Eos Rise Banner

Trust In Yourself- The Project Eos Rise Story

by Jim Baker

When Robert approached me and kindly allowed me to write an article on Tabletop United, I was honored. It's rare to get such an excellent opportunity, and I was eager to talk about my game. But, something made me pause. I didn't want to talk about the design choices, the game origins, or what fancy mechanic that makes it unique. There was something heavier weighing on my mind. There was a more important lesson I learned during the development, and I needed to share it. So in this article, I want to talk about Trust! Hopefully, it will allow someone to embrace it as I have and have equally the success I have had so far. 

That's right, Trust! Trust in yourself, trust in people, trust in your choices. 

Myself James in front of a early protoype of project EOS Rise

I started Project EOS Rise like almost every other new game designer. I had an idea that kept me up at night. But that's all I had, an idea. The journey began for me when I convinced myself to trust in my ability to be a game designer. Without seeing it at first, I learned an essential lesson in Trust. If you do something in life, it's entirely up to you to make it happen. It's not going to manifest itself magically. It will take your desire, passion, and ability to see it through. And, for you to keep pushing for however long it takes, you need to trust in yourself every day. Through every setback, decision point, and victory, you and you alone are along for this ride. So, when it gets tough, you need to be able to trust in yourself first and foremost. 

So, with a trust in myself to create the best possible game, I was ready and armed to start my journey as a designer. And that's the point when I learned another valuable lesson in Trust. 

Trust in others. 

I was ready to scream from the top of a mountain, "HEY WORLD, CHECK OUT PROJECT EOS RISE, THE BEST GAME EVER!" The community quickly returned with hurtful comments like, "What is this game trying to be?" "the rules make no sense," or "How many components are in this thing?" Who is your market?" I was hurt, but I had an advantage. I trusted myself, and now I had to trust in others. I didn't take any early feedback as a wrong evaluation of my project. I took it all in. I began filtering comments from playtesters into categories like "Often repeated feedback," "makes the game more approachable," "adds a FUN," or, my favorite, "reduces complexity." I turned what others said into actionable items I could use to improve and re-iterate —each time, trusting in the feedback.

It was time to start creating a product; for this, I needed to find talented people who could contribute where my skills lacked. By pure luck, I met a graphic designer (Karl) who trusted and believed in what I was trying to accomplish. After playtesting the game a couple of times with him and his wife, we grew a mutual respect for what the game could be. And the project continued with his valued design expertise. I've learned to put my Trust in others' to offset my shortcomings. You need to be able to put 100% trust in the individuals around you and understand your weaknesses.

By nature, as a marketing professional, I have a sense of grandeur and sensationalism. I fully understood this doesn't translate well into a written rule book. Imagine a rule book with marketing hype plastered all over. "Now Roll the Crimson Red D6 and try to achieve the epic result of 5+." You get the point; I needed help. Again, I had to put Trust in others first and foremost. Luckily after putting the call out for help, Patricia answered. Like Karl, she has put so much into this project over the years. Without us mutually trusting in each other, we would have never gotten this far. Her ability to translate my mess of a rule book into something functional is beyond what I could have imagined. Not only have we created a fascinating rule book but also forged a solid friendship. 

So, Lesson learned Trust in others. You will need to if you want to have any chance of success in anything you do. 

And, finally, this brings me to one of my last critical lessons of Trust. Trust in your choices. 

Finally, I needed to learn to trust in my choices. Choices are everywhere, and they can have a significant impact on your project. Life will consistently provide you with alternatives. It's up to you to pick the right one. It's not always easy, and it's not always black and white. But, I learned to trust that I was making the right choices along the way. I had trust in myself and others so often that when presented with a choice that would steer the project in a specific direction, I knew I had evaluated all the options and was equipped to make the right decisions. I held on to the core values behind the project. 

  • The game should be fun 
  • The game should be replayable 
  • The design should be intuitive

I started weighing decisions on if they would contribute to or take away from these core values. This helped me have confidence that the choices were suitable for the game's overall direction. Finally, I trusted these values. 

So, that's it! I hope this article helps. Trust it's been the cornerstone of the development of Project EOS Rise and will continue to be as I try to become an independent publisher and start a new company. I want to thank Robert for allowing me a small space to talk about my experience. I also want to thank his readers for supporting Tabletop United and its goal of helping marginalized people, minorities, and people of color. 

If you want to support Project EOS Rise then please consider signing up to be alerted when we launch on kickstarter this september.sign up at  www.projecteosrise.com 

For mor information about the game visit BGG HERE.


James Baker

Game designer of Project Eos Rise