The Forge Forums

Inactive File => Endeavor: Game Chef 2011 => Topic started by: Queue on July 13, 2011, 04:34:14 PM



Title: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Queue on July 13, 2011, 04:34:14 PM
The way the contest rules are written up it sounds like we're supposed to write up an entire system (and in 3,000 words no less). The task for Game Chef is to write an adventure, right?


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Nathan P. on July 13, 2011, 04:59:48 PM
Nope, a whole playable game! Which could be structured essentially as an adventure, but the idea is that you don't need any external reference to play it. For an excellent example of a short, complete game, check out Lady Blackbird (http://www.onesevendesign.com/ladyblackbird/).


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Jonathan Walton on July 14, 2011, 06:16:22 AM
Queue: You should provide all the rules and other info necessary to play the game. If you want to structure it around a single "adventure," that's fine and there are plenty of precedents for that (The Mountain Witch (http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/12/12162.phtml) comes to mind, for example, from Game Chef 2004).  If you want to get a sense of how previous chefs have approached it, I'd suggest reading a couple of the drafts produced in previous years.  The games from last year are reviewed here (http://gamechef.wordpress.com/2010-submissions/) and some of the links to those drafts should still  be live.


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Jason Morningstar on July 14, 2011, 06:29:48 AM
I'm glad you asked that, though - it is definitely not a stupid question.


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Jonathan Walton on July 14, 2011, 07:00:27 AM
Totally!  Also remember that this 3,000 words isn't everything you're going to include in the game ever.  It's just the playable draft that you're turning in for Game Chef.  Anything you do with it after that -- including adding more material, etc. -- is entirely up to you.


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Fredrix on July 16, 2011, 03:19:05 AM
Here's another Stupid Question - All four ingredients inspire me, do I have to choose just three?


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Jonathan Walton on July 16, 2011, 08:26:49 AM
You can always decide to include all 4 ingredients if you like. You don't get extra bonus points for it or anything, but totally A-OK.


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Jonathan Walton on July 16, 2011, 08:46:42 AM
I just stickied this thread, to make it the official "clarification / stupid question" thread for this Game Chef forum.  Please ask away if you have any concerns!


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: anansi on July 16, 2011, 02:10:36 PM
What is a good way for people to look at a work in progress? I was thinking of linking to an uneditable google doc.


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Jonathan Walton on July 16, 2011, 05:15:14 PM
It's really up to you.   Google docs are okay, also blog posts, pdfs, etc.  Really, though, I find that people most often read things that are just posted in a forum thread or on a blog.  There's something about the extra effort -- however minimal -- required in downloading or opening a separate file that seems to be a barrier sometimes.


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Paolo D. on July 18, 2011, 04:27:19 AM
Hi guys,

there's my stupid question: I could have an idea for a submission to this Game Chef, but I'd like to make it as a Solar System scenario, without rewriting all the core rules from the original manual.

Would it be ok for this contest? Or is the game chef just about complete, "stand alone" games?

Thanks,
Paolo


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Jonathan Walton on July 18, 2011, 06:18:56 AM
Paolo: Your Game Chef game is going to be randomly reviewed by several other people who may not have any experience with the Solar System or whatever other game system you might want to base your game on.  So your submission has to include all the information someone might need to play the game.  Plus, it's really supposed to be a game design competition, not a scenario-writing competition, so if you're just going to use the Solar System more or less as-is, this probably isn't the best contest for that idea.  On the other hand, if you're going to adapt the Solar System significantly and can include all the information needed to play in 3,000 words, then, by all means, go for it. Does that make sense?


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Paolo D. on July 18, 2011, 07:07:10 AM
Yes that's ok, thank you Jonathan :-)


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: EleriTMLH on July 19, 2011, 12:24:06 PM
Here's my stupid question(s) of the day:

1)Do pre-made character sheets count as supplimental material, if they are integral parts of the game, or do they count towards the 3000 words?

2)Do I need to share my stuff here as I'm working on it? I'm trying to not read through other people's threads so I don't accidentally absorb an idea... and I'm brand shiny new to this whole Game Chef thing, so I'm kinda shy o.O


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Hans Chung-Otterson on July 19, 2011, 10:04:39 PM
Eleri, with regard to your #2, the answer is: only if you find it helpful to your design process. There are no rules about sharing what you're doing in a thread or reading about what people are doing. Participate in that way as much or as little as you see fit. The only rule about showing anything about your design is that you have to submit it by the 15th!


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: zircher on July 19, 2011, 10:15:02 PM
In order to prevent any more heart attacks, I think you meant the morning of the 25th.  :-)
--
TAZ


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Hans Chung-Otterson on July 19, 2011, 11:39:29 PM
In order to prevent any more heart attacks, I think you meant the morning of the 25th.  :-)
--
TAZ

Gah, yes! And I should know, because I've spent the entire weekend and beginning of this week thinking it was due Sunday morning, the 24th.


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Jonathan Walton on July 20, 2011, 06:46:41 AM
Eleri: In my mind, the 3,000 word limit applies mostly to the text of the game.  It's okay to count character sheets as supplemental materials, as long as there's not a ton of text on them or you have 15 different sheets that you expect the judges to go over very carefully.  The 3,000 word challenge isn't there to force you to count every word you write, but to get you to focus your initial draft on the most important things.


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Gryffudd on July 20, 2011, 05:17:23 PM
I can't remember what the rule was last year on art resources (or even if there was a rule). I have some art sets I've previously paid for the rights to. Can I use them, or only art that is available to everyone/free use?

Pat G.


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Ice Cream Emperor on July 21, 2011, 07:05:24 AM

Stupid question: How seriously should I be taking this 3000 word count limit?

I just finished the first draft of the game and did a first-pass edit to cut out obvious kruft -- it is still 3800 words. I am sure I can get it down to 3500, but there is no practical way it is going to be 3000 unless I want to basically cripple my own game text. Which, obviously, I don't. (In fact, I am pretty sure it would be significantly improved by adding another 300-500 words of play advice.)

So yeah, I am sure this is a can of worms and precedent, blah blah blah, but I am curious what the method is, so I can adjust the text accordingly. I would be happy to include a little marker in the PDF at the 3000 word point -- if someone stops reading there I will be impressed.


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: zircher on July 21, 2011, 08:45:37 AM
How much of the play aid advice can be moved into a supplemental text or a separate designer's note?


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Jonathan Walton on July 21, 2011, 11:18:34 AM
Pat: There's no rules on art and design. Include whatever you like, but the reviewers will not judge your game better or worse based on how it looks.

Daniel and Zircher: The 3,000-word limit is pretty serious, but you can include anything not necessary for playing the game in supplemental materials that the reviewers will probably look over but not necessarily read and review in detail.  But anything past ~3,000 words is optional when it comes to the work the reviewers will be asked to put in.


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Jonathan Walton on July 21, 2011, 11:29:21 AM
A couple general thoughts on length and cutting, for those who have a working draft already:

I am somewhat skeptical that making an alpha draft any longer is going to make it better.  If you have critical advice on how to play the game -- where playing without the advice leads to a measurably worse play experience -- maybe the "advice" should actually be part of the rules: how the game works in the first place.

Additionally, remember that your text should leave players excited about playing your game and seeing how it actually works at the table.  This means you don't necessarily need to explain in detail exactly how things should go.  You wrote the game to facilitate certain kinds of experiences, right?  Then trust in your own design abilities and allow the players to find out for themselves how it works.  Show, don't tell.  Teach your players to fish, don't describe the fishing trip they are about to embark on.

I hope that helps, if you're beginning to face difficult decisions about wordcount.  You may also find it useful to imagine that you're writing this draft as a proposal to a potential publisher, investor, or other interested party, and they have asked you for 3,000 words of your best design work, proving that a Shakespeare-inspired game is feasible.


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Baxil on July 21, 2011, 09:16:47 PM
JWalt: The official rules make vague mention that, if a 2011 Chef fails to return their preliminary reviews, that duty might be kicked back to non-finishing participants or to past Chefs.  Are you taking volunteers?  For a confluence of reasons (including illness), I'm regretfully bowing out of this year's comp, but I'd love to help out.


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Jonathan Walton on July 22, 2011, 06:57:11 AM
Definitely!  Thanks, Baxil.  I'll keep you on speed-dial in the event of a reviewing emergency.


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Daniele Di Rubbo on July 22, 2011, 07:25:41 AM
Another stupid question: in Italy now itís 5:25 PM. The Forge forum clock shows 7:25 AM; so there is a clock lag of 10 (!) hours. Can we have just a rough indication of the time stop for the submissions on July 25th morning?


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Jonathan Walton on July 22, 2011, 07:33:15 AM
How about 10am, wherever you are, on July 25th?


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Daniele Di Rubbo on July 22, 2011, 07:34:46 AM
10:00 AM on The Forge clock?


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Jonathan Walton on July 22, 2011, 07:37:11 AM
No, 10am in your time zone.


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Daniele Di Rubbo on July 22, 2011, 07:39:16 AM
Oh, thatís ok! So can we link the final PDF in our topic here in the Game Chef section?


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Jonathan Walton on July 22, 2011, 09:11:52 AM
Of course!  Hopefully more people than just your assigned reviewers will read it.  Hopefully people will even decide to play it!

But remember to submit your game on the website too.


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: woodelf on July 23, 2011, 11:37:05 AM
On word counts and supplements:
 
My first idea relies on the text (or at least Cliffs' Notes' summary) of part of an actual Shakespeare play--there's a central element of riffing on the source material in a play-within-the-game way. Obviously, including even a single act of a play would be *way* too many words. Heck, there might not even be room for an entire scene. On the other hand, it's not any particular play (and, strictly speaking, should work fine even if it's not Shakespeare), his works are easily and freely available  online, and i don't think you'll need to go out and do any reading to understand/judge the game. If I were actually publishing this as a commercial game, I might include summary versions of a couple acts, but I might not. Does that seem like a kosher omission from my Game Chef text?

(And if the answer is "maybe", I'll just do it, and if it gets DQed as "incomplete", oh well.)



Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: zircher on July 23, 2011, 02:24:12 PM
Not an official call, but I don't have include a deck of playing cards even if my game calls for one.  And, the plays are all in the public domain.  I'd include them as a playing component (and have one or two as supplemental material) and focus on the rules of the game itself.
--
TAZ


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Jonathan Walton on July 23, 2011, 07:27:00 PM
Woodelf: Yeah, you can just say in the beginning that "you need a copy of Two Noble Kinsmen (or whatever) to play this game," just like other people might require dice or cards or letter openers or whatever.  No need to include the whole text.  If you need to reference specific passages, just use the standard (V.iii.234-237) notation (Act.scene.lines).


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: EleriTMLH on July 25, 2011, 10:32:42 PM
So, because I was an idiot, I managed to leave all my files at home while I was on vacation from Friday AM until 11pm tonight- so I wasn't able to submit what I worked on. SUCK!  Eventually I'll post it somewhere though, cause I was pretty proud of it.


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Jonathan Walton on July 25, 2011, 10:46:29 PM
Yeah, we'd definitely still love to see it, Eleri.  Let us know once you've posted it and I'm sure we can find some people to review it!  That also goes for anyone else late to the party.


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Gryffudd on July 27, 2011, 05:15:04 PM
Hey, Jonathan. I tried to send in my vote, but it just sent me to a page that asked me if I was sure I wanted to, but didn't give me any options to say yes or no. I thought it might result in a doubled vote if I tried reloading the page, so I figured I'd check with you first.

Thanks for all the work you've put in so far.

Pat G.


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Jonathan Walton on July 27, 2011, 06:25:05 PM
Sorry you had issues, Pat.

The recommendations aren't automated at all!  It just sends an email note to me and I'm manually counting them.  So send as many as it's necessary until it works.  If you still have issues, just send your recommendation to me as a private message here on the Forge.


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Narmical on August 01, 2011, 05:18:42 AM
Jonathan, Are you going to announce which games make it to the final round of judging? or are you just going to announce the final results when they are ready?


Title: Re: Clarification/Stupid Question
Post by: Jonathan Walton on August 01, 2011, 06:14:40 AM
So... we have a few fill-in reviewers going to work on the reviews and recommendations of the three folks who didn't submit anything. Those will hopefully be done by Wednesday or so. In the meantime, my father and I are going ahead and reading the games that already have 3-4 recommendations.

There are currently 6 definite finalists (two games with 4 recommendations and four games with 3) and an additional 10 "runner-up" games that got 2 recommendations, some of which could still be bumped up to finalists, depending on which ones the fill-in reviewers recommend. Of the remaining 50 games, 22 of them have at least one recommendation, meaning that, if the fill-in judges recommend 3 different games, a full 50% of the games submitted were someone's favorite game. That's terrific!

Once the fill-in reviewers are done and every game has had a equal chance to be recommended, I plan to announce both the 3-4 recommendations finalists and the "runner-up" 2 recommendation games.

The ultimate winners will be announced at GenCon, possibly just before the Indie RPG Awards, but I'm currently trying to work that out with John Kim.