Boy, that went by quick. :(
Companies usually give an annual update on their progress. It usually includes what was accomplished, what goals were and were not met, and plans for the future. I'd like to celebrate this occasion with the same kind of update, and give it a spiffy name, too. In honor of the title of this auspicious Blog, I welcome you to the first ever Dumpster Fire!
The mechanic I envisioned grew from a very basic concept, to something a little more concrete. It was going to be a D6 system, but utilized in a different way. The basic mechanic was developed, tested, updated, and tested again. All of this was done before I even had any type of stats, or character development. It was just the mechanic, and nothing else.
Once that was fine-tuned, I quickly moved to stats. I wanted to keep it as simple and clean as possible, so I decided upon a three stat system. I also wanted to keep the skills light, so I took my time and came up with 10 skills. Of course, this led to an issue of "sameness" when it came to character creation. A simple solution was the creation of specialized skills, called Focused skills. The skill would play off of the parent, or Broad skill.
Another step was to create stats that would be derived from a combination of the main three abilities. These derived stats would focus on health, speed, and willpower. There would be no "dump stats", as each one would have value in determining the derived stat.
As I continued developing the system, I soon realized that it was growing to be a little more complex than originally intended. I knew that this was a possibility and rolled with it; I didn't want to set hard limits while creating, and determined that I would save that for later on. Still, the system I had in mind began to change with each pass.
Once I had a skeleton of a system down, I began play testing with my local group. I received a lot of good feedback, and they weren't afraid to tell me straight what worked, and what didn't. I looked for trends, and cast a critical eye upon the mechanics. There were some additions here and there, and I created a new mechanic that incorporated more options with dice pools. This was a key element, since I really liked the idea of dice actually meaning something. It wasn't about target numbers, or the number of dice you get to roll; it was about how the dice rolled, and the values having a deeper meaning than just a one or a six.
I increased the play testing to a second group, and fine tuned the system. I added options for spells, called Powers, and included vehicles as well. The easiest way to handle vehicles was to stat them much like characters. They would have the same stats, but their meaning would be different; hull size, automated systems, AI, etc. The main difference would be size, which would increase the armor and damage of a vehicle. It was simple, but effective.
The system was coming along great, and I was very pleased with what I had so far. I even had an idea for a setting that was bumping around my head. I had a very clear picture in my head what the cover would look like, down to the facial expressions of the three characters and their stances. All in all, I was pretty happy with the progress.
Of course, all of that came to a grinding halt.
I hit a brick wall. It was a combination of a lot of different things; lack of motivation, confidence, and just Life in general. It was a mish-mash of crap that's pretty stupid in the grand scheme of things, but it was enough to keep me from working on my little project. I wasn't going to give up, but I really wasn't doing anything, either. So time passed, and I felt guilty each day.
It took a friend of mine to snap me out of my haze, and it was a simple thing, at that. He asked how my game was coming along. Just a simple question, and I kind of snapped out of my funk. It was most likely because I didn't have an answer for him. I went back to my notes, looked over what I had, and the gears started turning again.
So here are the Cliffs Notes:
- I'm a little behind on development, but still have a decent sized completed
- Play testing continues, and the system has been streamlined
- Setting is being developed, with lots more to do
- Don't have a release date in mind, because I'm not a project manager, and can't really work with Gantt charts or Project
- Lots of stuff compiled on Google Drive, need to start moving it to a different format for eventual layout
- Started taking down artist names for eventual contact, even though I have zero dollars
- Started researching layout programs, and realized quickly that I either have to spend time learning a new skill, or hire someone
- Kickstarter is number 567 on my list, and I'm only on 6
Hope you enjoyed the wall of text. Come back again, and I promise to be more succinct.