What’s going on? This is my second post in one week. Have the immortal Watchers woken up from their vile degradations? Have the secretive Authorities kicked-started their master plan? Have the walls of the world cracked and the Nameless one’s non-defined tentacles stretch out into our world?
I guess I’ve just got that writer’s bug right now. My second super-secret RPG project (codenamed COG) is actually going really well at the moment. I originally had no intention of doing another RPG project after my first one. That first one is in a kinda limbo at the moment, not moving forward or backwards. Mostly because my revised (and seriously updated) Reboot adventure may be published by Grey Ghost and there is a connection.
It’s so strange the difference in my creative process for these two projects. With the first one (lets called it LH for the time being), I started with a vague idea. Built it up. Found a system. Rewrote. Reworked. Restructured. Thought about it. Went in a completely different direction. Researched. Reworked. And so on.
For COG, however, everything is different. The experience of LH thought me about game design, world design and even non-fiction prose. Before I even started writing it up, I’m designing it, jotting down all my ideas and then shuffling them around and constantly re-structuring them. Essentially, I’ll have the world and system complete before I start to write it. The whole origin of COG is from some idle thoughts about roleplaying in the general. I had a little flash, not a big eureka. I started expanding that idea and it began to consume my thinking. It was, literally, so out there… it had to be done. I shared the core of the idea with a friend who in the past has disagreed with me on various aspects of gaming. We’re into gaming for very different reasons. I expected him to shoot it down. However, he didn’t. That was more than enough to drive me forward.
I guess the goals are very different for both projects. For LH, the purpose was to create a RPG as good as a “White Wolf” book and also to learn how to rewrite. Rewriting, I’ve found, is often the hardest thing to do to your own work. Now I’m on version 0.18 of LH, so I think I’m getting the hang of it, don’t you? Also during the process of designing and writing LH, my research, reading and thinking changed my opinions of what roleplaying is about and so the “White Wolf” book in my original purpose became “an RPG I would play”. However for COG, I had an idea. And from this all things came. I’m focused. I know what I want from the get go.
It’s great how my creative processes have changed, I’m starting to ask myself the hard questions when I sit down to write. I consider things like structure, character and images before plot, before putting any words down. Hopefully you’ll see it in these blog posts. The last idea I had, started with just an image, within 10 minutes I had a story, with character, plot and even a number of themes and scenes. However, the last idea I had, I thought it was wonderful, a complete novel nearly. But I felt, weirdly, I wouldn’t be able to do it justice. I feel I don’t have the wordsmith skill, that mastery of prose, to pull it off. And sadly I don’t think I have the worldly knowledge either. I guess that’ll be my next challenge.