Game Chef 2013: May 17th-26th. Mark your calendars, sharpen your design brains.



  • edited May 2013
    You're also more than welcome to submit your game as Catty Big.
    Thanks! Now all I need to do is find a brain sharpener...

    Back on topic, is there a page and/or word limit?
  • Yeah! The rules mention a 4000 word limit.
    There are also some accessibility considerations.
  • Hey, it's the 17th here now. When are the ingredients going up? (Not that I'll get to do anything with them today, because work).
  • Mike, I'm planning to launch midnight in my time zone. Several of the other Game Chefs (french, italian, etc) are planning to launch at midnight in their time zones.

    Hint: their midnight comes before my midnight.
  • Cool, thanks!
  • So, I know I asked already, but this was before the rule for the final, international and multilingual showdown came up…
    Should I have some extra time on my hands, am I allowed to submit my entry in multiple languages (same game, translated), or not?
  • Only one game for this year's Game chef, whatever the language you submit it in.
  • If any of you are on Google Plus, I've set up a G+ Community to help people get feedback on their designs and coordinate playtesting (presumably through Google Hangout).
  • Theme and ingredients are go!: Game Chef 2013!!
  • Are the images public domain so we can use them in our games?
  • They're all under Creative Commons 3.0 BY license. They're free to use in your game.

    They come from, where you'll find another 1000+ icons in similar style.
  • When I flip the snowflake person upside-down it looks like he's wearing a toque and has the mouth of a leech.

    Also: First requirement is we make the game accessible to blind people and second requirement is that we use pictures? Uhhh... I'm guessing it is fair game to use the close-caption descriptions and NOT use the pictures, then?
  • @Johnstone: I thought that was odd, too. With accessibility at the forefront, the use of images for theme and ingredients is challenging. At first, I thought it was just not thought out, but I have the suspicion that Mcdaldno and crew know exactly what they are doing.

    Every single one of those pictures makes me want to write a dungeon-crawler, though.
  • Sure, it basically ensures that people have to change or interpret the images just in order to make sure blind people get it. It IS pretty funny though.

    Most of the pictures look transhumanist to me.
  • I definitely got the transhumanist vibe, though I was also considering a religious/moral interpretation.
  • A little confused, and I probably shouldn't peruse what other people are commenting on, but the initial image (that looks like a person in the middle of an up and down arrow) seems to be a part of the 4 ingredients, but there are already 4 ingredients. I understand that I could probably use it if I want to, but explicitly, is it one of the ingredients?
  • It's the "theme". In a normal word-based year, it would be the concept that is supposed to tie together the rest of your game. Not entirely sure how that works when it's all pictures, but that's the idea.
  • Thanks! I don't know why my brain was stuck in neutral, but that forced to have one of those moments where I go back and look at it and the words around it and I blink and go, "oh... yeah..."

    So Now my brain is in drive... or reverse... either way, it's moving again. :)
  • When I saw this combo of symbols... my mind went to a dark, dark place. And no Monsterhearts supernatural shielding, either. No safety.

    This might have to happen.
  • edited May 2013
    I'm going to write a game about Amoy, a young Indonesian man from the hill country who goes to the big city, dressed in a fancy new shirt his mother gave him, in order to buy a snow machine, but he gets distracted by the perils of the red light district and the rotten apple gangster types he falls in with. Will Amoy stay true to his morals and return home with the gift of snow or will he sink despairingly into drug addiction and AIDS? Only you can decide!
  • Also: First requirement is we make the game accessible to blind people and second requirement is that we use pictures? Uhhh... I'm guessing it is fair game to use the close-caption descriptions and NOT use the pictures, then?
    The first requirement is to think about accessibility. That's a thing I'm going to stress every year that I run Game Chef, because community accessibility is important and it's easy to avoid many unnecessary barriers by simply getting people to think about accessibility at the outset. (Other barriers are much harder to remove, and the requirement is simply that you make an attempt.)

    The stress on accessibility is not a special 2013 thing. That's a conscious direction to move the competition in.

    And is it a weird year to start addressing accessibility while also introducing picture theme/ingredients? Yeah! Super wonky. But it was also a measure that enabled multilingual accessibility, I hope - important as Game Chef is running simultaneously in five languages with a final international round to occur.

    Picture ingredients on the first year that we really consider the accessibility needs of blind participants? Weird. But also workable. Getting immersed in Tumblr communities and seeing the use of sight accessibility measures helped convince me that the fit was fine.
  • I'm going to guess that we are not tied to the descriptions attached to the pictures. So that, I can call the the one, for example, "Strange worm coming out of apple".
  • I must say, the pictures as theme and ingredients had me nonplussed at first, but after an evening and morning of ferment in the brain, I have a solid game idea. So, thanks for the cool contest this year, Joe and others!
  • The one thing that trips me up is that the theme and ingredients are sort of categorically similar and I keep wanting to weigh them equally and use them the same way... Other than that, I'm really enjoying the contest this year!
  • So to post about my game in progress, should I do that in the Game Design Help section or the Praxis section?
  • So to post about my game in progress, should I do that in the Game Design Help section or the Praxis section?
  • I actually think I have a half-decent idea on this!
  • Submissions are now being accepted: Game Chef 2013 Submissions.

    Don't fret! You still have until May 26th to complete your entry.
  • I playtested my entry last night! Crazy!

    It went okay, too.
  • Can we supply a Google Drive link as our submission link?
  • I've made one but looking back I don't think I've used the ingredients quite centrally enough... Plus the game premise could be considered pretty vile.

    I'm thinking of chickening out.
  • TotallyGuy,

    You created something. Congratulations! That takes a lot of courage and energy.

    If you just let it sleep on your hard-drive instead of submitting it, then you've still done something impressive and I give you major props. But if you submit it, you'll be engaging in a dialogue with fellow designers, and that's an even cooler thing than designing in isolation. It's worth it!

    I don't know what "pretty vile" means, though. Maybe you've decided this isn't something you want to contribute to the world. Sometimes I create things that I decide I don't want to contribute to the world. That's a tough choice! If you feel like it's hurtful or inflammatory material, maybe letting it sleep is best. I can't make that choice for you, but I trust your decision.

    Regardless of what you do next, you created something and that's wonderful. You should treat yourself to an ice cream / beer / new bottle of nail polish / steak / stroll through a sunny park / silly solo dance session / whatever.
  • Sorry Joe, I had hoped to submit something, but unfortunately will have to pass this year. I've spent most of this week prepping for Indie GoD at UK Games Expo, which is taking place this weekend. Good luck to everyone entering, and catch y'all next year :)
  • Catty, have fun!
  • @Mcdaldno: do you have an answer on the Google Drive question? I ran a shared document through an accessibility checker, and it looks good for the most part. (The HTML tag doesn't specify the language, which is incorrect, but a pretty small issue.)
  • edited May 2013
    TotallyGuy, as someone who wrote and submitted something I now refer to as 'the horrible horrible game', I'd be interested in seeing what you've come up with. In 'Do the Work', Steven Pressfield talks about the importance of suspending self-judgment when you're creating:
    My friend Paul is writing a cop novel. He's never written anything so ambition--and he's terrified. "The story is coming out dark," he says. "I mean twisted, weird-dark. So dark it's scaring me."

    Paul wants to know if he should throttle back. He's worried that the book will come out so evil, not even Darth Vader will want to touch it.

    Answer: No way.

    The darker the better, if that's how it's coming to him.

    Suspending self-judgment doesn't just mean blowing off the "You suck" voice in our heads. It also means liberating ourselves from conventional expectations--from what we thing our work "ought" to be or "should" look like.
    Joe is also wise: the act of creating something is fantastic and the energy it brings into the world is an important consideration. I say congratulations, too!
  • I've submitted it and it's on the site now. I hope it's not a horrible mistake. My entry is The Flasher.
  • I've submitted it and it's on the site now. I hope it's not a horrible mistake. My entry is The Flasher.
    Whatever you do with this after the contest is over, never, ever remove that last line from the elevator pitch.

  • One more day! I hope everyone is coming up with some late-game strokes of genius, calling up their friends to share quirky ideas, and the like.

    Game Chef has been really cool to see unfolding this year. I'm excited to read as many of these entries as I can.
  • Man! For the first time ever, I just managed to playtest my entry before submitting. That feels like an accomplishment in itself. Now I've got quite a bunch of text to write down, though, before I can actually - you know - submit it. But even should I not manage to do that, I know I've actually developed a playable game and I just had a lot of fun playing it… thus, Game Chef 2013 already feels like a huge victory to me. ^_^
  • Rafu, congratulations you won Game Chef!

    So did everyone else who can relate to Rafu's post.
  • I just shared my design with a friend; tomorrow shall be a day of polish and presentation. The entries to date are exciting, and I look forward to the rest.
  • huh. I just had a second idea. I think I have like 24 hours to write it in, right?
  • Do it! Do it!

    Lots of people only had a 24 hour window where they were actually able to work on their entry. You can totally pull off a last day entry!
  • I am really enjoying reading the new (English) submissions as they're lodged. I'm also looking at the international websites now - but, for most of them, it looks like the submissions are lodged directly with the organisers rather than publicised. Still: exciting!
  • Merci beaucoup, Saladdin! There's some interesting stuff here: I'll definitely be checking out Sands, with its Brigade for Repressing Dreamers and 'interrogation techniques for use by public servants of the glorious People's Republic of Strana'.
  • I am so excited to see what makes it to the International Finals. It's going to be weird and amazing.
  • Hmm, I'm happy with Road to Ruin and I even look forward to playing it with my friends. But, I don't think it comes across as terribly innovative although I like the magic system it uses.

    You can check out or Praxis if you're curious.

  • Thanks, Zircher!

    Talking about innovation is interesting. I don't think a game needs to have previously-unseen-ever mechanics in order to be innovative. Sometimes the careful composition of familiar elements can create a new play experience for people, and sometimes a little twist is all it takes to unlock new potential.

    While championing innovation is part of the Game Chef mission (as I understand it), there's no requirement that games be unprecedented and avant-garde in order to matter and be celebrated. You created something! That's rad! That means you win Game Chef! You get my props.
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