The Problem With Ideas

I love ideas.  Ideas have potential — unfulfilled possibility.  Ideas are applied imagination.  Ideas are my fuel.

I spend a lot of my in-between time thinking about games.  And mostly about creating games — trying to invent novel ones and/or ones I would love to play.

Games provide the sandbox for my imagination.  Mechanics and themes are the toys in the sand.  But I’ve realized that most of the time I’m looking at the sandbox, and the toys, and imagining how they could all work together.

I’m not actually moving the sand or the toys.

I’m trying everything out conceptually, in the abstract.  I’m thinking on paper in concepts — drawings and words.

And most of the time I end up learning my ideas are trash even before toying with them.

It’s easier to stay in the world of ideas.  It’s a sure way to never create anything.

My best work professionally and personally has always been produced through trying ideas — putting them into practice half-baked.

Any real game designer knows this — get a prototype.  Playtest.  Playtest.  I’m still in love with the ideas though.  And I fear moving from game idea to game prototype will result in failing.

But I have to remind myself:  Ideas are failed designs if they never become real.

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