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Design Diary – Organizing

I know there has been a serious lack of activity on the site this week, but trust me, I am working diligently on some cool stuff. Here is what I have been working on.

1. Organization — After talking with a good friend and fellow game designer this week, I have realized that I have been playing a little too fast and loose with how I am working on Sand & Steam. To start with, I have had no working outline of any kind. I had just sort of been keeping things in my head. That’s a surefire way to loose track of what is going on.

To combat that, and at his suggestion, I have started using SuperNotecard from Mindola. It lets you organize your information into stacks of virtual index cards, re-order them, move them around, etc. It’s everything that you can and do do with regular physical index card, but no binder clips are needed. Plus, you can export your card, and all of their content, into an RTF file, which you can then drop in to Word to polish things up. Being able to track your flow of information, the order of your sections, all of your ideas, and work with that information makes SuperNotecard a great addition to a designer’s repertoire.

2. Website — I am really happy with how the current iteration of the website is working out so far, but let’s face it: Google Docs and a wordpress.com blog are not going to cut it long-term. I need to have my own, hosted website to do what I ultimately want to do. So, to that end, I have a hosting arrangement worked out, and I just need to settle on a domain name to use. Right now I am thinking EntertheCollegium.com (or some variation thereof). What do you think?

Also, I need a new logo to go with the new website. The logo that is sitting above this post is one that I made with my meager skills in Gimp, and it is far from pretty. The problem is, of course, having money to pay someone to do said logo: I have not those funds. So, if you know of anyone who looking to build a portfolio for themselves, and can do logos, send them my way. In the same vein, the theme I am using for this site is nice, but if there is something better that someone can make, I am all for it. Again, it must needs be free at this stage of the game.

3. Other Items — In no particular order, I have also been thinking about other design projects that I have in the hopper, such as the Savage Worlds adaptation of The Left-back Tooth of Sizzle Watts, a FATE Collegium-based adventure that I am going to run for DCGameday in October, a Fiasco playset based in the world of Sand & Steam, a Fiasco playset set in a Rugrats-style world of childish intrigue and mayhem, idea for my home game of Pathfinder that I am running, ideas for the Sand & Steam Pathfinder game I am running over Skype, ideas for the Pathfinder game that I play in on a weekly basis, studying for the GRE (which is in a few weeks), pending reviews for both Troll in the Corner and This is My Game, designing stats and backstory for Project ZombieDeath (a secret project), and how to keep my office kitty content and not wanting to bother me while I am working.


Now please, do not get me wrong. I am doing all of the above stuff because I love it. I am very firmly sleeping in the bed I made. That does not mean than I do not have a lot on my plate, though. To that end, this is where I am going to wrap up the post for today. Please leave me any thoughts or feedback on the above items. Help is, always, very much appreciated.

About Tracy Barnett

I am the creator of Sand & Steam. Hopefully you like what you see here. If so, use it to game. That is the whole point.
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  • http://irontavern.com IronWolf

    The notecard program looks cool! I’ve dabbled with an Index Card program on the iPad for both campaign development and various writing projects and such. Useful tools!

    WordPress can be pretty powerful, though to get full functionality sometimes you do have to host it on your own space so you can get the customizations you want. I hear you on the Google Docs. Can be good to work from, but not the cleanest method of sharing your content.

    As for domain names – I am horrible at picking them! enterthecollegium seems a bit long, perhaps something a little shorter to roll of the tongue easier? You’ve worked to push Sand and Steam, is there a reason you don’t try to work them into the domain name?

    Wish I could help with the logo, but I lack any real graphical talent! Hopefully you find someone looking to build their portfolio to help you out!

    I have been enjoying reading about your campaign development! Keep it up!

  • http://sandandsteam.wordpress.com Tracy

    Mainly, I’m wanting to keep my options open. Also, sandandsteam.com is taken already, so I can’t go that route. Plus, since the Collegium is responsible for everything… just mulling things over.

  • http://irontavern.com IronWolf

    Options are always a good thing! Looks like sandandsteam.net is available though if you wanted to try going that route.

  • http://sandandsteam.wordpress.com Tracy

    That was my first consideration, although .coms are often easier for people to remember. Might put out a tweet about it and see what sticks.

  • http://knightvisiongames.com Jim


    I would try the new .co domain as well. I didnt check to see if sandandsteam.co was available.

    A hosted wordpress site is the way to go. I was using blogspot and ran into some issues when I didnt have enough control. I use Bluehost for my website. I do use the Google site as a wiki of sort for our campaign setting.

    On the organization front we use Google docs for all the outlines, collaborative writing. We layout in MS publisher.

    Also, we use Corkboard.me for brainstorming and notes.