Life Advice – Just Get Started on What You Want to Do

By Chris McGinty (

I’d like to share some advice I
gave recently that may seem narrow at first, but I believe applies to many
parts of life.
As part of our push to promote
our upcoming Kickstarter, Nathan suggested that I start an account on Board
Game Geek and start posting to the threads. He said that not only would it help
us connect with the community that is our target audience for the board game,
but the conversations might be something I enjoy. After reading a few threads
and writing in a few, I came across a new thread from a 19 year old wanting
advice for becoming a game designer through going to college. After reading
what everyone else wrote, I wrote the following:
“A lot of good advice precedes
mine, but I do have my own take on your question. I would say that you should
major in either mathematics or business and minor in the other. A business
degree will help you fall into any job you might want or need. The mathematics
will help you understand complex systems.

”As far as the game design part of your question, I’ll paraphrase Adam Carolla,
“If you want to do anything in life, just start doing it. You won’t be
good at it at first, but you’ll learn. If you want to be a comedian, do every
open mic you can do. If you want to be an actor, volunteer at your local

”So my advice is this, if you want to design games, start designing games. But
this is more important. Don’t over design. Start play-testing as quickly as you

”My friend Nathan and I are about to start a Kickstarter for our board game in
May 2013. We had one brainstorm session, I wrote a quick starter set of rules
for us to test, and after the first play-test, we nixed about half of the
rules. These were rules and mechanics that seemed like they would be fun,
intuitive, or balanced. One play-test session proved that wrong for most of

”The extension of play a lot of games to see what works is to play your games a
lot, and be honest with yourself about whether it’s fun or not. Don’t get
attached to rules or mechanics because you created them. Be willing to test and
revise to the point that the rules and mechanics that survive are a low
percentage of the rules and mechanics that you create, because then you’ll know
you’re playing with the best ideas.”
The truth is that this advice
applies, in part, to various parts of life. Every step you take toward a
project or self improvement goal tends to also help you lose a similar bad
habit or unproductive activity. Lean in to something today, and see what just a
little bit of work shows you.

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