A few months ago I went to GDC. Something came up surprisingly often at the Indie Game talks – a course at Carnegie Mellon called the Experimental Gameplay Project. The EGP is about making games. Lots of games. One person spending one week on a game as an experiment to see if it's even a good idea.

Usually, it isn't.

Sometimes, it is.

It turns out going through tons of games means, eventually, you get something extraordinary. It seems to take about a dozen tries in general. But you've got to start somewhere, right?

So I'm doing it. One game per month, one week per game. They'll all be posted here. Here's the rules I'm following, for the sake of future reference.

* For the sake of easy bookkeeping, games will be posted once per calendar month. If I post a game on the first of July, I'm not required to post another until the end of August. If I post a game on the last day of July, I'm still required to post another before the end of August. Easy to check.
* Only one game per calendar month counts. I can't post three games in a month and have that count for three months.
* A game's development will end, at most, exactly 168 hours after it begins. There are no excuses given for sleep, or being sick, or anything else. "PR materials", like screenshots or explanatory text, are not counted in this development budget, and bugs may be fixed after it as well, but game mechanics may not be changed unless I'm actually turning it into a full game.
* Games will be developed solely by me. I'm not making these games polished and gorgeous and perfect, and I don't want to deal with any kind of managerial issues. So. My games, one developer, me.
* A game must be technically playable and interactive in some sense. It does not, in any sense, have to be fun, or winnable, or have goals, either explicit or implicit. They're experimental, folks. Sometimes we're gonna have disasters.
* A game must be distributed publicly and for free. Otherwise, how can everyone laugh at it?
* Within two weeks of the game's release, I will must post at least a cursory postmortem of what was intended, what worked, and what didn't. The goal's to get better at writing games, not to release a bunch of crappy games! The delay is included so I can get commentary on it before having to guess at whether people will like it.
* Withdrawal from the Game Project must be announced at least two game releases in advance. I can't do "well I'm busy this month so no game, sorry guys", or "alright here's a game, by the way this is my last one!" If I do, I'm a sissy.

That's the plan.

Let's see how it works out.

  • MulliSaukko

    2009, June 24th 2:28 PM

    Sounds good!

  • vazor

    2009, September 13th 4:02 PM

    Haha, wow, that's almost exactly analogous to my MiniMonthly project I did in 2008. I assert that it will be very beneficial. :)

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