The spreadsheets

Game design, as I am finding out, is not just a hazy montage of furiously typing on your laptop, printing and cutting out bits of paper. Rolling dice and pondering things are in there somewhere. Along with some flash backs of growing up in that small town America… those flash backs may have been influenced by Bruce Sprintsteen playing over said montage.

I have lost track of the number of spreadsheets I have made for my current game. Literally, I keep doing them up on paper and losing them. Thankfully one copy of OpenOffice later and I will have many new spreadsheets to keep me happy. I may even branch into pie-charts, although that may make me hungry.

Currently I have had to tone things down, apparently a PC mortality rate of one a turn is too much for people. Hard to balance the enemies deck vs the cruel mistress of fate that likes to drop three of the toughest enemies on the first space.* Hard to figure that into a spreadsheet but you have to try. Creating disposable PCers who die in funny ways isn’t too hard, the trick is to make sure random chance doesn’t mean they have all the best equipment/edges and wander the board stealing all the fun.

The main problems I tend to face currently are the differences between what I see in my head and what my prototype looks like. Thankfully all my play testers have been able to look past this and get thoroughly into the game itself. Which means everyone gets to settle back and have a good time watching each other die. Well apart from me, I get to sit back and worry that everyone is having a good time. Keeping track of that many card combinations is rather tricky, but it is a fun skill to expand on.

I may need to go back to school….

*Sorry about that Colm.

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