About ten years ago, a few contests began as part of the independent design scene drawing on the dialogues at the Forge. One was called the Iron Game Chef, originally as a one-man operation by Mike Holmes, which swiftly boomed into a multi-judge impressive crazy-town kind of affair, still going strong (see the Iron Game Chef). One of its features is a menu of terms, from which authors choose a subset (four out of five, usually). Another was an ongoing challenge to write 24-hour games, backstopped at 1KM1KT.
I decided to run a similar contest of my own, combining features of the two. The idea is to write the game in 24 hours, using two out of four provided terms (and negating the two not chosen). Winners got a small cash award (always honored) and a promise of playtest (mostly honored).
2005: The three rounds were kind of insane, with dozens of games written for each.
- rat suburb girlfriend hatred
- fight pain cosmos sphere
- soviet gun dragon mud
Here are the relevant threads:
Introducing a new contest
The Ronnies, September 2005
[Ronnies] The winners for September
[Ronnies] October contest begins!
[Ronnies] October winners
[It Was a Mutual Decision] Girlfriend + Rat
November Ronnies! Start your engines for the 6th
[Ronnies] November results at last
It’s exciting enough to run these that I wrote my own for the first and third rounds, including one eventually published as It Was a Mutual Decision using girlfriend and rat, and another, currently in beta as The People’s Hero, using soviet and dragon).
Assessing all the submissions and dealing with the awards just about killed me, so although I really loved the process and the content, it took me five years to try it again.
2010: This time I instituted a quantitative cut-off, such that once the tenth submission arrived, only 24 hours remained. This knocked the total number down, and I was able to manage things much more successfully.
- old sword skull soldier
- wings morning murder whisper
- amazon lust queen chains
I also more sensibly kept it all contained in a single forum, so you can find all the action in Ronnies 2011.
This round also played into my weird inspirations at the time which ultimately produced the Estimated Prophet series of game ideas, including a planned Ronnies round which included the words “red” and “beauty” that I never got around to.