Whenever I do a revision of my writing aid, I go back through all the versions of it. For some reason I was under the delusion that I was working on a 5th edition of the project. While not totally inaccurate, I found two separate directories on a backup drive each containing two dozen documents each detailing versions of Storytelling Sciences that never found their way to print. One version is circa 2005, falling somewhere previous to any play testing, while the files in the other are time stamped 2007.
Looking through the files I can see the merits of both and could see why they never made print. Each version lacked something that the other had. I'm not sure why I abandoned these documents of the project and I only dimly remember writing them. Reading back through them, it is definitely my work, stuff I haven't thought about for a long time. Reading back through it makes me remorseful that I haven't been working with everything I'd written being taken into consideration.
My own rules generally cut me off after a 5th edit, but these are special circumstances. In the wake of working on my Novel, I'd really lost all steam for my RPG until I found these old documents. In a way I'm glad I did, I owe it to the people who warm seats at one of my three tables to deliver a better experience. Needless to say the eight pages I wrote this morning are a significant departure from the last three versions I put in people's hands. It is light and very stylish, making the Actor's handbook a pretty thin product. Taking the obscurity out of the mechanical architecture behind the skills, while matching mechanics to levels helps to eliminate the charts and graphs, giving the system an intuitive feel.
I can't wait to rework my D&E, Primordium, and Apotheosis story settings.