Community construction in progress

EDIT! I have deactivated the community function for the moment. Spam is an issue – a big one! – and I want to spend November creating games not deleting spam! I will revisit this after November and see if we can sort things out for next year.

I have had a number of people this year (and every year) ask about an “official” NagaDemon forum or other community space. To this point I have resisted for two simple reasons; firstly, I firmly believe you will talk more in the communities / forums / social media that you already use and are most comfortable with; and secondly because I don’t have the time to devote to forum moderation. However, there are many valid reasons to have a single place for NagaDemon participants to talk with each other, ask questions and share experiences.

So, I thought we might try a bit of an experiment. I have set up a community feature that will allow you to share what you have been doing, create and join groups, make connections with others and generally keep a check on what others are doing. It is a plugin for wordpress sites (which this site is) called BuddyPress and it is designed specifically for creating communities and dedicated social networks. I haven’t used this feature before, so it is all completely new to me, but I thought that together we could try it out and see if it works for us.

If you hit the big red “JOIN!” button on the right you can set up an account and get involved. There isn’t much activity as I am currently the only member (!), but I am sure we can fix that! Currently the feature is a very simple “activity stream”, a little bit like a Facebook stream I suppose, though you can also create groups and the like. There are a variety of other functions (including a forum) that can be added, but I just thought we should see how this goes first.

So, join, try things out, and let me know what you think. Leave some comments / messages in the community, or in the comments section below.




Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope…

Help me Obi Wan
A picture of me impersonating Obi Wan, in order to justify the ridiculous title of this post…

Hi everyone! November is sooo close right now I can almost smell it!

I received an email recently from a fan of NagaDemon asking if they could help out in some way. It was a really nice offer and one I took them up on. You may or may not be aware that this website and the social media accounts and all the stuff associated with it is a one-man show; not so much by choice, but simply because I am not very good at asking for help or delegating! So here is me being brave and putting it out there – if you would like to help out in any way, let me know!

There are two areas in which I feel I need help the most. Firstly, I need enthusiastic participants (or non-participants, if you don’t have time to create this year) to be active on social media, talking to other participants, asking questions about their game designs, answering questions about the event, and generally encouraging everyone to “just keep going”. Talking about games and the game design process has always been an important part of NagaDemon, however my ability to cover all the various social media platforms on a consistent and thorough basis is limited. Google+ is one platform in particular that I just have not delved deep into, so I often miss mentions or questions there. I encourage everyone to be open and active on social media and engage others often. Perhaps we need a hashtag to make it easy to find discussion….

The second area of assistance relates to this site (and the newsletter). I would like to post regular content, particularly throughout November. What do you want to read / learn about? Do you want reviews, interviews, game design advice / tips, encouragement, resources, or something else? If nothing else, let me know what would make this site more useful to you. If you have an article (or an idea for an article) you would like to write for the site, that would also be awesome – if I have to write everything, the amount of material will be limited. I can’t offer you much beyond my eternal gratitude and the fame (or infamy!) of having an article on the site, as I run NagaDemon purely for the joy of the experience.

I think interviews with game designers (aspiring, part-time, professional, retired or otherwise) would be a good starting point. A simple Q&A style interview that gives some insight into the designer’s background, their games, their design process, and perhaps a handy tip or two. If you would like to be interviewed, or there is someone you think would be awesome to interview, let me know!

Thanks so much for your time and enthusiasm. If you can help out in any way, let me know, either by commenting below, or sending me an email.

Nathan Russell

The Very Easy Game Design Survey

Hi all!

I hope you have completely recovered from your NaGa DeMon awesomeness and that your 2014 has begun well! Last year I ran a survey asking you about your Game Design experience, and this year I am doing the same – with one huge difference.

This year’s survey only asks you to answer one question out of a possible two. Here they are right now:

If you participated in National Game Design Month, 2013, why?


If you did not participate in National Game Design Month, 2013, why not?

icon - list

By “participate”, I mean, had an attempt at creating a game during November (you didn’t have to finish it).

Pretty simple question, right? Leave your answer in the comments below, or send me an email!

Why these questions? Well, I want to make this website useful to you (and others!) all year round, not just in November. We are pretty busy and active during November, but the website is basically dormant the other 11 months of the year, and that just seems silly to me.

So, I would like to know why you did or did not get involved in NaGa DeMon so I can look at ways of making the site more useful for you. Did you get involved because you just like a good challenge; or you are interested in game design; or you had mother better to do for 30 days in November? Cool! Did you not participate because November is just the wrong time of year for you; you didn’t know where to start; or you just wanted to follow along and see what others were doing? Awesome stuff!

And, by all means, take the opportunity to leave any other constructive feedback you have. I want to make this site better for everyone.



Fantastic work!

Wow, you did it again! You set out on an epic quest of game design, overcame mighty challenges and terrible puzzles,  and finally stood face-to-face with the Demon itself! Some fell to the venomous breath of the beast, others lost limbs but soldiered on, swinging their pen and glue in wide and bloody arcs of inspiration and creativity. And a few, a Mighty Few, slew the Demon and stood triumphant on the wreckage of its carcass to bask in the glory and adoration of their fellow slayers.

I congratulate all of you!

Whether you completed your game or not, your efforts are commended, the sacrifices you made in the pursuit of your goal are recognised, and your participation appreciated. Without you raising your hand on November 1 and saying “I’ll have a go!” (or words to that effect), this event would not exist at all. So thank you!

Now that November is over, take a moment to breath, gather your thoughts and look back triumphantly on what you have achieved. Take stock of your accomplishments and make a list of things that need further work, or ideas you want to file away for later. Whatever you do, don’t stop enjoying your game and the process of game design. If you did not finish your game, then continue to potter away at it over the next month or two – come back in January and tell us how you have progressed. Whether you defeated the Demon or not, share your experience with others, tell us what helped you and what hindered you.

Don’t forget to put a link to your completed game (or your thoughts on the experience) over on the 2013 Slayers page. The link tool will remain “open” until December 25th (Australian Eastern Standard Time) so whenever you get something you are happy to share, pop over there and add your link.

I would also love to hear from you if you have thoughts or ideas on how to improve NaGa DeMon. Leave a comment below, or send me message via your favourite social media platform. If you have advice or thoughts you would like to share with others, also drop me a line – it would be great to prepare some short articles to put up on the website or in the newsletter over the course of 2014.


– Nathan Russell, December 1, 2013

Below is a badge you can put onto your blog or have tattooed onto your back (I’m not going to judge you). Go on, right click and save it!

slayer2013 slayer2013-large

24-hour Demon? Hell yeah!

By now you have already heard. The news is all over the internet. and Rob Lang from The Free RPG Blog are running a 24-hour RPG competition. And it will run during November! Read all about it here.


I love this year’s theme, and the constraint of using a pocket mod is brilliant.

So, what does this mean for you bold Demon Slayers? It means you can smash the whole “design a game” part of NaGa DeMon in a single day, and be in the running for glory in the 24-hour RPG comp, too! Many people say that November is waaay too busy to go designing games (there is all that Thanks Giving turkey to eat!), so this might be the perfect solution for the time poor, idea rich amongst you.

Anyone considering this?



November Approaches

It’s that time of year again, when our palms begin to sweat with anticipation and the old brain cogs begin to turn, chewing through ideas and plotting the assault on the NaGa DeMon. Over the next couple of weeks i will put up a couple of posts regarding this year’s National Game Design Month. One will be my general thoughts on “what exactly this is all about” while the other is (hopefully) going to introduce a trial run of something that will make keeping track of everyone’s projects a bit easier.

Check out the 2013 tab in the menu for buttons and banners you can use to show your support of NaGa DeMon, and don’t forget to spread the word! Last year had an amazing response and I hope to see lots of people enjoying themselves again this year.



Game Chef 2013

Game Chef 2013 is about to begin – anyone participating?

What IS Game Chef? It is a competition that has been running for more than a decade, where participants are given a theme and a number of “ingredients” as inspiration for a new game. In the past it has been roleplaying game heavy, though it you do not have to create an RPG. It officially begins on May 17th, though it will totally depend on what part of the world you are in as it is already May 17 here in Australia – it’s nice to live in the future! Game Chef runs for 9 days, after which you will read and “judge” a number of participants work (think “peer feedback”) and recommend one to move on to the next round of judging. It is all done in good spirits and with much pleasant-ness. There’s a blog and a forum.

I don’t know if I will be participating. I am on projects now, so it will depend on how much the theme / ingredients grab me. Let me know if you are giving it a go.

A Brief Check-In

Hi all,

This is just a brief check-in and apology. I promised a newsletter and discussion of the survey for February, but that obviously didn’t happen. Life, illness, and a serious lack of mental fortitude conspired to drag my attention away from this most noble project. I have a lot going on at the moment that requires much of my attention and my few moments of respite have been spent with my family or engaged in mind-numbing distractions to keep me sane!

I will say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone that contributed to the survey – there was some excellent feedback, and your kind words were much appreciated. NaGa DeMon is a labour of love, and it is good to know the efforts are appreciated.

I am also pleased to see there are a number of you continuing to work on your NaGa DeMon projects, and making great progress. Top work! NaGa DeMon was originally conceived as a way to kick-start people, provide some extrinsic motivation and help them (You!) on the path to completing their work, so it is great to see exactly that happening. I would love to hear from anyone who is still working on their project, either in the comments below, or via email.

Thanks for all your support and patientce. I will have more for you soon.

– Nathan

2013 So Far

Hi all and welcome to 2013! I hope you had a great festive season and enjoyable new year. I have enjoyed spending some time with my family, beginning a project or two, and generally trying to relax. It was my birthday a couple of days ago, so I ate way too much cake, but otherwise have been trying to look after myself! I have also had a chance to play a host of interesting games, including a few deck building ones, which have my interest at the moment? Have you been playing games?

I am going to collate the results of the 2012 Survey in a few days time. If you have not taken the survey I would really appreciate your feedback. You can find the survey here.

I am also currently putting together the next newsletter. I have been waiting to collate the survey results, so it will likely go “live” early February. You can subscribe to the newsletter by clicking the Newsletter link to the right.

I have been thinking about how best to use this website so that it isn’t a ghost town for eleven months of the year. My plan is to do a couple of posts a month related to games and game design. Maybe I can get some guest posts, too. What would you like to see on the site?




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”.)