Thursday 11 September 2008

Design Language: Designer Derivations

There is an excellent nostalgia piece over at Gamasutra called Designer Derivations looking at the early years of game design. That is, game design juvenalia - those games you put together as a kid from cardboard, pen and paper. I still have a manila folder or four full of game design notes from the many Dungeons & Dragons campaigns I ran as a teenager, and the massive plans for computer games - primarily BBS games at the time - that appear to be slowly gaining traction in my adult years (The Dungeoneer game I designed appears in part in UnAngband).

The game design art included with the article is beautiful as well. I've included a small section of one of the submissions to the left, but I should really scan in and show some of the work I did as opposed to borrowing bits from someone elses' efforts. Its not until you look back at the crazy scrawls that inspired you that you realise just how valuable it is to keep your early efforts at game design.

Ironically, given it appears to be Spore week this week on the blog, I categorised my computer game designs into groups not dissimilar from the phases of Spore game play.

I was lucky, in many ways, to role play alongside some people who founded a game company and went on to write at least one gaming supplement that achieved commercial success: GURPS Goblins.

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