Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Make it the best

I know what you're thinking and no I have not given up coffee and therefore could not post any more of my design journal. In fact, I have a hot cup of Joe (making the one american reader feel at home) and some delightful chocolate biscuits and am ready to type!

I have made some real progress on my Edinburgh Old Town game. Is it good progress, well that we are yet to find out but the big news is I am getting somewhere, so the game is more real than the last time I posted. Which leads me on to the subject I want to muse about today, perfectionism.

It's a really big issue for me. I know myself really quite well at this point in my life and I recognise that I have a massive fear of failure. Most people who "know" me personally will laugh at the idea (because I am proficient at disguising it with bravado), but I often have very low self esteem. One of the ways this fear of failure driven by low self esteem manifests itself is through my lack of willingness to do something I'm not going to be pretty good at. My deep routed fear stops me from having an attitude of "lets just try it and see". I'd prefer to not try than to try and fail.

What does this have to do with board game design I hear you grown as you wish you had never started reading this rubbish. Well, one of the things I have learnt over the year and years I have been designing games but never getting any finished, is that perfection is the mother of all failures. I will get a good idea, I will keep it in my head cause its not quite right. I might get some workings done on paper, but there will be a piece missing, so i'll leave it. I will add to a design cause its lacking that thing that makes it perfect, but its still not there yet. All the time, I am stopping myself making progress.

I'm not a stupid person deep down, but yet for years I have let perfectionism stop me making progress. Now, I'm still wrestling with this issue but I reconise its ugly face, I am fighting it. Now I am putting together a prototype that might well fail. In fact I would go as far as to say, if I make it and it fails, I am winning the design game. With failure I have progressed. With ideas eating my brain I have paralyze and to an extent torture.

I have two pieces of advice to you today:

Fail early, fail often! (its the only way to learn and get better) & Don't let the best be the enemy of the good. (turning something good into something brilliant is easier than making nothing into something brilliant)

Time for another coffee.. Have a good day and make some progress on your design later, I don't care if its good.

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Thanks for adding to the conversation on Ministry of Board Games ;-)