When I was in college, I often took part in NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo is a yearly event where participants set out to write a 25,000 word novel in the month of November. The manuscripts which come out the other side aren’t meant to be finely-polished and finalized works, rather it’s a challenge to stop letting procrastination win. The task at hand is to write, write and write, and worry about cleaning up what you’ve written through revisions after the month was over.
While I haven’t participated in quite some time, and won’t be doing so this year, I’ve instead given myself a different challenge. Over the last half-dozen years of falling head-first into gaming I’ve come up with game design ideas that range from very vague ideas to well-formulated concepts. My goal for November is to turn four of these designs into prototypes by the end of the month. As with NaNoWriMo, the goal won’t be to have finalized games ready for mass production, rather to stop letting excuses stop me from getting the 1.0 rules down and the first prototypes to tables to try them out so I can see what works and what doesn’t.
For this project, the four games I will be seeking to complete over the coming 30 days are:
…And Nobody Gets Hurt* – A light RPG about heists. The goal for the rule set is to have an accessible RPG for new players, with a set of skills which can be applied in any setting from modern bank robbery to the wild west to a fantasy raid. Players should be equally capable of completing a heist through brute force gun-waving as through trickery and stealth.
Slaughterfest – A deck building game about a yearly competition between the ghouls, ghosts and monsters of the world to see who can be the best killer. Each monster will have its own unique deck of cards and play style, and all players will additionally have a shared deck of generic cards available to them.
MMA the LCG – My two loves as far as hobbies are games and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and by association, Mixed Martial Arts. One day as a lark I began messing around with how you could convert the latter into a game, and found it to be far more logical of a conversion than expected. The goal is to have the ability to craft a fighter (deck) capable of winning in any of the varied styles available in a real MMA bout.
Untitled Real-time Standoff Game – An idea which started as a turn-based game before making the obvious transition to real-time, players are a robbery crew who have returned from their heist to divvy up their haul, but not everyone is who they seem to be. The game begins with an all-guns-drawn standoff. Players must find any rats in the crew then come to an agreement to lower their guns, all while avoiding eating a bullet themselves in the process, to win.
So, that’s the target I’ve set for myself. Hopefully by the end of the month I will have four new games to playtest. Wish me luck!