The poly-faceted ethical conundrums of Klik of the Month Klub

captaincabinets's picture

In KotMK #4, kirkjerk raised an interesting point with his totally brill Conway West. What is the general deal with game forethought in relation to the klub? I know that nothing in relation to trainwrecks of a ferociously glorious nature is technically frowned upon, but I still feel dirty when I have come up with my basic concept for KotMK 2 weeks before it happens (which I'll admit is what happened for pac-manly). And I have already come up with my idea for the next one, an action-puzzler called Serengetting Down in which you must guide gnus to the local Wildebeestie Boys concert.

Basically, my thoughts are that it is not really a good thing. It becomes more of a race against time to not leave out features (with forethought, you know basically what Klik n Play can accomodate, and what you can fit in in 2 hours), as oppose to a scenario where you are furiously coming up with ambitious designs and then refining and scrapping and redirecting and, well, hyper-crappening. The pirate kart worked well in this regard, because the sheer volume of games required in a short time meant that there was no way you could think. I guess, also, it was right at the start of my re-acquaintance with KnP, so I forgot what it could and couldn't do.

Don't get me wrong, I am not here to tell people not to think about the games beforehand. That would be stupid, domineering, double-standard-a-riffic, and well, wrong, because frankly I don't care whether people do or don't and I am head over heels in love with every piece of user-generated content on this site. But I am finding it a little bit of a problem, personally, for my brain to stop thinking, and I need to know how to klik the habit. Maybe I should actually follow the allotted time? Being early on sunday morning, the nausea and total lack of focus from another horror saturday night might help, or it may result in me spending the two hours writing an incredibly vivid and emotionally raw backstory, with nary a game mechanic in sight.

So what are people's thoughts regarding pre-planning of 2 hour trainwrecks? What should I do, Dr. Miracle? Has anyone else dipped their cup into the KotMK moral quagmire and found something else that tastes, well, brackish?


Pizza Time's picture

That Serengetting Down game sounds glorious

Personally I tend to plan ahead except for the Pirate Kart since thinking took a backseat to shovelware. Like, I came up with the idea for my Afterburner game almost straight after KotM #3, which in turn was going to be my final game for the Pirate Kart but I didn't have two hours to fit that in. So I rescheduled it. Even the original Metal Axe Warriors was something I had been kicking around for half a year prior.

I'm all for adequate planning and forethought, it's quite good and handy to get a crazy idea and then try to predict if it will fit in the time limit to see if you can go with it or have to do something else. I probably should admit though that I used the evil side of it with Highway Speed as I kind of cheated a bit by prototyping various elements so I could guarantee that I would be able to recreate them in the two hour timelimit. I intended on avoiding that for the recent KotM which is why I had to do Assassinatrix Adventure in forty minutes as Afterburner-clone wasn't even half finished by the time I had got to that point. I'd say it left a bad taste in my mouth but I'd be lying since everytime I look at those colourful graphics I just go giddy in my head.

kirkjerk's picture

So, obviously, I'm a bit in

So, obviously, I'm a bit in the "go ahead and think" camp, and have been tempted to tool around in KnP in the offseason, just to get a feel for what it can and can't do (esp. in terms of simultaneous sound samples) I've also been tempted to gather raw graphical materials for eventual import at the given time. But then, I approach Klik of the Month as more of a quick hit game jam to bust out new ideas and interactions, and less of a entertaining, unbridled multimedia exercise in off the wall wackiness.

Still, I try to be starting from close to scratch at game time.

Looking at some other time-limited creative events:
24 Hour Comics Day:

No sketches, designs, plot summaries or any other kind of direct preparation can precede the 24 hour period. Indirect preparation such as assembling tools, reference materials, food, music etc. is fine.

Outlines and plot notes are very much encouraged, and can be started months ahead of the actual novel-writing adventure. Previously written prose, though, is punishable by death.

I prefer the NaNoWriMo outlook.

And then there's the question, how do we feel about sequels and some of the Pirate-Kart-esque Sprite redesigns? I don't think we should stifle that outlet of potential creativity, but I wouldn't want it to become the major theme of a given month.

SpindleyQ's picture


FATHERHOOD: EPISODE ONE was planned out for a week or two in advance of my cranking it out. That was a game that needed to get out of my system, though.

(Incidentally, I was designing Childbirth: The Game in my head as my lovely wife was in labour; it was mostly focussed on rhythmic breathing through unbearable pain. HEE HEE HOOOOOO. The design soon became "Hit E for an epidural", though, which was absolutely the correct move as far as actually having the baby went, but kind of took the challenge out of it from a gameplay perspective.)

It seems kind of inevitable that regularly making little games makes you start coming up with more ideas, and the reckless abandon of the two hour time limit makes you a lot more fearless. That was kind of the original point; to help remove creative blocks. I had originally intended for that energy to transfer to larger projects (I still demand that "Hatworld: World of Hats" someday be made), but the medium of the short game has grown on me quite a bit, and I think now that if there are people here that only want to do two-hour games, more power to them. I do think that if you've got a project that you know you want to do, big or small, you should consider just doing it immediately, rather than waiting for a KotMK. (I heartily approve of your pioneering work in this regard, Señor Cabinets.)

The two most important tenants of the Klik of the Month Klub are:

  1. Failure is impossible. This site is about getting off your ass and making games, no matter what their objective quality. If you make anything within the two hours, you win. I don't care how awesome you might think the other entries are compared to yours. If you start finding it difficult to complete a game in two hours that lives up to your standards, it's time to roll those standards back. Preferably, remove them entirely, because:
  2. Fretting and indecision is outlawed. There's no time for that sort of thing. Flip a coin, make your design decision, and move on. No design choice is incorrect, because failure is impossible. If it doesn't work out, you've only lost two hours.

So I guess my stance is, do whatever helps you to make more games and take more creative risks. I think that for some people, just having a regular time and place to try things out is enough. Myself, I find it useful as practice for silencing that pesky inner critic that won't let me just write a shitty first draft. Just, you know, make some fucking games, and don't let yourself get bored of it.

captaincabinets's picture

Tnat childbirth game reminds

Tnat childbirth game reminds me of a game some guy proposed when he sent an amusing job application for some high up position in Nintendo America. The general idea was that after rescuing Peach, you can't shake the feeling that she is somehow "damaged goods", and you have to pretend to be asleep when you are lying with her at night and she wants to discuss the lack of intimacy. You press A rythmically keep your breathing steady. The hyper-cyber-web-link eludes me, however.

SpindleyQ's picture

That's Joey Comeau's

That's Joey Comeau's Overqualified! Nintendo letter here. Unfortunately he stopped actually sending them after this one caused the police to show up at his door.

captaincabinets's picture

god bless you.

god bless you.

SpindleyQ's picture

Also what does everyone

Also what does everyone think of perhaps having the KotMK occur more frequently?

kirkjerk's picture

well then it wouldn't

well then it wouldn't K*otM*, now, would it?

Sorry, thinking inside the box.

I dunno, what's the rationale for the change?
I'd like to see more of a turn out for each event, and am making plans to try and recruit a bit for the next one.
I guess I'd worry more occurrences would kind of dilute the pool a bit at this still somewhat delicate stage.

captaincabinets's picture

To be honest, I like it on a

To be honest, I like it on a monthly basis. But I may be a little biased since I already tend to make a game a week.

kirkjerk's picture

to quote grandma simpson

"I just want attention!"

It's odd but I realize I'm likely to postpone a possible trainwreck 'til KotM. In part because of the camaraderie, in part because of the attention of having an audience right there and then, and then the "shared" attention you get from being part of a group.

This is probably contrary to the spirit of what Glorious Trainwrecks would like to accomplish.

Then again, my Java work is probably more "G.T"ish than "KotM", if you know what I'm saying.