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March 01, 2008

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The GDW was, without a doubt, the best time I had at the entire GDC (even better than the Game Design Challenge, which was fantastic to experience to witness). At the end of each day, I was completely mentally drained. Asking the participants to build games, given some set of constraints, in a limited amount of time gave me personally some fascinating insights into the world of iteration and failing fast. Never before have I thought of making a paper or card game version to get at the heart of what makes our video games work. Now, these seem like relevant ideas to get at core aesthetics that we have to build in our games everyday at work.

The Gluttony team that you mention, without a doubt, best completed the task given to them of all the electives I attended. The group I was in was Pride, and we got close to our sin, but needed some more time to fully flesh-out what it truly means to be proud. My only comment on the Seven Deadly Sins was that due to the time-constraint, most groups seemingly didn't get to play a round of the game they designed. That is always helpful, but the GDW is 16 hours of non-stop learning and engagement, so I know it's hard to find extra time. I loved the entire workshop and you and everyone else who put it together did a fantastic job.

I don't know if I will be able to come every year to the GDW, but I will certainly try.

I was in Team Envy and was struck by how it was relatively simple to come up with a gameplay premise that was reminiscent of the sin and yet really hard to develop that initial notion into a game that was practical and enjoyable. With every iteration our design was increasingly concerned with the mechanics being interesting and fun on their own merits and less about the core concept. Probably a mistake.

Anyway. I thought it was a great elective and I now want badly to get a second shot at it and do it right.

Yeah I missed out on the GDW went to the Indie games summit. I am sure you met Tim Stellmach, he was teaching at the GDW this year, work with him. Cool guy.


Anyways wanted to say that your own session on immersion was fantastic and your rant was bloody good!

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