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Now, the Twist: Credit Where Due—Editors

The Chess GameWelcome to Colin McComb’s Now, the Twist. A dangerous journey, forcing him to take a long, hard look at game design.

Join him, won’t you… in his ongoing struggle to pass Go.

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A couple of columns ago, I mentioned that editors fill a crucial role in the business. They really are the unsung heroes of the RPG industry because, when they’re on their game, no one notices. When was the last time you looked at an RPG and thought, “Man, this book is so well edited”?

Most likely, you skimmed the list of names in the front (if you looked at all) to see who’d written the book, checked out the art credits, and if you’re a graphics geek (by which I mean no disrespect, of course!), you might have looked at the typographer and layout people, too. But the vast majority of people skip past the editor and assign most of the credit for a well-written project to the designer, about which I’ll speak more later…

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Now, the Twist: Hubris

The Chess GameWelcome to Colin McComb’s Now, the Twist. A dangerous journey, forcing him to take a long, hard look at game design.

Join him, won’t you… in his ongoing struggle to pass Go.

[previously]

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Before launching into the usual snarkery, I’d like to take a moment for a more serious topic. You may have heard that James Ward, creator of Metamorphosis Alpha and co-creator of Gamma World&emdash;a man with a serious involvement in the history of TSR &emdash;has become seriously ill, and the medical bills are adding up. Ward is one of the Names from the early days of the gaming industry, and if you enjoy playing games, he is one of the people to thank. You can thank him now by donating whatever you can to his medical fund.

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Now, the Twist: On (RPG) Process

The Chess GameWelcome to Colin McComb’s Now, the Twist. A dangerous journey that will force him to take a long, hard look at game design.

Join him, won’t you… in his ongoing struggle to pass Go.

[previously]

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I recently finished another project for Paizo Publishing, and since the experience is fresh in my mind I figured I’d go through the freelance RPG design and development process—which, I should note, is very different from the tabletop design and development process.

First in line is the freelance order. This is where the company looking for work sends out emails to their desired freelancers to see who is available for the project. If they happen to contact me, I ensure that I am absolutely aware of my schedule and my work habits. This requires me to be brutally realistic in my self-assessment before accepting the project. If I don’t have enough time or I have doubts, I communicate that up front. Yes, it might mean a smaller paycheck, but that’s the price I pay. This is a truism: if you blow a project, you move quickly down the list of people they will contact for work…

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