Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Work vs Play: Boundries

Good Wednesday everyone!

I've been thinking a lot today about some passing comments I've received since I started Henching, and again since I started working on MaliQuest:

Game Design/Promotion as a Job

Now before I move on with this, let me tell you, this is not an attempt to garner attention or praise, neither am I looking to self deprecate.
- No, instead I'm looking to free associate the possibilities.


It is interesting you see, when I first started running my MaliDAZE events, a lot of people told me that I should do that for a living, that my enthusiasm for what I enjoy is infectious and while I can't sell sand to the Sand People, I can certainly make them consider it.

I won't lie, I did consider it. I imagined my days spent either going to different venues and promoting product (like a PR dude) or working in a shop paid to drum up sales by driving attention and enthusiasm for a product to a fever pitch.

Then I thought about my family. We're essentially talking retail work here, and could that work really pay it's way? Doubtful.

Then I thought about the long game, in 2 years time when I've been doing that, playing games for 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Would I still enjoy it? Doubtful.


It was then I started work on MaliQuest, people saw the work I did on the cards, the speed I could generate them and the professionalism of their appearance - one guy who even asked if Wyrd had helped make them as they looked legit, and how a few have said that I need to do this for a living: game design.

Now everyone says that they could design a good game, or a better game than the current leader (just look at all the posts on Blizzard's boards whenever they announce anything). And in no way am I saying I could design a better game than anyone else. But I've made a rules supplement that takes an enjoyable game (Malifaux) changes how it is played and keeps it enjoyable (MaliQuest).
Is it more enjoyable or less? I can't say. I think that is for everyone to decide for themselves.

And think about what possible futures this progress could have. Would I work as a designer? If the pay was good, than maybe. But only if I could take you all with me.

I've said since the beginning that MaliQuest is only as successful as the community who play it, and the same applies to the design. I've had some fantastic help from some fantastic people, and so many people haves been an amazing help. I can't count the numbers of you who have made contributions, but I think a special mention should go to the Malifools for promoting for me and allowing me to appear on their show, in particular to Jon for the hours of editing he's done for our to be released Skype game, for David King for the honest, frank and amazingly detailed and encouraging feedback, for Tom for throwing ideas at me that I would have never thought of on my own, and for Sarah for more than I can possibly say - who else would stay up with me until 2am as we talk out the rules sets and what just doesn't work?

So how could I possibly take all of this, claim it for my own and assume I'll be able to produce anything half as good when left to my own devices?


Ok I think I've gone on a bit of a tangent, but I guess that's what happens when you've got a bit of a slow news day.

But in short, would I like to do this for a living? Hells yeah! Is it practicle? Probably not.

Stay safe y'all! I'll be seeing you Breachside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

1 comment:

  1. I've had similar comments from people about commission painting. I'm somewhat known for the volume of warhammer stuff I can churn out at a relatively good standard for the time spent.

    But why on earth would I want to do that as a job, if you look at the money it makes it's simply not enough and then add on top of that the likelyhood of suffering burnout and losing all desire to paint my own figures. Absolutely no way I want that to happen.

    Obviously it helps being in a rather well paid job as it is so I look on it from a position of somewhat priviledge anyway but the idea of commission painting an army and then only getting a fraction above retail value for the time spent sounds way below minimum wage and not appealing in the least.