Greg originally invented Glorantha to write fantasy books about, but instead this universe was used for games, comic books, art, etc. Greg was a virtual fount of creation., spewing out interesting concepts almost every day.
I worked closely with Greg, but I am not his kind of creative. Instead, I am a syncretive designer. I pick and take ideas from others, matching these together to make a coherent new whole. In our collaboration, first Greg would come up with some crazy idea. Then I would listen to him, remember some idea he had a year ago on a related topic, and figure out how these both worked together. I also carried things to a logical conclusion, which he often hadn’t considered
As an example, Greg said the Red Moon in Glorantha has phases, just like earth’s moon. But the Red Moon doesn’t move – it always sits in the same place overhead. So, I pondered, “Why would this moon have phases?” In Glorantha, the sun orbits the world in Ptolemaic fashion. There is no outside cosmos. So, what makes the Red Moon change appearance? I conjectured, “perhaps the moon is dying and being reborn. That’s what causes the phases.” Later, I suggested, “perhaps an unknown dark object orbits the moon, casting a shadow on it”. Well, Greg used both those ideas at different times, apparently forgetting which he liked better. Perhaps that ideas could be combined? I wondered – maybe an unknown dark object orbits the moon whose shadow kills the moon as it passes over it, only to revive when it passes.
Greg invented wacky cults and religions all the time. Then I had to transform them into something playable for a game. I was always focused on what is FUN for players. Greg just liked creating new material – in his mind, simply knowing about his world’s depth and features was enjoyable all on its own, and I’m not saying he was wrong. In the end, the combining of his fount of energy and my focus on playability led to some terrific game ideas.
This shows that two extremely different designers could be creative in different ways, and yet forge a coherent and great game universe which lives on. Similarly, you can be creative in more than one way.
Trait Three: Deliver!
Video game players are often stereotyped as bums who can’t move out of mom’s basement, get a date, or get a job. Well of course these people exist. But they’re not designers. Designers are self-starters. You must aggressively pursue your design, or it will never reach fruition. You need confidence in your project. This doesn’t mean you aren’t willing to take feedback.