Game Design Lessons #17: Believing is Half the Battle

30 Nov Game Design Lessons #17: Believing is Half the Battle

I’ve started running a game shop (of all things) in Canberra, and in my first week in the shop I met a very interesting fellow called Mark, who found out that I’d created Infected! (it’s plastered all over the walls), and mentioned in passing that he had designed an RPG in the past, once upon a time.

I’ve had a lot of people mention that to me, so it didn’t really take me by surprise. We had a pleasant chat, and he left, promising to buy my book when he came back.

Well a couple of days ago he actually did come back. And he actually did buy my book. But even more than that, he told me that he had been so inspired that he’d started writing his RPG again! He was now 10,000 words in, and the inspiration was written all over his face.

It was, actually, a pretty cool moment.

It also made me realise something. I’ve known this before, but somehow this is even more real to me now.

Believing is half the battle. 

Actually it’s the most crucial battle. You have to believe that you can create the cool things in your head. Seeing all the amazing titles out there, it’s pretty daunting. How do you compare with all that?! There’s so much to learn, so much to do… where do you even start?! And then will it be a success or a dismal failure in the end?

Well that’s one of the coolest things about having actually done a Kickstarter and produced a book – I can now tell people that it is possible, and you don’t have to be a Level 20 God of Writing with a Cross Class in Wealthy Baron to make it happen. You can even do it on a shoestring, with a bit of luck and some friends.

Related:  Tips for RPG Freelancers

Our conversation also made me further appreciate the hurdles I’ve already overcome. I may not be a zillionaire from my writing, but I have been there and done a lot of it – mistakes included. The lessons that I’ve learnt are pretty valuable for anyone wanting to do the same thing.

So anyway, apart from just wanting to inspire you and tell you to get out there and create your masterpieces (because it can be done… and yes by you!), I also wanted to say that if you want any help, let me know. I love being of assistance to others in the industry. And even if you haven’t yet created something, you’re still in the industry!


P.S. Here’s Mark’s website! It’s in its formative stages as yet, but he’s done as I advised and set up a mailing list capture. He’s got a summary of what seems to me to be a pretty cool setting outline, so if you’d like to know more about his setting and future creations, feel free to sign up.


Artwork taken from We have no affiliation. But they’re awesome 🙂

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