Now that InSpace is done, I’m finally getting serious about project microscope. I’ve been circling around the idea for years and now I think I finally see what I want to do with it.

But wait, you say. What about scotty and hicks? Weren’t those projects in the queue? What happened to them?

What can I say: the life of a secret project is rife with danger. Today’s secret project is tomorrow’s rejected idea, cast on the recycling heap.

I know that sounds bad, but sometimes it’s a blessing in sheep’s clothing. The good bits from the dead projects — now liberated — have a chance of finding their way into newer, livelier projects. I abandoned my god game idea, but aspects of it are proving good soil for microscope. Other nuggets may be useful as game plugins instead of stand-alone games. The Blame Game mechanic from project hicks is a prime candidate. Same with the core mechanic from scotty: it could be a very useful tool for some games, so we may release the kernel and let others kick it around. Those might turn up as (long) blog posts.

Game design, I will sagely opine, is just like any other writing: just dumping all your first thoughts on the audience is not the best approach. The challenge is to edit and omit and refine until you have something good. That’s part of why we call them secret projects: we’re not sure they’re going to happen, that they’re good enough to go the distance. Don’t waste people’s time — that’s my motto.

None of which answers the big question: is it true there’s a project called mr. zappy hands? You’d have to ask Ping about that.

    Ben Robbins | December 15th, 2008 | | leave a comment