It’s never been about having the most toys.

Did you grow up with a bunch of toys? I remember enjoying action figures and LEGOs, toy cars and wooden blocks — all of them for different reasons. I used almost every toy in play — I had my favorites but most toys had different uses.

I recall a time when I lacked for a kind of toy, it was usually “minions.” Most of my play — of what I can remember — was built upon conflicts between individuals. There were heroes and villains, and they often teamed up or squared off in one-on-one battles. I recall chases and last stands, but rarely any mass conflicts.

It wasn’t until I was in my teens that I figured out this crucial “gap” in my play could have been easily filled by inexpensive army men. My allowance would have covered all I needed and more — I could have even afforded some silly bunkers.

I still have some of my toys tucked away somewhere, but most of my play has moved into the infinitely more portable realm of my mind.

And you know, I always wanted more toys but it was never about having the most. I could almost always find something to do with a new toy and my imagination was in constant motion — trying to discover the next match-up.


The problem I have with many games, is not only do many of them cover the same ground, they apparently do it without acknowledging the other games that are out there. Games don’t exist in a vacuum, every player is going to bring something with them from previous experiences — even non-gaming experiences.

I don’t read much fiction nowadays, or watch a lot of films or television, or even play many video games — due in part because I don’t feel like they have a lot to offer me in return for the investment of my time.

I’m tired of paying “start up” costs to get into new shows that barely payoff by the time they’re cancelled, or investing in novels that won’t give me anything to think about on the first page. Much of this is based on my experience — I’m not saying there isn’t stuff out there to engage other people. Just not me.

And I’m tired of people trying to “trick” me into investing in their scheme.

Part of what I’m doing — designing this Archetype system — is to give myself as many different kinds of toys to play with as I can. There’s a hard limit though, there can’t be more archetypes than I can reasonably manage or remember.

There have to be logical or thematic similarities between them, and they all have to do different stuff. It’s one thing to have one of each Ninja Turtle — Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo — and it’s another thing entirely to have four different versions of Leonardo. That’s what I want to avoid.

I don’t want a game with eighteen of one Ninja Turtle — and then three of the rest. That’s what I see in a lot of games. Iterations of the same thing.


What’s out there? How many are there? What can I do with it?

For me, it’s still about trying to discover the next awesome match-up.