We think that mission statements are important for a company to have, so as the company evolves over time, it can keep focus on what was originally important. The mission statement is equally important for potential clients, customers, and partners to understand the values of the company. This mission statement is not one that came out of any business class, rather it was inspired by Luke Crane and the folks at Burning Wheel HQ.
This is what Encoded Designs believes. This is what we bring to the products we help create.
We started this hobby as gamers, spending years buying and playing various games. Like all gamers, we developed favorite systems, mechanics, and styles. As game designers we carry that bias into the designs of the games we create. That is not a weakness, but rather a strength. The games we create are the games we would play, and do play. Because of that, we design games for which we have a strong passion. Not everything we create will appeal to everyone. For those who share our vision, you will feel it in our creations.
The rules of a game give the setting in which it’s played a specific feel. As stated many times in the gaming community, rules inform play. We believe this. While a setting can be system-neutral, the game created by adding rules to it, has a very specific feel when played. We do not design for only one game system, but rather for a range of systems, so we can achieve the right feel for the games we want to make.
We understand that many people drop out of the gaming hobby for lack of time to devote to the work that comes from running and playing games. Having spent years providing GM advice in blogs and podcasts, we are highly attuned to what GMs need in order to take a product and turn it into something that can be played at the table. When we design, we work to make our products easy for GMs to use and flexible enough to include into their games.
Ideas born from a single mind can be good, but those infused with insights and ideas from others become powerful. We love to collaborate in-house and with our partners. Our process begins with a collaboration session to propose ideas and concepts. We write alone but then share our drafts with one another to obtain feedback and refine the work to make it the best we can.
While we are confident in our abilities, we believe that there is always room to grow. We push each other to constantly develop our skills. In doing so, we look for clients who will make good creative partners, challenge us out of our comfort zone, and from whom we can learn.
With a background in Project Management, we understand the need for meeting deadlines and staying inside the scope of a project, whether it be for ourselves or our partners. When we take on a project, we take time to plan by creating outlines and schedules. We work with our partners and clients to make sure our plans align with their own. When we have finished planning, we then execute the plan.
While we love the process of game design and writing, what really matters is delivery. Gaming is our hobby, but Encoded Designs is a business. All of our projects have deliverables, and no matter how much fun we have creating them, we never lose sight that we must produce. Ultimately, for us to be successful we need to bring our projects to market to be played.
In game design fans are key to the success of products. Fans are marketers and evangelists. They spread the word, amplify the message, and multiply. They do this for free in their personal time, all for the love of our creations. We strive to show the same love to our fans that they have shown to us. We want to know our fans, and have them know us.
As we have learned from other great game companies such as Evil Hat and Engine Publishing, transparency of a business is the best way to operate a business and maintain a positive relationship with customers and fans. Transparency starts with honesty; tell the truth, deliver the good news and the bad, admit mistakes, and celebrate successes. At all times, when possible, share news about the company to those who wish to know.