Lost in Time

Pity the poor designer. In fact, pity anyone in the business of creating things as they will inevitably be lost in the swirling maze of Time.

At the moment I am just finishing a game that will not be released, or even announced, this year. Probably not next year either (though it may squeeze in right at the end). This is not terribly unusual, in fact it’s probably about average. Occasionally things go a bit quicker, such as with Dwarf King’s Hold. Sometimes they’re slower.

It’s the same for anything creative be it art, comics, movies or whatever. The lag between completing it and the end user seeing it promoted or sold can be vast. And this is confusing. Let’s say you see me at a convention and ask me about the newly released Martian Invasion game. It’s a mass combat miniatures saucerfest of a beast with hundreds of units. “Does an X-3 saucer really have a move of 17, or is that a typo? Is a Mk III Bovine Immolator really the best weapon for close up work? Why?” For a moment I look blank. I’m lost in Time.

Since I handed over the final manuscript 18 months ago I’ve been working on a board game about alligators and chocolate mice, a World War I RPG (with 14 supplements), three pitches for Facebook games aimed at small children (and one for an audience of ex-nuns), a Film Noir skirmish game in 71mm scale, a phone app proposal for the Bolivian government, and currently I’m putting the final touches to a board game on the adventures of a famous cartoon lamprey. Among other things.

What this all means is that when you see a designer looking a little glassy eyed and confused at a question, it’s not (always) because they’ve been in the bar all night playing Drang Nach Osten, it’s because they’ve been immersed in a myriad different worlds since the one that’s just been announced and they are searching the memory banks for any hint of where they are.

Like I said: Lost in Time.

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11 Responses to Lost in Time

  1. Sami Mahmoud says:

    Am I going to be disappointed if I ask “does that mean I have to wait 2 years to see your take on mass Fantasy battles?”?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Not at all. Probably less than one (from now). That was written about the same time as Kings of War, but we had a different approach to playtesting and production so it’s taken a lot longer to go through the sausage machine. I don’t have a definitive release date from the company yet, but I’m guessing the first half of next year. As soon as I can tell you more you can rest assured that I will 🙂

  2. Elromanozo says:

    Why is it that, when I read this, I just want to play the games you mention, like the one for ex-nuns and the cartoon lamprey ?

  3. Sounds waaaayyy to familiar…
    Though with some games you could wake me up in the middle of the night and I could give you side, paragraph and line of the question at hand. Just depends on how involved in a game I am/was.

    I try to at least play every game I work/worked on once in a while and this helps me stay on track, especially when follow-up work looms on the horizon. But… if the list of games you worked on gets so long that you have to look into your invoice-file to remember them all there is the one or other that gets a little bit left out in the cold and when you get asked I somtimes also do have that rabbit-in-the-spotlight-look on my face

    • Quirkworthy says:

      That’s the look!

      I do play the games every now and again, though not in any kind of structured way. It can also get very confusing when you’ve worked on more than one game with a similar theme.

      • OHHHHH YESSSS!

        I remember a day some time this year, when I was playing Warhammer Invasion (did the editing on the new expansion one month before) and was wondering why some symbols were missing until I realized that I was looking for some LotR LCG symbols (the game which I had been translating and editing a few days before).

        Also: After working on a game I make it a habit of not touching anything that has to do with the game in question in the following 2-3 weeks after finishing the job. Helps me stay sane…

      • Quirkworthy says:

        Stay sane? That’s crazy talk 😉

      • Quirkworthy says:

        I forgot to say – I like the avatar. Blacksad, isn’t it?

  4. Yes, it is!
    And somehow strangly I am the proud owner of two Burma/European Shorthair cats, one of them chocolate black! 😉

    Just got me the fourth Blacksad a few days ago.

    Regarding sane…
    Well…. what in our circles is considered sane…

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