The web is full of year-end retrospectives. Gameological has the only one that you can play. We invited four indie development teams to make a browser game inspired by a major news story from 2012, with two weeks to bring their game from concept to reality. And now you get to experience the results. Don’t just remember the year. Play The Year.


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The pop-culture bombshell of the year was the news that Disney had acquired Lucasfilm and all rights to Star Wars. Along with the sale came the announcement that Disney would be continuing the film saga with Episode VII in 2015 and another Star Wars picture every couple of years thereafter. That’s a lotta Star Wars! They will need some sort of Star Wars movie-making machine at that rate.

Why, it so happens we have such a machine right here. It’s Star Wars: Sequel Debacle Simulatron, and the prototype is at your disposal. With this device, the space opera of your dreams can come to simu-life. Maybe you’d like to see a Star Wars written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Martin Scorsese, with Tina Fey in the starring role. You can even have George Lucas himself direct—the possibilities are that ridiculous. But watch out: The critics and the fans get the final say.

How to play: Select a writer, director, and star for your film. Adjust the balance of elements like action and romance to fit the flick you want to make. Give it a title, and release it into the wild to see how the press and audiences react. What’s the biggest hit you can create? Or, even better, the biggest flop?

About the developers: Star Wars: Sequel Debacle Simulatron was created by Ben Johnson (Twitter: @gamedesignerben) and Joe Kowalski (@codeloss).

Johnson is is an independent game designer, and a member of New York’s indie arcade collective, Babycastles. He has also worked on a number of commercial projects over the last 8 years, most notably as a level designer on Dead Space for Electronic Arts.

For the past 5 years, Kowalski has worked for Double Fine making things like the main menu interface for Brütal Legend. Prior to that, he worked at Harmonix, where he contributed to both Guitar Hero and Rock Band in their early days.