Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Draft Swap

Do you have a game that's in the early stages of design? Like me, do you have a project that is something more than an annotated elevator pitch and something less than a playtest-ready game? If so, consider doing a Draft Swap.
A Draft Swap is an agreement between two game designers to spend a fixed amount of time working on each other's game-in-development. No money changes hands. No contracts are required. The two designers simply agree on a minimum amount of time to spend developing the other person's game and a deadline for completing the Draft Swap.
Gabe, a first time author with a lot of board game experience, offers to Draft Swap his rules light shopping simulator, Flea Swap Spree. Sasha, an experienced game designer, agrees. She hopes Gabe might add some sort of board-gaming element to Maple Autumn, her cooperative story game about leaves falling from a tree. Gabe and Sasha agree to spend at least one hour writing additional rules and designing additional elements for each other's games. They set a deadline of two weeks.
There are three additional rules for a Draft Swap:
1. If you publish or otherwise release your game after it has been Draft Swapped, you must credit the other game designer as collaborator, editor, developer, or some equivalent title.
2. You should strive to do three things for the other person's game. You should add at least one design element that you think it is missing. You should try to add to whatever fun elements are already there. You should make the game easier to playtest, which usually means clarifying the existing rules.
3. You should not ask the original designer for help. You must work on the Draft Swap alone. (If you don't understand something about the original designer's notes, ask it on the first day of the Draft Swap.)

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