Kind Fortress: JR Honeycutt - Make Choices, Feel Things (Guest Post)
JR Honeycutt is a developer and designer who is known throughout the industry for his work on legacy games from Seafall to Charterstone to the upcoming Betrayal Legacy. In the past, JR has worked with Dirk Knemeyer on the Tesla vs Edison franchise, and with Daryl Andrews on the Fantasy Fantasy sports franchise. JR, in his awesomeness, has a guest post for us today about legacy games and decisions. If you want too reach JR, he tweets at @jayahre. You can also visit his website, www.waitressgames.net
Make Choices, Feel Things
The most common joke I hear about games these days is “oh, I’ll tear up this card and then it’s a legacy game!” Doesn’t matter what game. Sushi Go? Tear up a card, now it’s a legacy game. Power Grid? Yep. Mega Civ? Of course. Tear something up, put a sticker on something, scratch something off… legacy games are about choices with permanent consequences.
lasting or intended to last or remain unchanged indefinitely.
Most definitions of a game include “making choices”. Choice is an integral part of the experience. Choices let you feel clever. They let you express yourself. They let you feel ownership over an outcome. They make you feel accomplished, important.
I’m a completionist in the worst possible way. I hate making mutually exclusive choices. In real life and in games, I always want to be able to ctrl+z and try the other path to see what it would have been like. I’m an information junkie. I need to know. I struggle with commitment.
So, why should you tear up a card in a legacy game? It’s going to make you uncomfortable. You’re not going to be able to hit the reset button. You can’t go back. And you can’t re-sell your copy to somebody else. You’ll never get to play it exactly the same again. It’s ephemeral, in a way that games seldom are.
lasting for a very short time.
Funny, how a legacy game is intended to be both forever and for a moment. You get one shot. The stakes are high. This is exactly how we want you to feel. The more you hate the idea of tearing up a card in a game, the more we want you to do it.
Games should make you feel something. We want you to feel something – something specific, something about this moment in this game that you are playing right now. It’s yours. Feel the feeling in your gut. Feel the reluctance. Commit yourself to an irreversible outcome. Life is about doing the best with what you have. There’s no going back. Let us make you feel something.
It’s your choice.