Flicking about on Twitter today, it seems like the whole internet is throwing itself into one of two things. People are either going mental for Movember, the practice of growing moustaches for charity (good work to all involved) or going headlong into NaNoWriMo. If you don’t know about NaNoWriMo, I’d suggest you head over to http://www.nanowrimo.org and do some investigating. It’s basically a month long spurt to create a piece of writing of at least 50,000 words. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Hell, it doesn’t even have to be that good – the challenge is to actually show yourself that you’ve got the beans to stick with the project and complete it.
I admit that I actually tried NaNoWriMo last year. I was religiously tapping away on my keyboard every day, working away not on a novel but a new RPG system that I’d called Flow. I was doing alright actually, about 15,000 words down… when suddenly my desktop computer (nicknamed The Beast) died, never to power up again. I didn’t have the heart to go on, all those words lost.
Twelve months on and I still don’t see myself writing that many words. However, I do have another project in mind – #NaGaDeMon
I stumbled across it at the Peril Planet site and I am totally up for it. At last, a project that I could feasibly finish! Most gamers will know what a Naga Demon is (especially if they’ve dabbled in D&D or World of Warcraft) but this one is a little different. Standing for National Game Design Month, you have one simple aim: design, build and play a brand new game from scratch in the space of thirty days.
Here are the full rules as laid down by Peril Planet:
Create the game in November. It can be based on ideas, notes and other resources, but the putting together of the game should occur during the month.
Finish the game in November. Complete the game! A complete game should have everything required to play – no hand-waving (“Oh, I’ll make those cards later”) allowed! In the case of an RPG this means rules for character generation, resolving conflict, experience, and setting. Boardgames will need the actual board, pawns, cards and/or other objects gathered or created. Wargames will require rules for all the pertinent action and probably a couple of army / force lists (and you will obviously need some armies to battle with when it comes time to play the game!).
Play the game in November. It doesn’t matter whether you play your game in the garage with your mates, on line with a stranger, with your Nan over a cup of tea, or by yourself in the attic – just play it at least once!
Talk about your experience. Either during November or after, talk about what you did; share the game with others; blog about the process; tell everyone how awesome you did or how epic your failure was. What’s the point of creating your own game if you don’t tell everyone about it!
(Cheers to the folks over there for laying them out so eloquently.)
So that’s it. I’ll be taking part in #NaGaDeMon and coming up with a brand new game in one month and document my adventures each week. It could be fun, it could be terrible, but at least it’ll be vaguely interesting (I hope). If you’re up for joining in the fun as well, post below; I think we’ll need all the help we can get…