Saturday, March 15, 2014

In which a pattern emerges

When I was a small child, my favorite game was Natural History Museum. I'd get out all my dinosaurs (and I had hundreds, mind you-- everything from those Carnegie Collection models they sell at museums to Jurassic Park action figures to 50-years-out-of-date neon plastic 1" tall ones from the plastic army men and cowboys section of the hobby store) and just... arrange them. By taxonomy, by the period when they lived, by features I wanted to highlight, any old way. I'd make display cards or signs or draw murals. And then when it was all sorted, I'd get my mother or father or sister to walk through like I was giving them a tour of a museum I curated, and just having all my toys in the right order and my knowledge and ideas on display was the bulk of the fun.

Sometimes I think that's just what I'm doing now, but with fantasy instead of dinosaurs.

(I'm sorry if this seems masturbatory to you or whatever, I'm just reflecting on my general approach as I have frequently been for some time now. Perhaps I felt the need to write about this to gain the insight of others, but I think it was mainly just so that those of you out there who read my thoughts better understand where it's all coming from.)

3 comments:

Charles Akins said...

There's nothing wrong with trying to figure out what's going on with your creative process out in public. While some might get a bit whiney the truth is that without working this sort of thing out you won't ever get to where you're trying to go.

In other words, keep on working this stuff out.

Jason Packer said...

The more detailed a game system, the more likely I am to invest time in that sort of navel-gazing minutia that may never see the light of day. The taxonomies. The reasons behind the reasons behind the reasons. And to use the tools given to me to create new and hopefully interesting things for that system.

It's more than half the fun of being a GM to me.

Nathan Irving said...

I like this post. :)