Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Prototype a new outdoor game with me this Saturday in downtown San Francisco!

Prototyping is fun!
Originally uploaded by superkiy.
Wanted: 4-6 adventurous players to prototype a new outdoor game with me and Kiyash this Saturday April 11 in downtown San Francisco. Reward: Bragging rights that you helped invent the game.

The prototyping session will involve some running, jumping and sweating. Anyone willing to play hard and break a sweat is welcome. You don't need any special athletic abilities or coordination. In fact, you can be pretty much totally unathletic and uncoordinated, as long as you're willing to try anyway. :) But wear sneakers and bring a bottle of water.

This is going to be a super-interesting session, because it's really early phase design work. Prototyping is the phase that preceeds playtesting, so the game itself hasn't been designed yet.... I have a set of possible mechanics in mind, we'll try them out, and we'll make up some new ones on the spot. We'll just be asking the question: "Is this fun?" "Okay, is THIS fun?" as we try different core mechanics. Some will probably turn out to be no fun at all, we'll figure that out quickly and move on. With any luck, others will be awesome and we'll be totally thrilled to discover them and play with them.

So: If you can make it THIS SATURDAY to downtown San Francisco (think Embarcadero area) for about 90 minutes in the morning or afternoon (I'll schedule it whenever folks are available) please email me at Jane at the name of this blog dot com! And let me know when on Saturday you could make it. Feel free to bring a friend, as long as they're adventurous and open-minded!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

INTERN with me and Top Secret Dance Off!

I am looking for an intern to help me run Top Secret Dance Off! It's an open-ended internship (starting ASAP, averaging 10-12 hours a week, and ideally continuing for 3-4 months). You can be anywhere in the world, in school or not in school, doing the internship for experience, or for school credit or just for something really interesting to do.

TSDO is a personal project and small (but growing) global player community of ~300 players from about 15 different countries currently. It's not affiliated with any game company; I'd like to develop the community and the content and the platform over the next 6 months and see what it turns into.

Here are a couple of trailers introducing you to TSDO:

Find more videos like this on Top Secret Dance Off

Find more videos like this on Top Secret Dance Off

You will be working on Top Secret Dance Off as the official community catalyst, or animateur. That means you'll be helping to:
  • lead, guide and "animate" the player community
  • update and manage the player database
  • design new dance quests
  • track the most interesting player content
  • run discussions, chats, etc.
  • help high-level players invent their own quests and missions
  • welcome new players
  • work with me to create and implement new alliance systems and dance-off challenges
  • write community updates (blog, Twitter, newsletters)
There will be a lot of practical, everyday, routine management stuff alongside the more creative stuff -- in particular, I need someone to immediately take charge of the continual updates of the database as players advance through the ranks and such, and possibly help me implement hacks to Ning to get that part of the game automated the same way our leveling up system is automated.

I am about 6 weeks behind on player mission tracking, so to start, there will be a lot of just crunching and grinding to get everything updated and back on track. :) After that is all caught up, there will be much more room for the creative mission design, alliance quests, and other fun, new stuff.

It's an unpaid internship, as the project is completely unfunded -- but it's also super-flexible with pretty much unlimited potential creative opportunities once you get the hang of managing the day-to-day game management stuff. Also, I'd like eventually for TSDO to be entered into game festivals and such, and whoever joins me as my community catalyst and animateur will be officially credited on the project as part of the design & development team. Yay!

The kind of person I'm looking to collaborate with and hopefully help mentor will be someone who is generally optimistic, takes an idea and runs with it, super-reliable, and really enthusiastic about the idea that games can make people happy, give people real-life adventures, and just generally make us more satified with our everyday lives. And of course, you don't have to be any kind of a good dancer at all. :) You just have to think that dance quests are awesome.


1) Spend some time on the Top Secret Dance Off site making sure you love the project and would be excited to work on it!
2) Make sure you have at least completed DQ1 on Top Secret Dance Off, and include a link to your DQ1 video (and any others you've completed) in your email to me.

Then, send me an email with the following information:

Basic stuff:
  • Where do you live?
  • What do you do with most of your time right now (school? where, studying what? or work? what kind?)
  • What is your schedule is like over the next 3-4 months? When would you be putting in your 10-12 hours? (ideally, it would be something like 3 hours a day 3-4 times a week)
  • What are you hoping to learn and gain from this internship?
  • Do you have a website/blog/Twitter account/anything I could look at online?
Fun stuff:
  • What's exciting to you about the TSDO project?
  • What are some of your favorite games these days? Why?
  • What are you good at?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • Send me a few ideas for new Dance Quests or Dance-Offs.
No need for a formal resume or such... send it all to jane at the name of this blog .com!