Short one today, since I’m not actually writing because I’m currently driving to Dreamation. I just want to put forward an idea that may be radical or may be offensive, but which I hope may ultimately be of use to people out there who are thinking about writing and distributing your own game. That idea is this:
Maybe you should be writing in PowerPoint.
The rules and process for producing a printed book are well known, and we know what those books look like. Even if we’re not going to ever print a book, we write our books to look like that. It’s tradition. Habit even.
But there are other people out in the world who are doing interesting things with ebooks, with more of an emphasis on readability and presentation, books tuned to the screen and to printing. Go take a look at this pdf. It’s a good read if you’re into that sort of thing, but what I really want you to look at is how it’s presented. This is a simple, clean layout that is easy for even a novice to emulate, and it is well designed to explaining complicated concepts simply. This layout (and variations on it) shows up a lot in business texts. It’s PowerPoint, and while it’s not quite presentation-ready (too many words per page) it is based off a lot of good thinking about how to present ideas – one per page, with illustrations that clarify or explain.
The question I want to put forward is this: Is your game really that much more complicated to explain than these business ideas? Or are you writing to fill pages out of a sense of what your game should look like?
Obviously, this is not a solution for every person and every game, but I want to put this out there and into people’s minds. This is a club we need to have in our bag.