Lend Me Your Names!

Hey there,

Let the name submissions for Two Games One Name begin! Comment in this thread or on the Story-Games thread.

Update: Title submissions close by whenever I wake up on Sunday, 10/11. There’s a great list so far, between here and Story-Games! Keep an eye out on Sunday for the tap-in info.

Published in: on October 5, 2009 at 3:55 pm  Comments (2)  

New Challenge: Two Games One Name

I’ve had this idea kicking around for a while, and now seems as good a time as ever to pursue it.

Two Games One Name

The title of a game is extremely important in terms of setting tone for the game and the expectations of your potential audience. Not only is it identification of your work, it encapsulates it. Not to mention that a good title is good marketing.

I’m interested in seeing what happens when a game is inspired primarily by the title itself.


This contest is in four parts.

The first is simple: propose a name for a game. There will be a post on this blog where you can use the comments to do so, and also a post on the Story Games forum. Name proposals will be open for a week.

The second is the tap-in phase. Email me a list of the top 4 names for a game that inspire you. I will assemble a list of names, each with two designers attached to it. I will also post a list of the unused titles, which I think can still be useful to you (see below). Finally, each pair of designers will have a set of binary guidance choices that I will develop and assign to them. Between themselves, the designers work out which they will pick to include in their game.

For example, Jon and Shreyas are both assigned to “In Search of Glory.” I decide to give them the choices “Solo game or group game” and “Fortune-based resolution or drama-based resolution”. Maybe Jon wants to do a solo game with drama-based resolution (challenge!), so he emails Shreyas and they work it out.

The third: Write a game! Guided by the title and your pick of the guidelines, write a game. The guidelines are there to give some additional inspiration and force the two games into difference courses, but if they end up being not useful to you, you can still do well in the contest without using them. For extra credit, somehow include entries off of the “unused” list in your game in meaningful ways. There will be about a month for this. I give no guidance whatever to what “write a game” means. Just do it!

The fourth: Submit. There will be a submission process (email me a PDF, really). Send me your game by the deadline. I will read them all and give critical feedback. I will also be choosing winners! These are the categories that I’ll be judging in:

  • Best Game Overall – what blows me away the most and makes me excited to play
  • Best Extra Credit – what uses the unused titles in the most meaningful way
  • Best Pair – what two games of the same name would best be packaged together as a set
  • Best Outside The Box – which game surprises me the most
  • Best Presentation – yes, for better or for worse, I think appropriate presentation is important. Make it pretty!

I plan on not awarding a game more than one of these, by the way. If there are enough entries, there may be runners-up though.

There will be prizes – here is the current list:

(PDFs courtesy of myself and Two Scooters Press)

  • Annalise
  • The Dance and the Dawn
  • Mist Robed Gate
  • It’s Complicated
  • Murderland

(print games courtesy of myself, Dig 1000 Holes Publishing, Kevin Allen Jr Design and Red Moon Medicine Show)

  • carry. a game about war.
  • The Dance and the Dawn
  • Urchin
  • Time And Temp
  • 2 copies of Sweet Agatha, one for the winner of best “Outside the Box” and 1 for the game that is best suited for players who have no experience with RPGs.
  • Special Bonus Publication Prize: Any game that sees publication in print, for money, in a final non-playtest non-ashcan form will receive the entire TAO Games electronic catalog, as well as a physical copy of XXXXTreme STREET Luge, courtesy of Ben Lehman.

  • Special Bonus Art Prize: George Cotronis (aka northerain) will offer $200 worth of illustrations for the best horror/violent/dark-themed game. His portfolio: ravenkult.com.

Also, if I end up playing any of these I will of course give playtesting feedback.

I’m looking forwards to seeing what happens!

Published in: on October 4, 2009 at 3:39 pm  Comments (1)  

And The Winners Are!

Once again, I apologize for my tardiness in getting all of this done. But, finally, all votes have been counted and all scores have been tallied. Here are the winners of the 2007 BibliOdyssey Design Challenge!

Best Integration Of Images: The City At The Edge Of Sleep, by Mike Addison, with a total average score in the category of 8/10. Followed by:

  • Troll Lands (7.8)
  • Once More (6.8)
  • In Inordinate Fondness & Dark Explorations (6)
  • Friends or Fortune & In Frankensteins Wake (5)

Most Playable: In Frankenstein’s Wake, by Eric Boyd, with a total average score in the category of 8.5/10. Followed by:

  • An Inordinate Fondness (8.3)
  • Once More (7)
  • The City at the Edge of Sleep (6)
  • Friends or Fortune (5.5)
  • Troll Lands (4.6)
  • Dark Explorations (4)

Best Overall: In Frankenstein’s Wake also had the highest score in the category, with a total average of 7.25. As a game cannot take more than one title, the next highest was a three-way tie! The City at the Edge of Sleep, An Inordinate Fondness and Once More all received a score of 7. As City at the Edge of Sleep is also ineligible, the official winners of this category are both An Inordinate Fondness, by Mark Villianatos and Once More, by Mendel Schmiedekamp! The other scores:

  • Troll Lands (5.6)
  • Friends or Fortune (5.5)
  • Dark Explorations (5)

Congratulations to Mike, Eric, Mark and Mendel! I look forward to playing your games!

The individual pages will be updated with their scores and review links real soon now. There’s also a thread at StoryGames to talk about the winners, and the contest in general.

Thanks everyone!

Review Assignments

UPDATE: All PDF’s have been uploaded and linked.

Sorry again for the delay. Damn real life.

Inordinate Fondness will be reviewed by Eric Boyd. (Inordinate Fondness Link)

Friends or Fortune will be reviewed by Mendel Schmiedekamp. (Friends or Fortune Link)

In Frankenstein’s Wake will be reviewed by Guy Shalev. (In Frankenstein’s Wake Link; IFW Cards Link)

Troll Lands will be reviewed by Tad Kelson. (Troll Lands Link)

Once More will be reviewed by Mike Addison. (Once More Link)

Dark Explorations will be reviewed by Mark Villianatos. (Dark Explorations Link)

The City At The Edge of Sleep will be reviewed by Dave Cleaver. (City At The Edge Of Sleep Link)

Please email me your review scores, with or without explanation, by 11:59 PM eastern time next Wednesday, March 7.

Feel free to post review summaries and comments on the blog, but without scores please! I would like to have the scoring all pass through me, and I’ll do a big post with the individual and average scores for everyone once they’re all collected.

Again, I’ll be reviewing all of them, so there will be at least two scores in the mix per game, plus any others that anyone wants to review.

Please follow the scoring guidelines contained on The Rules page. Any questions, ask ’em here.

Have fun!

Published in: on March 1, 2007 at 4:00 am  Comments (10)  

A brief interruption

So, I have a personal crisis that just reared its head. Nothing major, but I won’t be able to make the review assignments until sometime tomorrow night, maybe Thursday.

If people want to upload their games and link to them, feel free to browse and start thinking about reviews.

Sorry everyone.

Published in: on February 28, 2007 at 12:58 am  Leave a Comment  

The Reckoning

The Games!

Inordinate Fondness, by Mark Villianatos. Based on Mark Addison’s image set.

Friends or Fortune, by Dave Cleaver. Based on Adam Dray’s image set.

In Frankenstein’s Wake, by Eric Boyd. Based on Jake Sulpice’s image set.

Troll Lands, by Guy Shalev. Based on Dave Cleaver’s image set.

Once More, by Mendel Schmiedekamp. Based on Justin Smith’s image set.

Dark Explorations, by Tad Kelson. Based on Mendel Schmiedekamp’s image set.

The City at the Edge of Sleep, by Mike Addison. Based on Tad Kelson’s image set.


Adam, Jake and Justin, you guys can still judge entries, but are under no obligation to do so.

I’ll get everything uploaded and linkified this evening (long day coming up, unfortunately). From what I’ve seen so far, these are some cool-looking games, and I’m excited to read them!

I’ll be making a separate page on the blog for each game, by the by.

Thanks to everyone for participating.

Published in: on February 27, 2007 at 1:58 pm  Comments (7)  

Submission Deadlines & Guidelines

Here’s the update/reminder for how the next phase will work.


Submissions are due by 11:59 PM Eastern time (GMT-5, I think, but doublecheck if it’s going to be a thing for you) on Monday, 2/26/07. I would strongly, strongly prefer PDF format. If you can’t PDF it for some reason, RTF and TXT are also acceptable. Attach the files to an email you send to n.d.paoletta-at-gmail-dot-com. If filesize is an issue with your email server (or mine, I’m not sure if there’s a limit in gmail), you can also upload it to this blog and send me an email letting me know.

Please include the name of whoever’s image set you had in your email, as well.

Once all the submissions are in, I’ll put them all into one post.


Each person will be assigned another person’s game to review. I will reviewing all of the games. So, each game will get at least two reviews, and the scores will be averaged in order to generate the final score.

Everyone is strongly, strongly encouraged to review however many games as catch their eye. Even if everyone also chooses to review the game that used their image set, that would be grand. But, I understand time can be tight, so you’re only required to review the game assigned to you.

Review assignments will be posted on Tuesday, and there will be a week turnaround to get reviews in. If you don’t get in your review, your ineligable for the prize!

As always, questions and comments are welcome.

Thanks everyone, there’s been some really cool game ideas being thrown around, and I’m really excited to see the final products!

Published in: on February 24, 2007 at 10:21 pm  Comments (6)  


Hey all,

So, how’s it going? I’ve seen a bunch of great ideas here on the blog, and I’m really looking forwards to seeing how they’ll all turn out!

If you’ve been following my comments, I think it’s totally kosher to give little ideas and shout-outs to the cool things you see in each others posts, so feel free to toss those around.

Also, if you have any questions that have cropped up in the last week about logistical or organization things, feel free to toss those out as well.



Published in: on February 20, 2007 at 3:40 am  Leave a Comment  

Clarification on Categories?

Do I, for example, Guy Shalev, post my posts under my Category, or under the category of the one who created my image set, Dave Cleaver?


Published in: on February 12, 2007 at 10:38 pm  Comments (2)  

Game Assignments

X is assigned the image set of Y

Adam Dray is assigned the image set of Eric Boyd

Dave Cleaver is assigned the image set of Adam Dray

Eric Boyd is assigned the image set of Jake Sulpice

Guy Shalev is assigned the image set of Dave Cleaver

Jake Sulpice is assigned the image set of Guy Shalev

Justin Smith is assigned the image set of Mark Villianatos

Mark Villianatos is assigned the image set of Mike Addison

Mendel Schmiedekamp is assigned the image set of Justin Smith

Mike Addison is assigned the image set of Tad Kelson

Tad Kelson is assigned the image set of Mendel Schmiedekamp

Go to! Games are due by midnite (eastern time) 2.26.07.

Published in: on February 12, 2007 at 12:10 pm  Comments (6)