I am a lunatic
I rush into the house, toss my briefcase in the corner and run to my desk to get some sheets of paper. “Daddy, daddy!” Lena’s voice comes from the kitchen. The daughter pat pats through the hallway and grabs hold of my leg. “Merry, take her!” I shout in the kitchen’s direction and pass the kid to the mother. “How about a good afternoon?!” I hear. „I’m not here.” I answer and rush into the kids’ room. „Nina, give me the paint set, quick!” I utter and run into the bathroom to get some water. „Daddy, daddy!” comes from the kitchen. „I’m not here!” I shout back. I pick up the paints, sheets of paper, a brush, water and get to the table. “Ignac!” Merry gets angry and now I’m going to get it. “I’m not here, don’t talk to me.” I answer risking my life and start to cover the paper with paint. Have you seen Close Encounters of the Third Kind? Then you know what’s going on. A nutter covering sheets of paper with drawings. Merry with the kid on her arms stands behind ready to hit me. “Give me three minutes and I’ll say good afternoon. Now I’m not here, please.” I say through my teeth and keep painting in blue, red and grey. One, two, three sheets of paper. They all fill up with notes, drawings, and arrows. “I live with a lunatic.” Merry recaps and goes back to the kitchen. The daughter cries daddy is back, she wants to daddy. Nina brings more sheets of paper. It takes me three minutes to fill up six of them. I spilled everything I had in my head, everything I came up with during a half an hour drive. I didn’t waste a single idea. I managed to note down everything. Phew. I get up relieved. „Daring, I’m back! How’s your day?” I shout in the kitchen’s direction. The daughter runs to me with a squeal. There are six sheets of paper dirty with paint lying on the table. It’s the groundwork for 51st State, a card game that is going to debut in Essen this year…
I sprained my ankle and had to go to the changing room in the middle of the match. It hurts like hell. It’s way past eleven in the night. I hope I won’t finish my evening at emergency. I drink water and patiently wait for the game to finish. My mind goes to Basilica, a game which I’ve recently been testing and helping improve. A solution comes to my head after a short while, one which I’ve been trying to find for days to no avail. I sit in the changing room, it’s almost half past eleven in the night and suddenly all the pieces start falling into place. I have nothing to write it with, I can’t make notes, darn it. I pick up my mobile and write a text message to Merry. “A choice of 3 helpers, a brigadier for two peasants…”. A few minutes pass. An answer comes: „What?!” I might have woken her up. „Write it down on a piece of paper on my desk, please.” A few moments of silence and another text message arrives. “I live with a lunatic.” I don’t deny it. The three helpers patent works and is going to be implemented in the final version of the game. And as far as I know Basilica will be appearing in Essen this year.
Fortunately, the ankle wasn’t that bad either. No going to emergency…
Sunday afternoon – a curse for many men, who have to sit through a boring dinner at their in-laws. I have armed myself with All Flesh Must Be Eaten, a roleplaying game devoted entirely to zombies. I read subsequent chapters, I look at the drawings, and the afternoon lazily drags on. Eventually I pick up a notebook and a fountain pen and start to scribble. No big deal. Zombies walking alongside railway tracks, people at some barricades. I write down fine rules, like a zombie moves one field back when hit; zombies in single file don’t step back, or different shots inflict different wounds… The afternoon drags on. I have five pages filled with rules and ideas for cards. A few days later I bring a prototype to work. A few months later the game is released in Poland under the title “Zombies”. It becomes very popular, gets four additional prints, a release in Germany and a sequel – Zombies2. Lazy afternoons can sometimes surprise…
I have an incredible job. I make games for the living. I buy shoes for my kids and realize that I have the money, because people buy games that I’ve made. I pay my telephone bill and realize that I have the money, because someone likes my ideas and has purchased Zombies or Stronghold. I have a pork chop with chips for dinner and I can afford it, because I made Witchcraft. I support my family thanks to ideas that come to my head. In the strangest places and times.
I am a lunatic. A bloody happy one.