No not literally of course you sicko. One of the toughest things anyone creative can do is to tear apart something that they’ve created and try to rebuild. A few weeks ago I went to the East Coast Games Summit and had my reverse lord of the flies game idea critiqued at the game pitch. The idea was liked, however the main suggestion was to go further with my sociological aspect and less on combat. Since then I’ve come to the conclusion that the best way to do that would be to drop the undead angle completely and focus on mutants and humans. I’ve been racking my brain about this; this was one of the main concepts when I first thought up the game, how would this impact the design? After some soul searching and some walks to clear my head, I came to two important decisions.
One being this idea is mine and the success or failure of it is completely on my shoulders. Yes the game itself (if it is ever made) is a group project, however the game play itself is completely from me and I have to make the final call on it. Second if I can’t come to a decision about this, then what right do I have to call myself a game designer in the first place? Another fact about creating a game, when coming up with major decisions it is not a democratic process, it is more a dictatorship. At the end of the day someone has to stand up and decide for the group and be done with it, no more arguing about what if.
I now have greater appreciation for bringing in people outside of the development to look at your work; it is true, working on a project for so long can make you oblivious to certain flaws. The trick is to know how much to listen to these people and when to stick by your original work. For my idea I’m going to play up the mutant angle more and give more personality to the mutant king. I decided to reintegrate the idea of undead as basic mutant grunts; they will still be a threat early on and will now become more powerful as the mutant king improves his troops. However they will not be the main problem, instead the mutant king will have a bigger presence in the city. Now the player will find opposition from other survivor groups along with the growing power of the king.
Getting down into the detail of your idea has got to be one of the most challenging elements of design, and is truly what separates the designers from the dreamers.