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?

OR

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

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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.

Cheers,

Nathan

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.

Once again, CONGRATULATIONS and THANKS.

– 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!

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Share the conversations – Week 4

This is it everyone! We are heading into the final stretch of National Game Design Month, so hang on to your hat!

Now is the time to do those last minute fix-ups and give your game another play (or a first play!). Tell your friends all about it, and share your experiences with anyone and everyone who will listen!

This week there is no specific link-up for your conversations. With the finish line so close many of you will be completing your work or putting the finishing touches on your game, playing it and so on. When you are ready, head over to the 2013 Slayers page and link to your finished game or any other work you want to share. The 2013 Slayers page will become an easy-to-navigate point to find everyone’s work from this year. You will be able to add your link to that page until December 24th.

Good luck, everyone!

Share the conversations – Week 3

Three weeks in already – can you believe it? I hope you are making great progress – some people are already playing their games, trying them out, tweaking and refining. This can often be a tough week and the motivation to keep going can be hard to come by, but don’t worry – YOU CAN DO IT! The end is fast approaching, so why not buckle down and give it your best shot!

Share anything about your game design journey, and don’t forget to visit a few of the links as they appear below – leaving comments, offering advice and generally supporting each other is a really important part of this whole event!

Have you been playing your game this week? What has been difficult, surprising, or fun about your game design so-far?


Share the conversations – Week 2

I hope your first ten days of game design and demon slaying have been exciting, fun and successful! Keep up the hard work and continue to make progress on that game. I was amazed at how many people linked up to their blog posts and other thoughts on game design last week and am looking forward to seeing how your work progresses as we move towards the mid-point of the month.

The title for this post says “week 2” but I am not sure if that is accurate as we are kind of a week and a half into the month already – oops. I am going to continue the format of calling each of these posts “week 2”, “week 3” etc, but feel free to post links about what you have done at any point in your game design journey. (Journey – did I really just call it a “journey”, that’s the English teacher coming out…)

Once again, hit the blue button below to add your link and pic. If you get the chance, please visit a few other people’s links and leave a comment or two – it is great to find a comment from a new person on your blog, or an encouraging statement, or a brilliant piece of feedback!

So, what have you been up to this week?


Share the conversations – Week 1

Okay, here’s the idea. Wherever you decide to talk about your game, game design or your general NaGa DeMon experiences, share that stuff here. I am going to put up one post like this every Saturday (I know, today’s not Saturday, but I wanted to get it out before November started!) so we collate a weekly “snapshot” of the conversations that are happening. This post will stay “open” until next Friday, then a new one will open on Saturday November 9th.

I will also create a page closer to the end of November so that everyone can link-up their actual game, or a post related to their completed work.

How do you share your conversations? Well you can leave a comment at the end of the post, but what you really should do is use the blue “add your link” button below. You can link to a blog, forum or Facebook post, a website, images or anything else that has a URL. Add a picture to make it pretty and a short title and you’re done. At the end of the week we will hopefully have a bunch of easy to navigate links that will take us to each other’s thoughts, ideas and experiences.

Once you’ve added your link, by all means get back to working on that game! It would also be really cool if you visited one or two other links, left a comment on that person’s blog or FB page or whatever they have linked to.

So, how has your first week been?


Talking about talking about games

November is getting close, boys and girls, and I know a lot of you are already preparing for your quest toward game design greatness – good on you! As you ponder your awesome game ideas, gather your thoughts and/or resources, and generally limber-up ready for November make sure you plan time to talk about your games.

While NaGa DeMon is presented as a “competition” where you compete with yourself to design a game and play it, it has always been my intention that this event was mostly about talking about your processes, your triumphs and tribulations – sharing your successes, your tips and tricks, your advice and generally supporting each other. And I would like to say, right up front, that past participants have done a fabulous job of this.

Each year there are lots of questions along the lines of “what am I allowed to do” and “can I…”. While there is an official criteria of “creating, playing and talking about your game in November”, this year I will be primarily focused on the talking bit.  In 2010 when I began NaGa DeMon I was coming from a place where a group of us were trying to encourage people to get involved in game design, and (in particular) actually completing games in order to share them with the world. That’s why the criteria is so specific regarding creating and playing.

Creating games is still the goal of NaGa DeMon, but this year I  want to go further, I want to say that it doesn’t matter whether you are creating a brand new game, or dragging out “that game” you have been slogging away on for years; it doesn’t matter if you start it on November 1 or November 20 (of 2013 or 2012), and it really doesn’t matter if you finish it. It doesn’t matter whether you are creating a card game or RPG, boardgame, iPhone app, or first-person-shooter. It honestly doesn’t matter whether your game is completely original or based on open source material, or inspired by your favourite film. All of these things are valid ways to start, get involved with and participate in NaGa DeMon. What does matter, though, is whether you genuinely participate by talking about what you are doing, on Facebook or G+, via Twitter, on your blog or over at your favourite forum. You don’t even have to discuss what you are doing with other NaGa DeMon participants (though it would be great if you did) – just talk about it wherever you like to talk about games, whether that is online, in your garage, or at the local game store.

I still encourage everyone to have a red-hot crack at the “official” NaGa DeMon event where you come up with a cool idea and use November to Create the game, Play the game and Talk about the game, and I will still be offering those DeMon Slayer badges for all you winners. But please make time to share your experiences. Some places you might consider talking about your game design adventure include:

The NaGa DeMon Facebook group

@TheNagademon on Twitter (use the hashtag #nagademon)

The NaGa DeMon Google+ group

The forums over at 1km1kt.net

The forums over at TabletopGamer.net

Over at Board Game Geek or RPG Geek

I will soon be unveiling a cool way for you to connect up your discussions and conversations, and to easily find what other people are talking about. Hold on to your hats, because the NaGa DeMon is coming!

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.

Cheers,

Nathan

5 Questions with… David Pidgeon

This interview was written by Andrew Smith and originally appeared at TheStockade.net on April 24th, 2011. The Stockade was a website dedicated to encouraging Australian game designers to get up and create their games, much like NaGa DeMon! The Stockade has been “finished” for a very long time now, and its web hosting expires very soon, so I thought I would share some of the still-relevent articles here.

We turn our attention back onto Australian shores for this FQW… One of Australia’s most chatty RPG designers is David Pidgeon, font of many game ideas. He’s been working on Dirty Princesses for a little while, and has recently started a fiction blog.


What do you consider when writing setting material?
I consider whether it would be interesting to me if I was new to the setting. I want it to be evocative, informative but also to leave enough gaps to make the setting my own.

Which games impress you, and why?
I’m impressed by a lot of games, but more specifically by games that tightly tie the themes of the game to the system. Games like Dogs in the Vineyard, Apocalypse World, Polaris, Freemarket and Burning wheel (with its toolkit ruleset) do exactly that.

Tell us about the first game you made, published or not.
The first game I made was called Arena and was a miniatures game about gladiatorial battles in a fantasy setting. It was fun at the time and very simple. One friend still wants to play it!

What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I’m working on the same game I’ve been working on for quite a while now, which is Dirty Princesses, the game of adventure, growing up, and kickass princesses with swords. It’s been giving me troubles but I feel like I’m getting there.

What’s in your design notebook that you just haven’t finished yet?
The main game haunting me is Ghost Road, which is an RPG/tabletop miniatures hybrid about post-apocalyptic car action. It’s going to be light, fun and encourage people to customise little toy cars.


David’s work can be followed at the Dirty Princesses blog, as well as the Obscura Fiction blog. And for extra chattiness, he’s on twitter.

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.