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BoardGameGeek and Geekway to the West are proud to announce

The 2015 BGG Microgame Prototype Design Competition!
Saturday, May 16, 2015
Geekway to the West
St. Louis, MO


Geekway to the West is proud to announce the collaboration with BoardGameGeek for the 2015 Game Design Competition. BGG is developing a line of microgames, and BGG’s Chad Krizan (chaddyboy_2000) will be onsite to judge the competition. The winner of this competition may be published by BGG!

We are excited to announce, in the order they appeared on the Geeklist, the top 15 finalists of the competition!

Shiv by charlest
Black Hand by SirLoinALot
RoboDrome by ThEvilBen
Patron's Protege by Mikal508
Aqueducts by Wilikai
Smoking Gun by Wilikai
Yaoguai by bungeeboy
Most Glorious Comrade by Vaska103
Ouroboros Dragons by artmark
By Hook and by Crook by Armadi
Bridges to Nowhere by johnolson11
Sons of Cronus by ynnen
The Pascal Deal by PeeJays84
Sikarra: Volcano Island by GorillaDetective
To Build a Wonder by zenmazster

Congratulations to the designers moving forward, and thanks to all who participated from designers to voters! Thank you BGG for making this possible.

If you are a Geekway attendee and would like to playtest, please sign up on this thread: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1355988/sign-playtest-f...

Walkups are very welcome, but signing up will reserve a spot for you.

The winner will be posted by the end of Geekway on May 17, 2015.


******************
This is a microgame competition, and the requirements are specific both in terms of game design (both component limits and game length) and in terms of actions required by the designer.

Required Elements of Microgame Prototypes:

1..The size requirements for the game are fixed and designs must conform to the specifications. The whole game can be 6mm thick, and the footprint of 2 Tichu cards side by side. A punch sheet is 2mm thick, and every 2 cards is about 1mm thick. So, the game could use 24 cards, or 20 cards and a card-sized punch sheet, or two double-card sized punch sheets and 4 cards, etc. IMPORTANT: If a game cannot fit within these physical component limits, it will not be publishable by BGG!

2. The game must have a salable theme, one that appeals to the larger marketplace. We would greatly prefer a strongly themed game to abstract designs.

3. The game’s length can range from 5 to 30 minutes.

4. The game must be fun (in case this isn’t obvious)!

5. We are looking for finished games that have been extensively playtested and refined. Finished means all components are included and playable. (We understand that the artistic quality of the game’s components in prototype state will be enhanced if published by BGG, so don’t worry if you don’t have graphic design skills.)

When the game is ready, the designer must create a BGG game listing for the prototype with downloadable rules and photos. Once you create the game listing, add the game to the 2015 BGG Microgame Prototype Design Competition geeklist. Games on this list will officially be entered into the competition. This is considered the first round of the competition.

First-round judging of listed games will occur before Geekway based on the BGG community votes and judges’ evaluations of game information and rules. Designers who move onto the second round (actual playing of the game during the competition at Geekway) will be announced by April 15, 2015.

Designers who make it to the second round must bring a complete prototype that conforms to the design specifications listed above and three sets of typed rules. Designers will teach their game to playtesters in a fast-paced round-robin playtesting competition. The two-hour competition will be divided into four 30-minute gaming sessions. Each designer will have 30 minutes to setup, explain, and play his or her game. Players will rotate and the process will repeat three more times. Judges will be participating in these gaming rotations. Any badge holder of Geekway to the West can be a playtester.

Any badge holder of Geekway is eligible to enter the contest, including Geekway volunteers and staff. You do not need to buy a badge to enter on BGG, but if your game is chosen for the second round you must have a badge to participate and be present on Saturday to present your game.

The judging panel will be chaired by Chad Krizan and comprises gamers, designers, and publishers.

The following criteria will be used: conformity to game size specifications, originality of theme, innovativeness of mechanics, replay ability, interactivity, fun, and gameplay overall.

The winner will be determined by playtester and judge feedback. Decisions are final, slightly secretive, as fair as possible, and play tester scoring sheets with comments will be returned to the designers after the winner is announced.

Prizes for the winning designer:
The opportunity to pitch your microgame to BGG’s Chad Krizan.
$50 donated by Genius Games
$50 Gift Certificate to the BGG Geek Store
A Treasure Chest donated by Stonemaier Games
A nifty certificate stating that you were the Geekway game design competition winner and all the bragging rights therein.

Prizes for playtesters:
First prize: One special raffle ticket will be given for each game playtested (maximum of 4). Raffle winners will receive a copy of Fistful of Dinero or a selection of games from Eagle/Gryphon.
All playtesters will get a $5 gift certificate to the BGG Geek Store.

Thanks to BoardGameGeek, Magic House Games, Stonemaier Games, Genius Games, Eagle-Gryphon Games for their support!


Important Deadlines

January 30, 2014: Contest Announced.
Contest is announced and registration begins. Once your game is complete, create your game’s BGG page and add it to the BGG Geeklist. Thus begins the first round.

March 1, 2015: BGG Pages Linked to Geeklist Deadline & BGG Voting Opens.
The game designer must create a BGG page with photos and complete rules for the game by this date. Failure to do so may eliminate a designer from the competition. Voting on entries begins.

April 8, 2015: BGG voting closes.
Voting closes on BGG for game design prototypes. Judges begin selecting the second round candidates based on voting results and their preferences.

April 22, 2015: Announcement of Second Round designers!
Announcement of second round game designers is announced on BGG and Geekway websites. These games will be playtested at Geekway on Saturday, May 16, 2015. Playtesters wanted!


FAQ:

Q: If I win, will BGG definitely publish my game?
A: No. BGG is under no obligation to publish the game, but are wanting to do so if possible.

Q: Must I, the game designer, be present and participate?
A: Yes, you must be present to teach and play your game. Games will be held after the competition until Sunday morning for judging, then returned. Prototype games will not be mailed unless you make arrangements ahead of time.

Q: When will the winning designer be announced?
A: After we are done judging on Sunday morning. If you have to leave Geekway before the winner is announced, prizes can be mailed, and you will need to coordinate with Chad after Geekway to pitch your game.

Q: My game is published and/or under contract to a game publisher. Can I enter it into the contest?
A: No. Congrats, though!

Q: What if my game plays in a short amount of time? Can we play it more than once?
A: Yes, but each game is scored once per 30 minute session and playtesters get one ticket for the session.

Q: If I enter my game into the contest, do I own it?
A: Yes. Games submitted are the sole property of the submitter, and you retain the right to negotiate a possible contract with BGG as you desire. However, you are putting your game into the public knowledge domain on BGG and in the contest itself. The judges will not knowingly publish your game without your consent.

Q: If I entered my game into last year’s Geekway contest, can I re-enter it?
A: You may, but if it didn’t win last year, the judges may not move the game forward to the second round. If your game is significantly improved and different, it has a better chance, but ultimately BGG voting and the judges will choose the most interesting games to move forward.

Any questions, please GeekMail funkdonut or ask below in the comments. Responses by funkdonut or chaddyboy_2000 will serve as official.


Be sure to check out http://www.geekwaytothewest.com/design.html for more details on the competition and a link to the Geekway registration page.
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Isra C.
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Re: BGG & Geekway to the West's Board Game Design Competition Official Announcement!
People outside US could participate? I'd love to
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Re: BGG & Geekway to the West's Board Game Design Competition Official Announcement!
Looking forward to this; it should be a lot of fun!
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Re: BGG & Geekway to the West's Board Game Design Competition Official Announcement!
israperrillo wrote:
People outside US could participate? I'd love to

i am also interested in this...
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Re: BGG & Geekway to the West's Board Game Design Competition Official Announcement!
israperrillo wrote:
People outside US could participate? I'd love to

Well it looks like people outside the US could participate as long as they don't mind travelling to the US to present the game.

So unless you're very rich, it's not worth entering
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Re: BGG & Geekway to the West's Board Game Design Competition Official Announcement!
israperrillo wrote:
People outside US could participate? I'd love to

funkdonut wrote:
Any badge holder of Geekway is eligible to enter the contest, including Geekway volunteers and staff. You do not need to buy a badge to enter on BGG, but if your game is chosen for the second round you must have a badge to participate and be present on Saturday to present your game.

Still, it sounds awesome!

Any chance of this coming to GameStorm anytime soon? whistle
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Todd Snyder
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Re: BGG & Geekway to the West's Board Game Design Competition Official Announcement!
with those size requirements, dice would not be allowed, correct? Or can you go 'cheapass games mode' and just say requires die/dice, not included?
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Re: BGG & Geekway to the West's Board Game Design Competition Official Announcement!
4mm dice exist, and have been packed in card games before....



There are a few next to 19mm casion dice and a standard Magic card for scale.
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Re: BGG & Geekway to the West's Board Game Design Competition Official Announcement!
Can you add the max size in standard units, please?
Are Tichu cards Euro Cards, Standard, US, or something else entirely?
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Re: BGG & Geekway to the West's Board Game Design Competition Official Announcement!
To clarify, if I were to stack 2 piles of 12 Tichu cards each next to one another, that's the size goal? That seems to only be 4mm thick.

Do the size restrictions include rules?

For those who don't have Tichu, the cards are 87mm x 56mm.
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Timothy Hunt
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Re: BGG & Geekway to the West's Board Game Design Competition Official Announcement!
The Tichu card size is only being used for the footprint. The rules clearly state that for determining thickness, assume cards are 0.5mm thick, and that a punch sheet (for cardboard chits) is 2mm thick.
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Re: BGG & Geekway to the West's Board Game Design Competition Official Announcement!
We'll get a more specific size for the footprint soon. It has been pointed out to me that there is more than one size for Tichu cards.
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Re: BGG & Geekway to the West's Board Game Design Competition Official Announcement!
Wilikai wrote:
To clarify, if I were to stack 2 piles of 12 Tichu cards each next to one another, that's the size goal? That seems to only be 4mm thick.

Do the size restrictions include rules?

For those who don't have Tichu, the cards are 87mm x 56mm.

I'll have to let Chad answer questions about specifics as he will be dealing with the manufacturing.

A question came up--can a designer enter more than one entry? I say yes. If multiple games from that designer make it to the second round, then we'll get creative about play testing. I'm in this business (as a hobbyist) to give people opportunities.
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Re: BGG & Geekway to the West's Board Game Design Competition Official Announcement!
How many games will move forward to the second round? Is this predetermined or a percentage of entries or something else?

Steve.
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Re: BGG & Geekway to the West's Board Game Design Competition Official Announcement!
Last year, for comparison, we had 20. The number for this year is unknown because we don't know how many entries we will get and how many will be determine via voting and judges' preferences to move forward. But I think 20 is near the upper limit.
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Re: BGG & Geekway to the West's Board Game Design Competition Official Announcement!
funkdonut wrote:
Last year, for comparison, we had 20. The number for this year is unknown because we don't know how many entries we will get and how many will be determine via voting and judges' preferences to move forward. But I think 20 is near the upper limit.

Thanks, that's helpful.

Steve.
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Re: BGG & Geekway to the West's Board Game Design Competition Official Announcement!
funkdonut wrote:
Q: Must I, the game designer, be present and participate?
A: Yes, you must be present to teach and play your game.
Doesn't hurt to ask: Can it simply be "a person intimately familiar with the game and designer and authorized to act on the designer's behalf" has to be present to teach and play the game, or does it have to be the actual designer.
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Re: BGG & Geekway to the West's Board Game Design Competition Official Announcement!
What kind of measurement is "2 Tichu cards"?

What if we don't have this Tichu?

Can you maybe put that in millimeters in the first post?
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Re: BGG & Geekway to the West's Board Game Design Competition Official Announcement!
Card Size - As for size requirements, I really don't care if your prototype is exact down to the last millimeter. We can always tweak sizing and layouts during production. If a game is super good, we'll figure out how to make it work assuming it's close. So, if you don't exactly match the Tichu cards to the ones I used during testing of what will fit in the envelope we use, it's really no biggie. I'm currently in Germany for the toy fair here, but can post the exact measurement for those who are worried once I get home again.

Can I make this cheapass style? - I don't mind if the game needs a small amount of components that someone would have lying around. So, if the game needs a standard d6 or a handful of cubes, I'd still consider it. Don't make people raid the entirety of their game collection to find the components, though.
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Re: BGG & Geekway to the West's Board Game Design Competition Official Announcement!
"When the game is ready, the designer must create a BGG game listing for the prototype with downloadable rules and photos. Once you create the game listing, add the game to the 2015 BGG Microgame Prototype Design Competition geeklist. Games on this list will officially be entered into the competition. This is considered the first round of the competition."

For those of us who are neophytes, can you explain how this is done?
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Re: BGG & Geekway to the West's Board Game Design Competition Official Announcement!
Mr Bassman wrote:
"When the game is ready, the designer must create a BGG game listing for the prototype with downloadable rules and photos. Once you create the game listing, add the game to the 2015 BGG Microgame Prototype Design Competition geeklist. Games on this list will officially be entered into the competition. This is considered the first round of the competition."

For those of us who are neophytes, can you explain how this is done?

Check out here:

http://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/BGG_Guide_to_Game_Submiss...
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Re: BGG & Geekway to the West's Board Game Design Competition Official Announcement!
Mr Bassman wrote:
"When the game is ready, the designer must create a BGG game listing for the prototype with downloadable rules and photos. Once you create the game listing, add the game to the 2015 BGG Microgame Prototype Design Competition geeklist. Games on this list will officially be entered into the competition. This is considered the first round of the competition."

For those of us who are neophytes, can you explain how this is done?

Adding game to BGG database. This page has some more useful links, especially the ones about adding images and files to game entries.
Visual tutorial of adding a game to the database.
The geeklist to add the game to.
Some info about geeklists.
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Re: BGG & Geekway to the West's Board Game Design Competition Official Announcement!
floydpretz wrote:
Doesn't hurt to ask: Can it simply be "a person intimately familiar with the game and designer and authorized to act on the designer's behalf" has to be present to teach and play the game, or does it have to be the actual designer.

Was wondering this myself.
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Re: BGG & Geekway to the West's Board Game Design Competition Official Announcement!
I am really looking forward to this -- can't wait to see what cool things the designers have in store for us!
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Re: BGG & Geekway to the West's Board Game Design Competition Official Announcement!
Sivilized wrote:
floydpretz wrote:
Doesn't hurt to ask: Can it simply be "a person intimately familiar with the game and designer and authorized to act on the designer's behalf" has to be present to teach and play the game, or does it have to be the actual designer.

Was wondering this myself.

We have talked about this, and after considering a number of factors, the most we can expand this to is "a member of the design team." This would be someone with intimate knowledge of the game's design and can act as an authority on its behalf, including negotiating possible changes within the game should a pitch occur.

Our intent is to have designers present and grow the designer presence at Geekway, which is already awesome and amazing.

Other events for designers at Geekway include:

Thursday & Friday:
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will be hosting seminars on game design, and he's amazing

Thursday night: an open prototyping lab, where designers can bring rough prototypes for playtesting and feedback, and published designers will be there for collaboration

Friday: panel with our super special guest

Friday night: Game prototype demos, where designers can present finished prototypes for publishers, designers, and gamers to play

Saturday's game contest: c'est magnifique

Plus other great events like a Crokinole tournament, the Trade Table, Flea Market, PitchCar tournament, Monkey Madness tournament, Peppino the Clown tournament, Battling Tops, and more. Plus, open gaming with over a thousand of your friends from all over the world with a massive game library and the wildly popular Play & Win, where the hottest game titles are available for play and at the end of the con, someone will take home each game (the goal is 50 titles, three copies each) plus a boatload of door prizes. It's so fun.

So really, everyone should want to come to Geekway. It's my favorite four days of the year, and I live a charmed life. :)
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