Picking outfits, buying condoms, setting mood music - the sixth annual design challenge contest at GDC tasked panelists with thinking up a game about "your first time." What didn't win? "Zack & Miri Make a Portal."
The Game Design Challenge, a staple of the conference, brings in top designers to grapple with a quirky challenge posed by the forum's host, Eric Zimmerman. In this case, make a game that captures the goofiness, romance and good ol' horny nostalgia of losing one's virginity. CNET attended and reported on the challenge in great detail.
Two women, Heather Kelley and Erin Robinson, won for their concept, essentially a series of minigames from a young woman's perspective. They only had 36 hours to get their ideas in place. They included.
• A date-outfit selection game, in which the goal is to pick one that isn't so complicated it klutzes up the eventual disrobing. "Nothing with zippers that get stuck, or too many buttons or ties."
• Leg-shaving - definitely making use of the Wiimote.
• Dinner - Selecting items that don't have garlic and getting the clueless boyfriend to order them.
• After-dinner music. Protip: Smooth jazz!
• Buying condoms at a drugstore.
• Making the first move.
• Then, correctly dialing your best friend to gab about it, making sure not to accidentally dial Mom or Grandmom on speed dial instead.
They beat out defending 2008 champ, and creator of Leather Goddesses of Phobos, Steve Meretzsky. His concepts began with the usual array of puns and double entendres - "Hump Hump Revolution," "Where's Dildo," and "Call of Booty." He thought about "Zack & Miri Make a Portal," but "my business people tell me paying licenses for two different (intellectual properties) is a non-starter."
In the end, Meretzsky opted for something a little more sweet and a lot more mature, a Second-Life type of game, oriented to teens, called "Wait, time passes."
"No matter how picked on you are," Meretzsky said, "this too shall pass. Your time will come, and you will find happiness and your place in the world."