National Game Design Month is all about building community through a shared passion for games and game design. Though it began as a way to motivate people to finish projects, it has grown into something much bigger.
Now NaGa DeMon it is about meeting new people, exchanging ideas and sharing experiences. It doesn’t matter what kinds of games you are passionate about, this is a great place to talk about game design, share ideas, seek advice or just geek out over the games you love.
This website is the hub. It holds all the key bits of information to get you started on your epic game design journey. You are strongly encouraged to get involved in discussion on your favourite social media platform (you can find some links below). Don’t forget to use the hashtag #nagademon to let everyone know you are talking games and game design.
NaGa DeMon began in October 2010 when Nathan Russell had the crazy idea to riff on the concept of NaNoWriMo, but give it a geeky, gamer-centric spin.
Nathan and Andrew Smith had been working on The Stockade, an endeavour to foster a community of Australian tabletop game designers. Nathan realised there were a lot of people participating in the group, in one form or another, but there were not a lot of games being completed. So he envisioned an event that would provide an extrinsic motivation to complete projects. Thus the NaGa DeMon was born.
In that first November a handful of people participated in NaGa DeMon, furiously bashing away at keyboards or working with scissors and paste. A few brave, wise souls stepped forward to help make it a genuine “event” and not just crazy talk on some dude’s blog. Some bold adventurers fell in battle with the beast, while others triumphed.
The Stockade project had finished by November 2011, but the NaGa DeMon was far from dead. Quite a few people had noticed it stirring over the previous twelve months, and a number sought to make their name in battle with the dread creature. Heralds went into the world to warn of the coming apocalypse. There was lively discussion over at Nathan’s blog and in other corners of the internet. People had fun, a number finished their projects, and many more made real progress on their games.
2012 saw the event grow again. Literally hundreds of people joined the conversation about games, game design and the joy of game creation. People completed RPG’s, boardgames, cardgames and other ambitious projects, and shared their experiences all over the place, from forums to Facebook, G+, blogs and Twitter. As usual the hobby game community was thoughtful, encouraging and generous in their support for NaGa DeMon. People gave their time not just to discuss their own games, but to guest post on the NaGa DeMon site, to visit each other’s sites, and share their thoughts with one another. Whether their participation involved game creation or not, everyone who got involved in the event contributed a worthwhile voice that made NaGa DeMon 2012 so great.
Over the next several years the ball continued to roll (as some might say) and National Game Design Month continued to capture the minds, hearts and enthusiasm of game designers the world over. Some years Nathan certainly dropped that proverbial ball, leaving things to the last minute or even thinking that no-one was interested in the experiment anymore – but fans continued to surprise him, coming back time and again.
Indeed, if it were not for the fans, NaGa DeMon may have died long ago. It is YOU, humble reader and eager designer, that has kept this all alive!
From those humble beginnings NaGa DeMon has continued to grow. Though it is far from a raging internet phenomenon, it has a loyal base of keen game designers and a regular influx of excited new friends. We come together to enjoy the company of like-minded individuals and motivate each other to complete projects. Whether complete noobs or enthusiastic amateurs, part-time keyboard heroes, coding ninjas or professional writers, everyone involved is joined by a love of games and a desire to share their creativity with others.
It doesn’t matter whether you want to create a quirky mobile diversion, re-skin a favourite boardgames, finally finish your fantasy heartbreaker, or do virtually anything else, National Game Design Month is the perfect time to buckle down and get it done.