An Afternoon with a Creator – The Oracle

Things can be stressful. We get that. You spend all your time at a day job where they likely don’t realize how amazing you are and how amazing the game you’re designing is going to be. We’re here for you. Sometimes the process of creating a game is a slow one.

At Shades of Vengeance, we know that game creators have busy day time schedules so we don’t push them to move fast and that’s why we’ve got days like this one where I don’t have much to tell you. I will tell you that all the games are still being worked on. I just don’t have any big news right now.

So, that’s why we thought today would be a great time to let you in on what’s it like to be a game creator. Give you a chance to see why they do what they’re doing and how it all started. So to kick us off I’ve asked our own Ed Jowett a few questions and you get to see for yourself what being a game creator is really like. As we get time I’ll incorporate our other creators into these interviews as well. Let’s get started!


The Oracle:
Making games for yourself is a great idea, but why help others? Doesn’t that just create competition for you?

An interesting question, and one I’ve been asked several times!

Creating games is the important thing to me. There are people out there with some brilliant ideas which, currently, will never become a game. How many of us have just one game on our shelves or in our cupboards? I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who falls into that category. So I don’t see other games as competition, just more opportunity to give a new person a chance to try Tabletop RPGs and find they love them!


The Oracle:
What is the hardest part of creating a game and how did you overcome it?

The hardest part of creating a game is finding the confidence to go ahead with the idea. Unless you’re supremely arrogant, the first thing that comes to mind is “why should anyone buy my game instead of someone else’s?”

Answering that question is often the major milestone in developing your game.

For me, I was very much helped by the people who interacted with the game in its early days… and I want to help provide that opportunity to other people, in case they don’t have people around them who know enough about gaming to support them.


The Oracle:
What do you like best about helping other game creators?

I like most the chance to see peoples’ ideas come to life.

Just recently, I sent out the digital versions of Order of the Link, a game which the creator had worked on for more than 30 years, never believing anyone would pay money for it – he didn’t think his idea was worth anything. I can’t put into words how happy I am to have proved him wrong, and I look forward to continuing to work with him on an expanded rulebook for Order of the Link!


The Oracle:
Why should someone choose a Tabletop RPG over other games, like mobile or computer games?

Again, a very common question. The answer is actually fairly simple: width of choice. Until we have AI that can adapt dynamically to decisions (and I should say at this point that I studied AI while at University and wrote a dissertation on AI in computer games!), we are limited by the pre-programmed options that the developer thought of.

A Human, on the other hand, can adapt the story to anything the players want to do.


The Oracle:
What is your biggest piece of advice to others wanting to get into the industry?

Get in contact with us if you’re not sure whether your idea is good enough, whether it can sell. We will help you.


Thanks very much to Shades of Vengeance creator, Ed Jowett for taking the time to answer these few questions. That about wraps it up for today. If you’ve got some of your own please don’t hesitate to throw them out here either in the comments or in an email and we’ll be sure to get back to you.

Until next week!

– A

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