Monday, March 15, 2010

M.A/C.C - Game Design Journal #6

So it has been a while since I wrote about M.A/C.C here, complete with forgetting to do the session #2 update for the alpha test (it was a slow session, not much rules wise to go through on it so don't think I am going to. Fun session mind, just slow).

I'm currently finding I'm at an interesting point in M.A/C.C's design, as I think I mentioned earlier the game is in its alpha stage. It is almost completely feature complete, and actually with the addition of vehicle combat rules which should be getting done sometime this week it essentially will be feature complete and able to move on into beta. There are still a few other things that I want to add in to it, but those are secondary things not actually necessary for the main part of the game. At least, not in any way that necessarily needs mechanics for them.

In anticipation of this, I've begun rewriting the entire thing. Going through my original design document and fleshing out the various systems and explanations. The original document was written in a week or two of frenzied panicked writing, and then slowly revised down over the course of a couple of play tests and just rereading what I had wrote into something with more of a semblance of sanity. The rewrite in this regard has been interesting to say the least.

Taking some of the feedback I've received from my own experience in building a character to play the game, and the characters made for the Alpha test things are still being revised. Other ideas for how to do certain things have also come up, and the game is slowly changing into what I hope is a better game that still holds true to what the core ideal of it is. I'm going through the document section by section, looking through what was written and fixing it up, explaining things better, or just clarifying how it fits into the game as a whole. The process has been tedious and mind numbing at parts (oh how I hate the crunchy bits sometimes), but it has also been entertaining in its own way, and showing a bunch of different things about the game, and how I designed it originally.

If I had to classify it as anything, I'd say it is the first reflective stage of the design. I'm not looking forward with the game right now, going "ok, whats next? What else does it need?" because I know what it needs, and it doesn't have anything else that really needs to be designed. It has rough spots that need to be smoothed out, inequalities that need to be equalized. It needs a good deal more play testing in a variety of different settings. It needs a LOT of revision, and probably a healthy amount of editing on certain sections. But it doesn't need "more" per say. How it stands now, I could probably release (or try to) and it would be a complete system able to do a wide number of things. It is easily added to, easily subtracted from. The modularity of the game is honestly surprising to me, as I wasn't planning on building a modular system when I started working on it. Yet, the more I look at it the more I see just how easy it would be to remove that system, add in a different system.

At the same time, while looking back over everything that has been done and how to rework it to inter-connect just a bit better, I'm also starting to look forward. Looking to non-mechanical things that need to be added to the book, and potentially what comes next. Laying out the book, getting it edited, adding art, all leading up to that final step of actually having a finished product to sell. It is somewhat exciting.

I'll possibly have more on M.A/C.C on Wednesday with the third session of the alpha game being run. Until then, or whenever you next stop by in here.

Happy Gaming

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