Monday, October 25, 2010

Designing Plausible Spacecraft for Role-Playing Games III

...Monday turned out to be a very long and busy day, and on top of that I had to wait for my meds at the pharmacy (I'm very diabetic).  So this installment is a little shorter than the last two.  I'll make it up to you later.  I promise.

    Before we continue with the design phase of the Valkyrie, I wanted to mention my overall organization method for putting our consistent product on a monthly deadline.  This may not be of interest to non-professionals, but it does explain why I do things in a certain order. 

THE GAME PLAN      This is not something I created, its more something that evolved over time.  I use it because it works for me.
     First, I design and draw all of the maps for the ship I am working on.  If you're gonna write about a rocket, you've got to know where everything is.  While I'm drawing the spacecraft in question, I am constantly thinking about the back story, any nifty things I can mention, cools way to use the ship - basically I'm playing with the spaceship like I used to play with Legos and my old Star Wars toys.  Hey, I do this because it's fun, which is good because it will be awhile before doing it for the money is an option...
     Second, I write the entire text of the document up.  I will write for as long as I can without rushing.  For me, once I start getting tired, I try to hurry up and finish, which usually leads to bad writing and typos and other general FAIL.  If you're like me, stop writing when you are tired.  If you start early enough on a month-long project and don't commit to more than 25-30 pages, you will have enough time to finish.  Relax.  This is a hobby, right?
     The third step may seem kind of odd.  It's the "do nothing" step.  I don't look at the maps and I don't read the text for at least a week.  This kind of reboots my head and lets me return to the project with fresh eyes later.  This is not to say I sit idle; I plan future projects, work on the core book, write long-winded blogs...
    Fourth, I proofread and review the maps.  Having taken a break from the material, I can read it without skimming over mistakes.  Also, I can be more objective with the content.  I personally hate having to re-do a picture I just spent hours working on, so by waiting a few days, I can lessen the emotional attachment an do the necessary hatchet work.
    Fifth, I polish, PDF, and publish.  End of list.  

   I was going to start explaining my way through the design phase today, but like I said, I ran out of time and energy.  Most of this post was written at ten this morning, so I'm happy to be able to put out some quality content, even if it's not as much as I planned.  Anyway, design phase tomorrow.  This will be fun, because you, my RocketFans, will be able to get the FIRST LOOK at the Valkyrie, still in its planning stages!
Won't that be fun?

Se you tomorrow then.  Enjoy! 

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