Written by: Calvin Kammer
Hi, I’m Calvin.
I’m a game designer from Fresno, California that’s been working with escape rooms over the last five years. I’ve created dozens of games professionally and have made my living off of the games I created.
But while I’ve launched a good number of games, I can’t fathom how many I started only for it to fizzle out!
As the saying goes “starting a project is easy, finishing is hard.”
Here are the three things I’m worried about with starting a board game studio.
When the game starts off as a manageable project and grows beyond the original vision, you are dealing with project creep.
What once started as a intuitive mechanic develops into a complex, labyrinth-like system.
Dial in the project scope as soon as possible, and limit anything that detracts from the original vision.
“Perfection is achieved when there is nothing left to take away”- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Adding to your workload is easy, but means it will take considerable time.
2. Getting excited about the next thing, shiny egg.
Games take time to develop. Rules must be written, art must be created!
Many a times at the escape room my partner and I will be working away at the next big project, only to find a new idea that we really like. So much so, that the game we are working on loses it’s luster.
When it comes to situations like this, where I know that finishing the project is far more beneficial than moving on to the next new thing, I force myself to get to the finish line.
3. Respecting Limits
There is only so much time in the day. Even when you squeeze every second out of the day, the pulp left over is undesirable.
If R. L. Stine only writes 2,000 words in a day, how many words do you need to write as a game designer?
Certainly, if he can write award-winning best sellers, there may be something to the slow and methodical push to the finish line.
When I start a new project, my focus is to understand the project’s scope in it’s entirety. After I know what the game will take to make I check that the people, tools, or resources are accessible. (Don’t a game that needs a companion app if no one on the team codes!)
Thanks for reading! If you found this to be engaging please engage in the conversation by commenting or sharing this post. I'm always open to feedback, and am looking forward to continuing expanding on Blurbs from the Bloated Toad. -Calvin