I have a thread over at the Brilliant Gameologist forum called “My Own d20 Alternative” (which is well overdue for a name change since the system doesn’t use dice…) where I announced the game I was designing. There’s a big chunk of history in that thread, which I’ve been updating to include recent developments in the system. I’m thinking about simul-posting the game definitions here and there.

Er, once I have them finished, of course. I’ve made strides in identifying all the different rules interactions and being sure to differentiate and clarify between them, but it feels like the game is growing out of my control. There are so many different aspects to be considered when I design something new that I just … ugh. I want a design team working some of this out for me.

There’s a group of game designers based in Salt Lake City (uh, where I live…) that meets a couple times a month to discuss game design and to test each others’ work. I’ve been meaning to check out this group for years, honestly, but now I think I have something worth testing … a game worth playing. And you know who I want for playtesters? I want Character Optimization, the old D&D 3.x CO Boards.

They represent the highest concentration of respectful, intellectual gamers I’ve ever encountered. They include the brightest minds I’ve seen come together around Dungeons & Dragons. Students, teachers, mathematicians, historians, among others. And all of them … gamers. Wherever the CO Boards are on the Internet feels like home. The Brilliant Gameologist forums are no different. It’s home.

I think of the CO Boards when I think of who I want to build the game for — not just myself, though I consider myself a part of the group. They’re the ones I want to impress. I want to build the game, and see what they make of it. Arguments about the virtues of one character build over another…

…Which brings me back to the idea of designing around an aesthetic drawn from Third Edition Dungeons & Dragons. Obviously, a lot of my game has changed from that original concept. As mentioned above, the game doesn’t even use dice anymore. What would players have to argue about? I’m not even sure.