Daily Archives: July 22, 2008

Deeply Struggling With My Game

Crossposted to the Forge.

Almost a year ago,  I had the same doubts I am now experiencing.  In the past year, my system has crawled along.  I’ve worked on it, but it doesn’t feel like it’s any closer to being finished than it was a year ago.

The question that eats away at me, that ate away at me then, was Is My Game Worth Writing?  See, Warriors is a reaction to my play of Exalted and Weapons of the Gods (and to a lesser extent Qin), which left me disatisfied with the kung fu action.  I wanted a tactical game that really felt crisp and fun to play.  I still want this.  I am not sure if I have the tools to write it.

Here were my design goals a year ago:

*Have lots of cool special powers.

*Have tactical and engaging combats.

*Compel the players to action.

*Result in dramatic play.

*Be easy on the GM, as far as prep time is concerned.

*Feel like awesome Kung Fu wuxia action.

None of these has changed.  There are some unspoken goals- “focus on the players,” for example- but there was also a big big one that I didn’t write down.  I wanted to make one of the best (perhaps definitive) gamist games out there.  There wasn’t a lot available at the time that really hummed along.  (There was John Harper’s Agon, but it was a very different experience.)  I wanted to use indie-techniques to design a gamist game.

Now 4th Edition D&D is out.

It’s not Wuxia, and the mechanics are pretty different than what I had in mind, but it’s providing the same core gaming experience I was trying to create.  It nails pretty much all my design goals except the genre one.

So, here’s my questions-

Those of you who are at least passingly familiar with the work I’m doing on my game- am I writing a Wuxia heartbreaker?  Or is this just self-doubt?  Is the game as is worth writing?

The game, as currently envisioned, is supposed to feature lists of talents and kung fu techniques, which are essentially feats and powers.  When I try to write these, I am paralyzed with dread and fear.  I can brainstorm them all day at work, jot down ideas in my pad, but when I sit down at the computer, I can’t make the ideas go.  Everything seems redundant and pointless.  How do I cope with that?  How do I write the massive game that I want?

And here’s just a blanket question:  What can I do to get out of this slump?