On 2016-05-09, Vincent wrote:
"Your three insights" is how I talk about your creative inspiration to create a new game. What I say is:
- You have an insight into your subject matter or genre. This could be something like "you know what would be fun? Robin Hood in space."
- You have an insight into roleplaying as a practice. This could be something like "one player could always play the main character, and the other players could play the supporting characters, whoever they happen to be, session to session."
- You have an insight into real human nature or experience. This could be something like "people can stand up to tyrannical law enforcement when they're united by ideals."
Of course a game is made of more than three such ideas, but I think it takes all three kinds of insights to make a game.
"What-if yourself out of conventionality" means, take a convention of rpgs, and ask yourself what if. Examples:
It's a convention of rpgs that you take turns during combat but not at other times. What if you made a game where you always take turns, how would it work? What if you made a game where you didn't take turns in combat, how would it work?
It's a convention of rpgs that there's a GM and players. What if you made a game with no GMs, how would it work? What if you made a game with only GMs, no players, how would it work? What if you made a game with a GM, a Special Player, and other players, how would that work?
"Kill your darlings" is a bit of famous writing advice from William Faulkner: "in writing, you must kill all your darlings." I guess it's usually taken to mean that you have to be prepared to cut out your very favorite parts of your writing, no matter how much you love them.
It definitely applies to design, too.