers hit 100 posts! Every Mon-Weds-Fri since January 10th.
100 IS A LOT OF POINTS IN A GAME. IT’S THE MOMENT WHERE YOU FLIP OVER THE SCORE VP MARKER TO THE TO THE FUNCTIONAL SIDE!
So this post is just a recap then? Well, yes.. no wait! Don’t go. Hear me out, let me tell you about these two inspirational folks in game design and blogging:
The first source we’ve eluded to before, but it definitely bears repeating, and that’s all the awesomeness that is Jamey Stegmaier’s blog at Stonemaier Games. It’s frequently updated and long standing (7 years?), insightful and it’s very generous and helpful to the community. Jamey is truly an inspiration. At one point last September he wrote a KS lesson, Kickstarter Lession #52: Write a Blog. I waited no longer to approach fellow leaguers.
Before I got entrenched in Kickstarter and headed Jamey’s call to action, I had the notion to blog on games and dissect mechanics from perhaps an unlikely source for tabletop design – an award-winning video game designer, Brenda Romero @br (formerly Brenda Braithwaite).
Little did i know when I first read her blog, Applied Game Design, that I was reading from someone who entered the video game industry at the age of 15! And from someone who was a pro at social media but had found twitter only a few months before I did… All I knew is that I was inspired by what she had to say and where she was taking games. If you haven’t read about her tabletop game, Train, it’s moving and powerful and part of her six part series, “Mechanics are the Message”. Read more here, but spoiler alerts – this article will tell you the ‘ending’.
I discovered Brenda’s words when she was rebelling against the static lack of growth in some parts of the video game industry (first person shooters for one) and had rediscovered tabletop design.
This quote from Brenda’s blog resonated with me:
“For me, games aren’t my job. I breathe them. I think it’s astounding that I’m paid to make games and to talk about having made games. As is apparent with Train, Siochan Leat and The New World, I make games whether I am paid to or not. I can spend all my time in the space of games and never run out of things to do, to say or to explore.
There is an important distinction here, though. I love to make games as much as I love to play them. It is not a one-way gig. I have made games all my life and the process, the thinking, as you undoubtedly know, is so much different. So many people come through the industry’s doors with visions of Hollywood hoping to meet their favorite star, but the play isn’t the design, and it’s not the same thing. If you are thinking about being a game designer, you should already be one. I was making games before I knew it was what I wanted to do. If you’re not making games, start now. Just go. Screw it up. Make something terrible, but make it. You’ll get better with time, with mistakes, with experience.”
This was fuel for me. “Make a game” and “Create a consistent blog” are just two of the tips that she gives out freely and often to those interested in game design careers. In 2009, I started making what would be my first design, an online RPG. I started a game design group about a year later with the intent to study Brenda and Ian Schreiber’s book, “Challenges for Game Designers”. The book is a series of non-digital exercises for video game designers, which hit both of my interests. I did have a blog then too, but dropped it quickly as game making was work enough. Anyway, long story short (too late), I eventually came back to this idea about a regular blog.
SO HERE’S THE THING ABOUT A BLOG
- You create and dive in, because you are compelled to be consistent, provide value and share content.
- You connect, with readers and peers because you realize the community is out there, and the games and discussion are so much bigger than your own perspective and world.
- You learn about yourself and about your industry. We’ve all grown as designers, publishers, distributors, manufacturers, marketers, artists, authors, etc.
It’s good stuff. I hope you agree. You’re a big part of why we are doing it.
We’ve shared over 100 posts – it’s actually getting to the point where I forget about some and it becomes a fun discovery to find an article and say, “Oh Yeah! I remember when Chris did this one, or when Mike did that one.” Anyway, because it’s fun to recall, I present just a snapshot of some of our topics so far:
THE LEAGUE OF GAMEMAKERS
- PLAYING GAMES WITH STRANGERS – BY CHRISTINA MAJOR
- HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO PUBLISH A GAME ANYWAY – BY JEFF CORNELIUS
- STARTING A PLAYTEST GROUP – BY NORV BROOKS
- TRANSMOGRIFY YOUR MECHANICS – BY BRAD BROOKS
- A BRIEF HISTORY OF WIZ-WAR – BY TOM JOLLY
- THE MYTH OF THE SAND TIMER – BY MICHAEL DOMENY
- THEME VS. MECHANICS: THE FALSE DICHOTOMY – BY MARK MAJOR
- HIRING AN ARTIST – BY DAN SMITH
- CHOOSING YOUR DESIGN LANDMARK – BY STEPHEN DEBAUN
- TEACHING A GAME – BY CHRIS STRAIN
- WORLD OF THE PLAY – BY KELSEY DOMENY
- HOW TO DESIGN A WORKER PLACEMENT GAME – PART 1 – BY LUKE LAURIE
- TABLETOP DAY 2014 – THE WHOLE LEAGUE
- …AND 89 OTHERS!
Much more to come!
If you’re a designer/publisher with something you’re itching to write, we love guest posts! We keep an eye out for new leaguers too. We’d love to hear from you.
If you’re not a blogger and/or gamemaker yourself, that’s fine too. Please join in any time in the comments! Tell us about yourself, your favorite game(s) and start a chat!
Thanks for playing!