Interesting Reddits

Friday, September 17, 2010

A little about the process...

... of getting my setting and modules into something that I feel like publishing.

This'll probably be the subject I'll post on for a while. I'm still nowhere near done even with the Snakes Among Us module, but there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel... or is that a train?

So the things I've learned so far:

One bite at a time means you still have to take a lot of bites.

I knew when someone asked me to run a modern game for a change, and I rolled a "ancient holy symbol" as one of the random items in the attic of the house the guys had to clear of rival gang members... that I was going to take my infant campagin setting and run it in three time periods. I also knew that meant this was going to be a freaking HUGE project.

So one bite at a time... except it was kinda like each bite exposed more of the mountain. I've been biting for years now... and I still don't know where the bottom of the plate is, but I kinda like that.

Don't be afraid of other authors or game designers stuff

Three ideas I threw out because shortly after starting on them I read a book or module summary that was so close to what I'd thought up I feared I'd be accused of stealing. It was with David Weber's Oath of Swords that I finally realized something people had been saying around me. "No story is original anymore."

The really good story ideas exist somewhere else... you are influenced by what you read and hear and see. Don't throw something out because it's too close to that... the real originality comes from making a story or scenario yours, with your flavor and your touch. That's not an excuse to rip something straight out of another book and run with it... that's just lazy... but if you like something, chances are someone else likes it too... its what about it you like, and what you see in it yourself that makes it interesting.

Prepare for abandonment
I've tried to get commissions for artwork several times along the way... only to have whoever I was talking to fall off the face of the planet. Same with writing and editing help. Heck, I've had hell simply keeping a gaming group together long enough to playtest stuff. I'm not talking about free/barter work only either. It happens, this project is in most people's point of view "small". I'm not backed by some known company or publisher. So even when I'm willing to pay upfront (thankfully no one insisted yet) I'm on the back burner. I let it stop my work once or twice... that was dumb. Don't do it, don't take it personal when it happens.

I still need artists and authors for help... so if anyone wants to play... let me know. That said...

Look at your strengths and weaknesses, and find Friends that fill the wholes

If your doing something like this, without the backing of a publisher (yet)... make friends with people who'll be able to do the things you can't. You'll still be paying them money to do it, but a good rapport with an artist makes it easier to get art.

Or at least, I hope it does... It did with story pieces, but I don't have any character artist friends yet -_-;

Be prepared to start over, a lot

Anything from blowing your world map away, to loosing all your work to a bad hardrive and poor backup practices, to going "okay that was just dumb"... It'll happen, more than once... Don't let it eat you.

That's it for this week. Next week I'll gripe a little more about this project (probably what I'm currently fussing with)... and post some tidbit about Krenna.

PS. I really do need character sketchers and artists... holy symbols are one thing I'd like to knock out soon. Comment or email me! noble(dot)hays(at)gmail(dot)com.

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