Those Who Tarry at the Door

2006 Mar 12

So I’ve entered the big Game Chef contest again this year. I love these things. They tend to push me to make really interesting design choices that I wouldn’t normally have considered, since I always choose overly-ambitious concepts and then spend a week trying to figure out how to make them possible. This year is definitely the most ambitious yet.

I’m writing a game that you play in 10 one-hour sessions, where the session length is measured by a backing soundtrack of modern minimalist composers such as Philip Glass, Steve Reich, and early John Adams. Since those guys, especially Glass, looked to Buddhism for inspiration, I’m working on an epic 8-player Buddhist apocalypse about the sum of human experiences being sifted through and gathered into one package which will be taken and used as the seed for the World-To-Come.

It’s crazy.

Those who post a lot of information about their game during the design phase never seem to win. I think this may have to do with the impact of being a dark horse candidate and dropping a mind-blowing game in the judges lap. Still, I refuse to do that because I partially see Game Chef as a chance to show other people what my design process looks like. It’s an out-reach effort, especially towards the folks who are building yet another fantasy/sci-fi adventure game. And it’s also a chance to struggle alongside other designers and build a sense of community. This is lessened a bit this year due to the wide variety of design options available, but still pretty powerful stuff.

Anyway, there’s a big design thread for my entry, so you can see the madness I have planned this year (including a really pretty mandala-shaped flow chart I made).

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