While books have always been my great passion, and will remain my primary creative focus, there is another ring into which I’d like to toss my hat. Board games… ah. If you know about modern board games than you get it, if you don’t than you should get on board because this is an art form which is currently going through its first true golden age. I won’t bore you with a history lesson, but since the late nineties, board games have been undergoing a systemic evolution from stolid children’s toys like Monopoly and stuffy sitting room distractions like bridge into something astounding. The best current designs offer an experience both organic and elegant, with strong emergent narratives played out over systems of expertly interlocking mechanics, presented with a stunning level of visual flare and production quality.
It’s good stuff.
I’m a tinkerer by nature, and love poking my head around under the hood of a design, particularly one which I find to be lacking in some respect. Nothing pleases me more than to pick apart a design and figure out how to make it work better, particularly given the challenging wrinkle of being constrained by the fact of the thing’s immutable physical printing. There’s only so many ways you can reconfigure a game’s components before you’re just printing a new game.
Not that printing a new game is beyond the scope of my interests. It is, rather, the end goal. I’ve designed several games, and even gotten to the stage of physical prototyping for several of them. But, just as I would never release the first half-dozen books I wrote, these early experiments will not be unleashed upon the innocent public.
Nonetheless, I am highly interested in getting some thoughts out about my design attempts and future plans, and this seems a fine place to do it. The writing has fallen slightly by the wayside due to the unavoidable complications of life, ugh life. I’ve been doggedly plugging away at my fiction, and progress has been slow but steady. In the last year and a half I’ve produced a rather fine draft of a new novella and am hard at work ripping the guts out of Gods of the Earth and rebuilding it into a book that is actually, one hopes, good and interesting. The release of these projects is still some time off, sad to say, but progress continues.
So, while I’ve kept up at the writing, this blog, sad to say, has suffered terribly. I don’t want it to fall by the wayside, however, so I think that this will make a fine solution. Hopefully the blog will see updates far more frequently under its newly expanded scope.
I know, I know. You just can’t wait.