I don't know if anyone else does anything like this, but about 20 years ago, I reached a point, where I was failing to remember that status of some of my gaming projects. On a couple of occasions, I scheduled games at my house using terrain that I had not yet finished. In each case, I discovered the problem a day or so before the game, and in a mad scramble of building and painting, filled the void just in time for the game.
In an effort to avoid such crisis in the future, and to just generally keep track of all of my gaming projects, I came up with the "Gaming Project List". Simply, a paper listing of all of my projects, showing the current status of each project.
At the time, I really wasn't sure of what a gaming "project" even was, nor how to describe the current status of such projects. I knew that a project was not a period or genre, and probably not an army either. After considering it, it seemed that a gaming project could range from a single figure or terrain piece to an army unit, a village worth of buildings, or a table of terrain. A project expanded, or provided an element, for a game/period/genre.
I tinkered with how to qualify the status, eventually settling on ten "steps"; Design (can be researching items to purchase, or engineering something to be built), Purchase or Cast (which includes creating a master, molds, and castings as a single step, or just ordering something), Assembling, Basing, Painting, Detailing (lettering, adding decals,or other fine details), Flocking/finishing, Researching and rules development (as in, technical data, calculations, etc,), Writing/creating/typing (rules), Printing and organizing/labeling/boxing.
These may not seem ideal or even very logical, but they have achieved their purpose over the years. And, I haven't scheduled a game on terrain that wasn't yet built, since creating the list.
Currently, I have 239 projects on my list, which are 51.3% complete. Projects range from being only in the design stage (51 of them exist only as notes and/or sketches), to only needing labels or proper storage boxes made for them. This has been an extremely productive year with 15 projects already complete (as opposed to 10 for all of last year).
Probably the most important use for my Gaming Projects List has been as a motivational tool. I find that when my mojo is down, the list helps me focus on a single step of a single project, allowing me to check off a box, and build a little steam. When the mojo is good, it lets me organize and prioritize projects, such that they are completed in an orderly sequence, allowing me to bring something new to the table a little faster.
Another thing that the list did, was help me reduce the range of my gaming periods/genres. Some years back, I went through a couple stages of cutting things down. Looking at the list, and seeing that some periods (such as the Norman Conquest, Franco/Prussian War, and Great War) always got bumped for something else, helped me recognize that some projects just weren't ever going to reach the table top.
So there you have it, my Gaming Project List , a crutch for my feeble hobby brain.
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