Time happens and we play games

by anbrewk

Or actually I don’t know what time does, only that it’s not what it used to be. And it’s not the playing of games that I wanted to talk about, though I have been doing a lot of that, but the writing of a game proposal.

Over the last three weeks, thanks to Berv’s suggestion, I’ve been working on a game design for N Square’s Game Challenge: design a game that “[inspires] creative solutions and novel approaches that foster greater understanding of nuclear proliferation and its related safety and security challenges”(NSquare).

Its been difficult not actually designing the game but rather making the broadest (most exciting!) pitch for NSquare to then, hopefully, be enthused about. It needed to be concise (800 words) but also capture whatever it was that made the game. It’s strange trying to describe ideas without actually refining them. It seems to me, and I think Berv has said this too, that so much of designing comes down to rethinking, reevaluating and redesigning as part of the process of making.

Even if you have some consistent idea in mind, an unchanging focus throughout the process which you might say was your “design,” that could be so broad as to be near undefinable. Or at least not accurately representative of what you actually end up making, despite having a strong family relation.

It makes me respect clear execution of vision. When someone follows a thought to an end which matches their original intention, that’s actually impressive.

But the most satisfying and exciting part of this process, and what I really wanted to talk about, has been the  successful collaboration with Berv. Separately we came up with some fledgling ideas, then shared what we’d come up with and gave feedback on what we’d done. Then splitting up again we worked on our ideas some more and reconvened again to share better ideas made better by having worked on them with each other.

And now we have two distinct proposals each with added insight and consideration from another trusted perspective. It’s awesome.

Collaborating with a partner in design is much more invigorating and exciting than working alone. Even while meeting to talk about this project, we talked about future projects and working together like this again. It’s exciting to think we could design and maybe build things together.

I hope that as time passes, we get better at this: working together and making things. Working together better and making better things. All the good.