I’ve been silent here for a while (okay, about two weeks, but that’s quite a bit for me). The reason is that I decided to use my summer holiday (as a teacher, an extended one) to write a book on Commander.
Why? Why not?
I enjoy writing immensely. I like to put words on “paper”, because it forces me to think these things through and I happen to believe there is much to think through here. Based on what I read on the Internet on the subject, I have a quite different outlook on it and I believe I can bring something to the table.
Now, I’m not trying to write a primer on the rules or anything like that. I’m trying to get a little deeper. I’m trying to justify the reasons I usually play more lands than most players and how to compensate for that through other means. Stuff like that. However, my ultimate thing is that I try to approach this as a game design exercise.
Now, in other formats I try to win. Sometimes I’m not trying as hard as I could, but I still do try. I don’t see that as the ultimate goal in Commander. Rather, I want an interesting experience. Sure, I enjoy that in other formats as well, but the difference here is that I’m not trying to optimize my chances of winning, but instead, I’m trying to optimize the experience.
So, in essence, in other formats I’m trying to design the best possible deck for winning. In Commander I’m trying to design the best possible deck for interesting games.
In both cases, the target moves. After you’ve played enough games with a certain deck, you’ve seen what it can do and it’s time to change it or move on to something else.
The big question right now is that if I ever get this book into a publishable form, what then? I’m not interested in becoming a professional author, but I thought that perhaps there’s some simple way to make this a charitable effort. Maybe just give it away for free. Maybe have a simplified, no-frills version here on the blog, and publish a prettier version on some platform, for which people can pay. How do I make it simple for me to redirect those funds to whaever charity?
This isn’t easy, because in some countries (like the US) charitable donations have tax repercussions, and since I’m not (and won’t be) a tax exempt charitable organization, giving that money through me might not be something these people would be willing to do.
I don’t know. Maybe just trust people to give the money or give them a code for showing me a receipt of some kind. That part doesn’t actually interest me that much. It would be nice though, if someone would be able to benefit from my work somehow. Well, we’ll see.
It’s not even close to being ready yet (it’s about 40,000 words currently with none of the editing having being done thus far), so maybe I shouldn’t even be thinking about this yet.