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Talking about talking about games - National Game Design Month

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!

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