Wednesday, November 26, 2014

When The Fun Stops

Something I'm learning more and more:  When you work on a thing - even a fun thing - it runs the risk of Not Being Fun Anymore. And, when that happens, you need to just walk away. Not necessarily forever - just until the thing is fun again.

That L5R Generational rules set I'd been working on?  I got stuck. I couldn't get a good set of random event tables together.  It felt like I was beating my head into a brick wall trying to produce it.

No-one is relying on me to finish this. I haven't been paid to produce it. So - at this point - it's safe for me to walk away for a while.  And I did.

Two nights ago, I woke my wife up to bounce an idea off of her that I think will work.

Walking away for a few months was all I needed to do.

But it's not always appropriate to walk away. For example, when Asmodee asks me for help with a project, they're on a deadline. I don't have the option to walk away. People are relying on me.

There was one project I remember from a few years ago that had four or five of us on Skype or Hangout until two or three in the morning Pacific time (so five or six in the morning where the rest of the team was). Because people were relying on us.

Writing this blog is fun. It's been fun for as long as I've been writing it.  There have been a few stretches where I'd wake up and dread having to say something - but those have been few and far between.

A few weeks back, the DCI revoked the Rookie of the Year award. The week after that, Days of Wonder had to change the winner of the Ticket to Ride World Championship before it was declared.  Because of alleged cheating.

Did these guys cheat? I don't know.  But in both cases, I can almost guarantee you they weren't having fun anymore.

I think that's probably the fundamental rule for me about games and gaming: When you stop having fun, walk away from that game. Find another one.

I guess that's one reason I'm so much more of a boardgamer than a roleplayer these days. Board games require a commitment of a few hours.  Roleplaying games require so much more time - and they're socially awkward to bow out of mid-game.

I can't remember the last time I bowed out of playing a game due to not having fun, though. So it may be a moot point.

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