Incentives to Design – One Game A Month

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I discovered One Game a Month randomly one night while browsing the internet. After reading through the site’s mission statement and having a good look around at the types of games being made as part of the initiative I jumped at the chance to sign up.

This is exactly the kind of thing I have been looking for recently to help keep my game design juices flowing. The task is both a simple but an almost herculean one at the same time; make and release at least one game a month for a year. As regular readers of this blog will know I have been having trouble keeping focused on one specific game and just simply sitting down and actually making something until recently. So I am not going into One Game A Month willy nilly here I am doing it for the best of intentions:

  1. To boost my currently lacking portfolio.
  2. To keep my skills fresh and learn lots of new ones along the way.
  3. To make games!

The best thing about One Game A Month is that there is a growing community of developers and teams joining in and helping each other along in the task of making games. It also helps that there are very little restrictions on what you can submit as your game for a given month. Basically anything is allowed as long as it is some form of game (computer, board, pen & paper, text based, etc, etc.) is allowed so long as it is finished and people can play it. Sequels, re-makes, de-makes, other-kinds-of-make, etc. are also allowed as long as they are clearly new pieces of work. The whole effort is also incentivised via achievements, experience points and developer levels to help encourage you to go the extra mile and secure those valuable bragging rights.

Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 05.54.16Crucially as well is that if for whatever reason you miss a deadline and fail to release your game of a given month you are not ejected from the site and the task. You just loose your slowly building XP Bonus for releasing consecutive games. The simple incentive for keeping that bonus growing and building is enough for me to sit down and make a good attempt at doing this (for I am a simple man who loves Skinner Boxes in all their forms). Gamifying my game developing and portfolio expansion is just the hook I need to keep things going at a steady pace. Will I succeed or fail miserably? Who knows? I’m just looking forward to coming up with twelve games in quick succession and trying my hand at working on multiple projects at once.

So my game for this month is of course my Simple RPG so I now officially have just over two weeks to get it done, dusted and available to play. How exciting! After that I will see what the optional theme for the next month is then go from there. By the end of the year (or when it all comes crashing down around me in a fiery mess) I am hoping to have a broad range of games available across multiple mediums. So I will be revisiting some of my abandoned ideas or at least taking aspects of them forward. Also I am planning on rehashing some of my Uni work and doing something new with it.

The end result is I win because I get more things to show off my skills and game design ideas. While you win because you get to play a bunch of games made by me!

You can follow my progress on here of couse and also at my One Game A Month Profile. (And yes I do get an achievement for writing about signing up for One Game A Month!)

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