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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 84 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: System in a Can Design Challenge  (Read 8649 times)
Filip Luszczyk
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« on: July 18, 2007, 03:25:39 PM »

Hello everyone!

Inspired by the last year's Compact RPG Challenge hosted by The Forge, I want to propose System in a Can design challenge, from this point referred to as [sic]. Here's the deal:

  • The purpose of participating in [sic] is to hone your design skills by producing a short, instantly playable game in one week of concentrated effort, receiving constant peer feedback on your project and providing other participants with as much of the same as possible.
  • The challenge officially starts Friday 20th June. Anyone can enter [sic] until Tuesday 24th June. The deadline is Sunday 29th June.
  • Games need to be instantly playable. Assuming that everyone had read the document, the group should be able to sit down and start playing after no more than 10 minutes of preparation (i.e. under optimal circumstances no one should have to spend more than 10 minutes creating a character, scenario, setting or what have you).
  • Games should be submitted in pdf format. They can be no more than 4 A4 or Letter pages long. Margins should have at least 15 mm. Also, no microscopic fonts – the main text should be at least 10p in size. These constraints require relative brevity, but still give you plenty enough space to play with, and ensure readability of the document.
  • These four pages need to contain everything that is required to play the game, including character sheet and the like. Inclusion of widely accessible gaming props like dice, cards or microwave ovens is not required, of course.
  • You can also assume that the reader is familiar with the basic gaming vocabulary (including jargon terms specific to specific types of games), and you don't have to explain concepts featured by any published games that in detail.

There will be no competitive scoring, no winners and no prizes in this endeavor. [sic] is all about feedback.

  • By entering [sic] you commit yourself not only to writing your own game, but also to giving feedback to every other participant. This includes providing everyone with your opinions on the completed project after the deadline.
  • Feedback will be provided mainly in ongoing feedback threads started in the Endeavor forum at The Forge. Also, after the deadline everyone will start his or her final feedback thread there, to collect opinions and suggestions on the completed project.
  • Even if you are unable to offer concrete suggestions, you should at least provide everyone with your honest opinions. Since there is no scoring, the only thing that can enforce this is your own responsibility and good will. However, if you don't post anything in at least one ongoing feedback thread of every other participant, the others will have no obligation to offer you final feedback after the deadline.
  • Feedback from non-participants is welcome.

I don't expect more than about ten participants, but just in case this is Plan B. If by Tuesday 24th June there are more than ten or so people in the challenge, everyone will be assigned about six participants to give feedback to, on the basis of entrance order. In such a case you won't be expected to provide feedback to the rest.

Entries will be archived on 1km1kt site, and possibly, there will be a compilation of all entries. However, this is not mandatory. You will have an option not to have your game archived on 1km1kt and not made a part of any compilation.

I'll be posting specific instructions for each stage of the challenge on the Forge, according to the timeline above.
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2007, 04:22:08 AM »

It seems that posting late at night I gave wrong time frame. The correct timeline is 20th-24th-29th July. Sorry Wink

Also, for some reason the lists look completely messed up in Firefox - but oddly, Opera displays them correctly. Hmm...
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2007, 05:54:41 AM »

The challenge officially starts!

Chose one of the following five sets and base your game on the genre and theme combo:

SET A
Setting: high fantasy.
Theme: revenge/treasure hunt story.

SET B
Setting: pirate/western.
Theme: search-for-identity/splatterpunk story.

SET C
Setting: post-apocalypse/space opera.
Theme: wacky overcoming-inner-demons story.

SET D
Setting: sword-and-sorcery/cyberpunk.
Theme: religious conversion/flight-of-fancy story.

SET E
Setting: western.
Theme: relationship/survival story.

(All sets were generated using Quick Story Theme Generator from Seventh Sanctum (tm), created by Steven Savage.)

To join in, start an ongoing feedback thread for your game here in the Endeavor forum. Then, link to it from this thread, for clarity.

In your ongoing feedback thread, share your first thoughts with us, and then put there whatever you need: general brainstorming, parts of the game as you write it, design problems that need to be solved etc. If you need more than one separate thread, go for it – but I suggest making the first ongoing feedback thread your “headquarters”, and linking to the other threads from it.

Post your feedback in other threads regularly – even if you don't have any concrete suggestions, offer opinions and encouragement. Remember, there is no scoring. We either win together by producing interesting and potentially playable games, or nobody wins.

After Tuesday 24th July, the challenge will be closed to new participants. That is, you don't have to feel obliged to provide people who start their threads after this point with feedback (you can do it if you want, of course). This is for purely practical reasons – if there's more than about ten participants by Tuesday, I'll give everyone six or so feedback assignments, to make things manageable.

The deadline is Sunday 29th July. I'll post specific instructions sometime next week – but in short, after the deadline the only thing left for you to do is to give the remaining participants final feedback on their completed projects.

Well, have fun with your designs, everyone! Smiley
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craigp
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2007, 08:13:04 AM »

I'm thinking about participating, but I want to make sure I'm not missing some piece of Forge Culture: is there an expectation for a specific kind of play experience? IE, "five people sitting around a table rolling dice and scratching at papers"?

Or is it "anything goes"?

-Craig
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2007, 08:30:11 AM »

Write a playable game that gives fun play experience - that's all there is to it.

So, anything goes as long as it has all the prerequisites listed above (up to 4 A4 pages long, instant playability and chosen genre/theme combo incorporated in some way).
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xenopulse
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2007, 08:32:54 AM »

Alright, I'm in.  Might take a day or three to figure out my first details and post a thread.  I'm definitely going for Set A.
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2007, 08:47:47 AM »

Christian,

Yeah, Set A is pretty straightforward, and so is Set E. Feel free to start a brainstorming thread to discuss the general concept - I'll probably do it myself today or tommorrow, as I'm considering some options for different Sets.

Craig,

Hmm, as for the playability - maybe I should have written "as playable and fun as you can make it in one week". Other than that, well, people will tell you what they think about the idea. So for example, if you write a game that involves pure freeform role-playing and no hard rules, I'll probably tell you outright that it's not exactly my kind of game. However, it's still valid as someone else might find it fun - and I'll try to provide feedback to my best ability, taking into account your stated design goals and target audience.
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xenopulse
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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2007, 08:54:15 AM »

Well, I would have done Set C if not for the wacky part.

I really have no clue about B, where I need to combine not only pirates and cowboys but also identity issues and explicit gore. Unless it's the Village People going on a rampage because of the denial of their homosexuality.

Set D sounds positively awesome, except that I'm no good with religion.
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Anders Larsen
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Posts: 270


« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2007, 08:58:35 AM »

I'm not sure if I will have time for this, but if I get an interesting idea within a day or two I will try anyway.

I just have one question: Since my native language is not English, I do not know what "flight-of-fancy" means (After a search on google I only found a very formal definition which was not very helpful).

 - Anders
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2007, 09:04:33 AM »

Anders,

Thruth be told, not being a native speaker I'm just googling for it - and I don't see a clear definiton. Anyone?

Christian,

I'd say, interpret and stretch the genres and stuff, if that helps. A friend of mine, who might possibly join in, instantly recalled some spaghetti western that totally fits B. The wackiness of Set C is a tricky thing, indeed. Looking up "wacky" in my dictionary I'm starting to see some possible ways of circumventing this part.

In short, I hope we'll get some nice diversity of concepts Wink
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craigp
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« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2007, 09:07:59 AM »

"Flight of Fancy": Generally, I consider it interchangeable with "fanciful" - kind of ultimate escapism.

I think I'm going to go with "C". I like the idea of wacky inner demons.

-Craig
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Anders Larsen
Member

Posts: 270


« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2007, 09:23:47 AM »


There is a definition here: http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/flight+of+fancy%2Ffantasy%2Fimagination

But it is hard for me to really get a feeling of what it is, which makes it hard to use in a rpg.

Apart from that, D is properly the one I am most interested in right now.

 - Anders
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xenopulse
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« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2007, 09:52:50 AM »

So I posted my first thoughts already after all Smiley

Do the design/feedback threads go in here or in first thoughts? I just put it in here.
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2007, 10:22:57 AM »

Craig,

Thanks! If it can be stretched that much, Set D seems pretty tempting to me now Wink

Christian,

Feedback threads go here (at least this is how I understand Ron's answer to my question about it). Also, link your main feedback thread from this one, for clarity. I don't know how many people are going to enter [sic], but that way we should avoid overlooking new participants.
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ja-prozac
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Posts: 41

nerd with an attitude


« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2007, 11:15:33 AM »

Let's see:

A - Resrvoir dogs mixed w dungeon crawl
B - spaghetti western - Cutthroats nine
D - virtual fantasy game
E - another spaghetti western: Four of the apocalypse
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