Out of Place Game Designer

Hello there I’m Thomas A. Novosel and I am writing for Game Creator Social Forum today.

I have been unsure of what to do lately when it comes to my own work and figured since I am feeling out of place; I should discuss that feeling.

That where I am, and where I am going is not where I want to go as a game designer.

So what is this feeling you are talking about?

I have lately been emotional when it comes to Tabletop Gaming and my own writing. I have become passionate about every word I type and every little detail needs to be absolutely perfect before I can continue into the next paragraph.

Now, when I say perfect I do not mean by the regular standards among writers, designers and gamers around me. I want it to be perfect in my mind.

And this feeling has made me feel out of place (and slightly frustrated).

Everywhere around me I see published gaming materials that scream out to me in pained shrieks that they were written for money. Not for passion.

I see tons of projects where the author/designer had an idea, thought it would be profitable (and it may have been) and put it out on the internet with a price tag.

I will not say that I have not had these thoughts in the past, or have not tried to sell something just to sell something. And this honestly makes me disgusted with my previous work.

What do you really want to do then?

It came across my mind a couple weeks ago that I have lost touch with why I started writing in the first place.

It was never to sell something, but because I enjoyed writing and loved the feeling of creating something that I would be proud to have my name attached to.

When it came to the first thing I had written, I was not knowledgeable in the least about how to format a document (even within Word files!) and had a very basic understanding of how to write game rules.

But that was okay. In fact it was amazing.

That first feeling of creation was beyond fantastic. And I think I finally understand why.

It was because there was no money involved. There was going to be no profit, and I never imagined there would be. Because honestly, that wasn’t even a scrap of a thought in my mind while I was writing.

I want to write without having to think about how I am going to sell my idea.

But don’t you want to be a professional game designer?

There is the problem! I am a professional game designer in my mind.

I believe that anyone with a pen and paper (armed with an idea) is a professional game designer.

It has nothing to do with money, beautiful artwork, or premium leather hardcover books.

It has to do with who you are, and whether or not you remain true to your thoughts/ideas.

How do you expect to live off of writing then?

I have always imagined myself eventually being able to live how I do currently (with a lot of downgrades) using income made off of my writing.

But, this is not to discourage anyone from trying to do this which is not how I am. That is not how I wanted to work. If I could I would literally write every day of my life, making fantastic worlds, and would never want a penny. I would actually spend every penny I have trying to get what I make to anyone who wants it; to anyone that would make use of it.

I never really wanted to live off of writing. I really wanted to live so I could write.


Out of Place

In a world where game books of high quality are associated with high price tags. I am out of place. In a world where free and inexpensive games are associated with poor writing and shoddy work. I am out of place as a writer.

So I am going to go back to where I want to be, not necessarily in the past but in my next few steps.

And I hope anyone who feels similarly does to.

What was this all about?

This entire article may have been about me, and how I feel. But it is more about anyone that feels how I do as well.

This was about anyone that puts passion above cost. That it is perfectly reasonable and more than fine to design games and publish them at a cost to yourself. That doesn’t make it less professional, that doesn’t mean you have gone from the world stage to a small town hobby. Every word is just as valuable.

You should not feel like it is crazy to expect nothing after investing so much time into a project!

This is because a writer’s work should not ever be judged by the amount of legal tape protecting it and how many pages are between its covers. Or about how much the author thinks they should be compensated for their time.

Actually, the author who thinks their work is of high quality and in fact cost them personally to produce; but does not expect a single penny anyways…

That is the designer I admire, that I respect professionally, and who I want to be.

Thomas Novosel has been designing games for six years, at an incredible pace that perplexes even himself at times. He is always at work designing and writing games, some of his friends say it is like a second full time job for him. He writes constantly and can be found at his personal blog Gentle Keyboard, usually rambling about “the process”.



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