A major subject of this blog is designing games, so I figured it was time to ask myself the question (and answer it): Why do I design games?
It is a good question. Boardgamegeek.com lists over 50,000 published board and card games, and rpggeek.com lists over 3000 published tabletop roleplaying games. With that kind of selection, you would think it would be easy enough to keep yourself entertained with games by other people, without having to create any of your own.
Admittedly, making your own game can be cheaper monetarily than purchasing new games, but it can also be very time consuming. Also, every game that has ever been published and bought was designed by someone. That means those designers have made money off of their work. Realistically, though, game design is a hobby for me. I don’t expect to ever make any real money off of my designs (though it would be a nice perk). So, basically, it boils down to the fact that I enjoy designing games. Why do I enjoy it? Because designing a game is designing an experience.
Much like watching a movie or reading a book, playing a game is an experience. Unlike in other mediums, however, games provide a more interactive experience. Not only can they be entertaining, they can also be challenging. And one game can turn out differently every time it’s played. When you sit down with a group of friends to watch a movie you’re sharing an experience, but you don’t generally have much interaction during that experience. With a game, it’s all about the interactions at the table. So playing a game is a wholly different experience from watching a movie or reading a book. And when you design games, you get to design that experience.
|There is a special kind of excitement in having a prototype of a new game ready for playtesting.|