This jam is now over. It ran from 2020-12-01 08:00:00 to 2021-01-02 08:00:00. View 14 entries

Game designers talk shop a _lot_. We have discords, twitters, zoom calls, blogs private messages, the list goes on. What we don't have is centralized place where people can find and share that knowledge easily. Sure, there are things like GDC, where people are pumped for money to learn how to make micro-transactions better at pumping people for money, and there are academic games conferences where people talk about games in a conceptual way.

For some people those are fine. But for people who want to hear other designer's ideas, there isn't a great way to find cheap reading material.

Enter: Game Design Essay Jam

The prompt here is straightforward: write about any aspect of game design that strikes your fancy. It could be a concept that you want more people to hear about, it could be a specific mechanic from a specific game. I don't care! Take that good, juicy thought, and turn it into something that people can read, watch or listen to. Essay is a very loose term. 

Some potential submissions:

  • A Zine
  • A Voice Recording
  • A Powerpoint or Presi
  • A Game
  • A Video
  • A Website
  • A Really Insightful Napkin Sketch
  • A Series of Tweets, converted to a .txt
  • A Plain old Essay, I guess!???

Seriously, go ham.


The goal here is to have a bunch of accessible, democratized thoughts about design, so please keep the following in mind:

  1. No Fascists, Racists, Homophobes, Transphobes, Bigots, etc. or any material supporting the preceding will be allowed. If I find out you or your essay is causing harm, I reserve the right to take anything off the jam page without warning.
  2. Give Trigger Warnings if you're showing or quoting distressing, graphic, or intense material.
  3. MAKE YOUR ESSAY FREE, PAY WHAT YOU CAN, OR RELEASE IT WITH COMMUNITY COPIES. I know we're all trying to eat, but hoarding knowledge only stratifies the industry and slows us down. We don't need another Jstor or GDC. Linking to your paid projects inside your essay is totally OK.


All submissions

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y'all keep talking about TTRPGS bein therapy but w no methodology let's fix that
A primer for amateur designers to make their first Blades in the Dark hack
A short essay on how start making games for free! (with template links)
A collection of Tweets that would have been helpful as a newbie in the TTRPG scene
an incomplete guide to creating a kickstarter campaign.
An essay about how to make tabletop games capture genre fiction
An essay by a philosophy Ph.D. on games, philosophy, and the connections between them
An essay about balance in tabletop rpg design.
A heuristic theory for modeling and visualizing effects on player interactions of various game designs.
a series of essays i wrote as an anthro major about ttrpgs, perpetually updated
A Rambling Essay On Table Top Roleplaying Game Design
design advices, text in progress
A short essay on the use of dice
A Categorization and Analysis of Game System and Fantasy Structures