Okay, not all that much progress, but some progress, still.
Like I said in a previous post, I'm working on a project for National Game Design Month...a little miniatures wargame that I'm calling, "TAKE THEM TO THE ARENA!" My fist step was to pull together some old notes and try to form one consistent, comprehensive product out of them. I found that while I was compiling everything, there was very little coherency through my rules and ideas for play style. Once I really pinned those elements down, my ideas would just ramble, and eventually dissipate into smoke.
Here's what I came up with: I want a small, simple game that could be played with few additional materials. I want to keep the simplistic aesthetic of the old Ziploc-packaged wargames, or even little-black-box games of the old Steve Jackson Games days. I want rules that have little complication or cross-referencing (two pages would be ideal). I want a game that can be picked up and played at the drop of a hat, something that can take a little bit of time, that can be carried in a pocket. I want it to reflect what I love about playing games, particularly those styles of games.
So everything I write has to comply with the above paragraph. Last night, I wrote out an outline for sequence of play. Its two pages in a Moleskine notebook. Now that I look at it, I may have to amend how many pages I'm willing to take make the rules. Charts will be necessary, but I'm thinking of just adding them to the character dossiers (I would like to make as many things immediately reference-able that I can).
There will now be a short Q&A, where I invite my imagination, subconscious and sense of insecurity to ask whatever they like.
Q: How will your game be distributed?
A: I'm thinking PDF, and then I'll package some in plastic bags. Seriously, I wasn't kidding about Ziploc.
Q: How much are you going to charge?
A: I was always told, "If you're good at something, don't do it for free." So I'm probably giving it away without cost.
Q: What are you doing for artwork?
A: ASCII? Pencil drawings? I have no idea. I'm going to need that. If i have to charge an illustrator, then I may have to actually make a marketable product, so I'm still thinking...
Q: Have a schedule?
A: Yes. I'm hoping to have a playtest available in the next week. Then I'm going to play the hell out of it and tweak it.
More later...maybe even pictures from my notebook.