Updates and Thoughts, 7/18/18

Hi All,

I've had an incredibly productive day. I started up an old habit I used to have of keeping a quarter-folded piece of paper in my back pocket to write on whenever I come up with an idea, and I filled most of it today. I still have to type it up, but if I type everything up in small bits as opposed to all at once, it shouldn't be that bad.

So, what did I write today? The good news is I was able to make progress on both Incoming Transmission and Hellbound.

For IT I was able to make a basic economy system, which it honestly needed desperately. While the economy in IT universe is still a barter system, we had to have some mechanics for it to put a general value so that trade is possible at all in the game. This will also add perspective into how certain things are valued in the universe, so we don't get crazy things like trading 3 "magic" beans for a cow. 

In Hellbound, I created a pantheon of gods and goddesses. This may seem strange, why have a pantheon in a science fiction game? I wrote it because hellion culture is still set rather heavily in religion.  Hellions, in general, believe and sometimes even pray to one or more of the gods in the pantheon. In the future, I'll probably go over the religions typically held by the other races, but for today just remember: ALL HAIL THE SPACE RAVEN! (Should he exist)

But why am I even thinking about a religion in a culture? Does it pertain to the game at all? Well, yes and no. Just like the rest of the game, it will only pertain to some games, and only if players and/or game masters really want to explore it. Without getting into real world religions, fiction religions offer a huge amount to a story or universe if implemented correctly. How many fantasy games use prophecy as a means of foreshadowing? Would Dungeons and Dragons be the same without priests and paladins? And I think it's safe to say Star Wars would not have been nearly as interesting without The Force. Religion can add that mystical force that turns the gears of the universe, or turn that small spot of luck into something huge. It is a storytelling element that I find vital to a universe. (I would love to see the look on some of my friends faces after reading that paragraph.) 

All of this brings me to a problem I run into quite frequently: writer's block. Sometimes it seems like the creativity is limited, and I use it up rather quickly. I think this mostly comes about when I'm set with a task that seems too daunting to start. For example, after writing out the hellion pantheon, I wanted to start putting missile heist into words so that we can get moving on the first Hellbound quickstart. No matter what I tried to start on, the pen just wouldn't move. It's not like I haven't run missile heist a good number of times, or like I have to rewrite the whole thing from scratch, I just didn't know what to write. This happened to me earlier this week, too, while I was writing the rules for Incoming Transmission's character creation. I know exactly how it's going to work, and what all the mechanics are, but anything beyond a bulleted list seems beyond my ability. I'm not sure what it is. I'll try to look more into patterns as I continue in my game dev journey.

I want to make a note somewhere in this entry, and I think it's a good note to end on. I have found that having this blog where I can just write my thought out is helping a lot. I find myself looking forward to updating you all on what I've worked on each day. I could have spent the last hour or so I spent writing this playing a video game or watching a movie, but instead I wanted to write. It feels good to want to write again, and I feel like this time I can keep it up. I am a game developer now, and a business owner, so I have to maintain that, even when it's hard. (I read somewhere that believing you are what you want to be as if you already are will help keep you motivated to keep working towards it.)

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading. I hope there is some value in this, for both starter and veteran game devs alike, or just anyone who wants to read. I am intentionally leaving the comments open on all of these blog entries, so feel free to discuss. I may join in if I feel I have a point to make, or if I'm asked any questions directly.

See you all soon,
Z