ImagiNation: Dev Diary 2

It’s – finally – the end of the whole Queen’s Jubilee thing – thank goodness, and so I’m able to get back on with work. This also means things have backed up a bit and that I have been hit with dozens of ideas (which always happens when  take a break) and have probably taken on too many responsibilities again.

I’ve taken the opportunity, though, to re-read through Neverwhere and The Descriptive System (TDS is an unfortunate acronym, but never mind). Scary to think I originally wrote the first version of that system back in… what, 92? Twenty years ago? That’s a little scary.

The third iteration of the rules doesn’t really need anything doing to it, other than a little adaptation to make it fit the setting and special rules to cover the special situations.

Coming back to something you’ve written after a few years is a weird experience because in a sense it is like reading something written by somebody else. Especially the way I tend to move from project to project to project, rather than latching on to one thing in particular and developing it hard.

Even if I do say so myself, TDS in Neverwhere3 is a bloody elegant, adaptable and pretty brilliant system for narrative lead games. I wouldn’t use it for anything more gritty and violent but it is, absolutely, the best fit for ImagiNation, especially given the way that things can be created, modified and adapted in ImagiNation.

I have also now commissioned the majority of the art in addition to the pieces that I already have. Relative to my normal projects ImagiNation will be quite lavishly illustrated.

The final book will be A5 (like my pocket editions of other books) and I don’t know how many pages yet. I intend to put a lot of useful GMing ‘kit’ stuff in there, ideas, adventure seeds, advice and so on. I also want to take the time to make it welcoming to new players and I want to write a good piece about depression, mental illness etc to include in the book without getting too preachy. I still need to acknowledge why the game is being made and how I hope it will help.

As to the generic version of the TDS rules I intend to release, I’m open to suggestions from the peanut gallery. Should I cover it by genres and special rules? Divide it into sections for magic, superheroes, fantasy, horror, science fiction and so on? What do you think? What systems and genres do you think need to be covered?