So night before last I joined a few other game designers in the Los Angeles area to see about setting up a sort of Game Play and Design group. The results were very positive. The five of us are going to meet regularly, playing lots of different games with an eye for breaking them apart and seeing how the pieces work together. We'll be doing the same with our own designs. I'm very much looking forward to this, especially the understanding that play is inextricably connected to design and vice-versa; there is such a temptation to design in a vacuum, making "the perfect game" and then having people play it. No such nonsense here! We get to use a little tool called empiricism, perhaps you've heard of it.
We start in on the game-breaking next week -- I am so jazzed.