Now, the Twist: Live Fast, Take Chances

Colin McComb’s Now, the Twist takes a long, hard look at game design. [previously] __ Weeks ago, we talked about the price of freedom and what it means to have an external code imposed on us. Today, we’ll turn that around and discuss what it means to have an internal code that we use as a guidepost when creating games. I don’t mean the publisher’s or developer’s code—I’m talking about the internal regulator that tells us when we’ve gone too...

Now, the Twist: Inspiration—A Preliminary Toolbox

Colin McComb’s Now, the Twist takes a long, hard look at game design. [previously] __ You know, of all the questions I’ve answered in my career, there’s one that doesn’t come up with the frequency it deserves. I mean, yes, I’ve answered it before, but I didn’t give it the answer it deserved, either. That question is, “Where do you get your ideas?” Nearly every writer and game designer finds themselves confronted by this question at some point...

Now, the Twist: How to Make a Good Turnover

Colin McComb’s Now, the Twist takes a long, hard look at game design. [previously] __ So we’ve discussed the importance of editors already and why it’s important to make their lives easy. Here’s one great way to do that: make a clean turnover. It’s much easier to say this than to do this. It’s extra work you don’t necessarily budget ahead of schedule, but it’s also crucial. I don’t just mean a manuscript that is buffed out, shiny, and filled...

Now, the Twist: … and Tear Us Apart

Welcome to Colin McComb’s Now, the Twist. A dangerous journey, forcing him to take a long, hard look at game design. Join him, won’t you… in his ongoing struggle to pass Go. [previously] __ Last column, I wrote about the essential similarities of games across the spectrum, positing that—at a fundamental level—they share qualities that are immutable, without which they would cease to be games. They might be puzzles, experiments, imaginative...

Now, the Twist: The Ties that Bind

Welcome to Colin McComb’s Now, the Twist. A dangerous journey, forcing him to take a long, hard look at game design. Join him, won’t you… in his ongoing struggle to pass Go. [previously] __ When I talk about games, at least when I’m speaking professionally or professorially, I like to point out the essential similarities among games of all sorts. Mechanically speaking, roller derby has a great deal in common with chess, and if we want to...

Now, the Twist: Credit Where Due—Editors

Welcome to Colin McComb’s Now, the Twist. A dangerous journey, forcing him to take a long, hard look at game design. Join him, won’t you… in his ongoing struggle to pass Go. [previously] ___ A couple of columns ago, I mentioned that editors fill a crucial role in the business. They really are the unsung heroes of the RPG industry because, when they’re on their game, no one notices. When was the last time you looked at an RPG and thought, “Man,...

Now, the Twist: Hubris

Welcome to Colin McComb’s Now, the Twist. A dangerous journey, forcing him to take a long, hard look at game design. Join him, won’t you… in his ongoing struggle to pass Go. [previously] ___ Before launching into the usual snarkery, I’d like to take a moment for a more serious topic. You may have heard that James Ward, creator of Metamorphosis Alpha and co-creator of Gamma World&emdash;a man with a serious involvement in the history of...

Now, the Twist: On (RPG) Process

Welcome to Colin McComb’s Now, the Twist. A dangerous journey that will force him to take a long, hard look at game design. Join him, won’t you… in his ongoing struggle to pass Go. [previously] ___ I recently finished another project for Paizo Publishing, and since the experience is fresh in my mind I figured I’d go through the freelance RPG design and development process—which, I should note, is very different from the tabletop design and...


Pin It on Pinterest