Now It’s December

Hi all! I hope you have been enjoying a well-earned rest after the effort and hi-jinks of November!

I just wanted to let you all know that the first issue of the NaGa DeMon newsletter went out to subscribers today. It’s short and sweet (just like me, some would say) and if you aren’t a subscriber yet, you can be by clicking here!

I am hoping to send a short newsletter each month, probably with a brief article about game design, and / or update on NaGa DeMon. If you would like to write something either for the newsletter or the website, then get in contact with me! If you wanted to spit out a few hundred words on your “journey”, or just share how awesome you were at slaying the demon, I wouldn’t stand in your way!

Speaking of contributors, I really appreciated the help of all the people that wrote articles this year – without them this site would not have been updated anywhere near as regularly as it was! So, everyone give a big round of appreciative applause to Ben Gerber, Rob Lang, Michael Wenman, Chris Watts, Keith Fyans, Mike Bilter and Andrew Smith. You lot rock!

I would also like to thank everyone who has responded to the 2012 Survey. That’s about 50 of you so far, but I know there is more of you out there that have participated or thought of participating in some way! Any kind of feedback is appreciated, no matter how much or how little you completed in November, and I would love it if you took 3 minutes to complete the survey. The feedback I have received so-far has been very enlightening, and the comments have been both enthusiastic and valuable.

I am really pleased to see so many of you still blogging and tweeting about your continued NaGa DeMon adventures. Some of you made amazing progress in November, and even more of you are tying up loose ends in December. Great work, and don’t forget to post a comment here, on the Facebook or Google+ pages, or via Twitter when your work is done!

Enough from me, for now. Once again, thanks for a great November.

– Nathan Russell

Congratulations!

Helpful Hint: play “We Are The Champions” by Queen as you read the following.

Congratulations Demon Hunters, you have reached the mighty station of Demon Slayer! Whether you finished your game or not, you should know that you have left a mighty mark on the world, making it a better place through the sheer desire to want to create games. To those of you that fell by the wayside on this epic quest, we salute you and thank you for joining us. For those of you that made it to the very end, we commend you and are now, at this very moment, penning mighty ballads about your deeds, to be sung in the halls of Valhalla!

No matter how much you achieved, you truly are mighty. Pat yourself on the back right now.

I am bone weary and looking forward to an evening where I don’t sit in front of the computer. I am happy that I made such magnificent progress on my game. But I am also sad that this event is over, because I have so enjoyed, and been truly amazed by the participation and enthusiasm of people from all around the world. I’ve met a lot of new people and am looking forward to playing some awesome games in the future. You guys have made NaGa DeMon 2012 totally amazing, and I thank you for that.

I am looking forward to continuing the conversations on game design, too. Many of you have indicated that there is more to do on your game, and that your work will continue even though November is over. That is just fantastic and I plan on following your progress, so continue to share! I will be posting my own NaGa DeMon wrap-up soon, over on my website, too. And, of course, there is the NaGa DeMon newsletter. The plan for that is to send out a semi-regular (is that a thing?) email to subscribers with a useful article or interview, and an update on NaGa DeMon 2013. I already have some ideas and look forward to sharing them with you. Speaking of next year, can I please encourage you to take the 2012 Survey – by knowing what worked this year, I can work at making next year even better.

Before I sign off and leave you to your rest, here is a badge you can use on your website or have embroidered into a stylish jacket. It’s not much for all your hard work, but I give it to you with genuine appreciation of your efforts.

(The big image is 377px, the smaller is 150px.  Right-click and “save as”.)

It’s almost over!

Okay guys, there is only an hour in my part of the world before NaGa DeMon is all over for 2012. I hope you have enjoyed yourself as much as I have over the last month! Before I sign off for a much needed sleep, I thought I might mention a few things you might consider doing:

Sign up for the newsletter / mailing list. I’m not going to bombard you with emails over the next twelve months, but this will be a nifty way of keeping up with the future of NaGa DeMon. Sign-up here.

Take the 2012 Survey. I would love your feedback in order to make next year’s event even better. It will only take a few minutes of your time. Take the survey here.

Validate over at NaNoWriMo. I am a strong advocate that creating a totally awesome game in November qualifies you as a NaNo Rebel, making it a totally legit way of “winning” NaNoWriMo and NaGa DeMon in one fell swoop. So why not “validate” your work over at NaNoWriMo, too. You have to validate by midnight November 30, though. You will need a NaNo account, a “novel” title and synopsis (I named mine the same as my game), and 50,000 words of text to copy and paste into the validator. Here is a dummy text generator that I used.

I will be back with a post-november wrap-up in a few days.

Good luck everyone!

2012 Survey

November and NaGa DeMon 2012 will soon be over. Hundreds of people have participated, and many, many games have been created. How many people? How many games? What types of games? I don’t know exactly – YET. Luckily, there is a handy survey that will reveal such things! If you have participated, thought about participating, or just randomly found this sight by googling “email a Scottish monster hunter” (Yes, that was a real search term that found NaGa DeMon!) you can help out!

By completing the survey you will help provide valuable feedback about this year’s event, which will be used to make next year’s event even more awesome! The survey is under the 2012 tab above, or you can just click this link!

Thanks!

Last Minute Rush

Just a couple of days to go, but don’t panic yet! The Last Minute Rush is now an “official thing”. Feel free to take the pledge:

I recognise that NaGa DeMon is not over until it’s over. Until that time I give myself permission to write by the seat of my pants, pull out all stops, go hell-for-leather and invoke any other cliche that will get me over the line by midnight November 30. Enough talk, more game!

Good luck everybody!

Newsletter

Hi all,
As November quickly draws to a close I am thinking ahead to next year. While I won’t go into that sort of stuff yet, I just wanted to let you know that I have created a newsletter subscription via MailChimp. The intention is to put out a newsletter a few times next year to mostly keep you excited about NaGa DeMon, but also share interesting related information. I imagine the newsletter will not be out more than once a month, but it will be a good way for you to keep connected with this awesome event.

I strongly recommend you subscribe. You can subscribe here.

You Can Do It!

This is it, people! The last week of November! You have until midnight Friday (your time) to get your game completed and played. After that the clock chimes, the footmen turn back into mice, your gown turns into rags, and all you will be able to do is hope that the handsome prince finds that glass slipper….

Sorry, I got carried away.

But this is it. Buckle down and get that game finished and played. And for goodness sake, tell someone about it. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, then talk to me – leave a comment below!

This is the time to “dot the i’s and cross the t’s”. If you made a plan at the start of the month, then go back and check it. Here is a handy checklist to see if you are on track to “winning” NaGa DeMon:

Handy NaGa DeMon Checklist

[ ] Create a game

[ ] Play said game

[ ] Talk about said game

[ ] Win!

If you manage to complete all four steps before the end of this week, then congratulations! It might be time to go out and buy a bottle of champaign! (Or two – feel free to email one to me…)

So, let’s get on with this. As Rob Schneider says in The Water Boy, “You can do it!”

Demon Hunter: Andrew Smith

Demon Hunter is where we grill a NaGa DeMon participant about games, their goals for November, and more. Read on to meet today’s Demon Hunter, Andrew Smith!

Hi Andrew! Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m Andrew Smith: blogger, mini-con organiser, amateur photographer and collector of too much Star Wars Lego. You can check out more about my gaming thoughts by going to Tabletop Manifesto. And while you’re there, download Siege. It’s my first story game and it’s all about running out of resolve and patience and ammo just to get what you want.

Which games impress you and why?

I adore Don’t Rest Your Head by Fred Hicks. The setting and rules mesh together in just the right way to drive the story forward and then get out of the way to let you make more story. And the same is true of Poison’d and Apocalypse World, both by Vincent Baker. Vincent’s model of gaming follows the same concept, and in many ways takes it even further. Good rules push you back into the fiction so that you make more story.

How are you participating in NaGa DeMon this year?

Last year I only managed to contribute a Scrabble variant to Naga Demon. This year I’m indulging myself a lot by writing about Lego and by building on the deceptively simple innovation of FU to make Lego FU. This will be a game about creativity and building on the other players to make an adventure in the Lego universe. And if I have enough time I’ll add some paragraphs on how to Lego-fy your other games. Hmm. Don’t Rest Your Brick? 🙂

What are you expecting to be a challenge over November?

The challenge for me is to find a way to encapsulate all the good values of Lego into a story game. It’s such an upbeat and relentlessly positive setting, especially in the face of opposition. Our hobby tends to produce a lot of games with destruction and angst, so I’ll need to invert much of that thinking to make it fit Lego.

What are you looking forward to over November? 

I can’t wait to play this game. Story games plus Lego? Doesn’t get much better for me. The other thing I’m keen for is the chance to work with John Reid on the layout for this project. I’ve had the immense joy of gaming with him at conventions for a few years as well as having his feedback as a play tester. I was over the moon when he agreed.

Who would you most like to play a game with?

I think I’d play Fiasco with Shaun Micallef, Bill Bailey and Stephen Fry. If I win Naga Demon, do you arrange this for me? There’s a winner, right?

Thanks for participating!

Keep On Truckin’

Alrighty, week 3!

You have either struggled through week 2, or finished your game and spent waaay too much time high-fiving yourself in the mirror. Either way you have made it to this point and we are on the down-hill slide to the end of November.

Hopefully you have enough of your game done to actually play it this week. It doesn’t have to be completely finished, but you should have enough to show someone and “have a try”. Make that a priority this week, even if it is just a quick run through by yourself, a play around with character generation, or a little demo-session at your local club or game store.

If you’re in the US, spend Thanksgiving eating turkey and playing games!

Some of you will have your second-wind now. Use it! Go for broke and achieve great things!

If you have finished your game, play it, revise it and make it even more awesome. If you haven’t finished your game yet, play it, learn from it, and then keep on truckin’!