Why isn’t Gears done yet?

As you probably know, I have been working on the roleplaying game project “Gears” quite a while now. In the meantime I even released an early draft to the public, which looked pretty playable, if you ignore the fact that it still lacks magic rules and talents. The problem is that I basically keep rewriting the rules from scratch.

The gist is that I don’t “feel” that the current rules are as they should be. That’s a pretty fuzzy description on what’s currently going on in my head. When I write something, design a rule, etc. I want it to have the right feel to it. Much of what I do is more by intuition than an exact science. When something I work on, doesn’t feel right, I keep rewriting it as long as I am happy with it. And alas this just doesn’t work with Gears.

While I love a lot of the concepts I added to the game, it just doesn’t work out (for me) as a whole. The core mechanic is cool, but when combined with the skill ladder and other parts of the game, it feels awkward and unwieldy. I keep changing the combat rules and damage mechanics and fiddle around with the skill lists.

While I was working on Gears I had this idea for a smaller game which uses the classic fantasy archetypes to describe the capabilities of characters: Warrior, Rogue & Mage. And to my surprise the game works great and it’s very easy to adapt to other genres. Instead on working on Gears, which makes me want to tear my hair out, I would love to put more effort in WR&M or something derived from it.

That’s pretty much the reason why Gears isn’t done yet and why I think it’s probably best when I put it officially on the backburner for now. As long as Gears looms like Damocles’ sword above me, I can’t put some serious effort into anything else.

Ok, I just needed to get this off my chest. Now let’s return to our regular program.