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Rob Donoghue
4,406 followers
4,406 followers
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"there are points of failure" never means "can't be perfect, don't try"

This was sent to me, and I couldn't find any discussion on this, so... This is a thing. Here it is.
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"The mob has borne me aloft (metaphorically, of course) with their torches and — in their infantile gulosity — devoured everything I worked to build. My voice is trapped in a seashell in the grip of a NARAL-affiliated sea-witch, and I swim haplessly through the world, bipedal but voiceless. No. Voiceless is not the word I want. Sponsorless. Except for my ability to type and publish this now, the world has excommunicated me and barred me from public spheres, where I cannot exist in safety. I am like a mime (I once saw a mime on the streets of Chicago; I think this image speaks for itself).

My life is (metaphorically!) over. These very words are invisible to you. Simply for having the temerity to breathe (this opinion in the pages of an august publication) I have had my liberty stripped from me and I am now confined, for life, to the pages of the Wall Street Journal, at best. This is injustice."
washingtonpost
washingtonpost
washingtonpost.com
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This is a good, and self aware answer. The number of play tests is almost certainly a red herring compared to your clarity on what you’re playtesting for. If you don’t know that, no number of play tests will save you.

In fact, a huge number of playtests is often indicative of a problem. It can be very easy to think that more playtesting will give more clarity, and try to playtest your way out of a dead end. And it might work. You might stumble onto inspiration. More likely you’re just going to have to grind on the work until you find a solution, and the playtests are just that much more overhead until you do.

(It does not help that we kind of treat the existence of playtests as some kind of gold standard. That’s a bad habit, and I am happy that this question is giving opportunities to talk about why “number of playtests” is a horrible metric)
#AprilTTRPGMaker
21. How many playtests?

However many it takes until it's done.

For FORTHRIGHT, we had hundreds of playtests over the span of 5 years; I think that game spent somwhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 hours playtesting, and I was still making tweaks when we got to layout.

For HOME OF LOST HOPE...we did 5. Thanks to what we'd learned building Forthright, and the fact that admittedly it's easier to tell if a single adventure works right than a whole universal game engine, we didn't need to spend a lot of time on playtesting to find what worked and didn't work.

What I've found in playtesting is that, the clearer your vision for what you're going for with the game, the less playtesting you actually need because you know what you're refining toward.

When we started Forthright, we didn't have a clear vision for where we wanted it to end up. That was our fault, and we wasted a lot of time because of it. By the end, thanks to Metatopia, we had a clear vision and worked toward it, and it really showed I think in the quality of the playtests we were doing near the end and the changes we knew to make as a result.
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This is such unabashed good news that I’m shouting from the rooftops.

Smugmug is a wonderful service and has been forever. Flickr was one of the all time greats, and also one of the primary cautionary tale when someone big and dull buys something small and neat.

I’d be delighted if anyone was buying Flickr and trying to bring it back. Photo management online has become such a mess and the options are all creepy (Google, Instagram/Facebook) or deeply flawed (Apple, Dropbox). I am genuinely willing to pay for a service that is neither. That it’s been bought by a company that has a track record of getting it has me over the moon.


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On brand.
I'm going to try something.
Here's a shirt design that, as a "talky-talky" story gamer, appeals to me. Maybe it's appeal to other folks with similar interests.

If this is the kind of thing you'd proudly wear to a gaming convention, buy a shirt. If people like it, I'll probably make more

As an added bonus, many shirts are ON SALE for 25% right now. Use the code SUPER25 to get a discount!

https://www.redbubble.com/people/woe-games/works/31259333-sad-things-on-index-cards-story-games?asc=u&p=t-shirt
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I first met Seanan McGuire on a mission from a fan of hers, and have since crossed paths with her a few times (including a notable attending of Evil Dead: The Musical in her company).

It's a well known fact that in addition to her prodigious professional writing output (much of it award-winning or at least award-nominated), she started with and continues to write large volumes of fanfic. Here's a wonderful article in defense of doing so, for those of you who may have had frustrations in how others view it.

https://www.tor.com/2018/04/09/the-bodies-of-the-girls-who-made-me-fanfic-and-the-modern-world/
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I don't have a large reach but this might be interest for some of you that I follow to push out to your groups... +Misha B +Mickey Schulz +Brie Sheldon +Rob Donoghue

https://twitter.com/danasnitzky/status/983758060756897794

"I'm a @Longreads editor who wants to be pitched by more writers of color. I'm looking for a) long essay-type book reviews b) interviews and c) essays. 2.5k+ words. Rate: $500. Send pitches for reviews & interviews and completed essays to dana@longreads.com. cc:@writersofcolor"
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Yoinked from a private feed. I usually just surf the humble bundles for comics and tech books, but HOLY CRUD!!! Purchased!
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