Game Chef 2017

Finalists were announced on the website this morning. I read through them all and they all look pretty good. Link since it doesn’t look like they’ve posted it themselves:

This was my second Game Chef in a row during my current phase of design and writing. My whole previous phase, I dunno…it wasn’t the right time for me and I fumbled around a lot. Last year I busted my ass and made it to the finals, although I didn’t feel that great about the work a couple months later. This year I felt super-good about my entry and it’s not a finalist. Shrug emoji.

The judging criteria continues to elude me, but I’m definitely in a healthier who fuckin’ caaaares? place about it this year.

None of this is a ding on this year’s finalists! Or any year’s. And, yeah, I’m well aware of the curse of winning Game Chef.

The feedback for my thing was mixed. I had one reader who went all-in and really seemed to not only get where I was going, but provided actionable ideas and concerns. The rest, though? Mmm…in case those people are also followers of this collection, let me just say that hitting the bare minimum on feedback sure feels minimal. I also got one reviewer who I think brought pretty traditional experience and expectations. They probably would have loved my heavily mechanized entries of the past!

I’m pretty sure the review panel assigned to any given game is a huge part, maybe even the biggest part, of what makes the finals. But I’m just guessing here.

Going forward, probably the thing to do is to run it once or twice, work out the bugs, get it laid out — I’m also convinced that presentation plays an outsized role in a game design competition — and offer it up somehow.

My final version of Intake, my submission, if anyone’s interested:

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