: The Gamie-Gamies Announcing: the Game-game Contest
The prize: dunno yet. I'll think of something. Help me think of something. There'll be one winner and some number of finalists. The prize will include AT LEAST actual play and feedback, for all the finalists.
The timeframe: three months, starting today, March 10 2006. Finish and submit your entry by June 10, 2006. If you submit a preliminary entry before May 10, I'll comment on it and you can then submit a revised version for judging.
The contest: design a tabletop non-rpg game. A board game, a card game, a wargame, a minis game, whatever other kind of game game you can think of. You know, a game-game, not a roleplaying game.
Restrictions: open only to people who're designing rpgs for indie publication or who've published an indie rpg. Consideration given to special cases - email me. Not open to people I regularly play games with though, sorry J!
Judging: preliminary judging by me and my friends, in the form of "so which of these should we play?" Final judging by me and my friends, after play, by ballot.
If anybody wants some inspirational words like in the game chef or the Ronnies, I'll provide some, but they'll be optional to use.
Game design has A TON to teach us about rpg design.
1. On 2006-03-10, Troy_Costisick wrote:
Too bad that Endeavor forum on the Forge isn't up yet. We've got the Game Chef and This thing going on at the same time now. It would have been great to have one place to check on them both.
Anyhow, this is a really cool idea, Vincent. Count me in, and I hope I don't disapoint :)
How many players are you looking to accomodate? the design process for a two-player game is different (for me) than for a four-player game is different from a variable-player game.which one do you want? Do you care?
PDFs make sense to me, but whatever's called for. If it's super weird, email me first.
2. How many games per person can we enter?
10! Or however many. I don't imagine anyone's really going to get more than 2 or 3 together.
3. Can we use copyrighted material strictly for mockups for the game?
Follow the dictates of your conscience.
4. Games we have designed prior to March 10th are out, correct?
Correct. Feel free to dig back and dust off old notes, though - just as long as you weren't already currently developing the game.
5. Can we discuss these games in design forums and blogs and such?
6. Are actual play threads, in appropriate forums and blogs, okay?
7. If a game is submitted before June 10th and later revised before June 10th can it be resubmitted?
8. How many players are you looking to accomodate? the design process for a two-player game is different (for me) than for a four-player game is different from a variable-player game.which one do you want? Do you care?
I figure, your best bet is to design for 2-5 players, play time 2 hours or under. It won't be a big disadvantage to design for play time 2-4 hours, or for 6-10 players, but it'll be a small one. It will be a big disadvantage to design for play time over 4 hours, unless the game can be very easily broken up into shorter sessions, or for over 10 players.
"Disadvantage" just means that your game better make up for it by being super fun, of course.
And we have our first entry! It's a poker variant called Brood Poker by Ben Lehman.
It looks fun, too.
9. I'm not an rpg designer but I want to enter the contest. What do I do?
Well, I hope you'll understand that my first loyalty is to rpg design, and that this contest is about using the lessons you learn from game design to improve your rpg design. So, tough noodles.
That said, I'd be thrilled if you'd submit an "honorable non-entry." We'd make your game or game-in-progress part of the arena of the contest, as a spur to the competitors and to help set the bar. You couldn't win, but you'd be participating and you'd get public exposure and maybe play and all that goodness.
BL go "Thanks"*
AD go "or you can start writing an RPG too"*
Addendum to my last comment: I realize the games themselves aren't eligible because of the March 10th start date, but I just wanted to make sure they're in the same vein as what you're looking for. ^_^
Thanks! I'll get to work. One last question: Is it okay to submit games that are evolutions from previous games that one has created?
For example, I've been itching to make a starfighter dogfighting game where the starfighters are literally dogs plugged into cockpits. (Hence dogfights being literal dogfights.) I've been thinking about adapting the system from White Collar Battle to suit this purpose and it might be a contender for the contest, but is it legit?
DEVP go "Dogfighting? DOGFIGHTING???"*
DS go "Laikanauts!"
10. Is it okay to submit games that are evolutions from previous games that one has created?
11. So what qualifies you as an RPG designer? Writing up funky ideas in Indie Game Design? Writing a 24h RPG? Playtesting your own RPG? Having a playtest version for third people to test? Spending money on publishing preparation?
Any or all of the above. Be working on, or have published, an rpg. "Published" in this context means "made available to the public in some form or other." "RPG" means "rpg even if it sucked or was incomplete or failed playtesting or never made a second draft." Easy peasy.
12. If we give you PDFs of card designs, is that alright?
My preference for cards is: lay them out to fit on mailing labels of some common size. That way I can print 'em and slap 'em on playing cards relatively painlessly. If you can help it, please don't ask me to print out and hand-cut a big deck of cards.
I just spent this weekend developing the first draft rules of a game that is a fusion of Alexander's Generals, Beowulf, and Condotierri, with a whiff of an earlier, more wargame like, design of mine thrown in the mix.
Now alls I need to do is the cards and game board. The game board I expect will be the largest PITA, because I need to draw a bunch of territories and icons and my computer graphics skill is somewhere between zero and Windows Paint...so Vincent may be getting scans of a hand drawn board...old school baybee just like when I was a wee lad (yes, I used to make cards by pasting typewritten and stenciled pages onto cereal box cardboard and cutting out with scissors and draw boards on giant drafting sheets laminated with clear contact paper...ahhh the memories)
---> In my no-money-to-buy-games youth I hacked together at one point my own versions of the Dungeon Boardgame, Conquistador (still one of my favorite games), FASA's Star Trek Simulator, Wooden Ships and Iron Men, and a fun little motocross game that was amazing like Formule De.
Hmmm. Since I believe you've said solitaire dungeon crawls aren't RPGs, do solitaire dungeon crawls count here? Or do I have to modify the solitaire dungeon crawl I just made into a card game plus map dice rules?
I wasn't originally going to submit anything, because I don't much like card games or board games. But I'm really jazzed about this solitaire tabletop roguelike game I made.
MoRE: So if one has been working on his or her own RPG material, but it's never been published, promoted, etc.... how would you know the difference between a full-fledged submission and an honarary submission from a person like that? (In full disclosure, i.e., me.)
Commit to someday publishing it yourself and you're in.
For our purposes here, publishing just means making it publically available in some form. A plain text file you email to people who ask, for instance, is a publication; so is a web page, so is a photocopied booklet I can send away for.
If your question really is how would I know the difference, the answer is that I wouldn't, of course. You saying that you're working on an rpg for eventual indie publication is all I can go by.
John: Since I believe you've said solitaire dungeon crawls aren't RPGs, do solitaire dungeon crawls count here? Or do I have to modify the solitaire dungeon crawl I just made into a card game plus map dice rules?
Would you call it a game game, not a roleplaying game? Then submit it!
Submitting a solitaire game is interesting tactically. It'll get to be a finalist if only any single one of us decides to play it. Interesting.
On second thought, I'm thinking no, I shouldn't submit it as a game-game. Mainly, because there is an element I would consider roleplaying: you can get an advantage in a conflict by using a fact about the current environment, and you can use successes to change the environment to use for such advantages. That and the very flexible way the system handles conflicts are two of the main things I feel are "cool" about this design.
BUT: you could play this as a collaborative dungeoncrawl instead of a solitaire dungeoncrawl, same rules, just a larger adventuring party. The two cool rules + multiple players makes it look *exactly* like an RPG.
Stripping those rules strips most of the cool factory, although I think my mapping system is pretty cool, too. If I feel like it, I may create a two-to-four player cards and dice version of the game, unless it looks like that will be considerably less fun to design.
So I've been totally psyched about this but haven't said anything because, until as of a day or to ago, I'd been totally bollixed by a few things. But now I've un-bollixed myself, and I'm on a roll. I'm working on this thing. It's kinda-sorta got a few similarities to Diplomacy (In Spaaaaaaaace!), and if I had the will and cash and time to actually produce it as an honest-to-god board game it'd have roughly the aesthetic and fiddlyness of Starfarers of Catan.
I find that the biggest problem I'm running into is thinking of ways to keep track of information during the game that don't totally suck.
So, I have this Power/Evil game, which I had a draft for very early on in my time at the Forge. Turned out it wasn't really much of an RPG. Now I'm thinking of scrapping the rules and starting over with the same feel/setting/color to it... can I submit that? I'd consider the old draft more "notes" since I won't use barely any of it, except for the fact that both use like a currency system for building units/characters and a way of capturing territories.
It seems the universe has been trying to keep me from designing any games lately!
I've finally submitted a game and I think it's a little gem, due in no small part to my girlfriend's extremely useful assistance in playtesting. As a matter of fact, her love of sudokus were what initially got me thinking about the game, so I've named it after her. :)
There is also another game cooking up that should be in your lap shortly. It's an abstract simulation of the rise and fall of Enron. It's really more of a political statement than true game, so it may be an honorable non-entry.