So I didn't have Cultivate Contest-Ready by the deadline.
I've been putting off posting that here, since I posted it in the contest thread, and then the entry thread. It was the right call, as I had developed serious doubts about how far I'd taken Project Chestnut, and how quickly. I rushed out a prototype and called it Components Ready, without having exhaustively (or even adequately) playtested it at all. My buddy John Horton has been working on a Flash mockup of Cultivate based off the rules - so much was missing, so much was poorly thought-out. I'm looking back on this blog where I thought that the 8x8 board was restricting. What? Right now it feels too big. Which leads to examining whether Chestnut was really the right lane of development to go with...
All of which leads me back to the conclusion that I should have stuck by my guns as far as the parallel development process is concerned. Entering the Contest was a great idea, and incredibly useful. It gave me the inspiration and urgency for everything that came after. But I did let it carry me away. I focused on being done, rather than on being good. Luckily, I now have a whole year to make changes, and return to my parallel development process.
Of course, I'm also now free to work on other designs. And I'm all fired up to re-visit some old ones. Here's to life after losing.