Tuesday, May 26, 2009

First post: The challenge.

This is my first post. After a lot of blogs and a lot of time, I have come to the realization that I have wasted a lot of years on myself.

A log time ago I loved Role Playing Games. Not specifically the one with Elves, thieves and warriors, but the general idea of a game played with paper, pencil and imagination. I played many different games but loved the imagination and process of creation required for each game. I played games with armor plated heroes, super powered animals and even giant robots. The one constant was my jealousy at the creators who had all the fun when they made up the rules and game itself.

In 1991 I decided that I could make my own role playing game. I made a system that was simple and basic, more of a theology than set of rules and charts. Games of the time were called "rules heavy" and required two years of astro-physics before they no longer seemed convoluted. As I made my game and played it with friends whenever possible, other games were made. New games were "rules light" games that were more of a process of story telling and were much more free-flow. As fun as they were, there were few rules to keep things balanced and in a fixed context.

I'd played generic games that were in the middle of "rules light" and "rules heavy", and they clicked -- but still didn't suit me. They still needed big books and used arbitrary point systems to make characters and items that really weighed down the process. The players of these games were still encouraged to create their own content, but the process was complex and needed big books with heavy accounting skills. If a player were comfortable with a 1040EZ or other IRS forms, then creation was simple. As an Art-Major it was much harder for me.

In 1993 I had come up with the basis of my game system, the rules needed to make stuff for the game. I wanted to jump in and start publishing a game, but these were the years before the internet was common and I could see no way to get any game I produced to be published. Real life and the pressures of my existence pushed my love of this game to the back burner.

In 2000, on a family camping trip, I was doing laundry at a laundromat with my son who was 4 at the time. My son loved a specific movie with spaceships, robots and magical warriors. I had some regular dice and paper and played a quick game with him based on that movie. We called it the "counting game" and it was an instant hit. As the years when by we played a few times, eventually including my daughter. The desire to publish this game became stronger.

I had a problem. I wanted my son to contribute and we could publish the game together, but I lacked a plot for a game world I felt would fit my game and system. Aside from achieving an impossible licensing deal, I had no compelling content to provide with my game. Publishing a pure system was a major shortcoming to other game systems and I'd rather the effort remain unpublished than fail with known fault of other systems.

Back in 2006 my son and I spent some time working on a game that might involve monsters fighting each other. I would work on the rules to allow 100ft tall monsters destroy a city and he would work on the monsters. As an avid biologist he came up with some great ideas, but I faltered and lost sight of the project.

This failure on my part has been weighing heavily on my soul for a few years now and my son is much older. I know that I don't have a lot of time before he give less than two hoots about my wishes to be included in his life.

After failing at this for so long, can I pull it off now -- or is it too late?

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