My design goals with Star Rats

Aug 22, 2019

Nearing the end... or is it the middle of the end? Anyways, with the end no longer being a fairy tale myth and now something that may actually be seen in the wild... I sat down and thought over my design goals that I wrote at the start of this project, they have been edited a bit from their original, back when this game was called Space Brew and I had never heard of Maze Rats, but the overall push has stayed the same.

1. Keep the Maze Rats ethos. Ideally the two games will be 100% compatible and feel like the same world but at different times. Use many similar but different layout and typography choices to keep the Maze Rats theming.

2. Keep it short. The more you say, the more likely the game will not align with what the players need and want from the game. Give the GM everything they need to run the game confidently, but no more than that. Keep the page count low, with each page, each sentence, evocative and jammed pack with useful atmosphere or game mechanisms.

3. Lots of blank space. Do not be overly dogmatic. Leave space for the GM to create their own universe and diverge significantly from the look and feel of the game. Give them space to be creative, but include enough information to be atmospheric and have the universe feel big. Ideally, they are seeing a huge and detailed universe through a cardboard tube. They see a small amount with the promise that more exists outside of their view.

4. Layout is king. Everything must be easy to read and easy to reference. Good layout takes preference over content.

Overall I think I have stayed true to these design goals, at the same time I see places where I think I can do better and make some tweaks.

With point number 4. I have been reading an excellent book on design called The Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams (no, not 'that' Robin Williams) and have a large list of other resources to devour after this one. I'm also in the process of transitioning from using Word to using Affinity Publisher software. Lots to learn and I am enjoying every minute of it!
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