I recently got together with my friend Dean to have a brainstorming session about a couple of RPG ideas that we had. We had gotten into a conversation on a previous get-together about game design (apropos of Bulldogs! and its upcoming release), and he mentioned that he had an idea for a game that he wanted to run by me. I listened to his idea (which I thought was awesome), and then ran an idea past him (which he thought was awesome). We made plans to meet the following week (today) to brainstorm for our ideas and see where we could go with them.
I’m very pleased to say that the brainstorming session was extremely productive for both games. We’re both energized now, and I think we may actually wind up designing these things to completion. I feel like, when I’m designing, it helps me a lot to have a partner. I like to do things collaboratively, and it helps a lot to bounce ideas off of someone who’s just as invested in the game as you are, but might be coming at it from a different perspective. It also helps to have a partner who’s enthusiastic about the project, because enthusiasm is contagious and it keeps me on track.
Now, I don’t want to go into a lot of detail on either of these games. Both may wind up changing quite a bit between now and when we’ve got something finished that we can playtest, and there’s always the fear that someone might steal our ideas and publish them first (though I know that nobody who reads this blog would do such a thing). I will give you some teasers, though.
Anabasis (working title) is a game about crossing hostile territory, isolation, and zombies. It’s got some collaborative world-building elements, and is suited for long-term, campaign-style play, though it might not be quite as long-form as something like D&D. We may also wind up using Saga for the rules. This one is Dean’s brainchild, and I think it’s fantastic.
The other one, which we’re currently calling Doppelganger, is also about isolation, but also paranoia and negotiation. There’s a lot of table-talk in this one, and it’s designed to be a one-shot, playable in one or two sessions. It also incorporates a lot of board game elements. This one was my idea, though Dean offered a lot of great ideas when we were brainstorming it.
At any rate, I just wanted to share my excitement. I’ve been wanting to get back into designing my own stuff for a while now, but I just haven’t been able to motivate myself to do so. As I said, enthusiasm is contagious, and now I’m ready to go!