Saturday, May 31, 2014

Saga of the Splintered Realm - You Deserve an Update!

It's been a while since I updated peeps on Saga of the Splintered Realm. I took about a month off from working on the game because life got very hectic, and because I needed a mental break from it. I have learned this about my creative process - I work best if I really intensely focus on it for a few months, and then take a month or two off - and then go back with that same intensity.

I spent last week dotting i's and crossing t's with Army Ants things, and I got ahead of the strip (for the first time in 6 months! I have the next two weeks done), finishing/publishing the second Adventure Journal. I went to bed last night with thoughts of the Splintered Realm dancing in my head, and this morning woke up with dozens of little lingering issues from a month ago suddenly solved in my head.

I've learned to trust how my subconscious works. It's really a pretty nifty little mechanism in my head. I know that at any time, my subconscious creativity is working through two or three things that my conscious mind is not working on. When I go back and put my attention on that work, my subconscious has solved a number of problems or found a slew of new ideas. It helps me so much to go back with fresh eyes.

The reason I put a January release date on the SSR kickstarter was not because I needed 9 months to write it. I can write it all in a month if I really want to... it's because I wanted to build in two periods of dormancy for the game to fully gestate in my imagination.

I'm sorry if this sounds kind of weird or trippy, but it's the way my head works. I cannot work intensely on the same project for over 3 months at a time. I have to move on to something else and then wrap back around to it. Every time I've fought that, I end up becoming less and less productive over time. Now that I've learned to embrace it, I have found ways to maximize my creative output.

Knock on wood, but it keeps me from ever getting anything akin to writer's block, or from hitting big creative slumps. I am always ready to move onto the next project in line, and I just keep cycling through projects this way.

Anyhow, I will be laying out some of the solutions in the next few weeks and talking about them in some detail, and I'll be sharing some images that the artists have been creating (which are so much better than what I was expecting).

Thanks for your support and good will, and I am always open to feedback on the play test documents. You still have a few months to chime in. I will not be finalizing the game until the fall, so you can spend all summer sending suggestions my way!

Mike