Each year, GDC challenges select game designers to create a game based on a difficult theme -- whether it's creating a game that could win a Nobel Peace Prize or be inspired by an Emily Dickinson poem. This year, contestants Sulka Haro (lead creative on Habbo Hotel), previous winner Steve Meretzky (notably of Infocom) and duo Heather Kelley and Erin Robinson were asked to design a game based on their own experiences with sex, hence the apt “My First Time." Notably absent from the panel was Kim Swift, creator of Portal, who was apparently asked not to participate thanks to the um, controversial nature of the topic. What the topic inspired, however, isn’t so much controversial, as humorous, voyeuristic and slightly self-deprecating.
As a last minute replacement for Swift, Heather Kelley and Erin Robinson paired up and created their game in under 36 hours rather than the several weeks allotted to everyone else. What they came up with is a WarioWare-esque minigame foray into the intricacies and awkwardness of that special night including shaving legs, choosing the right LP (you know, old school iTunes), unbuckling the belt and counting all the Terry Pratchett books on the shelf (a more humorous take on counting ceiling tiles, amirite, ladies?). Your score (oh, the puns just flew around in this session) is based on how high you can get your humiliation meter without actually reaching the point of abject failure.