It was last summer, two months before release of Stronghold: Undead. I was demoing the game during Polish convention called Kaszubkon. It was Ryslaw, fan of Stronghold, who was playing Undead with his opponent – Tele – that night. At some point Ryslaw said: „Damn, it is great. Undead is much better than base Stronghold. I loved Stronghold and this one I love even more.”
„It has to be better. I learn. I get experience. Every year I improve my skills.”, I said. I really believed that Undead is better than base game and I really believed it is exactly how it should be. Every new project has to be better. My Zombiaki2 are better than Zombiaki1, my Undead is better than Stronghold, my New Era is better than 51st State. That’s how it is.
I really do like all my games. Almost 10 years after first release of Zombiaki, I still like the game and I am proud of it. I love Witchcraft, I am damn happy that I designed Stronghold. But I also know that if I do them today I could make them better. Every month I play new games. I observe other players playing my games. I read game blogs, reviews, I am in the very center of gaming world. I learn. Every day I am getting better as a designer.
I am writing today about it because this week I did something exceptional (from my point of view).
Last year I designed Pret-a-Porter – an economic strategy game about world of fashion. It was published in Poland in late November. (Few days ago it was nominated for Game of the Year in Poland.) In Pret-a-Porter there are more than 50 cards (representing employees, buildings, contracts) with text on them explaining how they work. Since November I was worrying about international release of the game. It was impossible to make international edition of the game with so much text on cards!
For long long months we were – here in Portal – unable to change Pret-a-Porter into language independent game like our previous releases (NS HEX, Witchcraft, Stronghold, 51st State). It was a huge problem for a small company like Portal. Since months we were trying to make some iconography for the game and it was failure. Failure over and over.
In a fact few weeks ago we finally decided to do only English edition with English text on cards. We saw no other option.
Last week I decided to sit once again with Pret-a-Porter and try once again.
Last week I sat and this time it turned out I can do it! I can design icons for Pret-a-Porter. I finally did it. I finally got rid of text. I am happy as a hell. I waited for that moment since last year.
I am happy to know that I am getting better. Every single week.