Early Playground Worlds
Calvin, Hobbes & Caillois


The symposium is behind us now; thanks to everyone who participated - I personally found it most elucidating to look at a variety of play specs illustrating different people's perspectives on play. I'm planning to hold more symposia in the future on different topics, but probably no more frequently than once a quarter.

Some things that might be coming up:

  • Creative anarchy. The basic business model at work in the games industry assumes a small group of people making games with money from a large financial backer (a publisher) who reaps most of the profit. Are there different business models which might distribute the wealth more evenly over a larger group of people?
  • Wild Games. Having mentioned this in a comment elsewhere I now have no reason to keep it to myself. I want to make games based around playing as and with animals, and I have several such games/nongames in the pipeline (but please bear in mind that only a small fraction of the games that enter the pipeline emerge as finished games!)
  • Skeptics. I've been meaning to write on this for a while; can I find a way to talk about this framing belief system that marks out the value to society that skeptics can offer without overly focusing on the negative consequences of dogmatically skeptical beliefs...
  • Einstein and God. The iconic scientist of the twentieth century was pro-religion but broadly agnostic. In his philosophical papers he talks of the need to give up the notion of a 'personal god'. What did Einstein mean, and how valid is this viewpoint?

I'm also on the brink of beginning some "open design", in the manner championed by Danc of Lost Garden, but there are a few matters I need to resolve first.

Have a fun week everybody!


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Looking forward to your designs. I'm curious to hear about your thoughts about the process.

I've dabbled in some public designs and some more private ones. Both are quite enjoyable though I've found difference due to the audience. With my personal designs I tend to be much fuzzier. There are systems that I know will need major prototyping so I jot a few concepts as place holders for future decisions.

With more public designs, I've had a tendency to clean things up and remove some of the obvious loose ends in order to communicate core concepts more clearly. The result is less a gnarled mass of interwoven systems than I tend to scribble in my notebooks, but it is also a tad less honest. Game design is messy. You try things and you fail as often as you succeed. How do you share that dynamic?

I need a big custom stamp that says "This is all wrong. But it is a great starting point!" :-)

take care

I have been assuming that in order to move any part of my design process into the public sphere will require me to simplify somewhat. However, as my design process is working towards ever increasing simplicity anyway, this might be beneficial.

I'm really not sure how it will work yet - it scares the hell out of me for some reason. I'm not afraid of people stealing my ideas - I am increasingly convinced that if one has a great new idea it will never be copied because people only copy already successful products! :)

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