Whitebox20: design space & direction struggle

I’ve been toying here with design decisions for Whitebox and I felt I was hitting a good stride. And I have a document where I’m actually writing the game, which is great.

It’s not great because HELL YEAH PROGRESS, it’s great because that’s the point where you’re actually, you know, finalizing the decisions. It forces the designer to take a choice.

Yeah, they’re not final. I can go back and change the rules. But as the game gets written (not played, as it’s totally possible and recommended to try different rules during exploratory playtest), it takes a shape, and the taking shape means that you have to choose its shape.

And I didn’t feel comfortable with the shape. I felt some of the good decisions I was taking were not bringing the game where I wanted.

I want a pick up and play barebone adventure game with clean mechanics.

I was designing a skill-based adventure game with clean mechanics.

The two things are not the same. The second has way more faffy character building. I need to stay on track of what I really want to do. The faff has to go. The faff can always be reintroduced as optional rules later. 🙂

I curbed down, wrote some, and will playtest soon.

Oh, here’s a layout test:
Untitled

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2 thoughts on “Whitebox20: design space & direction struggle

  1. I was just having a discussion about the value of being willing to make “final” decisions, and how easy it is for everyone to avoid them because they forget that like 99% of decisions can be changed in the future. So I’m happy to see an example of that in action. Also, I’m way interested to see where you go with the game design.

    Layout wise – maybe it looks different on screen than it would bound and in a book, but the margin looks a touch too big to me. Like, it’s a hair too close to the middle, which makes it look like the center line was poorly balanced, rather than looking like a large size margin. Maybe a bigger gutter between the margin and the main text block would work, rather than a smaller margin column. That being said, I love the large size margin, and can see it remaining useful throughout the book. Would a different color or typeface be going too far?

    • Good suggestions re:layout. I had a play around this morning but then lost power so I can’t really show the outcome. But I hit a weird behaviour in LaTeX.

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