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Joe Joyce wrote on Fri, Jan 5 06:31 AM UTC in reply to Kevin Pacey from Wed Dec 13 2023 08:06 PM:

Hi, Kevin. Extreme concentration can be very useful in game design, but it's not so useful when running night operations, especially when you're running an entire shift. It's constant interruptions, which destroyed my ability to do serious, CYA paperwork... yeah, I worked in a bureaucracy. So now I can get interrupted, but have found another odd ability useful for game design. I do a lot of the design work subconsciously.

My 4D variant was something I worked on for years since school, and never managed a satisfactory result. I went through all sorts of pieces, used ridiculous numbers of pawns, once looking at 2 rows of 16 pawns. One day, after decades, I suddenly "saw" - like I was looking at it right there in front of me - the game pieces set up for a game. That told me what pieces were needed, and where they and the pawns were set up. The image was beautiful and perfect... just not quite complete. I got all this with no rules. They took me a fair amount of time and some help to get, but I got a good result in everything except the number of people who play it.

The next 2 games I saw set up and ready to play, right next to each other, were Great and Grand Shatranj. They came with rules, though, so my subconscious learned! However, what I consider clearly my best chess variant, the Battle of Macysburg, was the result of extreme concentration carried out over a few years of time. I could "feel" a good wargame in Chieftain Chess, but it was not close or obvious how to get there. I literally iterated my way through dozens of games to get from Chieftain to Macysburg, with the invaluable aid of my developer. Try to get a good playtest partner to work with. Mine helped me turn chess back into a wargame.

And finally, for a very odd "superpower", I could hear ultrasonic noises at about 40k Hz, which meant I could hear some ultrasonic traffic signal controls, and also some store security systems. There was 1 store I could not enter because the screeching was painfully loud to me. Another, not quite as bad, I followed along the sonic beam right to an emitter hidden behind a rack of clothes. I moved the clothes to make sure, and saw it actually sticking out from the wall. Thankfully I have either aged out of that ability or everyone is using infrared or something else instead of ultrasonics!

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