The creative process in game design or sandpaper golem sex and letting go of ideas

Yesterday I came up with a brand new game.  In fact, I came up with a new board game and a new creature to add to my slowly growing list of Pathfinder oddities, both based on the same idea. While doing the creative lifting that goes in to making something like this I was also conversing with a friend who suggested that I document this process in writing.  So here it is, documented on my phone pretty much as this stuff happens in my head.

  • Spend all day thinking about how goddamn hot it is at work – 20 minutes until I can go home.
  • Still hot, glance at my twitter client and decide the world needs to know how much I despise a hot office.
  • Spend 5 minutes searching Google for a suitable hot cliche less than 140 characters long.  Fail.
  • Come up with “Holy hot Batman!” all by myself.
  • Immediately picture homoerotic images of Robin in tights.
  • Shudder to myself when I think of what the rest of the internet will be picturing.
  • Text my wife with “Holy hot Batman”.  She’s not a fan, thus men in tights won’t be swimming before her eyes.  Bonus: Talking about the weather or her, no matter how she interprets it I get husband points, one chore deducted from my list.
  • Think hot.  Friction makes heat and heat us hot.  Sandpaper uses friction.  Sandpaper is boring.  Sandpaper golems are NOT boring.  Sandpaper golems having sex is hot, full of friction and downright funny to me.
  • Tweet “It’s hotter in my office right now than it would be between two sandpaper golems having sex”.  Chuckle to myself.
  • Other people tweet back.  Funny conversations ensue.
  • Realize I should stat out Sandpaper Golems for Pathfinder, included veiled referenced to golem sex.  Har har.
  • Tweet about doing this.
  • Dicehatesme says I should make a board game regarding sandpaper golems.
  • Chuckle randomly about this on my train ride home.  Get an entire three seater to myself.
  • 20 minutes from home begin to seriously ponder game mechanics for magically constructed, highly frictional beings.
  • 3 minutes an 17 seconds from my stop reach an Epiphany regarding game mechanics.  Frantically scramble to type myself an email on my phone.  Freaking autocorrect can’t parse golem.  Send myself a badly composed email about “Sandoval Goldman’s”.
  • Think off and on about this through the rest of the evening. At 10:47pm, scratch down ideas on how turns would work, spontaneous combustion and golem sex.
  • Name one golem “Sandoval”.
  • Shake my wife awake at 11:23 and outline my brilliant idea in full detail.
  • Met with blank stare followed by detailed instructions on where I can put my sandpaper golems, with exactly how much force and what surgical procedures would be needed to remove them.
  • Wander in to the office a broken man as I realize she is right.  Too jazzed to sleep.
  • Sit down at my computer at 12:02 AM,  glance at my blog statistics.
  • Realize that the world needs to know about my sleepless pain, sandpaper golems and the creative process.

Sometimes those fun ideas just don’t work out.

I’d like to say I’m poking a bit of fun at myself but this is pretty much how it really goes. When I get an idea, it will often strike out of the blue, or come from a wholly different thought process.  I try my best to immediately write down my initial thoughts and then move forward with development.  Sometimes these little things turn in to an idea for a PDF.  More rarely, I have a decent idea for a board game.  I’d say at the very least, sixty percent of my ideas eventually get flushed down the toilet of the mind.  There it ferments in the cess pool of cast off ideas, eventually to get filtered out and possibly reemerge at a later date as something that doesn’t stink as bad.

Even if I did come up with some amazing game mechanics for a golem based board game featuring sandpaper constructs, I think the target audience would be pretty damned small.

Really though, this isn’t a loss for me.  I spent some time working out game stuff in my head, which is always a good excercise, I had fun doing it and I may be able to use chunks of this towards other projects.

Creating for me is usually a flurry of activity, followed by many, many pauses and reconsiderations, followed by lots of hard work ironing everything out to be in a format that people other than my self can use and get some enjoyment from.  Hell, I still may stat these buggers out for Pathfinder.

[tags]golem, sex, game design, sandpaper, trash heap[/tags]

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