Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Idea of Open Design - A Question to My Readers

So, as I announced in the last post, I'm working on a new project called Worlds Apart. I woke up early this morning with an idea floating around that wouldn't let me go back to sleep (happens quite a bit, actually) and I ended up thinking about the uses of social media and tabletop game development. I'm a rather closed person when it comes to my business - I tend to play my cards close to my chest. I'm wondering if that tendency is a negative in a new (to me, at least) social media world where creatives share their organic development processes?

The main reason why I'm so "game-developmentally" closed is that I'm actually making a living doing this writing thing. I don't know how many others using social media can say that. It's not a wealthy living by any means, but by God, it's the best way of living that I could ever hope for. This makes me wary of the type of openness and transparency that I see around me online. I worry that my efforts will become less profitable if I share them more completely - especially before they are "ready to see the light of day."

So I'm asking your opinions. Would you be interested in seeing behind the screen as I work on the development of Worlds Apart or are you the type that prefers to wait for a finished product before investing any interest in a new rpg?

To provide a bit more context, I'll post the little introduction I've worked up for the game. It sets the greater theme of the game and provides the framework upon which the rules rest.
Long ago, the god of the soil and the goddess of the sea became lovers. Their union created the Ur-world composed of numberless islands in an endless sea. Upon these islands other creatures were born from the labors of other gods. These creatures grew and learned and prospered for countless generations, sailing upon the welcoming seas. After eons, after the rise and fall of hundreds of empires and kingdoms, Soil and Sea argued and rent the Ur-world asunder. The once-welcoming seas now stranded any that dared travel beyond the sight of land in a gigantic never-ending ocean upon which they died from privation. The once-interconnected islands were stranded alone, only able to communicate with other nearby islands, for a ship needed to keep some type of shore in sight to avoid the terrible fate of those stranded in the Forever Sea. Each island or group of islands became independent worlds set apart from their brothers. This new and terrible isolation lasted as along as the era before it, and many new creatures, new gods, and new peoples were born during the long separation.

This age of isolation ended when an unidentified goddess, allegedly a daughter of Soil and Sea, taught the peoples the secret of taming elementals to create ships that could navigate through the Forever Ocean. She believed that a return to the first age would rekindle the affections that Soil and Sea once had for each other. Unfortunately, the discovery of her gift of knowledge was met by anger and rage by all of the gods, both new and old, and she was imprisoned in the sky, transformed into a cloud cursed to move forever against the wind. But the wondrous gift of Obstinate Cloud (as she is named by those who tell her story) could not be undone, and the peoples of the islands began to explore a newly boundless world in their strange voyager ships.

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