Game Chef 2013 - Volunteers & Translation Assistants Needed

edited April 2013 in Make Stuff!
Hey story gamers.

Game Chef 2013 is going to take place from May 17th to May 26th.
That's two weekends and the week that sits between them.

A goal this year is to have Game Chef run simultaneously across several languages.
To that end, we need organizers to step up from various language communities and volunteer to help organize their Game Chef activities.
We've got volunteers from the Italian, English, and French design communities at the moment, though could possibly use more.
We have no volunteers from other language communities at the moment.

If you're interested in helping out by translating materials, promoting for your language, and organizing/administrating, I'd love your support. You can sign up by joining the Secret Game Chef Planning Cabal on G+. Because we'll be discussing ingredients and structure, joining the G+ Community means that you're no longer eligible to win Game Chef this year.

Are those dates final?

Yes!

I'm attending a convention on the first weekend of Game Chef! This sucks!

There are two conventions that I know of taking place on that first weekend: Internoscon and Camp Nerdly. I'm going to coordinate with folks at both of those conventions to get sealed envelopes containing this year's Game Chef ingredients/etc to them, and encourage them to hold a Game Chef brainstorm/playstorm session at those conventions. It's my hope that writing time lost will be offset by an in-person energetic and design conversation. (For many folks, the first few days of Game Chef are all about radical thinking and simmering ideas, anyway.)

Ugh, but I'm attending a convention on the final weekend of Game Chef! That's way worse!

Yeah, that is way worse. That's a bummer. You're effectively losing 2-3 days of Game Chef writing time.
This was bound to happen to some folks, and I'm sorry that it's happening to you.
Hopefully by shuffling the Game Chef dates around each year, we'll avoid doubling up on doing this to any specific folks.

Comments

  • I'm going on a long plane trip on the 18th of May. I might just have to write a game on a plane!
  • That's an awesome idea.

    Planes are an excellent environment for active daydreaming and casual note-taking, too - you don't necessarily need to write a full draft the day after the competition starts.
  • Also - if you're blind or have experience working with blind folks (and especially blind gamers), I'd really like it if you could either join that group or contact me directly. mcdaldno@gmail

    I want to keep accessibility a central consideration, and this is an area where I need help.
  • Also, we're open to suggestions about how best to make this work for different communities. If you're Québécois and want to organize something distinct from other French-speaking participants, we could look into that. Or if you want to organize a branch in Finnish or Navajo among people who speak English just fine, to promote game design and play in that language, that could work too. We want to connect to communities however they're currently organized and support their own needs as much as possible, rather than necessarily making people reorganize themselves in artificial ways. Talk to us about what you need and how we can help.
  • Could you give some examples of what it is you need help with?

    I get the translation part (I think). I assume you would need translation of the instructions ahead of time and of the game drafts afterward (anything during the week of?).

    What else?

    (Sadly, translation is an area where I'm completely useless, except perhaps as a post-translation editor for someone whose English was pretty good but not amazing.)
  • Rob,

    Each language community needs to localize all the competition rules and explanatory text, host it somewhere, and promote it to folks who speak the language. There's a bunch of administrative and judge-type stuff throughout the competition, including: answering questions, doing outreach, managing game submissions, orchestrating the judging, determining a winner from amidst the finalists, and announcing that winner.

    I don't anticipate it being a great amount of work throughout the competition, though judging the finalists will be a weighty endeavor.

    The English language competition is a bit of a special case. Rather than having someone step up to translate the rules, I'll be in charge of writing them. Other folks will be translating my text (which will borrow from Game Chef texts in previous years, probably).

    I think we only need one more English-speaking volunteer, in order to pick up the slack that I create (I'm not awesome at vigilantly managing day-to-day operations).

    It's worth noting that volunteers for each language community are also [responsible for / invited to] appraise the structure of Game Chef and adapt it to suit their community. So if some Korean speakers (say) decide to jettison my judging apparatus and instead do a round-robin evaluate-via-playtesting thing, because it meshes better with the practices of their design community, that's cool.
  • Worth noting: there will be a winner for each language, and (at least this year) that's where the competition ends. So we'll have a winner of Italian Game Chef, a winner of French Game Chef, a winner of English Game Chef, and so on. Those winners won't go head to head in any cross-linguistic competition afterward.

    Part of the reason for this is that it'd be a bigger endeavor, and I didn't want to take on too much in my first year as organizer. Another part of the reason is that I don't know of any ways to do it without it becoming anglocentric (or francocentric, etc, etc). Maybe in future years we'll figure this out.

    I'm hopeful, however, that people will step up and translate winners into other languages.
  • edited April 2013
    Ah. I see. So it's basically multiple simultaneous competitions using mostly the same rules, each within a language (or potentially, language+location) community.

    Makes sense. Thanks for clarifying.
  • I'd really like to enter Game Chef this year. I doubt I'd come up with anything nearly as exciting as some of the previous winners, such as Forsooth or Roach, but ya know, worth a shot anyway. But can you remind me briefly what the competition involves? I remember the games having to include a set of elements- alligator, electricity pylon and genetic engineering, say- but I'm hazy on the rest.
  • I'd really like to enter Game Chef this year. I doubt I'd come up with anything nearly as exciting as some of the previous winners, such as Forsooth or Roach, but ya know, worth a shot anyway. But can you remind me briefly what the competition involves? I remember the games having to include a set of elements- alligator, electricity pylon and genetic engineering, say- but I'm hazy on the rest.
    Each year the rules are different. In the past, many years used lists of keywords to incorporate into your game. But some years had alternative things (2008 had art instead of keywords). You can look over the information on past Game Chefs, but I'd expect them to keep tinkering with the rules each year. About the only real constant is "Make an analog game in a limited span of time, with some constraints."

    PS: The Roach didn't win Game Chef. Some of the best games to come out of Game Chef weren't winners but just games that the person was inspired to write.
  • Fascinating. I really should _try_ to go for bonus pooints and design a game directly in my second language (French) for this Game Chef.
  • @NickWedig: Thanks, that's cleared that up.
    @Jason_Pitre: Blimey, stakes raised. Guess that means I'll have to write one in Japanese.
  • I really need to learn more languages. As in, pick up a second language that's more substantial than my pidgin college Spanish. Or probably learn better Spanish.
  • I lived in Japan, Greece and Portugal over the last twenty or so years, Japan for the longest time (three and a half years), so I've picked up those languages, but language-learning's a bit of a hobby of mine, plus I taught English for about the same length of time and picked up bits and pieces of my students' languages here and there.
  • Is it allowable to participate in multiple languages simultaneously? And if so, should I submit different games, or can I submit differently-localized versions of the same design?
  • Rafu,

    We're still finalizing a lot of those rules. You're definitely only allowed one entry within a single language... we're currently deciding whether you're allowed to submit in multiple languages (either separate games or localized versions).

    Is there a benefit to allowing a game to be submitted in multiple languages? Would participants actually have time to translate their end product in an already time-crunched endeavor?
  • Rafu,

    We're still finalizing a lot of those rules. You're definitely only allowed one entry within a single language... we're currently deciding whether you're allowed to submit in multiple languages (either separate games or localized versions).

    Is there a benefit to allowing a game to be submitted in multiple languages? Would participants actually have time to translate their end product in an already time-crunched endeavor?
    Additional reviews of the games, as well as making the games more broadly accessible would be very handy. I am planning on using translation as one of my creative constraints. Would there be any benefit of _not_ allowing multilingual games?
  • Those are good arguments, Jason.

    I think that we'll allow each participant to submit one entry per competition - so if you want to submit a game to English Game Chef and also to French Game Chef, you're invited to do so. Those can be different games, or they can be localizations of the same game. (using Google Translate et all to submit in languages you don't speak = don't do that.)

    Only one entry for each language, though.
  • edited April 2013
    At current we have volunteer crews shaping up for: English, French, Italian, Portuguese/Brazil, and Russian.
  • Would participants actually have time to translate their end product in an already time-crunched endeavor?
    Well, depending on individual skills and the specifics of each design, yes. It might take a trivial amount of time, if your game-text was short to begin with, and you're fluent in both languages. Most times I submitted a game to contest, for example, the actual writing was done in a matter of hours — the design process was the time-consuming part.
  • Um, on my calendar May 17 is a Friday and May 29 is a Wednesday. Is that the whole run, including judging and stuff, and the official writing dates will be within that window, or is there a typo going on?
  • edited April 2013
    Woops, that was supposed to say May 17th to 26th. That's two weekends and the week that lies between them, as was the case last year. Original post fixed to reflect mistake.

    May 17-26 are the write dates. Judging to follow.
  • Each year the rules are different. In the past, many years used lists of keywords to incorporate into your game. But some years had alternative things (2008 had art instead of keywords). You can look over the information on past Game Chefs, but I'd expect them to keep tinkering with the rules each year.
    Having checked out the link I have a (not very interesting) comment and a question. The comment is that I've only heard of four of the winners of the Games Chefs dating back to 2002: Fred Hicks, James Mullen, Nick Wedig and ThomasHVM. Where are the others now? Have they designed any other games? And my question is: Why was no winner announced in 2009? That sounds like a pub quiz question (that is, if you go to geek pubs, of which there probably aren't any).
  • In 2009, Johnthan Walton was running Game Chef and was trying out some different things with the format. The idea was to de-emphasize the competition, Iron Chef-like aspects and emphasize the community, everybody-working-together-on-similar-projects NaNoWriMo aspects.

  • Catty,

    That's the interesting thing about Game Chef: the winning games are rarely the games that continue getting developed and eventually get published. The major thrust of the competition is to inspire a community to make art and to push themselves to do something new with their art. Awards and scores are secondary. (see poetry slams for a similar competition environment.)
  • Yeah I can see that. Doesn't mean that competition is necessarily a bad thing tho'; in fact, I think it could be a good thing, because it could encourage folks that need that kind of external stimulus to spur themselves into getting down to it. Also, competition doesn't entail saying to the winner(s) 'Dude you're awesome, you're the best there is!' It just means that for that particular competition, that particular person has met the requirements in the best way. They may not be in general the best game designer on the planet, but they've done particularly well on this occasion.
  • Robert Bruce often reminds us of his status as a Game Chef finalist. It basically never stops being funny. Some examples...

    "So, as a game chef finalist, I think..."

    or

    "So Robert what are you calling your office space? (located next to The Engine Room, Jackson Tegu's office)"
    "I'm calling it The Engine Room - Game Chef Finalist Edition"

    see? Winning, or even becoming a finalist is AWESOME.
  • Is there an explaination of how everything will run this year?
    I plan on giving it a go, despite having the "con the last weekend" issue.
  • The rules will be going live any day now, with ingredients to be released on the first day (May 17th).

    The competition will run May 17th-26th.
  • Very eager to see the rules for this year; I have a couple local friends trying it for the first time.
  • Cheers for the good idea!

    Just for your information – competition inspired by Game Chef is already held (annually from 2008) in Czech Republic and Slovakia (it is only one competition – Czechs and Slovaks understand each others languages, so games are both in Czech and Slovak). Rules and goals are pretty much the same. It is called “RPG Kuchyně” (roughly translated it is “RPG Kitchen”) and this February it was the sixth time this competition was held (we are still waiting for results).

    image

    All materials are unfortunately only in Czech (or Slovak), so they won´t be of much use for you (but you can check here or brochure here). So far it is pretty successful competition – every year at least ten games are made (for a small gamers communities in both countries it is not bad at all). Winning game of year 2009 was published in fantasy/sci-fi magazine (20 000 copies).

    I think you can count the Czech/Slovak mutation as another language incarnation (though it is not official and this years round already took place). ;)
  • It's totally awesome that the Czech/Slovak version has been running since 2008! Have any of the resulting games seen any regular play?
  • J_Walton: Pretty regularly (on cons mostly) is played the winning game from year 2009 – "Časy se mění" (translated it is "The times are changing"). It is a game, where characters form a time-travelling soviet team which has to prevent any changes in history. Because only in this version of history have communism and Soviet union been created. Characters have to stop the evil time-travelling imperialists from changing the history, so the communism will endure! As you can guess – game itself is funny and little crazy, but really good. You can check rules here (only in Czech I am afraid).

    Our own game (this nick is used by twin-brother-developing-team :D) Vendetta (also from 2009) was played also pretty regularly and we prepare translation of our last year´s game “Hrstka” (translated “The Few”) into English. It is about RAF pilots during Battle of Britain (inspired by book The Big Show (Le Grand Cirque) written by Pierre Clostermann) – when it will be done, we will hopefully send here a link to download it.
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