Theme Criteria

December 8th, 2013 4:52 am

Slaughtering my way through the theme suggestions, I got to wonder how some of those ended up in the list. In my opinion, a good theme has the following characteristics:

1. Immediately inspire
Good example: “Castle”. Building a castle, attacking/defending a castle, exploring a castle are all possibilities in terms of gameplay. It encourages medieval artwork, but leaves room for deviation.

2. Leave room for creativity, don’t be too specific.
Good example: “Futuristic”. Spacefaring, Post-Apocalyptic, Utopian are all possibilities.

3. Narrow down the endless possibilities. This is why having a theme for the contest is good, and it makes each contest unique.
Good example: “Power in numbers”. Although this leaves the setting completely free, it more-or-less forces us to create a game with lots of agents/particles/entities that somehow influence the game. A game that follows the theme will probably be recognized as belonging to this contest.

Do you agree/disagree with this? How do you rate themes?

Below are 50 particularly annoying peculiar suggestions in random order. If you suggested one of these, please let us know what went through your head when you made the suggestion. Did you honestly believe the theme had a chance of winning? (Some of the themes are bad in a funny way, I almost good-voted “Funny Hats” and “Maximum Yak Attack”)

  1. Quack!
  2. Suddenly Weather
  3. Christmas Trees
  4. Zenith
  5. Anorexia
  6. News
  7. Looking For Missing Head
  8. Pompeya
  9. Indigestion
  10. Game Development
  11. Remember The Fallen
  12. New Way
  13. Hydrocarbon
  14. Meow
  15. Voxel (for most participants, 3D is not feasible)
  16. Nanomaterials
  17. Martha Lost
  18. Counter-clockwise
  19. Internet behind The Scene
  20. Big Dick Problems
  21. Home Automation
  22. No Mouse Or Arrow Keys
  23. Candy
  24. Hungry Angry
  25. Unconventional Resolutions
  26. Funny Hats
  27. Miscommunication
  28. Contents On A Found USB Drive
  29. Make The Player Miserable
  30. Balanced Diet
  31. Underrepresented Crimes
  32. Achievement
  33. Soap
  34. Fast Lane
  35. Bread
  36. Maximum Yak Attack
  37. Frogs
  38. Smelly
  39. Third Party
  40. Music And Me
  41. Grunt Work
  42. Different Time Period
  43. Ultra Low Resolution
  44. Privacy
  45. Rhyming
  46. Cookies
  47. Flaws
  48. Quotes
  49. Short Wired
  50. Potatoes

3 Responses to “Theme Criteria”

  1. sorceress says:

    People enjoy suggesting silly/joke themes, and then seeing them come up in the slaughter. It’s a bit of fun for everyone. As long as we’re not overrun with them I don’t see any harm in it.

    But having said that, pretty much everything outside of the top third of the list would make a poor theme, for one reason or another. They’re not all jokes. Only about 5% of the themes suggested will make it through to the next stage.

    PS… The ‘good examples’ you’ve listed are the kinds of themes which dominate the top third of the list. :)

  2. rot13 says:

    Good sir, Potato is actually an outstanding theme.

  3. fferro234 says:

    Hmm, I’m not sure about your themes either. They seem more like a setting or element. I would rather have a theme that promotes creativity and that are actual themes. No videogames themes are “Castle” or “Futuristic”. Maybe my problem is I’m thinking more in literary themes. but one word nouns or settings are not really themes to me, but just elements of game. I would not necessarily consider the game Flower’s theme to be ‘wind’ or ‘grass’, they are elements that make up a theme about the fragility of nature or the beauty of nature or something. Im obviously not an english major, but the vast majority of these “Themes” are just restrictive elements. I don’t think ‘futuristic’ is the theme of ftl or halo or any other future type game.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

[cache: storing page]