We asked some Leaguers what takeaway that they had in 2015 related to design or publishing, prototyping or playing games. Name one tip for gamemakers…
Jasmine: If you get a game published, try to clarify what your role will be during and after publication. I spent a few months not sure whether or not I should be promoting my game, and wondering whether or not I could share updates as they came in, since it wasn’t really “mine” anymore. It’s easier to just ask!
Seth: my biggest takeaway might be this: don’t get too wrapped up in your “comfort zone.” Don’t be afraid to try something new, lest you miss out on a gem. For example, I never would have tried Rabbit Hunt on my own, but at Sasquatch someone pointed it out as a joke, so I jokingly decided to play it – and it was surprisingly fun!
Chris: I think it was Luke that actually said something, either in a post or directly to me as advise about knowing what you want to do and focus on that. That helped guide me to make the decision to drop publishing and focus on art and design. I’ve been much happier since.
Luke: Slow down, take your time, and do good work. Focus on the aspect of the industry that you really want to pursue: art, designing, publishing, etc. Don’t try to do it all. Everything else will follow.
Teale: Always double check all of your files, even after a tiny change.
Christina and Mark: Like Jasmine and other bloggers have mentioned, it’s important when you design games to have an honest look at your goals every once in a while, and know that they can change. Play to your strengths, simplify your goals, and get some outside help for the things that continually trip up your process, whether that’s a co-designer, a publisher, an accountant, or a graphic designer.
Scott: I think the big design tenet for me this year was “Get the big things right. Worry about the details later.” It’s easy to get distracted by the details, trying to get a particular module right. But really you have no game if the big things are wrong.
Peter: I made it to a lot of cons this year. (10!) I can tell you for sure, it’s not the games that are important – it’s the people you meet along the way. I look back at 2015 and cherish all of the handshakes, fist bumps and hellos across the world. Make games and share them, but experience the community of gamemakers!
Jeff: Be aware of your own emotional involvement in your game. Be willing to let things go when necessary and prepare yourself for people not responding as you had hoped.
Brad: It can be hard to objectively evaluate if there’s any fun to be had in your game designs, so I’ve been trying to focus more on designing towards player experience.
Norv: I especially liked Stephen DeBaun’s post Choosing Your Design Landmark. I want to keep in mind once you have determined your Landmark element in your design stick with it and make changes improve that Landmark element not detract.
What about YOU? What tabletop tip do you have to share for gamemakers from your 2015 experience?