So, you’re planning on creating a whole game in November. Maybe it’s something new, little more than a spark of an idea, or perhaps it’s that heart-breaker you have been slaving over for decades. Here are a few tips to help you achieve the mighty goal of completing your game. Most of these are based on concepts from Chris Baty (founder of NaNoWriMo) and his book No Plot? No Problem!.
- Tell people what you are doing and brag about how totally successful you will be – that way you run the risk of embarrassing yourself if you fail! (There is nothing like fear of failure to drive you on!)
- Don’t tell your work colleagues what you are doing. Every sick day and every minute you spend on the computer they will assume you’re actually doing NaNo. Which may be correct, but you don’t want them to think your skiving!
- If you get stuck on a chapter, topic or detail make a note in a different colour or ALL CAPS and move on. It’s a great alternative to stopping your momentum to go research something.
- Don’t edit until you’re finished. Just DON’T. Finish the rules text, try it out (or give it to an unsuspecting friend), then adjust as needed.
- Aim for finished, not perfect. This is your first draft of the game, so your prose does not need to be perfect and your cards don’t need to be the same quality as Magic: The Gathering. If you have a solid prototype that playtesters can use, then that’s pretty damn good, right?
These are ideas that have worked for me. I hope you get some mileage out of them!