Daily Illuminator

January 29, 2010: How Did He Do That?

No sparklesIn the game design world, many words are spent on the topic of creating your first design. That's where, the assumption goes, the magic happens -- the flashes of inspiration and madness that coalesce into a blend of mechanics and theme. That's where the action is.

The problem with that assumption is the implication that once you've got an established line, the design process is mechanical, and devoid of those "Wow!" moments. Not true, not true at all!

As evidence, I submit the developer's notes for Chez Cthulhu (shipping next month!), detailing the chilling adventures and mind-cracking meetings necessary to bring Cthulhu into the world of roommates. The only thing more "established" than the Chez line are the developers -- SJ himself and John Kovalic. While the magic in creating Chez Cthulhu was strongly eldritch flavored, and perhaps the laughter was a bit more maniacal, putting this game together was genuine fun from start to finish.

-- Paul Chapman

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