Voiceover: One year ago, a man’s fantasy became reality in a form never seen before: Coding Stadium. The motivation for spending his fortune to create Coding Stadium was to inspire innovation in game development, and observe the making of games which could be called true artistic creations.

To realize his dream, he sent invitations to the top men and women in the field of game development, challenging them to claim the title of Iron GameDev. The challengers have just forty-eight hours to create a complete game from start to finish. Using all their skills, senses and creativity, they are to create games never experienced before!

And if they emerge victorious, they will claim the title of Iron GameDev and receive the people’s ovation and fame forever! Every battle, reputations are on the line, where master game developers pit their artistic creations against each other. The heat will be on!

Chairman Kaga: If I recall correctly, it was just one year ago that, having experienced fifteen years worth of exquisite cuisine, my palate became bored and I turned my attention to that other obsession of my people: video games! My mind began to turn as I imagined how I might be able to do for the development of games what my Kitchen Stadium had done for cuisine, and I realized that a similar format might produce similar results. Thus, this is our first battle in Coding Stadium. The format of the competition is simple – using provided computers and resources, two teams of three developers each will have only forty-eight consecutive hours to produce new games that I have never experienced before.

Now it is time to introduce the teams that will compete for the title of Iron GameDev. I could not be more pleased with the response I received from the game industry, and I have two superb teams today.

I present to you…TEAM ENSEMBLE!

(The curtain rises and smoke billows out, obscuring the forms of three men. They are ROB FERMIER, SANDY PETERSON and LANCE HOKE. They step forward and cross their arms.)

Chairman Kaga: Rob Fermier, programmer on System Shock and lead programmer of Age of Mythology. Sandy Peterson, designer of the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game, designer on Doom, designer on Quake, and designer on all three of the Age series of games. Lance Hoke, lead artist of Age of Mythology. They will represent Ensemble Studios in this battle. They are worthy warriors, with many excellent games under their belts. They deserve a worthy opponent, and I believe I have found one.


(The right curtain rises and three men step out of the backlit smoke. They are ANDY BOND, ROB PARDO and SAM DIDIER.)

Chairman Kaga: Andy Bond, programmer on Diablo II, Warcraft III, and World of Warcraft. Rob Pardo, designer on Warcraft II, StarCraft, Warcraft III and World of Warcraft. Sam Didier, the artist who came up with Warcraft’s unique look. These men will represent Blizzard.

Fukui-San: And now let’s introduce today’s judges. In the first chair we have Richard Garriott, founder of Origin Systems and creator of the Ultima series of games.

Richard Garriott: Great to be here.

Fukui-San: In the second chair we have Alex Seropian, one of the founders of Bungie.

Alex Seropian: It’s an honor to be here.

Fukui-San: And in the third we have Chris Taylor, founder of Cavedog and creator of Total Annihilation.

Chris Taylor: I’ve really been looking forward to this.

Fukui-San: Gentlemen, welcome to GameDev Stadium! I’d say there’s just as much talent up here as there is down there; you guys could form a team of your own!

Richard, Alex and Chris: (LAUGHTER)

Fukui-San: And of course, our commentator, Dr. Yukio Hattori.

Hattori-San: Always a pleasure.

Fukui-San: Doc, the change in format here has been dramatic! Since this is our first battle in Coding Stadium, let’s go over what the new competition entails.

Hattori-San: Very well. Instead of choosing a stable of game developers, like he did Iron Chefs, the Chairman has chosen to invite game development companies to send teams of three people each to compete in the stadium. We recommend a mix of one coder, one designer and one artist, but the actual makeup of the team is up to the company.

We have outfitted the stadium with three identical computers for each team, each preloaded with an identical loadout of the most popular compilers, 3D modeling software, image processing software, music creation software and level editors. The developers must use what is on the machines – they are not allowed to bring in anything from the outside. Nor will they be allowed internet access for the duration of the battle.

Since the competition takes so long, we have also provided places for the teams to eat, sleep, watch TV and play video games. Once the competition is over and the winner has been announced, both games, along with their sources, will be available on the internet.

And yes, the teams will be given a theme for their games by the Chairman that they must follow.

Fukui-San: That sounds fantastic, but I gotta ask: with so little time, won’t the developers just come up with derivative games using tried-and-true mechanics?

Hattori-San: Well, that’s always a risk, just like it was in Kitchen Stadium, but the Chairman is hoping that the severe time limit will force developers to boil their games down to their essences, allowing the purest form of the art to shine through – as often happened in Kitchen Stadium. Okay, the Chairman is ready to announce today’s theme.

Chairman Kaga: I thought long and hard about today’s theme. Both of your companies specialize in real-time strategy games, so it was my initial decision to give you something completely unrelated, like first-person shooters. But that would have been…too obvious. I finally decided on a theme related to your specialities, but with its own quirks. Today’s theme is…TURN-BASED STRATEGY!

(DRAMATIC MUSIC plays. The members of both teams look SHOCKED.)

Fukui-San: All right, a definite change of pace in the battle today, the Chairman choosing turn-based strategy as the theme, the teams are in place, let’s get it on!


And then I wake up 🙁