Game Designs #9 & #10: Dosed and Pharma

This blog post is only briefly about these game designs at there is very little worth mentioning. It’s really about my issues and I’ve got more than the New York Times.  More specifically, it’s about my issues as a designer. The biggest one is that I never finish anyth…

After I designed my party game about pharmaceuticals, I thought: why stop there? Why not do a whole series of games about pharmaceuticals. So I came up with a microgame and Euro, neither of which made it very far in development.

pill-bottleMy idea for the microgame was called Dosed. It was a bunch of colored circular disks and I thought it could come in one of those orange pill bottles. I eventually came up with a game that works (this year) but it’s a bit short and not near enough fun at this point to warrant pursuing. The theme of passing around pills is a bit problematic anyways.

The other one I’m still really interested in. I want to make a Euro game which is a scathing commentary on the drug industry. I also want to fairly accurately represent the drug development process.

These projects were both overshadowed by the projects of the day. I was getting ready for my first GenCon. I had a half finished Kaiju game and a drug induced party game to think about; there wasn’t much time. And when I got back, I moved on fairly quickly to the next thing. Not finishing things has been a reoccurring theme in my life.

gytCGguWhen I was 12 years old I started my first novel. It was mostly just mimicry of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and the few other science fiction novels I had read, but I was really excited about it. Until I wasn’t.

My dad bought me a junked out Corvette to work on when I was 15. If I fixed it up I could have a sweet ride when I was 16. I got as far as powder coating the frame. I could have finished it. But I didn’t.

Fast forward to my dreams of being a computer programmer, mostly dreams of being a professional hacker. I wrote a lot of scripts in Linux. I started at university to be a computer scientist. But as with the education I never wrote any programs worth mentioning. I have 3 novels in rough draft (all of which are really pretty dreadful).

When I was 20 I joined the Army. 6 months later I was released with an entry level separation after sustaining injuries that put me on crutches for several months. I’m not sure I’ve ever finished a thing in my life.

I mention these things not to disparage myself as a human being or as a  writer, a programmer, or game designer, but to make myself face the fact. I’m someone who has, in the past, not finished things.

I’m also someone who, in the future, will finish things. I will do so because I want to be a great game designer and in order to be a great game designer you have to finish your designs.

Kaiju is in a finished state and I’m pretty proud of that. But it’s not enough as a game designer to finish the game, is it? You have to get it into someone’s hands.

Finding a way to become more methodical in my iteration process will help me finish my projects. So my goal for the next 2 months is to come up with a structured design, playtesting, and iteration system to follow along with a methodical system of communicating with publishers about my designs and finding ways to get them into the hands of said publishers. These systems should be somewhat mutable but lend me a framework with which to design, develop, and sell my games. That means on December 16, I will be reporting about said framework.

There’s not much to say about designs #9 and #10 because there’s just so little there. Had I had some kind of system maybe Pharma (my Big Pharma Euro) would be in a factory somewhere in China waiting to be shipped. Maybe not.

Currently, I’m working on a game for the 18 card microgame contest at BGG. My entry is what I call a microConSim. It’s meant to take the COIN system and Battleline system, mate them with Love Letter and see what comes out of it. GMT, lock up your daughters.

The Great Micro GameThe Great Game Card3It’s called the Great micro Game and it’s about the conflict over Central Asia in the 19th century between the British and Russian Empires. It’s going rather well. If you want to check it out, here is the WIP thread. I’ve gotten a really positive response from the design community there and from the 1 Player Guild, both of which are great communities.

This game will be finished because there is a deadline and maybe that’s what I really need. So my deadline for finishing Cold War is July 1st, 2016. That way I have time to arrange some meetings with publishers before I leave for GenCon.

Status: Abandoned

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