Making Games

Information about why and how I make games.

My Game Journal: Progressing through Process

AquaVertigo's Patreon invite

AquaVertigo’s Patreon invite

Much of my design work is a process of experimentation.

Depending on your background, you may be familiar with the idea of making something, figuring out what is working, and then making changes or stopping the work. This has been called Lean Methodology, Design Thinking, and other names. And it works for me with my game design work.

My game design work includes ideation, user experience (UX), development (prototyping, testing, iterating), and publishing to a lesser degree. This includes the Big Idea of the game, the system if I’m creating or adapting, layout and communication of content.

I will continue my discussion of process over at my Patreon if you are interested in following me.


I have a fair amount of experience using different kinds of randomisers in table top roleplaying games (ttrpgs), including dice and dice pools, dominoes, playing and tarot cards, tokens, and pick-lists. Often times, less is more in game designs; however, sometimes the novel addition or use can create intriguing design challenges and play experiences.

My "Thing"

EXPLORATION OF RELATIONSHIPS IN COMMUNITY: Creating indie social experiences, one story game at a time. The Product: I feel that the closest term for what I create through AquaVertigo is called story games. That’s simplifying it and the term itself is both specific and broad depending on who you ask. It’s imperfect. For me: 1) story games are structured as collaborative narration-based games using a variety of mechanics to support the experience for individuals and the group as a whole during play; 2) story games work when they elicit strong situations and feelings during play. Social experiences are why I play, run, read, and design ttrpgs. I like playing with other people and creating something new together, even if only for a few hours at a time. Indie is short for independent game, and is a game typically created by individuals or smaller development teams without the financial and technical support of a large game publisher, in contrast to say the larger games out there most people are familiar with in the mass market and at gaming conventions. Relationships in community are a core value for me. Why do people care about the world and those around them? I’m curious and stories about people fascinate me. Stories created on the fly about fictional people and what they care about are core to the games created through AquaVertigo.

Why "AquaVertigo"

There are several reasons:

  • I like colors between blue and green.
  • I grew up not far from water and water recreational opportunities were plenty.
  • I am fascinated by spirals throughout nature, science, and art.
  • The feeling I experience when in a flow state is between a perfect calm and a raging storm.
  • It is the name of a group based in one of my home towns and they let me use it.
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