I love the fact that the ThreeForged challenge is anonymous, but I just want to scream "Hey 1642, I got your game." or "I'm 1103, who got my game?...and where are you thinking of taking it?" (note that neither of these numbers are designations for games I received, or games I passed on to someone else...they are just examples).
I'm fascinated by the whole process. I want to see how ideas evolve through various hands of designers; but there are over 120 entrants for the first phase, which is bigger than the English-language field for this year's Game Chef, and I only just got through more than half of those entries.
This second stage of the contest is the "Black Box".
Stage one creates something pure from the mind of a single designer...that goes into the box.
Stage three extracts something from the box and tries to make a finished product from it.
Stage two is the box...it rips apart things offered from stage one, reassembles them into a format to be given to stage three. The original creator doesn't know how the second or third designers have manipulated their design, they see a final product, but don't know who did what... The final designer is given an incomplete design where an original vision was manipulated by the second designer, but they don't know which components came from the original design, what was stripped out or what was added by whom...
If the original design is transformed into a masterpiece, the initial designer doesn't know who to credit...not do they know who to blame if it becomes a hideous trainwreck.
This is the liminal space of the competition, the ritual period where the mundane has been left behind in search of visionary meaning...but before that meaning is grounded in the third act.
It's an exciting point of the proceedings.