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Zenobia Award 2021 Finalists Announced

Candice Harris
United States
Los Angeles
California
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In November 2020, I was excited to announce the official launch of the Zenobia Award, a historical board game design contest for underrepresented game designers covering underrepresented historical topics.

At the time of the launch, the Zenobia Award board members had no idea how many submissions they would receive, but their mission stood strong and they rounded up a diverse troop of dedicated volunteers (including myself) and supportive sponsors including publishers GMT Games, Leder Games, and Spielworxx, and artist Ian O’Toole, to name a few.

Out of the 145 applications that were submitted by the January 15, 2021 deadline, the Zenobia Award board members called upon about 100 of those (based on topic) to submit concept proposals. Out of those 100-ish requests, they received 86 concept proposals. From there, they selected 46 proposals to advance to a call for prototype. From that, they received 37 prototypes, which were evaluated by several panels of judges based on historical richness and fidelity (40% of score), originality of topic and mechanisms (20%), and game system elegance and play experience (40%).

Here are brief descriptions for the eight finalists that made it through, in addition to two honorable mentions:

From gallery of candidrum

From gallery of candidrum

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Honorable Mentions


From gallery of candidrum

From gallery of candidrum

After reading these descriptions and seeing snippets of the prototypes, I'm excited to see what comes of all these games! The finalists have the opportunity to revise their prototypes by September 15, 2021 for the evaluation and selection of three winners on October 15, 2021.

For more information on the Zenobia Award and the finalists, be sure to check out the Zenobia Award website and the finalists announcement video hosted by Volko Ruhnke and Harold Buchanan:

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