Daviau Dishes Decent Design Dirt

I figure something I can do with this blog is to make notes of useful or interesting advice I see around the place, so here's something...

I've just been watching Shut Up & Sit Down's Gen Con special, which includes a very interesting (hung over) interview with Rob Daviau, creator of Risk Legacy, amongst a decent list of other games.  One of the things Rob was talking about was really interesting.  It was basically a technique he uses to develop a theme for a game.

I'm sure the coffee is helping.
So the trick is to come up with a basic idea, his throw-away example was pig farming.  He then writes down a list of assumptions about that idea, including really fundamental and trivial things (spotting these, I would say, would be the real skill to practice), so in his pig farming example, this could include things like the farmers are trying to fatten up the pigs, the pigs are stupid, and that the farmers know that they are farmers.

What you can then do is tweak one of those assumptions, so perhaps it turns out that the pigs are actually intelligent, and then you can explore that idea and see where it takes you.

I am sure this is something that they would teach on day 1 of a creative writing class and that just about everyone in the world out there but me knew this already.  Actually, after hearing someone say this and writing it down for myself, the whole thing seems pretty obvious in retrospect, but I'm a bear of little brain and have difficulty thinking of this sort of stuff for myself.  So, something learnt today, which makes it a good day, I reckon.

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