Friday, April 24, 2009

Bad Family - Progress Report

Bad Family is the Old Thing #3 that I've been working on. I've nearly finished restructuring the outline. I'm trying to far easier for readers to visualise how to play the game. I've sort of been using Jason Morningstar's process:

the rules have to be crystal clear about procedures, and call out what to do when, and flag points where what you do is a little off kilter. So how to do that?

I’ve been steadily revising a cheat sheet, a “what to do when” document, so I atomized that into a very detailed outline. Like this detailed:

3.2.4.3 Keep any die that resolves a spotlight scene for your character in front of you throughout the game.

It’s four pages long and was a pain in the ass to put together. Then I cut and paste my current text into the outline by paragraph, wherever it referenced the outline. And here’s what I learned - there are big chunks of assumption, places where I don’t talk about what to do, when. There’s redundancy. There’s stuff that is presented subtly out of order. It was a really instructive and eye-opening exercise. It’s going to make the game text much, much clearer. I recommend it!

Jason's comment about stuff that's presented subtly out of order is very true of my project.

No idea if I'll make my May 16 deadline for producing an ashcan of this, but I'm making lots of progress towards getting the thing done and out of my life.
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