Posted by: markfender | June 24, 2015

Save Your Ideas

It can sometimes take years to get an idea to the table.

write-it-downFor instance, the game I’m currently working on (for an unknown future slot) was probably first dreamed up about four years ago. I had an odd idea for an Exalted game and wrote it down. I think I even mentioned it to people. But, there were other games in the queue first and I myself got distracted by life, other games, and general malaise.

But that didn’t mean the idea was dead. It just meant it was resting. Because, in the time between active work began (last week) and that first brainstorm, I kept working on the idea. I read every Exalted book and made notes about things I wanted to include, adventure ideas, and other random facts (I also learned that I don’t actually like whole swaths of Exalted and that my game is going to only vaguely have anything to do with the setting). These notes went into the file.

While all that was happening, life was also going on. Which helped inform the initial idea as well. For instance, after reading all the direction books for Exalted, I decided that I wanted to set my game in the North. Granted, I didn’t like a great deal of what the North had to offer, but I liked more of it than the other directions. But, in between that decision and active work, I took a class in Anglo-Saxon literature. And so, I now find that the culture of the North has taken on certain characteristics of Anglo-Saxon culture. So, the game’s setting is richer for my having waited on getting the idea to the table.

This is only one example. But I almost never throw an idea away. In fact, the last game idea I was actively working on (that is presently in need of some playtesting) was based on an idea I had in 1995 (I know this because the file I found with my initial notes was dated then). Hopefully, it’s grown a bit since then.

You only have so many good ideas in your life (Hence, the “sophomore slump”). Better make the most of all of them that you actually have. Save your ideas!

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