Friday, January 29, 2010

Making the big overhaul - restarting a project as a requirement for further improvement

There comes a time in any project that was "force started" for the overhaul. Where you have to see that you cannot build any higher on this foundation of sand, and need to abandon it, and recreate much of what you have already done on a new and solid foundation of bedrock.

I am at this stage in piecemeal, this is in the sense of both it as a programming venture (where I kick started a lot of my rusting programming skills in non-financial software) and as a game design venture.

In terms of game design, the game has a lot of bloated baggage in terms of rules that cater to the evolution of characters or game play from my gaming groups. That works fine for my gaming group, but for new groups I'd want to do things right from the start rather than work around the evolution of the rules and the situations of one game group.

I will still play with the bloated and rotting carcass of existing with my current game group, why not after all, but new groups and games will use the rules I'd want to have made from the get go.

Why did I start making such a brutal slog to this point, only to ditch and start again? Well for starters I'll be keeping much of what I've made, but rather than trying to alter the existing design from the inside..I've kicked over the building and I am cherry picking the best bits from the rubble. The second reason, is it's a bad idea to not start being creative until its tend to never get anywhere. I'd rather show what I have, make continuous improvements and restart if I need to. Continuous Improvement.

This is an important trait in any design work, the ability to take what you have, admire it for what it is...then throw it in the dumpster and strive to make something better, without having any regret for your previous creation.

I'll release my existing work on Piecemeal in the next few days, and the next release after that will be the piecemeal Beta, which will be designed from the get go to make an easy export to .txt and then .pdf format. The beta will also feature a lot (hopefully) more user friendly format, new changes races, a built in (but easily discarded) setting.


  1. In the Forge-derived design community the designers try to capture how they actually play in their designs. There's a point to it.

    The system changing seems to be an important part of your play. Is there a way to codify it as rules, processes or guidelines?

  2. Cathartic and phoenix-like. :)


  3. Looking fwd to it both rules revision and alternative formats. I haven't been able to read the rules since I moved (never bothered to rebuild windows PC)

    Big question is "Will there be edition wars?" :)