It was Gamecamp 7 yesterday.
One of the best things about the unconference format is that you get to have the day you need. There’s no wrong way to do it. This was I think my fifth Gamecamp, and though for the first time I didn’t run a session, or participate in any organised talks it was still a full and interesting day. I arrived depressed about games and games culture, and left full of enthusiasm.
I spent much of the day playing made-up-on-the-spot games, and also participating in the Game Jam, the threshold of which was so low it seemed rude not to. Simply make a game that can fit inside the plastic capsule of a Kinder Egg, in its entirety. Easy, right?
Like all the best challenges, it turned out to be low threshold but high ceiling. My initial idea to make an almost entirely paper based game was scuppered by the fact that it turns out that not much paper fits inside one of those capsules. I spent a long time contemplating depressingly corrugated game boards which were impossible to play on after coming out of the capsule. I didn’t finish the game in time to submit it for judging, but I did finish it, so it’s going to get its first and only airing here. You could easily recreate it with a few sheets of A4 paper and a single dice.In a large space, throw the dice at least 2m away from you. When it settles, note which direction the dice numbers are facing on the four sides perpendicular to the floor. Any plane that lands on that side of the dice will score that number of points. Eg, if the side of the dice closest to your airplane landing spot has a two on it, that plane will score two. Each player takes it in turns to balance the hat on their head, and throws a paper airplane to score as highly as possible. However, if your hat falls off during your throw, you get zero for that round. High score wins. Possible, untested variants: Agile players stand on one leg to throw, or balance the hat on other parts of their bodies. Style bonus for beautiful throwing.
It doesn’t work without the hat. It’s just enough to make it into a game rather than a process, and you’ll see from the photo above that I iterated the precariousness of the hat quite a lot. That’s actually hat #3, and it falls off often enough to make the players concentrate very hard on their hat wearing.
So, it’s a tiny, slight game, but there’s something wonderful about the process of getting excited about an idea, making and playtesting it over a single afternoon. You knew that, but I think I’d forgotten somehow.