I ran the 72 Hour Game Development Competition between 2004 and 2008, covering over 8 competitions and spawning well over 100 games. My recent free time has left me contemplating kicking another one off (I probably won’t), but I’ve also been going back over the experience in general.

For the uninitiated, the competition encouraged teams of up to three people to create a game in three days. The game would follow a theme that everyone voted on, and at the end “winners” were determined via peer voting.

You would be amazed at what a focused group can accomplish in three days.

I won’t go through all the teams or point at all the high quality entries, but I think The GameDev Guys perfectly illustrate the capacity for quality and creativity under pressure. This was a team that consistently made stellar games, games which you might confuse for professional indie games.

Games weren’t the only product of the competition. There were “fake trailers” and songs and jokes; people had a lot of fun with the community. It was also a great opportunity for networking. I met fantastic artists and engineers and musicians. Some I’d never work with again. Some who could do the impossible and I wouldn’t hesitate to work with them given the chance.

So why am I not running another one? Well, it’s a lot of work. More so since the site was obliterated by spammers. There are time constraints on people that used to help out. Even I still have time constraints. The time it would take to create a site and get things ready is not insignificant. It’s worth it, but just not an investment I’ve been willing to make for a while.

This post is meandering and babbly; Just thinking back…

Can we please play Last Night on Earth?