Machinations: The Process

Games, stories, projects of all sorts go through three or four different incarnations as I work on them and are subject to mutations and mutilations as they pass through those stages.

Stage One: Game ideas sit in my head for a considerable amount of time. Various rules, plot, background and other ideas percolate, fizz and buzz and things that relate to the game and its style wiggle their way into my thoughts. Playtesting and play modelling takes place at this stage to work out what works and what doesn’t.

Stage Two: I make a folder on my drive and start pinning down ideas in a series of documents, notepad files, graphics, fonts and anything else that feels related. Some of this doesn’t make any sense to me when I come back to it but somehow, it works.

Stage Three: Next I make an outline. The chapters, heading, sections, notes on where there may be sidebars or extra information. I sort out the order in which the book is going to be laid out and that tends to also be the order in which it’s written. This is fairly fluid and there’s always something cropping up to be put in.

Stage Four: The actual writing. Things are still somewhat fluid here. As I write along I find that things need to move from one section to another or that other things are needlessly repeated. More ideas come up as each section is hit and sometimes writing one section leads back to making adjustments to another.

Throughout the whole process, start to finish, I tend to consume media that fit the project I’m working on. Games with related ideas or style, TV shows, films, comics, computer games. So, I’ve been re-reading some of my old SF paperbacks and Heavy Metal magazines, the 2000AD stories that fit the genre and playing the living fuck out of Borderlands 2 – which is definitely something you should be able to model using MotSP.