Game Chef 2014

edited March 2014 in Forum Discussion
The time approacheth. We have approx. two months before the ingredients are revealed to a waiting, panting world of crazy mad designers of beautiful, off-the-(third?)-wall games. So who's in? I really, really want to enter, but I know in my gut that I'll probably fail at the last hurdle, and not get an entry in. Or maybe... all you wonderful storygaming peeps can encourage me- and each other- to make this year the year the we all entered Game Chef? Huzzah!


  • edited March 2014
    I certainly would like to give it another try, last year I managed to complete my entry, but it came to be just a sort of rules-light version of Paranoia. I definitely wanna try something more original this time. Can't wait to see the ingredients for this year!
  • Potemkin confirmed for brawl!

    Thanks for reminding me, Big. I'm very excited, if only to try my hand and feel the challenge!
  • edited March 2014
    All right! In other news, I've just discovered the G+ Game Chef Feedback community.
  • !!!!!!!!!!! I totally forgot about this!
  • The icons last year did not inspire me. But maybe whatever they will do this year gets me writing.
  • edited March 2014
    It's my first time this year (be gentle, onii-san <3 ). I've read the literature but I'd be interested to hear how people have faced the ingredients, or overcome lack of inspiration about icons.
  • I found it easy, since I'm a graphic designer. It was an excercise on Semiotics, you just had to look at the icons and write down all the possible meanings you could extract from those, including whatener feeling you get from watching them. Then you had to picture them in different scenarios and see if those meanings change or gain more depth. Finally check what you wrote down and try to relate it to themes and subjects you know and like, or hate, or feel really interested to explore. Finally, try to picture how would you present these interests of yours to other people for them to experience, as closely as you have experienced them yourself.

    To improve the experience, the more inspirational sources you have explored, the better. Consider art, fantasy, history, science, people you know and places you've been, before other games you've played. I've gotta try this part more often myself.
  • edited March 2014
    I will be participating again, as with each other year. I'm excited to see what games people create.
    All right! In other news, I've just discovered the G+ Game Chef Feedback community.
    It looks like there's another Game Chef community here:
    It's my first time this year (be gentle, onii-san <3 ). I've read the literature but I'd be interested to hear how people have faced the ingredients, or overcome lack of inspiration about icons. </blockquote>

    Each year the rules are slightly different. So there may not be icons at all this year. But it is always possible that you won't be excited about the ingredients, whatever form they take.

    I typically spend the first day or two despairing of finding any game that I could write about those stupid ingredients and rules they picked this year. Then I give up on Game Chef and leave it alone for a while. Which causes my brain to start exploding with ideas about how to combine the ingredients into a cool, fun game. I think that break in there, where I am not worrying about Game Chef at all, lets my unconscious brain start finding connections and generating ideas.

    That may be idiosyncratic to me specifically, though. In general, I'd say you should just find an idea that appeals specifically to you, that speaks to you and is unique to you. Don't worry about the judging or the other participants making similar games or if anyone but you will want to play this weird game that you're making. Find the game that is unique to how you relate to those ingredients, then make that game.
  • I'm thinking I might go into "training" or something. Like, pick a previous year's GameChef and, without looking through that year's submissions, try complete a draft game in 9 days. Anyone wanna join in?
  • Oooooooooooooooooh.
  • Pick a year at random, Carp. :D
  • How old is the competition? 2010? (I just remember that I actually entered the Shakespeare competition, so that DQ's me from that.)
  • It started... 2004?
  • Game Chef started some time before 2002 on the Gaming Outpost, but nobody seems to have good info on those early GCs. There's more info on Game Chefs of yesteryear on the Game Chef history page.
  • I will absolutely be participating this year. I hope that I can do what I failed to do last year; design it entirely in my second language (french).
  • I'm in again. And WarriorMonk, that was a very helpful way of describing how to get ideas for this, thanks for writing it out!
  • Coming up with game ideas don't bother me much, but knowing how to translate them into a credible structure is where I seem to fall apart. Do any of the Game Chef veterans have advice for us noobs?
  • I'll be in, might even take some time off to get 'serious' about it. (Got the vacation time to burn.)

    Give that I wrote a parlor game, a board game with some RPG elements, and an dungeon crawler with a random magic system, I have no idea what I'll write or advice to offer beyond let the ingredients inspire you to take a tangent from what ever main stream idea you might have. Have fun with it and if some thing turns out with some potential you can polish that later.
  • I'd like to be in as I feel like it would help me grow, but May 10th through 18th sounds suspiciously like finals time. But I'll be trying if I can!
  • I might jump in again, unless I've got some sort of other stuff going on (which I may very well do).

    I've entered before and I usually enjoyed it, stressful as it could be.
  • @crauscher I've participated in a lot of Game Chefs and my advice is to not take it too seriously. Use it as an external constraint to do something you want to do anyway. Keep it small. Try to end the contest with something you are excited about moving ahead with rather than something that is playable and "finished", because that is a fool's errand.
  • (That reminds me, there were some neat ideas in my very messy Shakespeare inspired-by-Fiasco game...)
  • Sterling advice, Mr. Morningstar!

    Ok, I'm going to train using GameChef 2002+[1d10]. ...2006!

    Theme - "Time."

    a) ancient, committee, emotion, glass
    b) actor, law, steel, team

    I'm not going to view that year's entries. I'm going to give this a wack for nine days and see what I get done - I guess the objective of this is just to see how difficult I find it to generate ideas under constraint and write them down. You wouldn't want to run a race without stretching, right?

    Anyone care to join me in this wild goose-chase? We can peer-review when the nine days are up, make a new online friend and discuss cool mechanics. :D
  • You're welcome Dreamofpeace.

    Watching the 2006 ingredients I suddenly thought of a game about an ancient order of historian glassworkers, which from time to time form a committee to discuss a particular historical event, and refine it to it's purest form in order to present it to a public which is now ignorant of the past, because of a recent psychic war among future humankind.

    Wait, historian glassworkers? Yep, these guys revise history, frame a particular moment on it and create a glass sculpture to represent it with a mix of weird psychokinesis and clairvoyance. But then they have to adjust the sculpture to perfection, and the discussion between the historians comes when they have to define what this "perfection" is.

    Game is played by picking a random history moment (better if using a proper reference book) and then players choose a different aspect of "perfection" from the next list:
    -Poetry of the moment
    -What this is teaching Us
    -Fidelity to the facts
    -Symbol for generations to come

    Or whataver other idea players may come up with.

    Then players describe how the sculpture looks like, according to the aspect they choose. Everyone rolls a dice and player with the higher roll starts describing the sculpture with one sentence. In order, next players in cloadds further detail with one sentence each. Once everyone has finished their description, the group can discuss a bit any minor detail they think may be relevant but hasn't been mentioned yet, until the group agrees. If there's already dissension about any detail, that's okay, write it down and leave it for discussion after the next stage of the game.

    Now each player will present his viewpoint about how this historical moment should be presented to the public, expressing any changes they wish to make to the sculpture. Changes are discussed fow twenty minutes. After that time either the players come to an agreement and make the changes or they vote for each issue they haven't reach an agreement on.

    For the final round, they each describe what the sculpture looks like on the first day when is presented to the public, using the same procedure they used at the beggining. When the description is done, they have the chance to describe each the emotional reaction and comments from a single person of the audience and may roll the dice to see how may people share that reaction.
  • edited March 2014
    (That reminds me, there were some neat ideas in my very messy Shakespeare inspired-by-Fiasco game...)
    And that reminds me that one of the entries a couple of years ago was a game called Forsooth, a game with a bit of learning curve, but great fun once you get into it, and you don't need to know much Shakespeare, just be passingly familiar with the tropes.
  • I'm thinking I might go into "training" or something. Like, pick a previous year's GameChef and, without looking through that year's submissions, try complete a draft game in 9 days. Anyone wanna join in?
    Now you've got me doing it. I went looking through the old Game Chefs, and found a year I hadn't already participated in (2003) and my brain inevitably started making a game about the chosen words. "Blood, Song, Sphere and Volcano" gives me a science fiction medical drama game loosely inspired by Gumshoe games. (Mutant City Blues in particular; each alien species has its own Quade diagram). I'm currently calling it Medical Bay Three. It's turning out to be fairly hard scifi, full of theoretical extraterrestrial biology and weird alien cultures. It's probably badly broken and unplayable, but I'm excited about this game nonetheless.

    I hope to have it finished and playtested by Friday. (I started some time around Wednesday, so that is approximately 9 days). You know, despite the fact that I should be working on other stuff.
  • That's a good idea Nick, practising using ingredients from previous years. I might try that myself.
  • I'm currently working on the ingredients from 2002. I'll have it finished by this weekend. Coming along quite nicely!
  • Using GameChef 2002+[1d10]. ...2009!

    Theme - "Intrigue"
    Ingredients: fleur-de-lis, dividers, seabird, star

    The theme also seemed to include 8-bit icons, so it only seems fair to incorporate that as an element too. The first thing that springs to mind is using icons not as an oracle, but as a lexicon for constructing stories.

    Concept: Players encounter an ancient console connected to a weapons platform. They have a limited amount of time to decipher the iconic language by plugging in "sentences" into the console and observing the system's response. Icons can be randomly assigned key words that trigger actions within the platform, with more complex actions like self-destruct requiring a series of "sentences" in specific order (to keep players from accidentally blowing themselves up too early.)

    Next Steps:
    identify a few dozen icons to use for the language
    identify platform systems and triggered actions (e.g. depressurize cargo bay, charge laser banks, etc.)
    create progression of steps for several victory and defeat options
    create crew profiles for players to adopt (possible interplay conflict, specializations, individual goals, etc.)
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