Summer is no time to be stuck inside. While I was yet to fully grasp the meaning of the tinker toys, I nonetheless realised that this phase of working had reached its end. My notes began to sing a childlike refrain: I want to go out and play!
Specifically, I wanted to go out and play my subtle city game. I was tired of the studio; I was tired of my sketchbook; I was tired of the game design work that I had been doing outside of my PhD. I was tired of games and design in general. I was also tired of worrying about logistics and budgets and ethics approval every time an idea began to coalesce.
My notes from this time reveal a fundamental shift in thinking about the project. I discovered that I wanted to make a game with rather than for these other players that I had only hazily envisaged. I wanted to stop worrying constantly about what next and instead follow the moment. Most of all, I wanted to be surprised: by the game, and also by myself.