Revision of Santa in Spring?! from Mon, 04/06/2020 - 07:08

Thu, Apr 16 2020 05:00 PM
04/17/2020 - 00:00
05/15/2020 - 12:00

Santa in Spring?!

It's time for another Sekret Santa gift exchange.... in Spring?!

Yes, the last Sekret Santa in December 2019 didn't seem to generate as much enthusiasm as previous ones (with only around 50% of participants actually finishing their gift), so we got together as a community on the Altgamez Discord ( to discuss possible future changes to the event. This Springtime Santa Shindig is meant to be a "trial run" for new ideas!

Click here to jump down to the important dates and deadlines.


Sekret Santa is an event where the Glorious Trainwrecks community gets together to make gifts for each other! The gifts are usually video games, but you can also make other types of game, or drawings, or music, or any other gift-like object you can imagine. Here's how it works:

  1. Participants sign up and post wishlists describing what they want from their gift.
  2. After the signup period ends, each participant is secretly and randomly assigned another person's wishlist! The gift-making begins...
  3. When the event is over, you get to find out who was assigned your list, and hopefully also get a gift from them!
Additionally, participants will be divided into two teams. Each team gets a private Discord channel where they can chat and share their progress. The wishlists are assigned so that each person gets a wishlist from someone on the other team, so nobody knows who got their wishlist. Participating in your team's Discord is completely optional, but it might be more fun than making your gift alone!

I'm not an active member of Glorious Trainwrecks - should I participate?

Yes! Plenty of people who are new to the site or who only post occasionally join these events, and you can too.

What's New?

If you've participated in previous Sekret Santa events, you're probably curious what's different about this one. Here's the rundown:

  • Some previous Sekret Santa events have only been about "games" - we’re explicitly encouraging other forms of gifts this time around.
  • Wishlists have a simpler and more restrictive format. This is to encourage keeping gifts small in scope, and keeping the wishlists manageable to work with.
  • The time to make your gift is now one month, but it's divided into a three week "Gift Making" period and a one week "Final Touches" period. The idea is that you should finish as much of your gift as you can in three weeks, and spend the last week just preparing whatever you have for release!
  • You can join as a "Backup Santa" if you aren't certain about participating, but might be willing to help fill a request if someone has to drop out.
  • You can join as one of "Santa's Faireys" if you don't want to participate, but want to be able to hang out in the secret team Discord channels and provide support.
  • After the wishlists and teams are assigned, people on the same team are allowed to trade wishlists if they mutually agree that they would prefer the other person's list. (This might have happened in past years but now it's an official rule!)

How To Sign Up

There are three roles you can sign up for: Springtime Santa, Backup Santa, and Santa's Fairey. To sign up, make a comment below with which role you want, and for the Springtime Santa role, include a wishlist (as described in the Wishlist section below).

Here's how each role works:

  • Springtime Santa: This role is for people who want to make a gift. You will be assigned another person's wishlist and you are making a commitment to make a gift for that person, barring extraordinary circumstances.
  • Backup Santa: This role is intended for people who are on the fence about participating. You will be allowed to view both team Discord channels. If a Springtime Santa is unable to finish their gift, you can step in and take over the wishlist. You aren't obligated to do this (for example, it’s fine if you end up being too busy) but choosing this role indicates that you are potentially willing and able to.
  • Santa's Fairey: This role is intended for people who do not want to participate, but want to support participants. You will be allowed to view both team Discord channels. You can take over abandoned wishlists just like a Backup Santa, but there is no expectation you do so.
No matter which role you choose, please don't leak information about who was assigned each wishlist! It is meant to be secret (sekret?)


We're trying out a limited wishlist format for this event. Each participant is limited to up to three phrases, each with up to five words. You can make multiple wishlists if you want to give your Santa more options, but the expectation is that your Santa will only choose one of the lists.

In your wishlists, avoid restrictions on format ("video game", "board game", "3D game", "music album"). Also, be careful about asking for specific game genres ("platformer", "first person shooter") or game mechanics closely tied to a genre ("double jump"). If your Santa doesn't know how to do a particular genre, or wants to make a non-game gift, they may just ignore that part of your request!

Here is an example of a wishlist:

  • Cute kittens
  • A big forest to explore
  • Inaccessible items
It's okay to steer your list towards things of a video-gamey nature, since likely most participants will be making a video game gift, but try to leave some room to interpret it in a different form of media. (I would love to hear a song about kittens trying to reach inaccessible items while exploring a big forest)

If you're assigned a wishlist you find too difficult, you are allowed to trade wishlists with someone else on your team! Ideally this should be done as soon as possible after wishlists are assigned, before people get too deep into their gifts.

If you are struggling with certain aspects of your wishlist, and you can't find anyone to trade with, it's okay to leave some parts of the wishlist out of your gift, but do your best to meet the request!

Making Your Gift

Once you're assigned a wishlist, you can start making your gift! You will have three weeks to do most of the making, and one extra week to wrap it up nicely. The three week period is called "Gift Making" and the one week period is called "Final Touches".

Ideally, by the end of the "Gift Making" period, your gift should be in a state where it would be ready to give to the recipient, if you had to. For example, if it's a game, it should be playable from start to finish, but maybe missing stuff like a title screen and ending. If it's a music album, maybe all the songs are recorded but you don't have album art.

The "Final Touches" period is where you prepare your gift for release. Take whatever you got done in the "Gift Making" period and wrap it up nicely - add that title screen, make that album art, whatever you need to do to be comfortable with giving it out.

A recommendation: just because you have 3+1 weeks doesn't mean you need to go all out and make a mega-gift. Small gifts will be appreciated too, and are more likely to be finished! Instead of planning to use the whole three weeks, try to find a shorter amount of time within the Gift Making period (say one week, or even a weekend) where you will make your gift.

Sharing Your Gift

After the Final Touches period is over, you should give your gift to its recipient! You can send them a private message on Glorious Trainwrecks, or ping them on the Altgamez Discord if they use it. You can also post it in this event if you want to make it public and let other people check it out!

If your gift ended up unfinished and you don't feel comfortable sharing it publicly, that's okay. Let your giftee know and send them whatever you can - unfinished work, development screenshots, future plans. They'll appreciate knowing!

Altgamez Discord

If you aren't already on the Altgamez Discord, come check it out!

Lots of people from the Glorious Trainwrecks community hang out there, and there's a #sekret-santa channel to talk about the more public aspects of the event (anything about specific wishlists or gifts should go in the private team Discords until Gift Sharing Day has come).

Dates and Deadlines

Signup: Now until Thursday, April 16
Gift Making: Thursday, April 16 until Thursday, May 7 (Three weeks)
Final Touches: Thursday, May 7 until Thursday, May 14 (One week)
Gift Sharing Day: Friday, May 15
(Don't pay attention to the specific hours I set for the event, I'm not sure exactly what hour of the day Signup will end or Gift Sharing Day will start or whatever, but I'll try to be lenient about it!)

GIF from

That's all I have.... go forth and Sant!

Games made for Santa in Spring?!