Thursday, May 31, 2012

Diggity video review

The folks over at The Gamer's Table have been doing video reviews of games for some time, and this year they invited submissions of independent game designs for review in their "Indy" series.  The Game Crafter offered to pay for the shipping if any of their authors/designers wanted to pay for a game to send, so I took them up on it. The result is here:

The review of Diggity starts at 4:50, and the final wrap-up (where they rate it) is at 13:35.  An interesting experience; they seemed to like the game and "get" it, particularly the two guys on the sides (Chris and Craig).  The middle guy (Ken) gave it a significantly lower rating than the others, which was interesting - he didn't really say why, and I couldn't pick it up from the rest of the show, but it must not have clicked as well for him.

A lesson for other designers - they really pilloried the other game in the review because of one omission in the rules (play one card per turn).  It's important to have other people read your stuff, and to specify everything, even the stuff that seems obvious.

My thanks to the TGT guys for their review, and to The Game Crafter for facilitating it.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Looking like an interesting roundup at the monthly Game Design Showdown at the Board Game Designer's Forum.  People took the "spring" thing in a lot of different ways, mostly literal (a spring-loaded piece of equipment).  We'll see how I do on Sunday...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Ludum Dare results

So, here are my results from the judging for the Ludum Dare competition for my game, Teeming.
The rankings (at left) I think are out of 1,111, so I was top half in all categories, top 1/3 in many of them.  

#71 Theme 3.82
#220 Innovation  3.38
#265 Overall 3.25
#325 Fun 3.00
#394 Graphics 2.95
#410 Mood 2.71
#453 Humor 2.18
#455  Audio 2.43
Coolness 100%

The worst one for me was Audio, and that makes sense - the game has only simple sound effects and no music track. Mood is supposed to be how immersive your game was, but I'm not sure people all used the same standards there. Likewise for Humor, which is hard to gauge.  I'm happy to be up there in the Overall and Innovation categories, and apparently I hit the theme (Tiny World) pretty well.  Graphics will likely always be a problem for me, lacking as I am as an artist.

The last item, Coolness, refers to how many games I rated - I rated (or tried to rate) over 100 games, so I get that one by default (or by dint of hard ratings work). A rank list another guy made shows that I did the 104th most ratings (the average participant made 35 or so).

I'll need to look at the rankings in more detail if they publish more of them.  I don't know how they handle it, but if it's just raw numbers, I'd guess that there are some games near the top of these categories that have relatively few rankings.  Maybe that's not an issue with so many people rating so many games, but you never know.  It would be cool to do a graph of rank vs. ratings received, although there are other factors in play determining how many ratings you get on your game (e.g. you get rated more often if you rate more yourself).

A fun experience; I'm happy with how I did, but I think I could do better. I'll definitely try again next time.

Two cool things

Two things coming up in the next 6 hours -
  1. The judging for the 23rd Ludum Dare competition will close. Mine (Teeming) was one of 1402 entries (1,111 in the solo 48-hour competition) with the theme of Tiny World (I went with microorganisms in a petri dish). I've never done this before, so I don't know exactly what to expect, but I did judge 102 other entries over the past 3 weeks, so I've probably seen a representative sample. I hope I make the top 50%, but we'll see. There are some really good ones out there. There were a couple that I saw that were obviously way better than mine, but they were in the Jam segment (72 hours, multiple people designing, relaxed rules on preexisting content)
  2. My entry for the BGDF monthly Game Design Showdown should go live. This month had a couple of cool restrictions - one was that you had to use asking permission (from Mother May I - Mother's Day plus May), and the other was that you had to use springs in some way. We'll see how many entries there are and how I do - I feel pretty good about my entry this month, but that has historically not been any kind of indicator as to how I do (maybe even negatively correlated).
Game on...