Game Chef 2010: Midpoint Thoughts

September 16, 2010

Chatted a bit with Jason about Game Chef today, since he turned in his submission due to upcoming prior commitments this weekend. That got me thinking about a bunch of stuff. Prime points of interest:

  • Game Chef is going great this year
  • 9.5 days might be a bit too long; enough time to stew in your own juices a bit too much and overthink things; maybe we should return to the original 7 days next year, Saturday to Saturday?
  • a thought I had later today, without Jason — maybe there could be a suggested structure for folks who feel lost and haven’t really drafted a game before, like:
    1. write your first draft on Sat and Sun,
    2. play it with your normal group or call up a few friends and play it during the work week,
    3. make revisions on Sat and turn it in;

    it’s true that there’s no right way to write a game, but that method seems to effectively produce pretty solid drafts and many of the more experienced chefs (Jason, Jackson, Joe, to name three J’s) seem to use it for a reason;

  • as a bonus, it means you should write a game that your local crew would be excited about playing, which kinda gives you a built-in audience; as a downside, maybe it discourages more experimental designs, unless you have a really pro-experimentation crew? Then again, experimental designs are sometimes the ones that don’t quite seem to get finished (*holds up my own hand*), so encouraging people to design near the edge of their ability but not right at the bleeding edge might be a good idea;
  • that said, all of this needs to wait until after the playoffs happen, to see how much play that actually generates and what it does for this year’s games, if anything.
  • Still a lot of Game Chef yet to go. Other interesting things to watch include what the fallout will be for Praxis, which has exploded with participation from its normal slow self. It would be cool to have a few more things happening there and a bit more energy, but I worry about keeping the quality of conversation up and focused on actually getting things done, rather than the pipe dreams that seem to dominate the First Thoughts forum at the Forge.

    In any event, I’m excited about what’s to come.

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