Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The BIG Idea

As some of you might know, I have been a little vocal in the past about Kickstarter and the effect it is having on the independent games community. However, sometimes something comes along and really opens your eyes, and 'Far West' has been that thing for me.

My eye-opener is not something related to the game itself, although it does look super-cool and something I think would work really well. No, its the plans that flow around the game - the comics, the web series, the fan-influenced creative direction, the art, the 'Far West Society' etc. I think this is fantastic.

We live in a media bombarded age, a highly tribalised age, an age of recycling and regurgitation. To have something like this, which actually makes me sit up and listen and think 'Wow, that's very cool and probably something I could buy into' is very rare indeed. To have something that seems to have taken that media saturation and tribalisation and turned it into something wholly positive? That's fantastic.

However, that's not the only thing that this has done to me. It has really made me look at my creative works and question where I go next. My Duty & Honour project is coming to a close. I have a few more things I have committed to seeing off (a revised edition, a french book and a zulu book - the latter two coming in a short format in all probability, and a stripped down hack-friendly free pdf as well). I'm currently enjoying messing around with my unofficial WH40k hack as well. However, it's very much treading the same ground I have been treading for the last five years and nothing 'new' is coming from it.

What struck me from 'Far West' was the commitment to the bigger idea, the long term commitment. I look at this and it reminds me of Legend of the Five Rings - both in subject matter (naturally) but more importantly in organisation. It has the feeling of something bigger than just a game.

God, I wish I could do something like that?! I wish I could have the clarity of vision and commitment to do that. Put together a team of like-minded friends and carve out something new and brilliant and run with it for a good long time, getting momentum behind it. You know how someone said that everyone has a novel in them? Well, I'd like to think that my Big Idea would be something like this.

I just have no idea how to realise it out from under the morass of mundane bollocks that life is at the moment.

Best of luck to the folks at Adamant with Far West. Its inspirational in more than one way.


Ben said...

Interesting reading their blog that it took them four years to develop it. It doesn't seem like it would be particularly difficult to do beyond getting the right people together, though that might be because I'm more of a big picture than a small details guy.

Vodkashok said...

Thats mainly my point. Taking the time to create something massive and complex and 'done right' would take time, vision and commitment.

I dunno. Thinking about it has just made me revisit some of my creative work both as a games designer (where what I have done is totally derivative) but also as a GM in games, where so many times it feels rushed and pressured.

I think sometimes, in the games world, its too much about one-man bands and less about collaboration. When you see a good one (Malc and Paul on Hot War, for example) it shines out.

Ben said...

It takes time and commitment moreso than vision. Far West is every bit as derivative as D&H.

Fandomlife said...

Well, just because something took 3 years doesn't mean it has to take three years or is better for it.

I know, at least from a system point of view, they spent time a while back working with FATE for it but changed their minds.

Took what they wanted and went with their 'own' system. Which is fine, but they've ripped and replaced as much as you I'd say.

But yes, the transmedia element, as they put it is good, but the time thing is 'mutable'.

As for the actual gaming angle...yeah, breaking the lonely GM thing is always good.