|Check out this gorgeous cover illustration by my buddy John Matthias!|
If you've never heard of Game Chef, it's a yearly contest with pretty wide-open parameters. You have ten days to design a game using the theme provided (this year it was "A Different Audience") and at least two of the ingredients (this year's were abandon, dragonfly, stillness, and dream). What kind of game and what format it ends up in are completely up to you. My entry, "The Long Sleep", is somewhere between storygame and American Freeform LARP. It's about people who are struck down by a disease that puts them in a comatose state. Their minds are not quiescent, however - the Sleepers find themselves in a vivid dream world, and somehow their minds are connected. Together, they embark on a journey Within...
Reflections. Ten days doesn't seem like a lot of time, but this is actually a do-able thing. I was happy with the game I got at the end of it, although there was stuff I wish I'd had the space for. 4000 words is not a lot, and you have to keep things simple and compact. I could have easily written another 4000 words if I'd had the space. I was very lucky to get an idea that had legs early on, so I didn't spend any time spinning my wheels. I thought about it for a couple of days, then wrote it down, caught my breath, and finally revised.
You can get the finished game here.