Concepting Xmas in August

It's August and I’m working on the Christmas project. 

In past years Daniel and I brainstorm until we've got a generous pile of heart-warming and festive yet Lovecraftian ideas for Xmas cards. I scribble out a dozen or so first thumbnail tone sketches and we choose the best 4 to 6 pieces for our Xmas card set.  This year we had a lot of sketches, and more of the sketches were pretty good than we'd bargained for and we could not agree on which ones were best.   

  Usually in any set of works it’s reasonable to expect most of them to be just okay, with a few really good ones and really bad ones at opposite ends of the spectrum.  In most projects - regardless of what you're making - it's pretty simple to pick out the good ones if you know what to look for.  

Pictured - preliminary steps for turning a concept into an actual final sketch...

Pictured - preliminary steps for turning a concept into an actual final sketch...

  This time Daniel and I reviewed our scribbly grab-bag of concept thumbs, and each picked out our four to six favorites, and behold, there was little agreement.  We decided to add more eyes to the review process.  We carried off our thumb sketches to a couple of friends who are both good game writers and well-read in Lovecraft.  And when they each separately chose their favorite ten (notice the roster of choices is growing) favorites, and their least favorites, and being game writers ranked them in order of favorite-ness, there was, once again, very little agreement.  A couple of ideas were nonstarters to all parties, and those we chucked into the trash without compunction.  But we were still left with a completely unrealisticly large field of concepts that were good enough to be somebody's top-five choice.

  So this year we're going to offer two separate sets of 4 cards for our Xmas Kickstarter.  And I like what we came up with very much,  but I won’t have much time of side projects for a while.