I have a problem: I’m not very good at finishing things; which I suppose wouldn’t be much of a problem if I wasn’t any good at starting them. I’m a thinker not a doer; an ideas man who is little too idealistic. And if success if 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration, then I’m definitely a 10% kinda guy.
‘To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.’
A long time ago I posted a list of some of my game designs, a list I optimistically called ‘Part 1’. (See what I mean? I didn’t even finish that!) The hope was that by talking about them I might be more inclined to develop them, not least because I had reached the point where I’d started to forget about a few. My tendency is to flit from design to design, periodically enthused and then disinterested in each one. There are benefits to this, since returning sporadically to a design can trigger new ideas and new solutions, but it is an unstructured and unfocused process which makes it all too easy to move on to something else when things get tricky and, by definition, before they get finished.
Fortunately nothing is wasted, since I have recorded most of my rambling thought processes in notebooks, a practice I advocated previously, and which I can only forcefully and enthusiastically commend once again! Without these notebooks I would simply have lost many of my best ideas, and indeed, might never have had them in the first place. In this way the notebooks allow for an ongoing exploration and record of my (for want of a better word) design ‘journey’.
‘History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again.’
Yesterday I made a new list of my game design ideas, each of which represents either an existing physical prototype or a concept captured in my notebooks. For a few of those concepts I have written descriptions of the gameplay, or even detailed prototypical written rulesets — something I know may seem ridiculous where there is no actual prototype! — but I am only including those ideas that have meaningful amounts of flesh on their bones, and of which I already have a clear picture in my head of what I would like the game to become.
To say that only some of these game designs are unfinished is to state not only the obvious, but the absurd. They are, of course, all unfinished.
And with that thought in mind, I think I shall finish this post tomorrow.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.