You Are Games:
Pick Your Theme

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You Are Games

PsychotronicLast week, we asked you all a question: "What should the theme of the next Flash game design competition be?" The response has been amazing. Nearly 340 replies later, we hear you loud and clear. Emerging from the shadows of the internet, casting aside your cloaking devices, raising megaphones to eager lips, you have cried as though with one voice: "More games about giant flaming monkeys!"

Who are we to resist the tide, odd as the choice may seem. It is our pleasure to announce the theme for Casual Gameplay Design Competition #6: Giant Flam...

...actually wait. Hold on a tic. It occurs to us that there may be even more readers out there, with even more opinions, too busy to post their own ideas, but not too shy to click a box sitting next to a word.

So let's have a poll!

casual gameplay design competition 1casual gameplay design competition 2casual gameplay design competition 3casual gameplay design competition 4casual gameplay design competition 5casual gameplay design competition 6

Your assignment this week on You Are Games is to vote for the theme of the next Casual Gameplay Design Competition. Choose up to 10 theme candidates from the master list, which is composed entirely of your suggestions. The poll will close on Sunday evening at midnight, August 2nd.

Take note: there's a lead-up question that asks whether you are planning to participate as a player or a game developer, and the follow-up question will be different depending on your choice. We're trying to get a better picture of what our readers are interested in. Players get to choose what kind of games they like to play, while developers can indicate what motivates them to enter a competition like this. After you've answered the multiple-choice question in the poll, we'd appreciate it if you'd share your thoughts about those topics here in the comments.

The big list is the same one that Donut compiled last week, which was in turn based on the compilations by Cy Reb and Peelz. Once again, we can't thank you three enough for taking the ball and running with it. With the response we got last week, we're more excited than ever to be holding another competition.

Take the Casual Gameplay Design Competition #6 Theme Poll.

68 Comments, I mean, poll complete! Great idea, having a poll, and I think there are some really great ideas in there. Looking forward to this.


I could have sworn "Evolution" was a suggested theme....


Voted. I have a bad feeling that JiG Players won't take their voting power seriously and "Giant Flaming Monkeys" will win by a landslide :)

Forsythe July 30, 2009 3:38 AM

I went for the more "anti-gaming" options, fwiw - my baby "Failure", and other themes that challenge the status-quo of "progression"-based themes.


Well, zug, I should have read your comment _before_ I voted ...

benhere July 30, 2009 4:10 AM

Wouldn't it have been more appropriate to have used the services of

Klondike July 30, 2009 4:12 AM

Personally I hope it's sandbox..

Though I wish Absorb/Evolution had been included as choices, most of my favorites were there.


Was the stock of received suggestions sifted some way? Just asking, because I don't seem to see my two suggestions ("room escape with a twist" and "simple idea")

Not a big loss though, I could easily find 10 ideas that I liked.

Looking forward to CGDC #6.


delzoup July 30, 2009 5:09 AM

My first choice wasn't on the list :( But there was plenty to choose from. Although, I would like a counter on the "choose 10 page"... but then I guess that makes me lazy :p

BlackWolfe Coyoten July 30, 2009 5:16 AM

Poll complete. Lots of GREAT suggestions! (And a few silly ones that took effort to avoid clicking.)

Makrone July 30, 2009 5:25 AM

I think having a poll on our own suggestions is a great idea. I'm a Player, not a Developer, and this way it feels like I get to take part in the developing.
Hope to see the top 10 list when the winner is announced, I'm curios of what the most popular choices are.
I do wish all of the suggestions had made it to the poll, though.

@Zug: I was thinking exactly the same, I didn't vote for GFM, but was veeeery tempted ;)


I'd love to enter the competition as a Developer this time. I haven't actually made any games yet, but I'm willing to try. So I completed the survey as a 'Developer'. Great ideas in there :) Can't it be sunday already, so I know what the theme will be? ;)


BioLarzen: I should imagine "Room escape with a twist" was merged into "room escape" and "simple idea" has pretty much been done.

And yeah, I bet Giant Flaming Monkeys wins because everyone will vote for it for comedy.

Maybe combine the second theme with giant flaming monkeys?

ThemePark July 30, 2009 8:32 AM

Or you could just acknowledge that Giant Flying Monkeys was just mentioned as a joke, and that it's fine to include it on the list as a joke, but that it is obviously not going to be the theme, even if it gets the most votes.

I was also tempted to vote for it, but decided to take this poll seriously instead.

Regardless, the top 10 is a good idea, but no matter whether or not GFM places there, it would be fun to know what place and how many votes it got. :D


Am I the only one who wanted a platform theme? It drives me crazy that all the games coming out now are so complicated that, in my opinion, they lose the fun!


I just want to say that even though (as a number of people have mentioned) crowds generally don't get much accomplished, or don't get quality work done, or whatever, I still think the extensive fan/player input on this game competition is an excellent idea and a fun experiment. Kudos to JIG for implementing it.


I think "Evolution" would have been a great theme, but I didnt see it there either D:. That would have been great, an evolving sandbox webtoy sort of thing ^^


Even though Giant Flaming Monkeys was tempting to select (a temptation I did manage to resist), I would certainly prefer it not win.

But maybe, right next to "Most innovative design" and "Most fun," "Best use of Giant Flaming Monkeys" can make its way as one of the categories for awards for the developers.


Seriously, I do hope that GFM is a mere joke entry - while it is a humurous theme to have, I'm not exactly looking forward to play a dozen games about Giant Flaming Monkeys.


I think it's a long shot, but I'm really holding out for Cheese to win. :P

Anonymous July 30, 2009 10:37 AM

One of the categories I voted for was humor, I hope to see it as thoughtful-make-a-joke-of-today-humor, kind of like in the-game (The one where youhave to jump off of the platform.) I thought GFM was a horrible idea as well, I hope that it won't win. It's not even a funny joke on JIGs part. Monkeys are so overrated. Degrade seemed like a good idea as well, I wonder how the developers would take in the idea, how they would make a game based upon that.

meester man July 30, 2009 10:47 AM

It's too bad I was too late to suggest Chuck Norris. But I suggested evil, and that's pretty good.



I voted for craft, build, economy, rts, and ummmmmmmmmmmm,the one above rts

Anonymous July 30, 2009 11:07 AM

Come on, guys, obviously Giant Flaming Monkeys isn't going to win. Even if it did, the JiG staff would just mark it off as a joke vote. Anyway, I suspect there'll be several more rounds of voting to thin down the many, many options, and enormous combusting primates just don't have that kind of lasting appeal.

sonicrulez July 30, 2009 11:09 AM

i did my part peanut butter jelly time peanut buter jelly time whale whale


Are you going to announce a winner from this poll? Or is this to eliminate a majority of suggestions so that we could vote again?


I voted developer! And lets have a go at one button and island, those look like fun choices.

kenshiro July 30, 2009 1:19 PM

Wow, that's a lot of themes! I kind of had all 10 of my votes go to the ones at the end because that's where I started. I think I may have seen some already-used themes in there, too.
My most wanted one is either stealth or sanity.

Maybe someone can combine them into a game with an assassin slowly losing his mind and the targets start loking like monsters or something.

mick0305 July 30, 2009 1:28 PM

man, i love cheese


I probably should have said above: the ones I actively hope against are the ones like "Room escape" where what's being given is a particular genre. I'd rather see how developers can incorporate an overall theme (like "evolution") into whatever genre they choose.

mike_311 July 30, 2009 1:40 PM

Escape games...

Kurious July 30, 2009 1:40 PM

I chose only 6 options instead of 10. I voted for themes that I like that I believe can yield a wide variety of interpretations and originality.

4-8-15-16-23-42 July 30, 2009 1:42 PM

Whoever suggested Lost, I am now forever in your debt. I hope Lost wins so that there is a flash remake of the Lost video game.

necroman July 30, 2009 1:44 PM

I voted for Customize obviously, but as long as it's something that really involves the player as more than just a person controlling the protagonists actions, I'm sure I'll love the results. :3


If GFM wins then I'm boycotting this competition.


@Tahnan: I dunno, I think a platform game with a room escape theme is not only doable, but would probably be fun to play. I can also readily imagine using the room escape theme in a hidden object game, a shmup (the levels would be rooms, essentially), an arcade game (breakout, anyone?)... So while a room-escape game would be a valid interpretation of a "room escape" theme, it's not the only possibility.

ShodoKat July 30, 2009 2:13 PM

Ah, I'm so excited for CGDC#6 . I think my idea was on the list. I really appreciate that they listen to us, it makes me feel like I'm not wasting my time. Thank you JIG.


What does RTS mean?

I'm sure it'll be really obvious, too...


I can't remember the exact 10 I voted, but I'm hoping it ends up as Failure or Reversal. I've got some ideas of stuff to do for them. Hoping to enter this competition, it was so much fun and excitement last time. I was beginning to worry we'd never see CGDC6! :P

Cheers to all of JIG for announcing this competition and holding this poll for the theme. I hope to make a better entry this time around, now I don't have the hectic schedule I had last time this competition was about! :D

Also, @Shudog - Real Time Strategy, I believe.


*face + palm*

domthepeng July 30, 2009 2:46 PM

Hey, wait a second! Nintendo beat us to it! They already made games with Giant Flaming Monkeys!émon)

ThemePark July 30, 2009 3:07 PM

I wouldn't mind if the theme was room escape. It would certainly give JiG enough games for the next many Wednesdays. XD

But seriously, I think it would be a good theme, because people would know what to expect, and would have something to measure up against. Besides, with the many horrible room escape games that are out there, I'm sure that the people who don't like them, can come up with something better.

Plus I have lots of ideas for room escape games. XD


I'm a little baffled as to why surrealism wasn't on there.

In any case, I'm really hoping for some interactive art or something story-centered.


Why wasnt evolution on the main list?

Anonymous July 30, 2009 3:37 PM

The Infernape reference was much appreciated! It's not all that giant, though, even if it is both a monkey and on fire.

I used all my ten options. There are a lot of good ideas there, a lot of interesting ideas... I can slim them down on later rounds.


Something I did got mentioned in a post! YAY FOR ME!!! And Giant Flaming Monkeys was a joke. What kind of bozo would post something like that seriously?


I suggested Giraffe and that's not there either.

I hope GFM does win in order to force people to be creative with what seems a very narrow brief.

We won't get 20,000 clones, I can almost guarantee it - the developers who enter the JIG competitions are WAAAY more inventive than that.


I had to write things down and make cuts -- my first-pass of "ooh, that's a cool theme" had 37 things on it. Getting down to 10 was tough! Looks like it's going to be a great competition.

Xylozex July 30, 2009 5:25 PM

GFM, I'm pretty sure, isn't going to win. I voted for Explore, Platform, stuff like Destroy and De-evolve, and Stealth.


Vote cast!

However, "Game Over" wasn't on the list (suggested by rkr7), and I thought it would have been a great theme.

Harukio July 30, 2009 8:12 PM

I'd love to see a game (even if this doesn't end up being the CGDC theme) of devolution where the gameplay simplifies AND gets more entertaining and difficult at the same time.

I voted before reading this entry so I ended up voting for Giant Flaming Monkeys as my 1 joke vote.

I'm really hoping whatever the theme is that the games submitted have random easter egg flaming monkeys ;)

Softbagel14 July 30, 2009 8:18 PM

Wow!! amazing list.
I might have accidentally chose more than ten.... but there were so many good ideas!
I remember choosing breaking the fourth wall, pandoras box, dream, discovery, multiple endings, freedom, survival and simulation.

It would have been easier if we could have chosen ten of them we didn't like and then chose again from those results haha. I agree, playing game after game with giant flaming monkeys would be rather annoying.
I should have submitted ideas!


Fun Fact: Did you know that there are over 150 themes on the list? It's true!

Also, I too could have sworn that "Evolution" was in there. Whoops. But hey, it's not like there aren't any other good entries listed, right? Sure, some of them are just jokes (GFM, I'm talking to you), and others don't leave much space for interpretation, but most of the themes would have really interesting outcomes.


A lesson from improv comedy re: Giant Flaming Monkeys: When you get a "bad" suggestion, use it in an amazing way. It might be tougher, but given the talent and creativity of people who have entered the competition in the past, I suspect that if GFM were somehow selected, there would be at least some entries that managed to use the theme to produce some pretty special results.

It probably isn't the ideal choice, but I don't think it would be devastating for the competition either.

TinyToaster July 31, 2009 1:54 AM

It was not easy picking ten out of that huge list. I took the time to go through the whole list, one by one, comparing themes with each other, until I was sure I had the ones I wanted.

I noticed that I stayed away from specific genres as themes as well; more than anything, I like originality in the games I play, so I generally chose the more vague, philosophical themes that could be applied to gameplay or setting/theme. Naming specific genres would get too many clones (although I guess that's not a bad thing for people who really like a specific genre), and I'd like to see how various game developers would interpret some of the more intriguing themes on there.

And I'll jump on the bandwagon and also say I hope JIS doesn't let Giant Flaming Monkeys win, although I wouldn't mind seeing one game with that as a theme.

chipmunk July 31, 2009 2:19 PM

Wow, it was hard choosing just 10 entries from that list. I think I initially checked around 20 entries, and then had to narrow down my preferences.

Most likely JIG will collect all our votes, then ignore them and go with Giant Flaming Monkeys anyway. ;)

Cheesy One July 31, 2009 2:35 PM

I suppose a simple way to make sure that people take the theme seriously is to hold a second poll which holds the favorite five or ten results. This would make it easier to get rid of joke votes, and it would also mean that more people agree on the top choice.

ThyPhysicist July 31, 2009 2:37 PM

Vote carefully, think of the people who are going to participate.


We are not going to comment on our plans until after the voting has completed.

I will say that we have received about 2500 survey responses so far.

Our kind thanks to everyone for participating! :)


The yearly Toronto Game Jam (which I help organize) uses themes.
People aren't forced to use them, but most do.

In 2008, we chose "Cheese" (a JIGs option)
Worked great! Stand-outs uses of Cheese theme:
Cheese is WAR, Super Cheese Repulser, Goats Amore

Almost everyone took the theme theme literally which is somewhat of a shame considering the possibility of "cheesey" games. Very curious what theme will "win".

GraemeSH August 1, 2009 2:19 AM

Hey sanity/insanity choice I made was not in the list, and I added it before the end of the 26th day. I demand a recount.

GraemeSH August 1, 2009 3:15 PM

And what about my other idea, Surrealism? Surely that is a good enough idea.

vwarcraft August 2, 2009 3:45 PM

My favorites would be bosses and/or multiple endings... it's fun to try and find the good and bad endings of each game

GraemeSH August 2, 2009 3:54 PM

Woops, my mistake, sorry about that. Sanity was there, but just not insanity along with it. My mistake. Surrealism was not in there though, I'm sure of it.


I voted developer.


Vote Retro! (thats mine)

coolpilot August 3, 2009 3:37 PM

The poll is closed ALREADY?! And I wanted to vote...

Paulette307 August 7, 2009 7:00 PM

FLAMING MONKEYS is so generic that it must be a joke! No one in their right mind would want a monkey on the logo! Surreal makes more sense because there are so many things you can do do with it and Nintendo has a monkey.


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