Question of the Month: an update for the rest of 2019

The Question of the Month started in February 2017 after a conversation with several blogging mates. We entered into some friendly competition to see who could come up with the best answer to a gaming-related quandary; and for 2018, we reached out to the community to ask fellow bloggers to pose the monthly question and invited everyone to join us.

2019 was all change again when we attempted to create The Ultimate Video Game, with each new month being focused on a different game element. We started off in January with a setting and theme; moved onto the protagonist in February; covered the antagonist in March; and then began looking at the plot in April. Chris from OverThinker Y and I had the pleasure of reading some extremely creative entries and welcoming talented writers into our online ‘development team’.

Super Mario 3D World, video game, game over, Princess Peach, Mario, Luigi, Toad

Sadly though, the QotM series has run its course and after much deliberation we must announce that last month’s challenge will be the last for a while. This isn’t a decision we’ve come to lightly. There are too many other things going on in the community right now, several blogging companions have chosen to take a much-needed break from their sites to focus on personal matters, and other factors have meant that it just isn’t the right time for The Ultimate Video Game.

Who knows: it may return in the future and be better than ever but Chris, myself and the rest of the team feel that it’s appropriate to postpone its development further at present. We’re not looking at this as a failure however – we tried something new and have learnt a lot from the experience, even making some new friends along the way! Blogging is all about pushing yourself, trying new things and continuously learning, and this collaboration has enabled us to do that.

Before it ends though, we’d like to give a few shout-outs to some special people:

  • Ian from Adventure Rules – the man who inspired it all. This blogger deserves a medal for all the hard work he puts into his community events and it has been an absolute pleasure working for him. We’re looking forward to the next Blogger Blitz already.
  • Luke from Hundstrasse, Brandon from That Green Dude and TriformTrinity – very talented writers who were selected as winners and then invited to join the team. You guys are awesome and we’re looking forward to working with you on other projects.
  • Katie from Musings of a nitpicking girl – this girl is amazing. She created a version of The Ultimate Video Game that we’ve all been eagerly following each month and it’s a one we’d all love the chance to play. Maybe one day that may become a reality.
  • Nana from NANA MARFO – a blogger that has participated in every Question of the Month since the beginning of the year and shows so much enthusiasm at a young age. The dream of becoming a developer and running an indie studio is surely within reach.
     

    This isn’t the end of the development team, for we have a few other collaboration ideas currently in discussion so you may see something new in the very near future. In the meantime, a huge thank you to everyone who has supported the Question of the Month series – you’re all winners to us!

  • Question of the Month: April 2019 edition

    2019’s Question of the Month series will see bloggers come together in a virtual development studio. Every month we’ll be asking brave volunteers to come forward and share their ideas for a single element of a title, so all the winning answers from the community can be blended together at the end of the year to create a title to overshadow all others: The Ultimate Video Game! Read on to find out more along with how you can take part.


    The development team so far:

  • Ian from Adventure Rules
  • Chris from OverThinker Y
  • Luke from Hundstrasse (winner of settings and themes)
  • Brandon from That Green Dude (winner of the protagonist)
  • TriformTrinity (winner of the antagonist)
  • Kim from Later Levels

  • The game so far:

  • January 2019:   settings and themes
  • February 2019:   the protagonist
  • March 2019:   the antagonist
  • April 2019:   announced below
  • May 2019:   to be revealed
  • June 2019:   to be revealed
  • July 2019:   to be revealed
  • August 2019:   to be revealed
  • September 2019:   to be revealed
  • October 2019:   to be revealed
  • November 2019:   to be revealed
  • December 2019:   press release for The Ultimate Video Game

  • This month’s game element:

    April’s game element is: the plot.

    Video games are really good at telling stories and it’s one of the reasons we love playing them as much as we do. So what saga will The Ultimate Video Game share? It will obviously need to incorporate January’s setting, February’s protagonist and March’s villain. But will it be an epic tale with many twists, turns, intrigues and mysteries, which will keep the player on the edge of their seats; or will it be a much simpler yarn that’s comforting to play after a long day at work?

    Let us know what your version of The Ultimate Video Game is about. You can share as much or as little detail as you’d like but give us a sense of the story a player will experience as they progress through it. If you see gameplay mechanics as being tied to the story feel free to touch on that in your post, but be aware that we’ll be asking about this game element in a later month so don’t give away too much detail right now!

    The rules:

  • You can join in with the competition by coming up with a narrative that incorporates the world defined in January’s winning entry, February’s hero and March’s evil antagonist, to help create a collaborative version of The Ultimate Video Game. April’s winner will be picked from these entries and Chris wonderfully explains how this will work in this post.
  • Alternatively, if you’d like to join in just for fun then tell us about the plot for your own ultimate video game. Use the elements you created previously or start afresh if this is your first month! You won’t be eligible to win but you may receive a special mention if we like your idea.

  • Whether you’re joining in for competition or fun, try to focus on the single element for the current month in your answer and not cover other areas. Concentrate on the plot only for now!
  • There are no guidelines on word-limit or format so you can be as creative as you like: write a post, record a video, create a drawing, or impress us with another unique style.
  • Publish your idea for this month’s element on your blog or social media channels by 25 April 2019 and leave us a link in the comments below.
  • Submittals will then be discussed by the development team above, and the winner announced in a commentary post over on OverThinker Y on 28 April 2019.
  • The winning blogger will be invited to join our development team on Discord so they can help select future winners – and they’ll receive an exclusive badge to display on their site.

  • Good luck to everybody who’d like to take part this month. We’re looking forward to hearing your ideas for The Ultimate Video Game!

    Question of the Month: March 2019 edition

    2019’s Question of the Month series will see bloggers come together in a virtual development studio. Every month we’ll be asking brave volunteers to come forward and share their ideas for a single element of a title, so all the winning answers from the community can be blended together at the end of the year to create a title to overshadow all others: The Ultimate Video Game! Read on to find out more along with how you can take part.


    The development team so far:

  • Ian from Adventure Rules
  • Chris from OverThinker Y
  • Luke from Hundstrasse (winner of settings and themes)
  • Brandon from That Green Dude (winner of the protagonist)
  • Kim from Later Levels

  • The game so far:

  • January 2019:   settings and themes
  • February 2019:   the protagonist
  • March 2019:   announced below
  • April 2019:   to be revealed
  • May 2019:   to be revealed
  • June 2019:   to be revealed
  • July 2019:   to be revealed
  • August 2019:   to be revealed
  • September 2019:   to be revealed
  • October 2019:   to be revealed
  • November 2019:   to be revealed
  • December 2019:   press release for The Ultimate Video Game

  • This month’s game element:

    March’s game element is: the antagonist.

    Almost all games are about overcoming some sort of obstacle. Whatever kind of gameplay The Ultimate Video Game have, it’ll involve February’s protagonist interacting with something in order to achieve a goal and the antagonist stands in the way of that. They might be threatening the world featured in January’s setting, maybe they’re a more personal rival – or perhaps the main baddie is simply the frustration of matching three sweets in a row to make explosions. Either way, there’ll be a character or a force over which the player will need to triumph.

    We want to know who (or what) this is, what they look like, their preferences, strengths, weaknesses – anything to help us get to know them. Make sure your answer refers back to the previous game elements. Be careful though: we’ll be covering the story in a later month so stay focused on the subject for March and don’t stray too much into the plot.

    The rules:

  • You can join in with the competition by coming up with an idea for an antagonist who fits into the world defined in January’s winning entry and could battle against February’s protagonist, to help create a collaborative version of The Ultimate Video Game. March’s winner will be picked from these entries and Chris wonderfully explains how this will work in this post.
  • Alternatively, if you’d like to join in just for fun then tell us about the antagonist for your own ultimate video game. Use the elements you created previously or start afresh if this is your first month! You won’t be eligible to win but you may receive a special mention if we like your idea.

  • Whether you’re joining in for competition or fun, try to focus on the single element for the current month in your answer and not cover other areas. Concentrate on the antagonist only for now!
  • There are no guidelines on word-limit or format so you can be as creative as you like: write a post, record a video, create a drawing, or impress us with another unique style.
  • Publish your idea for this month’s element on your blog or social media channels by 28 March 2019 and leave us a link in the comments below.
  • Submittals will then be discussed by the development team above, and the winner announced in a commentary post over on OverThinker Y on 31 March 2019.
  • The winning blogger will be invited to join our development team on Discord so they can help select future winners – and they’ll receive an exclusive badge to display on their site.

  • Good luck to everybody who’d like to take part this month. We’re looking forward to hearing your ideas for The Ultimate Video Game!

    Question of the Month: February 2019 edition

    2019’s Question of the Month series will see bloggers come together in a virtual development studio. Every month we’ll be asking brave volunteers to come forward and share their ideas for a single element of a title, so all the winning answers from the community can be blended together at the end of the year to create a title to overshadow all others: The Ultimate Video Game! Read on to find out more along with how you can take part.


    The development team so far:

  • Ian from Adventure Rules
  • Chris from OverThinker Y
  • Luke from Hundstrasse (winner of settings and themes)
  • Kim from Later Levels

  • The game so far:

  • January 2019:   settings and themes
  • February 2019:   announced below
  • March 2019:   to be revealed
  • April 2019:   to be revealed
  • May 2019:   to be revealed
  • June 2019:   to be revealed
  • July 2019:   to be revealed
  • August 2019:   to be revealed
  • September 2019:   to be revealed
  • October 2019:   to be revealed
  • November 2019:   to be revealed
  • December 2019:   press release for The Ultimate Video Game

  • This month’s game element:

    February’s game element is: the protagonist.

    Tell us about the star of The Ultimate Video Game and how they fit into January’s setting. If you’re thinking we should take our release in an RPG or action direction, you’ll probably need a main player-character: possibly a leader-of-the-party type or perhaps an unassuming everyman or woman. But if a puzzler or something abstract is more your thing, maybe there won’t be a character as such but you might have some sort of avatar. Or is the protagonist the player themselves?

    We want to know who this character is, what they look like, their preferences, strengths, weaknesses – anything to help us get to know them. Make sure your answer refers back to the setting chosen in January and explains how the protagonist fits into the environment. Be careful though: we’ll be covering story elements in a later month so stay focused on the subject for February and don’t stray too much into the plot.

    The rules:

  • You can join in with the competition by coming up with an idea for a protagonist who fits into the world defined in last month’s winning entry, to help create a collaborative version of The Ultimate Video Game. February’s winner will be picked from these entries and Chris wonderfully explains how this will work in his recent post.
  • Alternatively, if you’d like to join in just for fun then tell us about the protagonist for your own ultimate video game. Use the setting you came up with for January or start afresh if this is your first month! You won’t be eligible to win but you may receive a special mention if we like your idea.

  • Whether you’re joining in for competition or fun, try to focus on the single element for the current month in your answer and not cover other areas. Concentrate on the protagonist only for now!
  • There are no guidelines on word-limit or format so you can be as creative as you like: write a post, record a video, create a drawing, or impress us with another unique style.
  • Publish your idea for this month’s element on your blog or social media channels by 25 February 2019 and leave us a link in the comments below.
  • Submittals will then be discussed by the development team above, and the winner announced in a commentary post over on OverThinker Y on 28 Feburary 2019.
  • The winning blogger will be invited to join our development team on Discord so they can help select future winners – and they’ll receive an exclusive badge to display on their site.

  • Good luck to everybody who’d like to take part this month. We’re looking forward to hearing your ideas for The Ultimate Video Game!

    Question of the month: January 2019 edition

    Following on from Monday’s announcement, it’s time to kick off a new Question of the Month series for 2019 which will see the community come together in a virtual development studio. Every month we’ll be asking brave volunteers to come forward and share their ideas for a single element of a title so they can be blended together at the end of the year to create The Ultimate Video Game. Read on to find out more and how you can take part.


    The development team so far:

  • Ian from Adventure Rules
  • Chris from OverThinker Y
  • Kim from Later Levels

  • The game so far:

  • January 2019:   announced below
  • February 2019:   to be revealed
  • March 2019:   to be revealed
  • April 2019:   to be revealed
  • May 2019:   to be revealed
  • June 2019:   to be revealed
  • July 2019:   to be revealed
  • August 2019:   to be revealed
  • September 2019:   to be revealed
  • October 2019:   to be revealed
  • November 2019:   to be revealed
  • December 2019:   press release for The Ultimate Video Game

  • This month’s game element:

    January’s game element is: setting and themes.

    Your ideas this month should be focused on the world that The Ultimate Video Game is going to take place in. It could be a huge, sprawling fantasy landscape full of imaginative wildlife; a gritty urban slum where everything is grey and hard; a garden in your own home town where plenty of adventures could take place. Or perhaps even a black rectangle where nothing but different-shaped blocks exist!

    If your setting doesn’t take much describing, feel free to also tell us about the themes you’d like to explore. Will you look at love, friendship, cultural or social issues? The nature of gaming itself? Or do you just want The Ultimate Video Game to be something fun? The only thing we ask is that you bear in mind the first point in the following section and stay focused on January’s element.

    The rules:

  • There’s plenty of freedom this month. The only thing we ask is that those participating are careful not to include any plot details in their answers – concentrate on only the setting and themes for now!
  • For coming elements, we’ll be asking you to ensure your answer incorporates the ideas chosen in previous months so we end up with a cohesive game.
  • There are no guidelines on word-limit or format so you can be as creative as you like: write a post, record a video, create a drawing, or impress us with another unique style.
  • Publish your idea for this month’s element on your blog or social media channels by 28 January 2019 and leave us a link in the comments below.
  • Submittals will then be discussed by the development team above, and the winner announced in a commentary post over on OverThinker Y on 31 January 2019.
  • The winning blogger will be invited to join our development team on Discord so they can help select future winners – and they’ll receive an exclusive badge to display on their site.

  • Good luck to everybody who’d like to take part this month. We’re looking forward to hearing your ideas for The Ultimate Video Game!

    Question of the Month: an update for 2019

    You know what they say about the New Year being a new start? Well that’s exactly the case for the Question of the Month. We had some excellent star bloggers pose clever gaming conundrums to the community throughout 2018 and now your favourite monthly head-scratcher is getting a glamourous makeover for 2019. Before the details are revealed however, let’s find out who won December’s challenge…

    The winner

    Last month, Daniel from Home Button asked: “Were you the embodiment of the N64 kid and receiving a gaming-related gift that seemed legendary to you? Did you come together over a hefty meal and a game of Mario Party? What is your favourite holiday season gaming memory?” He reviewed all the answers submitted in response and here is his judgement:

    “Everybody had such wonderful memories, which made it hard to choose. Sometimes the gifts we remember the most aren’t just the ones we liked the best, but can instead be because of the way they were delivered – or more importantly what loved one they were from.

    Bandicoot Warrior gave us two interlacing memories about gifts from his grandparents, the very people that got him into gaming. The writing was warm and I felt like I was there with the author for both the highs and the lows of the piece. My condolences for your loss Bandicoot Warrior, but I’m glad your Granddad was there to get you into gaming, otherwise we would miss out on your wonderful blog altogether!”

    Congratulations to Bandicoot Warrior and thank you to everyone who joined in with the last question of 2018! Now let’s find out about the changes for the current year and what the first challenge of 2019 will be.

    Changes for 2019

    Most readers will already have heard of the awesome Adventure Rules, a site that provides guidance and comfort in a harsh world full of monsters and puzzles. Owner Ian works so hard on bringing the community together and for the past two years has hosted the Blogger Blitz, a community event which sees bloggers battle it out in random and hilarious matches while showcasing their writing talent (take a look at this page on Adventure Rules for further details).

    After 2018’s event, Chris from OverThinker Y and I decided we’d like to do a little something to show Ian our appreciation for all he does; but what would be the perfect gift? Inspiration struck when he stepped up to be the star blogger for September’s QotM and asked the community a question about making The Ultimate Video Game. We then knew exactly what to do so get ready and prepare yourselves for…

    QUESTION OF THE MONTH: THE GAMENING

    This year’s QotM series will bring the community together in a virtual development studio to create The Ultimate Video Game. Every month we’ll be asking brave volunteers to share their ideas for a single element of our title – for example, an atmospheric setting, a heroic protagonist, an interesting gameplay mechanic – and the best will be blended together at the end of 2019 to make the most awesome video game the world has ever seen. We may not be able to create it for real but at least we can do the theory!

    Here’s an outline of how it will work:

    Question of the Month, current month, arrow, diagram

    The game element for the current month will be announced on Later Levels Bloggers can submit their ideas for the game element via posts on their sites Members of our development studio will discuss these ideas on our Discord chat A commentary post announcing the winner will be published on OverThinker Y The winner will be invited into our Discord group and receive a badge for their blog

    In honour of Blogger Blitz and all things Adventure Rules, Chris and I have asked Ian to be the first member of our development studio and help select a winner for January. The game element up for discussion this month will be announced here on Later Levels on Wednesday so you won’t have to wait too long to get started – and you’ve got a couple of days to play some video games to get those creative juices flowing for your ideas.

    A big thank you to everyone who took part in the QotM series throughout 2018, and to those now thinking of participating in 2019. We’re really excited to see what The Ultimate Video Game created by the community is like!