This year’s theme is: Technology
Pervasive and transformative, technology has always played a role in the evolution and transformation of humanity, ranging from the beneficial to the catastrophic. For this year’s game chef, we invite you to explore, question and discuss the impact of technology on games and on human society. How can you represent technological change in a game? What about the social and anthropological repercussions? What present has technology led us to, and what future is it building?
We also invite you to explore the role of current and future technologies in game design: how can they complement, expand and transform analog gaming? How can new tools enrich classic game practices, and what entirely new doors do they open? When a smartphone is as common as a six-sided die, and gamers meet over videochat and apps as often as they meet over maps and miniatures, what makes a game analog? Your game may use whatever props or technology you deem necessary. However, we don’t require reviewers or judges to actually playtest the games in order to judge them. They can judge your work on its creativity and playability alone. If your game requires a piece of technology, the more common that technology is, the more likely reviewers are to actually playtest your game
Game Chef has a storied legacy of fostering forward-looking, innovative game design. This year, we invite you once again to push boundaries, blaze new trails, and show us the technological future of analog gaming.
This year’s four ingredients are: alarm, dance, sketch, and sunlight
Incorporate 2-3 of the ingredients into your design. Try to incorporate the ingredients as centrally as you can, as part of the premise or the rules or however else makes sense to you. A passing reference is okay if that’s all you can come up with, but we suggest really drawing strongly on the ingredients. Like the theme, you’re free to interpret these ingredients in whatever way you want.
For example, the 2004 ingredients were ice, island, dawn, assault, which ended up inspiring games like The Mountain Witch (climbing icy Mount Fuji to assault the witch’s fortress), The Dance and the Dawn (try to find your true love at an island social gathering, hoping that — when dawn breaks — you don’t end up with the one that has a heart of ice), and Polaris (arctic elves struggle against themselves and a demonic assault, with the dawn finally coming for the first time in hundreds of years).
Check out the full rules and get working on your designs!