New Ronnies

Started by Ron Edwards, December 16, 2010, 02:24:25 AM

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Ron Edwards

Hey everyone,

Just over five years ago, I ran a game design event called the Ronnies. They had some features in common with the Iron Game Chef but were very stripped-down in comparison, especially with the IGC at that time. They had some unique features too.

Some of the games which emerged, winners or not, have been published. Also, some of the designs may not have been completed or published, but served as important process-milestones for their authors.

I loved doing the Ronnies, and I'm proud at second hand regarding a lot of the entries, both published and not. So I decided to do some again!

The rules
These are a little bit changed from the original version.

1. It works in scheduled rounds. A given round is held during a designated time period of roughly two weeks. The round will close either at that deadline if I have not yet received nine entries; or, when the ninth entry is received, I'll signal that that only a further 24 hours remains to submit, and close it then. I am currently planning to start the first round January 1st, 2011, with the provisional deadline at January 14th.

2. Your actual game creation should be conducted within 24 hours. Obviously I won't be able to tell if you cheat, but do try to stay honest. Turn your thing into a PDF, send me an email ( with it attached, and post it at the 24-hour Game site too.

3. Use two words from four which I'll provide at the start of the round. The two you choose need to be central to the game in some fashion, not merely wedged in somewhere. They should also relate to one another and prompt new words specific to your design. The two you do not choose should be fully excluded.

4. The design specs are wide open: single-session, limited or episodic play, long-term play, or never-ending play; classic GMing, "everyone's the GM," or anything in between; any techniques or approaches to role-playing that you want to use. Also, there's no page limit or minimum.

5. There's a single judge, specifically, me. My criteria for a Ronny are whether you use the terms centrally and well, and whether your game design seems like it has a shot at working and would quite likely be fun. You win a Ronny simply by meeting these standards, without reference to any of the other submissions. Therefore it doesn't matter how your game compares to the others in the round, and this isn't a competition among applicants.

All entries will receive feedback from me. Winning a Ronny also gets you $50 and whatever commitment, consulting, and playtesting I can provide and that you want.

More about #1
You don't have to sign up or post to announce you're entering the round; just do it. If I find out about it simply because I receive the email with the game attached, that's great. You don't have to post about it at all during the contest period. In fact, given the time limits, the familiar "hey everyone, I'm working on blah-blah and this is how it's going, blah-blah" posting will be counter-productive. I'll announce entries periodically as they come in, and we'll discuss them in detail in this forum after the entry period is over.

More about #2
This isn't "iron" anything. The 24 hour requirement is intended to be a creative device, not a barrier or bragging rights for suffering. The benefit is that you simply don't have time to please anyone else, nor to obsess over multiple options for how to construct any single part. So you please yourself, and you focus only on how the different parts interrelate. It also gives you a break from Magnum Opus Syndrome.

More about #5
24 hour game design almost certainly cannot produce an immediately-publishable product. I am not judging on suitability for immediate publication. I am judging on the basis of strong alpha design, which is to say, a real foundation for further design work. Among other things, this means you shouldn't devote attention to the PDF's visual appearance unless that helps your creative process.

Check out the [Ronnies] Summary thread about the 2005 events if you're interested.

All questions are welcome! Use the thread devoted to that purpose.

Best, Ron