National Game Design Month is about making and playing games. During the month of November we want You to create and play your own boardgame, RPG, flash computer game, choose-your-own-adventure book, wargame, cardgame or other distracting novelty. The rules are simple – create, play (at least once) and discuss a game during the month.
There are no restrictions on what kind of game you create, or how long you must spend creating it. If you want to bang out an RPG in 24-hours, go right ahead; if you want to spend 3 weeks developing a digital diversion, do it!
The “rules” of NaGa DeMon;
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.
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. Both 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! Join the Facebook group and discuss!
You “win” NaGa DeMon if you do the above 3 things. There are no judges, panels or secret ballots. Follow the three easy steps and win! Complete this epic quest and prove yourself a game design demon-slayer!
What do you win? Besides the satisfaction of a job well-done, the respect of your peers and the admiration of those less awesome than yourself? Nothing. The point is to actually buckle down and make that game that you know you want to play and share. You do that and you win!
Talking about games and game design is one of the best parts about NaGa DeMon. Surrounding yourself with enthusiastic people who are all striving towards the same goal is a great way to keep you motivated and get you across the finish line.
Don’t forget to use the hashtag #nagademon on your social media posts, too.
Why “NaGa DeMon? The name and whole concept is inspired by National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). That is where the ridiculous acronym came from. Naga’s are a mythical creature from eastern culture, variously described as some kind of serpent. Most gamers will be familiar with the Dungeons & Dragons naga, a snake-like aberration with a human head. Nagas have nothing to do with creating games.
Can I do both NaGa DeMon and NaNoWriMo? Why, yes you can! NaNoWriMo lets you be a “NaNo Rebel” and do something other than write a novel. You can find out more about NaNo Rebels here.
National? What nation? Why all nations! This is a truly international event, and everyone is encouraged to get involved! “National Game Design Month” is a riff on NaNoWriMo, and just sounds better as an acronym – InGa DeMon is hardly fair to all the lovely ladies named Inga out there!
What does my game have to be about? It doesn’t have to be about any specific idea, topic or theme. You are totally welcome to make an RPG about Ninja Monkeys fighting Space Rabbits; or a choose-your-own-adventure where you play a flea trying to escape the circus. Do whatever you think to COOL.
(But I really need some starting point or theme for this to work, can you help?)
This isn’t one of those game design competitions where you have to include specific elements, but if you are one of those folk that likes or needs a prompt, okay. This is totally NOT necessary, but if you are in need of inspiration or limitation here it is:
Create a game about people who…
Transform into .5
…in order to save the world.
Alright, no more excuses – get creating! 🙂
Can I use a pre-existing game or rules set or platform? You can totally base your work on something from the public domain, the OGL or other open-source, nobody is going to stop you. Just make sure you are creating something, not copying it.
Do I have to make my game look professional? No, the only requirement is that your game is complete and playable. If it’s dot-points on a piece of notepaper, that is cool. If you want to go all out and get into some groovy layout, with illustrations or pictures, fancy headings and an index, that is also cool!
How do I prove I “won”? We’re working on the honesty system here! Of course, you are encouraged to share your creation with others, or at the very least talk about the processes you went through. This will be more than enough to demonstrate that you completed NaGa DeMon. If you don’t complete it and claim you did, you’re just cheating yourself anyway.
Who owns my game? You do. It’s your creation, so it’s yours. If you used public domain, OGL, open source or creative commons material for your game then there might be some requirements or limitations on what you can do with your work, but generally things you create are yours. Participating in NaGa DeMon does not change that!
Do I have to show or post my game? No. It would be great if you shared your creation with others, but that is up to you.