Archive for September 11th, 2010

Game Chef: Initial Thoughts

2010 Sep 11

Game Chef 2010 finally launched last night. I came up with the theme (journey) and a list of 15 possible ingredients and then Elizabeth picked four random numbers to decide on the spread for this year. I resisted the urge to manipulate the ingredients after she picked them, even though I was secretly hoping for “hyena.” Maybe next year.

I’m interested to keep an eye on how the social stuff shakes out, though I’m going to try to stay out of that for the most part. So far early conversations are happening on the Forge, Praxis, personal blogs, and — for the first time — Twitter. But it’s still early in the game (less than 24 hours) and it’s likely a few other locations will heat up.

While I’m excited by the swell of interest in Game Chef this year, I’m slightly worried we may move back into the 60+ submissions range or perhaps even beat the 2007 record of 82 games. If that’s the case, I may have to drag in some extra judges to do the initial read-through (since I’ve only got 10 days to do it, and those are right when classes start back), but that shouldn’t be too hard, I don’t think.

While my priority should be reading and responding to the 22 games submitted in 2009 (which wasn’t my original plan, but I said I’d do it, so…), I’m thinking a little bit about whether I want to actually design a game this year or not. I figure I’m probably automatically disqualified from being a Finalist, but that doesn’t matter.

The image I can’t quite get out of my mind is that of an ancient cursed city as a plague, like the poisoned forest in Nausicaa, creeping over the land and gradually destroying the natural world like a slowly-expanding desert. Eventually the entire world would be consumed by what is literally urban blight. Perhaps, too, if you sleep in or around the edges of the city, you can wake up to find yourself trapped in a dark, doorless, windowless room it has built around you, entombed within the cursed city.

I’m not sure if that will go anywhere, but it’s fun to think about.