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2017 Concluding Thoughts

Before we give some concluding comments, some quick announcements:

A Word From Marshall Miller

The 200 Word RPG Challenge started two years ago with an offhand query that quickly went from thought experiment to organized event (thanks David Schirduan!). Two hundred words isn’t a lot to work with but gamers discovered the challenge and thought to themselves, “200 words, I can do that!” It’s harder than it sounds. And yet, the entries poured in…

Since then it’s taken on a life of its own. This year’s challenge garnered more than twice the number of entries as last year’s, including submissions from almost 600 people! That’s a ton of games! As a former judge, I can tell you that reading through that many games is a challenge in and of itself but it’s an informative one. Each game is an answer to the question, what does it mean to be “a roleplaying game?”

In the collected entries you’ll find clever mechanisms and timely themes, roleplaying games you’ll want to run out and play and roleplaying games that you might not have thought of as even being roleplaying games, elements you’ll want to borrow and ideas you’ll want to build on. Ask any game designer and they’ll tell you that the best preparation for designing games is to read and play as many games as you can. Speaking of playing games, I know where you can get a couple hundred free ones, you know, if you’re interested…

If you play something, say something! Aside from cold, hard cash, there’s no better way to show your appreciation for a designer’s game than to play it and then talk about it. About a quarter of this year’s participants had never tried to design a game before so, if you’re a looking for new and diverse voices in game design, you might just find your voice here!

Every year, new and experienced designers go on to expand, revise, develop, and publish games that began as submissions to game design contests. Your reactions and experiences might be the exact feedback that designer needs to perfect their game; you might be just the collaborator they were looking for. Maybe you’re that designer! As you continue to design little (or not so little) games, share them with the community!

This year’s 200 Word RPG Challenge has been a real success. Thanks you to the judges for all your hard work. Thank you to our sponsors for helping us give out some really great prizes. Thank you to all the people who helped get the word out. And thank you to everyone who submitted a 200 word RPG. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Until next year,

~Marshall Miller

Okay, I lied. There’s a little more. We’ve already started picking apart this year’s Challenge and planning for next year. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions about how the challenge is organized, its website, or sponsorship then we’d love to hear from you. You can post to the community or contact us directly.

A Word From David Schirduan

Every year I look forward to this challenge, and every year my expectations are completely blown away. I’d like to echo everything Marshall said above. Reading all of the 200 Word reviews, feedback, conversations, and game ideas is one of the great joys in my life.

Thank you, dear reader, for participating and engaging with this challenge. The response has been incredible, and it made me so happy to see people enjoying this little contest.

As always the goal has been to encourage new game designers to design a complete game, even if it is small. The statistics showed that 25% of the 600 participating designers had NEVER made a game before. This fact alone makes the challenge a complete success in my eyes. Everything else is just the cherry on top.

In closing, I would encourage any designers out there to read through the entries. If you find something that interests you, build upon it! All entries are protected under Creative Commons, and you are free to use them as inspiration for your own projects. This is a huge resource for the community; an endless pool of ideas and mechanics.

Read more entries! Work with other designers! Make more stuff! I’m so excited to see what you will come up with. Good luck!

~David

P.S. Marshall and I both agreed we wouldn’t use the challenge to advertise our own games. However if for some reason you haven’t found what you’re looking for among the thousands of 200 word games we both make some cool stuff as well.

Marshall’s games, and David’s games.