I like to think that most of the time I’m a patient person. But when I step back I realize that it’s a constant struggle for me. Sometimes I’m too quick to anger when my kids do something they shouldn’t, even though I’ve told them multiple times to not do it. At work, I’ve caught myself getting frustrated when someone doesn’t reply to a message I sent a few minutes ago (I know you’re at your desk, answer my question!!!).
I’ve also noticed my impatience on the hand full of game designs I’ve worked on. I get an idea in my head for a game concept, spend a bunch of time putting together a nice prototype, and get it to the table expecting it to work like a charm before the first playtest. I’m even trying to price out the manufacturing costs, shipping costs, and potential backer levels! And within the first 5 minutes of the very first playtest it’s broken. I want it to work! Why isn’t already done!?!
I’ve been consuming lots of game design media & content and it’s become much clearer that you can’t afford to be impatient when it comes to design. Playtesting constantly, iterating and reiterating, tweaking, getting feedback – these all take time. With so many great games coming to the market today, you have to do the work to ensure that your game is worth it. And the only way to do that is to be patient. You have to understand that 99% of the time a design just won’t work the first time. Or the second. But gradually, through an actual design process you can start to see progress. And that progress is what takes a game from an idea to something playable to something good to something great.
As a new publisher, I’ve found that patience is still important and still a challenge. We’re running our contest on BoardGameGeek starting on December 1st. Why isn’t December 1st yet!?!? I want to see some awesome designs that we fall in love with and just have to publish. Some of the submissions we’ve received through the site have been interesting enough to seek out more info. And with those as well, we have to be patient. We want to find the best designs out there and make them products. But we can’t publish them all and we have to be selective. And this is even more critical for us starting out since we can’t afford any misses in our first few published games.
Again, patience is the best and patience is the worst. 🙂 Until next time!