Game Chef 2015 – The Final Stretch


Just two more days until the competition is done. Last year I created an entry that was on a grand scale for the time frame I had. I did this because I honestly had the time free to work on it at that time. This year, I have been pulling around 50 work hours aside from taking care of the kids and my general writing work. Such a massive undertaking wouldn’t have been an option.

Simplicity was the key to this year. My initial ideas focused on children as a different audience. After some thought, I realized my current day job could be a much better audience. Illiterate, but verbal, individuals with developmental disabilities would be the target audience. I then doubled up on theme by also making so the game will work for three different audiences. Individuals with DD and/or children who are pre-literate is the first. The second is families with young children. Lastly was teens and adults who would want a bit more to the game.

To accomplish this, I set some goals for myself:

  • The gameplay had to be simple, with easy to follow rules.
  • All of the required rules had to be able to be represented through pictures in a way that could be deciphered.
  • Gameplay had to be fast, so that there was no risk of lost attention.
  • Any scoring system and win conditions would need to be very basic if present at all.
  • This meant I had to really peel back the complexity of my original idea. I had to expose the game right down to its bones and leave only what absolutely had to be there to hold up play. I had to wrack my brain on how best to create a set of instructions that could be clearly represented in pictures. Arguably, there is no way to make a picture-based set of instructions work universally for everyone. Each person comes with a cultural context that can influence the pictures. Still, I think I have done well.

    All that remains for this year is to convert what I have on paper into the computer the rest of the way and to format it into a form that can be readily printed. When the competition has been completed, I will make a point of posting a link here on the blog and on my main website. To any of you participating this year, good luck!

    What are your thoughts?