The one thing good about being unable to run a game lately is the fact that it’s giving my subconscious a chance to actually start generating ideas again. Without the pressure of needing to come up with a game every weekend, I’ve been able to watch a few TV shows (mainly The Flash and Constantine so far, along with some Gundam Build Fighters Try.)
There’s an acute feeling when you know that you’re getting good ideas and your brain is stowing them away somewhere. It’s like an itch of sorts as your mind looks for ways to fit it into the context of a narrative of several dozen possible campaigns. At the moment however, I’m content to let these things buzz around in my head an percolate, maybe stock up on a bunch more before I go out and try running something again after my son arrives in the world and we’ve managed to get over that bit of craziness.
Speaking of my son, I’ve been thinking about ways to come up with a game that he can play when he’s old enough. While I know there are a lot of good options for kid friendly games out there, there’s a part of me that wants to put something together for him. Maybe it’s because I’m useless with tools, and all I know how to make are tabletop game mechanics.
In either case, this little pet project has the following objectives:
- Mechanically simple, but flexible – Kids games don’t have to be tactically crunchy, but they have to reward creativity. As such the mechanics have to be simple enough for kids to understand, and won’t get in the way of any inventive solutions they might have.
- A nod to his heritage – Setting-wise, I’m hoping to be able to instill an appreciation to his Chinese heritage. I’m no expert in Chinese culture (heck I can’t even speak the language) but I want him to be familiar with and accepting of elements of the culture. Needless to say I’m gunning for a Wuxia angle here, but skewed towards a much more kid-friendly approach.
- Values formation – I never thought I’d end up using that phrase, but key to the role playing game I have in mind is the fact that it can be used to teach lessons relating to values and character traits that I want to instill in him. It has to be mechanically rewarding, but implemented in a way that makes sense.
- Easy to teach and run – Part of this project is that I’m also looking to be able to have other parents run the game for their own kids. As such I’m hoping to be able to come up with a manuscript that will teach parents to run for their kids, and provide tools for creating scenarios and campaigns for their kids.
The funny thing is that I’ve already got the mechanics and stuff down on notes. I just need to find the time to put the manuscript together and someone to illustrate and lay out the book.