Friday, April 24, 2015

DESIGNING WITHOUT BILL

Those who follow the blog and our announcements on social media know that Bill Butler, my co-designer and partner at Bedrock Games, passed away in September of last year. One thing I've been attempting to do is keep Bill's spirit alive at the design table and hopefully help continue his legacy here. 

Bill and had a partnership built on differences. We didn't see everything the same way and where that might have driven other designers apart, we turned it into a strength. When we brought Dan Orcutt into the design team about two years ago that, we took the same approach, using his different point of view to enhance our own. 

Now that Bill is no longer with us, we are constantly asking ourselves what Bill would have wanted when we're working on something. It is important to us that we still give his point of view a voice, because without that point of view, it doesn't feel like Bedrock to us. 

One of the things Bill fought for was to keep things as simple as possible. When we decided to make a more complex game with Sertorius, he was in favor of that move. Complexity was fine if it served our goals and a final purpose, but needless complexity was something he always tried to eradicate. We've made a point of reminding ourselves about this from time to time. It has come in very handy with our current project. 

Bill also had a very low threshold for BS. He simply didn't have a pretentious bone in his body and that helped keep us grounded. When I think something we're doing would have set off Bill's BS alarm, I re-evaluate. 

It is very odd designing without Bill. On the one hand I kind of have a sense of how he'd respond to anything we come up with, because I worked so closely with him for years. On the other hand I sorely miss his insight and feedback. 

Our next project was the last new game Bill worked on with us so we will dedicate the book to him. My goal is to finish this project and then get back to supporting it and supporting the Sertorius setting as well. After that I don't know what the plan is. 

1 comment:

  1. I was looking back in the blog just the other day and I found what happened to Bill. It seemed extremely sudden and losing a friend is never easy. :c Please accept belated condolences from a new-found fan of his (and Bedrock's) work.

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