Best laid plans

Today was a day in which I INTENDED to finish a playable prototype of Escape Velocity, painstakingly converting my extended spreadsheet of facts onto wee tiny index cards.

Today was, IN FACT, a day in which I discovered a huge, fatal flaw in my spreadsheet, which, had I converted it into cards, wouldn’t quite have rendered the whole thing unplayable, but would have had a negative impact on the maximum amount of fun attached to playing, and made it a lot more boring.

(I had failed to take into account the notion that rocket components might want to have multiple different sorts of attachment points; that one should have both electric AND fuel line attachements. Otherwise, whatever someone first attaches to their command module becomes the only thing that it makes sense to attach, meaning that competition over components dwindles if players just pursue different power sources. Stupid mistake!)

Today was a day about fixing that, then.

On the other hand, today was also a day for learning how to use MS Word’s “Mail Merge” feature to turn a spreadsheet into cards! Turns out, it’s really easy, and really quick, and if I had enough index cards on hand, I could have made a playable prototype after all. But, uh, my printer tends to eat pages and misprint like crazy, and I didn’t have enough index cards in the first place (I had been planning to cut them in half to double the supply).

Ups and downs, I guess is what I’m saying. Ups… and downs. Like building a rocket, quite poorly.


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