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Game-A-Week And Beyond08:01 PM -- Wed November 5, 2008

There have been a lot of questions (and freak-outs) about what Game-A-Week is. That actually hasn't been solidly defined, but in various thoughts and discussions over the past few days, I think we now have an official consensus on exactly what it would be.

First though, let me say that in the process of taking a shower this morning, I decided officially that I'm not doing Game-A-Week just yet. I want to do a few more 1-2-3 month games first (with the same web-power that Costume Party has). Maybe 2010 will be the year of Game-A-Week, or I'll start in mid-2009. One of the main considerations is that, as I've said, I really need to work on marketing. Doing Game-A-Week will be a very full time job. No time for marketing then. So I want to do some of that first.

Well, it was just a random shower thought. I guess official is a strong word for that. But it's what I'm thinking. I absolutely for sure want to do it. I don't want to be one of those guys. You know, the ones that die never having made a game a week? That would be a travesty. But seriously, it is one of those things - I don't want to miss out on the crazy experience that it would be, and never know what it would've been like.

So what is Game-A-Week officially? The name gives most of it away. Game-A-Week is a 3-month process (we call that "a season" of Game-A-Week - there could be many seasons). For 3 months, I create one game every week. During the process, I blog about it, and when I'm done, I post up a youtube video or such to show it off. Even if the game isn't really functional at the end of the week, it's done, and I move on. Of course, it better be good, because I will be trying to sell it! You can buy a Game-A-Week season, presumably for $19.95. You choose when to buy - if you have faith in me, buy it the first day I start, and you can play each game as it comes out. If you are cynical and cruel and have no soul, buy it after the whole season is done. You are buying a fabulous pack of twelve awesome games.

Other notes about the process:
  • A forum thread would be created for ideas (I see there is one already!). I would dip in there and do one of those each week! Assuming there would always be at least one worth doing...
  • Some have suggested 'banking' 2 or 3 games before I start, but no. I am not a wimp! The challenge is to make a game each week, and I will make a game each week!
  • Many have suggested 'game a month' or some equivalent instead. To me, that's a terrible idea, and I won't do it. If you give me a month to make something, I'm going to come up with something massive that should take two years (Yes, Happyponygate was supposed to be quick and simple...). Give me a week, and I know it has to be quick. Game-A-Month would be an enormous flop, a string of failures. A month feels long to me, while a week feels short. That's just me recognizing my own psychology.
  • The original idea was to do this for a year, but cutting it to a 'season' is really nice. Less risk (which bothers me!), a cheaper product (as opposed to the $52 Year-O-Games, which would probably sell less, not to mention take a year to make), freedom to take a break after those 3 months and do something else for a while... or continue and do a second season right away! And it still manages to rip off Jonathan Coulton, who sells his Song-A-Week songs on 4 separate season discs.

That's about it. But like I said, I think I want to do some Monthies first (or Bimonthlies). I want to perfect and simplify this connectivity stuff to the point where it's a no-brainer to make all these 1-week games be connected to the community too. It feels like cheating to do that, but I've got a lot of larger (still small) ideas I really want to do. Who wouldn't like Happyponygate Wars (a la Advance Wars)? Or an Ichabod Steamshovel adventure in search of a myth? Or a mini-RPG like Costume Party, but where the levels you make are all stuck together in one big world (like the Maze Of Ludicrosity, in fact)? There are so many possibilities...
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