How do you expect democracy to work when everyone’s opinions are so much worse than mine? I mean, it’s like you guys don’t even realize it. Let me just tell you how to vote.
First of all, you should be able to derive a game mechanic from a theme. The point of a theme is to inspire participants as to what kind of a game they should make, as well as narrow down the game mechanics so that games can actually be compared in the voting process. “Escape” as a theme was very vague last time, a lot of people just seemed to make random games and then lazily explain what the player was escaping from.
And themes like “moon”, “dinosaurs” or “beards” describe art styles more than mechanics. Is a moon a game mechanic? Not on my watch. Participants are informed there’s something going on on a moon, but they still don’t get any ideas for the actual gameplay, so there’s not much point in having such a theme in the first place.
How about doing it the other way around, giving participants the core concept of the game, and letting them decide what context they’re applying it to?
I agree, let’s do that.
But there’s a fine line to walk between guidance and freedom. “Self-replication” describes a mechanic alright, but it’s restrictive rather than inspirational. You’re basically going to see the same game over and over again: that puzzle game where the player clones themselves to clear obstacles.
For the record,
“kittens”, “evolution” and “territory” are some of my favorites out of the current ones. They help the creative process instead of leaving you unsure. I can come up with many games utilizing those themes creatively, interestingly, even unexpectedly.
(So, to sum it up, vote for Ron Paul.)