Game Design as a Viral Disease.

First, for those who did not notice(most of you), I’ve begun syndication of game related, especially CSI related information to a new Blog, aptly called, CSI Games.
A question to my LiveJournal readers, do you find these game posts of any interest?

Second, I want to revise Cranium Rats, but first I need your help. I need more answers regarding the questions presented in this thread.

Now that we got that out of the way, onward!
This thread directly ties in to my earlier post regarding memes, on second thought it also ties to this post about Addictions. I believe Game Design (we’ll talk mainly of RPGs and TCGs here) is a disease, a viral disease. That may not be a negative thing, but it is something to be considered.

So there you are, sitting and reading a game book, and “Zing!” goes the light-bulb, when you notice something which needs some changing.
Thus you get House-Rules.
There you are still, playing a game, for example D&D 3ed or Exalted, and you want something that is not there, a new Prestiege Class, a new Martial Arts Style.
Thus you get Fan Material.
There you are, still, and boy doesn’t your butt ache from sitting down for so long? But you sure are persistent, and now you’re mucking about with Magic: the Gathering, and you’re building your deck for an upcoming tournament. Cutting down cards to 60 is hard, it feels like you’re sacrificing your own children.
Thus you get Design Process.

So you sat down and did all that, but you decided you want to do some more. You’ve been infected.
The above is how the disease transmits. It is easy to transmit, it is easy to carry, it is easy to keep alive even if somewhat dormant.
The virus does not stay content forever though, once you had flexed your designer muscles you find it easier to flex them once more. Such is the nature of muscles.
Once you set down the road it is easier to continue upon it.

So you start with Exalted, and you find that it is missing a Martial Arts style you desire, so you add one. Now you find Intimacies don’t do what you want, so you delve deeper into the kernels of the game, changing some basics of the game and much of how the rules apply to this specific case.
Then you are ready to progress to the next step. Exalted is no longer good enough. It just doesn’t do what you want it to, so you make your game, wholly your creation.

So it seems we’ve covered the “Why” you design games; you begin by designing pieces and then you grow in skill enough to design games.
NO.
It is the other way around, that is the “How”. You get the virus in you and so you begin designing(it’s often transmitted by holes and missing appendages in other games that call to you to fill them), once you build your muscles you move to bigger projects. You don’t go on a scale because that’s what you can do and as you go up you get more capable of taking on bigger tasks, you take on smaller tasks in order to prepare yourself for Game Design.

Game Design propagates the virus.
You design games because you can’t stop.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Advertisements

2 comments on “Game Design as a Viral Disease.

  1. Ian says:

    I like this–it still is a bit too linear of a description. I started tinkering, realized that I could do entirely different things, jumped on Game Chef just because it gave me a reason to go whole hog, and now am going back to the original system to homebrew the daylights out of it.

    I’ve toyed with stripping down my 3.5 campaign to a Castles and Crusades, overlaying a coopoerative setting creation mechanic so players can add new campaign elements, tossing out the magic system entirely and replacing it with one of my own…but this is *after* I started trying to design a game from scratch.

    Now, by the time I’m done, I’m not sure I won’t have designed a game from scratch, but that is still more back and forth than onward to bigger and bigger revisions.

    –Ian

  2. Guy says:

    tried is a key word.

    Now seriously, I read you saying I’m “Too linear” and all I can think is “of course”. Of course I’m too linear, I’m trying to prove a point, half in jest, mostly in truth.

    This post isn’t really about game design, but about Meme. And as we always do when we try to get to a point, we cut off the stuff which gets in the way.

    Also, I don’t believe in spoon-feeding people. I give you something which is close enough to reality rather than reality and let you work the last leg of the journey.–>

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s