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Games Design Update #1

April, 2017

Being a game designer is hard, for you have to religiously invest a bulk of your time in doing two important tasks, playing games and making them.

Playing Games

When I say, a game designer must play games. I do not mean play only that one game that you really love. That won’t teach you anything, you must play all kinds of games even the one you necessarily won’t play in your spare time. When a game designer plays a game he or she dissects every game mechanic and inspects it thoroughly. Investigates why a particular design element or mechanic is part of the game? Does it achieve what is expected from it? Does it seem forced? Why is it designed the way it is? Is it balanced? What does it contribute to the game play? and so on.

It is a chaotic but educated study that happens at any and every given moment when a game designer plays a game, as a designer. That is the difference between a gamer and a game designer. That is the difference between saying “This is a good game” and “These are the exact reasons why this is a good game”.

I don’t remember the last time I played a game where I didn’t immediately stop and start analysing it. I do have to force myself and remove the designer within me so as to enjoy a game through a gamer’s perspective. I know it sounds really pretentious but it happened so gradually that I never even realised when did I transform in to a game designer from an avid gamer.

The sheer amount of games out there is mind numbing and one human being couldn’t possibly own and play all of those games in a single lifetime. Although I must say I do play as many games as I can on console and on PC. But classical and modern board games is something I have never truly gotten into from an educational or a professional perspective or even just for fun. Something that I have been wanting to do for a long time. For surely nothing is more purely a game than a board game.

This is where I give my eternal thanks to the power of the internet. It is a powerful enlightenment tool. I recently happened upon Geek & Sundry on YouTube and have been practically addicted to their Tabletop series with Will Wheaton where he plays the best of modern board games and which introduces me to new games that I do not own or have no time to play. Because I spent most of my time watching Tabletop on Youtube and reading my Bible (The Art of Game Design) I felt educated and inspired enough to set out to design board games of my own and so I did exactly that.

Making Games

I had so much fun making board games and me and my family have been playing them non stop for the past week. One of them is a quick card matching game and the other is a tile placement board game. They are still prototypes meaning most of the game pieces and cards are just cut out pieces of paper coloured in with sketch pens and it does not look pretty. But still I will update the complete rules and final art when it is done in the future. But for now here is a quick overview of what these games actually are,

Game #1 – Super Market Rush (Working Title)

Time – 10 to 15 mins

Super Market Rush is a quick card game where 2 to 4 players try to be the first to complete the set of items on their Shopping List either in hand or on table to win.

Game #2 – Zoo Mania (Working Title)

Time – 60 to 90 mins

Zoo mania is a card and tile placement board game where 2 to 4 players compete with each other to create the most amazing zoo by building unique Habitats and adding cute Animals that live there. You get bonus points for creating special combinations of Habitats and getting special Animals to live in your zoo.

I will probably now continue to work on these games a little bit more, play test them with my family, watch movies and Table Top, write and read something new and pondering over the questions of the irrefutable existence of the universe.

Peace.

Atlantica

Along the long cold Atlantis,
Passing just about
all the tests of time.

Unwavering kingdom gigantic
birthed by new kings and queens

Decides what to do forthwith,
what not to too.

Midst the sarcastic irreality
of race, sex ballyhoo.

Masses oppressed, ineffectual
merely a mixture of
polarising dyads.

Blind faith in this
false belief ironclad,
hoist by own petard.

Alone

In love, at peace. 
Is it wrong to want alone. 
To not miss and not be missed. 
To want nothing and no one more.

Liar people say, liar maybe.

Refusing to acknowledge
this internal commotion
leads to dry eyes,
as dry as the ocean.

Liar you say, liar maybe.

At times it gets lonely,
at times of peace.
My heart for this,
my soul for this.

Liar they say, liar maybe.

Childhood heart didn’t
crave it as much.
Pushed in it still, 
circumstances and such.

Liar again ? liar maybe.

In love with the word,
at peace with the world.
Alone, though never lonely.

Liar ! liar indeed.

Magic of Spirits

It has some kind of magic or science to be precise. Unholy, immoral and wicked they say; but holy, moral and virtuous I cry.

Aware of each and every muscle, nerve and flowing cell. Closed my eyes, stared at the skies and left my body somewhere.

I saw stars and nebulae and worlds full of life. “Oh ! my brothers, you miss so much; It is the most magical sight.”

And suddenly before me a ball of fire, a shinning star, I seen before. “Is this what I think it is ?” aghast, alarmed and awestruck; nothing but a speck of dust.

My brothers and sisters from worlds unknown pleaded me to stay, “Play some more.”

“Avast ! my mother awaits” I said “must return, no time to spare” and so my weary soul slid through a hole. Closing my eyes again saw a similar sight.

And as the sun rose, struggling through the clouds, I saw my spirit lifted giving a reason to fight.

This is the magic of spirits, this you cannot deny. On many lonely nights, embracing the spirits, I let myself fly.

Leave me be

You made especially evident; for none you ever bent.

Henceforth I will be aware, surely, angels aren’t heaven-sent.

Some cruel, corrupt, conniving thing; did let you.

To suckle simple, submissive souls; did set you.

Look, narcissus himself took pity on you with some resent.

It is wholly evident now, surely, you weren’t heaven-sent.

Go back to, from whence you came, what horrendous hole.

Leave with same rigour, with which did enter my soul.

Is it the same for you

Just keep doing what you have done to me.
Please don’t stop, I beg you, please.
I’ll linger among the stars waiting for you.
I’ll wait lying in the deep of the sea.
Just keep doing what you have done to me.
Please don’t stop, I beg you, please.

Where ever you go that’s where i’ll be.
Is it the same for you, as it is for me ?
Life is full of thunder, and lightning too.
You, my only calm, nothing more besides you.
Wherever you go that’s where i’ll be.
Is it the same for you, as it is for me ?

You won all battles

All my strength invested, holding me back.
I wish I could leap across the hallway,
slap that oblivious look off your face.
I see neither hurt nor guilt in your eyes,
but I clearly see the pride in your smile.

You revel in the possibility
that I just might come back for another
piece of your narcissistic agony.
You cannot comprehend that someone who
has tasted it once could go without it.

Are you certain you broke me as much as
it would be needed to never be mend.
But I was broken before you found me,
sorry to disappoint you my darling.
You won all battles but I won the war.

Reading Update #1

April, 2017

This month I was not able to read as much as I had hoped but still I was able to finish two very short but amazing reads namely ‘The Call of Cthulu by H.P. Lovecraft’ and ‘Guns by Stephen King’ I also read ‘The Art of Game design : A Book of lenses by Jesse Schell’ but that book is more of a bible, in that it is referred to almost every time I design a new game.

The Call of Cthulu
by H.P. Lovecraft

The Call of Cthulhu

The Call of Cthulhu is a terrifying trilogy of horror stories that has influenced writers like William S. Burroughs, Ramsey Campbell, Thomas Ligotti and Stephen King.

This story highlights many of the, now famous, lovecraftian themes like pre-human civilisations, occults and secret societies, lost or forbidden knowledge, old gods and unspeakable horrors. This short 32 pages book is a must read for any fan of speculative fiction, horror or someone who just wants to know how to write a story that keeps your readers stuck on your every word from the beginning to very end.

A quick google search will give you many images of Cthulhu himself but none will terrify you to your core than the image that Lovecraft paints in your mind with his words. I literally jumped off my bed when I heard a low grumble from my neighbours apartment. This is my first Lovecraft experience and I can’t wait to read more by him. I Can’t recommend this book enough.

Guns
by Stephen King

Guns

In this essay Stephen king sets down his thoughts about gun violence in America. Me not being an American slightly had difficulty to wrap my head around some of what Mr.King was talking about. I did try to research almost all the shooting incidents that were mentioned and read as much as I could about the people involved and I was already aware of the Sandy Hook tragedy. I am personally in favour of banning all guns outright but as Mr.King points out that is just not going to happen (which I don’t really understand but I also don’t mean to offend). King, who is apparently a registered owner of three handguns and have written ‘The Gunslinger‘ Series, gives his opinions and facts on America’s ‘Culture of Violence‘. He also mentions a book that he authored in his teens called ‘Rage‘ which was found in possession of multiple of these young shooters and he felt responsible to take it down, which he did. Regarding which he says,

” I didn’t pull Rage from publication because the law demanded it; I was protected under the first Amendment, and the law couldn’t demand it. I pulled it because in my judgement it might be hurting people, and that made it the responsible thing to do. Assault weapons will remain readily available to crazy people until the powerful pro-gun forces in this country decide to do a similar turnaround. They must accept responsibility, recognising that responsibility is not the same as culpability. They need to say, “We support these measures not because the law demands we support them , but because it’s the sensible thing.”

If you are concerned or even aware of the seriousness of the state of America’s gun control you must read this. Because in most cases the lives lost are regrettably of young children who didn’t even had a chance at life.

Biting off more than I could chew

April, 2017

So as it turns out trying to write, read, design and be a socially acceptable human being all at the same time and retain a shred of my sanity is something that is really hard to do, who knew ? and somehow cramming all of that in a 24 hour day and then trying to accomplish a fraction of each is just not getting me anywhere.

I accept it.

I am not a Muti-tasker.

As a human man my brain is just not equipped to process so much information at the same time. But I am an excellent organiser, so here goes…

I have decided to split up everything I wish to accomplish into separate categories and then record and keep you updated of my progress here on this blog.

Reading

In these posts I will record and briefly review the books I have finished reading since the previous update, simple enough.

Writing

Now I know I am gonna get some flak for this one. As artists we know that inspiration won’t come to you when you want it to, in my experience it comes any time other than when you want it to. And I know a writer must write everyday, But unsettled ideas get turned into short scribbled notes all the time and characters get developed in the subconscious as you bathe, eat, sleep and carry on with your dull lives. What happens to these ideas, characters and their stories WILL be explored by your truly and then of course I will let you know about them.

Games design

I think you have an idea by now what I am trying to say here. yes, you guessed it right. All the game ideas for either board or digital games, designed and prototyped will be kept record of here in these games design update posts.

 

I am hoping that with this I will be able to successfully focus on my separate pursuits and have a record of it somewhere for myself and for you the readers.

“A jack of all trades and a master of each one.”

(Wow! I am really full of myself)

Wish me luck.

The Reason

If you love me, I beg we never say it.
If you care for me, I beg you bury it.
If you dream of me, don’t you ever
close your eyes.
If you need me, cut my ears so I won’t
hear you cries

If you know me,
you know that I’d rather die
than live a lie;
that is the reason why.