Indie Designer’s Journal #3 Dice Pool System & Indie Games!

I this episode we talk a little about protecting your game mechanic ideas, revisit the dice pool system for combat in UnderQuest, and look at a few games I ordered from the Game Crafter!

7 thoughts on “Indie Designer’s Journal #3 Dice Pool System & Indie Games!”

  1. I 100% agree about the futility of trying to copyright and trademark.

    I’m not 100% clear on two benefits that you summarized, regarding your blog about in-progress games. You said that you get useful feedback and you get to “expose” the game to other people. Can you be more precise about these two benefits?

    For example, can you summarize specific ways in which your blog has generated useful feedback that led to improvements in your current or recent games?

    In addition, can you be more precise about the amount and nature of engagement that you get with other people through blogs like this one?

    I’m not saying that I doubt you, but what you’re saying doesn’t entirely square with my own experience or my observations of other publishers’ experiences. For example, I started a blog some time ago about game development, which I’m not sure anybody at all ever visits, and the places where I’d imagine sharing it ban self-promotion. In addition, I visit a few other publishers’ blogs, where they summarize game development (and, sometimes, game design). For the most part, they rarely have more than 1-2 comments on their posts. These observations lead me to think that blogs don’t generally generate a significant amount of feedback or engagement. Perhaps your experience differs.

    One of the biggest exceptions is the Stonemaier blogs, which gets a lot of engagement — but Stonemaier of course used to develop games in public, which helped generate their huge success with Scythe and the establishment of a durable audience. Since then, they have switched to the more common mode of publishers, where they keep the design and development of games as secret as possible throughout the process.

    Anyway, I’m not saying that I disagree with you, but getting a little more insight about your own experienced benefits of blogging would really be helpful to clarify. Thank you!

    1. Good questions. I guess I will tackle both topics briefly here and maybe talk more about it n a future episode.

      (1) As far as getting good solid feedback, I can say that I have already received numerous good ideas that I have started to incorporate into my design. Just look through all the comments on the past 3 episodes. a bunch of good stuff. I am also a huge fan of protospiels. I think getting your game out there in front of as many people as you can is important, especially other designers. I also love to include fans into my development. I actually made the Fanny Pack for Iron Helm, which was a 18 card booster pack of fan created content, that I of course developed and did the artwork for. reaching out and getting others involved has always been a focus of mine and people do respond to it.

      (2) How does this help bolster, or help promote, the game? Again, getting folks engaged is a centerpiece of what I try to do. It does get folks interested, and when they are giving input on the design as it is being developed, they feel like they are part of the process, because they truly are. I could certainly design in a vacuum, but I know my games would not be as good and people wouldn’t be as excited about them. I do not post links to my videos on any social media pages, as I try not to self-promote in that way. I simply post on my own social media platforms and that seems to be enough. I am fortunate enough to have slowly built over time a pretty solid fanbase of loyal people who like how and what I create. I am in it for the process as much as I am for the end result, maybe more so.

      Thanks for the question. I think this could make an interesting topic for a future episode. I try to avoid these topics sometimes as they can come off as self-righteous. Thanks again!

      1. Thanks so much for the swift reply. Getting a longer follow-up with more details will definitely be keenly interesting and wouldn’t come off as self-righteous at all (IMO) — we all have a lot to learn from your success!

  2. Jason, im a little behind the times but i just watched the video for this episode. What if you replenish energy after battle up to your current health or max energy stat, whechever is lower. Thematically that would show that as you get injured, you wont have as much energy to fight with.

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